Dim Headlights - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum



Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Electrical
User Name
Password
lost password?   |   register now

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-2009, 09:32 AM
Bill-E-BoB's Avatar
Registered User
 

Last journal entry: A years worth of catching up
Last photo:
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Woodstock, GA
Age: 32
Posts: 129
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Dim Headlights

Are the incredibly dim headlights in my '55 Caddy just normal for the vintage, or is there something wrong? High & low beams work just fine...but honestly I don't even have the visibility on high beams that my daily driver gives me on low beams.

My solution for this has always been to just not drive at night...but there's a big car show this weekend (Drive Invasion if any of y'all are in Atlanta) that I've been lookin' forward to forever, and after sunset there are a bunch of b-movies playing & I really want to stick around for that...so headlights would be good to get home.

So, longwinded story short...how can I improve my headlights? Should they really be this dim? Its a 12V system, brand new battery with double the CC Amps of stock, generators been replaced with an Alternator, everything is working fine...just my headlights are so dang dim. What can I do?

    Advertisement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-2009, 09:43 AM
302 Z28's Avatar  
Last photo:
Join Date: May 2003
Location: North Texas
Posts: 10,837
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 1
Thanked 86 Times in 73 Posts
This is a common problem on older cars. The wiring is insufficient to deliver full voltage to the headlamps. The problem gets worse when the owner decides he needs halogen bulbs to cure the dim incandescent bulb problem. The dim situation now compounds because the existing wiring was not sufficient for the incandescent bulbs, and now he has added halogen bulbs which require even more current to operate properly.

The operation can be improved dramatically with some simple wiring and a couple of relays. This link details a little about how to do it. Also do a search in this forum for"brighter headlamps", it will return multiple hits with information on how to do this, it's been beat to death in this forum. If you do not understand the process shoot me a PM and I will help you out.

Here is a wiring diagram.


Vince

Last edited by 302 Z28; 09-03-2009 at 10:50 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-2009, 04:59 PM
T-bucket23's Avatar
Hotrodders.com Moderator
 
Last wiki edit: Engine basic condition - how to check Last photo:
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Massachusetts
Age: 57
Posts: 5,147
Wiki Edits: 26

Thanks: 7
Thanked 109 Times in 94 Posts
On older cars a lot of time the ground paths will deteriorate. If you have a volt meter, with the lights on, check for voltage at the headlight socket with one meter lead on the battery negative, should be close to battery voltage. Then check to see what the voltage is across the headlight socket terminals. If it is lower you have a ground issue. Dedicated ground circuits were rare in the older cars and a lot of them depended on the mechanical bond between the radiator support and the rest of the body for headlight grounding. I have seen this a lot on older cars. It will often show up as one bright light and 1 dim one.
__________________
Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity



Chet
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-2009, 05:52 PM
wildthing's Avatar
Registered User
 

Last journal entry: time flies
Last photo:
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: chambersburg, pa.
Posts: 223
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
the relay setup works great. i did this to my 68 cougar and with even the standard bulbs it was an amazeing difference , much brighter.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-2009, 06:27 PM
Bryan59EC's Avatar
Car? Truck? Who Cares
 

Last journal entry: First week of December
Last photo:
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Age: 54
Posts: 2,350
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 1
Thanked 16 Times in 14 Posts
^^^^^^^^
X2
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-2009, 08:10 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 1,754
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 4
Thanked 65 Times in 63 Posts
If you have standard round headlamps with the three wire connector, LMCtruck.com sells a wiring kit and relay that just plugs into the existing wiring for the headlamps. Parts # is 36-3580

With the kit you plug into the stock wiring at the headlight and then connect the power for the relay directly to the battery. There is no need to cut or tap into the stock wires. It the same general setup as shown in the diagram from a previous post, but easier to install.

Bruce
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Electrical posts with photos

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
car dies when I turn on headlights onebadmerc Electrical 15 06-24-2009 06:44 PM
Relays on headlights kleen56 Electrical 38 04-26-2009 04:24 PM
headlights quit working alabamasho Electrical 14 04-02-2009 07:19 PM
1939 Plymouth Headlights; Halogen Replacements and Missing Sockets hduff Electrical 5 02-12-2008 10:30 AM
No lights on dim lanierledford Electrical 5 09-29-2006 05:37 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.