xenon headlighs for 1999 500sl

has anyone converted from std hdlights to xenonn, does mercedes have parts or is there a reliable aftermarket, car is prctlly new, less than 20k miles. thnks. jerrygold1

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Bekker Import carries them
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If you are talking a USA legal conversion, be ready for a large tab and some angst. The entire light bucket must be replaced (not a task for the feint of heart), and then you'll have to deal with will the monitoring interface (will they be correctly monitored or indicate a lamp malfunction?!?) Cost is likely to be around $1.5 to $2K for the parts, and mucho more dinero for the installation.
Illegally, one could merely plonk in a conversion kit that uses the existing headlamp assembly (ballasts, igniters, D2R/D2S lamps, harnesses, etc would be included in the kit). Unless you got creative, you'd have no place to mount the hi-beam lamps in a non-xenon (R129) SL500 headlamp assembly, beam focus/collimation would be incorrect, and you'd not meet leveling or other requirements.
If you're concerned with illumination, the stock halogen lamps are not bad. If you want a tad more intensity, some aftermarket replacement halogens will do that without creating a "lamp malfunction" indication. Some are even available which give the bluish tint people associate with HID lamps (actually, a blue or purple tint is more common with HID setups that use projector lens... the cheap single-element lenses used cause chromatic aberration. Mercedes use a reflector system producing white light when they reach operating level [no chromatic aberration]. As the lamps age, the spectrum shifts to become more bluish).
FWIW, I have a CLK with xenons and love 'em, and though not afraid to tackle most projects, have no intentions of modifying my SL500. Give the stock lamps a chance, you just might enjoy this fine automobile the way God designed and Mercedes built it! (What?!? Was I outta' line with that comment? :o)
Cheers,
Paul
PS: Food for thought from http://faqlight.carpassion.info /
Snip--->
What kind of headlamps are legal to use?
Retrofitting of an ENTIRE sealed OEM HID headlamp from a different vehicle keeping all original functions* intact is legal in North America. Obviously, it must be mounted in the approximate same height and as solid as on the original vehicle. In a court case worst scenario, it will most likely will be used against you, but the right lawyer will be able to defend you.
*Note that functions consists of low beam, high beam, markers, turn signals, amber side reflector, leveling system (if equipped), cleaning system (if equipped) and AFS system (if equipped). All other kinds of retrofits are illegal, unless results from a testing lab can show otherwise. The cost of such test is around $10,000 and consists of various environmental, durability, material, aimiability, and so on. Even if you are willing to pay this amount, it is not granted that you will pass. Based on the report you will have to make design adjustments where it failed and go for another test. All in all, designing legal headlamps is not for the DYI mechanic.
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