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Discussion Starter #1
I have really dim low beams on the w220 (the ABC one - no self leveling).

I'm 90% sure it's the reflectors, having seen this issue before on BMWs. Does anyone know if/where I can order these reflectors? I'm getting absolute shit light output, on what should otherwise be very bright lights
 

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Let us know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Let us know how it goes!
Your guide is absolutely excellent. I've ordered the Bosch e46 replica projectors from the japanese (I like the japanese). I do have bixenon's, right? It's an S500 with ABC (post-facelift).... the headlights can get a bit hard to keep track of.
 

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If it;s your '05 S500, yes, you have Bi-Xenon - also identifiable by the way the light seems to "rise" right after they are switched on.
 

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Hi,

Just for clarification, Skylaw means they rise when switching onto FULL BEAM from Dipped, single Xenons do a fall and rise cycle when you first switch on the Headlamps, (well they do if the levelling motors are working) :wink

HTH,

Cheers Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi,

Just for clarification, Skylaw means they rise when switching onto FULL BEAM from Dipped, single Xenons do a fall and rise cycle when you first switch on the Headlamps, (well they do if the levelling motors are working) :wink

HTH,

Cheers Dave
I just checked, I have the bixenon actuators. They just weren't visible because of how dim the lights are.
 

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Even if you had single-xenons, like the project 2000 S500 used to have (well, it actually had the old-school *reflector* xenons--single-xenon by definition), it's an easy enough thing to wire the bi-xenon solenoid to the high beam circuit.

Dad's car will be getting the same treatment when I get some time.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Even if you had single-xenons, like the project 2000 S500 used to have (well, it actually had the old-school *reflector* xenons--single-xenon by definition), it's an easy enough thing to wire the bi-xenon solenoid to the high beam circuit.

Dad's car will be getting the same treatment when I get some time.
For future reference (for myself and others), this is what thread i'm following:
https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w220-s-class/2794042-headlight-comparison-depo-vs-refurbished-factory.html
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Post-Facelift Bixenon Reflector Replacement

Ok; I just completed the procedure, and I'd like to add a few comments on top of @cowboyt 's post.
This post is sort of a How-To and additional comments. Unfortunately I don't have pictures, however things should be clear once you get started.

Background Information:
I followed the thread described here:
https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w220-s-class/2794042-headlight-comparison-depo-vs-refurbished-factory.html

And ordered the following bixenon projectors here:
https://www.theretrofitsource.com/closeouts/bi-xenon-bosch-e46-replica-projectors.html

How to Replace Burnt Reflectors

Tools Required:
T20 Torx
8mm socket
10mm socket
Shop Towels
Gloves (Very Important!)
Hairdryer (or oven?!?!!)
Small Flathead ScrewDriver
Philips Screwdriver (small-medium size)
Electrical Tape
5-6 hours time
Trim/Molding Tools or similar (for separating Headlight Lens from Assembly)
Sharpie
Pliers

As CowboyT tested, the Bosch e46 Retrofit projectors (linked above) are almost a perfect fit.
One thing worth noting: the bixenon actuators that come with the retrofit projectors are not compatible with the W220. They do not have the same travel as the originals, and trying to use them will only get them to jump but not remain actuated. Luckily (unless your originals are broken), the actuators are a direct fit. The procedure is straightforward, and I've described every step with as much detail as I can.

I recommend using gloves for the whole procedure, but especially once you've removed the front headlight lens. The inside is nice and shiny, and you want to keep it that way. Any skin contact will need to be cleaned with a shop or paper towel.

Procedure:
First you need to remove the headlights. Follow Kent Bregsma's guide
. As an additional step you might have to remove the hood stoppers (three 10mm bolts).

With the headlights removed, you can begin the procedure of removing the front headlight lens. Locate the four C-Clamps and carefully pry them off so they don't go flying across the room. I used a sharpie to note their location, as there are 5 good spots to put them, and only 4 clamps.

Now you have a choice for prying apart the headlight front lens and the assembly. CowboyT put his headlights in the oven for four minutes. This idea scares me, and I instead used a hairdryer to soften the goo holding the front lens to the headlight assembly while prying the pieces apart with the trim-piece removal tools, going around the headlight with both.

As the goo oozes comes part, use something to separate the it so doesn't make a mess. Take care not to get goo on the inside of the headlight assembly, it will not come off. Also, this goo will be re-used, so don't remove it.


With the lens separated, you can start working on the projectors. Look at the new ones to get a feel for how they work.
Remove the igniter and bulb from the back, and disconnect the actuator. Take care to preserve the brittle insulation on the cables.

Next you need to remove the shroud around the lens. I broke the attachments while ripping it off, however you can carefully use the flathead screwdriver to push out the pins through the back by poking through the bulb hole. It doesn't make a difference, mine still sit secure.

With the shroud off, from the back remove the four T20 Torx holding the projector assembly to the headlight assembly. Take care not to drop them into the assembly, and put the cables for the igniter and actuator out of your way.

Now it gets tricky, but bear with me. Doing this right will save you a lot of time. The OEM projector assembly cannot be removed in one piece (fortunately the new one can be installed in one piece!). To remove it, through the front carefully (so as not to scratch the inner headlight assembly) remove the four Torx holding the Lens to the Reflector (again, don't drop them). With the lens holder separate from the reflector, the two parts can individually be pulled out the back. If the insulation on the cables for the actuator and igniter are falling apart as they were with mine, carefully apply electrical tape to prevent them from shorting.

Observe the old reflector. Notice how the silvering is gone at the top. It doesn't look like much, but if you shine a flashlight on it you'll notice it isn't reflective at all. For those inclined in chemistry, it's likely possible and easy to re-mirror this with his surface using the
, something i've considered in the past, but haven't tried myself. (Quick note to any aspiring chemists: You'll need some additional coating to prevent oxidation of the deposited silver!)

Transfer the old actuator to the new projector assembly. You'll have to remove 4 philips screws from the Morimotos. Take care when taking the two apart, as there are 10 washers on the Morimoto's that can fly everywhere. I recommend standing it on its end with the lens facing up, and carefully swapping out the actuators. Apply strong pressure to the screws when taking them out to prevent stripping.

Re-assemble the morimoto projectors with the old actuators. Now comes an important step. There are two sort of... bracket things on the left and right side of the reflector assembly (going backwards). Use a plier to carefully brake these off at the base. I believe these brackets are used in different xenon headlights, but are useless for the W220. This will allow the entire assembly to be squeezed in from the back, and you won't have to put the two parts together inside the assembly.

Squeeze the projectors through the hole in the back. This is the most painful step, and will require some careful force, but it will fit in. I found the way to do it was get two corners on one side in, then pushing hard on that last stubborn corner. Be careful not to destroy the cabling and insulation around the cables.

Once in, mount the projectors using the T20 Torx you removed earlier. Apply the shroud on the front. It should sit snugly. The shroud has a kind of oval shape, and I think the oval follows the curvature of the inner assembly, but I honestly lost exactly how it fits in there. It's not important.

Now mount the bulbs and igniter. Don't use the OEM plastic holders, but use those supplied with the Morimotors. I tried it with the originals, but it didn't work. Just observe carefully how the igniter needs to be connected to the bulb (there's a terminal on the bottom of the bulbs that aligns with the terminal on the igniter.

Once everything is in place, reconnect the actuator and igniter. Again, if the insulation is gone, use some electrical tape to prevent any shorts. Wipe off any smudges you might have put on the inner reflective part of the headlight assembly, then squish the front lens back onto the headlight assembly.

At this point I'd test everything to make sure the bulbs and actuators are working by half-mounting it into the car and plugging it in. If everything is to your satisfaction, apply the c-clamps, and re-mount your now working headlights.

Enjoy your new bixenon headlights! :)
If you follow through with this procedure, feel free to reply with any questions/comments!


Couple extra notes:
1. You're dealing with high voltages, so don't mess with the bulbs/igniters while the headlight assembly is plugged into the car.
2. While the headlights are out, you have a good opportunity to refresh the headlight lens using a headlight restoration kit. I used the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit. Several online reviews ranked it #1, however it'll take a solid 3 hours of HARD work to do properly. Any kit that includes UV protectant/clear coat will work however. Forget kits that don't include this clear coat/UV protectant. They last about a month.

Here's a video describing how it's done:

[edit]

I'd like to edit my original post to link to this post for any aspiring googlers, however I can't seem to edit my original post. Mods please help
 

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Thanks for the writeup! :thumbsup: Dave, when you get back I recommend this for the W220 Encyclopedia (I can't add it myself since I don't have mod privileges here).
 
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