Upgrading 1997 E300D headlights to projector

Hello,
Has anyone had experience in upgrading the headlights on a 1997 E300D? Mine are getting a bit cloudy and I am thinking about replacing the OEM with the
new euro-style clear projector types. What manufacturer would you recommend?
Thanks!
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OEM is the best... They all have the same E-code spec but the lighting output is vastly different. I suggest you stick with Bosch E-code headlights but this may prove hard to find..
There is two way to go... cheaper way is just replace those lenses. The prices on the replacement makes it seem high... that you could have bought entire headlight assembly with low beam projectors
If you want best lighting, go with Bosch HID setup offered by Bekkers Import... $1600 is the price to get in this class...
Otherwise, I would go with Depo... Depo is owned partially by Hella but vastly different in quality. Bekkers' facelift headlight kits made in Taiwan is Depo... and you can get them 1/2 price on eBay...
Ebay also have different sellers with different brand headlights... I really have no experience with them so I cannot recommend which one. One thing I can tell you is H7 bulb is better than other choices and low beam projector is much better choice than reflector.
Your probably best off with Depo units. for around $280 on ebay.
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$1600 for headlights! I want to see but I am not blind...yet! lol
I'll probably go with projectors from Depo.
Thanks!

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HID... is well worth every penny. It is what I spend to get HID into those cars that don't even have that option.
The light output is 3 to 4 times what normal headlight will put out. Bekkers Import has one for your car at $1400.
So consider this... $300 for not so great unit... on par with US spec headlight... or 4 times the amount of light and safety... for $1200... well close enough... $1400. It is those darkest and scariest moment that you really wished you had HID lighting. The safety alone is already worth it for you and loved one.
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Tiger wrote:

Ha Ha that was funny - spoken like a sales leach! $1400 for headlights??? that is crazy what else do they do? I would spend the $300 and invest the other $1100 or use it to go on a trip.
Ridiculous
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Well. I speak from experience... I converted two cars into HID that doesn't even have HID option. All is worth it.
Other cars in my family... HID is an option and of course, we picked it. The SUV we have does not even have HID option... we are disappointed with the light output... it is okay... not great.
If you don't own a car with HID, get a buddy with a factory installed HID car to take you out for a ride at night... into the street with not streetlight or highway with no lights. You will be amazed. E-code HID is 2 times better than US HID.
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Tiger wrote:

One of the things I like about MB and Porsche is the way they have lenses that are bi-directional. Highs throw the lite high and a bit to the right, lows are down and a lot to the right. It doesn't do any good to have bright lights if it blinds the oncoming driver, eh.
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James O'Riley wrote:

Isn't that the whole point?
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I agree - It is very frustrating when shopping for a late model Mercedes to see that most of them are ordered with Halogens. The local Mercedes dealer here refuses to order any cars with the lighting package, so I am going to take my business somewhere else.
They actually had three AMG cars there a few weeks ago - a 2006 E55, 2005 CLK55, and a 2003 SLK32 - all with Halogens! I understand that the two used ones were not their choice, but it was quite funny to see it.
Their excuse is that people don't want to pay $900 for headlights, but yet almost every car on their lot has the wood steering wheel.
I would never purchase a car that has HID available and not equipped with the option, after owning two cars with them and seeing the difference.
Jeff

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I agree. The V-1 in my 240d is as much overkill... notmyrealname wrote:

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MB wrote:

You are getting a trickle of good info and a great deal of garbage in response to this question.
The facts are as follows:
-Your '97 E300D is a W210-chassis car. DB put a great deal of thought (and adequate money) into the engineering of both the halogen and the HID ("Xenon") headlamps for this vehicle. The only significant difference with the HIDs on a W210 is that the low beam is wider. This extra width is visually impressive, but much of it is useless: Envision a semicircle on the ground in front of your car, with the flat side touching your front bumper. Let's say this semicircle has a radius of 50 feet, just for illustrative purposes. No matter where on the curved part of the semicircle an object lies, it is the same distance away from the car in real terms: 50 feet. But, it's not always the same 50 feet. Could be 50 feet straight ahead, 50 feet straight out to the left or the right, or anywhere in between, you follow me? Now, the farther away from "straight ahead" you go (as you turn your head towards the left or towards the right), the closer the object is to the car in strictly longitudinal terms. Why does this matter? Because no matter how good your reaction time, no matter how good your brakes, beyond a certain lateral angle off the "straight ahead", if something's going to run into the road, you *are* going to hit it, because there is simply not enough time to react and avoid it. The actual angle varies with vehicle speed and road conditions, but the point is that in these situations, the difference between the HID and the halogen headlamps is that with one, you get a clearer view of what you *will* hit.
In strict terms of safety performance -- again, comparing only these two specific headlamps, the W210 halogens and the W210 Xenons, both in stock form, in good condition and properly aimed -- there is no significant advantage one way or the other. Advice to the contrary is based on subjective impressions of driving comfort and/or repetition of advertising claims. (NB there are other comparisons that would not come out the same way. There are specific HID headlamps that are better than the analogous halogens, and there are specific halogen headlamps that are better than the analogous HIDs. The only valid generalization is that good headlamps are better than bad headlamps.)
-The "upgrade" you are asking about is no upgrade, it is a downgrade. That is because the projector retrofits you ask about are made only by Taiwanese or Chinese copycat artists (TYC, Depo, DJAuto and others), and not by legitimate automotive lighting engineering and manufacturing firms (such as, amongst others, Hella, Valeo/Cibie, and AL-Automotive Lighting, which is the result of the merger between Magneti-Marelli Carello and Bosch's automotive lighting division). These Taiwanese/Chinese lamps look nifty on the webpage or store shelf, and even look nifty (to some people's eyes) when installed in the car...for a few months. Then the inferior materials and build quality show themselves and the lamps begin to deteriorate. Water and dirt entry and UV-induced early lens haze are common on the Asian-made lamps. And even if the lenses and seals hold up, there is little or no optical engineering that goes into these lights. Their beam performance is weak at best, dangerous at worst. Counterfeit DOT certification and/or ECE approval markings are utterly common. Often these lamps fail real tests very badly. Take a look at these two tests: http://www.capacertified.org/press/CAPALighting3.pdf http://www.capacertified.org/press/CAPALighting2.pdf http://www.capacertified.org/press/CAPALighting1.pdf (summary and explanation of results)
In a nutshell, these are tests of the Depo/TYC copies of very simple, low-technology, easy-to-make American-car headlamps. The copies fail badly in almost every regard (fit, aimability, performance, durability, environmental resistance). The headlamps on your W210 are considerably more intricate and difficult to manufacture, optically speaking, than the simple lamps that failed the test. Doesn't inspire confidence, eh!
-Depo is _NOT_ "partly owned by Hella". A particular vendor of Depo's knockoff headlamps, mostly for BMWs, fabricated this claim in order to ease sales of this dreck to owners who rightly insist on OEM, European-made products. (I'm not going to name this vendor, though I'm tempted. If anyone wants to guess at it, he operates under a cutesy name that has several U's with umlauts over them to make him look, y'know, German and stuff.) Other vendors, including a few MB specialists, picked it up and ran with this Depo fabrication. It is not true. Hella is Hella. They make quality OE and aftermarket lamps, amongst many other parts. Same goes for the other real manufacturers listed above, and others not listed. Depo, TYC and DJAuto (amongst other knockoff mills) make nothing but low-bid junk with counterfeit approval markings. Never the twain shall meet.
-Retrofitment of HID headlamps is possible on your W210. To do it properly is expensive; the $1400 figure that's been floated in this thread is in the right neighborhood. Using a so-called "HID kit" to put Xenons into headlamps intended for halogen bulbs is counterproductive, dangerous and illegal, see http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/conversions/conversions.html
-If you shop carefully, you can find original-equipment replacement headlamp assemblies for your '97 at a *reasonable* price. "Reasonable" does not mean "cheap"; quality costs money, and if you're paying half the price of an OE headlamp for a knockoff replacement, the money had to come out of somewhere. Both Bosch and Hella supplied halogen headlamps for the W210-chassis cars. A Bosch or Hella stockist (there are many) can supply replacements in a Bosch or Hella box, thus saving you the MB dealer parts markup. If you feel the need for more light, go hit up Candlepower, Inc ( candlepowerinc.com ) for some Osram 65w H7 bulbs. The safety performance of a new/perfect set of the halogen W210 headlamps with a set of the 65w bulbs is measurably better than the safety performance of a new/perfect set of the HID W210 lamps.
OK...I'll shut up now, and let the ad hype parroting begin.
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