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H4 Headlight Experiments

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Norcal69, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. Oct 15, 2020
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Northern California
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    Sep 6, 2014
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    1,857
    This thread will develop over the next few weeks.
    We have 3 vehicles in the stable that utilize the good old 7" round sealed beam headlights.
    My Jeep
    Mom's 37 Plymouth
    Wife's 39 Model A Pickup
    I find most of the new aftermarket JK LED options as revolting in appearance as the angry bird grill. :sick:

    The jeep is the first test subject. My headlights are wired with relays so they receive full 12 volts.
    I am starting with some Diamond clear H4 housings and the cheap bulbs that came in them.
    Here is the link to these..... https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084VFC1JS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    In the picture below the passenger side is a Wagner True View sealed beam bulb. The drivers side is the Diamond clear lens and 9003 bulb from the amazon listing above. In the picture the low beams are on.
    The drivers side is considerable brighter and whiter than the sealed beam.


    [​IMG]

    Next up I will get some nighttime pics of the two.
     
    Rich M. and 73 cj5 like this.
  2. Oct 15, 2020
    73 cj5

    73 cj5 Not ready for the junkyard yet 2020 Sponsor

    Mississippi
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    My new headlight on the driverside already burned out. :mad: So eventually I might upgrade.
     
  3. Oct 15, 2020
    Ns0mniac

    Ns0mniac Member

    San Clemente, CA
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    Aug 7, 2019
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    Interested in this. I have some less than tasteful projectors that were installed by the previous owner that I've been dying to remove.
     
  4. Oct 15, 2020
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    Northern Virginia
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
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    266
    I ran a similar set up with European spec Hella housings and H4 bulbs powered direct from the battery by a relay setup in my JKU for about 2 years. They provided great light for a reasonable cost. Issue was I’d go through a set of bulbs about every 6 months.

    Mike
     
  5. Oct 15, 2020
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    Hella or Cibie are my H4 go-to headlight upgrades. If you go E Code, they technically aren't 50 state legal, but they aren't obnoxious enough to be noticed, provided you stay under 75 watts. They do need a relay controlled power feed to get the most out of them.
    -Donny
     
  6. Oct 16, 2020
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    Northern Virginia
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    One of the things to look for is the light dispersion and the cutoff. This is where the E code Hellas are very very good. They provide a bright even light pattern with a strong cutoff so it doesn’t blind oncoming drivers.

    Mike
     
  7. Oct 16, 2020
    bigbendhiker

    bigbendhiker Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    North East Texas
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    I know you are trying to stay away from LEDs, but I thought I'd throw this out there. LED headlights. I've had these on my JK since May of 2018 with no problems. They get good reviews on Amazon with over 1900 reviews. In my opinion these aren't too obnoxious looking, YMMV. They don't have angel eyes or halos, I don't care for those either. The only issue I had was after installing they were aimed too high. I had to adjust them downward, but no big deal. Here's a picture of them installed on my JK.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Oct 16, 2020
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    4,704
    ...on straight, flat roads.

    Sorry, this is a sore subject for me. Modern headlights have made it nearly impossible to drive on anything but a freeway at night anymore.

    I was beginning to think it was just me turning into a grumpy old man until the other night. Two cars were coming towards me with headlights that actually weren’t offensive, and as they passed, I could tell they were kids in 90’s Hondas.

    The absolute worst are the new Ford pickups that have four low beam headlights that are 6’ off the ground, and a few fog lights thrown in for good measure. :steamed:

    Sorry for the rant @Norcal69 :offtopic: , carry on.
     
  9. Oct 16, 2020
    PeteL

    PeteL Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    Another vote for Hella.
     
  10. Oct 16, 2020
    Fireball

    Fireball Active Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    Not endorsing them, but these guys have put a lot of effort into finding the right LED bulbs for the Hella housings specifically so old cars can have normal looking headlights:

    7 Inch Round Headlights - Vintage Car LEDs

    They even have some low profile bulbs that *might* fit in the stock headlight buckets.

    I only know about them because my dad's considering a set for his 1950 Ford.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
    Twin2 likes this.
  11. Oct 16, 2020
    durangotang

    durangotang Member

    Western CO
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    Mar 17, 2010
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    I like it, do they bolt straight in place of the old sealed beams or do you have to make them fit?
     
  12. Oct 16, 2020
    jeepermc

    jeepermc Member

    Western WA
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    May 25, 2011
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    If you're just putting in the housings and upgrading to a higher wattage H4 bulb, yes, they bolt right in. If you're trying to do H4 LED bulbs you have to be careful they don't hit the back of the headlight buckets before the headlight is in. My go to for alot of years has been the IPF H4 housings and their XT42 bulbs.
     
  13. Oct 16, 2020
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    I haven't tried any LEDs in my Hella 7" lights yet, but did buy and install some LEDs (Sea Lite) for my stock BMW Z3 headlights. I had HIR bulbs in there which were very good (and legal), but the LEDs are way better, but still have a sharp cutoff to not blind oncoming drivers. The LEDs are really white and cast the light nearly twice the distance of of the HIRs. These rival the factory HIDs in my Mini Cooper.
    If you try some LEDs that are designed for the Hella housing/reflector, let us know how they work.
    -Donny
     
    Fireball likes this.
  14. Oct 17, 2020 at 12:40 AM
    Focker

    Focker That's a terrible idea...What time? Staff Member 2019 Sponsor

    Tri-Cities WA
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    Do you have relays wired in? It makes a difference.
     
  15. Oct 17, 2020 at 12:34 PM
    CHUGALUG

    CHUGALUG Member

    Silverton, OR
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    May 11, 2019
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    I went with the Hella conversion headlights cost about $70 added some ceramic sockets, 80amp relays, and new wiring. I'm so far very happy
     
    Focker likes this.
  16. Oct 17, 2020 at 3:33 PM
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Northern California
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    My jeep is using the relay setup. I don't know about the other two. I will test that when we get there.
     
    Focker likes this.
  17. Oct 17, 2020 at 3:59 PM
    boopiejones

    boopiejones Member

    California east bay
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    Mar 16, 2020
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    Exact same issue here. Hella E codes with a Susquehanna harness in a 2013 JKU. I go through bulbs really fast. But i bought a dozen hella bulbs for just over $2/each, so I have enough to last many years.

    I went with hella e codes and LEDs in my TJ. Those have been great so far, but the lights do have a more blue appearance (although not annoyingly blue)

    still running sealed beams in my CJ. Will eventually go with hella e codes and possibly a less blue LED if I can find it.

     
  18. Oct 17, 2020 at 7:16 PM
    CHUGALUG

    CHUGALUG Member

    Silverton, OR
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  19. Oct 17, 2020 at 8:54 PM
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    What wattage bulbs are burning out so fast? I've run 65/55 watt (hi/lo) Hella bulbs in my VW for more than 10 years and have not had a single failure.
    -Donny
     
  20. Oct 18, 2020 at 8:24 PM
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    Northern Virginia
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    I was running standard auto parts store H4 bulbs. I was also living in Alaska and ran with the lights on at all times, so they were definitely getting used. Just got tired of replacing them and finally went to DOT spec LEDs.

    Mike
     

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