Hate OEM halogin headlights? $45 CURE. - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012 Thread Starter
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Hate OEM halogin headlights? $45 CURE.

So last year, I installed a flash to pass (garage door opener), which connects to the high beam circuit. When I peeled back the insulation to solder the wires to it, I was shocked at how thin the wire was. It was maybe 8 thin strands of copper, possibly 22 or 24 gauge. Not a lot of meat in there at all.

So today, before I did the mod, I measured the voltage at the light bulb (by fishing very thin krynar wire to connector and pinching it between bulb and connector) with the engine running.
Battery: 14.42 volts.
low beam at the bulb: 12.48 volts.
high beam at the bulb: 12.73 volts.

I then installed the relay harness.
Amazon.com: Putco 239008HW Premium Automotive Lighting Wiring H13-9008 100W Heavy Duty Harness and Relay: Automotive
It is an easy install, and if it took over an hour, you're doing it wrong. On the passenger side I picked up the ground near the headlight, and on the driver side I picked it up below the airbox where there is another ground. It is all plug and play, I did have to extend the ground on the passenger side. The harness features a direct line to the battery for each circuit (low and high), and a pair of fuseable links that connect to the battery. Very well made with 14 gauge (guess) wire, and a pair of 30 amp relays.

After the install, I got these numbers:
Battery: 14.43
Low Beam: 14.14
highbeam: 14.12

Significantly better! I have not had darkness yet, but even comparing one to the other half way through the install, with one connected to the harness and the other OEM, it seemed obvious that the relay side was brighter.

Here is a voltage vs lumens from Danial Stern:
10.5V : 510 lumens
11.0V : 597 lumens
11.5V : 695 lumens
12.0V : 803 lumens
12.5V : 923 lumens
12.8V : 1000 lumens ←Rated output voltage
13.0V : 1054 lumens
13.5V : 1198 lumens
14.0V : 1356 lumens ←Rated life voltage
14.5V : 1528 lumens

Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply

So, according to this, I gained about ~350 lumens per side, a fairly significant number.

Bulb life may be cut a bit, we shall see. On my old car, I used a diode to bridge between the high beam --> to low beam circuit, but that was with a 9004 bulb. IIRC, it blew up. Envelope temp got exceeded. But for those willing to risk it......the option is there.

The other option is to get higher intensity bulbs, but I have not even begun to look for those. With the harness in place, this is an easy option to exercise.

I wish the harness had black sheathing instead of the crazy yellow, but since I don't do the car show thing, no biggy.

Some pics:

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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012
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Very nice write up. When I changed my bulbs I noticed how thin the wire was to the headlights, & have been wanting to do something like this. Thanks for the info.



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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012
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I'd get some black split loom to cover that yellow insulation with.

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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012
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By the way, that same wiring kit is available on ebay for $39.95 shipped.

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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ltngdrvr View Post
By the way, that same wiring kit is available on ebay for $39.95 shipped.

True, but I love amazons return policy, had to use it a few times. I have yet been able to return on ebay!

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012
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DDMtuning.com. Lifetime warrantied HID kits for <$50 shipped.

Get 4500k 35 watt and call it a day.

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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012 Thread Starter
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HID in a halogen fixture is Bart Simpson imho. I curse at them every day.

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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012 Thread Starter
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After getting some night time in this thing, I give it a thumbs up! Went from barely acceptable to acceptable. Low beams in particular show great improvement.

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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012
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Great writeup OP, thank you. The factory non HID headlights are a weakspot on the car and I think that by Ford making 2013's standard w/the HID was their way of correcting the issue without admitting that the non HID's are perhaps not up to the task. Overall though I love my car.

I may have to look into this but may explore different bulbs first. Not to take this OT but anyone have good luck with different bulbs? Perhaps this trick and bulbs would be an even better improvement.

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I think the stock halogens are a) barely adequate, and b) need to be aimed a bit higher. I'm going to wait until I add the GT fog lights to my car before I do anything like change the wiring loom.

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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012 Thread Starter
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This setup is what would be needed if you can find 55/100 watt bulbs.
The ones I have seen on line so far all have a coating. I would like to find some clear. "Ice white" need not apply.

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Sheesh!

All you young guys are really spoiled.

You should all have to drive a car from the early 1950's or before that came with a 6 volt electrical system, then you'd really know what weak headlights are.

I may get around to doing this big wire and relay kit some day but it's WAY down on my list of things to do to this car.

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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ltngdrvr View Post
Sheesh!

All you young guys are really spoiled.

You should all have to drive a car from the early 1950's or before that came with a 6 volt electrical system, then you'd really know what weak headlights are.

I may get around to doing this big wire and relay kit some day but it's WAY down on my list of things to do to this car.
45 minutes and $40 bucks. You can do it while the wax is drying to a haze.

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I installed one of these kits on my Crown Vic to allow the use of brighter bulbs, and it left one of the OEM connectors hanging free, which got really corroded.

Also, from my experience, you MUST use relays that have brass spades. The relays with aluminum spades ones will NOT last. The last time I bought some, it was from NAPA (it was the only local auto parts store that carried them, and they cost twice as much more than the aluminum spade relays. While you're buying them, buy a couple of spares and keep them in the car (you won't know you need them until you actually need them). Again, this is from direct experience.

I would also recommend using dialectic grease on all the contacts to avoid having water-caused problems.

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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsimmons View Post
I installed one of these kits on my Crown Vic to allow the use of brighter bulbs, and it left one of the OEM connectors hanging free, which got really corroded.

Also, from my experience, you MUST use relays that have brass spades. The relays with aluminum spades ones will NOT last. The last time I bought some, it was from NAPA (it was the only local auto parts store that carried them, and they cost twice as much more than the aluminum spade relays. While you're buying them, buy a couple of spares and keep them in the car (you won't know you need them until you actually need them). Again, this is from direct experience.

I would also recommend using dialectic grease on all the contacts to avoid having water-caused problems.
Good point on the grease. I used LPS 3 on everything.


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