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308 headlight upgrade

Discussion in '308/328' started by chairpilot, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. chairpilot

    chairpilot Formula 3

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  3. Kingpin328

    Kingpin328 Formula Junior

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  4. No Doubt

    No Doubt Six Time F1 World Champ
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  5. Yamaric

    Yamaric Karting

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  6. Argento839

    Argento839 F1 Veteran
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    #5 Argento839, Jan 26, 2008
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  8. chairpilot

    chairpilot Formula 3

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    GADS! They look like a woman's nipples lit up!! (not that that's a bad thing)
     
  9. chairpilot

    chairpilot Formula 3

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    Both rare cars indeed.
     
  10. robbie

    robbie F1 Rookie

    Aug 26, 2005
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    I just pulled 3 plug wires on my 328 and converted it to a 325. Seems slower .. hmmmm.
     
  11. rizzo308

    rizzo308 Formula 3
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    Sep 12, 2004
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    riggio
    that 328 with them hlights ....... it's to werd for me.........
     
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  13. Paul_308

    Paul_308 Formula 3

    Mar 12, 2004
    2,335
    The blue lights have been 'outlawed' for a reason. They are brighter when read with conventional light meters. BUT due to the human eye's spectral response, they actually provide less visibility. Besides being annoying to oncoming traffic.

    If you want brighter headlights...do the relay mod which eliminates the voltage drop due to switch and wiring. Factory lights are amazing when given the proper voltage. Kits are available and DIY cost is under $20.
     
  14. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2004
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    I did the E Code upgrade that Mike328 researched, to my Jeep Wrangler. The OE Jeep system is the same miserable out dated system as the 3x8's use. I wanted to test the system on a daily use car before I offered the upgrade to my customers on the Ferrari's. I actually bought the system Mike had installed on his car prior to the projector system (which I just cant get my arms around) pictured above.

    My daily drive is through the foothills each day, dodging Elk and Mule deer for 3/4 of the drive. The system, as Mike speced it with the high current bulbs, is exceptional at a very reasonable price. I have yet to test this system with the lower wattage bulbs but intend to do so prior to offering it up as an upgrade. With the lower wattage bulbs no extra wiring would be required and make for a simple instalation. I intend to make a proper wiring harness (for the high watt bulbs) for the 3x8's to simplify the install as it always makes me nervous when I remove the battery cover and see a cluster of wires tied right to the positive terminal of the battery.

    In conclution, I assure you that if installed as Mike speced the system with the over wattage bulbs, one would be hard pressed to find anyone that wouldnt be delighted with the performance, I surely am.

    Dave
     
  15. jon s

    jon s Formula Junior

    Mar 9, 2005
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    jon shoukimas MD
    i put a set of hella aftermarket quartz headlamps with 100 watt bulbs in my 81 without changing the wiring. the visibility is great and i've had no problems. is a 100 watts too much for the original fuse box in the car? (ie. dreaded fire) jon s.
     
  16. TGF

    TGF Formula Junior

    May 1, 2007
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  17. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
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    Yes. And for the wiring as well. Use 55/60W H4s if you haven't modified your headlight wiring.
     
  18. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
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    May 4, 2001
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    That is really not a very good idea without the wiring harness upgrade. That is too much for the switch, etc. Eventually something is going to give.

    The wiring harness is the ONLY upgrade option that will allow you to replace your bulbs safely. Just doing that will even brighten up the little stock 55/60. It's a no-cutting no-brainer add on.
     
  19. Corsa308

    Corsa308 Formula Junior

    Apr 22, 2007
    281
    Sydney, Australia
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    Steve D
    I imported a 308 from the UK about 6 months ago.
    It came with new Zenon lamps, ballasts electronics and all.
    Can't indicate what the brand is at the moment becasue it is in @ the shop getting a roll cage installed.
    Get it back in a week or so. I can supply more info then with some pix.
    What I can say is that they are bloody fantastic and leave any normal halogen etc for dead.
    Don't what they cost to install, but they are all the light you need.

    Steve.
     
  20. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    It depends. 100 watts where, on the low beam or high beam? I suspect the high beam, as most are 55/100. There are some 90/100 and even 90/130 out there. 100 is too much no matter what, but if you are rarely on the high beam, then it couldn't hurt much. But if you use them frequently, get some heavier wiring and extra relays installed. The Stern website has all the info.
     
  21. climb

    climb F1 Rookie

    Sep 19, 2006
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    Stuart K. Hicks
    You could just plug in a H4 H.I.D kit into the h4 plugs and use the round lens as a case for the H4 hid bulb.

    I sell these kits at car shows and have done this on my old z car but won't do it to my 308. Those blue bulbs have some xenon in them and the blue is just a plastic cover that cuts the yellow out and in turn gives you a white light...not real H.I.D but maybe a "h.i.d look". These type of bulbs come out to around 6000k or white. BMW and Mercedes usually sell 8000k bulbs with the slight blue tint. I've found this the best color as the slght blue cuts the glare that hid lights give off. This glare can relflect back at you in rain or fog or even from the paint on roads at night. The lumen output of these bulbs in the e-bay ad wouldn't give that kind of glare though (1000 lumen maybe vs. 3200 with real HID). Only with real hid do you have this concern. I've never looked at the pop up with hid in mind and i'm on the road so i can't really say where it'd go. The standard ballast are about the size of a pack of smokes and the slim ones are about the same size only half as thick..approx 1/2 inch.

    Just replace the bulbs in this kit with the H4 hid bulbs and you could have real H.I.D. This lens could serve as a case that would support a real hid bulb. I use this same setup as a sales display. Only concern would be the ballast and the length of wire on them that lead to the bulbs. You'd have to cable tie the ballast close to the moving pop-up headlight and keep the wires from binding or getting in the way of it's movement.

    The H.I.D kits have ballast that use 35 watts and not 100 or 200 watts as some think. HID uses less wattage as the 35w is all thats needed to illuminate the gas. Halogen needs 55w to light the filament and illuminate the halogen gas. Single low beam hid kits don't need relays or any wire that goes directly to the battery. The male prongs just plug in to the female h4 plugs and that's it..no splicing or need for more wattage or electricity.
     
  22. siegrisd

    siegrisd Rookie

    Nov 22, 2006
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    Dan Siegrist
    Using the headlight feeds to power the coil in a relay, and then using larger gauge wire to the headlights from the relay contacts can help substantially. This would take the current load off of the switch and the existing headlight wiring. The current load would be transfered to the contacts in the relay and the heavier-duty wiring that you'd have to install to power the headlights themselves.

    Please forgive the VW content of this, but, the wiring diagram in this thread really tells the story. The grounds from the headlights, too, would have to be upgraded to heavier gauge.

    http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3462169

    With heavy enough wire and a relay whose contacts were rated for enough current, you could theoretically go with as high a wattage lamp as you wanted to, within reason.
     
  23. Paul_308

    Paul_308 Formula 3

    Mar 12, 2004
    2,335
    Dan, that's the standard headlight relay mod we have been talking about and many just buy the kit from Sterns.

    As previously mentioned, 308's have substantial switch/wiring drop (~2.5v) which makes a 55W bulb on 12.6v about as bright as a 100W bulb on 10.1v.

    To accurately assess wattage, measure the voltage and current at the bulb and multiply them together. I suspect that 100W bulb only consumes 70-80W on original wiring. By far the easiest fix when throwing money at the problem...with a switch replacement soon to follow.

    In my car, the measured drop of 2.5v was tantamount to using a dimmer since reducing voltage 10% reduces luminosity greater than 20%. When I did my mod, I really wish I had used a meter for precise luminosity change. I was involved with engineering an x-ray tube in the 60's and poured over these curves from the 30's characterizing incandescent filaments, specifically relating electron emission, heat, life, & brightness vs voltage, which is where I recall the rough 10%/20% relationship. (plus life goes up about 30%).
     
  24. jon s

    jon s Formula Junior

    Mar 9, 2005
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    thought about this some more. does anyone know how many amps the original switch and relays are rated for? if it's 15 amps they should be adequate for 100 watt lamps (100w / 14v = 7.1 amps). the lamp wires never get hot so i assume they're adequate guage. jon s
     
  25. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    Use an E-code (European) 7" Hella or better yet, Cibie, they are much higher quality than the no name crap.

    Hella: http://www.rallylights.com/hella/7in.asp

    Cibie: http://www.cibieusa.com/cibie_main_frameset.htm
    http://www.danielsternlighting.com/products/products.html
     
  26. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    Oct 19, 2002
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    That is probably the worst thing you could do.

    It's not legal, and there's a good reason for it. HID lights need special optics beyond what you get in any standard H4 lens housing. Putting in H4-adapted HID bulbs is not a wise thing to do, and of course, putting in "Zenon Cool Blue HID-look bulbs" isn't going to do you any good either.

    If you want real deal HID lights for your 3x8, you need to get what I have (described as "pimp" above, but I sure can see reeeeeeal good at night).

    Short of that, you need to get what I gave Dave Helms (the standard Wiring harness + relays upgrade, Cibie headlamp housings, and high-quality (e.g., Narva) bulbs, standard or overwattage (90/100).

    Again, I apologize, but what is noted above in the quoted post is not the way you want to go.

    Really, there are two answers here, two ways to go. Full HID projection system (ballasts, projector lenses, etc.) (like I have), or halogen-based H4 Cibie (or Hella) non-sealed-beam upgrade w/ a wiring harness using relays+fuseses, bypassing fusebox, and wired from the battery. These are the best bets. In particular, the latter has been done by at least 10 to 15 people (per Dan Stern).

    --Mike

    P.S. Required reading for anyone thinking of upgrading 3x8 headlights:

    308/328 Headlight Shootout - The Results Are In!
    http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=65424
     
  27. climb

    climb F1 Rookie

    Sep 19, 2006
    4,717
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    Stuart K. Hicks
    I sold hundreds of sets to people with old corvettes and i've done this kind of conversion to my 300zx and it works great. They don't stick out like the "pimp" picture at all. No need to alter the wiring. Sell the projector style conversion lens too. I've read your info on h.i.d and found it very interesting but in my personal experience i've found the conversion kits to work great.

    I just wouldn't do it to a 308. Just my personal preference.
     

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