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After some advice.

I currently have sealed beams in my 1988 110 csw so it needs upgrading.

I have seen wipac do a cyrstal head light. I assume this is like the modern headlights where the beam pattern is on the reflector instead of the lens. Are these any good? I am after better light output on dip beam, without blinging it up.

Any other advice?

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I have the older Wipac conversion units on my 109 and RRC, and they're pretty good, especially if you fit brighter bulbs like Halfors Ultra (120% brighter, the claim - couldn't give you an accurate estimate, but they are very bright bulbs), but I have heard that the crystal units are much better still. It makes sense as the lenses are flat, thin and clear, so less light is absorbed by the glass or refracted in useless directions. I'll be using crystal headlights next time I need to replace these units, if they get damaged or the reflectors corrode.

Remember to rewire with 27A cabling and 30A relays for each system, dipped and main, with a 15A fuse in each relay feed, the relay controlled by the original wiring from switch to headlight units, or you'll burn out the switches in quick order. The uprated power feeds to the relays and bulbs will also reduce voltage drop before the bulbs, making sure you get their best performance.

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That (above) is good advice - and there is other good advice on here recently, - relevant to this topic, to summarise the key issues: Run good quality high current cables so that you dont suffer from output debilitating voltage drop at the bulb end, protect the cables when they pass through bulkheads and partitions, and locate the fuses to protect against chaffing cables or other short circuits .

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Has anyone tried running Crystal units with both main and dip beam filaments running simultaneously? I'm considering this mod. but am unsure whether the Crystal headlamp units (which are polycarbonate, not glass) will stand the heat.

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Has anyone tried running Crystal units with both main and dip beam filaments running simultaneously? I'm considering this mod. but am unsure whether the Crystal headlamp units (which are polycarbonate, not glass) will stand the heat.

I dont know if there is much to gain? I get the impression most people find the main beams acceptable and it is the dipped that are less acceptable. I have a pair of spots that come on with my main beams though, so that is possibly why this mod wouldnt appeal to me.

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Has anyone tried running Crystal units with both main and dip beam filaments running simultaneously? I'm considering this mod. but am unsure whether the Crystal headlamp units (which are polycarbonate, not glass) will stand the heat.

I've got the crystals and running both on when high beam is activated on my 86, LR90, been 2 years and had no problems with bulbs doing this or lenses... I've got them like this not neccesarily out of design... it just happen to be the feed I took the high beam from for the new relay circuit. it just doesnt switch the main off when you go high. I thought I'd run with it unless I had a problem, and its been fine, and the driving lights are some of the best I've ever had in any vehicle I have driven, I must upgrade, but like snagger says, you may want to upgrade your wireing too... having said that my 110 had the upgraded wipec's and its on the standard wiring... just make sure your fuses are all correct and not overrated!...

Mav

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Again

To me there are very few headlights that are GOOD. Hella, Cibie and Marechal. If you want good dips then Hella with the wiring done like I do. Stay with good H4 units using the standard 55 dip. Once again Phillips are good. They were the original QI developer for what is now the H4. They are not bulbs but quartz envelops covering the filament.

icon_delete.gif Each headlight has a connector for the bulb.
Fit a bulb into the connector and hold the bulb in your hand looking at the back of the connector with the middle terminal at the top.
Left hand terminal==Earth.Black wire
Top terminal========Dip beam.Blue red tracer.
Right hand terminal=Mainbeam.Blue white tracer.


Headlight wiring circuit.Provides dip at all times.Fuses to protect the wiring in case of accident damaging headlights.
You will need.
Two 70amp relays R70 from Vehicle Wiring Products.
Suitable correct colour coded cable of at least 29/0.030 wire of the required length for each of the headlight circuits.
Cable at least 44/0.30 Brown for the feed to the relay.
cable at least 44/0.30 black to earth the headlight bulb.
cable 14/0.30 to earth the relays.
Fuse box for spade type fuses,one fuse for each bulb element.
Lucar connectors to suit both the fuse box and the relay.
Connectors for the feed to the relay.
DISCONNECT THE BATTERY.
Fit both the fuse box andthe relays in a suitable position.
Make up a small loom,one dip one main beam[assuming two headlights]one earth.
Take the earth to the body/chassis.
take the dip wire to the fuse box and connect.
Take the main beam wire to the fuse box and connect.
Repeat for the other side.
You should now have the headlights wired into the fuse box.
As we are using the 70 amp relay.take a large lucar connector and join TWO wires into that connector for the dip circuit,make that wire a suitable length to go from the relay to the fuse box.
Repeat for the other light.
You should now be wired from the relay to the headlight.
Take TWO lengths of Brown wire fron either,the starter solenoid or the battery master switch.What ever is convienent,one wire to each of the relays useing the othe large terminal.
Earth both relays.
NOW!!!
Cut the ORIGINAL headlight connector off the Original headlight wiring and fit a Lucar connector to both the dip and main beam wires.
Fit fuses.
It should now work.
Good!!!

NOTE
I haven't given the relay connector numbers.That information MUST be supplied with the relay.

To have the dip switched on permantly.

Remove the shroud from the steering column.
Comming up the column is a cluster of wires.
The Blue wire is the headlight feed to the switch.
Te Blue with a red tracer is the dip feed from the dipswitch.
Cut both these wires and join together.I use a bullet connector but you can now get a proper Lucar block connector.
Please try this with test wirs before cutting the wires.

You can also do the same thing useing a relay.PM me if you would like me to sort this method out.

Get out bit.....
I've given you this information to the best of my ability.This is the method I've used on four of my rally cars and most of my road cars.Please use a fused link to check everything works before reconnecting the battery.

headlight+wiring.jpg

This is how mine is fitted to the inside of the left front wing.

The two brown wires are the live feed from the starter motor terminal

The spiral wrapped wires are the feeds from the old headlight connector to trigger the relays.

The wire comming out of the front of the fuse box [on the right of the picture] are the wires to each headlight.


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I put Halford's ultra mega whatever lamps in - made a big difference

then I relayed the lights in a similar manner to mike - another big difference (due to more voltage at the lamp)

next is the crystals.

did consider LEDs, but figured I'd give this route a go first, due to cost. Glad I did now!

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This is great information, especially confirming the benefits of re-wiring using decent sized cables to maintain the volts at the bulb end of the circuit, but also about fusing the individual circuits. Elsewhere on the forum recently I read a similar post where the writer pointed out the disadvantages of losing ALL your headlight circuits halfway through negotiating a severe corner in total blackness.

I have often wondered about the downsides of having the dipped circuit permanently on? Has anybody got any negatives to report?

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Yes there are negatives with having dipped beam on full time. The halogens don't like it leading to earlier failure. Not that I've noticed problems

Incidently I use 100watt for main beam.

Having lost all headlights on a selective doing a road rally, I will say it's not fun.

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Sure other negative.

- Extra load on the alternator.

- You won't see distance as well as your night vision is impaired with the extra short range illumination.

I already have a 100A alternator and was thinking of fitting some spot lights, so I don't see either of those being an issue!

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Sure other negative.

- Extra load on the alternator.

- You won't see distance as well as your night vision is impaired with the extra short range illumination.

I don't see that as an issue at all. I also run an Engel fridge at the same time. Yes an 100Amp alternator helps.

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Wipac Crystals are good, make a difference. Good bulbs as suggested above are also a good idea. And combined with a wiring upgrade you're laughing.

I have just the first two and my lights are more than adequate, which is good as for half the year 90% of my driving is in the dark as with most people. I am going to do the wiring upgrade too, but more to reduce the load on the switchgear than for reasons of light levels.

The circa £700 LED units are ridiculous, and frankly not worth it as far as I can see.

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Now I'll tell you....

The system I use is from my Avenger rally car. Carefully gleaned and dissected from the original Hillman Avenger GT wiring as per the Haynes book of words. So you can see I've used it for a long time.

I had a similar system in my rally Imp as well.

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Firstly, regarding bulb performance, those Halfords Ultras I mentioned, with the 120% brighter claim - as others said, they're very effective. My earlier post wasn't clear in my experience of using them: I have them on the 109 and they more than offset the light lost by the slats in the bullbar in front of them. Realistically, their output is such that I no longer need the bar mounted spots for main beam. They are rated 55/60, so are road legal and are standard H4 fit, so are simple to use. Unfortunately, they only seem to last a couple of years, or about 15-20,000 miles of driving, though at least half my driving is with the lights on. Halfords do ordinary H4s as well which probably last a little longer, but they also do heavy duty H4s for vehicles with greater vibration (like ours), and close inspection showed heavier welds and mountings for the filaments, so if you don't need so much extra illumination from the halogen upgrade as having the ultra bulbs, they're worth a look.

Secondly, the relays. 70A relays won't do any harm, and they appear similar in size to the more usual 30A, but they're massive overkill. At 60W, two bulbs draw 10A from the battery (12V x 10A = 120W) or about 8A at the 14V produced by the alternator; even if you wire a pair of 60W driving or spot lamps into the circuits and run off the one relay, you still only need a single 30A relay for dipped and another for main beam. They'll be more easily available and cheaper than the 70A type, but fit whichever you're comfortable with. The main concern is that you use 27A cable as the 17A cable will cause a bit of a voltage drop over the length that you are wiring up, nit much, but enough to dim the output a little and the extra cost of the heavier wire is minimal. And use 15A fuses on the feeds from the battery/ starter solenoid to protect the circuit effectively.

In terms of reliability and the concern of everything going dark at the worst moment, wiring the lamps so that main beam has the dipped on too is going to increase the chance of failure - you're nearly doubling the energy inside the bulbs, so they will be much hotter and will burn out far faster - I'd estimate in no more than 1/3 the time than if used correctly. The extra light produced is minimal and ineffective - try it yourself by going from main beam to the flash position on your column and comparing what you see. It's just not worth the alteration. But by fitting relays, you will be massively reducing the current through the switches, which are the weakest part of the standard system. Even if retaining sealed beam lamps, using relays will improve reliability. If you are seriously concerned, though, you can fit individual relays in each circuit for each bulb, ie four relays in all. I have had one relay failure in the main beam circuit in the 15 years I have had the system, causing the headlight main beam and two spots running from the relay to remain on. I think the relay had tired and welded its contacts closed. I carry a couple of spares, so it was easy to fix. So, to allow for relay failure, by having one for each bulb means that the other bulb will still function normally. It won't cure the remaining vulnerability of having just one control circuit, from fuse box, via switch, to the relays, though, and of course, if a dipped or main circuit failed at a bad moment, you can always select the other circuit as you can now with the standard lights.

Personally, I'd keep it simple with the single 30A relay for each system, with the heavy wire and 15A fuse (25A with four lights on one circuit) preventing any overload.

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The reason I use a 70Amp relay is not because of the relay size but the small Lucar connector at the relay. A 3/ 8" Licar gives better connections for the wiring. No other reason;.

H4 Halogens are not bulbs. The bulb is part of the lamp. The bulb covers the filament.

A halogen uses an envelope to cover the filter.

I've been using my system since the early 1980's, especially on my rally cars. I can only remember one failure which had nothing to do with the system as such.

Oh yes why do we talk dip and MAIN beam.

Dip is the main lighting I use 90% of the time; High beam yes but main beam is dip :ph34r:

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Oh yes why do we talk dip and MAIN beam.

Round here I guess 90% of my driving is on [main|normal] beam - meaning a pair of 130-watt headlights augmented by a couple of Mr. PIAA's long-range goodness.

"Dip" is only for those occasional instances when someone else is approaching.

I consider "dip beam" to be the short-duration, unusual case.

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Round here I guess 90% of my driving is on [main|normal] beam - meaning a pair of 130-watt headlights augmented by a couple of Mr. PIAA's long-range goodness.

"Dip" is only for those occasional instances when someone else is approaching.

I consider "dip beam" to be the short-duration, unusual case.

Ah so you're one of those people that follow me in a 30MPH speed limit on my back bumper with ALL your lights blazing away. Drive along a road and don't dip... :stirthepot::rofl:

I very rarely drive without following or approaching another vehicle

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Well, it's interesting to read who drives under different conditions and who considers dipped or high to be "main" beam, and that will depend largely on whether you're driving deserted country roads in the middle of the night or congested town roads during rush hour, but it doesn't help the technical issues! Likewise, referring to the units as bulbs seems reasonable for simplicity's sake... ;)

The UK regs require the use of 55/60W bulbs. Higher wattages will give better illumination, but you could have hassle with them if you get caught, and I suspect that if you had an accident where the other driver claimed to have been dazzled, it could complicate your defence and also potentially void your insurance. However, the super-duper Halfords and Bosch 55/60s are road legal despite their higher output, so it's worth considering them in favour of the higher wattage bulbs just to cover your backside. If they're not enough for night driving (unlikley, especially with the crystal lenses), then adding spots is still legal and will give similar or better results than the mega bulbs. Of course, in countries which allow the higher bulbs, then they have the benefit of being easier to fit than a spot lamp installation, but obviously you will need to ensure that the wiring loom is up to the current the bulbs will draw.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just changed my older Wipac Quadoptics (original fit) for new Wipac Crystals from Devon 4x4 for about £24. I've fitted the +130% Halfrauds bulbs too (another £24).

FYI the picture shows both together - the new lamps in place and the old quadoptics resting on the tops of the wings.

The new Crystals are the ones without the pilot light holes, but I notice there is a sealed covered hole at the very top of the reflector bowl which is exactly the right size for an LED....

Hope this is helpful to someone. Took 35 minutes to change both sides in the car park at work - I'd already put new stainless steel bevel retainers last year for the MOT.

post-22472-0-04074700-1389619046_thumb.jpg

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