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Old 08-15-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default DIY: Parking Lamp Replacement

Whether you need to replace a dead bulb or just plain hate the yellowish color of the factory parking lamps, you can swap them out quite easily. In my case, I hated the way the parking lamps looked with the Xenons. Enter the PIAA Superplasma GTX. The parking lamps are 5W wedge bulbs. There's a number of options out there including LED. I went with the Superplasma GTX off etyu's recommendation. The bulbs are almost purple in color which you may or may not like.
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Last edited by Brian_74; 08-15-2009 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 08-15-2009   #2 (permalink)
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I claim no credit for the following instructions. It all belongs to Eddy (etyu) His advice made this job a piece of cake. First start with the driver side because it's easier

The parking lamps may be accessed from the engine compartment. You'll need a good light source. Observe the back part of the headlamp assembly. You will notice the wire connector to the high beam H7 lamps first. Below this is the wire connector to the back of the parking lamp. You can test this by reaching in and wiggle the wire connection gently at its base and observe which lamp will move.


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Old 08-15-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Use a good flashlight to see and determine where the tabs are and how they are to be pushed to effect release. After removing the rear wire connector, you can untwist the base that holds the parking lamp. You will twist the connector base about 1/4 turn counter-clockwise. The lamp just pulls out and the bulb is attached to a long plastic piece.
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Old 08-15-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Now the easy part. Just pull the bulb from the base and replace. Reverse procedure to reinstall light. You may want to take a clean rag and wipe around the headlight assembly where the parking lamp goes. I did because, well, I just couldn't stand to have a dusty parking lamp in there. When reinserting the long base, the flat side goes down at about a 12 o'clock position as you are standing over the headlight assembly. Once inserted, twist the base fully back in the clockwise direction. It should twist so that the flat side of the connector base is in the 3 o'clock position (12 o'clock is down towards floor) The first time I didn't twist the connector enough and it was very loose and fell out as I was attaching the wiring. Use a little strength and you will feel it lock into position.

With that done, take a look at the difference. On the left you see the factory lamp and on the right (driver's side) is the Superplasma GTX. Wow!
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Old 08-15-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Now for the passenger side. It's a little more tricky due to accessibility. First remove the H7 connector that is directly above the parking lamp connector. The connector releases the same way as the parking lamps. Push the tab on the right side and gently pull. Remove the parking lamp connector exactly the same way. If the tab is being stubborn (like mine was) you can twist and remove the whole assembly and then remove the wiring plug when you can get a better look at it.
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Old 08-15-2009   #6 (permalink)
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Almost done! Swap the bulb and reinsert the parking lamp tube. Notice that side that the flat part of the connector base faces about 3 o'clock so you know that is how much you need to twist it to reinsert.

Picture of the old stock bulb, has a 4K label on it.

Final result looks better to me!

Thanks Eddy!
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Old 08-15-2009   #7 (permalink)
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Great work, and thanks for taking the time to document it!!
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Old 02-13-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Default supplemental photos

Thought I would give this thread by Brian_74 a slight bump and add some supplemental photos (now that SLKStore has the error-free LEDs).


Tools needed:

1. Good light source, e.g., the newer fluorescent/LED shop lamps give out a good light and minimal heat (ergo, less chance of burning oneself or surrounding plastic bits)

2. Long, slender forearms and hands like Brian_74



To gain easier access to the rear wire connectors of the parking lamp (and the high-beam headlamp for that matter), one must first remove the tubular air ducts (one on each side) that lead to the air filter box.

LEFT SIDE:

Photo below shows left side of the engine compartment (looking from the rear towards the front)





Using a strong light source and looking at the rear of the headlamp assembly reveals the location of the parking lamp wire connector.






Brian_74's TIP: Clean the soft rubber area surrounding the lamp-holders with damp cloth/brush to remove any accumulated dirt/dust. This will prevent introducing unwanted dirt/dust into the chromed headlamp assembly when one reinstalls the tubular lamp-holder.

To remove the rear connector to the parking lamp: press the release tab (located towards the floor of engine compartment) while pulling the wire connector away. Medium force is required to press the release tab but only light force to pull it away.





TIP: Once the wire connector to the parking lamp is released, take note of the rear of the tubular piece that holds the parking lamp before attempting to untwist. It is like an elongated D-shaped piece. Remember how this is oriented as this will facilitate reinsertion.

To assist in placement of error-free LEDs: the flat side of the D is + (positive) and the rounded part is the - (negative).



Untwist the tubular piece that holds the parking lamp and change out the lamp as explained by Brian_74.


RIGHT SIDE:

For the right side of the vehicle, access to the parking lamp will be made easier by first removing a larger wire connector as illustrated below. Be sure to reinstall this piece after replacing the parking lamp.






Have fun changing out the W5W parking lamp and enjoy the error-free LED.
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Last edited by etyu; 02-21-2010 at 09:03 PM. Reason: added suggestion from Brian_74
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Old 02-13-2010   #9 (permalink)
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Eddy - did you install the LED's? I've been thinking about going that route rather than the PIAA's. The last set of them (PIAA's) were way too blue/purple for my taste. Ended up flogging them to a BMW sorta guy who absolutely loved them!? ;P
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Old 02-13-2010   #10 (permalink)
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diy excellent as usual, but....

the manual says to just turn counter clockwise to remove. so why remove the wire assembly?

This is from 09 manual: are 09s different?

Turn bulb socket 4 with the bulb counterclockwise
and remove it.
Pull the bulb out of bulb socket 4.
Press the new bulb gently into bulb socket
4.
Place bulb socket 4 back into the housing
and turn clockwise until it engages.
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Old 02-13-2010   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the bump Eddy! Your additional pictures help a lot! One more tip I would add:

After you remove the parking lamp bulb assembly, take a clean shop rag and wipe the area in and around the hole that the parking bulb goes in to. Be careful not to touch the chromed interior of the headlamp assembly.

It tends to be pretty dusty and dirty and you're going to reinsert that new clean bulb into the hole and most likely contact it with the sides of the hole a couple times before getting it perfect. Nothing is more frustrating than finally getting your new bulb back in and then noticing that it's all dusty looking not to mention that a dirty bulb could fail prematurely.
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Old 02-13-2010   #12 (permalink)
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so all we have to do is really take out the tubular duct, is that hard to disassemble and reassemble?
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Old 02-13-2010   #13 (permalink)
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nope, u push down the tab and wiggle and yank em out

u can see the tab in thread #8 at the top of the duct near the 2 round holes and the black data label

and i want to repeat my entry for brian and eddy:

the manual says to just turn counter clockwise to remove. so why remove the wire assembly?

This is from 09 manual: are 09s different?

Turn bulb socket 4 with the bulb counterclockwise
and remove it.
Pull the bulb out of bulb socket 4.
Press the new bulb gently into bulb socket
4.
Place bulb socket 4 back into the housing
and turn clockwise until it engages.
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Old 02-13-2010   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UK-C200 View Post
Eddy - did you install the LED's? I've been thinking about going that route rather than the PIAA's. The last set of them (PIAA's) were way too blue/purple for my taste. Ended up flogging them to a BMW sorta guy who absolutely loved them!? ;P
Yes sir. I installed the error-free LED (courtesy of Tpman) at the parking lamp/side lamp. Here are the links: http://www.slkworld.com/slk-r171-gen...idelights.html

http://www.slkworld.com/slk-r171-gen...tml#post153163

While the purplish glow of the PIAA SuperPlasma GTX W5W lamp was better than the yellowish OEM, it still wasn't a good match in light temperature to the OEM Bi-Xenons. The error-free LEDs are a closer match. I've ordered a couple of pairs from SLKStore and will compare these to the ones that I just recently installed.
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Last edited by etyu; 02-14-2010 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 02-13-2010   #15 (permalink)
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this is like being married. no one wants to answer me. wahhhh!

************************************************** ******
and i want to repeat my entry for brian and eddy:

the manual says to just turn counter clockwise to remove. so why remove the wire assembly?

This is from 09 manual: are 09s different?

Turn bulb socket 4 with the bulb counterclockwise
and remove it.
Pull the bulb out of bulb socket 4.
Press the new bulb gently into bulb socket
4.
Place bulb socket 4 back into the housing
and turn clockwise until it engages
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Llumar (Clear Bra) Paint Protective Film
OEM MB Plexiglass
Clear Side Markers w/amber LED bulbs
LED Parking and License Plate Bulbs
Smarttop version 3.22
Previous - 02 SLK 320, 05 SLK 350
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Old 02-13-2010   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
this is like being married. no one wants to answer me. wahhhh!

************************************************** ******
and i want to repeat my entry for brian and eddy:

the manual says to just turn counter clockwise to remove. so why remove the wire assembly?

This is from 09 manual: are 09s different?

Turn bulb socket 4 with the bulb counterclockwise
and remove it.
Pull the bulb out of bulb socket 4.
Press the new bulb gently into bulb socket
4.
Place bulb socket 4 back into the housing
and turn clockwise until it engages
For most of us married folks, you usually have to gripe a little to get an answer. We didn't want this to be any different :

I think your instructions are the same Jeff. It's just a little easier to get the whole thing out if you first remove the wire connector. It's one less thing in your way and especially on the passenger side, removing the high beam plug gives you easier access. Eddy what do you think? Should the '09 be any different?
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Old 02-13-2010   #17 (permalink)
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i ordered the led parking lights but they have not arrived yet, and have not eyeballed the connections yet. from the manual, looks easier than trying to 'pinch' 'squeeze', etc. just turn.
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Old 02-13-2010   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
i ordered the led parking lights but they have not arrived yet, and have not eyeballed the connections yet. from the manual, looks easier than trying to 'pinch' 'squeeze', etc. just turn.
Well one advantage of doing it with the wire still attached is that if you drop that sucker you're not fishing a bulb out from behind the fog lights somewhere. Been there, done that
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Old 02-14-2010   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
this is like being married. no one wants to answer me. wahhhh!

************************************************** ******
and i want to repeat my entry for brian and eddy:

the manual says to just turn counter clockwise to remove. so why remove the wire assembly?

This is from 09 manual: are 09s different?

Turn bulb socket 4 with the bulb counterclockwise
and remove it.
Pull the bulb out of bulb socket 4.
Press the new bulb gently into bulb socket
4.
Place bulb socket 4 back into the housing
and turn clockwise until it engages
My apologies Sarge.

Being a sunny and nice Saturday in the mid 70's, I spent the whole morning and early afternoon doing the wash, clay bar, ash, Z5-Z6-Z2-Z6 treatment. I barely had enough time to browse this site when it was time to go for dinner at a friend's house (Chinese New Year).

I double checked the 2008 Owner's Manual and it states the same thing.

Here's my opinion: In theory one can do the untwist (counterclockwise) maneuver to remove the tubular lamp-holder for the parking/side lamp (without disconnecting the rear wire connector bit); however, the tube is roughly 3 inches long and it may difficult to free the entire tube completely as I think the wire may not have enough length to allow this or it may be tight.
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Old 02-14-2010   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdshah3 View Post
so all we have to do is really take out the tubular duct, is that hard to disassemble and reassemble?
The tubular ducts that lead to the air filter box are held at the front of the vehicle by two tabs. To remove, disconnect the round part that is next to the air filter box. Once this is free, you can wiggle the tubular duct free by by deviating it away from the centerline of the vehicle. The elliptical end of this duct is held by two tabs (one on top and is visible, and the other at the bottom and is not readily visible, but easily felt or palpated). It may sometimes require some pressure on the top tab while deviating the tubular duct.

On the 280 and 350, be careful on the right side, as there may be a clip that holds the coolant overflow tube that is connected to the front end of the tubular duct. The clip that holds the coolant overflow tube is designed to break when one uses a screwdriver to dislodge it. One may elect to gently dislodge the right side tubular duct gently (again disconnecting the rear tubular connection first, then carefully releasing the front elliptical end). The coolant overflow rubber tube has some slack that should allow you to access the back of the right headlamp assembly.
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