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Lights & Boneyards

There have been a few posts about trying to get Euro-lights from junkyards in
Europe and attempting to avoid the extortionate costs from dealers/distributors.

Used lights do exist, but like any part from a junkyard the newer the car, the
rarer (and more expensive) the part.  The 5000 turbo/200 was not an extremely
popular car here.  It is not RARE, but the plain old 100 was far and away more
common.  I did manage to find a set of euro lights from a junkyard.  One came
off an '85 200, the other off an '87.  I called/visited five yards to find these
two lights; there are no more to be had until the poorly driven, hideously
decked out with the full Treser body kit 200 sedan from around the block finally
crashes.  When this happens, I'll let you know.

One had a brand new lens, but had water spots on the reflector and tiny pieces
of glass inside (hmmm, wonder why the lens was new?).  The other had a pitted
lens, but the reflector was perfect.  $35 for a new lens, a couple bucks for the
correct connectors, $40 for a new plastic trim/reflector, $300 for the lights
and a few hours work cleaning, rebuilding and installing the lights.  New each
light costs $300.  Replacing the lights on these cars is not a bargain, but I
HAD to have better lights.

I drive to/from work at high speeds (my choice) at odd hours (not my choice) on
unlit roads in all weather (lots of fog and rain).  I tried Hella XLs and got
really tired of being flashed.  I also needed real fog lights, and didn't want
four lights mounted on the otherwise aerodynamic front end.  Upgrading your
lights is worthwhile, but it is neither cheap nor easy -- somehow an electrical
gremlin almost always sneaks in (If you do the install - lemme know, I can help
avoid these guys).  

I recommend upgrading to euro's when you have an accident or take a stone.  This
way it's sort of subsidized.  The euros have replaceable lenses, so those of you
who live in the snow belt can replace a $35 lens instead of a $300 sealed unit
after you take a rock.

Regarding US lights in european yards.  These may be from cars that were shipped
from the US at Uncle Sam's expense with US military.  Typically, these cars will
not be in the best of shape (mine are, of course, in primo condition) and often
end up in junkyards.  If we, as US citizens don't want the crappy US spec
lights, then why would the europeans?  (Parts for GM/Ford and particularly --
Jeeps, are another question).

Joe Yakubik
'91 200QW euro lights, bosch fogs -- electrical gremlins currently subdued