Questions regarding aftremarket head and tail lights - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 10-17-2012
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Arrow Questions regarding aftremarket head and tail lights

Hi

I'm contemplating upgrading my 2008 R171 Slk 200 Kompressors lights.

First question I have is regarding the HID replacement options, do I need to ascertain weather my car came standard with HID headlights, if it did does that mean I need to buy a replacement model with ballasts or without?

I'm thinking about getting Spyder's looking something like this for the front end (will order to my US forwarding address and have it shipped over to Australia):


http://www.protuninglab.com/lighting...benz--slk.html




The listings at the above link are much cheaper here than the the Australian eBay listing I found:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Clear-DRL...ht_3217wt_1163


Are there any other brands worth checking out? Is there any place elsewhere where any of these items can be purchased more cheaply?



I'm considering getting something like this for the back end:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Smoked-Re...ht_3489wt_1163



Does anybody know who the manufacture of theses is also Spyder? I have not yet been able to work this out.


Hopefully this thread will be useful for others down the track.


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#2 Old 10-17-2012
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I have those headlights and also those taillights (although my tails are the smoked version of the lens). The tails are not made by SPYDER but some Taiwanese place. The headlights are strictly speaking also not made by SPYDER, but by SONAR, then sold by SPYDER, but everyone calls them SPYDERs.

The SPYDER headlights come in Xenon and non-Xenon versions, so you should get the version that matches what you have now, unless you have non-Xenon right now and want to upgrade at the same time.

There is a massive thread on the SPYDER lights here. I have a thread on all the black-out work I did on my car regarding the lights here. There is a massive thread on those taillights as well, but mostly centered around resolving bulb-out errors for the North American market. That thread is here.

That should give you some reading material. Other than that, ask me anything .
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#3 Old 10-17-2012
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Originally Posted by Durkatlon View Post
I have those headlights and also those taillights (although my tails are the smoked version of the lens). The tails are not made by SPYDER but some Taiwanese place. The headlights are strictly speaking also not made by SPYDER, but by SONAR, then sold by SPYDER, but everyone calls them SPYDERs.

The SPYDER headlights come in Xenon and non-Xenon versions, so you should get the version that matches what you have now, unless you have non-Xenon right now and want to upgrade at the same time.

There is a massive thread on the SPYDER lights here. I have a thread on all the black-out work I did on my car regarding the lights here. There is a massive thread on those taillights as well, but mostly centered around resolving bulb-out errors for the North American market. That thread is here.

That should give you some reading material. Other than that, ask me anything .

Much appreciated


I'll have a good look through all of that, thanks.

Do you know if there is there a website where I can enter my VIN number to work out what head lights are on there standard?

Interesting that you say the lights are made by a Taiwanese company as there are listings for them in Taiwan but postage to Aus/US is dear.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MERCEDES-BEN...item27bd7ed91a


I had considered the smoked taillights but was unsure how they would look ion my black car, I just looked at you post called "operation blackout" and I like the way they look on you SLK.

Btw wow you really went all out and replaced all of the lenses on your car.


I noticed that SONAR now also make a "smoked" headlight:

http://www.protuninglab.com/05mebeslslk35.html

I'm wondering if that is like the black option (non chrome) with a smoked lens. Did you consider using this model?


I assume that that these are the replacement bulbs you purchased:

http://www.stealthauto.com/Products/...507-SBR-R.aspx




Btw I heard you mention www.carparts-online.de

The tail lights are much cheaper there than elsewhere I have seen

http://translate.googleusercontent.c...A05cYFCZmudh0g


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#4 Old 10-17-2012
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Originally Posted by mick86 View Post
Do you know if there is there a website where I can enter my VIN number to work out what head lights are on there standard?
If you post your VIN in this thread, someone will post the data card which lists all the options on your car. You can tell what lights you have based on that.

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Originally Posted by mick86 View Post
Interesting that you say the lights are made by a Taiwanese company as there are listings for them in Taiwan but postage to Aus/US is dear.
Yeah, I wouldn't order them directly from Taiwan if there are eBay sellers that will dropship them with listings that are local to you. Whatever's cheapest. I ended up getting my headlights from amazon.com actually, even though SPYDER's HQ is relatively right around the corner about a 2 hr drive from where I live.

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I noticed that SONAR now also make a "smoked" headlight ... I'm wondering if that is like the black option (non chrome) with a smoked lens. Did you consider using this model?
Note that that one has the chrome insides but the smoked lens of the black version. It's slightly easier to see in the CarID picture:

http://www.carid.com/2005-mercedes-s...ts-317693.html

The insides are not black!

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I assume that that these are the replacement bulbs you purchased
Yes, I got mine from stealthauto. If you get the headlight turn-signal bulbs, make sure you specify REAR bulbs for your R171 SLK, instead of front bulbs. The turn-signal bulbs in the SPYDERS are not the same as the OEM bulbs for the front lights, but they are the same as the OEM taillight turn-signals.
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#5 Old 10-17-2012
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I tried looking up the part myself

Car 2008 R171 SLK 200


Vin # WDB1714452F200851

I went to:
http://www.vin-decoder.net/

Got to a page with part numbers for all the headlight bits but I'm still not sure.

Help for anybody on the matter would be greatly appreciated, I'll post it up in that thread.


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Yes posting it in the "Datacard" thread gets you the entire PDF which itemizes all your options. I had missed your link to carparts-online in your previous post, and yes they are the cheapest source for those lights. Unfortunately shipping will probably kill the deal for you. But check it out and compare with eBay to see what's best. I actually bought those tails used from a forum member here, so that was by far the cheapest option, but not always available .
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#7 Old 10-17-2012
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Originally Posted by Durkatlon View Post
Yes posting it in the "Datacard" thread gets you the entire PDF which itemizes all your options. I had missed your link to carparts-online in your previous post, and yes they are the cheapest source for those lights. Unfortunately shipping will probably kill the deal for you. But check it out and compare with eBay to see what's best. I actually bought those tails used from a forum member here, so that was by far the cheapest option, but not always available .
It's still my cheapest bet

Subtotal: 181.50 EUR
Packet Delivery (Shipping to AU: (1 x 1.1 kg)): 55.00 EUR
EU VAT 0% OFF Tax: 28.98 EUR
Sum : 236.50 EUR (298.654 AUD)

I don't have to pay VAT

Postage to the US and Aus are the same, total is roughly AUD $300, the store from ebay I referenced sells the taillights for $370 with $30 postage, as it happens the warehouse is close to me so I could pick it up for free but it's still $70 more expensive if I buy locally.


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Have you received your new head unit yet? What do you think about it?
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#9 Old 10-17-2012
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Have you received your new head unit yet? What do you think about it?
not just yet, hopefully soon, I'd like to install it next week if possible


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#10 Old 10-18-2012
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Original AMG:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/BRAND-NEW...#ht_1253wt_906


VS Aftermarket:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Smoked-Re...ht_3489wt_1163


Any major difference besides Cost ?

I understand that the aftermarket may be the LED model that you installed Durkatlon (albeit in a different colour) but I wonder how they compare to the OEM AMG model.

Also if you read the item description in the aftermarket link they claim the LED lights are brighter than standard and did not mention any errors. Durkatlon you had to modify your LED lights to remove the bulb error and then again modify them to make them brighter. Do you think the seller I referenced is failing to disclose such problems or it it possible that they have been eliminated some how by that seller when fitting the lights to an Australian vehicle?

IO may need to contact the seller to ask some specific questions.


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not just yet, hopefully soon, I'd like to install it next week if possible
If you could let me know your thoughts on the quality that would be great. I really want to get NAV and Bluetooth in the SLK and this looks to be a good deal.
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Original AMG: VS Aftermarket:

Any major difference besides Cost ?
Well they are completely different lights. On the OEM the running light and the brake light share the same strip of LEDs near the bottom of the light. On the aftermarket (AM?) the running light is a sideways "U" shape that you can see around the tinted section, while the brake light is still in the bottom section. On the OEM the fog light is incandescent, on the AM it's a huge blob of LEDs, which can easily be switched with the turn-signal so you can use them as blinkers.

Quote:
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Also if you read the item description in the aftermarket link they claim the LED lights are brighter than standard and did not mention any errors. Durkatlon you had to modify your LED lights to remove the bulb error and then again modify them to make them brighter. Do you think the seller I referenced is failing to disclose such problems or it it possible that they have been eliminated some how by that seller when fitting the lights to an Australian vehicle?
The bulb-out errors are specific to the North American version of the SLK and you should not have this issue. On US vehicles there is a second strip of LEDs in the tail light which always comes on when the car is running, which is missing from these aftermarket lights, causing a bulb-out.

The claim that these are brighter than OEM is simply not true in my experience, especially on the smoked version. But as you can see from that other thread I have several kinds of solutions for that issue, so don't let that stop you from getting them.

I think the aftermarket lights just give the car an updated look. They look futuristic whereas the OEM lights now look dated to me. But to each their own.

Also, just to pick up on a point that was raised in the other thread you made in the Australia section of the forum. The light pattern from the SPYDER headlights has a pronounced "rise" on the right-hand side for street sign illumination. I believe user "ZASLK" from South Africa inquired as to whether there is a right-hand-drive version of the lights which reverses this pattern, but I think the answer at the time was that there is not.

Last edited by Durkatlon; 10-18-2012 at 04:44 PM. Reason: fixed "left-hand-drive" to "right-hand-drive"
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#13 Old 10-18-2012
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If you could let me know your thoughts on the quality that would be great. I really want to get NAV and Bluetooth in the SLK and this looks to be a good deal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durkatlon View Post
Well they are completely different lights. On the OEM the running light and the brake light share the same strip of LEDs near the bottom of the light. On the aftermarket (AM?) the running light is a sideways "U" shape that you can see around the tinted section, while the brake light is still in the bottom section. On the OEM the fog light is incandescent, on the AM it's a huge blob of LEDs, which can easily be switched with the turn-signal so you can use them as blinkers.

The bulb-out errors are specific to the North American version of the SLK and you should not have this issue. On US vehicles there is a second strip of LEDs in the tail light which always comes on when the car is running, which is missing from these aftermarket lights, causing a bulb-out.

The claim that these are brighter than OEM is simply not true in my experience, especially on the smoked version. But as you can see from that other thread I have several kinds of solutions for that issue, so don't let that stop you from getting them.

I think the aftermarket lights just give the car an updated look. They look futuristic whereas the OEM lights now look dated to me. But to each their own.

Also, just to pick up on a point that was raised in the other thread you made in the Australia section of the forum. The light pattern from the SPYDER headlights has a pronounced "rise" on the right-hand side for street sign illumination. I believe user "ZASLK" from South Africa inquired as to whether there is a left-hand-drive version of the lights which reverses this pattern, but I think the answer at the time was that there is not.
That clears things up, thanks i was initially confused as I miss interpreted some pictures in another thread that show the stock AMG's then the LED, I thought they were all meant to be pictures of the stock AMG's so I thought that the stocks also had the nice display pattern.

I'll go with the LED lights, either red and smoked, or black.

Unfortunately we do drive on the left side of the road here but I can make do.

My car doesn't have side markers so does that leave me with the extra pin output from which to draw power like you did? If so are you selling those cable kits?


Btw I thought I was reasonably handy with wiring (for self taught) but you work looks impeccable. Much respect for your skills.

Also apologies to you and others like SeanHump for all the questions, I've only had my merc for a few months and I'm trying to learn as much as I can as I have a lot of upgrades planned for the coming months. Hopefully I can give back to new members like myself down the track when I'm more knowledgeable.

My last car was a 1996 Ford Probe, if anybody has any questions about modifying 1 of those then I am happy to assist, .


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Last edited by mick86; 10-21-2012 at 11:44 AM.
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My car doesn't have side markers so does that leave me with the extra pin output from which to draw power like you did? If so are you selling those cable kits?
Actually it's the exact opposite. On USA cars, you don't have the side-markers in the tail light so that leaves you with the extra pin to use for powering the running lights. On your car you have the pin, but there's no power going to that pin (controlled by the car's electronics). So for your car you would need the module that I designed for the guys in Germany and Italy that are in that thread. I can definitely make you one if you find the lights too dim after you get them.

And no need to apologize for all the questions. I think most people around here enjoy answering them. I know I do.
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#15 Old 10-18-2012
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[B]First question I have is regarding the HID replacement options, do I need to ascertain weather my car came standard with HID headlights, if it did does that mean I need to buy a replacement model with ballasts or without?
So your card was posted:

https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r171-gen...tml#post340470

You have option 618 so your car has Bi-Xenon. When you buy the SPYDERs make sure you get them with the HID option. Note that this does not mean it will have ballasts. When you install them, you will move the applicable bulbs, ballasts, and the headlight washer installation over from your stock lights to the new ones.
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#16 Old 10-21-2012
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So your card was posted:

https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r171-gen...tml#post340470

You have option 618 so your car has Bi-Xenon. When you buy the SPYDERs make sure you get them with the HID option. Note that this does not mean it will have ballasts. When you install them, you will move the applicable bulbs, ballasts, and the headlight washer installation over from your stock lights to the new ones.

Currently waitign to hear back from a few overseas stores and plan to visit my local dealer tomorrow. If the local dealer will coe down even a little on price I might be tempted to buy on the spot.

What do you think of these chrome indicator bulbs compared with the Stealth Bulbs?

http://www.carparts-online.de/shop/U...n-::10420.html


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#17 Old 10-21-2012
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Originally Posted by mick86 View Post
What do you think of these chrome indicator bulbs compared with the Stealth Bulbs?
I'm sure those are fine. They are the right kind (with the 12+5 orientation of the bajonet pins on the socket).

Since you are planning to get your taillights from this place anyways, I would definitely get the bulbs there as well. I can't imagine the shipping even changing with a small addition like that.
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#18 Old 10-22-2012
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Durk, which lights do you have on the back of your car?

I must say, I like both the original AMG lights and the lights from Mars quite a lot... I never had a problem with my rear lights and they dont have the crack / fading the front ones do... But part of me sorta says, if I am going aftermarket in front, shouldn't I do the back too?
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#19 Old 10-22-2012
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I went into mars today and put down a deposit for HID headlights, LED tail lights, fog light globes, chrome bulbs. Will most likely go with the black tail lights and the black head lights, need a few days to decide for sure. Will pick up the item's in a few days when I make up my mind


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Current Upgrades:
Mods4Cars Smart Top
Interior White LED's
LED Number Plate Light Housing
OEM AMG Illuminated Door Sills
Custom Number Plates with Lakin Brackets and Covers (from the SLK200)
Xclusive Concepts Custom Fenders (from the SLK200)
Head Unit Upgrade DVD Player With Navigation System/Front/Reversing Camera (hard wired)
Clarion Marine Amp
Eagle Eyes Taillights with Durks AMAZING brightness module
Piacha Performance RS Body Kit (RS Frontbumper, RS Rear apron with diffusor, RS side skirts, RS rear lip spoiler)
AMG Black Series Carbon Trim Kit

Works in Progress:
Custom Steering Wheel
Custom Supercharger
Kleemann Headers
HMS Cat Back Valvetronic Exhaust
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#20 Old 10-22-2012
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Originally Posted by ZASLK View Post
Durk, which lights do you have on the back of your car?
I have the ones that Mick is thinking about. They look lighter in my avatar picture than they look in real life. Basically it's these:

http://www.chrome-tec.com/shop/Merce...ack::1187.html

Here you can see them on my car:



Quote:
Originally Posted by mick86 View Post
I went into mars today and put down a deposit for HID headlights, LED tail lights, fog light globes, chrome bulbs. Will most likely go with the black tail lights and the black head lights, need a few days to decide for sure. Will pick up the item's in a few days when I make up my mind
Nice man, and now I see you're interested in fenders as well. This forum's gonna bankrupt you .
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