Originally posted by Grumpy old man- quote
Finally - if replacing the ballast - just buy the cheaper one (nearside I believe) - even from Allparts there is a 40 quid difference - and all you get is a slightly longer cable. If you're replacing the ballast - your old cable should be pefectly OK - so don't pay the extra for somethimg you don't need!
Hope this may help others as much as your site helped me - thanks again.
Took your advice and it worked great! I panicked a bit when I saw the new ballast from Allparts as it isn't identical to the original one. I guess they changed the design from that on my 01 car. However I was able to fit it okay and it's working fine.
If anyone's interested the differences are the new ballast comes in three pieces- the starter itself, a braided cable and the bulb connector, whereas the old one was a one piece unit.
The new one is the same depth along its whole length whereas the old one's thicker at one end, but it fits the original location exactly. A point worth noting however is that the screws securing the ballast have a Torx 20 security head i.e a T20 but with a protruding pin in the middle meaning an ordinary T20 bit won't fit. So if you haven't got one of these I advise a trip to your hardware store before you start!
The new high voltage cable is plenty long enough so I would reiterate Grumpy old man's advice-don't pay the extra £40 for a drivers side unit!
The wiring plugs are a little different too. On the old unit the supply from the car came via a black wire and a red wire going into a six pin plug. With the new one comes a (from memory) four pin plug with a grey wire and an orange wire. Simply cut off the old plug from the red and black supply wires and join the orange new wire to the car's red supply and the grey to the car's black supply using a good quality connector.
Finally, the only real problem that I discovered is that the new style bulb connector is bulkier than the original one meaning the protective cover won't fit on the back of the headlamp. I improvised a seal using duct tape- it's important not to leave the back of the lamp exposed as water will get in and destroy the ballast- this is what happened to the one I replaced judging by the corrosion around it.
I hope someone finds the above helpful.