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Thread: Headlight Upgrade Questions

  1. #1

    Headlight Upgrade Questions

    For you guys with upgraded headlights, what did you use and are you happy?

    I ask because during our annual Club cruise to Colorado a couple of weeks ago, several of us noticed that Weendoggy's (Glenn) headlights were much brighter and effective than the sealed beam units that we were running.

    Brighter headlights would be a good thing for mountain road driving in the dark.

    Recommendations welcome for parts and vendors I/we can use to upgrade our lighting.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    I'm now using Lucas PL700 with 70/65 bulbs from Daniel Stern. Very happy with this setup.
    Frank
    Last edited by Frank Messina; 07-16-2017 at 04:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    I can highly recommend the 7" Round H4 LED Headlights (25101) from Watson's Streetworks. http://www.watsons-streetworks.com/e...und-bulb-bulbs. I have them with the newly released Hella Vision Plus lenses in my Anniversary Roadster build. All the provided kit parts can still be used (buckets, rings, wiring, etc.) the only thing needed is to mount the power controller on the back of the bucket. They draw a fraction of the current as standard Halogen bulbs, but are much brighter and crisper. I've only driven with them at night a few times, but the difference is significant. The lenses are somewhat flat on the front, so look a little different. But not objectionable to me.
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  4. #4
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    Times 2 on the Lucas PL700. I bought mine more for the look that any difference in performance. For the few times I've driven after dark, they work fine.

  5. #5
    Out Drivin' Gumball's Avatar
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    Yet another happy Lucas PL700 user here - both for vintage looks and performance.

    Later,
    Chris

    "There are no more monsters to fear, and so, we have to build our own."
    Mk3.1 #7074

  6. #6
    Senior Member Papa's Avatar
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    I had a set of these with Sylvania Silver Star Ultra H4 bulbs.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001G72SKQ...d=TU1R4N1KFE6A

    The difference over stock sealed beams was, pardon the pun, night and day! I'll be using these in my roadster after I pass the state inspection as they are not DOT approved, but rather E-Code (European Spec.).
    Last edited by Papa; 07-16-2017 at 04:08 PM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member AC Bill's Avatar
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    Tri-bar dot lenses, with H4 bulbs. Autoloc brand, includes blue, red, green or black, center dot colors. Very reasonable price, at around $70 a pair.
    Last edited by AC Bill; 07-12-2017 at 10:39 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Doak View Post
    For you guys with upgraded headlights, what did you use and are you happy?

    I ask because during our annual Club cruise to Colorado a couple of weeks ago, several of us noticed that Weendoggy's (Glenn) headlights were much brighter and effective than the sealed beam units that we were running.

    Brighter headlights would be a good thing for mountain road driving in the dark.

    Recommendations welcome for parts and vendors I/we can use to upgrade our lighting.

    Thanks.
    I haven't updated my site yet, but the LED lights I'm using are from Kensun. They are their Superbright version. One of the main reasons my lights are brighter than stock or others is because I can run both high and low at the same time. In order to do this you need to run a couple relays to do this. I have it explained on my site www.weendoggy.com/wiring.htm and the wiring needed. I'm just using Wipac lenses with the extra DSL light which I also use. If you try to run the high and low from one relay or your H/L switch you'll trip the built in breaker or blow a fuse (or worse). You need to put the load of the lights through a relay to be reliable. Even with just low beam they are better than Halogen.
    Last edited by weendoggy; 07-13-2017 at 10:33 AM.
    I'm just a victim of a thousand physic wars!
    www.weendoggy.com/cobra.htm

  9. #9
    I also went with the PL700 and added the LED bulbs. Easy upgrade and is bright.
    Gary
    Mark IV base kit, 2015 Coyote, Wilwood brakes, IRS-3.55 TruTrac, T56, ABS, PS, Nitto G2, Carbon fiber Dash

  10. #10
    Ive had great success with this: Headlight kit (7" round to H4 bulb) Pilot Automotive WI-HL7A Head Lamp Conversion Kit along with these bulbs

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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  11. #11
    C'mon. You guys with PL700s, it is for cosmetics!

    Just kidding. I love mine too. They are very good for an older style light. And, of course, they look great.
    The PL700s with the original bulbs are like having a couple of Bic lighters mounted up front. Definitely do the halogen bulb upgrade! I got my lights and bulbs from Moss Motors.
    To get serious light, but it certainly doesn't look vintage, there are projector beam / LED lights marketed for Jeeps. My friend has them in his Cobra and if he gets behind you it is like a scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche325 View Post
    C'mon. You guys with PL700s, it is for cosmetics!

    Just kidding. I love mine too. They are very good for an older style light. And, of course, they look great.
    The PL700s with the original bulbs are like having a couple of Bic lighters mounted up front. Definitely do the halogen bulb upgrade! I got my lights and bulbs from Moss Motors.
    To get serious light, but it certainly doesn't look vintage, there are projector beam / LED lights marketed for Jeeps. My friend has them in his Cobra and if he gets behind you it is like a scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
    My PL700s are purely cosmetic. I've got over 20,000 miles on the car but not too many in the dark. Another reason why I haven't considered switching the LED.

  13. #13
    Senior Member canuck1's Avatar
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    I know FFR has supplied different headlights over the years, some with removable bulbs but the ones that shipped with my kit were sealed beam Halogen units rated at 55/35 watts high/low. That's a whole 35 watts of power blazing away from each bulb on the low beam setting!!! Disappointing doesn't cover it. I now have Lucas PL700 tribar replicas (from Finishline) with replaceable H4 bulbs rated at 65/55w high/low. A vast improvement in both looks and nighttime driving.

    Sean
    MK 3.5 (MK IV body retrofit to MK III chassis), 351W stroked & poked to 396 c.i., custom EFI, 4 into 4's, 3link, 3.73, 15" Halibrand replicas, full bumpers, 2 X roll bars, I electronics, hydroboost, 5-lug, GT front, MK VIII/Cobra rear discs, Levy rear LCA's, Forte front, VPM rear bars, painted by SRP (again!)

  14. #14
    It appears that Daniel Stern is no longer offering the 65/70 Rallye bulbs which is a shame but if either one of what I have now goes out I'll look at the LED conversions. There are a number of offerings to choose from and since I'm wired like Weendoggy (I copied his) it should be an easy conversion.
    Frank
    Last edited by Frank Messina; 07-16-2017 at 04:47 PM.

  15. #15
    Also went with the Tri-Bars & upgraded bulbs.

    Kevin
    MKIV #8234
    Coyote '13/TKO-600
    Delivered 2/7/14 - Plate "COYOTE NC1965" 3/25/15

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by weendoggy View Post
    I haven't updated my site yet, but the LED lights I'm using are from Kensun. They are their Superbright version. One of the main reasons my lights are brighter than stock or others is because I can run both high and low at the same time. In order to do this you need to run a couple relays to do this. I have it explained on my site www.weendoggy.com/wiring.htm and the wiring needed. I'm just using Wipac lenses with the extra DSL light which I also use. If you try to run the high and low from one relay or your H/L switch you'll trip the built in breaker or blow a fuse (or worse). You need to put the load of the lights through a relay to be reliable. Even with just low beam they are better than Halogen.
    Glenn,
    Is there any particular reason you chose the Kensun bulbs with a separate ballast vs some of the others that are self contained but incorporate a cooling fan? Just curious what your research turned up in the pros and cons department. I'm intrigued by the simplicity of the self contained bulbs but I wonder how they would hold up to life in the headlight bucket.
    Frank
    Frank

  17. #17
    Senior Member 2bking's Avatar
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    I found the PL700s on eBay, about $120, and they come with the H4 halogen plug-in bulbs. I got the LED lights that plug into the H4 halogen socket and also plug into the wiring socket inside the headlight can. No external ballast is required for the ones I chose and they claim to have 4000L per bulb, 8000L for the pair. Search for H4/9003/HB2 LED Headlight Bulbs and you will find a lot for around $40 on Amazon.
    King
    Roadster #8127, ordered 7/12/13, received 9/11/13
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Straversi's Avatar
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    I wasn't planning on any headlight upgrades but now you guys have me reaching for the credit card.

    I see Finishline has the Lucas PL700s for $250. I see some Lucas replica PL700s on Amazon for $95.

    Any feedback on the replica vs Lucas.
    MK IV #8901 - Complete kit, Coyote, TKO-600, IRS. Ordered 5/23/16, Delivered 7/14/16,First Start 8/13/17

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Messina View Post
    Glenn,
    Is there any particular reason you chose the Kensun bulbs with a separate ballast vs some of the others that are self contained but incorporate a cooling fan? Just curious what your research turned up in the pros and cons department. I'm intrigued by the simplicity of the self contained bulbs but I wonder how they would hold up to life in the headlight bucket.
    Frank
    Frank
    I've tried a bunch of LED bulbs and found theirs to be the best for me. The ballast is so small it's negligeable so no big deal there. They also use a small incorporated fan and maybe that's why it has a small ballast. Also, the LED is smaller than most others with just a fan. All this, plus the DRL bulb, fit comfortably inside the light bucket. Nothing has to be mounted outside. I've been using them for over a year and do a lot of early morning (dark) driving and they are great. Again, I can have both high and low on at the same time.
    Last edited by weendoggy; 07-16-2017 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Tablet cant spell ��
    I'm just a victim of a thousand physic wars!
    www.weendoggy.com/cobra.htm

  20. #20
    I like these and will include them in the current build.

    Hella 7" E-Code w/ City Lamps, H4 bulbs $45/ea.
    http://www.rallylights.com/hella-7-r...p-hl95146.html
    I've run the Hella E-Codes for years. Excellent light. Very defined cutoff.

    I'd probably run a bulb like this. The bulb selection seems to change frequently.
    http://www.rallylights.com/h4-12v-os...ghway-use.html

    Also ran a set of these.
    http://www.rallylights.com/hella-ral...iving-kit.html

    I had enough light that those pesky speed limit signs were close to blinding. I didn't spend much time looking at them, go figure.

    Jim

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim1855 View Post
    I like these and will include them in the current build.

    Hella 7" E-Code w/ City Lamps, H4 bulbs $45/ea.
    http://www.rallylights.com/hella-7-r...p-hl95146.html
    I've run the Hella E-Codes for years. Excellent light. Very defined cutoff.

    Jim
    I like those lenses. Much like Wipac lens, maybe better. Might try a pair. Like the DRL feature to keep mine the same.
    I'm just a victim of a thousand physic wars!
    www.weendoggy.com/cobra.htm

  22. #22
    Senior Member srobinsonx2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEAR-AvHistory View Post
    Also went with the Tri-Bars & upgraded bulbs.

    Off topic but I just love this color scheme. That is what I am wanting. Beautiful car. The head lights look good. Ah, now we are back on topic.
    FFR MK4 Complete Kit #8952
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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by srobinsonx2 View Post
    Off topic but I just love this color scheme. That is what I am wanting. Beautiful car. The head lights look good. Ah, now we are back on topic.
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Kevin
    MKIV #8234
    Coyote '13/TKO-600
    Delivered 2/7/14 - Plate "COYOTE NC1965" 3/25/15

  24. #24
    Does one need to do any rewiring or install relays in order to upgrade to these headlights? Is it simply a matter of replacing one's existing lights?

  25. #25
    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Cheresh View Post
    Does one need to do any rewiring or install relays in order to upgrade to these headlights? Is it simply a matter of replacing one's existing lights?
    LED's, no. They draw much less current than the stock halogens supplied with the kit. The RF harness and switch handles LED's easily. For other bulb types, e.g. HID Conversion Kits, Xenon, etc. you're going to want to check the current draw.
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  26. #26
    Out of curiosity, has anyone done anything with projectors? I realize that it wouldn't look authentic, but I'm curious if anyone has ventured outside of that box. How does it look - both the car and the beam pattern? Thanks.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by David Cheresh View Post
    Does one need to do any rewiring or install relays in order to upgrade to these headlights? Is it simply a matter of replacing one's existing lights?
    Just keep in mind the size of the ballast that goes along with the LED or HID lights. Some are large and need to be installed "outside" the bucket while others can be installed within the bucket. If you wire outside the bucket, you'll usually need a larger opening to feed the 3-prong connector through to attach to the bulb, and, you'll be cutting your HL harness (or pulling it out of the bucket and curling up) to connect to that ballast. Other than that, no extra relay.
    I'm just a victim of a thousand physic wars!
    www.weendoggy.com/cobra.htm

  28. #28
    I bought these from Amazon but have not had a chance to install as yet. The ballast is about two inches long and one inch wide. Not sure whether it will fit outside the bucket.


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  29. #29
    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    For those using LED upgrades that have a separate ballast, they won't fit inside the bucket. Plus I suspect it's best to keep the inside space as open as possible to reduce heat concerns. They do however mount pretty easily on the back of the bucket. That's what I did with the Watson's Streetworks ones I mentioned earlier. I made a little plate that bolted to the bucket, and the ballast mounts to that. Others likely will be different mounting, but the location should still work. I used the existing hole to pass the wire through, just had to make it larger to fit the connector to the bulb. Then just switched to a different grommet. I also switched to a weatherpack connector.

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  30. #30
    I liked the stock headlights on my MKII. The dim yellowish light just looked period correct for this car. Since I live rural, they were just not bright enough to safely drive at night. After a close call with a deer (tasty long legged rats that like to make crunch noises with cars), I knew I had to make a change. I went with the Watson-Street works set. I have played with putting LED lights into lens designed for halogen bulbs before and knew that usually they do not work. Halgon bulbs make a predictable light pattern that reflector designers can use. When you put in LEDs, usually the light comes from everywhere. You can see this by shinning the headlights on a flat surface, like a garage door. In low beams, if you do not see a defined line where less than 10% of the light projects up, then you are not legal. Plus, you will be blinding on coming traffic. The Watson-Street works have that nice line and they are much brighter and lower power.

  31. #31
    What is the wattage limit for halogen bulbs before you need to upgrade the RF harness?
    Kevin
    MKIV #8234
    Coyote '13/TKO-600
    Delivered 2/7/14 - Plate "COYOTE NC1965" 3/25/15

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by edwardb View Post
    For those using LED upgrades that have a separate ballast, they won't fit inside the bucket...
    Not true, mine fit perfectly fine INSIDE the bucket. They are not as big as the ones you show. If you have those, they definitely won't fit inside. I also use Weatherpack to connect to my chassis on all lights.
    I'm just a victim of a thousand physic wars!
    www.weendoggy.com/cobra.htm

  33. #33
    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weendoggy View Post
    Not true, mine fit perfectly fine INSIDE the bucket. They are not as big as the ones you show. If you have those, they definitely won't fit inside. I also use Weatherpack to connect to my chassis on all lights.
    I stand corrected. I'm only familiar with (1) The ones I've used, with the ballasts pictured and the LED bulbs were right against the back of the bucket. Wouldn't fit inside. (2) Ones I've seen in pictures that looked similar. Obviously not.

    I still wouldn't do it though. Just my opinion.
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  34. #34
    Posting this just to help others know some LED ballast's will fit inside with ample room. Been running these for over a year without issues. Just another option. http://www.weendoggy.com/wiring.htm#led
    I'm just a victim of a thousand physic wars!
    www.weendoggy.com/cobra.htm

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