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Headlight Assembly and Bulb Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Headlight Assembly and Bulb Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$5 to $350

Talent:

**

Tools:

8mm wrench

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz 260E (1987-89)
Mercedes-Benz 300CE (1988-93)
Mercedes-Benz 300E (1986-93)
Mercedes-Benz 300TE (1988-92)
Mercedes-Benz E320 (1994-95)

Parts Required:

New assembly or bulbs

Hot Tip:

Do not touch the bulbs with bare skin

Performance Gain:

See better at night

Complementary Modification:

Polish headlight lens

The Mercedes-Benz W124 can come with a variety of headlight units but most will include the fog light and headlight in the main unit. The bulbs can all be changed without removing the unit from the vehicle but on the right side unit you will need to remove the air filter box first.

This article will show you how to replace the bulbs, remove the unit and replace the lens.

Disconnect the ground strap from the battery terminal (red arrow) and place the cable (yellow arrow) where it can not accidentally come in contact with the battery while working.
Figure 1

Disconnect the ground strap from the battery terminal (red arrow) and place the cable (yellow arrow) where it can not accidentally come in contact with the battery while working. For more information please see our article on battery replacement.

Bulb Replacement- You will need to remove the air filter box (red arrow) on the right side of the car to service the right headlight unit.
Figure 2

Bulb Replacement: You will need to remove the air filter box (red arrow) on the right side of the car to service the right headlight unit. Please see our article on air filter replacement for additional assistance.

Bulb Replacement- With the air box panel removed you will have access to the rear of the headlight unit.
Figure 3

Bulb Replacement: With the air box panel removed you will have access to the rear of the headlight unit. Note. Both units are the same only reverse and you do not need to remove anything for access to the left side unit. Lift the two metal clips (red arrows) up from the rear panel.

Bulb Replacement- Slide the panel back and lift it up and out from the unit (red arrow).
Figure 4

Bulb Replacement: Slide the panel back and lift it up and out from the unit (red arrow).

Bulb Replacement- With the panel removed you can change both the headlight (red arrow) and fog light (yellow arrow) bulbs.
Figure 5

Bulb Replacement: With the panel removed you can change both the headlight (red arrow) and fog light (yellow arrow) bulbs.

Bulb Replacement- Gently separate the wiring connection (red arrow) from the bulb (yellow arrow) by pulling and wiggling it off.
Figure 6

Bulb Replacement: Gently separate the wiring connection (red arrow) from the bulb (yellow arrow) by pulling and wiggling it off.

Bulb Replacement- Squeeze in and remove the two wire clips (red arrow) that hold the bulb in place.
Figure 7

Bulb Replacement: Squeeze in and remove the two wire clips (red arrow) that hold the bulb in place.

Bulb Replacement- Remove the bulb from the bulb holder (red arrow).
Figure 8

Bulb Replacement: Remove the bulb from the bulb holder (red arrow). Installation is the reverse of removal. NEVER touch the glass part of the bulb; oils on your hands or gloves will cause a hot spot in the bulb and can dramatically diminish the life of the bulb.

Bulb Replacement- The fog light is removed in the same fashion as described in picture 8 (red arrow).
Figure 9

Bulb Replacement: The fog light is removed in the same fashion as described in picture 8 (red arrow).

Leveling- There is a level attached to the main headlight (red arrow) that can be used for leveling.
Figure 10

Leveling: There is a level attached to the main headlight (red arrow) that can be used for leveling. Note: Make sure the car is on level ground before starting.

Leveling- There are three adjusting screws for the headlight unit, headlight adjust left and right (red arrow), headlight up and down (yellow arrow) and fog light adjustment (green arrow).
Figure 11

Leveling: There are three adjusting screws for the headlight unit, headlight adjust left and right (red arrow), headlight up and down (yellow arrow) and fog light adjustment (green arrow).

Headlight Removal- To remove the headlight unit you will first need to remove the turn indicator light.
Figure 12

Headlight Removal: To remove the headlight unit you will first need to remove the turn indicator light. Begin by reaching in and you will feel a tab. Pull this tab towards the headlights (red arrow) and gently push forward.

Headlight Removal- Push the unit out of the car and separate the wring connection (green arrow).
Figure 13

Headlight Removal: Push the unit out of the car and separate the wring connection (green arrow). The red arrow indicates the tab you need to pull towards the center of the vehicle.

Headlight Removal- You can change the bulb on the turn signal unit by unscrewing the connection from the housing and then replacing the bulb with a simple push turn method.
Figure 14

Headlight Removal: You can change the bulb on the turn signal unit by unscrewing the connection from the housing and then replacing the bulb with a simple push turn method.

Headlight Removal- Next remove the lower trim piece (red arrow) held in place by two 8mm screws (yellow arrows).
Figure 15

Headlight Removal: Next remove the lower trim piece (red arrow) held in place by two 8mm screws (yellow arrows).

Headlight Removal- Remove the trim piece taking care not to damage the trim or chrome (red arrow).
Figure 16

Headlight Removal: Remove the trim piece taking care not to damage the trim or chrome (red arrow).

Headlight Removal- Remove the two 8mm bolts holding the headlight unit to the fender (red arrows).
Figure 17

Headlight Removal: Remove the two 8mm bolts holding the headlight unit to the fender (red arrows).

Headlight Removal- There is a single 8mm screw that holds the inside of the headlight unit (red arrow).
Figure 18

Headlight Removal: There is a single 8mm screw that holds the inside of the headlight unit (red arrow). There is not much room to work between the screw and the condenser so use care.

Headlight Removal- Turn the stop 90 degrees counter clockwise to remove (red arrow).
Figure 19

Headlight Removal: Turn the stop 90 degrees counter clockwise to remove (red arrow).

Headlight Removal- Slide the headlight unit forward (red arrow).
Figure 20

Headlight Removal: Slide the headlight unit forward (red arrow).

Headlight Removal- Reach in behind and disconnect the drain tube (red arrow).
Figure 21

Headlight Removal: Reach in behind and disconnect the drain tube (red arrow).

Headlight Removal- You can now slide the unit out and disconnect the wiring harness (red arrow).
Figure 22

Headlight Removal: You can now slide the unit out and disconnect the wiring harness (red arrow).

Make sure to clean out the area around the unit of any dirt and debris and check that drain holes are clear (red arrow).
Figure 23

Make sure to clean out the area around the unit of any dirt and debris and check that drain holes are clear (red arrow).

If you are changing the lens you will need to very carefully pry the four clips (red arrows (two shown) up and slide the lens and gasket away from the unit.
Figure 24

If you are changing the lens you will need to very carefully pry the four clips (red arrows (two shown) up and slide the lens and gasket away from the unit. These plastic clips get very fragile over the years and have a tendency to break so take your time and work slow. Installation is the reverse of removal.






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