A few things about Spyder aftermarket headlights - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 06-19-2018
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A few things about Spyder aftermarket headlights

After some genius backed into my '99 SLK230 a few weeks ago (and then drove off), I had been looking around for replacement parts for the broken lighting. I went with the Spyder aftermarket headlights, and here are some things you need to know if you choose these lights.

You must have the original turn signal socket assembly and matching harness. You will transfer this to the new light housing, but be sure you take the rubber seal from the new light socket and transfer it to the old yellow one, or it won't seal on there, nor will it tighten up.

If you wire up the LED halos, there are three red and black wires on each side (red positive, black negative). You'll want to know that these are not visible in daylight at all, so they might not be worth the trouble for you. Some people crimp them in to the parking light, others might tie them to ignition-on as a DRL, but with the visibility of them nearly impossible during daylight, it's not worth the trouble.

I still haven't figured out how to get the "city light" to come on without modifying the unit (and thus voiding warranty), or if the light even serves a purpose here in the US.

Last, but definitely not least, you will need to have these things adjusted. My low-beams are way short, and I haven't adjusted them yet to tell you if it is an easy job or not, but I'll update you here once I know something.

All this said, I do like the lights. Aesthetically, they are great. The high-beams are super-bright and cover very well. Installation was relatively simple, although the printed instructions are not very clear for this particular car.
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#2 Old 06-19-2018
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First, there is no high beam adjustment, you need to make one to get it out of the trees.
Second they come adjusted in the ground. I have a flat driveway facing the white garage door. Need to make reference marks at the same height as the low beams, then adjust to them. Takes an 8mm socket - are two adjustments: up-down and left-right (marked on back). L-R does not seem to do much.
Third am rather disappointed in how dim the "angel eyes" are but suppose they help on a cloudy day.
Fourth Have not figured out what the little LEDs are for but have a separate wire pair.
Fifth Replaced the stock H1s with SilverStar Ultras. 55w HIDs do not seem as bright and LEDs will not fit.
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#3 Old 06-20-2018
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A set of these were on my car when I bought it, Sonar brand,
Question ;Where these manufactured for both left and right hand drive?
or is it a one size fits all?
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#4 Old 06-20-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 1/2%Solution View Post
A set of these were on my car when I bought it, Sonar brand,
Question ;Where these manufactured for both left and right hand drive?
or is it a one size fits all?
Almost all the ones I have seen available for sale in Australia are the wrong, LHD, ones!
Maybe the UK members have some advice?


Worth checking yours, as dazzling the oncoming traffic is not only not nice, it puts you at risk.
There should be markings on the lens or if not there, on the back.
Drive the car 2 m from a white wall and you should be able to see the beam pattern lower on one side.

Just because something is sold here no longer means it is legal or fit for purpose.

Car parts shops now openly sell superbright headlight globes marked “ not approved for fitment”. This might explain so many cars with dazzling headlights.
Night time safety and visibility works both ways, what I can see, and what the on coming car can see so they don’t loose the plot and run into me. Especially in urban areas where being dazzled by an oncoming car can make it impossible to see a bike or a pedestrian crossing the road.
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#5 Old 06-20-2018
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Manufacturers work hard to make sure their fancy shapes actually produce a certified light pattern without scatter.

We don’t even know if aftermarket ones from China have ever been tested, let alone comply. An E mark on them means nothing.
We have to hope that the bulb position is correct.

Normal old style lamps have all the ribs on the lens to deflect unwanted light away from where it should not be, but the smooth polycarbonate lens on aftermarket lamps have none of this so they are suspect.

No free lunch on the physics of optics unfortunately.
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#6 Old 06-24-2018
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Originally Posted by 7 1/2%Solution View Post
A set of these were on my car when I bought it, Sonar brand,
Question ;Where these manufactured for both left and right hand drive?
or is it a one size fits all?

RHD are available in the UK. 🙂

Think there's an old thread on here somewhere where LHD Spiders have been converted to RHD, involves baking and dismantling and changing the deflectors over. On my phone atm so searching is a bit of a pain.

HTH
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#7 Old 06-25-2018
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Looked on the back, I might have got lucky, Sticker says RHD, (then again, I may have just got the correct sticker)
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#8 Old 06-26-2018
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Do you guys know which wires go to the halos? The one on my passenger side stopped working. Do I have to take the whole unit off to access it?
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#9 Old 07-10-2018
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I installed Spyder projector headlights with 55watt Xentec HID's with 6000k bulbs. The difference for me was astounding. As I've gotten older I have a crazy bad time driving at night. These really helped out. One thing to mention, as you go higher in temperature...above 6000k, the visible light is reduced significantly...so if you're running the 9000k or 10000k and expecting better visibility it's just not going to happen. I put 6000k in everything. I've installed Spyder projection headlights in all of my vehicles and several of my friends vehicles.

One thing about the HID ballasts...make sure you get the ballasts with the CANBUS defeat integrated in them. You can get around it but it's a super pain in the arse. You will need to run a couple of resistors for both low and high beam and on both left and right side (4 resisters total) and inline capacitors for your low beams. You'll also want to run a relay from your battery to power the ballasts. It's easy to do if you know electronics well (I have a degree in electronics so it's super easy for me).

If you get the headlights with the CCFL halo's I highly suggest you run a relay from your ignition to power the inverters for the CCFLs. Also be prepared to replace the inverters eventually...keep a couple on hand. They are cheap and when they fail it can be...violent. I had that happen last weekend on a friends truck. If one blows within a year, Spyder will send you a new one, no questions asked. Oh, they also suggest to wire the halo's to your parking lights so they only come on when your headlights or parking lights are on. Eff that.

Regarding the halo wiring, I opened my fuse panel, lifted it out of it's box, and spliced into a wire that went hot when the ignition turned on. I can't remember which fuse exactly but I've had 0 problems with my set up. The only problem now is they were installed on my Green Designo and as some of you know, I got drilled a couple of months ago so the car is out of commission. Mine were also not CCFL halo's as described above. Boy I wish they were though. CCFL's are awesome and super bright.

One thing mentioned is you will need to point the headlights after installation. Not a huge deal but you will need to do it. Just make sure you don't point them too high as you will piss off all oncoming traffic. Been there, done that. Before you remove your old headlights, pull in front of your garage door, mark the beam focus on your garage with electrical tape, and when you install the new ones, point at the tape. That will get you pretty close to where you need to be.

Regarding the xentec ballasts...I'm a big fan. They are cheap and I've had 0 issues with them. I've installed probably 10 of them in various different cars and and trucks have never had an issue. I installed Opt7 ballasts into my friends truck this last weekend and couldn't tell a difference.

If you have any questions, shoot me a PM and I will see if I can help.
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#10 Old 07-20-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 1/2%Solution View Post
A set of these were on my car when I bought it, Sonar brand,
Question ;Where these manufactured for both left and right hand drive?
or is it a one size fits all?

I just acquired a 2001 SLK 320 ex Japan which is a LHD car. The previous owner replaced factory XENONs (which I never found to be all that great in my previous car of this type) with Sonar probably for appearance.



At this point it is too light up here at night for me to comment so I haven't been able to get out in the dark but they come for LHD apparently.
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#11 Old 07-21-2018
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You probably would have got a bargain with your import, owning Euro sports cars, but not driving them much is common in Japan.Strange.
Also,I have never understood the Japanese obsession of importing LHD cars into their RHD market when most were built both left and right.
Most Euro and some US makes sporty cars on Japan auction sites are LHD.
Having owned a LHD 64 Mustang years ago in a RHD country, you really would have to consider your sanity to actually go out and order a car with basically the wrong steering.(I didn't- mine about as a trade with the only person that would take a 356 Porsche cabrio off my hands) Get behind a bus, and you have to put 3/4 of the car out into opposing traffic before you even get a glimpse of anything coming the other way. Madness!
(I'm only 1/2 mad, I have a LHD 280ZX 2 seater in my garage at the moment, but it will be getting a RHD conversion , and a V8, before it goes on the road.Sometime,maybe, Too many projects!)
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#12 Old 07-22-2018
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I fully agree when it comes to understanding the RHD vs. LHD issue having spent considerable time in Japan in my work life. Never made sense.
That said, one poster earlier suggested it was a kind of face thing. Having a LHD car in a RHD country says something apparently other than you are out of your mind.
Then again if you look at this car's history while in Japan it only got about 3000 km a year put on it. That's less than 60 km a week. The owner here only put 12000 on in 19 months so it surely has not been abused.
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#13 Old 07-22-2018
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[QUOTE=Alex 3;4393259 Having a LHD car in a RHD country says something apparently other than you are out of your mind.

Got it in one . Total madness, particularly when there was a choice.
( the reason that the Japanese put so little miles on their cars is that they spend most of their time fishing for whales. - 2nd hand car dealers explanation )
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#14 Old 09-13-2018
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I got the Spyder headlights too and found it comes with ordinary H1 bulbs.
Then got H1 - LED headlight bulbs and found that they did not fit.
A slight modification was necessary to the casing to making them fit.
( ML Audio in Sacramento did that for me )
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