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Green '02 E320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone recommend a trusted supplier for the 2002 E320 headlight wiring harness? In many threads, people got the harness from eBay or Amazon 3rd party sellers. Even in the DIY by gurunutkins, the harness he linked to (in a different post) now shows a photo of some ugly watch.

My headlight socket melted and the small running light socket is crumbled. I could solder in the OEM parts, but I'd probably introduce more resistance than I'm fixing. And it wouldn't replace all of the old wires.

Please post links to currently available replacement headlight harnesses which you trust and use. Thanks.
 

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Green '02 E320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info. I just reviewed my wiring carefully and found none of the cracking or degredation shown in other threads. One of my running light bulb sockets is crumbling and the low beam socket burnt (thankfully the same side).

I'm adding proactive bulb replacement to my long term maintenance schedule. Swap them every five years. Even if a filament looks decent, it may be essentially dead.

The low beam socket burn out was probably my fault. For at least a month, the bulb wouldn't turn on unless I jiggled it. At first I went to replace it, but the filament looked fine so I reinstalled it. When it worked, I blamed some other odd quirk that I wouldn't have time to fix. The filament may have been broken and only lit when jiggled to make physical connection. I also found that the positive wire connector was a bit loose, not grabbing the bulb correctly. The broken filament and/or loose connector surely increased the resistance on the wire, drawing more power, melting the wire.

The bulb I had in there was likely seven years old (Osram 64210L from the dealership). The bulb in the other side worked, but its filament looked ragged (and is likely older than seven years). After temporarily refurbishing the burnt connector, I installed the ragged bulb and it immediately died. The socket is putting out the right amount of power, but the ancient filament probably snapped when I moved it.

Lesson learned for my running lights which are kind of working though their filaments look intact. Replace them.
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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6,003 Posts
Always use the bulb grease (dielectric grease). You can get from any part store.
 

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Green '02 E320 Wagon
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570 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thankfully, both of my harnesses show no sign of cracking, even when I flex the wires to check. I will buy the official Mercedes H7 pigtail (210 820 00 13 for $8) and the H6W pigtail (running light, 210 826 05 82 for $12) and solder them to my existing wiring harness. I will be pulling the headlights out to polish and protect them, so I'll swap in the new wiring then.

I can't bring myself to buy car parts from eBay and Amazon sellers with generic names, reused stock part photos, offering dubious warranties, each competing to be $0.10 less than the next guy so they show higher in the search results. I was hoping there was some trusted source for obscure or hand made parts.
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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Well, you have the part number for the whole harness. If you are particular about the OEM harness, ask a MB dealer for availability. I suspect they do not have one. And whoever manufactures the one in EBay or Amazon seems to be the only ones available. I personally do not like to use pigtails, as the rest of the harness / connectors aged and prone to fail sooner or later. W210 models have so many problems with the light harnesses / connectors due to bad design.
 

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97 SL500, 98 E320 Wagon, 2002 ML500 - former W108/W112/W114/W123/W124/W126/W140/W220
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Well, you have the part number for the whole harness. If you are particular about the OEM harness, ask a MB dealer for availability. I suspect they do not have one. And whoever manufactures the one in EBay or Amazon seems to be the only ones available. I personally do not like to use pigtails, as the rest of the harness / connectors aged and prone to fail sooner or later. W210 models have so many problems with the light harnesses / connectors due to bad design.
The part number given in the linked eBay sale is not for the harness but for the whole headlight assembly based on my research. 210 820 37 61

I have asked my dealer parts people to check this number for validity and if they can identify a number for the internal harness. I don't see one in the EPC. More as I know it.
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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The aftermarket manufacturer uses B360 in addition to the headlight part number. I know there are pigtails available, but I am not sure if there is a complete harness available from MB. With so many people complaining about the crumbling biodegradable garbage insulation, one would assume that they have those in stock. Maybe it is available with older models (1996-) as part of the complete wire harness replacement kit under the hood. The facelift models (the poster's 2002) possibly have non-biodegardable wiring, but all the wiring inside the headlight had crusty insulation.
 

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97 SL500, 98 E320 Wagon, 2002 ML500 - former W108/W112/W114/W123/W124/W126/W140/W220
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True. I've got a 2002 and the internal headlight wiring is almost completely exposed. As it's not been an issue (yet) I've pretty much ignored it. Reading this thread reminded me that I really need to get it sorted, and if there was an easy and economical way to do so without having to rebuild it myself as I did in my 1998 S210 wagon I would do it...

Again, more as I know it. My dealer parts guy is off on Fridays, but in tomorrow, so I expect I'll hear something from him then. He's been around for over 20 years, so if this was an issue for the dealers (and I'm sure it was) and they had a fix he'll know about it.
 

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Green '02 E320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #10
I've got a 2002 and the internal headlight wiring is almost completely exposed.
Which headlight bulbs have you been using? Maybe the heat is cooking your bulbs. For 13 years, I've only used OEM Mercedes bulbs which are Osram. My wiring harness looks fine.

How do you remove the wiring connector on the outside of the headlight assembly? There are rubbery pieces jammed between the walls of the socket on the assembly, holding the small wire harness in place.
 

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99 E320
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if we are both looking at the same thing one simply needs to depress two plastic tabs on the inside of the harness connector ... while prying off the connector from the outside of the headlight. (dont know how to upload photo feom iPhone so i will try in the morning when i am at a computer
headlight connector3.jpg
 

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97 SL500, 98 E320 Wagon, 2002 ML500 - former W108/W112/W114/W123/W124/W126/W140/W220
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Which headlight bulbs have you been using? Maybe the heat is cooking your bulbs. For 13 years, I've only used OEM Mercedes bulbs which are Osram. My wiring harness looks fine.
Stock lamps.

And that has nothing to do with the failure of the wire insulation. If that were the case, the insulation on the wires for the running light and turn signal bulbs would be intact. It's not. The insulation has failed equally on all of the wires inside of the headlight assembly. This is a common and well known issue, and it affects both facelift and pre-facelift models, as I've seen it in both myself numerous times.
 
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