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2004 E320 Wagon, leather; 2007 E350, sport package, avant-garde appearance group
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The standard beam lens on the (my) e211 Halogen headlights is an opaque color. I replaced the bulbs with 4000 Sylvania, but they still don't sem as bright as they should. The clear covers are still fine; no need to use the clearing compounds.

Can I replace the lenses with clear andcwouldvit make a difference? Is it as big a job ( removing the front bumper, etc.) as it is to put in new Xenon's WITH reflectors?

Any advice is appreciated.
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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It is a job that requires removal of the bumper.

The lenses can made nice and clear again with a couple of different products on the market.
3M and Meguirs make the ones I like best. If they appear to be very cloudy I would use
the 3M kit.
 

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2004 E320 Wagon, leather; 2007 E350, sport package, avant-garde appearance group
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks Noodles
I didn't realize the milky color was a discoloration and thought that compounds like 3M and Meguirs were only for the outside covers that take all the hits from particles, sand, etc. on the highway. Any idea what causes those inside lenses to get milky? Wouldn't want it to happen again any time soon. I know my high beams besides being at a higher angle are MUCH brighter event though they don't have the new Sylvania bulbs like I put in the low beam head lights.

Given the magnitude of the job, might it be better to change to Xenon's using one of the kits that actually changes the reflectors and lenses besides adding the bulbs and ballasts? I've seen varying opinions on doing that aftermarket for example, HIDs should have leveling capabilities. I know they also sell complete Xenon units (I think that was from one of your posts) which, if I were to sell the removed Halogen units on eBay could actually make them less than the full replacement kit. Of course, now I know I'd have to clean up those internal lenses to resell them as in top condition!
 

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2004 E500
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I think Noodles missed your comment about having clear covers and thought you were referring to the external lens.

There have been a number of threads about cloudy/frosted projector lenses lately. I can't find it at the moment, but one of them had a picture of the "cloudy" lens that you would have in your '04 (and I in mine) along with a picture of the clear lens that was used in later models.

If you look closely at your lens, you will find that it is not really discolored and it's not something you can polish out. It's made with thin concentric rings that I presume were supposed to give it a sort of Fresnel effect and help to focus the light. Evidently Mercedes decided that the rings didn't really help, so they stopped using that design. I find it's bad enough with xenons; with halogens, you have my sympathy.

Not sure what you have to go through to change it, but I think if you sent a PM to djrabbi, he might be able to tell you. Check out his thread at I can finallllllly seeee! - MBWorld.org Forums .
 

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2004 E320 Wagon, leather; 2007 E350, sport package, avant-garde appearance group
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info and the link. Noodles did confirm that to get to the lens the front bumper has to be removed, so I was confused too, as clearing the external cover wouldn't require removing the bumper. The bumper, as far as my research has shown, has to be removed to take out the whole headlight unit as removing the lens we're discussing requires putting the unit in an oven to soften whatever it is that seals/holds that internal lens in place, keeps it watertight, etc.

That link had a lot of information and some good pictures of the different lenses, etc., but nowhere in the thread did it mention having to remove the bumper to do the replacement. Sounded like the replacement lenses themselves are only about $40, but as I said if it takes all that work I might consider a Xenon replacement kit which includes the new lens and reflector for factory-like results (I hope!).
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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I did think it was the outer lens in question.

I have the Bi-Xenons and the projector lens is not clear either. I saw a brand new W212
with projector lenses and they had the same look as mine for what ever that is worth.
Basically it is normal. My brothers new Audi looks the same also.
 

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2004 E320 Wagon, leather; 2007 E350, sport package, avant-garde appearance group
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all....

Looks like I need the HID replacement!

I did check, and the lens on my car does not have the concentric rings, but my small directional signal lenses do have the clear look with the rings.
 

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2004 E500
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You have to look pretty close to see the rings. I did manage to locate the thread I was looking for earlier. The two lenses are compared in Post #4 at Differences between 03-06 & 07-09 headlights? (Xenon/Lens help) - MBWorld.org Forums.

BUT while looking for that thread, I came across another one: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w251-r-class/1566634-reason-dim-halogen-headlights.html. That might also apply in your case.

If you decide to swap out your halogens, there's a lot of info out there if you search for it. Unfortunately, there's a lot more than you will want. If there's a thread with step-by-step instructions, I haven't come across it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Dang2 -

Those posts are great. I'm going to pull the bulbs and verify the inside of the lenses are dirty, clean if needed and see the results.

I'll post what I find!
 

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2012 E550 Iridium Silver
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Hey D,

If you decide to replace just the projector lenses, you will find it was a lot of work for minimal gain. To replace the projector lenses, you need to remove the headlight from the car and then bake the headlight assembly in an oven for 5-10 minutes to soften the butyl mastic that seals the outer cover to the housing. The rest is pretty easy but the reflective coating inside the housing is extremely fragile. Just wiping the coating with a cloth will scratch the surface and remove material.

If you go this route, upgrade to HIDs and replace the projector assembly while you are at it. Then you will really notice a difference.

Mike
 

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1988 Mercedes Benz 300E 144256 Miles. 2003 E500 105.XXX miles. 2005 ML55 AMG 72.XXX Miles
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One thing to make sure is look if your HID lense if it has been chiped. I changed bulb after bulb but my right one was always brighter. I accidently found out that my HID lense inside has a small chip that was letting light through it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update

When I cleaned the inside of the lens no dirt at all came off onto the cloth soaked with Windex. That night I turned on the headlights and although there was no improvement in the illumination, the concentric rings dang2 mentioned were partially showing. I have no idea what came off that exposed the rings, but I may try to clean it further and see what happens.

I used a coat hanger, with cotton packed to make sure there was no chance of scratching and apiece of microfiber over the cotton, all secured by tape.
 
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