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Premium Member 2007 SLK280
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Correct me if I'm wrong but what I've read here about the Spyder headlight units seem to indicate that the only way to use the DRL's alone is to set the switch at parking lamps. I leave mine on the Auto setting and currently use the SmartTop control to set the fog lamps as DRL. I want a more current-looking DRL unit that's on whenever the car is switched on without moving the auto control. Also not interested in the smoked units or a switch to HID.



Found these on eBay and I've asked the question about independent operation of the LED's but has anyone had any experience with this seller or this unit? Thanks for the help.


https://www.ebay.com/itm/382348852846?ViewItem=&item=382348852846
 

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Premium Member 2009 SLK55 AMG
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4,958 Posts
The link you included are the Spyders. The pictures they use in the listing are my car, taken from this forum:

http://www.slkworld.com/general-modifications-r171/27511-spyder-headlights.html

There are versions of the Spyder that come with additional circuitry to control the DRLs. You can also wire this up yourself if you want: the wires to the DRLs on the Spyder are exposed on the back of the headlights, and you can splice in additional control circuitry, and power them directly from +12V.

There is a different headlight that has the DRL strip near the top of the light. I've never liked how that one looks, and I'm not aware of anyone of the forum that has them.

In addition to that you can of course get separate DRL LED strips to mount in the lower grille.
 

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Premium Member 2007 SLK280
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you for the response. Looks like I can have what I want from these. I like the DRL integration. Wish it was easier...but then I say that about everything.

This message just came back from the vendor (DT): kinda says something different. Asked for better clarification about wiring independent of the switch.

"The LED strip will come on as long as you have your parking lights on. The LED strip will not come on with your factory switch"


And the seller's final word:

"We do not recommend modifying the item to make it work that way. The headlights are designed to be full plug and play. Any modifications would void your warranty.

"Have a nice day."




NOT the unit for me. Too bad.
 

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Premium Member 2005 SLK55 AMG
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11,408 Posts
@VAslk, I think that Andy ( @ZeroZero ) might have the Spyder headlights, and have knowledge of a way to get the LED DRLs working with the SmartTop.

I've tagged @ZeroZero here, so that he can review and respond when he next visits the forum. :D
 

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Premium Member 2005 SLK55 AMG
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1,736 Posts
Hi All


Yes you can control the spyder leds with the SmartTop , Make sure you have the newest firmware 4.0 i think , Using set drl on side lights , This will turn on the drls & rear side light on engine start up . Mine stopped turning off when the headlights come on. But i have now rewired the drls outside the cambus using a dimming drl control unit the reason being im working on having the drl dim on turn signals .


Cheers


Andy
 

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Premium Member 2007 SLK280
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
dbgrn and ZeroZero, thanks for the tips. Just today I updated the firmware on the SmartTop. This time I left the USB cord attached and hidden. I haven't updated the firmware in all this time because it was such a pain to get to. I looked back and saw I had installed in in 2010 and its still my favorite upgrade. A few weeks back I was attracted to a used SL550 and found myself thinking I could use the same SmartTop module for that. Then I came to my senses and decided I'd be a freaking idiot to give up my 280. I just love that car. But it now has 99,000+ miles and I keep wanting to buy it new toys.


After bringing the ST firmware up to date I reset the DRL's to the parking lights (had the fogs set as DRL's since 2010) to see how that works. With rain all this weekend I may not know until next week but I like having a choice. I'm confused with your use of the "side lights." I think of the side lights as the markers. Am I missing something? Do you mean the parking lights?



As noted earlier, one of the Spyder vendors says no, no to rewiring the DRL's but if I have the SmartTop use the parking lights the Auto switch can stay where I put it and not worry about a straight 12V feed to the Spyder LED's, right? That makes it all sound much better. I'm also curious about why you want the DRL's to dim with the turn signal. I have a small Kia SUV (2011) and the DRL's stay on when the headlights are on and the signals activated. The DRL's switch off with the turn signal when headlights are off. Never saw a problem with that but I'm open to enlightenment.



Fair warning: if you convince me it's a better idea I'll ask you to tell me how to bypass the canbus if I get the Spyders.


Thanks again for the help.
 

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Premium Member 2007 SLK280
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thank you for that explanation.

I'm at 90-percent in the "ready to do this" scale but I have an important question for the crowd: is the unit in my link above (dt moto) different from or lesser quality than the units branded as "Spyder" (carid)? There's a significant price difference between the $362 cost in the eBay ad and the $500-$600+ I get when I follow the "Spyder headlights" links.

My original post was based on my thought that Spyder was a brand name but the response seems to tell me "Spyder" is being used as a generic for that style. On my own, I'd opt for the difference of $200+ in my pocket. Considering the involved installation process I don't want to do it more than once.
 

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Premium Member 2005 SLK55 AMG
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1,736 Posts
Hi All
To me the other light unit look the same as the Spyder units the layout looks the same , it is that someone else makes the plastic mouldings & the different companies kit them out ?? . The dimming thing comes from some of the newer cars like Jags , Audi & some MBs the dim the DRLs on turn signal or they turn them off if the two are very close to each other . I’m nearly there with my set up .

Cheers

Andy
 

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Premium Member 2009 SLK55 AMG
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4,958 Posts
They are all the same, made by a Taiwanese company called SONAR. As I said, the pictures used in your eBay ad are of my car that had Spyders installed by Spyder techs, at Spyder's warehouse in City Of Industry.

I do want to mention that they are much more "chome"-ey than the OEM lights, and if you look at the thread I linked, I quickly replaced them with the version that has black housing. Personal preference of course, but I feel that on darker colored cars, the black ones look much better. Of course it tends to set off a cascade of other mods that remove more and more of the lighter bits from the car. :D

Regarding price, here is the price of the black Spyder-branded version on Amazon over the years. As you can see they went on there for anywhere from $345 to $600. The price of these things tends to fluctuate a lot based on supply/demand changes:

https://camelcamelcamel.com/Spyder-...DRL-BK-Projector-Headlight/product/B0074BPTOK
 

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Premium Member 2007 SLK280
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks, Durkation. I hadn't seen your post before posting my pricing question, below. And thanks for the link to the black set but -- in my opinion -- the black works with a black car but not with my blue. Nifty to have you 171 in the ads, though.

I agree that the units look identical. Given your Taiwan connection, I'll probably opt for the lesser expensive. carid site with most of the Spyder direct company promotion video, etc., is $599. dt moto is $362. And in between, autopartswarehouse.com is $501 advertised as "Spyder" projectors.


ZeroZero, please let us know how the dimming process goes.
 

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Premium Member 2007 SLK280
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the help. Ordered the lights from dt moto and I'll hope for the best. They confirmed the manufacturer is Sonar.

In the meantime if someone can give me a bulb number for the chrome signal light I can have that when the units arrive. And if you've figured out the dimming process, please explain how and what.
 

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Premium Member 2009 SLK55 AMG
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4,958 Posts
...
In the meantime if someone can give me a bulb number for the chrome signal light I can have that when the units arrive...
The turn signal bulbs are 7507 PY21W. Note that these are therefore different from the stock headlight turn signals!! See this post:

http://www.slkworld.com/295360-post25.html

Make sure you get the ones that are "chrome/amber", not "chrome/hyper white" so you won't get pulled over for displaying the wrong color :D
 

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Premium Member 2007 SLK280
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thank you for the part number. I've ordered a pair and will install as part of the operation.


Noticed in another thread that one of the gang had seeded the idea of DRL activation with Stefan at SmartTop, leading him to make the module adjustment we're using for these lights. I've been using the ST to activate my fogs as DRL since I installed the unit in 2010 and I used it today for both top and windows. I bet with some coaxing, Stefan and Sven could work a dimming feature while the turn signals were operating. Worth a try.


Another week, anyway.
 

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Premium Member 2007 SLK280
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Here's yet another question for Spyder unit owners. Are these usually adjusted properly for height/aim when they arrive or should I be concerned?
 

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Premium Member 2005 SLK55 AMG
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1,736 Posts
Hi All
As I'm in the UK & these headlight unit are USA spec only , I did my install outside my garage & marked the garage doors with some marks to show me the height off the oem units , & adjusted internal hex heads on the Spyder to match the marks , You have to swap the postioning screw adjusters from old to new , So measure the heights of the screw sticking out the plastic casing & match that on the Spyder casing that will get you close . these adjusters are for panel to light unit alinement . As I said before do one side complete then the other side , This way you can see how the oem unit fits to the fender etc. I pulled both oem units out first big mistake .


Cheers


Andy
 

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Premium Member 2007 SLK280
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the tip. I had the same idea to mark the current beam before removing the old units. hadn't thought of the measure. I appreciate the help.



I've watched both the Spyder installation video and the USR 05-10 MBZ video and they show two different fender removals. Figured out that the two show pre- and post facelift models. Spyder was done with Durkation's 09 and the USR with an earlier 05 or 06, pre-facelift, model. Mine is an 07 so the USR is apparently what I need. Different locations of bumper bolts. Is that what you found, as well?


Here's the USR:
 

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Premium Member 2009 SLK55 AMG
Joined
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4,958 Posts
I've watched both the Spyder installation video and the USR 05-10 MBZ video and they show two different fender removals. Figured out that the two show pre- and post facelift models. Spyder was done with Durkation's 09 and the USR with an earlier 05 or 06, pre-facelift, model. Mine is an 07 so the USR is apparently what I need. Different locations of bumper bolts.
Mine was actually an '06 (R.I.P.), so pre-facelift, but it did have the "Sport Pack" body kit, which might explain the difference in bolt placement. From your profile picture, it looks like yours does not have the Sport Pack bits, and the USR video doesn't either, so that video might indeed be closer in terms of describing exactly what you'll encounter.
 

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Premium Member 2007 SLK280
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the clarification. I guess I'm not really familiar with pre- and post-"facelift" features. I just know they aren't the same. Yes the USR looks closer to my stock '07. Even noticed the USR vehicle has the stock 16" 280 wheels that I disliked so much and replaced very early in my ownership. Headlight units in the USR are not the current design either but its the process I want to be familiar with when I start the install.


Sure would be happy if every forum member could just ask @jbanks15 to create a video for each of our desired mods and installations using exactly the same vehicle we have. (Of course we could limit that feature to paid members. Don't want to overwork Jeff.)
 
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