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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Evenin' Guys,

As we all know, the factory lighting on our CJs leaves a lot to be desired, especially the headlights. The main problem is how they are wired. The power runs from the battery thru the dash to the switch, then from the switch all the way out to the lights. The factory used small gauge wires with highly resistive contacts for these lengthy circuits, which causes an excessive voltage drop at the headlights.

The solution is to shorten the power path by using relays, which are simply an electrical switch. When the relays get power from the headlight switch, they complete a circuit from the battery directly to the headlights. Since this new circuit uses heavier wire, fewer contacts, and is a shorter distance from the battery to the headlights, the voltage drop is virtually eliminated.

Here are before and after wirings diagrams from Daniel Stern's excellent writeup on the upgrade.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So, I contacted Daniel Stern and put together the following order:

(2) 082440 - Cibie 7'' H4 headlamp lens-reflector unit - $158.00
(2) 48911 - Narva 100/55w H4 headlamp bulbs - $35.18
(1) HL28200 - Headlamp relay harness built-up for 2x H4 Jeep CJ - $161.49
(2) 2886X - Park or Marker bulb glass wedge upgrade 85-lumen - $9.18
(2) 796 - Reverse (back-up) upgrade bulb - $18.40
(4) 3496 - Bulb upgrade +45% brake/turn signal - $28.80

You can build your own harness for much cheaper, but it was worth it to me to have it professionally made. It consists of 2 Hella relays, 2 Hella fuses, and the necessary wire and connectors.

More after dinner......
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
First, I mounted the relays as close to the battery as I could.

Then, I mounted the fuses on the front clip brace, since I couldn't find a better place for them. I was limited by the length of the pre-made harness, and the configuration of my dual batteries. If you make your own harness, you can control where everything gets installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Then I installed the new bulbs in the new reflectors, put on the supplied waterproof boots, and reinstalled the headlights.
 

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Nice looking setup. I like those fuse holders better than what I used in my harness (may have get a couple and integrate them).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The boots were included with the reflectors.

Here's the before and after pics on high beams. I'm impressed! :cheers2:

Matt
 

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That is a very nice result based on your pre and post pictures! Thanks for writing this up. I have two questions:

1. Is there any point in replacing the OEM light harness at the same time to make sure the wiring is updated from the switch to the relay?
2. What is the advantage of this Daniel Stern prefab relay vs. another popular one that people from this forum have used as there seems to be a wide gap in cost?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/290956459559?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

Thanks again for simplying what can otherwise seem like a daunting task to some of us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That is a very nice result based on your pre and post pictures! Thanks for writing this up. I have two questions:

1. Is there any point in replacing the OEM light harness at the same time to make sure the wiring is updated from the switch to the relay?
2. What is the advantage of this Daniel Stern prefab relay vs. another popular one that people from this forum have used as there seems to be a wide gap in cost?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/290956459559?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

Thanks again for simplying what can otherwise seem like a daunting task to some of us.
1. The relays don't require a lot of voltage from the switch, so its not necessary to replace the factory wiring from switch to relays, unless it's in bad shape.

2. The advantage is high grade components and a harness that is custom made for a CJ.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
2. What is the advantage of this Daniel Stern prefab relay vs. another popular one that people from this forum have used as there seems to be a wide gap in cost?
I should add, I definitely paid a premium for my lighting package by going thru Daniel Stern. After doing a few searches, it appears he puts a healthy markup on all the bulbs and harnesses.

I also found out Daniel has the harnesses made by a company called Susquehanna Motorsports in PA., and you can buy directly from them, eliminating Daniel's markup.

Overall, I probably paid 25% more then I would have if I shopped around and pieced the package together myself. I guess that's the price for convenience.

Aside from that, I'm very pleased with the upgrade. I took the Ol' Girl for a spin late last night and couldn't believe the improvement. It left me wondering why I didn't upgrade years ago. :dunno:

Matt
 

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I just ordered a similar kit from Daniel for my JK. I too went for the Cibie's with the Narva 100/55W combo... after looking at your before and after shots, all I can say is WOW. Can't wait to install this. Pricey perhaps, but he has to make a living too and his knowledge and expertise has to be worth something too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just ordered a similar kit from Daniel for my JK. I too went for the Cibie's with the Narva 100/55W combo... after looking at your before and after shots, all I can say is WOW. Can't wait to install this. Pricey perhaps, but he has to make a living too and his knowledge and expertise has to be worth something too.
Agreed.

Paying a extra hundred bucks, or so, doesn't kill me. And the convenience of a one-call plug and play solution makes it well worth it, IMO.

Matt
 
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