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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own a 66 Galaxie 2Dr. Fastback which is currently in restoration. I'm wanting to upgrade my headlights with the white LED rings and the K4 bulbs. Has anyone done this? Which brand did you use? Do you have pics of them if you have? Would like to see other headlight ideas as well. Thanks!
 

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I haven't done something similar yet, but I do have headlight replacement on the list. There are some threads on here dealing with this. It seems the back of the bucket may need alteration to fit the headlight and socket connector. Controlling the lights through relays is also important to get the most out systems, and to avoid overloading the switch.
 

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IMO the 'stress" caused by halogen etc headlights is greatly exaggerated and then just repeated endlessly on then interweb until it is heard so often it seems like fact. There are people on this forum who post vehemently about the need for relays which, conveniently, they sell. Sock puppets and others just repeat it.

Put what you want on. Do not upgrade with harnesses, relays, switches, even alternators until you see for yourself.
 

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Here is a picture of my 65 with aftermarket headlights. I replaced the high beams with amber lens. I got all of them off ebay. the whites are 100 watt and the high beams are 65 watt. I had all four clear with 100 watt bulbs. 1 lens broke out from rock so replaced the ambers. you will need a wiring harness. I tried without, and with high beams on, after about a minute all your lights will start to blink. overloading the headlight switch. you can get a aftermarket dual relay switch for under 30 bucks off ebay, just plugs into anyone of the lowbeam plugs than to the battery power. pull headlight switch you will hear the relay come on, than pulls power straight battery. easy to do, just make sure to keep all original in place, just in case you ever want to switch back. You will have to cut the back of the headlight bucket out to fit new headlight. Good pair of metal snipes takes care of that easy. I like them, much brighter than original. I also noticed the clear lens is a little bigger than original and the ambers are a little smaller, so you will have to fit each headlight ring to each headlight. hope this helps.
 

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AJHeating,

I replaced my headlights with off the shelf halogen headlights. Never went
more than half an hour in the dark. Went to a cruise in 1 hour away and
coming back after 45 minutes my headlights went dark. They cut off a couple more times. Don't understand why that happened. Didn't think
off the shelf halogen headlights would draw more current than the stock
headlights.

Put the relay in from reading this website. Installed it behind the windshield washer bag. Have driven after dark for hours and never had a problem since. The lights are brighter but still don't measure up to the headlights used in cars today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice additions AJheating.

I am looking into the Oracle Sealed Beam Conversion Headlights with the LED rings. Saw a Chevelle at the same shop my car is being restored with these headlights being installed and they looked great. I couldn't keep my eyes off of them. The rings were bright and easy to see in the sun. I asked the installers about relays or any other needs for the H4 bulbs they were installing and/or the rings. They told me they were not needed for these fixtures.

Below are the online details I found backing them up:

"It's time to rethink what you know in regards to Halo lights, because you haven't seen anything yet until you've seen Oracle sealed beam conversion Halo lights. These Halos utilize the latest technology and can be seen vividly, even in direct sunlight! Oracle sealed beam conversion Halo lights include a preinstalled Oracle SMD Halo, a quality glass lens sealed beam, a composite reflector housing, and they accept H4 bulbs (sold separately) They're available in your choice of size and color. Amber Halos can be used as turn signals. Blue, green, and red are intended for show only. Installation is easy--the lights wire directly to a 12 V source--no external inverter or regulator is required"

They were wiring in the LED ring to the parking lights so they would be on at all times. A little pricey but to me worth the $. Just have to see these in person. This is the route I'll be going as well.
 

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No, you would not need a regulator or relays for the halos, those are wired separately, probably do not take any voltage to run. For the actual headlights, I had to run a dual relay harness, 1 relay runs the low/high beam top headlights and 1 runs the high beam bottom headlights. I think standard sealed beam headlights are 60 watt. h4 bulbs are around 100 watt. That is a lot more watts for the standard headlight switch. like I said before, I tried to run without relays and I couldn't run high beams without problems. maybe others will have luck without. good luck
 

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I use regular halogen sealed beams in both Elkys and the Ranchero.
Wiring thru relays did help with brightness.

Now---to play "Devil's Advocate" on the aftermarket super bright, retina cauterizing beams.

Most of my driving is done in the darkness--on rural hiways and freeways.
I seldom use the high beams.
Low beams are good for catching glimpses of those silly antlered critters that tend to jump in front of or into the side of your car. High beams tend to brighten the hiway with little no side illumination (where those critters are hiding)

Now during most of my night driving, most of those aftermarket lamps I see are not installed correctly and are just too damned bright----burns my eyes---and I fail to see how they light up more of the road.
Some of these things seem to only light up about 50' in front of you and then all lighting disappears.

Some of these lights are not DOT approved, and I am pretty sure that in California it is illegal to put these lamps in a vehicle that was not factory equipped with them.

Even if they do manage to turn night into day, one must consider those he encounters on the hiways traveling in the opposite directions.

At any rate----a relay upgrade is a good idea even if you are using those old original T-3 beams-----takes the load from the headlight switch and increases available voltage and amperage to power them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After doing some more research, I'm not even sure what lamp I'm going to put in these fixtures at this point.

I am going to buy these Oracle headlights and wire the LED rings up to a separate toggle or photocell, not sure on that 100% either.

With the car having 4 lamps, I'm simply unsure if 100 watts are even needed. Its a discussion I'm going to have with my restorer this weekend.
 

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I don't believe H4's are necessarily 100W. H4 refers to the lamp and connector configuration, not the rated output. I believe an H4 lamp has two filaments, making it both high and low beam, and widely available in the standard 55/65W configuration. You can get a H4 LED lamp. For high beam only, I think you want a H1 lamp. I think that any 100W lamp is against the law in most jurisdictions for on road use.

The reason for using relays is to provide maximum power to the lights. the stock configuration has the power running from the battery through the switch then back out to the headlights. This results in voltage drop because of the resistance of the wiring from battery to switch to headlight. The relay reduces the power loss by sending the power directly from the battery to the headlights. This is why relays can make stock headlights brighter. If you run a higher wattage lamp, then it draws more power, which results in greater voltage drop and can burn out switch contacts and over heat the wires. Old wiring can over heat and catch fire far more easily than new wire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the input so far.

I do understand about the H4 bulbs, the connections and different light outputs available with them.

Does anyone know what the watt "cutoff" number is per say that would require the relays to be installed? Meaning if I got the lower watt output H4 bulbs, is there a certain wattage of output the wiring/switch starts to have problems at?

I'm not trying to increase my light output by doing this upgrade but to have the modern lights look (LED rings) with a more modern light output as well.

Thanks
 

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I can't say for sure, because it has been a long time since I replaced a headlight, but I believe the standard halogen sealed beam lamps I used are the typical 55W/65W Lo/Hi.
 

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Another thing to think about is the newer light is brighter but is more of 2 beams of light out the front instead of more of a spreaded light of the originals. It is hard to explain, they go from light to dark, you can almost see the wall it makes, so if something does come running from the side it would be harder to see then it would with original. the newer reach out farther too. In the rain the newer bulb reflects off every rain drop, witch can be a problem. I have had lights with halos in them before, not on this car but a truck. they had little LED lights in them, they looked cool, but not when a few of them go out and you cant replace them. I have given a picture of a example and some information, hope that has helped a little. I'm sure it will look good no matter what you do.
 

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The standard 55/65 H4 is pretty close to the original sealed beam, which was somewhere 45-50 w I think. I did mine after swapping alternators for a (slightly) bigger one for my amplifier so I can't say how H4s work with the old alternator. I can say though that the H4 changeout is a snap, plug 'n play, 30 minutes, max. Try it and see how you like it (you will).

If you decide on changing the brights to H1 (where do you live that need a whole 'nother set of brights, anyway?) you are in for a much harder time. The bulbs don't fit and you have to use jumpers from the bulbs to the stock plug. Lots of opportunity for a short and for moisture fogging up the glass (happened to mine) because there is no good way to seal the lamp. If then you decide to add relays, there goes another opportunity for electrical problems, not the least of which is water dripping down between the hood and the fender.

The H4 by itself swap gets you 95% of the light benefit and skips 95% of the problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm leaning towards the Oracle headlights with the 55/65 H4 bulbs installed.

Again, I wasn't really looking for more lighting or having to install relays to run new fixtures on a almost 50 year old vehicle, I wanted to make it a plug and play application.

BUT, I have bought new harnesses for under the hood and am using little original wiring that was originally under the dash since I am not installing the original dash back in the car. I have fabricated a new metal dash face and have fiberglassed a new dash pad which will be covered with leather. I have seen pictures of cars recently restored burnt up because the owners didn't take into consideration the old wiring being able to handle any new additions added to their cars or just plain worn out.

I do intend to install a 100 amp alternator once we start putting this car back together simply to help with the audio install power needs, additional power the vintage air may use, center console additions and additional interior lighting.

I had seen the LED ring lights online by several different manufacturers but seeing these oracle headlights in person put a stamp on my next front end additions.
 

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I know this is an older thread, but I can’t find a thread that addresses the question I have…

Has anyone upgraded their lights and wired it so all 4 are on at a time? Low beams across the board and then the brights? I am going to be using the new Holley Retrobright LED headlights in my car and am considering wiring them in unison, if it’s possible, which it might not be.

Eric
 

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On my '67 the low beams are the top headlamps as you said but all four are illuminated when switched to high beams.
 
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