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Author Topic: Journey headlight improvement  (Read 7374 times)

2dalake

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Journey headlight improvement
« on: October 31, 2012, 02:50:02 PM »
The sealed beam headlights on my '02 Journey are just lousy.  I've had them aimed and I replaced the old round sealed beams with the brightest I could find.....some Silverstars.  However, at night it seems they are just puny even on high beam.  I guess I am spoiled by the fantastic halogen bulb headlights on the newer vehicles I've owned. 

I'd like to replace the 7" round lights with something better.  I want something that will fit the existing opening, pretty much an exact replacement for 7" sealed beams.   I did find some Hella H4 European in a web search but they note they are not DOT approved. 

Anyone with one of the older Winne's with sealed beams done this? 


Edit by John: changed message icon to Topic Solved
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 07:36:06 AM by John Canfield »
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

navy flier

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2012, 05:21:30 PM »
I do not think you will find any DOT-approved replacements. For the longest time DOT did not approve any non sealed beam headlight units. That is after the Europeans had used them for decades. When they did approved non-sealed beam units all of the auto companies moved away from 7" round units to what we have today; non-sealed beam halogens. Back in the 60s I replaced round sealed beam units in my Ford with Hella halogen units and they were great. The only place you could not use them at that time was California. In your situation I would try the Hella units.
Chuck & Carol
08 Horizon 40TD
04 Honda CR-V

2dalake

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2012, 05:59:36 PM »
Chuck, thanks for the info.  Actually I did find some Hella high/low beam DOT approved 7" replacement lights.  They use halogen bulbs and I found them at Summit Racing.  They are claimed to provide much brighter (at the legal limit) light and a wider beam. 

2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

Mavarick

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2012, 07:12:39 PM »
I have not done anything with mine but I also have the clear fog lamps so I presume you don't. If I was going to change them over I would check here www.blueovalindustries.com 1-540-298-2583 They were the ones that helped me convert the fog lights to aftermarket. They might be able to tell you what the brightest replacement will be.
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2dalake

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2012, 07:29:02 PM »
I have not done anything with mine but I also have the clear fog lamps so I presume you don't. If I was going to change them over I would check here www.blueovalindustries.com 1-540-298-2583 They were the ones that helped me convert the fog lights to aftermarket. They might be able to tell you what the brightest replacement will be.

I do have the 5" round fog/driving lights.  In fact, when I broke one, I got replacements from the folks at Blue Oval.  Those lights were originally used on older Ranger pick ups and some Mustang GT's.   Mine have the clear lenses.  Even with those on, my headlights are still not very bright. 
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

Harry B

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 08:51:09 PM »
Check the voltage at your headlights and at the battery at fast idle.  This is usually at the root of the problem and should read about the same.  Relays at the headlights along with the appropriate  size wire may be needed.
If the voltage is not up to par other headlights may not help much.
Harry - (Central FL)

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Mavarick

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2012, 10:08:48 PM »
I agree with Harry and suggest you check voltage then. My headlights are certainly not halogen quality but I have plenty of light, especially if I turn on the clear fog lights. If you have good voltage at the back of the light at least you know nothing is wrong electrically.
I did get a replacement fog light housing and bulb from blue oval and they are 110w just so you know. Most of them come with 55w bulbs installed so you might check yours. That might also be our difference.
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Icemaker

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 07:28:12 AM »
Check the voltage at your headlights and at the battery at fast idle.  This is usually at the root of the problem and should read about the same.  Relays at the headlights along with the appropriate  size wire may be needed.
If the voltage is not up to par other headlights may not help much.

Might I add ...check the grounds too..a bad ground path back to the battery will sure dim them.

George
George


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llib enad

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012, 09:28:57 AM »
Have used Hella's for years but had to run them off of a relay as the OEM light switches  were not able to carry the load and would get very hot.  Something to think about:  in a car, you are setting down low just a little above the head lights .  In the MH , you are normally way above the lights.  As an experiment, I parked my car and MH side by side at night, turned on both units at the same time and was surprised  that they were almost a match on the distance the lights were projected.

Bill Dane      99 Country Coach  Allure

2dalake

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 07:17:02 PM »
OK, didn't have much time today but did get the voltmeter and do some checking.  Started engine, turned on headlights and fog/driving lights.  Voltage at chassis batteries was 13.8.  Voltage at fog lights was 13.6 but headlights showed 11.8 volts.  Wiring to headlights is pretty heavy.  I did not have time to do any detective work but will do that tomorrow before I install the new Hella lights.

I did check in the coach electrical compartment and there are three relays labeled for fog lights, left headlight and right headlight.  So, not sure I need to add additional relays. 
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

Kevin Means

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2012, 01:49:40 AM »
2daLake...

I don't know if your lights are the kind I'm about to describe, but many newer-style car headlights have lenses that become yellowed and cloudy after only a few years of use. It's actually quite surprising how much less light gets through the lens when this process has occurred, and it's fairly insidious.

You might take a close look at the lenses to see if that's causing your low illumination problem. If it is, car parts stores sell inexpensive kits to buff the lenses clear. Just a thought.

Kev
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2dalake

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2012, 10:12:02 AM »
2daLake...

I don't know if your lights are the kind I'm about to describe, but many newer-style car headlights have lenses that become yellowed and cloudy after only a few years of use. It's actually quite surprising how much less light gets through the lens when this process has occurred, and it's fairly insidious.

You might take a close look at the lenses to see if that's causing your low illumination problem. If it is, car parts stores sell inexpensive kits to buff the lenses clear. Just a thought.

Kev

No mine are the old style 7" round glass sealed beam lights.  I  have no polycarbonate lens in front of them. 
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

John Canfield

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2012, 05:39:16 PM »
You're lucky to have glass Gary!  My plastic headlight lens have had the 3M restoration treatment but they are cloudy again  >:( .
--John
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2dalake

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2012, 06:33:07 PM »
For sure John.  I got the new Hella lights today and plan to install them tomorrow.  They are also glass but have a large replaceable bulb and a reflector in front of the bulb.  They look similar to my old sealed beams but have a flat lens.   
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

Jim Godward

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2012, 07:20:34 PM »
You're lucky to have glass Gary!  My plastic headlight lens have had the 3M restoration treatment but they are cloudy again  >:( .

Interesting as  both my Jeep and DutchStar MH have plastic lenses and so far, 12+ years for the Jeep and 11+ for the MH, no problems.
Jim
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SCVJeff

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2012, 12:54:53 AM »
In MY opinion, and if it were me, I could care less whether they are DOT approved or not. I have run both  CIBE and HELLA headlights (HELLA's my favorite) since about 1975 on any vehicle that would take either 7" Round or rectangular lamps (unfortunately I don't have any now).

The reflectors and lensing of those lamps are FAR FAR better that anything even remotely comparable DOT lamps. The reflectors are smooth polished mirrors, and the glass looks like crystal, all laser proofed. No pits, no "pulled from the mold" orange peel finish, nothing. All of that distorts the pattern causing scatter of light that should otherwise be on the road, and in fact on my 85' Pace I ran 80W low beams and 100W high, but because I had them properly aimed, never had one single issue, not even an oncoming flash, because there simply was no left-lane scatter out of the fixtures.  I doubt most LEO's even know lighting laws to this extent and will probably not bother finding out unless you give them cause.

I have no idea why these were never approved, but it's possible it's all politics. Originally the excuse was that it was because they weren't "sealed" because of the removable lamps. At the time there were none on the market except for the Europeans. Now, most fixtures are removable and they're still not approved..why?

Can you tell I've been down this road a piece? :)
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2dalake

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2012, 06:28:14 AM »
Installed the new Hella's yesterday.  I used the 25' method of checking aim of both the headlights and fog/driving lamps.  I discovered that my headlights were aimed too low.  Made that adjustment and, from the driver's seat, it does seem illumination is much better.   However, my driving lamps are very hard to adjust....every time I would tighten the single nut that secures them, it pulls them high.  I will diddle with them again today. 

Jeff, as you noted, the Hella lamps appear to be of much higher quality than the Sylvania sealed beams.  The lens is perfectly clear with no dimples or defects.

We will be taking a short trip in about a week and I will be driving after dark so will see how it goes.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 06:29:49 AM by 2dalake »
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

John Canfield

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2012, 07:36:45 AM »
Good deal Gary!
--John
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Wristpin

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2012, 07:43:55 PM »
Installed the new Hella's yesterday.  I used the 25' method of checking aim of both the headlights and fog/driving lamps.  I discovered that my headlights were aimed too low.  Made that adjustment and, from the driver's seat, it does seem illumination is much better.   However, my driving lamps are very hard to adjust....every time I would tighten the single nut that secures them, it pulls them high.  I will diddle with them again today. 

Jeff, as you noted, the Hella lamps appear to be of much higher quality than the Sylvania sealed beams.  The lens is perfectly clear with no dimples or defects.

We will be taking a short trip in about a week and I will be driving after dark so will see how it goes.

Thanks for all the suggestions.


Can you elaborate on the bulbs you purchased?
I also have a journey with 7" round bulbs that lack a lot to be desired, what watt bulbs did you get and do they seem to be bright enough?
I see several wattage combinations and I'm concerned about getting better lights but don't want to overload my Oem wiring.
Thanks
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2014 Heartland Prowler 289

2dalake

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2012, 08:59:36 AM »
Can you elaborate on the bulbs you purchased?
I also have a journey with 7" round bulbs that lack a lot to be desired, what watt bulbs did you get and do they seem to be bright enough?
I see several wattage combinations and I'm concerned about getting better lights but don't want to overload my Oem wiring.
Thanks

I got these from Summit Racing....they had the best price I could find.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hla-002395301/overview/

2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

SCVJeff

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2012, 01:42:38 AM »
Those are very close to what I used to run, but mine weren't approved, these are.. If you install these and are dragging down the 12volts to the lamp, then you need to install an aux relay because your system wiring cannot handle either your existing or the replacement lamps. The difference will amaze you.. Wish mine were round :(
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Wristpin

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2012, 08:11:57 AM »
I got these from Summit Racing....they had the best price I could find.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hla-002395301/overview/

Thank you for the information, I found them on amazon dot com and here are the specifications:

HELLA Vision Plus Halogen Conversion Headlamps replace 7 inch sealed-beam lamp units (H6024)
Single lamp with high/low beams and 12V 60/55W HB2 (9003) bulb included fits left or right

My interest was the wattage and as you can see high beam on the lights above are 60W, Low beam is 55W.
They offer a H4 bulb that is 100W high beam and 80W low beam,

As far as wiring it's my opinion the OEM wiring will be fine with the 60/55W bulbs but may be a concern with the higher wattage bulbs,
Also the higher wattage bulbs are not DOT approved but are an option if needed :) :)
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SCVJeff

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2012, 10:26:45 PM »
They don't last as long, but I've run them on a motorhome and they're great
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SargeW

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2012, 12:13:37 AM »
So far the lights on my 2010 Journey have been pretty good.  I wonder if Winnie has went to a different type of light over the older models.  I think that they are hallogen bulbs in a plastic housing.  I'm not positive though.
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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2012, 10:20:29 AM »
I sure don't like mine. I've replaced the lamps with Silver Star Ultra's, and it still not where I'd like it to be. The only time it's made me nervous is on a night approach to Quartszite coming South on the 95.

I'm going to add looking at what's the problem on the punch list before we leave this year.
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ennored

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2012, 10:33:11 AM »
Lots of talk here. Very little about two major issues. And probably what helped the original poster the most....

1:) Aim. Get your headlights aimed correctly. It's not hard.

2:) Voltage to the headlights. Improving the voltage by just 1 volt, say from 12.5 to 13.5, will make the lights 30% brighter!

Some data:
10.5V : 510 lumens
11.0V : 597 lumens
11.5V : 695 lumens
12.0V : 803 lumens
12.5V : 923 lumens
12.8V : 1000 lumens
13.0V : 1054 lumens
13.5V : 1198 lumens
14.0V : 1356 lumens
14.5V : 1528 lumens
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SCVJeff

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2012, 07:33:02 PM »
1 volt is a huge number in 12V land.
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ennored

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2012, 08:31:01 PM »
Yes, I had a 2 volt drop! Stock Ford wiring in my case.
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Jim Godward

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Re: Journey headlight improvement
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2012, 09:06:02 PM »
This was a common problem on the older Newmars.  David Stern has an excellent site on this and has kits too.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
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