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328 Headlights

Discussion in '308/328' started by Rachane, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. Rachane

    Rachane Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2005
    1,086
    San Francisco, CA
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    Rachane
    I have just finished reading the very informative thread "308/328 Headlight Shootout - The Results Are In!" in the "General/TechnicalQ&A" area of FChat.

    This is definitely an improvement I plan to make with my 328.

    However before jumping in, I wonder:

    (1) Are xenon replacement headlights possible for the 328? As long as one is going to do major headlight surgery, why not go the whole hog, as it were?

    (2) The thread includes a suggestion for improving the 328's fog lights to better/yellow fog lights. I don't really need fog lights, but would love to have some really powerful driving lights down there. Has anyone explored this sort of modification?

    And as long as I'm talking 328 headlights, I find that my OEM headlights are aimed very low, and that adjusting the headlight-beam screws themselves won't raise them high enough. I can drive in crowded traffic with my high beams on and not get a single "flash" from an oncoming car. Is there a headlight-position adjustment in the housing somewhere more effective than the little vertical/horizontal aiming screws?
     
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  3. Myhorse

    Myhorse Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    387
    what I did in my TR is incorporate my fogs into fulltime daytime driving lights.
    ( $25 in parts. ) I then adjusted them to aim aslightly more upward for 2 reasons:
    1. People can see me in their side mirrors - esp at night
    2 the upward angle allows people far away to see the main part of the beam from futher away ( imagine appraching a T intersection with the guy on your right seeing your lights first then the car as you approach )

    the main selaed beams are then easily ajusted to illuminate the ground closer to the car
    ( basically the illumination patterns are reversed )
    Because the TR is so low, no flashes me

    I also replaced my main sealed beams with the ones from rallylights.com and put siverstar bulbs in all lights

    My visiblility at night is now exceptional
    No more dim candle in the galss light up for me
     
  4. Huskerbill

    Huskerbill F1 Rookie

    Sep 6, 2004
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    Bill
    I have the H4 Halogens and they are bright as HELL.
     
  5. dfratini

    dfratini Karting
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    Dec 31, 2003
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    Daniel Fratini
    Did you have to make any wiring / fuse changes on your '87 to get the H4's to work?
     
  6. Huskerbill

    Huskerbill F1 Rookie

    Sep 6, 2004
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    I don't think so. I think it was "plug in and go".

    And as I look at the recpeipts it only states a 7" Hella lamp ($59 each) and then the H4 bulbs for $5 each. Doesn't say anything about the connectors or wiring.

    You obviously want to check more into it, but I think that was it.

    Bill
     
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  8. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    Aug 3, 2002
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    If you stay with standard wattage, you don't need to do anything other than change the headlight glass housing and put in the H4 bulbs. If you go to higher wattage bulbs, for safety sake you should put in a fused dual relay harness.
     
  9. Myhorse

    Myhorse Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    387
    as long as the lights are aimed well then high watts aren't really needed .Plus the light bulb technology has improved since the glory days of 1987

    This is just my experience
     
  10. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    Oct 19, 2002
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    There are some options to get HID (what you are referring to as Xenon). Sylvania used to sell a (now-discontinued) 7" round kit that a couple of 308 owners here installed. In my discussions with Dan Stern, these kits were known to be sub-par. You can go the "retrofit" route, putting in hid-bulbs into regular 7" lenses, but these are all hacks. In my research, about the only way you can make things work nicely is to try to put in a bi-xenon projector unit in there. I made a model of the Xe7 projector units and found they would (almost for sure) not fit inside the 328 headlight buckets. The buckets form the body panel on one side, so obviously you cannot cut this. That said, I saw that there is a (pricey!) new projector setup from Philips that might have different dimensions and so might fit (I doubt it, though).

    So as you can see, it's not for lack of trying. If a reasonable HID solution existed that worked, I would have done it. I suppose my price point was $500, but bi-xenons are more than that (and don't fit). In the end, HID is not the end-all be all, though, as I would come to find out.

    Here's the problem. Your 328 foglight lenses are custom for your car, and are curved and rounded just so. Also, they are foglight lenses and their beam pattern has nothing to do with driving lights. Finally, they're way to low to be useful as driving lights. Also note although the lens is glass, the bulb housing/reflector is plastic so forget higher heat / higher wattage bulbs plugging in down there. As you can see, driving lights in place of the 328's fog lights are not really an option. Upgrade your regular lights and you'll forget all about the need for driving lights.




    You should be able to get them aimed correctly. Something is wrong (are you sure you're using the correct vertical axis adjustment screw [it sounds like you are])? Your highbeams should definitely annoy people!
     
  11. Rachane

    Rachane Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2005
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    Rachane
    Yes, using the correct screws. Perhaps when the headlight assemblies are replaced, this problem will be corrected in the process.

    In the meantime, I at least have the somewhat odd solution of having reasonably bright "normal" headlights by driving with the bright switch on! With the switch in normal, I expect I can at least get a closer look at San Francisco's many potholes before plunging the 328 into one.

    What do you think about Huskerbill's solution ("7" Hella lamp ($59 each) and then the H4 bulbs")? Leaving the original wiring intact?
     
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  13. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    May 29, 2001
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    I used Hellas with stock wattage H4 bulbs in my 78 308 GTS and later, did the same in a 1987 328 GTS. They worked awesome, and were 200% better than the stock sealed beam headlights.

    JUST DO IT!
     
  14. Huskerbill

    Huskerbill F1 Rookie

    Sep 6, 2004
    4,086
    Oconomowoc, WI
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    Bill
    Ahhhhhhhhhh,

    Another satisfied customer...


    I am telling you man, the H4s are AWESOME. Probably the brightest headlights I have owned on a car. When I am in the garage, and they are on, it is REALLY bright shining up against the wall.

    Just cut the "analysis paralysis" and get them. You won't be disappointed.

    And you will save a few bucks along the way. Not to mention you won't be risking screwing something up on your car by monkeying around with things. THAT is worth a LOT.

    Bill
     
  15. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    Cibie or Hellas, either will do. I am very impressed with the beam pattern on my Cibies, but many other folks are pleased with their Hella lenses. Both are improvements over the DOT OEM lenses that came with the car. The Hellas and Cibies both take H4 lenses. If you stick with stock wattage, no other work is necessary. I personally recommend doing a wiring harness, but many folks get by just fine without one. By all means, echoing comments here, just do the upgrade--if you have effort/time/knowledge available, do the wiring harness, otherwise, just get new lenses and H4 bulbs. Either will make night driving "possible" again.

    --Mike
     
  16. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
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    Rachane,

    I think it's a good idea too. I've switched my headlights to either Carello, Hella or Cibie E-codes on all the cars I've owned. You'll be very pleased with either Hella or Cibie as they both have similar beam patterns; a sharp cut-off on low beams for oncoming traffic and full, far and bright illumination on high beam. You'll pick out the tapetum lucidum in a deer's eye a half mile away!

    My 1976 GTB came with Westinghouse sealed beams. I had a pair of Carello E-codes from the mid-70s I stored away years ago. I installed the Carellos with standard 55/60W H-4 bulbs with no wiring modification. These old Carellos are every bit as good as the current Hellas and Cibies.

    Barry
     
  17. Rachane

    Rachane Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2005
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    Rachane
    Thanks. Can you recommend a website to order these items, and how specifically to identify them there?
     
  18. wilkie

    wilkie Karting

    Apr 15, 2005
    95
    L.A., CA
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    Wilkie Cheong
    I also replaced the headlights on my 328 for H4s (I think Cibie), plug & play, and the improvement in lighting is dramatic.
     
  19. Rachane

    Rachane Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2005
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    Rachane
  20. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    No, do NOT buy those.

    You want "Euro code" or Euro compliant lights, not USA or DOT spec lights. The European lights are not sealed beam, and have a better lens with a more even light pattern and sharper cut off (to prevent blinding on coming drivers).

    Hella makes both, but get the Euro version. Most others only make the Euro versions. Technically the Euro code are not legal for use in the USA, but who is checking? No one. Don't worry about it.
     
  21. Rachane

    Rachane Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2005
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    Rachane
    Thanks. :) Can you point me at a good website and specific item(s) to order there?
     
  22. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
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    Rachane,

    I'm happy to see you're considering E-code Hellas. You won't be disappointed.

    You'll find Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply at:

    http://www.danielsternlighting.com/

    both an excellent source for information about headlights and a nice place to do some online shopping.

    Barry
     
  23. Huskerbill

    Huskerbill F1 Rookie

    Sep 6, 2004
    4,086
    Oconomowoc, WI
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    Bill
    I can get you the Hellas if you want to buy them off me. I have a pair here that are IDENTICAL to the ones in my car. They are brand new and in the box and were being saved for a rainy day (I have become a parts hording fool since I got the 328).

    Let me know.

    I'll sell them BOTH for $75 for the Hellas (my receipt was $59/each like I had said before). I don't have the H4 bulbs though (not that I remember at least but I will check). Since I haven't driven but maybe ONCE in the dark since I have owned the car, I don;t foresee myself breaking a lens like I thought I might.

    Or if you don't want mine and want to get them yourself, I can direct you to the place where mine are from. I can get you the info off my receipt which will include parts numbers and everything......
     
  24. Rachane

    Rachane Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2005
    1,086
    San Francisco, CA
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    Rachane
    Again thanks for the expertise. :)

    Stern seems to offer/favor Cibie instead of Hella, but I have emailed to inquire about (a) Hella availability and (b) Hella vs. Cibie.

    Also I am a bit confused about "H4 bulbs", as the Cibie 7" unit appears to come with "H4". Not clear whether these are completely-sealed units with built-in H4s, or "housings" into which separate H4 bulbs are inserted.

    Apologies for all of these "detail" questions! I've not done this before and am thus stumbling around a bit!
     
  25. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    May 29, 2001
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    H4 bulbs are never "built in"...they are user replaceable. Just don't get the sealed beam variants...but even with those, the H4 bulb is replaceable. I don't think Cibie makes a sealed beam or DOT compliant headlight, only Hella does with their "Vision Plus" headlight (which you do not want).

    Stern will tell you and have charts showing the Cibie is superior. I have used the older Cibie (there is a new model out that he carries now). I could not see a huge difference between the older Cibie and the Hella. May be different with the latest Cibie lens. Choice is yours.

    I would recommend the purchase of the "+50%" standard wattage bulbs. They have a slightly higher color temperature (whiter) without being blue.

    Stern is a very helpful and honest guy, for that reason alone, I would recommend purchasing from him (he only carries the Cibie to my knowledge). Here are some other sources...

    For Cibie: http://www.cibieusa.com/index.htm



    For Hella: http://www.rallylights.com/hella/7in.asp
    Remember, if you go with Hella, get the ECE (euro code) not DOT versions.

    Since you only want to do this once, and leave nothing to chance, get the latest Cibie variant from Stern. That would be my recommendation.
     
  26. Rachane

    Rachane Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2005
    1,086
    San Francisco, CA
    Full Name:
    Rachane
    I emailed Daniel Stern Lighting about "328 Headlights", and Mr. Stern's response was so meticulous and helpful that I think it deserves quoting here. (I have left off only the ordering information, which is available on the DSL website of course.) I am the ">":

    > Recent threads on FerrariChat have discussed upgrading the headlights of
    > the 328GTS (which I have) and have generally recommended 7" Hellas
    > (E-code) with H4 bulbs.

    Right concept, wrong implementation.

    > (1) Do you recommend the Cibie instead of the Hella?

    Definitely. Take a look at
    http://dastern.torque.net/Photometry/Isocomparo.html

    These are isocandela diagrams for Cibie and Hella 7" round headlamp units.

    If you're not familiar with isocandela diagrams, these will look like random squiggles and lines. Think of it as a topographic or "contour" map of the correctly-aimed beam pattern shining down the road. Each differently-colored line represents the threshold of a particular intensity level, with the color legend located to the right of the isocandela diagram. The diagram is plotted on a chart calibrated in degrees. Straight ahead is represented by (0,0), that is, zero degrees up-down and zero degrees left-right.

    To get a mental approximation of the units and amounts under discussion here:

    Parking lamp: About 60 to 100 candela
    Front turn signal: About 500 candela
    Glaring high-beam daytime running lamps (e.g. Saturn): 8000 candela

    The parameters to pay attention to are the luminous flux (total amount of light within the beam), the maximum intensity and its location within the beam relative to the axial point (0,0) -- the less downward/rightward offset, the longer the seeing distance -- stray light outside the beam pattern and effective beam width (contained within the dark-turquoise 500 candela contour).

    Things to notice about these two diagrams:

    (1) The Cibie produces a much wider beam pattern than the Hella. The 1000 candela line of the Cibie's beam pattern extends from 25 degrees Left to 25 degrees right, while the 1000 candela line of the Hella extends from 18 degrees Left to 20 degrees Right. At a distance of 50 feet from the car, this means the 1000 candela-and-brighter portion of the Hella's beam is 10.5 feet narrower than that of the Cibie. The 300 cd contour of the Cibie's pattern is *far* wider, extending from 43 degrees Left to 50 degrees Right, compared to 26 Left to 25 Right for the Hella. This means the overall useful width of the beam pattern at 25 feet from the car, as perceived by the driver, will be 40.7 feet for the Cibie and 22.3 feet for the Hella.

    2) The total luminous flux (overall amount of light) within the beam pattern is 695 lumens for the Cibie, 463 lumens for the Hella - the Cibie is 50.1% more efficient. (the TLF data is listed as "Luminous Flux" in the readings up above the isocandela diagram).

    The high beams for these two lamps (isocandela diagrams not yet scanned in) are very similar in overall performance and amount of light -- the critical difference is that the Cibie's high beam hot spot is located closer to (0,0) and closer to its low beam hot spot. The Hella's high beam and low beam hot spots are separated by a fairly large vertical amount, such that setting the lows where they belong results in most of the high beam light going up in the trees, but pulling the high beams down so they send light straight ahead puts the low beams 10 feet in front of the car.

    > (2) Is this the proper unit?

    Yes.

    > (3) Would it require any wiring changes or upgrade in the car?

    Only if you were wanting to run overwattage bulbs (higher than 60/55) does a relay installation kit become strictly necessary. The headlamp circuit of your 328, however, is such that installing a relay kit, even with stock wattage, will materially improve headlamp performance *and* stop/prevent early/repeated failure of the headlamp and beam-selector switches. Relay kit is $45.

    > (4) Are H4 bulbs some that must be ordered/installed separately?

    Yes, and you've got numerous options. The best 60/55w bulbs are the ultra
    high efficacy items ($17/ea), Narva Rangepower+50. They have proper colorless *clear* glass. Avoid any bulb that has any kind of coloration to it (blue, purple, "silver", "superwhite", etc.) -- they do NOT increase lighting performance, they reduce it.

    Can also improve the performance of your brake and turn signal lamps, as well as your back-up (reversing) lamps and sidemarkers. Let me know how I can assist you.

    Best Regards,
    DS
     
  27. JCR

    JCR F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 14, 2005
    7,285
    H-Town, Tejas
    I bought 6.5" X 4" Stanley (Japanese) E-Code lamps from Dan Stern for my Chevy S-10. These were a great improvement over the DOT sealed beam garbage. Over the years Dan has provided real "tech" to enthusiasts on forums like this and the usenet. I like to purchase from those that give good info instead of the marketing B.S. My 2 cents.
     
  28. RC328

    RC328 Rookie

    Aug 29, 2005
    1
    Sequim
    Hi guys.. I am new to the NW and bought my first Ferrari, a '89 328 ... I live in Sequim, WA and look forward to participating in the local events.
     

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