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Old 07-25-2006, 03:53 PM
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halogen headlights ?

i have a 1964 el camino ,and i will be changing from standard head lights to halogen lights. four light set up, my question is do you need to use relays with this changeover or standard wiring?

i'am also re wiring the whole car with a new harness.
it's a snap product.
any help would be appreciated.

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Old 07-25-2006, 04:13 PM
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Probably don't need to

But I think it would be a good idea anyway.

When I wired my car, I tried to keep all high amp loads outside.
The only remotely hi amp load in the car is the AC fan. & windows

Using the relays will help to prevent an overload on the HL switch.
This is something that I never want to have fail again, (dark outside)

I once even had a fire start on the floor from a failed dimmer switch.
Screamin' across the desert on cal hiwy 58 at about 2 am--hit my brights
(which are not used very often at all) and viola--had more light in the truck than I had outside the truck. Talk about some excitement. hiway 58 is kind of desolate at night (back then only 2-lane all the way)

My truck was about 10 at the time and the wiring had never been touched for anything.

Bryan
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Old 07-26-2006, 03:10 AM
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Doc here,

Relays are used in circuits to control high current devices with low current switch gear..

They are ALSO used to deliver more CURRENT to the end user device, from the source than would be possible with standard switch gear.

Your relay is divided into two separate but dependent functions..The Coil..and the contacts and movable center wiper ...

You have a standard mini switch (usually only rated for 5 amps max contact rated) you CAN NOT control the headlights alone with the switch..It will go up in smoke..

SO to control the headlights with a small amount of current, a relay is used..

The mini switch turns the relay on, which in turn closes the 30 amp contacts INSIDE the relay, bringing power to the headlights from a STRAIGHT battery source .. (NO power loss through a dash switch or under rated wires..)

The relay has 30 amp contacts, so the normally open contacts are wired directly to a Fuse link and to the battery..via a 10 gauge wire..

The center wipers are the movable contacts, they are wired to the headlights direct via 10 gauge wires..

The coil only draws about an amp..so it can be fused through the mini switch at an amp or slightly higher..

NOW you are controlling 30 amp headlamps with a 1 amp fuse/switchgear..AND in the process, you are delivering more current from the source (battery) to the load (headlights) MUCH brighter headlamps! and no worry of overheating wire or switchgear.

Doc
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Old 07-26-2006, 06:20 AM
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Use the relays.when I switched to halogen bulbs on my 4 headlight set up it overloaded the switch and the headlights went out while driving at night.I use my existing headlight wires to activate the relays and ran 12 gauge wire from the fuse box to the relay and used the existing wires from the relay to the headlights I just screwed the relays to the core support right next to the wire harness.Because I care about how it looks I cut open the wire harness first then after running the new wires I rewrapped the harness so it looks like the relays were factory equipment.It takes a little time to make it look good so don't get in a hurry but it is not difficult.
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Old 07-26-2006, 05:13 PM
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Doc here,

Once, when I was a Member of the USMC, in Southern Californication, On a 3 day pass, Headed from Northern Californication, in a 40's Style Pickup truck, at O'Dark thirty..The ONLY Car on the highway..no moon..burned up a High-beam Switch (Ergo: no headlights...)

On I~5..at 70, couldn't see a thing!!! Pitch dark for 100's of miles....Finally got it to a stop, while pulling VERY slowly and blindly to the LEFT break down lane..opened the cab door about a foot..It went "Clunk" and wouldn't budge open..Got out the trusty ZIppo..and to my horror..saw a Concrete Pillar for an over-crossing blocking the door..a FOOT from a Head on of the truck..

Since then , I have been a believer of relay controlled devices..



This is the system I installed on my DD Corvette.. (It ALSO turns on the headlamps when the wipers are turned on, AND flashes the headlamps when the horn is sounded..) Everything from the mount to the "Spun Wire looms " were made by me..took about an hour, Cost about $30, Saved about $250, in fines..(wipers and lights MUST be on at all times in the rain..new law out here since late 05'...$280 fine after 1 St warning..which I already got..)

Lights are 150% Brighter (Corvettes are plain Dark at night) , Wipers are more speed responsive..horn is louder..

Doc
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Old 07-26-2006, 05:45 PM
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I run Halogens in my '67 Falcon with the stock Relay, they were put in b4 I got the car, the old lights are in the trunk where the previouse owner put them. they work fine
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Old 07-26-2006, 08:07 PM
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Doc---cool idea, that turn on lamps with wipers thing.

I was for the longest time, lights on daytime driver. Drivers ED habit I guess.
When I lived in Phoenix, (going there in the morning for work BTW) I used to go back and forth to Las Vegas at least bi-weelky. Hi-way 93 between Wikiup and the Hoover dam was posted as daytime headlights. They (AZ) used to put the white crosses on the road where people had died during the year. Took em all down just after Christmas. One year going to my dad's B-day party (Jan 10), I counted 6 crosses on that hiway, and 2 more on my way back home. That particular hi-way is much safer now then it was in the 80'. just as Ca 58 is now safer than it was in the 90s'. Ramble ramble

Bought a car with auto lights a few years ago---they are on most of the time,
but when I get into the other cars--completely forget to turn on the lights---even at night--------I'm gettin better

Bryan
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:50 PM
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I ran my 66 belair for 8-9 yrs with 4 halogens with no problem they were on day and night any time the car was in motion for some of the time for a safety study. Would I set it up like this again, NO! These old cars (the 66 impalas) had weak underrated wiring to the headlights. My 66 SS will get relays and I Love Doc's idea with the wipers and horn.

BarryH

'The problems that exist in the world cannot be solved
by the level of thinking that created them.' - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-27-2006, 04:50 PM
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I can't comment on a 4 headlight set up but....... last fall went to Wal-Mart and bought 2 of the 7" round Halogens. Put them in my 150 Wagon and so far so good.

Stock wiring with the stock headlight switch.

I like it so well I'm planning on another set of the 7" Halogens in another one of my '57s.

Oh and they sure give off some light.
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Old 07-27-2006, 05:40 PM
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Just...

google "danialsternlighting"

Wiring diagrams and everything...

K
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Old 07-29-2006, 04:15 AM
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If you want some high powered lights try this.

Get some H4 bulbs rated 55/100 watts and use motorcycle lenses almost all the old round light bikes were 7" lenses.
The lenses are flat instead of curved in front so it does give a little bit different look and will definitely need relays to keep switch alive.

I did this on my old truck man what a difference, no more deer popping out of the ditches at last second. That was a 2 light system I can only imagine what 4 would be like if you wired it so all were on at once.

Last edited by Greg Latvala; 07-29-2006 at 04:27 AM.
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:00 AM
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the brights

See this thread on Chevy Talk for another bright suggestion for a 4 light system ("1,000,000 candlepower per bulb") Be Warned They can get you ticked though.. Bright bright

Foolishness always results when the tongue outraces the brain.
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Old 07-29-2006, 04:51 PM
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Doc here,

Interesting article...

Some heads up..on the halogens..they are about double the wattage of the standard bulb..55 watt standard..100 watt halogen..8.3 amps each..or 33.2 amps in 4 on mode..as opposed to 55 watt..4.5 amps, or 18 amps in 4 way mode..

I=P/E:

100 watts / 12 volts = 8.3 amps draw ea..

Added to that is the draw of rest of the lighting system also..Weather or not the system is up to par (gauge~wise and switchgear..) on a 50 year old vehicle I advise relays..even if not for the added brightness it will provide above the safety factor..

I mean , Whose to say a 50 year old high / low switch isn't going to heat up and fall apart (even if it is not supposed to..) with the increased load..

Using the Standard Aviation Landing lamp WILL require a relay system to be safe, They have a horrendous draw..They are Totally Illegal, (not DOT approved.) And Are Major HEAT generators..Don't mount them near ANYTHING flammable..

Those lamps were designed to be used in a fast airflow to keep them cool..(approach to landing..) and will Burn the hide right off your arm should you connect with it..on or shortly after turning one off..

Running under decreased airflow, and the constant "jarring" of a front end..the filaments don't last too long either..We used to use them as alley lamps on the light-bars on SRPD cruisers..Their life expectancy was about 2 weeks..(NO airflow..long period or run time) AND back then (25 years ago..) were about $60 installed (by the avionics Department) at the county airport..for a TSO'd lamp..

The cost may be down now..but back then it was that high as it was , I think a Cessna 182 standard part number , and aviation related (which drives the cost up.)

I do not advocate using them at all..

Doc
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:55 PM
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Are you just switching to halogen sealed beams or are you switching to housings that hold halogen bulbs? I don't think you would have to change anything to run the sealed beams

You can buy a plug in (no cutting of wires) headlight relay setup from www.LMCtruck.com for about $30. Its supposed to keep the lights brighter and prevent any wiring problems from high wattage lights.


Bruce
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Old 08-09-2006, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 75gmck25
Are you just switching to halogen sealed beams or are you switching to housings that hold halogen bulbs? I don't think you would have to change anything to run the sealed beams

You can buy a plug in (no cutting of wires) headlight relay setup from www.LMCtruck.com for about $30. Its supposed to keep the lights brighter and prevent any wiring problems from high wattage lights.


Bruce


Several I talk with who one Classic Chevies say they switched their car to Halogen sealed beam headlights with no adverse problems.

That's one of the reasons I decided to try them, myself.

At $9 each it's sure cheaper then buying the 9004 bulbs and converting your headlight buckets to accept the smaller bulbs.
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