Journey headlight improvement

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2dalake

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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
 

navy flier

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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.
 

2dalake

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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. 

 

Mavarick

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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.
 

2dalake

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Mavarick said:
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. 
 

Harry B

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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.
 

Mavarick

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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.
 

Icemaker

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Harry B said:
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
 

bill dane

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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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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. 
 

Kevin Means

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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
 

2dalake

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Kevin Means said:
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. 
 

2dalake

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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. 
 

Jim Godward

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John Canfield said:
You're lucky to have glass Gary!  My plastic headlight lens have had the 3M restoration treatment but they are cloudy again  :mad: .

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.
 

SCVJeff

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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? :)
 

2dalake

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Virginia
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.
 

Wristpin

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2dalake said:
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
 

2dalake

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Virginia
Wristpin said:
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/

 
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