560SEC European headlight upgrade

This post is a flashback to 2009 when I upgraded the lights on my 1988 560SEC I owned while living in Michigan.

When I moved to Michigan in 2007, I bought a 560SEC.   The car was a bit rough, but Detroit is not a city you can really live in without a car, and it wasn’t expensive.   Being a midwest car, it was already a little rusty, but had been upgraded to the European headlights.  A 560SEC European headlight upgrade is not difficult, but the headlights are expensive.  It was great to get a car with these lights.

After two more Michigan winters and a few people hitting the car in bad weather, I purchased a very nice 560SEC from California to use in the summer, and the original 560SEC became my winter car.   Once I had the new 560SEC, I transferred a couple of the nicer trim pieces from the winter car to the good one.  Having seen how catastrophically bad the US headlights were, I wanted to swap them over.     I did a lot of road trips in the new 560SEC and the US spec headlights are so dim I would consider them seriously dangerous.  The euro lights on the other hand, are what the car was designed for in the first place.

The USA headlights were a product of misguided, protectionist legislation.   That legislation is no longer in effect, but the cars produced during that time all had terrible lighting.

Before the swap The crappy car on the right, and the good one on the left.

Headlight assembly - 560SEC European headlightLeft is european, right is USA spec.

Wiring - 560SEC European headlightThe wiring is slightly different, but can be adapted fairly easily.

Cross Eyed - 560SEC European headlightThe difference is fairly apparent with one side done.

Rusty The midwestern car was quite rusty

Finished - 560SEC European headlightFinished.   Technically the wipers are wrong, but the point is you can actually see where you want to drive.

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