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ML 320
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Discussion Starter #1
I have an '01. Besides the usual cloudy, the dirt door on the back on the RH lamp is gone. This means the reflector is nasty. The projector lamps on Ebay are attractive both price and visually, but am I walking into a hornet's nest? Maybe one of you have done it... Thanks.

Jim/Maryland
 

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2015 S550
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Hey Jim:

I bought a 99 ML430 with one of the front headlight lenses cracked....light worked but visually looked bad. So I went ahead and got a pair of projector headlights on Ebay. They were pretty simple to install although they used H7 bulbs for both high and low beams where the OEM ones used H7 only for the lows and a different bulb type for the highs.

The only snag I ran into was that one of the headlight units I bought was literally miswired in the connector and wasn't working when I tried to install it. Took a while to figure out they had put one of the pins in the wrong place on the connector on the headlight assy. After I moved it, it fired right up. Tells me that there isn't a lot of quality control on these products as it would not have turned on at all if actually tested. Other than that, they seem to work just fine. Seller on Ebay sent me the electrical diagram later (after I had figured it out) but didn't get the sense they were very good on customer service or would have been very good about returns. They do look good though, much better than the stock lights and I like the LED "eyebrow" lights.

I am going to do a HID upgrade to them as I am not satisfied with the light output I am getting but I don't think that is necessarily anything about the product itself. Just am used to brighter on my other car (Boxster with bi-xenons) and want more light output.

Best of luck out there!

XBM



I have an '01. Besides the usual cloudy, the dirt door on the back on the RH lamp is gone. This means the reflector is nasty. The projector lamps on Ebay are attractive both price and visually, but am I walking into a hornet's nest? Maybe one of you have done it... Thanks.

Jim/Maryland
 

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05 ML500 SE
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i think there are dozens of people here who have installed ebay lights. As the previous poster mentioned.. quality can be an issue. I have heard they are sometimes not sealed very well. Some members have softened theirs in an oven (carefully) to be able to pry the outer light cover off with the purpose of re-sealing it properly with silicon. This may be ocd or perhaps its a prudent step, Ymmv. I will recommend adding HID into the mix for at least the low beams (h7). There are some quality HID options for $50 that offer awesome light output.
 

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ML 320
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks pdx .. ?I did a basic search on 'projector' and came up with a lot of non-ML and the ones I did find did not seem to address these specifically. There are so many vendors of basically the same item - it's confusing. I guess when it's like-$200 the pair, you cannot expect classic Euro quality...

XbM: Did you have to pull the front bumper? Seems that is noted in many listings.

I agree about the HIDs .. I also had a Boxster and that makes nice light. Yet, I actually think I would prefer to wire my Fogs into my low beams. We have a lot of deer and that side view is very handy. My Ml came from Canada where the lows are DRLs when the ignition is on. I actually like that too.

I appreciate the help.

Jim
 

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maybe try searching "ML headlights" as well. I am not sure there is a huge difference in quality between the myriad of options on ebay.. just read feedback and shop for price and looks.

You do not have to pull the bumper to remove the lights.
Pop your hood, there is a thin plastic trim directly below the headlight that has a tab.. pinch and pull to remove trim. now you will see two nuts revealed. there is a final nut on top. removing headlights is a simple matter of removing three 10mm nuts and unplugging a couple wires.. should take 5 mins.

I feel like a broken record these day and perhaps that I may be falsely accused of working as a gorilla marketing agent.. but the DDM tuning HID kits are really a good buy. I installed their $50 (shipped) 55W kit on my lows. Mounted the balast on the shelf behind the lights (with extra duty double sided tape on a cleaned surface). I am very happy with the light output. You could also put a 35W kit on your fogs to rule to world at night.
 

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Not on my 99 ML430....there is just a small trim piece that clips to the bottom of the headlight assembly that is easily removed (just release the tabs from behind the headlight assembly and it pops free). Bumper stayed right where it was. To remove the headlights it is just 3 bolts (one on top and two below (behind the trim piece) and then a plastic arm that clips into a hole up on top. If you have a basic socket set you will have it out in no time....super easy.

I spent way more time futzing with the connector wiring issue than anything. 15 minute job otherwise.

XBM
 

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Not a broken record, just a satisfied customer! ;)

Those are exactly the units I am updating my projectors with based on all the great feedback I've read here about the DDM kit.

XBM

I feel like a broken record these day and perhaps that I may be falsely accused of working as a gorilla marketing agent.. but the DDM tuning HID kits are really a good buy. I installed their $50 (shipped) 55W kit on my lows. Mounted the balast on the shelf behind the lights (with extra duty double sided tape on a cleaned surface). I am very happy with the light output. You could also put a 35W kit on your fogs to rule to world at night.
 

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PS - the dirt door can be replaced for under $10 if the light is salvageable. I am still using my stock headlights. I also had a dirt door missing. However it was pretty clean inside. My stock headlights were really, really yellow and milky and gross. A $20 3m refinishing kit made them like new. I still think if you have the money it will be satisfying to upgrade to new lights. I just think projector lights look out of place on the w163 and prefer the "pureness" of the reflector style strictly from an aesthetic place because its a vehicle designed in the mid 90's. The projectors probably perform better though.
 

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ML 320
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Discussion Starter #9
You guys are great... I am not the least offended by PDXG leading me to DDM. Hell, at <$50 delivered, an HID kit will be perfect for the bigazz LightForce off-road lamps from Australia that I will mount on my tractor .. or a cheap experiment. Where else are we -who live in America Lost- going to find out stuff?!

I'll press forward with the projectors also. My Ford Escape at 206k will stay as my beater/trailer-puller/beach truck .. I got my wife a helluva nice Volvo V70 for serious, dirt cheap .. and I'll adopt the ML (105k) as my daily driver.

Thanks again. I'll let youse know .. I'm pretty handy with a camera. Cheers!

Jim/Eastern Shore MD
 

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The only concern I have with an HID kit is that it is indeed wired to the low beams. Halogen DRLs run at a reduced intensity whereas HID DRLs typically run at full on intensity. If you install the HID kit on the ML and the AAM sends a lower voltage (or whatever) signal out to the ballasts I think there would be some issues there...? I believe that could possibly lead to some ballast and bulb issues later on because HIDs only like to be either off or fully on.
 
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