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 Post subject: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:41 pm 
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Location: Lewes, East Sussex - UK
The nights are drawing in, getting darker earlier and earlier!

Like most people I have found the original headlights provided so little light that in built up areas with street lights it was hard to tell that the headlights were on… Out in the countryside, they provide just about enough light for you to drive within the capabilities of the vehicle.

Wouldn't it be nice to have better lights? I am sure the majority of you would say yes, but that the electrical system isn't capable of supplying enough electrical power to cope with better lights.

Technology has moved on considerably since these vehicles were produced. The original headlight bulbs are 35/35 watt. There are 2 new headlight technologies available now that mean you can upgrade the lighting without overloading the electrical system.

The first is High Intensity discharge lights (HID’s), the second is LED lights. Unfortunately the second sort is still very expensive; although some high end cars like Audi, Mercedes, BMW, etc. have them fitted, they will not be common place any time soon.

The first sort, HID’s much more affordable. So I have been looking at available and legal to fit to Lurch.

I did look for suitable second hand units but most cars that are fitted with HID headlights use two projector lens units per side. One for Main beam and one for dipped beam. That means four units, four bulbs etc. and figuring out a way to remove them from their original mountings and into new mounting that would fit the Haflinger. After a while I gave up looking at those sorts. I found some combined Main and Dipped projector headlights which would take an HID bulb. As the reflector was designed to take the HID bulbs they are perfectly legal.

So what of the electrical requirement? The units I have gone for run a 35 watt HID bulb and with the ballasts, up the requirement to 43 watts. This is not a lot over the original requirement and I can always fit LED bulbs to all the other bulbs to reduce their electrical requirement - What you take with one hand, you give back with the other!

Having purchased two of these combined main and dipped projector headlights I started on the install of them today.

This isn't really a “how to”, but will give you some idea of what’s involved:-

I purchased a sheet of 3mm thick plastic as I wanted something that would be easy to work with using basic tools. I cut two discs ~150mm in diameter, basically as near as I could get to making them a tight fit in the original headlight bowls. I cut an inner hole to fit the projector head light units.

Attachment:
1st pic of HID lights.jpg
1st pic of HID lights.jpg [ 198.85 KiB | Viewed 2394 times ]


Headlight unit is bolted to plastic sheet using two 5mm bolts. Then I removed the original headlamp from Lurch, took the mounting ring and springs off. Using the mounting ring as a template, I drilled 3 holes to match the original. Using 40mm x 6 bolts through the holes I put the springs on and the mounting ring. Now I have a new headlight with the same mounting system as the original.

Attachment:
2nd pic of HID lights.jpg
2nd pic of HID lights.jpg [ 215.56 KiB | Viewed 2394 times ]


I first used 40mm x 6mm bolts as seen in the pictures but during the trial fitting I decided that it would be better to move the lens a little further towards the front of the vehicle so I replaced them with 60mm x 6mm bolts. The positioning of the whole headlight unit is obviously one for debate. As it is currently fitted I won’t be able to use the original internal bulb cover as the wires at the back of the bulb are too far into the cabin. If I moved the headlight further to the front of the headlight bowl, I could then use the internal bulb cover but at the expense of having the outside lens right up against the headlight protection grill. Choices / decisions!

This is more a proof of concept as it is likely to evolve as things progress. Possible alterations include a clear plastic shield to protect the lenses, a replacement inner bulb cover with a longer collar. i.e. more room for the wiring at the back of the headlight unit in the cabin.

Still have to fit a parking light, but that hasn't arrived yet. It is a single LED so I am sure you know what it will look like.
I bet at this point some will say “Ugh, that’s ugly”! To which I reply, “I don’t care, at least I will be able to see where I am going”! Take a look at the difference they make:-

Attachment:
3rd pic of HID lights.jpg
3rd pic of HID lights.jpg [ 140.64 KiB | Viewed 2394 times ]


Drivers side still to fit. Apologises for the last two photos. The automatic lighting sensor on my phone camera doesn't appear to have been able to keep its settings. Taken standing next to the drivers door.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:03 am 
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I have been thinking about this issue as well. My lights are not so bad as my lights have been converted to H4 Halogens which work Ok. Low beam is OK for a Haffies speed and high beam is OK in dark areas but you do not see much in lit up areas.

I have been through the process of replacing the Halogens in my Range Rover Sport with 55w HIDS and that was fairly painless and most of the issues that people have raised have not come to true - the light pattern with the HIDs was the same as the Halogens and the light source in the HID globes is in the same position as the filament in the Halogens relative to the reflector.

I agree with you that the way to go is to use a projector but as you have found that requires a bit of work. What I was going to try in the Haffie was to put in a set of 35w H4 Hi/Lo HIDs into the halogen reflectors - something like this http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/35w-AC-slim- ... 2a33b90996. The important thing is to ensure aiming of the lights is spot on.

As well, I have purchased a set of the LED spotlights to use as driving lights - would be no good on the RRS but when doing 60kph in the haffie would be just fine. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2PCS-ROUND-2 ... 4cff5b1a40

This will give better light when driving for about the same power usage. I may rig up the high beams to go off when the spotties are on so when they are on there is no additional power load.

My front parkers are already LEDs and I am in the process of replacing the RRS rear lights with LEDs (the computer has a hissy fit and the suspension goes down if a stop light blows) and the quality of light is good, so I will replace the haffie rear lights with LEDs and later the instrument panel lights as well.

This should reduce the overall load at night, though I must admit I do have a very large starter battery so I do have a bit of reserve and not have had any issues with the electrical system winding down.

Nice work in putting the projectors in - I assume they have a shutter inside them and you are using H7 HID globes.

Cheers

Garry

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:22 am 
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I'm impressed with both your knowledge and skills there, John. How hot do the bulbs get, and how thermally stable is the 3mm plastic?

I am amazed at how accurate the projected light is - the "cut off" line is very defined!

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:08 am 
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Location: Lewes, East Sussex - UK
Gary,

The problem with putting HID bulbs into standard quart halogen bulb based reflectors is two fold:
The first is that orientation of the light source is different. HID bulbs produce an arc that is "inline" with bulb and quartz halogens usually have at lest one filament which runs at right angles to the body of the bulb. This cause the light source to be in a different position when HID is used in that reflector hence the light scatter.
The second is that the length of the HID bulbs vary so again you get the light source in a different position with in the standard reflector resulting in light scatter.
Another minor issue is the glass lens of the standard reflector being the item that directs the light, these are not generally well defined and so with a strong light as from a HID, there is some scatter and that scattered light is very bright compared to what would come from a quartz halogen bulb. So several reason not to put a HID bulb into a standard (old) reflector.
Modern reflectors are made with better tolerances which is why HID's can "sometimes" work OK with them.
The combined Main and Dipped projector lens I have purchased use an H7 bulb and a shutter system to go from Dip to Main so the bulb is never off during the change over which can happen with the twin projector unit that use separate bulbs.

Unless your reflectors in your Haffi are different from mine, The HID's you linked to will not fit as they are an H4 fitting and my standard headlight fittings are BA20d (two tangs on the side of the bulb). you can get HID's with the BA20d fitting - look for ones which have several different "fitting rings", the actual HID bulb will then be the BA20d fitting and the rings convert it to H4 etc. ( Corrected statement see post 5 )

If you look at the drivers side light output you will see that it produces mainly a "spot" of light, then a scattering of light around it. This is the reason I went for a projector lens, Putting a HID in that reflector would, at best, produce an even brighter "spot" and even brighter scattered light and this is the bit which dazzles other drivers coming towards you.

I didn't go down the H4 route as that would have meant A) changing my headlights for 5 3/4 inch H4 units (still having to work out how to mount new reflectors), new H4 bulbs (pretty cheap so not really an issue) and B) Loading the existing wiring with more current requirement and the long term overall drain of electrical power (if every thing else is left the same). Having a bigger battery does not stop the lack of output electricity generation to cover all the electrical requirement of the system. All it does is provide a a bigger reserve of power for use when the generator is unable to cover the requirement. So at some point if you continue to run all the electrical load in the system, the battery will eventually deplete and will need external charging - this is what happens to a lot of modern cars as people add more and more electrical items such as mobile phone chargers, Sat Nav chargers, Higher power radios / amplifiers etc.

So any way, I am prepared to put my battery on charge every once in a while before I get round to changing all the other bulbs to LED to cut the electrical requirement in those areas to make up for what I am using on the front headlight.

As I said, I did look into LED head lights, but they are out of reach financially at present. LED spot lights aren't legal here for general driving so they would only ever get used occasionally and I want better lights for general driving everywhere.

Julian,

I have no knowledge yet of how hot the Projector lens get and whether they will affect the 3mm plastic (which is thermally mouldable). Time will tell. It is something which could be replaced with anything from plywood to metal if the plastic proves a problem. It was just something I knew I could cut correctly and easily.

First time I put the bulb back in the headlight, it gave me a horrible beam pattern and I was all for sending off a complaint! Tried again and got good result so obviously like many other "Numpties" out there who dazzle drivers with badly set HID light, that must be one of the reasons! Not putting the bulb in correctly. I thought it can't be that hard to put a bulb in, it only goes in one way ---- Still I obviously managed to get it wrong as you can see from the first switch on!

Attachment:
1st switch on.jpg
1st switch on.jpg [ 73.67 KiB | Viewed 2375 times ]

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Last edited by heinkeljb on Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:39 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:11 pm 
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I have sent some more time doing the drivers side change over. Much quicker having done the first one. I had cut out two discs and the centre holes yesterday. Working out how to then fix the head light and adjusters once done was quick on the other side.

Attachment:
Done for the moment.jpg
Done for the moment.jpg [ 130.88 KiB | Viewed 2367 times ]


After a bit of adjustment the two beams are lined up on each other, but that is not to say they correctly set yet. I have taken the steering wheel off to do a quick refurbishment on it as I was fed up wit getting black hands if the steering wheel was damp! So can't really move Lurch without a steering wheel fitted!
The refurbishment involved taking the steering wheel off. Sanded it all over with 400 grit to get rid of any loose paint, old top coat etc.. Filled the various cracks with liquid metal epoxy resin. Sanded everything back down again. Then went over it with 1200 grit wet & dry to give it the same texture all over.
A couple of coats of black paint, waiting for each coat to dry (Put it in the airing cupboard). Still have to put a couple of coats of clear lacquer on it before bolting it back in place.

I can then move Lurch to a more suitable position to have a go at setting the alignment of the new headlights. I might try and sweet talk my local MOT man into letting me use his beam tester to do a final setting.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:57 pm 
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Gary,

Having had the original headlight out,I have had a better look at them and my initial statement that the HID's you linked to would not work is incorrect.

In order to use a HID bulb with the original reflector, you would have to remove the existing bulb and holder. The holder part of the reflector has the same fitting as a standard H4 bulb. So the spring clip bit of the original headlamp would hold an "H4 HID" bulb. The alteration you would have to make would be to the wire connections from the original wiring harness. These terminate in bare wires which have screw terminal connections on the bulb holder. The HID ballast unit ends in a Male version of the H4 connection. So you would have to decide how you would over come this issue.

I put standard female spade connectors on to the wires in the wiring loom, expanded them a little to fit the slightly wider H4 connector blades and that is that. You could of course buy a replacement H4 wiring block and join the wires from that to the wires in the loom. Then it would be a straight push together fit.

The BA20d bulb used in the original headlamp fits into to a holder which has two copper spring connectors at the back which connect to the terminals on the bulb when fitted. In order to use a BA20d HID bulb, you would have to remove the two copper spring connectors as the HID bulb is pre wired and would need to have room for those wires to exit out the back of the headlamp. So an H4 fitment would be better.

John

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Last edited by heinkeljb on Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:04 am 
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hi John - my current lights are H4 semi sealed halogens. As such H4 HID globes will fit straight in.

Your comments on issues related fitting HIDs and light pattern are certainly valid and well discussed in various forums however wasn't the case when I converted my RRS H7 Halogens to H7 HIDs. The HID globes I used had the same orientation as the halogen globes and in view of the comments about the HID chamber being in a different position to the filament of a halogen causing a different light pattern I measured mine with a calliper. In my case the length of the filament was exactly the same as the length of the HID chamber and both had exactly the same distance and position in space from the base - so the light source is in exactly the spot with respect to the reflector - the resulting light pattern supported this.

Now of course that is not to say the same will apply with H4 Hi/Lo system in the Haffie but they are cheap enough here to try and see what happens.

However the approach you have taken is the correct way to do it.

Cheers

Garry

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:56 pm 
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These were the sort of HID units I was looking at originally:-
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121012736269? ... 1423.l2649

Due to the beam pattern (or lack of it) as seen in some of the pictures I have uploaded, I decided that putting HID's in those headlamps would probably result in sure an uncontrolled spread of light that they would be unusable.

The unit in the link has 3 "adapters" which allow it to fit different headlamps. As I was looking for replacements for the BA20d bulb unit it didn't occur to me that in fact when you put a BA20d bulb in a Haflinger headlamp, you actually fit it into an bulb holder / adapter first! So I would have ended up using one of those 3 adapters shown in the picture in the link after all!

John

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:50 pm 
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For a first attempt, I have to say they make a HUGE difference to the night time driving experience!

You can actually see the light from the headlamps on the road even when there are street lamps on. I might have to do some more fine adjustments to headlamp aim, but nobody flashed me to show that was dazzling them,

I'll see if I can take some pictures of the results on a dark road - but I doubt they will convey the same sense how much better they are than the originals. Yes, I know there are people out there who would not change their headlamps because then they wouldn't be "original", but those are also the people who don't generally drive their Haflingers and who would never drive them in the dark just because the lighting is so dim!

For those who like to drive their vehicles, the change I have done is completely reversible as I haven't changed any of the bodywork or mountings.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:06 pm 
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heinkeljb wrote:
Yes, I know there are people out there who would not change their headlamps because then they wouldn't be "original", but those are also the people who don't generally drive their Haflingers and who would never drive them in the dark just because the lighting is so dim!



You are heading to be burned at the stake as a heretic :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:53 am 
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John - have you replaced the front lenses for weather protection, or are the bulbs shown in your last photo water tight in themselves? (And if the latter, could you replace the lenses for aesthetic purposes?

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:11 am 
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The lens units are water tight on the front so don't actually need any further cover. I have been mulling over ideas on using some thinner heat mouldable clear plastic to try an vacuum form covers but haven't actually started on them yet.

With the headlamp units in their current position, I don't think I could use the original glasses on the front as a cover and even if i could, the "ribbing" in the glass would act as another lens and scatter light in other directions.

I live in Lewes which is known for it's heretic ways!

It might provoke some of the Lurkers into actually posting but I doubt it.

Actually, there are people out there who are anti "modification". As I see it, more people will see my vehicle in a day (and a night) driving around that if it was sat in my garage (driveway) or a museum and even if it is not 100 % original that has got to be a good thing. I tend only to make modifications that can be undone easily to return to the original item if needed.

So Lurch has become an :evil: beast! In good company then with "Christine" for those who know the film.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:22 am 
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I'm not anti mod if it means it is a better vehicle at all - what you have achieved is impressive!

:idea: HAF :idea:

A couple of years ago I bought a set of LEDs to put in the rear light clusters of my 1956 Citroen Traction Avant. Far from cheap, but I didn't know how to fit them so they still languish in a box of bits. Maybe the next time you are up here you could show me how to fit them? (The existing ones are woeful, and not very safe. Made worse by being only 6V anyway). :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:54 am 
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I could pop up any time weekends, any evening after work - give me a reason to use my new lights!

I have had other vehicles, a VW beetle springs to mind that was 6 volt. It had lights that were "adequate" !! The one saving grace was that if the battery ever went flat, a jump start from a 12 volt modern car meant the starter motor went twice the speed and the coil kicked out an even bigger spark!

There are some tricks that could be used to improve the lighting.

Most discrete LED's that are used in automotive bulbs have a resistor added in the circuit to limit the current flow, this just needs to be the correct value for use in a 6 volt system for you to have the same brightness from the LED at 6 volts as at 12 volts.

You can put a small 12 volt battery hidden away somewhere, run the rear lights off that. Then use a step up voltage system to allow the car's dynamo to charge the 12 volt battery as well as the normal 6 volt one. The power drain of 2 x 12 volt LED bulbs would be in the region of 0.5 amps (if that). The Joule thief voltage doubler would work as a trickle charger on the 12 battery and would take in the region of 1 amp. So not much change from the original system.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:52 am 
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I would love to see someone try out a Hi/Low HID H4 conversion that would be a simple upgrade for uses who need more light but want to keep the original look and not modify too much.

keep up the good work.
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:22 am 
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John,

have a look at this website if it gives you any ideas for mounting. Its interesting that they have used polystyrene foam as the holder which would be easy to do.

If you have a bug eye version 7"? they would have a kit that could fit with probably not to much hassle.

http://www.theretrofitsource.com/comple ... efaultview

Hope this helps,
cheers
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:51 pm 
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There are several different kits available that would give you a projector lens lighting system using HID bulb technology. I went for one which I could get hold of easily and the seller knew their product.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, part of the issue is current drain. Virtually every advert I have seen claims you can get HID's to use on your vehicle in either 35 or 55 Watt versions. This is only PART of the truth! The actual HID bulb has either 35 or 55 Watts power consumption. They "conveniently" forget to include the power consumed by the control / ballast units! In my case I found a supplier who was prepared to test one of the units he had for sale and determined that total power consumption for the systems he sold was 43 watts.
This means the units he sells are not going to put a huge extra drain on the electrical system, so I did not have to change any of the original wiring for heavier gauge or anything like that.

The problem with fitting the H4 HID bulb units into standard 5.75 inch reflector headlight units is there is far too much variation in the way the HID bulbs are made. There are a couple of major differences between a "standard" H4 quartz halogen / "ordinary" Haflinger bulb.
One is the difference in the direction of the filament in the ordinary bulb and the arc produced in a HID bulb. Another is the physical position of the light source in the parabolic reflector of the standard Haflinger lamp unit. Then you have the fact that most parabolic reflectors also need a "Fresnel" type lens at the front to help direct the beam pattern. All of these issues CAN mean that fitting an H4 HID bulb (along with its sliding cover) would produce more light scatter which would result in an MOT failure in the UK.

My projector lens being designed to be fitted with HIDs passed the MOT without any issues.

I agree is would be nice to see the results of putting an H4 HID bulb (along with the main / dip shield) into a standard Haflinger head light unit and see what sort of bean pattern it produces.

I will look through that web site to see how they deal with the fitting of their light units. So far my design has not prompted me to make any changes. They seem stable in use even over rough ground, they haven't leaked into the cabin, (but then that's not really a problem is it!) The materials I used were easy to come by and easy to work with tools most people would have access to.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:55 am 
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I have H4 Halogens in my lights. They are 60/55w and I have not have had any issues. Low beam is very close to the front but Hi beam does show up the distance OK. Not the greatest lights but work OK. My reflectors are not the greatest and maybe need recoating.

Image

H4 Hi/Lo HIDS would go straight in.

Garry

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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:06 am 
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I was looking at a set of Narva 5 3/4" 55/60W H4 set of beams just to get mine registered later then change over to a set of H4 Hid 35W bulbs.

Doug


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 Post subject: Re: Upgraded Lighting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:49 pm
Posts: 1831
Location: Lewes, East Sussex - UK
I would like to point out that our vehicles live in lots of different countries and that each has it's own regulations covering construction and use and taxation for the road etc.

Here in the UK, the quart halogen 60/55 watt H4 bulbs as shown in Gary's picture above would be considered acceptable by both our construction and use regulation and the MOT test regulations. The bulb is designed for a "reflector" type lamp unit.

Fitting HID type (with ballast high voltage units) to that sort of reflector lamp unit is technically illegal for road use here. I know people who have done that to more modern cars and pass the MOT test, but there are possible down sides - if you get an officious Policeman, or you are involved in an accident and the insurance assessor spots them, then the claim could be forfeit!

I opted for purpose designed projector headlights to be able to run HID bulbs and stay within our regulations.

John

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Haflinger 703AP LWB 1973 - (Once owned by Lady Sutherland & Sons.) Now called "Lurch" !

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