I have recently purchased a 1979 300sd,(w116) and
was wondering if anyone had experience with the
European headlight assemblies.
Specifically, I was wondering if I would get the same
beam pattern from the OE lenses (euro) as I would
from a set of "e code" hella 5 3/4 or Bosch or Cibe'.
I will want to upgrade to one or the other,and I think
the car would look better with the euro headlights, but I
was wondering if anyone had experience with them.
Thanks for any help..
I believe the beam pattern should be the same, that is determined by the
definition of "E-code." Whether that pattern is better or worse than
the drop in replacements available for the sealed beams, I will have to
leave for someone more knowledgeable (paging Daniel Stern...)
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
Bernard, I have Bosch Euro lights on my 280TE wagon and I love them.
They look good, and seem to illuminate better than the round North
American Bosch lights on my 300DT. Downside: expensive to replace if
you catch a rock. And if you're buying on eBay, beware of the
Japanese ones, which have a reversed pattern that lights up the wrong
side of the road. They don't just pop in, either--you'll have to
change the electrical connections.
Depends which 5-3/4" "Hella or Bosch or Cibie" E-code headlamps you get.
The best headlamps you can put in a W116, period, are these:
I donno. The W116 Euro (flat glass) headlamps look kinda weird, since the
fog lamps are outboard of the headlamps. Performance of the W116 Euro
units isn't bad -- about equal to a decent H4 200mm x 142mm from Bosch.
Performance of the Hella-Bosch-Cibie 5-3/4" H4 units on low beam is rather
middling, though beam formation is fairly good. This is because of the
small reflector active area combined with the inherent efficiency problem
of an H4 bulb: you only get to use 60 percent of the total reflector area
on low beam! With a large enough reflector/lens and careful optic design
this isn't a problem, but it starts being problematic when you're trying
to wring decent performance out of 60 percent of an already small
reflector (5-3/4" round, 165mm x 100mm rectangular...)
Wanna see some objective comparisons?
Take a look at
These are isocandela diagrams for different 5-3/4" round headlamp units.
From top to bottom: Halogen sealed beam, Cibie H4 (best of the major-name
units), Cibie CSR (best lamp you can put on a W116).
If you're not familiar with isocandela diagrams, these will look like
random squiggles and lines. Think of it as a topographic or "contour" map
of the correctly-aimed beam pattern. Each differently-colored line
represents the threshold of a particular intensity level, with the color
legend located to the right of the isocandela diagram. The diagram is
plotted on a chart calibrated in degrees. Straight ahead is represented by
(0,0), that is, zero degrees up-down and zero degrees left-right.
To get a mental approximation of the units and amounts under discussion
Parking lamp: About 60 to 100 candela
Front turn signal: About 500 candela
Glaring high-beam daytime running lamps (e.g. Saturn): 8000 candela
The parameters to pay attention to are the luminous flux (total amount of
light within the beam), the maximum intensity and its location within the
beam relative to the axial point (H,V) -- the less downward/rightward
offset, the longer the seeing distance -- stray light outside the beam
pattern and effective beam width (contained within the dark-turquoise 500
I'll discuss the flat-lens Euro units in my response to Nate Nagel further
down in this thread.
#1 cibe' csr (best)
#2 oe e code light assy,
#3 5-3/4 standard e code hella-bosch-cibe'
thank you for your vey informative reply,
You may want to add your link to a sig line,
you have a nice site, there.
Yep. That is, as always, assuming that all headlamps are new (used lamps
are a big gamble; one man's "perfect" is usually my "garbage!") and for
the correct side of the road (Yes, there are people who don't know or care
and bring in wrong-side-of-road E-code lamps intended for use in the
While on the subject of headlights, are the 100/80w and "60/55w +60%" H4
bulbs more sensitive to shocks and vibrations than normal 60/55w H4
bulbs? And what about lifetime? The reason I'm asking is that I'd like
more light on my 650cc off road motorcycle now that the dark part of the
year is around the corner, not to mention the moose hunting season...
I know... some motorcycle headlight units are not capable enough to
dissipate the heat of the HID...
However, if you got a good headlight unit, you can't go wrong with HID
setup... no filament to break. The setup is used by those dune buggy or off
road ralley vehicles who have to race into nightime on unknown terrirory.
Are you sure? I thought HIDs consumed less energy, and thus produced
less heat, than regular bulbs.
Sure, but HID replacements are only available for single filament bulbs
that I know of. H4 has dual filaments.
I'd really like to know what this is though. Unfortunately I don't
understand Japanese, but they mention H4, 160w, and 12V DC...
And what are these, LED DRLs?
You can buy hi/lo HID setup... instead of losing your high beam... now you
can maintain it. First is most expensive... bi-xenon capability... which use
one HID bulb and have a mechanical device that shift the light output to hi
or low beam.
The other method is high beam is maintained with halogen bulb whereas the
low beam is HID. The unit is integrated... I saw it on eBay... made by
McCullach... maker of that chainsaw... I think I mispelled it.
In any case, I would not install HID in unit with plastic lens or
reflector... It does consume less power... but as far as heat is
concerned... I can't remember...
Yesh... I know what proper way is... That is like saying... well Mercedes
installed Michelin MXV4 Energy tires on the car... so when you need a new
tire, you are not allowed to change it to anything else... only Michelin
MXV4 Energy... not Pilot... because that's the way Mercedes designed their
car for... rubbish.
From what you wrote below, it appears that you don't.
No, it's more like trying to mount the wrong size tires. If my car came
with rims (or wheels) designed for 14 inch wide tires, I don't try to
force 17 inch wide tires on the same set of wheels. Similarly, if my
car came with headlamp assemblies designed for halogen bulbs, I don't
try to force HID capsules inside them.
Where are you going to find 17" *wide* tires? That's 432mm which isn't
exactly a standard width. Besides, you wouldn't have to force a tire for
a 17" rim on a 14" rim, but of course it wouldn't stay on for very
(Yes, I know this is beside the point...)
Nope... you see.. the bulb of the HID or the regular Halogen are exact same
size... they fit into the socket with no problem. Yes, their light output is
Like the tires... I put on same size tires... one is all seasoon and one is
high performance summer tires... they have different traction level
Which is why you don't put one type of light source on an assembly
designed for another type of light source.
Why not try the following experiment:
Park your vehicle on a level surface such that it's facing the wall and
is 25 feet from it. Now, open up your hood and "unlock" the headlamp
bulb. Twist it around a bit and watch the pattern of light on the wall.
You'll only get the correct pattern when the bulb is locked in place
and is in correct alignment. This is because the light output pattern
depends on how the bulb filaments are oriented relative to the headlamp
HID capsules have no filaments and cannot be aligned properly in order
to produce the correct beam pattern in an assembly designed for halogen
bulbs. That's why you need headlamp assemblies designed for HID capsule
light output if you intend to use HIDs on your vehicle. Similarly, a
person with HID headlamps cannot use halogen bulbs in a headlamp
assembly designed for HID capsules.
You are assuming a virgin HID bulb... bulb that is unshielded. I know what
you mean... if you buy the right kit that is designed PROPERLY, then you
don't have a problem.
The headlight units that use one bulb for high and low has a problem for
HID... in order to make that work only one direction of the light output is
controlled for low beam.
Many HID manufacture did know that... they are not just stupid businessmen
or women... they have engineers too you know... to combat that problem they
put metal shielding on the HID bulb so you have control of the bulb output
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