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1990 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL(RIP),1997 Mercedes-Benz E420
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have had this problem for a while. I put "No-Error" LED's in my city lights from eBay. Bad move on my part, I usually have a philosophy of keeping it stock or mercedes approved.

There is a burned out component (RED & YELLOW WIRE PICTURE)that I believe was the cause of my city light failure. Can someone please interpret what this part is. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'm currently working on getting a clearer picture for the diagram. Please standby otherwise if you know the component. Please state. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Heres a PDF... I should explain the blown/fried component wire is colored grey. Starting at the plug leading to the city light bulb.
 

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W210 Moderator
99 E320
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i'm not detecting any 'bulbs' within the wiring schematic you've posted and am
not bright enough to back track without it

if the failed component you describe as being part of the gray wire leading up-
stream of the city/standing bulb above the H7 high beam, i can't tell which one
that is amongst your photos

the wiring i see in your photos appear disintegrated and fossilized
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Raymond. What would you suggest I post. I'm a noob when it comes to electrical systems.

I'm reviewing the diagrams from alldata again but can't find much other than the diagram listed. If needed I can pull out the lens again and post clearer pictures or possibly a video if needed.
 

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W210 Moderator
99 E320
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okay, here is what i've gathered based on a quick glance.

photo 3 - you have factory HID
photo 4 - that is factory ballast to which powers the HID
photo 5 - your yellow and brown paired wiring has decomposing insulation
photo 6 - appears to be an H7 female socket (high beam) at 1 o'clock
  • guessing it's the H5W city/standing socket at 9 o'clock, both with
  • seriously insulation loss and must be rewired
photo 7 - same as photo 6

not seeing wiring or socket for turn signal anywhere (just noting)

FINAL.PDF is same as photo 2, just larger image

insufficient to draw any conclusions but for one thing....i'm surprised that you
have any lighting at all, given the serious deterioration of the lighting's wiring harness

what information do you have which leads you to draw the conclusion that a component has failed?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
okay, here is what i've gathered based on a quick glance.

photo 3 - you have factory HID
photo 4 - that is factory ballast to which powers the HID
photo 5 - your yellow and brown paired wiring has decomposing insulation
photo 6 - appears to be an H7 female socket (high beam) at 1 o'clock
  • guessing it's the H5W city/standing socket at 9 o'clock, both with
  • seriously insulation loss and must be rewired
photo 7 - same as photo 6

not seeing wiring or socket for turn signal anywhere (just noting)

FINAL.PDF is same as photo 2, just larger image

insufficient to draw any conclusions but for one thing....i'm surprised that you
have any lighting at all, given the serious deterioration of the lighting's wiring harness

what information do you have which leads you to draw the conclusion that a component has failed?
It really is best guess right now. I checked it the first time it went out and found this burnt part. The other side was working then. I also cannot pinpoint the specific fuse in the car. I've checked the engine, dash, and rear seat but cannot find one.

If there is are specs for each wire I wouldn't mind replacing them all. Just need the information and I wouldn't mind doing a write up on it.

If the opposite lamp has this component and it's not burnt, could I plug it into the left side to test...attempting to single out that component failure?

I should add at some point in time it went from one light burned out to, both lights burned out...all the time. Bulbs are okay, and they do not illuminate when the night illumination feature is on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Im working on both lamps right now. please standby im getting the part #'s
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Okay, so a bit more luck now. I've found part numbers. I couldn't find anything according to hella's website so I took all numbers down...my camera couldn't focus on it so here they are. These numbers were found on the inside of the FEMALE plug...which leads to the city lamp. Shown in second to last picture. The wire affected is the grey colored one next to the red.

146538-00
965 509-1
PA 66 GF 13

I found that both left and right headlamps have this same burnt component.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I keep blowing my #7 fuse located in the dash. I've tried three fuses already and all have tripped. I'm assuming it has to deal with the headlight wiring. Will be back with more.

The #7 fuse controls the passenger rear tail light/passenger side marker light/ and night time illumination apparently...It is a 7.5amp fuse
 

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Brandon - sorry to see this bit of bad luck. Noodles is right, this is classic insulation degradation brought about from age and heat. The headlight insulation fails first because it is enclosed in the headlamp unit which gets pretty hot with the lights on. (Being close to the equator helps to accelerate the failure) Your troubles are likely caused by a short when the wiring was disturbed with a bulb change.

You probably have only four options:
1) Rewire - cheapest but most time consuming.
2) New pre-made wiring (nice find!)
3) New HID aftermarket headlights (most expensive - easiest)
4) Junkyard salvage. (least exensive, and will come with age degraded wiring for more problems later)

From the wiring diagram provided, all of the headlight (bucket) electrical connections are contained within the two lower boxes labled 'E1' and 'E2'. The 3 lights in E1 and E2 are shown by circles with an 'X' in the center.

The photo of the burnt component looks like a proprietary fusable link or an in line resistor. (Being burnt like that should mean it is an open circuit with infinite resistance.) However, this component does not show up on the schematic for E1 and E2. Since there is no marking on the component, it is not possible to tell what the rating of this type of component is made for. That eliminates option 1) unless you are really tenacious. If you are going to rewire, go to the opposite side headlight, and measure the resistance accross the good sister component with the power lead disconnected. If it reads 0 ohms, the component is a fusable link. If this line has some resistance, then you will have to get a direct reading accross the good sister component. (Any sneak circuit paths with cause an incorrect reading) If you rewire, getting the exact ohms on a replacement resistor is crucial. The defective lamp warning light comes off a voltage divider network that senses current imbalances. Get the wrong resistor, it becomes a do-over. Another difficulty with rewiring is the wire crimping of new connectors. The cheap automotive crimpers for wiring connections don't provide the pull strength that the factory crimpers impart. (Vastly different devices). Therefore, making quality new crimp connections is a pain, particularly for the headlamp sockets.

Here is a photo of my old insulation. I got new projector headlamps (because we do not have HIDs on our E420 like you do).

Good luck.:thumbsup:

atm
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks for the response Atm. I read briefly your thread, good stuff. I'm getting more and more educated on electrical systems but I must say it can get overwhelming lol.

I managed to get into contact with my uncle who works for our local power company...after a few hours of a crash course on electrical components he said something similar to what you said, a fuse or resistor...although he couldn't confirm it.

I'll try and find sometime tomorrow insulate all wires in electrical tape so no contact is made...would this affect the fuse at all?

Im also meeting my mechanic to finish the work on rotors/wheel bearings/inner and outer rods and rear pads. Hopefully it all goes good without damaging anything.

I'm still trying to locate the headlamp interior harness so I could just replace and be over with it. I would try going to my local salvage yard but I highly doubt the 210 they have there is a HID unit.

I'm also attempting to contact HELLA directly but their site seems fairly non user-friendly....

EDITED: Let me bite my tongue I just emailed Hella USA and hopefully they respond.
 

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Taping might be a short term method to prevent blowing fuses, but unlapped electrical tape won't last very long in the hot headlight bucket if applied lengthwise. Still - better than nothing.

Does the opposite side headlamp still have an intact fuse/resistor?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
No, both sides are burnt..if it wasn't the LED light that blew the component then maybe when I installed it, the wires made contact then. Just the act of replacing the bulb must have damaged the wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Okay, just got back from Napa and got some Buss fuses 7.5 amps...While there, I couldn't help but take a look at their electrical wires. If I decide to go that route and rewire the whole thing myself (which I don't mind doing), how can I confirm the gauge of the wire...using the multimeter.

Brandon
 

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This will be either 12 or 10 gage stranded wire (12 was for my non-HID). Try to match colors (don't use all the same).

The brown wires are the common ground for these circuits. All the other colored wires are the power feeds from the selector switch in the cabin. The brown wire in your photo is in pretty bad shape and should be replaced/temporarily taped first. Contact between the power leads and the common is what is most likely shorting out the system and may be blowing the f7.

Also, the wiring kit shown earlier is not for a HID kit like you have - I believe it will only fit a normal or projector lamp unless modified. Amazon.com carries these for $40 a pair, so even if you have to modify them, still cheaper than $300 for a pair of HID headlights. This will give you some more solid connections, but you may still have to splice in other aspects for the HID. It should also come with the mystery component (fuse/resistor) for the city lights.

Should you choose to go the rewire route, you may want to consider splicing an in-line fuse holder (they cost about $1 each). Get a few fuses to insert into the holder. Ladder the fuses up starting with the lowest rated fuse which should have an amperage rating of I (current amperage rating) = (city lamp bulb watt rating/12 volts)

For example, a standard H7 bulb is 55Watts / 12 volts = 4.6 amps. In this example, you would start with a 5 amp fuse. Go up progressively to 7.5 amps in this example - no more to avoid circuit damage.

If the mystery component turns out to be a resistor and not a fuse, no harm done in this method except a few blow fuses that will protect the transistors in the circuit. If it is an in-line resistor, I have no suggestions on how to proceed.

Keep plugging away!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for this information atm. I was wondering if the WIS or Startek lists this part in their catalogs.

If someone reading this has that account it would be greatly appreciated if an actual part number or information on headlamp internal wires were available.


I wouldn't mind doing a sticky procedure if I'm able to locate the appropriate parts.

Thanks
 

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I had one side not work on my 97 e420. I rewired both sides and got everything ok with 16 gauge trailer wire light. All black wire but who cares. Took 1 wire at a time off and replaced/soldered (ok crimpers, I understand).

Anyway, mine are not hid but look just like your pictures. Fortunaly the one side was good. I measured and read the color code off the resistor (cut shrink off). I recall it being speced a 1.2 ohm 2 watt resistor. I went to radio shack and paralleled 7 or 8 (can't remember) 1/4 watt carbon 10 ohm resistors. I would have got a correct one if they had it. So this was my best solution and very cheap.

Glad to say my lighting issue has been resolved.. I also put in some ebay error free and haven't had any issue with them.

Hope this helps.
 
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