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post #1 of 10 Old 11-19-2021, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
CodemanLivs
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After Market Headlights

Perhaps this should be posted in the electrical section. Oh well ....

Wondering if anybody else has had any luck finding aftermarket headlights that are worth the price paid.
I'm not referring to aftermarket 4x4 lights, KC or spotlights, I'm looking to replace the actual headlights in my 95 XJ. I've done the wiring upgrade with the new headlight relays directly from my alternator and that helped a slight bit in making them somewhat brighter.

I see numerous cars and trucks on the road now days with headlights that are brighter than the sun and that's how I want mine to be.

I put some xenon ones with the ballasts in another vehicle of mine and they were crap. And I just helped a friend put some bi zenon focused ones on his mid 70s Nova and they were crap.

Perhaps it's just the fact that I'm getting older and it's getting harder to see at night. Regardless, I just want some really bright headlights, normal headlights with high and low functions but ones that actually light up the road ahead of me.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated

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post #2 of 10 Old 11-21-2021, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Also , I don't have a preference as to whether they are LED or Halogen. Regardless of power consumption! Right now my moto is, the brighter the better ! And Besides I have a brand new Oddessy dry cell and a brand new alternator. So I'm ok to draw a few amps for lights.
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-21-2021, 05:37 AM
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Unfortunately some of the cheaper 'brighter than the sun' lights are not street legal (for good reason). If you look at the beam of OEM equipped lights, you will see a very sharp upper cutoff. There was a guy who would visit across the street with an XJ that had the most gawdawful (but bright) off brand lights.

This may help
https://www.caranddriver.com/car-acc...grade-jeep-xj/

I would strongly disagree with the use of 'bulb replacement' LEDs, however Beam pattern is controlled by the shape/size of the filament (which as very precise standards) as well as the reflector and lens. It is not possible to closely replicate a filament with an LED. Properly done, the reflector needs to be redesigned.

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post #4 of 10 Old 11-21-2021, 08:07 AM
CJ7-Tim
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No HID or LED "conversion" bulb kit will work properly in an H-4 housing. That Car and Driver advertisement is full of incorrect Internet BS. No $40 - 60 kit has had any research and development money invested in making usable, properly focused, and non-glaring light output. Headlight housings are designed for a specific bulb type, with very specific physical dimensions, to properly reflect and focus the light output into a usable beam that does not glare oncoming traffic.

I have all glass E-Code H-4 Halogen headlights in all my Jeeps. Hella, Bosch, or Cibie with an all white halogen bulb. E-Code is European specification for light distribution that is properly focused, and has a sharp anti-glare cut-off. DOT approved headlamps are under-performing 1960's technology. Any H-4 Halogen housing that has plastic parts or looks car show cool will be a disappointment for performance and will glare oncoming traffic.

If you want LED, use Truck Light. All the other cheap Chinese LED crap is just cheap Chinese crap.

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not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution” Abraham Lincoln, 1859.
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-21-2021, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
No HID or LED "conversion" bulb kit will work properly in an H-4 housing. ...
I have all glass E-Code H-4 Halogen headlights in all my Jeeps. Hella, Bosch, or Cibie with an all white halogen bulb. E-Code is European specification for light distribution that is properly focused, and has a sharp anti-glare cut-off. DOT approved headlamps are under-performing 1960's technology. Any H-4 Halogen housing that has plastic parts or looks car show cool will be a disappointment for performance and will glare oncoming traffic.
...
Agreed (especially after looking closer at that article, I had expected to be more knolwedgeable ); I have E code Hellas, and have been using the 100/55W version of H4 rather than the 65/55--ONLY because I never use high beams against oncoming traffic and the 55 low beams are standard.

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post #6 of 10 Old 11-24-2021, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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First thank you both for your response on the topic.

If I'm understanding this right then what's the catch?? Because I looked at the price of Hellas 100/55w bulbs and they are less than 10 bucks each online!
So all I need is a pair of all glass enclosures, pop in the Hellas and plug em in to my existing harness and that's it??
And based on the fact that my current stock headlights are like 35/65w, I will basically be doubling my light output without ballasts and or rewiring and for less than LEDs or HIDs??? Sounds too good to be true, But will be my next step regardless.

Like I mentioned before it's getting harder to see at night on the roads. I live in the Sierra foothills and there is massive amount of dear in the area pretty much year round. I have had to many close calls lately that could have been prevented with a slightly brighter low beam. Not only are the dear getting hit in huge numbers every night along with all the smaller nocturnal animals but I've been seeing quite a few mountain lions on the roads in the mornings on my way to work.

So I assure you my intentions are not to use the brighter lights against oncoming traffic but for avoiding the obstacles that like to jump out into the road In front of you and just stand there.....Like....well ....a deer in headlights !

And of course brighter headlights along with the LEDs when we're out wheelin will be a major bonus too!

Again I thank for your response and shedding a little light on the subject for me. I'll come back to update this post with my results.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-24-2021, 06:46 PM
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The headlight wiring in the XJ Cherokee is barely suitable for the stock headlights. Luckily, upgraded H-4 wire harness with relays are both plug n play, and low cost.

55/60W Lo/Hi Beam is stock, I run 80W low beam / 100 watt high beam because of the excellent focus and anti-glare cutoff of my E-Code Hella headlight housings. I adjust the beam pattern slightly more biased to the right side as a courtesy to oncoming traffic.


You could also use a 55W low beam / 100 watt high beam on the driver side and a 80W / 100W on the passenger side.

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not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution” Abraham Lincoln, 1859.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-25-2021, 11:11 AM
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Hella E-code housings are fine (or other brands too). Simply replace the standard H4 bulbs.

Probably a good idea to run a ground directly to the battery. Headlights are typically grounded to the body and on older vehicles the grounds deteriorate.

You could also consider rewiring your lights, but first run a good ground, put your bulbs in, and do a voltage reading from the + on the battery to the hot connection on the bulb WHILE the bulbs are on. If it's less than .5 V, don't worry about it.

LED lights will draw less power, so will be easier on your wiring if you go that way in the future.

There are enormous differences in prices between Amazon unbranded imports and the name brands. There are reasons for this.

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post #9 of 10 Old 11-25-2021, 02:16 PM
CJ7-Tim
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XJ and TJ headlight wiring is substandard for the voltage draw. It is very common to see a voltage drop at the headlights due to undersized wires and old age.

An upgraded H-4 wire harness with relays will solve the voltage problems, will take the stress off the headlight switch, and and also will have additional grounds. Even stock headlights are brighter with an upgraded H-4 wire harness.

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts,
not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution” Abraham Lincoln, 1859.
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-26-2021, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
The headlight wiring in the XJ Cherokee is barely suitable for the stock headlights. Luckily, upgraded H-4 wire harness with relays are both plug n play, and low cost.

55/60W Lo/Hi Beam is stock, I run 80W low beam /100 watt high beam because of the excellent focus and anti-glare cutoff of my E-Code Hella headlight housings. I adjust the beam pattern slightly more biased to the right side as a courtesy to oncoming traffic.


You could also use a 55W low beam / 100 watt high beam on the driver side and a 80W / 100W on the passenger side.
Guess I could give a bit if history on my XJ . I have been rebuilding this 95 XJ for about 3 years. Originally it was owned by Nevada County here in California. I'm guessing it was either a park ranger , game warden or county sheriff vehicle simply based on the fact that it was loaded with about 50 lbs. of wiring that was not factory installed. It also had spot lights installed thru the pillars between the front doors and the windshield. The back seat was caged in and the 2 back doors had moved the manual door locks to inside the jam near the upper hinge. It also had emergency lights on the roof. All of which had been removed prior to being auctioned off with other county surplus. Except all the wiring and cages. We are the second RO since it was a county vehicle. I've pulled almost all of the wiring that the county put in other than, (after some searching online to identify) a small relay under the hood that makes the headlights and all the running lights alternate blinking from side to side like an ambulance . And that will remain as I like it.

So...That being said I have basically rewired the whole Jeep including upgraded wiring for the headlights and installed new relays for them as well. Which did make the stock headlights significantly brighter.

Running different wattage lights on either side is an interesting concept. Never considered that before.
Thanks for that.
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