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Registered 2001 SLK320
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Discussion Starter #1
My 2001 SLK 320 has the factory HID low beams and the factory halogen high beams.

The high beams are marginal. I drive in areas that are remote and have deer, elk, and cattle as a constant concern.

Adding driving lights would be great, but I can't see where I could do this short of some horrendous-looking mickey-mouse setup. Has anyone come up with a decent option?

The other possibility I was thinking about would be to convert the high beam halogens to HID. There isn't a lot of room, but it does look doable.

I'm looking for opinions/experiences with each of these options.

I know there are replacements for the entire headlight assembly, but from everything I've been reading on those it would seem that there isn't a consensus on the function side of the replacement. They look good, but that isn't my main concern.
 

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Premium member 2001 SLK320
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800 Posts
won't HID high beams be too slow

to help you if you react quickly. I only say this as my missus has low beam HIDs on hers, and they take a good few seconds to warm up and develop full output, as you will already know. Probably better to go for a higher wattage or more efficient halogen bulb for the high beams.
People on the forum here swear by Osram Nightbreakers and the like. I use Bosch Pure Light and Tesla+50%. I also drive a lot of forest and windy hill roads.

have a shufti here http://www.which.co.uk/cars/driving/sat-navs-and-car-accessories/best-car-headlight-bulbs/best-buy-car-headlight-bulbs/
 

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upgrading your high beams to HIDS will definitely help. i am unaware of the factory degree kelvin of the factory low beams, but using something around 5/6k will provide you with a nice white clear light. as mentioned above, using a higher wattage ballast (55w vs 35w) will also help with brighter light. i've seen people starting to upgrade their HIDs to LEDs, that topic is a whole discussion within itself. if you have factory fog lights, it could be one option to upgrade those to HIDs as well, with the above mentioned degree kelvin bulb and ballast, assuming you have projector fog light housings too.
 

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Just ordered these for my 2001 320.
Do you think they will be better than the oem?

 

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since i am still not aware of what factory is, i cannot say, but those will definitely be bright
With my luck, they will probably melt the lenses.
:eek:
 

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HID for fog lights are a bad idea (at least for the slk320), the slk320 foglights pop-on after you lock the door at night for like 3 minutes. This would shorten the life of the bulb over time. I have made the upgrade to HID (bright crisp white (tinge of blue) light), definitely helps with night driving. Once you go with HID, you won't go back to halogen ever.
 

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HID for fog lights are a bad idea (at least for the slk320), the slk320 foglights pop-on after you lock the door at night for like 3 minutes. This would shorten the life of the bulb over time. I have made the upgrade to HID (bright crisp white (tinge of blue) light), definitely helps with night driving. Once you go with HID, you won't go back to halogen ever.
Thanks for that info, but I'm not concerned with the life of the bulb that much.
@$7.89 I can change them every month.:wink:
 

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Premium member 2001 SLK320
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800 Posts
Gordo, you might find that whatever

power increase there is, is lost somewhat in the absorption of the blue tint.

Change one side first, and compare the output from behind the wheel, and from in front of the car at about 50metres distance, preferably at night.

I toyed with some blue ones in my 107 a few years ago. They looked 'cooler', but were a lot less bright.

:crying:
 

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Premium member 2001 SLK320
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800 Posts
a small pat on the back will be awarded to anyone

correctly identifying which headlamp has the Tesla +50% bulb, and which has the Osram Night Breaker Unlimited bulb. Both 55watt halogen, fitted in my S210, and shot in slightly fading to dusk daylight on Saturday last.

The actual real effect at night is superb. These Osrams raise the game by as much again as the Teslas did over factory standard bulbs.
 

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Just ordered these for my 2001 320.
Do you think they will be better than the oem?

http://www.slkworld.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=280849&stc=1&d=1459881126
since i am still not aware of what factory is, i cannot say, but those will definitely be bright
With my luck, they will probably melt the lenses.
:eek:
I'd be concerned that they might overstress the wiring. The standard H7 bulbs for the type 170 car main beam lamps are 55W (about 4.5A) where 100W means 8.3A. That's a lot more heat and load on the wiring and socket, and the various voltage sensing logic for 'lamp out' in the SLK might complain about the added load as well.

The Osram Night Breaker Unlimited bulbs are a safer choice because they are designed to draw the standard 55W power.

G

Side note: The headlamps in the*SLK type 171 cars are significantly more effective at illuminating the road than the (very good!) headlamps in the type 170s. I have been delighted by how much easier it is to see with the lo beams, and amazed at how much brighter the main beams are. And that's with the factory OEM standard H7 bulbs... The design of the reflectors and lenses is just much more efficient because the bulbs are the same.

I've seen a couple of type 170s fitted with aftermarket headlamps that look like they might be on par with the standard ones in the SLK 171, but I've never driven one to actually gauge the difference.
 

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Registered 2001 SLK320
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Discussion Starter #12
I ended up going with HID and included capacitors in the installation. The capacitors help with the delay that you'll find when HID lights are first turned on. The results have been excellent. I selected 5000K since this is a very bright white but doesn't cross over into the blue spectrum. While there can be a slight delay initially, once they have been on they will come back to full brightness much faster, almost instantly, as you drive and need to dim for oncoming traffic and then return to high beams.

To be clear, there is really no comparison to any halogen bulb. The HID does a much better job since it can produce more lumens. The choice of 5000K give you the brightest usable light, a crisp bright white. The small downside is the installation of a few more components including a relay to draw full power from the battery as opposed to using the stock wires to power the HID ballasts. You will also likely have the "bulb out" displayed when the high beams are on, but my initial concerns with this were unfounded. I never notice it when driving.
 
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