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Old 26th September 2007, 19:15   #886
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[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]Hello everybody – I have been scanning the headlights section for quite sometime and everybody has very similar queries. Which bulb / relay to use, how to wire etc. I believe that I have done some work on improving my cars’ headlights. I used to rally and as good headlights were an absolute necessity to go fast at night during the events. Also that my car’s headlights are very important to me so all my cars have the best headlights that I can fit in them. I am sharing my experiences with you. My request is that if you exactly follow everything written here – word by word and line – by – line, then your headlights will be very good. If you deviate, your headlights will not give you what you want from them. Needless to say, this communication is indicative of actual steps to be taken to ensure a delightful experience.

This communication covers only normal headlights with bulbs. As far as Xenon is concerned, I will provide details later.

Wires – use only FINOLEX wires of nominal size "65" series or more for all major connections. Use only FINOLEX wires of nominal size "14" series for switch actuating circuits. Nowadays, 84 series wires supercede 65 series wires. These are available and cost around Rs 1200 worth for some 20 odd meters. These are available in 2 shops in Opera House in Mumbai. One of the shops is General Auto Electric and Trading Co Ltd. (owned by Maheshbhai, my old headlight contact for more than 25 years).

Reflectors – cars now have their own equipment as supplied. Stick to the original reflectors. Do not go for aftermarket reflectors. If your car’s reflectors have "dulled" in any way, please install new ones. Look for the brightness in reflectors. Tell the shopkeeper to show you six out of which you choose two. He generally grumbles but complies and you get to pick up the best. Avoid reflectors, which have some sort of "pin-hole" indentations in them as light can get reflected incorrectly.

Round reflectors – the best headlight illumination still comes out of good old-fashioned round reflectors. There are 3 makes to choose from, don’t even think of anything else. Lucas TVS is still the best in terms of focus-ability, beam definition, beam strength, beam uniformity and beam reach but these are becoming increasingly hard to find, so if you get good ones, buy and keep them. Lumax reflectors are cheap, easily available but lacks the beam that a good Lucas TVS gives (I purchased Lumax and threw them out the next day). Hella India gives a decent compromise performance. Do not use reflectors which have the small light bulb holder built into them as it affects the sheer performance in terms of beam pattern and consistency. Also please do not use reflectors which have the typical pock marked design available all across now (OE on new Ambies). Reflectors come equipped to handle either a P43t bulb or a P45t bulb (refer below).

Bulbs – All new cars come equipped with what is known as a "P43t" type of bulb. This essentially is a bulb, which has 3 tangs sticking out radially at the mounting face. An asymmetrical location of the tangs ensures that the bulb fits the reflector at one location only. This ensures that the filaments are correctly located with respect to the focal point in the reflector. Before "P43t" became the accepted norm, the bulbs used to come in a "P45t" configuration. This consists of a round shallow dish, which has an angular locator on it. This matches the reflector. First see what reflector you have and then match the bulbs because P43t and P45t are absolutely not interchangeable. When you purchase bulbs, it is important to hold them from the base and look at the glass envelope. It should be perpendicular to the mounting face. I have seen innumerable "bent" bulbs, which will just not work, as the filaments will not get located at the focal point. See around 10 bulbs to choose 2. Before the P43t and the P45t days, there used to be a "Lucas TVS type" bulb but it is now more or less obsolete. I am using GE make 140/110 bulbs in my FIATS. They are awesome (but very costly too).

Wattage – The rule here is simple – more is better – more is brighter – more is whiter. Remember to purchase from a reliable shop / person only as there are umpteen number of fakes floating around (Maheshbhai of Opera House and his son Hitesh have been supplying to me for so long now, I am not a customer to them any more).

Bulb connectors – now this is a tough one. The best thing to do is not to have anything, just solder the wires on the flat terminals (I have been doing this for all my rallies). Just recently there is a connector in the market made of ceramic, which I have just fitted on my FIAT, and I am monitoring the performance. The wires, which come with these connectors, are nowhere near Finolex quality so if you still want to use the connectors, use only the last one-inch or so. Let the Finolex come all the way upto the bulb.

Earth connection – this is most important. Please DO NOT use the earth connection provided in the car, as it will not be able to cater to the additional performance need. Fabricate earth connectors from the Finolex wires, use round brass connectors at the earth end and solder the wire to the connector rigidly. Use an existing earth connector in the car to ground the joint (usually it would be an M6*1.0 size bolt to the body).

Relays – previously mechanically operated relays were available from a company called PMP Auto (Goregaon based). There were 2 types, the so-called 5 point or the 6 point. Connections are basically simple, there is a positive connection, two actuating points connect to the changeover switch and two points connect to the high beam / low beam of the bulbs. Any self-respecting electrician knows all this. Nowadays I use Bosch electronic relays available at good accessory shop for around Rs 100 a piece. These are made in Germany. Ask for the "Bosch ka headlight relay" and any good shop will give it to you.

Connections and fabrication of the wiring harness – remember that once you have purchased the wires and the bulbs etc, the real work starts. You need to be very clear on how you are going to layout the harness. You will need to fabricate a full harness outside the car by laying out the routing on the car, cutting the wires to correct length and then assembling temporarily by using insulation tapes at joints etc. Remember to lay out an extra length of cable from the main alternator terminal to the starter motor / battery positive terminal so as to provide an additional booster / shunt to the main harness. Once the "loose loom" is ready, take a big bundle of plastic tape "Notre" makes is good and start taping the loom in totality. The skill lies in the pitch of each turn, if done correctly, you will always get a "Wow what a wiring harness" from people who understand. To others, it does not matter but then in the night their headlights also don’t work as required.

A word of caution - please take a copy of this communication, show it to your electrician who understands and has the time, energy, patience and passion to do this kind of work. Whenever I have done it, it has taken me 10 hours non-stop from start to finish. Needless to say that this is an indicative procedure. Minor details may vary from car to car.

The beam setting procedure – in the nights go to a quiet straight road. It must be minimum 500 m long. Park the car in the center of the road and start the headlights in high beam. Stand in front of each headlight when it is on to understands the beam pattern of the other headlight. Set the high beam so that it is parallel to the road at headlight mounting height and that BOTH HIGH BEAMS MEET AT THE CENTRE LINE OF THE CAR. In other words, THE HIGH BEAMS MUST REMAIN PARALLEL TO THE ROAD AND BOTH MUST MEET EXACTLY AT THE CAR CENTRE LINE. Remember that you will have to DRIVE THE CAR FOR A LITTLE DISTANCE EACH TIME. Just standing outside and setting will not give you results. I need to get down and adjust each beam at least 25 times for me to get my correct high beam pattern. It took me about 2 months to finally arrive at my personal best setting on the beam pattern. A minor fog on the road enhances the beam, helping you to identify it better. Use nature to your advantage.

Any change to the Alternator etc? – No, not required if the unit is working and delivering output to specifications. Normally the electricians take short cuts when they overhaul alternators so if you are not sure, just replace the whole assembly with a new one. In the long run, it works out as better value for money. Otherwise if you want to overhaul, please use new diodes, a new relay and a new slip ring pack.

The final result – it has to be a WOW everytime, there is no doubt. Go down any Ghat road in the middle of the night and you will see your high beam dance from a rock face and then into the openness of the clear sky as you take hairpin bends. The feeling is exhilarating. If the convergence point is spot-on @ car centerline (RH beam and LH beam angle is same), you will have better control over your steering wheel inputs. This will give you full confidence to place your car exactly where you want it in the middle of the Ghat in the absolute dead of night. But you have to work hard to achieve it. I have done it for years. So go ahead and finally get good headlights on your cars.

Discipline on the highways at night – Perfect headlights is a must for our highways, but please use them responsibly. I have the self-imposed discipline of dipping my headlights, irrespective of what the opposite driver does. If I have to slow down, I slow down. No compromise. But if I flash my high beam, the guy gets a very passive message of who is on the other side and who means business.

My take on extra driving lights – I have used all sorts of things, but to-date, without any doubt, the best pair of driving lights that I have ever used are a pair of HELLA RALLYE 3000 YELLOW COLOURED DRIVING LIGHTS. Their power, reach, beam convergence and view clarity is just awesome, even in the face of oncoming lights. Obviously, I had a fabricated an additional harness for them as well. Also, please fabricate rigid mountings for such wonderful lights. Do not mount them on aftermarket brackets at all. All it takes is a little ingenuity. Ask me if you want I will guide you. I have used CIBIE concave round lights as well. They are good but it is hard to find a good pair these days.

Best of luck. I will appreciate your comments on this message.

Please accept my best personal regards,

Behram Dhabhar

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Old 26th September 2007, 19:42   #887
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Wow thats a very nice and pretty detailed write up too, i need to work on focusing my headlamps especially the high beams as the , i am running 130W/110W Philips Rallye Bulbs currently on my verna ...
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Old 26th September 2007, 20:07   #888
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Quote:
Connections and fabrication of the wiring harness – remember that once you have purchased the wires and the bulbs etc, the real work starts. You need to be very clear on how you are going to layout the harness. You will need to fabricate a full harness outside the car by laying out the routing on the car, cutting the wires to correct length and then assembling temporarily by using insulation tapes at joints etc. Remember to lay out an extra length of cable from the main alternator terminal to the starter motor / battery positive terminal so as to provide an additional booster / shunt to the main harness. Once the "loose loom" is ready, take a big bundle of plastic tape "Notre" makes is good and start taping the loom in totality. The skill lies in the pitch of each turn, if done correctly, you will always get a "Wow what a wiring harness" from people who understand. To others, it does not matter but then in the night their headlights also don’t work as required.
Very impressive writeup, one question here: Do we have to change the wiring all the way from the combination switch onwards or only within the engine compartment?

Last edited by Lukeskywalker : 26th September 2007 at 20:21.
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Old 26th September 2007, 20:15   #889
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WOW
Thats an awesome write up and, I already took a printout of this info. very shortly i will be upgrading headlights on my 800 to 90/100W Philips Rallye Bulbs with relay.
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Old 26th September 2007, 21:35   #890
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sathya_nars View Post
What does it mean when we say 60/55W? what do these 2 figures mean?
55/60W means the low beam wattage is 55W and high beam wattage is 60W.
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Old 26th September 2007, 22:32   #891
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Hey! need a lil help. I need to replace the lamps on my matiz. They are philips 100/90 running on relays. The new ones im lookinf for must be of similar power, but i need good beam and preferably blue /pure white light. No yellow. Which one should i go for??
Philips Bluevision-great colour, but heard that the beam is not too good.
Philips Crystal Vision-Dont know, heard it is available only in 55/60
Philips Vision plus:geard good things about this one, but does it have a blue/white light?? and is it available in 100/90???
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Old 26th September 2007, 23:04   #892
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Try bluevision or Narva.
Try before buy.
If you can source it, try the halonix white version too. The glass is not colored but light is whiter(always better than the ones with blue glass)
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Old 27th September 2007, 00:21   #893
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Talking Bi-xenon Hid Kit For Skoda

H.I.D Conversion - BRISKODA - The Skoda Forum and Community

Came across a source for bixenon kit for skoda. The guy has been using the kit for afew months now . check it out.
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Old 27th September 2007, 08:45   #894
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Talking Bi-xenon Hid Kit For Skoda

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagan View Post
H.I.D Conversion - BRISKODA - The Skoda Forum and Community

Came across a source for bixenon kit for skoda. The guy has been using the kit for afew months now . check it out.
VVME LLC Your best Xenon HID light supplier. No cutting or soldering needed just fits in as a direct replacement just gotta find somewhere to locate the ballast's which are about the size of a fag packet.Cheap as chips too and quick delivery.


Try the above link also
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Old 27th September 2007, 10:01   #895
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Hello to you Lukeskywalker - you do not need to go upto the combination switch. Just divert the original wires leading upto the RH reflector to operate the relays (the combination switch will now operate the relays instead of operating the bulbs) and what do you do with the original wires going to the LH reflector ? Block them with masking tape. I hope it is clear. If you want further information, please ask.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 27th September 2007, 18:45   #896
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Hello to you Lukeskywalker - you do not need to go upto the combination switch. Just divert the original wires leading upto the RH reflector to operate the relays (the combination switch will now operate the relays instead of operating the bulbs) and what do you do with the original wires going to the LH reflector ? Block them with masking tape. I hope it is clear. If you want further information, please ask.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Thanks for the clarification Behram, the query is answered quite clearly, now for my next question:

My car (Optra) has 2 bulbs in each headlight, separate for high and low beam, now will having 2 separate relays one each for high and low make any positive(advantageous) difference to the circuit or will one relay to control both suffice?
It is to be noted here that on high beam both the bulbs in each headlight are lit.

Could you give a possible wiring diagram for the kind of setup my car would require?
Also, what about the existing headlamp relay which is OEM? Do we make it redunant or connect it in parallel to the new one?

Thanks in advance.
Regards_Hari.

Last edited by Lukeskywalker : 27th September 2007 at 18:48.
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Old 27th September 2007, 19:01   #897
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Give me a couple of days to study the Optra (a colleague at the office has it) and I will get back to you. Off the cuff, I would prefer separate relays as it is a one time cost and the "per relay" load is less so life and performance will be better.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 27th September 2007, 21:35   #898
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Hey Behram Dhabhar Sir,

It would be nice if you could give information on the Optra wiring, to which ever mechanic i went all of them refused to install a relay saying its too complicated to do so on the Optra as it has four bulbs, 2 for low, 2 for high.

Any inputs?
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Old 27th September 2007, 22:55   #899
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single relay is enough, only thing thats different is you will have four grounding wires in H4 setup, instead of 2 in H7.

ie one bulb housing both the high and low beams (common ground), its two separate bulbs (separate ground for each) thats all the difference is.
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Old 28th September 2007, 05:33   #900
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guys just fitted hid in my civic auto.......do i need any more mod to make the beam fall perfectly on the road....
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