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Thread: Installing a three port (not 2 port) vacuum level switch for headlights?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jlaa's Avatar
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    Installing a three port (not 2 port) vacuum level switch for headlights?

    Hi gang - I would like to put my car's headlight switch bezel back to stock and remove a k40 radar detector installation which installed a knob in the HL bezel. Hey well ... while I am at it I might as well retrofit European headlight level adjustment into my car...

    So I bought a bezel off ebay ....

    And then I realized that I bought a late style bezel that uses the late style switch with THREE vacuum ports on the back. This contrasts with all the directions I have found that illustrate how to install an earlier switch with TWO ports on the back, like here http://www.w-124.info/w124/W124Agj.pdf .

    Does anyone know how the three vacuum ports are routed? One goes to the headlights, one goes to engine vacuum and the third goes to ???? As well, does anyone know if I can somehow remove and replace the hard tubing that was cut off the connector?

    Thank you.
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    Member speedy300dturbo's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a three port (not 2 port) vacuum level switch for headlights?

    Check out the attached diagram. The solid purple line is the vacuum source, the purple / yellow run to the left and right headlights.
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    Re: Installing a three port (not 2 port) vacuum level switch for headlights?

    The older vac switch/dial has only 2 connections, and uses a Y-fitting to split the output to each headlight.

    The newer vac switch/dial has 3 connections, and has separate outlets for each headlight.

    Based on your photos you may need to buy one or two of the purple lines, as someone cut them awfully short... not sure if there is enough left to get a solid connection to rubber hose. Photos of the installation are at this link.

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    Re: Installing a three port (not 2 port) vacuum level switch for headlights?

    I wish I had that estucheon!!!
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    Senior Member Jlaa's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a three port (not 2 port) vacuum level switch for headlights?

    Thank you gentlemen, how incredibly helpful! Through those pdfs I have also learned now that the earlier switch works best w a vacuum reservoir, but that the later switch does not need it. Now I will be off to order those pipes in the w124-performance link that you provided, gsxr.


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    Senior Member Jlaa's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a three port (not 2 port) vacuum level switch for headlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by speedy300dturbo View Post
    Check out the attached diagram. The solid purple line is the vacuum source, the purple / yellow run to the left and right headlights.
    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    The older vac switch/dial has only 2 connections, and uses a Y-fitting to split the output to each headlight.

    The newer vac switch/dial has 3 connections, and has separate outlets for each headlight.

    Based on your photos you may need to buy one or two of the purple lines, as someone cut them awfully short... not sure if there is enough left to get a solid connection to rubber hose. Photos of the installation are at this link.


    Hi Gents,

    May I ask how one might test to ensure that the 0/1/2/3 headlights aim adjuster switch is operating properly?

    From the diagram in post#2, it appears that the top-most vacuum fitting on the switch goes to a vacuum line in the car.

    Then, it appears that the middle fitting and the lower fitting then go the the two headlights.

    I tried pulling vacuum on the top-most fitting, and the blocking off the middle and the lower fitting ---- and it seems like the vacuum just stays there. No matter if I have the switch set to 0,1,2, or 3, the vacuum just stays as it is ---- no bleeding off of any "excess" vacuum.

    In fact I tried this with all combinations ---- pulling vacuum from each of the ports and blocking off the other two ----- all with the same results.

    Any ideas gents? Many thanks.

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    Senior Member Jlaa's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a three port (not 2 port) vacuum level switch for headlights?

    I think I may have it figured out --- I didn't expect the the "leakage" to be so slow ---- I would be interested to see if anyone else's experience is the same.

    So from the PDF in post 2, the middle tube goes to engine vacuum, the upper and lower tube go to the headlights.

    Setting 0 --- max vacuum
    Setting 3 --- minimum vacuum (or more precisely, the largest vacuum leak)


    When I block off the upper and lower tube and pull vacuum on the middle tube, then I observe the following characteristics:
    Setting 0 --- no perceived vacuum loss after 30 seconds
    Setting 1 --- -1 psi of vacuum lost every 12 seconds
    Setting 3 --- -1 psi of vacuum lost every 8 seconds
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