Headlight upgrade - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 11, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Headlight upgrade

My '68 has a set of T3 headlamps.
Correct as they are, their light is yellowish and not that bright.
I would like to pull out the lamps, carefully store them away and put in updated headlights.

I know nothing about the different lamps and conversions that are available. I read through many posts..and I have decided I want to modify as little as possible.

All I want is something brighter. If possible I want to stay with a 7" sealed-beam that is a direct replacement for the T3. Do they make such a thing as a Halogen sealed beam?
Will my wiring and headlight switch take the current load from a halogen lamp?

I don't have to have fancy colored headlamps...just something brighter than I have today.

Thanks!

Vic

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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 11, 08:25 AM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

There are a few decent H style conversion kits out there that use the existing setup and harness. A converter plugs into the standard plug and the sealed beam gets replaced with a plastic lens to house the halogen bulb. It is a quick conversion and works well. Here is a link to a conversion at Ricks http://www.rickscamaros.com/camaro-h...1967-1981.html

There are also those who put HID systems in which are NOT street legal since they can blind on-coming drivers because of the lack of a self leveling system. If someone would design that system HID could be legal, but until such time all those conversion kits being sold are not legal and should not be used.

Here are some other solutions using the existing T3 system intact. Many folks have installed power relays so power tap comes straight from battery side direct power, much brighter output since not using power from the alternator side. Here is a great how to from Mad Electrical:

http://www.madelectrical.com/electri...adlights.shtml

Others report that a simple change of the old style mechanical Voltage Regulator to a solid state external makes all the difference in the world for some.

I have a solid state VR myself, but I never had dull headlights with my mechanical one so I can't say myself if that was enough to boost output at the headlights.


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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 11, 08:26 AM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

The problems with dim headlamps:
1. External reg'd alts put out less voltage, especially with more electrical loads applpied.
You can check this voltage at the battery posts, or, at the headlamp socket.
2. Along with #1, the lamp power goes through the firewall twice, battery to h/lamp switch to dimmer sw to lamps. Dimmer switch might need replacing.
Measure voltage at the h/lamp socket and you might see 11+ volts.

A couple of fixes are install an internally reg'd alt and/or wire in a relay for each h/lamp using localized power, ie, pass side junction block for pass h/lamp, horn relay buss bar for drvr side h/lamp. And of course, ensuring a good ground is provided for all circuits to complete the circuit.

There are halogen lamps on the market as well as HID's, high intensity discharge lamps. There will require localized power due to the current drawn and h/lamp circuit becomes a control circuit instead of a function circuit.

Brain & I wrote at the same time. Yes, as Brian suggested, installing an electronic VR, Wells P/N VR715, does improve the performance of electrical system, plug & play.

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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 11, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Headlight upgrade

Thanks guys.

Everything is brand new or rebuilt. (Including wiring). So IMHO all components are functioning as they were intend to. I think the issues is I'm just used to driving newer vehicles which by their nature have better illumination systems.

I will look into using a Solid state external regulator.

If that doesn't work, I will investigate adding individual relays to head headlamp.

I definitely don't want to do an HID "conversion" especially if it implies anything legally questionable. But the one conversion from Rick's Camaros looks like the least amount of rewiring and work. (Will I still need to convert the existing wiring to handle higher current with this conversion...??)

Thanks again folks.
Let me try of out some of the suggestions.

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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 11, 10:29 AM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

I have Wagner Halogen sealed beam bulbs in my '69 that require no changes to your charging system and no mods to your car. Take the old lamp out and replace it with these...

They won't break the bank either.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/WA...%7cYear%7c1969

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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 11, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Headlight upgrade

Thanks Dennis,

After reading your post I went down to my local car parts jobber and asked for a set of halogen sealed-beams. Sure enough, they had a pair of 7" round made by Sylvania.

They were not quite as cheap as the ones you suggested but certainly reasonably priced. Installed them..and they worked great!! I ran the car with the lights on for a few hours to make sure that they weren't going to tax the electrical system and cause a fault. No problems.

The only thing I had to do (for what ever reason) is reset the aim a bit. Otherwise...they were a no-brainer swap and they illuminate much better than the old T3s.

Thanks Dennis and all.

Vic

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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 11, 06:06 AM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

Vic...check for pm, eh?

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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 11, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Headlight upgrade

Capt, got your PM.

I did reply, but not sure if my replies are going through. So please email me privately at [email protected].

Vic

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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 11, 04:24 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

Got your pm...and answered.

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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 11, 06:15 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

I went with the Sylvania Silver Star Halogen headlights. No fancy hookups needed. Nice and bright white light. I got them from Advance Auto a while back for $26.00 each.


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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 11, 07:00 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

Thanks Dennis ! I'm ordering mine tonite.
Had no idea they were that affordable. My lites are about as bright as candles.

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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 16th, 11, 04:27 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

I did the MAD electric relay conversion for my headlites and changed to the Sylvania Silver Star Lamps (H6024), night and day difference. I now have bright lites. One other thing to look into is the voltage regulator, I had pulsing from the old mechanical regulator and changed it out for a new electrioic one. Got it at Autozone around $14 (Wells VR715), I also put the old cover on the new regulator for a better look.
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post #13 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 11, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Headlight upgrade

I have purchased an electronic voltage regulator to replace my old mechanical. (Has not arrived yet).

But did not deploy relays for the headlights. I have been running with the new headlights for several days...no issues. I would think that if they were drawing too high of a current load, the circuit breaker on the headlight switch would have kicked in. There is a circuit breaker on the headlight switch, right?

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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 11, 06:46 AM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

Vic,

Right

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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 12, 11:17 PM
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Re: Headlight upgrade

Is there any problem with using these new Halogen bulbs (6024) in our cars without the relays.. I have a new Factory Fit American Auto Wire harness and don't want to burn out anything. I heard the wiring can get hot.. And the lights could "flicker".
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