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Here is a quick step by step procedure on installing new tail lights into your R170

This was performed on a 2001 SLK 230 Kompressor


I never liked the difference in the color red that the taillights were to the body color as seen in this pic when I first got "LUCY"





Was thinking about just smoking the lens's a bit with some tint, but at the same time I wanted to update to some LED lights as well... So I ended up visiting Ebay and bought some DEPO brand semi smoked tail lights.

These lights are plug and play..no hidden surprises what so ever.

First thing I needed to do was gain access to the drivers side rear tail light backside. There is a panel held in place by 4 PUSH RIVETS that need to be removed. Simply take a flat blade screwdriver and gently pull the center of this "rivet" away from the panel. Once you get it a few mm away you can grab it with your fingernails and pull it right out. Once the center "pin" part of this rivet is removed, the body of the rivet can be pulled right out. Repeat this 4 times. Once they are out the panel comes right off.

When I removed my panel I found a bunch of serial type cables bundled together..not sure what they are for..will save that for another thread!

ok this is what it looks like once you remove that cover:




As you can see in this pic, just by removing this panel you have full access to the backside of the lens.


Now you can disconnect the electrical connection and remove THREE nuts that retain the lens to the body. You will need an 8mm socket on a very small ratchet. BE CAREFUL not to drop the nuts..you will never fish them out of that deep well area right below the lens.

Once you get the three nuts removed, simply pull the lens assembly away from the body to remove.



Next grab your new lens assembly and reverse the entire procedure that we just did to remove the lens. You will RE-USE the three nuts from the original lens.

Now over to the passenger side.

This side is much easier to do.

There is a removable panel behind the CD changer (if so equipped) that just snaps on/off.



I first thought I was going to have to remove the CD changer to get better access, but there is plenty of space to get your hands in there as is.

This side is exactly the same as the drivers side...remove electrical connection, remove and save 3 nuts, remove lens assembly, install new assembly, re-install 3 nuts, connect electrical connector, put access panel back on...done!

Here is the finished result:





I will be removing the third brake light on the truck lid and tinting it to match the taillights. Will document that process as well.
 

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Thank you and now 'stickied'
 

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Nice Work Tom,

If you have model #'s for the specific lights you installed that might be helpful for our members. Over the years the various links and sellers on eBay change, and your mod looks so good I would expect there are a lot of 170 owner's that will want to follow in your footsteps, especially if it's plug and play.

Just a thought and Thanks again for the DIY.
 

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Should mention

There are resistors which plug in to the green and white wires at the tail light and the brake light. I do not know if some of these sets come with the resistors already hooked up.

These need to be plugged in properly (heavier resistor for the brake light - lighter resistor for the tail light). Or you will get the bulb out error.
 

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i am wondering if anyone know the difference on those depo ($250) vs those selling around $549 from taiwan or german. i can see the bottom row of led a bit difference in pictures but not sure.
thanks
 

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Dectane vs Depo

Dectane is the 549 set. Initially when I purchased the Depo I read somewhere that Depo did the manufacturing for Dectane, so I didn't pay attention. It looks like the bar at the bottom has full LED, whereas the Depo is more like the OEM where the bottom bar for the tail-light doesn't light up all the way to the trunk line.

I think the Depo looks great, having installed it on my car yesterday. That being said, if I didn't mind spending 600 bucks, I would have gotten the Dectane had I noticed the difference.

For the price difference, it doesn't look different enough for me. The only way I would have sprung for more is if the LED configuration looked like a solid light, like they look on the new Audis.
 

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Thanks Kyngfish, your reply is exactly what i am looking for. I was confused and asked a few times but no one answer it clearly like you do.
 

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Reviving old thread with probably an obvious question: Without pictures visible in this DIY, it is hard to see if I have the same version as the OP, but mine have "fake bulb ends" coming out as well as the resistor connections. I assumed that I put the socket end on the "fake bulb ends" but they don't have the same keying as the brake lights. Don't want to accidently short anything out so would appreciate some guidance. Thx!

Update: Disregard. There was a wrong bulb (with not aligned pins) in one of the original spots that threw me off. All hooked up and working great now.
 
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