Fit X308 Headlights to X300

Headlight Removal:

I have read many threads about poor X300 headlights and mine could have been better as it looked rather foggy inside the light units!   The light units have the glass sealed onto the reflector and must therefore be replaced as an entire unit should the glass be broken.

Each headlamp is mounted on three ball joints and can be removed by pulling the whole unit firmly - if you can get a purchase!

It is not necessary to remove the grille or headlamp shrouds (as I did the first time).  There are two plastic adjusters and a steel pivot per lamp, all have small ball-ends of about quarter inch diameter; the lamps just push on.  The fixed metal pivot can corrode the plastic socket can break.  So first, oil them before removal (some suggest moderate heating to soften the plastic).

I found it better to dislodge one socket at a time, by levering carefully with a long screwdriver (a long screwdriver not only increases the force available, but gives better control of the force).  I found it impossible to pull the lamp off in one go.   Careful application of force meant that nothing broke.

With bulbs and holder removed, I washed the whole light unit in soapy water (I used car shampoo as washing up liquid can leave a deposit).  Just dunked it in and gently swilled the soapy water around inside the unit; amazing what came out after 14 years - no need to touch anything with brushes or anything else.  Thoroughly but gently rinse out afterwards.  You will be amazed at the transparency of the glass and reflector after this treatment.   Dry out the lamps (airing cupboard comes in useful) thoroughly before refitting.

I changed the bulbs for the Osram "Nightbreaker" H1's as the bulbs were old.  You will be amazed at the difference!

Fitting X308 Headlights:

It is a very easy swap to the later X308 lights. Pull one set of lamps out of their holders and click the new lamps in. Do it on warm day if possible to minimise the chances of anything plastic snapping, and put a dab of grease on the mounting pins for future removal.

The bulb holders can be difficult to get out of the X308 light units - you need strong hands to push in the clips that hold the holders in place.  Be careful not to break the thin ceramic (?) of the lamp where the clips sit - ask me how I know!

The only tricky part is working out which wires to match on the car and lamps as the X308 has a similar but annoyingly different connector.  Also the X300 has the sidelight in the outer dip beam lamp; the X308 moves it to the inner head beam lamp.

Connections are (on both connectors):   pin 1 - sidelight;  pin 2 - dip beam;  pin 3 - main beam;  pins 4 & 5 are both earth pins.

6-way plug viewed on wiring side:
pin 3 (main) pin 2 (dip) pin 1 (side)
  O O
(not conn) pin 5 (earth) pin 4 (earth)

I transferred the wires one at a time - sidelight is easy (use the X308 holder which already has the earth wire spliced); this means that the other wire on that holder must be the main beam.

Then all you have left is the earth and the dip beam wire onto the other X308 holder.

Comparison of old (on right) and new (on left) headlights.

The new optics look good and are certainly brighter.  Osram "Nightbreaker" H7's further improve the illumination.

after fitting all four X308 headlights.

You will probably discover that the X308 dip beams are low and the main beams are high after fitting so they will need beam alignment (see below).

Adjusting headlight aim:

after removing the plastic covers above the rears of the lamp units:

Up and down is simple via the knurled adjusters on the back of each lamp - the dip beam adjuster works through the dash-controlled motor; make sure the dash control is in the "0" position before aligning the lamps.

Sideways adjustment is a simple posidrive screw accessed downwards through elongated holes in the top radiator mounting panel (the panel across the top of the radiator where the torx bolts rust in!).   You need the screwdriver at about 45° angle through the slot to get to the outer ones, and the inner ones are approximately vertical through the relevant slot.