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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Japanese market 1999 SLK230. On the lighting control panel there is an extra rotary control I can not identify - see below in red. Turning it doesn't do anything...at least nothing I can detect. It's not the instrument panel dimmer - that's the knob to the left of the speedometer.

Then there's the fact that it uses the same icon as the headlights but with up and down arrows - well that is odd.

As the manual I have is in Japanese - no joy there and I haven't been able to find a 1999 manual in English so I don't know if this is a Japan specific variant or something common to the 1999 model year. It doesn't show up in the 2001 and 2003 model year manuals I have seen. Additionally, using all the search criteria I could come up with, searching the forum hasn't turned anything up and even a web search has failed.

Anyway if anyone knows what the control does I'd like to know. Mostly just curious but if something useful isn't working right, that would be nice to know.

Thanks.
 

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fog lights? does your regular light switch pull out?
 

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Fog lights operate by pulling the headlight knob out. Once for front, twice for front and rear.


The little dial is the automatic headlight adjuster. It raises or lowers the headlight beam pneumatically. If you look on the back of your headlights you should see a little vacuum hose plugged into them, this is the automatic adjuster. On my 96 model these vacuum lines are purple with grey caps on the end.


Cheers
Jay
 

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Yep :)

R170 with Xenon H/Lamps don't have this, they have Electric motor "Auto Levelling", so must presumably have a Level Sensor or perhaps work off the G Sensors via CAN Comm ?

Cheers Dave
 

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The little dial is the automatic headlight adjuster.

Cheers
Jay
Not wishing to be 'picky' but technically, it's a manual adjuster. Adjusted by the driver :nerd:

Btw. Cars over here have been known to fail their annual MOT's due to these things not working or owners having Spyders etc. that don't have the facility to hook up to them ..
 

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Hi @Marcus,

I now have a couple of spare sets of MB Ballasts and Igniters, as I have just retro fitted my W220 to Bi Xenon Headlamps, those babies burn Vampires at night on full beam >:D

I've mounted 2 pairs in little waterproof plastic boxes, one for each side ...................





I will bolt them to the inner wheel arches on my R170 and wire to my Depo Projector Headlamps, using some H4 base Xenon Bulbs :grin:

I doubt the lack of Auto Levellers will affect my MOT's as long as they are correctly set, :wink: :wink: , but yeah, they should have them.

:Banane32:
 

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I use this, a Bradbury Beam Setter, I "stole it" off my MOT man for £50 when he renewed his testing Station gear a couple years ago ............................



As you can see it doesn't get used often, but for the few times a year that I do use it, it was well worth the 'nifty' I paid :wink:
 

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Hi @Marcus,

I now have a couple of spare sets of MB Ballasts and Igniters, as I have just retro fitted my W220 to Bi Xenon Headlamps, those babies burn Vampires at night on full beam >:D

I've mounted 2 pairs in little waterproof plastic boxes, one for each side ...................





I will bolt them to the inner wheel arches on my R170 and wire to my Depo Projector Headlamps, using some H4 base Xenon Bulbs :grin:

I doubt the lack of Auto Levellers will affect my MOT's as long as they are correctly set, :wink: :wink: , but yeah, they should have them.

:Banane32:


I'm sure you'll be sorted :tu: but HERE'S a thread from a year and a half ago which should act as a reminder to be aware of potential pitfalls and NOT to throw away the OEMs
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks to all for the information. A manual headlight level adjustment was nowhere on my radar as a possibility.
I checked and the purple tubing is in place but I'll have to dig deeper to see if it is properly attached.
 

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I'm sure you'll be sorted :tu: but HERE'S a thread from a year and a half ago which should act as a reminder to be aware of potential pitfalls and NOT to throw away the OEMs
Hi @M4rCu5 ,

Hadn't seen that post, I've added my likes in all the right places ;)

MOT's have always and probably always will be "in the opinion of the tester", it takes a long while to find a good consitent and fair tester, when you do, stick with him / her ;)

Yes, my MOT man is sensible and fair, and he, unlike all the others in my locale, actually knows the MOT regs "Parrot Fashion" but applies his own discretion ;) He is the Guy who, unless on holiday, does all the Testing at that garage, he and 1 other are partners / owners.

It also helps that I take all my Customers MOT's there, and also I do a lot of Diagnostic & Rectification works for them, so nah, I don't need the old lamps, I will of couse be fitting the Panel / Switch from a Xenon Car when I do the job :grin:

FWIW I did look at adding the Vac System to the Lamps, it doesn't look like rocket science provided one has a big enough oven to cook the H/Lamps to get the lenses off ;)

However, if one is fitting Xenons in the UK, the letter of the MOT and / or Construction and Use Regs does state that they must have AUTO Self levellers, i.e. Electric Motors plus whatever it is that controls them, I will look at this at some point in the future :wink:

I agree that the Projectors don't perform as well, the problem I found was that if you line up Dipped Beam correctly on the Beam Setter, then the Full Beams are pointing low at the ground, these can be re aligned using keyhole surgery through the Bulbs Covers and some washer / spacers on the Full Beam Reflector Screw fixings, then they are great on Dipped and Full Beams :grin:

Being an anal perfectionist with OCD although it took a while that is exactly what I did to mine >:D

Finally to anyone considering purchasing projector lamps, there are a lot of un scrupulous sellers selling LHD Lamps for use in UK, the first set I got were LHD, seller played the ass, EBay refunded, I bought RHD from a decent seller, still have a brand new LHD set in my loft :grin:

HTH, Cheers Dave
 

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Hi @M4rCu5 ,

I agree that the Projectors don't perform as well, the problem I found was that if you line up Dipped Beam correctly on the Beam Setter, then the Full Beams are pointing low at the ground, these can be re aligned using keyhole surgery through the Bulbs Covers and some washer / spacers on the Full Beam Reflector Screw fixings, then they are great on Dipped and Full Beams :grin:

Being an anal perfectionist with OCD although it took a while that is exactly what I did to mine >:D

HTH, Cheers Dave
This is interesting! Last year, I bought an early R170 and had been surprised that it made it through it's first two warrant of fitness inspections with the high beam pointing so low. I was booked for another warrant last Monday with a fussier tester (the last one damaged the fuel pump both times, so I will never go there again), so I spent the previous weekend trying to sort the vacuum system out. In my case, it turned out that the T connector under the left headlight had broken, causing loss of vacuum. After fixing it, I found the height adjuster on the dashboard (the one the original poster was asking about) definitely did raise and lower the headlights. However, high beam is STILL too low. My next plan had been to look under the right headlight to see if there was still a smaller vacuum leak but now I wonder if what you did is the correct fix? Is it a tricky job? Is it something that is usually set at the factory? Mine is also ex-Japanese, for what it's worth.

Anyway, I took it in for the inspection on Monday. The tester I use is very thorough and reset the low beam to the legal height. He commented on the high beam being low but that is apparently not a failure item in New Zealand, so I got my new shiny warrant, phew. Still, I live down a long, dark country road and would like the headlights to point the right way. It has to be sorted.
 

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Hi @Deep7 ,

What I am saying refers to the Aftermarket Clear Projector Lamps like DEPO's Sonar etc, not OE MB Lamps, never really looked inside in anger, so I can't advise on them ;)

It's very fiddly, but when the lamp is out of the Car and Bulb Covers removed, you can see that these Headlamps have a separate Bulb and Reflector for Main Beam ...............

The Reflectors in mine were fixed with 4 screws, what I did was carefully remove the 2 lower screws and install 2 tiny washers between each reflector and mount to effectively push it upwards a small amount, worked a treat on my Sonar's.

Been a while now, but IIRC I superglued each Washer to a small thin piece of welding wire, so I could bend the wire to the correct angle, slide in washers and get screws back in with a telescopic magnet then just break the superglue bond and repeat for the other side :wink:

BTW, when, not if, you drop the screws and washers they are a right game to get 'em back out !!
Think of a kiddies puzzle in a clear plastic casing, with ball bearings inside, that you have to move into holes etc :grin:

HTH, Cheers Dave
 

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Thanks Dave, that's very helpful. To be honest, I just assumed the headlights were original equipment because the whole car is almost bog standard (barring the Bilstein shocks). They do have seperate high and low beam reflectors and bulbs. I'll have a poke around and see if I have the patience to do what you did!
 

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Hi @Deep7 ,

Here's my Car with the aftermarket SONAR's fitted ..............



These are the ones I altered, the stock ones the Car came with were quite good on both beams, but I wanted a fresher look ;)

Next time I take 'em out I'll be adding MB Electronics, (Ballasts and Ignitors), with H4 based 5000k Xenon Bulbs :grin:

Cheers Dave
 

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I find my SLK aesthetically very pleasing - except for the headlights! The large-small twin headlights on slightly later Mercedes cars would have been gorgeous but it never happened, sadly.
 
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