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Series 3 halogen upgrade question


neilc
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Evening , I have halogen bulbs in the landy 82 series 3,  55w , original wiring ,  I if add fused relays I read that I can upgrade to 100w without melting the dash/switches , as always I have a query , I read that 100w bulbs are illegal for use in  vehicles made after 1986  ( I think that's right) , this doesn't affect me,  however ,  if this is the case  why are they so readily available?  , also with the fused relays will my current  wiring cope and where is the best place to position them 

 

Thanks in advance , 

 

My current headlights , wires , earth , connections are all working , however I drive country lanes and need a bit more power .

Edited by neilc
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I would uprate the wiring as a matter of course - it's old, it wasn't designed for the job you're asking it to do, and voltage drop in the wires could kill any gains you make.

100W bulbs are readily available because you can't police eBay and most of the time no-one notices or cares.

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Like FF said, upgrade the wiring, regardless of your plans to use 100 W bulbs.

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Good quality cable, properly fused and switced to relais make a lot of difference - esp. to headlamps !

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I will initially rewire the red/blue , white/blue wires to bullet connectors and bulbs and add relays before upgrading bulbs , I'll even try to get original coloured wiring ! , Can anyone suggest what type strength of wire would be best , thanks .

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If you upgrade the wiring with 17a wire and relays controlled by the original headlamp wires to the Lucar connectors beside the radiator, then you’ll probably find you don’t need the illegal 100w bulbs anyway.  The premium Halfords 55/60 bulbs with the blue stripe near their top (I think they were in a gold and black box, but can’t really remember well) are very good with that set up.

As far as I know, the vehicle age doesn’t affect the legality of 100w bulbs, and certainly not how much they blind other drivers.

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Osram nightbreakers get some good reviews, I've found standard H4 bulbs to be fine, though.

The earth rewire is the key, esp when using the relays.

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Osrams and Wipac crystal lenses beat my euro box hands down on my S3. Anything brighter would be decidedly anti social irrespective of the legality! As said: invest in or make a relay kit. It makes all the difference and may stop a small fire. 

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Does a Series 3 go fast enough to warrant lights so bright as to blind others? It's bad enough with new LED lights far brighter than the old legal maximum Wattage equivalent.

My S1 is capable of around a ton but I'm driving nowhere near that and does not need anything more than the sealed beams in it now.

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The advantage of relays over standard is not limited to the resulting brightness of the lights, it also reduces the current through the Lucas switch, which isn't really rated for the job.

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Could I use one of these harnesses , it isn't fused directly ( would be tidier) however there is an in line fuse , I could buy red/white , red/ blue cable , 2 fused relays , bullet connectors , spade connectors for about another £10 , however that seems to be creating a lot of connections and therefore more room for error , bullet connectors alone are a complete nightmare . This seems to be all sealed , although the earths look this so I would probably bulk them up a bit 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/1xwGdDJkCxHvRcaZA

 

Edited by neilc
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I'm going to take the contrary line, only 'cos...

I threw some cheapo "Ring' brand 7" conversion Halogen headlamps in for £25.00 delivered via eBlag. No relays,  nothing. S3 switches handle them fine, this'll be my second set. Sure, there's better but at S3 speeds they're great. More than I need, and far better than stock. Yellow light. I realise we're supposed to find those 'Ultra Bright White' things and blot out the sun, dazzle everybody as modern vehicles do, and put in relays as well. Yet at 55mph tops, can't see the point.

One word of warning, if you do fit such things, and knew the effect 'Super-Bright-White' has on the old duffer in your on-coming vehicle, I'm not sure you'd feel so safe. However, if the '50s B-Movie Poster' vibe floats your boat, don't listen to me.

Edited by Landrover17H
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Properly focused and aimed headlamps, H4, 55w, through relays, make night driving much safer. 

On long trips you are less tired, and the light switch remains cold. 

And a well constructed loom, properly fitted, is no less reliable than stock.

I've done too many miles at night, I think. 

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60w at 12v (on battery rather than alternator, so lowest voltage and highest current) = 5a per light, so 10a total current.  Commonly available wire at auto factors seems to come in 8a then 17a steps.  Clearly, 8a cable is not enough for the feed between battery and relays, but would be ok for independent wires from relay to each light.  But the rating is a safety point to ensure sufficient capacity for preventing heat build up and shorts.  The bigger the wire, the less the resistance, so 17a wire for the relay positive feeds, outputs to lamps and bulb earths would help increase efficiency and brightness.  The earth for the relays will be carrying a tiny ampage, probably half an amp or less, so only needs a thin wire.

Make sure you have independent feeds to each relay, so you don’t lose both high and dipped beam from one fuse blowing or one terminal disconnecting.

Position the fuses, 17a, as close to the battery as possible, so as much of the system is protected from shorts as possible.

You can use relays and separate crimped spade connectors, but relay mounting blocks with integral terminals make the job so much neater and protect the system better from damage and vibration, so it’s worth the little extra investment.  Companies like vehicle wiring products will deliver them for a reasonable price, and VWP will also stock blue cable with white and red stripes to match the existing wiring colour code and convoluted wire sheathing, addinng protection and making future work much easier.  Again, worth the small extra cost.

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A Landreizger loom was only about £45 last time I checked (maybe more now our currency is knackered), is made to fit and solves the problem forever. The cheap ‘Boomslang’ or eBay ones are terrible quality and likely to make your lights less reliable. Yes you can make your own quite easily as people have for years, but it wasn’t worth the time to save a few quid in my opinion.

As for necessity - hitting a deer hurts the same at 55 as it does at 60 so I’d say having good light output is worthwhile. Maybe not if you only bimble about locally but for long distance driving on very dark roads good headlamps make a huge difference. 

Fitting relays so your 60/55 bulbs work as designed will not dazzle anyone. “Upgrading” to super-awesome-mega-bright LEDs is much more likely to do just that, as will the 100w bulbs.

I’m not a fan of high-output H4s like the Nightbreakers - they just don’t last long enough. Good quality standard bulbs are what I use, and keep the headlamp glass clean. 

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The law only sets minimum wattage limits for motor vehicles and prohibitions on use with respect to dazzling other drivers etc. This is why drivers get prosecuted for dazzling other drivers with poorly adjusted standard headlights.

There are standards that cover the manufacture of the bulbs used in motor vehicles and these may contain maximum light output limits but I can’t find anything to specify exactly what that is for dipped and main beams.

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2 hours ago, Snagger said:

60w at 12v (on battery rather than alternator, so lowest voltage and highest current) = 5a per light, so 10a total current.

You're making a logical error there - lights do not operate at "constant power" so as the voltage goes up the current will increase, the 60W rating is nominal @12v not fixed. At ~14v the current will be ~5.8A per light taking you closer to 12A current.

If you put 24v across it it would output a lot more than 60w, albeit for a shorter time ;)

TL;DR I'd use 1mmsq for all the feeds and 2mmsq for the grounds.

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The point was to show why 10a cable is insufficient for wiring shared between both lamps, John, needing 17a rather than 8a rated wire, but that 8a wire is sufficient for the independent subharnesses to each lamp.  The numbers were only approximate, but enough to illustrate the requirements for a safe loom.

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5 hours ago, Retroanaconda said:

A Landreizger loom was only about £45 last time I checked (maybe more now our currency is knackered), is made to fit and solves the problem forever. The cheap ‘Boomslang’ or eBay ones are terrible quality and likely to make your lights less reliable. Yes you can make your own quite easily as people have for years, but it wasn’t worth the time to save a few quid in my opinion.

As for necessity - hitting a deer hurts the same at 55 as it does at 60 so I’d say having good light output is worthwhile. Maybe not if you only bimble about locally but for long distance driving on very dark roads good headlamps make a huge difference. 

Fitting relays so your 60/55 bulbs work as designed will not dazzle anyone. “Upgrading” to super-awesome-mega-bright LEDs is much more likely to do just that, as will the 100w bulbs.

I’m not a fan of high-output H4s like the Nightbreakers - they just don’t last long enough. Good quality standard bulbs are what I use, and keep the headlamp glass clean. 

Making your own doesn’t really save much money, it just means it can be made to fit very neatly, fits a previously modified loom or engine bay, and can be made with correct colour coding to make future maintenance that little bit easier.  It also means you know what you’re getting, unlike the cheap kits that could have capacity for any incorrect current.

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