A209 CLK Headlight Upgrade

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Done. Not particularly difficult but an epic faff! Touch wood no lights on dash, flickering or other gremlins.

Cheers again to Blobsta!
 
Done. Not particularly difficult but an epic faff! Touch wood no lights on dash, flickering or other gremlins.

Cheers again to Blobsta!
Would appreciate details and indicative costs please
 
Cost depends on what kit you use. I went with Morimoto stuff for mine and finished up with Stealth 35W ballasts for the HID's with Led's in the main beams. I fitted Phillips led's in the side lights just to finish off.
 
Would appreciate details and indicative costs please
I used generic projectors @ about £30 + £80 for the Hylux ballasts/wiring/bulbs from AET.

I trial fitted yesterday evening to be sure the projectors were level - the difference in comparison to the old halogens is incredible.
 
Cost depends on what kit you use. I went with Morimoto stuff for mine and finished up with Stealth 35W ballasts for the HID's with Led's in the main beams. I fitted Phillips led's in the side lights just to finish off.
Did you do anything re bulb lights/canbus for the LED sides? Those little orange halogens look a bit silly next to the HID’s!
 
Did you do anything re bulb lights/canbus for the LED sides? Those little orange halogens look a bit silly next to the HID’s!
Yes I used Phillips LED's 501's in the side lights. I also custom made locking plates to stop the projectors rotating in the light housing.
 
Yes I used Phillips LED's 501's in the side lights. I also custom made locking plates to stop the projectors rotating in the light housing.
Cheers what I mean is, did you have to do anything to avoid the Philips LED’s causing bulb error warnings?

I had to wire in resistors when I fitted (Osram) LED’s to the interior lights to stop them staying slightly illuminated when off.
 
Just use the Phillips ballasts, they are quite small and will fit in the light housing. I used 3M twin lock tape to hold mine in place.
 
Update! The alignment seems to be perfecto now - its actually surprisingly hard to find a perfectly flat car park with a clear 25ft and nice wide wall etc!

No doubt Morimoto’s would be better with less curvature toward the edges but the cheap projectors seem to work surprisingly well.

No problems with the Hylux ballasts.

I think the real downside is the aftermarket HID bulbs in H1 size. I wish you could just buy Osram or Philips bulbs with perfect alignment / hot spot. I’m using Cnlight’s with the ball design which apparently are one of the best aftermarkets.

In the states there are Xenondepot H1’s which are rebased Philips bulbs but they don’t seem to be sold here.

One of those projects where you get fussier and fussier!
 
Just about the only reservation I had when purchasing my CLK was the fact that that I was going from a car that had factory HID lamps to one with halogen but I convinced myself it would be ok, it's not.

The lenses were cloudy so I polished them up and they are much better now. Here's a before and after:
50223277492_65fae990fd_b.jpg

50223052971_056a8bc110_b.jpg



I don't want to open the aftermarket HID can of worms as we know they are just awful if you happen to be anywhere around them that isn't behind the wheel. I'm not doing that to other road users, I tried it in the past many years ago, not nice. So I was talking to my local MOT tester while he was doing my car (with HID) about it and he was telling me that he thought a new rule had come into force about "light compatibility" but said he'd need to check the rules and as it didn't apply to the car he was testing because it's all as it left the factory we didn't go into it much more.

Looking at the proper HIDs in the Mondeo made me realise that I really want them again but finding them won't be easy for mine as a retrofit. Actually, they are readily available and not too pricey really but on further investigation I have found that A) the car needs to be coded, B) it will probably need the auto-levelling system to be present for the coding to work, C) success on the coding seems very hit and miss and finally D) the car looks a bit boss-eyed in my opinion.

There's only one thing for it... A proof of concept build. Mentioning my idea to Mr MOT, his opinion was that as long as it had the correct bulb for the application and that it meets all of the requirements, particularly a nice sharp beam focus/direction and doesn't blind any unfortunate road user coming towards me he would be happy to pass it. So basically, legal and right is what he wants and that's fair. He did mention that if it looked Sh*t he couldn't fail it but would charge me double! I agreed to that and we've left it that when it is done, I can take it to him (in the boot) and then we can plug it in and inspect it/check the beam etc. If it's all good, I can fit them and he will set the beam up properly for me as he's good like that.

So I have scoured a well known source of used parts and found a N/S headlight from a CLK270 CDI which I think may have had the Black Death considering the soot all over it but at less than £30 including delivery, it's on!

Here it is - I'll restore the lens later if this looks like it's going ahead.
50222967606_a5099e7f5c_b.jpg

50222967691_e6f692d9b3_b.jpg


I gave it a good clean and then (after making absolutely sure my wife was out) I decided to try something from this recipe book:
50222320978_61c5e3a2f2_b.jpg


20 minutes at 85ºC
50222967496_54dc694fba_b.jpg


Then carefully pull the lens off the lamp, oven mitts were too restrictive but these builders glove were perfect for the job.
50222967696_3d752dc0e4_b.jpg


Now I need to with for the units to arrive (hopefully over the weekend) and get one fitted, decide on the bulb etc. probably LED as I already have some error cancellers but the clearance will probably determine what is to be used and get them fitted together.

Once that's done, a lens restoration and then I will skip along to get it inspected. I'll casually keep an eye out for another cheap lamp unit to make a pair, assuming all good, I'll swap them into the car and then probably build another set from my original lamps and sell them on if there is any interest. I won't be looking to make a profit, just recover my costs.

I hope that this is of interest to someone other than myself, I'll update as it goes along if you are.

All the best

Richard.
Hi,
Very informative post. However i am new here, recently i bought Clk Mercedes, it has standard headlights with no washers. So could i upgrade my headlights like you did? Or just order ones with projectors? Or i will need coding done as well? Thanks
 
Hi,
Very informative post. However i am new here, recently i bought Clk Mercedes, it has standard headlights with no washers. So could i upgrade my headlights like you did? Or just order ones with projectors? Or i will need coding done as well? Thanks
Why don’t you try Osram Nightbreaker bulbs first buddy
 
Why don’t you try Osram Nightbreaker bulbs first buddy
'cause they're cack! Once you've had projectors, you won't go back mate, you saw what happened to that 2000 ML320 I had once I'd driven it in the dark twice :)

Hi,
Very informative post. However i am new here, recently i bought Clk Mercedes, it has standard headlights with no washers. So could i upgrade my headlights like you did? Or just order ones with projectors? Or i will need coding done as well? Thanks
Thanks.

I had no idea you could buy a CLK without headlight washers, I am basing that on my huge experience of owning two CLKs 😉 Then I looked it up and they are plentiful, every day's a school day and all that.

You have a couple of options but it will amount to very much the same thing in the end, yes you can change your lamps for OEM projectors or upgrade your headlights (but I'd warn away from the replacement units you can buy on eBay from China). Which ever route you choose, I suggest that you set your expectation that the car will need to be coded. My first CLK which was a 2003 model was quite happy to run an HID kit without issue but my current 2009 one wouldn't run it for more than 15 minutes before throwing an error and constantly turning the RH lamp on and off which is frankly embarrassing let alone infuriating for anyone near me when I discovered this so I had to disconnect it and drive home muttering at the disappointment. I'm fairly sure that I explained the reasons why the car does this in this thread somewhere but it was a fair while back and I'm not writing it all again today. So basically, find a good Indy and ask them to code your car for Xenons before you start would be my advice; the halogen lamps will work fine whichever way it is set. I suppose you could buy the HID kit and plug it in on the driveway to see how the car reacts, but if it flickers you'll need it coded and please don't fit an HID kit to halogen lenses, you'll be lynched!

WIth that lot out of the way, your next issue may or may not be the MOT. Ideally, projectors should have self-levelling but it's not possible to test at MOT time so it is given the benefit of doubt. Of course, the fact that you have a beam adjuster switch in the car is a giveaway that you'd don't have self levelling but that as a retrofit would be a LOT of work and coding I'm sure. Just tip them ever so slightly down so as not to annoy other road users.

Next up, Washers. This (like all of these statements) is a potential can of worms so I'll tell you what I was told by a very strict MOT tester that I use and what I found online just now. When I fitted projectors in my 2000 ML, it didn't have washers and I asked the question about washers and was told "Pre-2009 car doesn't have to have them so it's not a problem". I also found this just now:

Caveat this was written in 2018 so could be out of date:

The official tester manual said:​
4.1.6 Headlamp cleaning devices​
You must inspect vehicles first used on or after 1 September 2009 equipped with headlamp washers.​
...​
Headlamp cleaning device:​
inoperative - Minor​
inoperative in the case of LED or gas discharge systems (HID) - Major​
So...​
Pre-2009 - not tested.​
Post-09, no washers - nothing to test.​
Post-09, washers on halogens - minor (=pass with advisory)​
Post-09, washers on LEDs or HIDs - major (=fail)​
Does that help?
 
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'cause they're cack! Once you've had projectors, you won't go back mate, you saw what happened to that 2000 ML320 I had once I'd driven it in the dark twice :)


Thanks.

I had no idea you could buy a CLK without headlight washers, I am basing that on my huge experience of owning two CLKs 😉 Then I looked it up and they are plentiful, every day's a school day and all that.

You have a couple of options but it will amount to very much the same thing in the end, yes you can change your lamps for OEM projectors or upgrade your headlights (but I'd warn away from the replacement units you can buy on eBay from China). Which ever route you choose, I suggest that you set your expectation that the car will need to be coded. My first CLK which was a 2003 model was quite happy to run an HID kit without issue but my current 2009 one wouldn't run it for more than 15 minutes before throwing an error and constantly turning the RH lamp on and off which is frankly embarrassing let alone infuriating for anyone near me when I discovered this so I had to disconnect it and drive home muttering at the disappointment. I'm fairly sure that I explained the reasons why the car does this in this thread somewhere but it was a fair while back and I'm not writing it all again today. So basically, find a good Indy and ask them to code your car for Xenons before you start would be my advice; the halogen lamps will work fine whichever way it is set. I suppose you could buy the HID kit and plug it in on the driveway to see how the car reacts, but if it flickers you'll need it coded and please don't fit an HID kit to halogen lenses, you'll be lynched!

WIth that lot out of the way, your next issue may or may not be the MOT. Ideally, projectors should have self-levelling but it's not possible to test at MOT time so it is given the benefit of doubt. Of course, the fact that you have a beam adjuster switch in the car is a giveaway that you'd don't have self levelling but that as a retrofit would be a LOT of work and coding I'm sure. Just tip them ever so slightly down so as not to annoy other road users.

Next up, Washers. This (like all of these statements) is a potential can of worms so I'll tell you what I was told by a very strict MOT tester that I use and what I found online just now. When I fitted projectors in my 2000 ML, it didn't have washers and I asked the question about washers and was told "Pre-2009 car doesn't have to have them so it's not a problem". I also found this just now:

Caveat this was written in 2018 so could be out of date:

The official tester manual said:​
4.1.6 Headlamp cleaning devices​
You must inspect vehicles first used on or after 1 September 2009 equipped with headlamp washers.​
...​
Headlamp cleaning device:​
inoperative - Minor​
inoperative in the case of LED or gas discharge systems (HID) - Major​
So...​
Pre-2009 - not tested.​
Post-09, no washers - nothing to test.​
Post-09, washers on halogens - minor (=pass with advisory)​
Post-09, washers on LEDs or HIDs - major (=fail)​
Does that help?
Thank you so so much for the clear answer, finally i got it now. Helped a lot, because i got lost with all information and your answers was the clearest of all! I will update you!
I seen they are pricey with bi xenon, 700 euros for one. 😑
 
'cause they're cack! Once you've had projectors, you won't go back mate, you saw what happened to that 2000 ML320 I had once I'd driven it in the dark twice :)


Thanks.

I had no idea you could buy a CLK without headlight washers, I am basing that on my huge experience of owning two CLKs 😉 Then I looked it up and they are plentiful, every day's a school day and all that.

You have a couple of options but it will amount to very much the same thing in the end, yes you can change your lamps for OEM projectors or upgrade your headlights (but I'd warn away from the replacement units you can buy on eBay from China). Which ever route you choose, I suggest that you set your expectation that the car will need to be coded. My first CLK which was a 2003 model was quite happy to run an HID kit without issue but my current 2009 one wouldn't run it for more than 15 minutes before throwing an error and constantly turning the RH lamp on and off which is frankly embarrassing let alone infuriating for anyone near me when I discovered this so I had to disconnect it and drive home muttering at the disappointment. I'm fairly sure that I explained the reasons why the car does this in this thread somewhere but it was a fair while back and I'm not writing it all again today. So basically, find a good Indy and ask them to code your car for Xenons before you start would be my advice; the halogen lamps will work fine whichever way it is set. I suppose you could buy the HID kit and plug it in on the driveway to see how the car reacts, but if it flickers you'll need it coded and please don't fit an HID kit to halogen lenses, you'll be lynched!

WIth that lot out of the way, your next issue may or may not be the MOT. Ideally, projectors should have self-levelling but it's not possible to test at MOT time so it is given the benefit of doubt. Of course, the fact that you have a beam adjuster switch in the car is a giveaway that you'd don't have self levelling but that as a retrofit would be a LOT of work and coding I'm sure. Just tip them ever so slightly down so as not to annoy other road users.

Next up, Washers. This (like all of these statements) is a potential can of worms so I'll tell you what I was told by a very strict MOT tester that I use and what I found online just now. When I fitted projectors in my 2000 ML, it didn't have washers and I asked the question about washers and was told "Pre-2009 car doesn't have to have them so it's not a problem". I also found this just now:

Caveat this was written in 2018 so could be out of date:

The official tester manual said:​
4.1.6 Headlamp cleaning devices​
You must inspect vehicles first used on or after 1 September 2009 equipped with headlamp washers.​
...​
Headlamp cleaning device:​
inoperative - Minor​
inoperative in the case of LED or gas discharge systems (HID) - Major​
So...​
Pre-2009 - not tested.​
Post-09, no washers - nothing to test.​
Post-09, washers on halogens - minor (=pass with advisory)​
Post-09, washers on LEDs or HIDs - major (=fail)​

Hi, brilliant job, well done. I've never been happy with mine, so I'm interested in yours, although the other end of the country. I have been looking at these, pricey, I know;

Are these legal for Mot?
 
I couldn't possibly comment on whether they are legal for MOT but it wouldn't be a route I would go because they aren't OEM and I don't know what the fit my be like (probably fine of course). I don't like the bling especially the DRL and they are a LOT of money as you suggest. You could make something much better for half the money.
 
My response was tongue in cheek and perhaps a smiley would have helped but I stand by it.

This looks like a press picture but I don't care and I'm not getting into an argument about this. I'm sure as bulbs they are very good however, reflector headlights aren't as focused as projectors or newer technology. There will still be massive losses for light "soak up" on wet roads which whilst you cannot avoid this, in my experience a decent set of projectors combats far more effectively.

200% better is a great statistic but remember that that now includes 200% more brightness bleeding upwards for oncoming motorists also. They're a cheap and easy option though, agreed.
 
No Ozzy press responsible .

It's a review by a bulb fanatic on You Tube , constantly comparing the best and latest .

With measured Lux output readings too .


Screenshot_20220101-073923_YouTube.jpg
 

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