I have purchased a 2001 ML320 and would like to add front fog-lights. I am
having difficulty finding a kit. I am not sure if front fog-lights are
added into the bumper or a bracket attached to the bumper.
There are three options for foglights on your ML. You can use the
integrated fog lights, you can add an OEM or aftermarket bull bar and mount
OEM or aftermarket foglights on it, or you can install aftermarket foglights
for which you will have to create your own brackets.
Using the integrated foglights on a 2001 is usually just a matter of
installing H3 bulbs ($4 at Wal Mart). They illuminate the inboard
triangular area of the headlamp assembly. Unless you are very dexterous and
are good at working by touch alone or with a mirror, you might find it
easier to remove the headlamp assemblies to install the bulbs. If you do
this, be careful with the plastic trim strip below the assembly. Either
way, make sure that the power leads for the bulbs have no bare wire exposed.
Mine were shipped from the factory trapped under the metal bulb clips which
had worn off some of the insulation. Once you install the bulbs, you should
be able to illuminate them by starting the engine, turning on the low-beams,
and then pressing the top half of the foglight switch, located to the left
of the radio. If they don't illuminate, check the fuse. If that's OK, then
you may have to get the AAM coded to activate them, which you may not be
able to do if your state has limits on the height of foglights. However, my
understanding is that beginning in 2000, they shipped the AAM's
pre-activated. There is also a dash indicator lamp that probably won't be
activated, and you may not want it anyhow because it's very bright (same as
the high-beam indicator).
If you want to use bull bar mounted lights, then you have a wide selection
to choose from. Several companies make bull bars for the ML and most have
mounts (or can be modified) for foglights. There is a pigtail wire under
the hood that you can use to control and power the foglights using the same
dash switch that control the integrated lamps. This is usually found under
the hood to the right of the radiator and is labeled as being for foglights.
This is still controlled by the AAM, so if yours is not activated, you would
still need a visit to the dealer. Since you would be using external "legal"
foglights, you likely won't have any problems getting it activated, although
you might have to pay for the "labor".
As for other foglight mounts, I have seen them mounted in the air duct
opening in the lower part of the bumper. This generally involves
fabricating a bracket that is bolted to the metal part of the inner bumper
assembly. Again, these can still be connected to the power pigtail and
controlled by the dash switch.
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