Team Chevelle banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,171 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody have a list handy of the newer style headlights and fog light bulb numbers?

I just replaced the headlights in an 03 Escape.... the book called for 9003, and I found out an H4 fit. So I put the brighter H4's in.... they work awesome!

Now, I'd like to replace the fog light bulbs, which use an 898 bulb. I was wondering what other bulb fits in that socket, ,but would be brighter. I think the 898 is 37W, and I've seen some H1 bulbs that are 55W, and I THINK they interchange, but I'm not sure?

I searched the web for a good while, and I couldn't find anything that told me what interchanges with what. Any tips?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,476 Posts
Chris,

What you want to do is NOT recommended. "What fits" and what is "called for" are 2 different things. You need to stick with the manufacturers bulb numbers. More powerful lights mean more current. The wire sizes in todays vehicle are marginal the way it is to carry the loads, increasing the load is asking for a possible disaster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,315 Posts
I'd listen to Coppertop's advice. Newer vehicles have computer controlled lighting. You overload a circuit, you blow out the body computer. Then plan on spending around $500 to get your lights working again. Unless you have lots of money to throw away, don't modify new cars. If you want to modify, get an old car that will forgive your mistakes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,171 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I appreciate the advice. I have thought about the wiring, and the effect of larger bulbs. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but please help me understand how using a larger bulb could be a bad idea.

My thought is, the light circuit is fused, or on a breaker. If the bulbs are too large, and take too much current, a fuse or brreaker should trip, right? So, if the wires are a little small, the only downside would be a premature tripping of the fuse, or less light output due to the voltage drop? How could irreversible damage occur?

The only bad thing I can think of, is heat - if the bulbs are too hot, they could melt their socket, or lens. Aside from that, I would figure it's an ok thing to try. If the breaker trips, or a fuse blows, replace it, and use the OEM bulb. However, I wouldn't consider upping the fuse size......THAT I could see as bad. :)

Again, not trying to be argumentative, I really would like to know the answer - is this really a bad thing to do?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,476 Posts
Chris,

Yes, the electrical circuits are fused or protected by breakers, but what you'll typically come across are "large" fuses. In other words, the auto manufacturer may design for a 10 amp load, but put a 20 amp fuse--protection against a dead-short, but not a simple over-current condition.

You are correct heat is an issue, but not just the plastic pieces, why put undue stress on the connectors and brass contacts that carry the power? This is why are beloved classics suffer from dim headlights and intermittent switches--the heat/cool/heat/cool cycle from current draining devices cause connector and hardware to suck in moisture and dirt, make plastic and rubber wire coating brittle with time and affect copper's ability to conduct efficently when it ages and oxidizes.

Also, to expound on what Gary mentioned, modern cars use many circuits that are affected by current. For example GM products use a diode assembly to drop current to daytime running lamps. BMW or Mercedes (can't remember which) uses a module that contains a "sense wire". A computer module measures the current drop across this wire to check the status on the integrity of the high beams/daytime running lamps. No current = burned out bulb.

Pulling excess current thru circuits doesn't necessarily mean you'll get greeted by a familiar pop of the fuse or trip of a thermal breaker. It can often mean premature failure of often time expen$ive parts.

Trust me on this, I spent a lot of time carefully planning when I rewired my forward lighting harness on my 2000 Impala to disable the DRL's. I had to satisfy the needs of the lamp control module without sacrificing the safety of the wiring or the car's many modules.

This is why you can't find the interchange manual you are looking for. Many, many bulbs use the same base and will "fit", but that doesn't make it right. It's like someone putting a 100 watt bulb in one of those big-box stores do-it-yourself decorative ceiling lamps that has the warning tag inside not to use anything larger than a 60 watt bulb.

If you want more lumens, check another type of "interchange" manual, for example Sylvania now makes there silverstar line, more light intensity without causing overloads.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,171 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Coppertop, I appreciate the well thought out reply! I guess I over simplified the circuit in my head (lights, wire, fuse, switch). I even work on new automotive development including supplying an ECU! I should've known better.... :D

I hate the DRLs' on my 04 silverado. But I know it's not a simple fix. Unless you have details........hehe!

The new headlights on the Escape are factory watts (60/55) but they are white. The fog lights are still yellow, like the factory headlights were. Plus, they've always sucked - that's why I was thinking about bigger ones. I haven't found any bulb listed as an 898, except replacement yellow ones - that's partly why I wondered about physical interchage with the H series. I put the Silverstar bulbs on my plow, and the're sweet. If I could find some fog lamp bulbs with a white light like them, ,but factory watts, that'll be ok..... I was just hoping for a bonus too :)

Thanks guys!
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top