Headlight upgrade - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 15, 2:13 PM Thread Starter
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Headlight upgrade

I know they're a ton of posts on the subject, but I've done a lot of research and still have questions. I've got my 67 running great and I'm daily driving her. I'm not happy with the headlights driving at night. I saw the relay upgrade, but checked the power to my lights and found it was 12.8-13 pre-upgrade. I'm guessing this is due to me re-doing all the car wiring. Is it worth doing the upgrade still or should I start looking towards led etc? I've seen some reviews on the oracle leds that look pretty good. I'm more concerned with function than the looks. I know the leds don't look stock, but I built my car to drive.

Thanks
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 15, 4:18 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

I built a 1970 Nomad Wgn. driver seven years ago. I have driven it over 35.000 in 7 years. I do very long and far away road trips from the Pittsburgh, Pa. area. ( Fla, Tenn, Mich, N.Y.)
I installed relays on the headlights, My headlights get Batt. power. Org. wiring was.......... A hot wire into the car from the V. Reg. NOW AFTER,,,, The radio , Heater, Dash lights , and what ever else you have wire up..... Pull the headlight switch and they get what ever is left of the voltage.
I went with 4 Halogen bulbs for the front ( Sylvania Bulbs) NOW the headlights are EXCELLENT, They have that white look ,,NOT that Orange look. I now have very bright dash lights.
My relays are mounted near the V. Reg. sooooooo ,,, The Batt. voltage comes across the core support to the relays and then 6 or 8" to the Halo. bulbs.
I am VERY HAPPY with the brightness of the headlights and I can DAM well see at night.
P.S. If I have the brights on at night and forget,,, I get Bright/Light back in my face. PLUS, My headlights look Org.
OR Buy some " New And Improved " high dollar headlight system.
Bob


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 15, 4:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply. My main question was is it worth the relay upgrade as I'm getting good power to the headlights already. Most of the write ups show the headlights getting less than 12v. I guess there's only one way to find out...
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 15, 5:08 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

What headlights are in there now ?.

How is the voltage at idle at the headlight plug and at the battery compared to if the motor is at a higher RPM like it would be driving down the road ?.

You could run some test wiring to what you have and see if there is enough of a difference going around the factory headlight switch like what the relay kit is doing.

On my 68 Chevy II I have aftermarket Wagner Halogens in them and they are decent but I was wanting to get closer to having an original look so I bought some original T3's and then also bought some of the reproduction T3's.

While I have yet to do night time comparisons while on the car, I did do some bench testing.

Further down in the flickr link album below are some test results. The Wagner halogens were rated at a particular amperage draw at a certain voltage but the ones I tested seemed to test at a lower output and draw less power.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/121766...57660142962756

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXOBLNcyWWc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssT8477N-0g

Jim

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 15, 7:50 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

Trivia:
For the Chicago MCACN show. I removed the Halogen Bulbs ( Sylvania / Wagner=? ) and installed a set of Reproduction " T-3 " . In my Fraud SS 454-- 70 Nomad Wagon.
Park the wagon for the winter. Go to a cruise in the summer with the repro.-T-3s. Drive home at night with Repro. T-3s after years of Halogen bulbs.
The repro T-3s SUCK for driving at night, After years with Relays and Halogen bulbs in my (driver Sta. Wgn. ).
I will repeat my self.......... The Halogen Bulbs with relays are a " WHITE TYPE " bright. My one owner LS-5-M-22 Tlr. Queen has 1970 Org. T-3s. Two flashlights taped to the fender would be just as good. Like I said my 70 wagon has relays and the repo. T-3s were Orange looking and NOT White or bright.
This winter the Halogen Bulbs are going back in the wagon.
I would even try Halogen Bulbs with the stock wiring, If not bright enough, $6.00 / 8.00 will get you two relays.
Bob


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 15, 9:57 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robinls5 View Post
For the Chicago MCACN show I installed a set of Reproduction " T-3 " Bob
Bob,
Out of curiosity, whose reproduction T3's did you use ?. When I was looking around I found older reproduction sets from a few years back that they quit making or only made them in a limited amount or who knows what and now they are back and I wonder if there are differences between these two era's of reproductions ?.
Thanks, Jim

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 15, 4:38 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

The repo. T-3s I have are from 1995- 2000. When I put my El Camino together. Then I did the junkyard thing and found some O.E.M. - 1970 Bulbs.
Installed the dated old bulbs in my Camino and put the repo T-3s back in the boxes and on the shelf. They have almost no hours on the bulbs.
They are also not real bright. Could be the " New & Improved " Repos are better,,,, Dont know?
Bob


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 15, 6:28 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robinls5 View Post
The repo. T-3s I have are from 1995- 2000. When I put my El Camino together. Then I did the junkyard thing and found some O.E.M. - 1970 Bulbs.
Installed the dated old bulbs in my Camino and put the repo T-3s back in the boxes and on the shelf. They have almost no hours on the bulbs.
They are also not real bright. Could be the " New & Improved " Repos are better,,,, Don't know?
Bob
Thanks for replying back. I wondered how old the repro's were you had. Maybe they did become more improved ?. Who knows ?.

Jim

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 16th, 15, 4:07 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

I just installed this relay into my 1969 Chevelle:

http://www.carid.com/1969-chevy-chevelle-headlights/

I say "installed" as it didn't require any splicing -- plug and play. Okay, that's not entirely true as I did cut and re-splice the far headlight socket, but that was because I was picky about the harness routing and wanted to go through the stock holes in the front end. It took me a couple of hours as I went slowly and did some trouble shooting for other issues. To do a second one would take me about 30 minutes. Just make sure you have a good ground or else your lights will do all sorts of spooky stuff.

The relays are amazing. I have 10-year old Sylvania Halogen bulbs in there and the light output is close to double when driving at night. The interior and dash lights also got a boost. I know the butt-o-meter isn't reliable, but the car seems to run smoother -- that may just be false perception. I put the relay harness into the low beam circuit with full intention of putting another separate harness into the high beams, but decided against it as so much power was freed up by the first harness that I didn't feel it warranted the extra cost and clutter. The brights -- in the stock circuit -- are also significantly brighter. I set up everything up during the day and was a little disappointed in the effect, but when I turned the headlights on at night and drove the improvement was obvious and immense.

You will still have the stock lighting of course and won't have the modern, sharp-edged beams that a lot of people go for. The light will be diffuse but much, much brighter. For about $40, it was a huge bang-for-the-buck upgrade.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 16th, 15, 5:12 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ i dont see a relay in the link ?

ROB

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 16th, 15, 11:32 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

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Originally Posted by robpp View Post
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ i dont see a relay in the link ?
Sorry, wrong link. Here it is:

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Headli...Kit,58825.html

Summit also has it for a couple of bucks less, and free shipping as well if your order is over a certain amount. On Amazon and Ebay it's around $50. It's made by UPI, part # 34236. They also have four headlight harnesses, but it requires splicing in additional connectors to replace the ones on the harness. For me, relaying the hi beams was unnecessary.
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