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EdgarNYU
July 7th, 2005, 08:44
Hey everyone,

I need to know the deal with a solution for dim OEM headlights. Myy bro in his '91 XJ is having a horrible lack of illumination problem, especially in the rain.

JC Whitney has some extra rectangle 6"x 9" for long range lighting(I think they go on the bumper in front of grill). Then there is the infamous HID conversion kit(don't want to do all that) Especially at over $300 bucks!

What about a brighter bulb? I have a KJ and everyone raves about SilverStars(I don't get it).

I also heard that the blue light ones are just hype and not any brighter...just the illusion of it b/c of the differnt color.

Suggestions please.

Timber
July 7th, 2005, 09:23
My SilverStars actually are brighter. Part of the reason is the wattage. The SilverStars are 55 watts, low beam, while OEM is 35 watts, low beam. To get even brighter, make a wiring harness for the headlights that draws its power directly from the battery (use relays, of course).

8Mud
July 7th, 2005, 09:53
White light, even brighter, really doesn´t help much in the rain. Adjusting the headlights so the left is aimed a little low and a bit towards the center and the right a little higher and also a touch to the right, works well. it helps keep the light from reflecting back at you some. The right headlight being a little higher, helps keep track of the shoulder of the road, while not blinding oncoming drivers. Turning on the brights, often just makes things worse.
But nothing beats a set of amber or yellow, defused lens, driving lights, in the rain and fog. But they sure do blind oncoming drivers. Amber/yellow is illegal in some places.

dmillion
July 7th, 2005, 10:18
First thing to do is get a VOM and check the voltage at the headlight. Make sure it is above 12.5 volts with the engine running. If not, you need to get one of the various relay harnesses out there.

If that isn't the problem, then you might try Silvania Silverstars.

1990XJ4x4
July 7th, 2005, 10:29
Check out GOJEEP's website for some information on some information about a headlight wiring harness. I made one for my jeep that is similar to his and paired with the silverstar lights it makes for a really bright combination. It is actually brighter than some of my friends with the IPF lenses and bulbs. The silverstars are worth the money in my opinion and so is the beefier harness.

edmaude
July 7th, 2005, 10:47
Silverstars are ok to use with the factory harness, right? The lights on my 96 are also very yellow and dim as well.

outlander
July 7th, 2005, 10:50
I've seen the kit that converts the standard sealed beams on a xj to a "headlight shell" like newer vehicles have.This allows the use of halogen bulbs that plug into the light housing.
I think the shells were like $40.00....maybe on e-bay?Then again isn't everything?

1990XJ4x4
July 7th, 2005, 10:50
yes, you can use the factory harness. An upgraded harness will make it brighter though.

RichP
July 7th, 2005, 11:06
Some recommendations, first remove the stock headlights and use a GC burnishing tool to clean the spade connectors inside the sockets, burnishing tool looks like a match book striker cover only made of spring steel. Second is to order a set of Hella E codes from www.rallylights.com with 55/65 xenon bulbs and install them. Third is to put a set of Hella 550 or 450 FOGs down low, lower the better, mine on my 98 are under my bumper where the stock fogs go. Done.
Once you go over about 100watts you really need to augment the headlight wiring with and auxiliary harness that has it's own relays and 12ga [good] or 10ga [better] wire. The harness hooks directly to the battery or powe distribution center and one of the stock headight sockets plugs into the harness. The harness has two headlight plugs that the headlights plug into, the stock headlight socket then operates the new auxilary harness. As always, when doing this stuff, use a dielectric grease on all plug in connections to reduce oxydation and corrosion, also to keep moisture out.
The GC part number for the burnishing to is 00-9338-000 'large contact burnisher' most real electronics and electric supply houses should have them.

LostintheWoods
July 7th, 2005, 12:16
I put on some sylvain(ia) high output lights from Canadian tire (I'm sure aoutzone or whatever has them) and aimed them slightly low and wide, worked great. Huge increase in distance and whiteness. 60$ canadian was way worth it. (rain and snow visibility was slightly increased in distance only, like was mentioned before reflection off the falling percipitation is pretty much unavoidable)

LostintheWoods
July 7th, 2005, 12:17
by the way I was talking about the headlight replacement units not the driving lights or kangaroo lights

RichP
July 7th, 2005, 13:03
Replacement lights come in a variety of types, stock sealed beams, silver star sealed beams, both of which are throw a ways once they burn out. Then comes the H4 type which is a housing with a good quality reflector, lense and replaceable bulb. They are made by Hella, CIBIE, BOSCH, IPF and probably a few others I don't know about. The advantage is when the light burns out you replace the bulb not the whole thing. There are also alot of cheap ones, especially on Ebay which are junk so you need to do some research. I've had my Hella E codes since 98 when I put them in my 98XJ. My son has Silver stars in his TJ and they work well for the local driving he does, my Hellas though throw a better pattern a longer distance and when tied in with the Hella 450s they do an excellent job.

edmaude
July 7th, 2005, 13:15
I just bought some Silverstars from my local shop, can't wait to see how well they work tonight.

On a side note, any suggestions for updating the factory fogs?

5-90
July 7th, 2005, 13:43
I went with E-codes on one XJ, and Hella Vision Plus on the other. Both are good upgrades from stock - and work well with the Hella Super White bulbs use.

With the VP, I used 55W/80W bulbs, since it's my wife's truck, and it's usually in around town. She likes the low beams better than the stock one she had, and the extra high beam comes in handy.

On my E-codes, I use 90W/130W bulbs, with a homemade wiring harness (using 12/3) and a relay block and extra fuze block.

In both cases, I tend to aim them my own way - aiming them "dead ahead" is not something I've ever considered a good idea. Here's how I do it...

On a level surface, face off to something flat and vertical. Mark (on the surface) the centreline of the vehicle, and the horizontal and vertical centrelines of the headlamps. Masking tape works well for this - you can use a lightly contrasting paint if it's your own wall or garage door you're using. In that case, also mark where the front and rear wheels on the left side need to go - once you get close to the marks, you can open the door and watch where you're going. Marking the front and rear allows you to position more consistently.

Now, time to adjust the lights. On low beam, aim the left-hand light so that the beam cutoff is touching - or just barely under - the horizontal centreline, and the centre of the beam should be just to the right of the line. This will give you downroad vision without "flaring" oncoming drivers overmuch.

Aim the right-hand light so that the cutof touches - or is just barely under - the horizontal centreline, and the beam centre is centred on the vertical centreline.

With the high beams on, you should still be able to see the aiming of the lights - but you're aiming on low beam since you shouldn't have your high beams on when there is oncoming traffic anyhow...

This is how I aimed my 90W low beams - and I don't get complaints from California drivers as a result. Not bad... Of course, the high beam hits riceboys square in the face - which comes in handy when I catch those "bloo" high beams that are really stupid...

Prices on the H4 bulbs from Susquehanna Motorsports are very good - I try to stay ahead of burnouts by ordering in quantity - but I go through lights because I spend a lot of time on the road at night...

5-90

edmaude
July 7th, 2005, 20:05
I installed some Silverstars tonight and what a big difference. The old conventional halogens are pathetic. Well worth the 48 bucks

dizzymac
July 7th, 2005, 20:11
I run Silverstars, made a big diff., much better than OEM.

DrMoab
July 7th, 2005, 20:32
After just doing two harneses and two sets of Cibe lights on both my jeep and a friends let me tell you what I have found.

First off....DON'T BUY HELLA E-CODES! ! ! I am not...in anyway saying there is anything wrong with them...They are just far far far inferior to Cibies. And yes I know this because my friends jeep that I just put the Cibes in had Hellas in it before and the difference is incredible.

Now...The first and most important upgrade is not actually to the lights themselfs but to the harness. In my jeep...before the upgraded harness I was getting 11.4 volts to the headlights with the engine running. After the harness I got 14.3 Even with the stock headlights I noticed a huge gain in brightness.

My buddies jeep was getting 12.3 before and I didn't check it afterword but I would guess its close to the same as mine.

The biggest reason for this is the fact that the stock headlight harness runs all the power through the switch. I bought all my stuff from this guy
http://danielsternlighting.com/
He sells a harness kit that comes with the plug that goes into the factory headlight plug. Both relays, inline fuses, cool relay holders from hella and all the new plugs for the H4 headlights. You supply the wire and do the rest yourself. I like this idea because of getting a generic harness made to fit any vehicle you put everything right where you want it.

I also bought the Cibie Headlights 61.00 Each
the Narva 90-100W bulbs at 18.00 each

Yeah this is a little expensive but you will not be disapointed by going this route.

Sitting next to high dollar imports with HIDs and these lights smoke them.

stesul411
July 7th, 2005, 21:34
I did mine out of 75% junk yard parts, the headlamp harness came from a early 90's Dodge truck (it was already 12ga wire). The realys and realy sockets came out of a junkyard XJ (I did replace the female spade connectors in them and used new wire). The rest of the connectors I picked up at the local parts store. Total cost: $20.00

I ran it for a while with the stock headlamps and there is a major difference. My son has a bone stock 93 XJ and and the difference in light output was really noticable. Mine were almost white and his were yellow.

I have recently upgraded to Silverstars and the difference is amazing.

I followed the instructions on gojeep.com and on ramcharger cantral.

EdgarNYU
July 11th, 2005, 09:25
Everyone,

My sincerest gratitude for all the replys and for continuing woithout me. I have switched to the ne Vonage carrier and am having some technical difficulty.

I will decide very soon am am leaning towards the Silverstars with new wires/harness(12g?) for better output. I am not ruling out the other options but parking overnight in NYC inner city 'hoods' with brand new HID-looking headlamps is asking for trouble.

Although, can anyone recommend the low yellow lenses/lights for the rain and night? Where can I get a great deal and can I do this myself with a ONE WRENCH and a HALF mechanical ability?

always indebted to this forum,

Edgar

derrickdrew17
September 25th, 2006, 18:44
What size is the Light on the 98 Cherokees in MM

5-90
September 25th, 2006, 20:03
I've seen the kit that converts the standard sealed beams on a xj to a "headlight shell" like newer vehicles have.This allows the use of halogen bulbs that plug into the light housing.
I think the shells were like $40.00....maybe on e-bay?Then again isn't everything?

Susquehanna Motorsports - www.rallylights.com. Hella E-code reflectors with stock-wattage bulbs will run you about $40 a copy - at least, they did when I got mine a few years back. They take a standard H4 bulb, available anywhere.

If you're going to go up with your wattage, you will want a replacement harness - the wiring is just enough for the stocker bulbs, and the headlamp switch will have trouble passing higher power. The replacement harness will allow the OEM switch to turn on a relay, which handles the power to your headlamps. Advantage? The relay is cheaper and easier to replace, and the wiring will be heavier. I haven't gotten mine finished yet, or I'd tell you to check my website (this past year has been Hell, and I'll be glad to see it done!)

You'll note an improvement whether you go with the Vision Plus (DoT-legal) or the E-Code sets, due to the fact that they're built better - by dint of not being "disposable parts." Mine have CRES bowls and cut glass lenses - they may not still be using CRES for the bowl, but they're still using a cut glass lense - rather than the moulded lense that you get with the sealed beam assemblies (which means you can get a better pattern, sharper cutoff, stronger beam collimation, ...)

Even without upgrading the bulbs, I think getting a set of H4 replacement housings is a good idea. However, do not bother with the "ebay" variants, unless they're a name brand like Hella, Cibie, or PIAA. (I happen to favour Hella.) The "no-name" crap just isn't worth the material used to make it, y'ask me.

Also, stick with "name brand" bulbs - I order Hella bulbs in batches (again, I happen to like them) from SMS - but you can use anything you like (PIAA, Cibie, Sylvania, GE, whatever.)

If you have trouble seeing in the rain, then a stronger headlamp isn't the answer you're looking for. Get a quality amber fog lamp instead - the amber colour helps to reduce "flare" from weather, and the "fog lamp" beam (do not get a driving light!) has a wider and lower dispersion pattern - which also reduces "flare" and increases both driver visibility and visibility of your vehicle...

5-90

XgeekstarX
September 25th, 2006, 23:06
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v12/iigeekstarii/headlightcool.jpg

silverstars all the way

DenLip
September 26th, 2006, 06:26
Susquehanna Motorsports - www.rallylights.com. Hella E-code reflectors with stock-wattage bulbs will run you about $40 a copy - at least, they did when I got mine a few years back. They take a standard H4 bulb, available anywhere.

You'll note an improvement whether you go with the Vision Plus (DoT-legal) or the E-Code sets, due to the fact that they're built better - by dint of not being "disposable parts." Mine have CRES bowls and cut glass lenses - they may not still be using CRES for the bowl, but they're still using a cut glass lense - rather than the moulded lense that you get with the sealed beam assemblies (which means you can get a better pattern, sharper cutoff, stronger beam collimation, ...)

If you have trouble seeing in the rain, then a stronger headlamp isn't the answer you're looking for. Get a quality amber fog lamp instead - the amber colour helps to reduce "flare" from weather, and the "fog lamp" beam (do not get a driving light!) has a wider and lower dispersion pattern - which also reduces "flare" and increases both driver visibility and visibility of your vehicle...

5-90

I have the Hella Vision Plus in my 2000... have for three years now. FAR better than stock... but perhaps not better than a good-quality aftermarket sealed-beam (aka, Silverstar).

The "better built, non-disposable" lens on one of mine took a rock hit after TWO MONTHS, and cracked right in half. It pissed me off doubly, because the cheesy factory lights had lasted four years...

I've also lost three turn signal lenses and a windshield... and the new windshield is pretty well pockmarked, like my paint. I will NOT go on a rant about PennDOT's winter "anti-skid material" applications....

Den