Jeep Enthusiast Forums banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I’ve been looking at replacement headlamps for my 79 CJ.
Any suggestions? I’ve looked at some by Spyder LED’s (of course, they’re out of stock.) Any others that substantially increase road vision but also maintain aesthetic integrity?
Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,872 Posts
I still retain the Halogen headlights in my Jeep from about 1988 that replaced the originals from the factory. Weren’t much brighter until we did the relay upgrade in 2011.
Now they are almost as bright as my 2013 F150’s HID headlights. Huge difference in brightness and looks OEM.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Attachments

·
Real Jeeps have dents
Joined
·
29,463 Posts
Upgrade the headlight wire harness with relays, and consider installing some 100% glass H-4 headlamp assemblies such as Hella or Cibie. If you are on a budget, Autopal H-4 headlights are a decent choice. Use plain white H-4 light bulbs.
 

·
Registered
1982 CJ7
Joined
·
165 Posts
Can anyone speak to the relay harnesses that are sold on Amazon?


Much more economical than the ones sold by Painless and others. I don't doubt their quality is better, but at 6x the price?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,663 Posts
What JEEPFELLER said two years ago. By dark I'm either in my recliner at home or if trailside in my folding rocker with an end of trail beverage in my hand. If by chance I am out after dark and off road I turn on the high intensity wide field of vision driving lights. I also have a single driving light mounted on the rear for a backup light. When the kid in the super lifted diesel F250 with them fancy bright lights starts riding my arse and I feel the hair on the back of my neck starting to singe I turn it on so I can see who is back there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,104 Posts
Ditto on CJ7 Tim's recommendation.

Hella H4 housings (Made in Germany), quality halogen bulbs, relays with THICK copper multi strand cables (8 gauge is better than 10 gauge)) going to the solenoid through a fusible link and a same size cable going to the same ground point on the engine as the battery ground strap. It is all about eliminating voltage drops so you can get close to the charging system voltage with the main beams on. The old switches, small corroded wires and hit or miss approach to grounding through the bodywork all erode the voltage at the lamp. The switches are also vulnerable if they are very old, with age they corrode an struggle with current transmisison.

If your Jeep is wired as per factory the alternator is maintaining the voltage at the solenoid, that is where it senses the system voltage. This is the place you will find maximum voltages.

May seem overkill but the difference electrically between 11.5V (my old setup measured this, not even nominal voltage) and 13.2V is around 40% more light output. You may care to measure your lamp voltage on full beam and then compare it to the voltage at the solenoid and cube up the difference.

Why?

A halogen lamp is a tungsten filament with a mixture of an inert gas and a small amount of a halogen gas. In the halogen-cycle you get redeposits of evaporated tungsten on the filament, increasing its life and maintaining clarity. This means you can operate at a higher temperature because it will not burn, which in turn makes it far brighter and whiter. The increase in light output that you can get from this halogen-cycle is the cube of the voltage. YES< THAT DRAMATIC!!

So running a lamp at 10% higher than the nominal 12 Volts gives a light output that is 33% higher. (1.1x1.1x1.1) -1 = 33%

Couple that with shiny new reflectors that are not rusted with sharp cutoff and well made and it is literally "night and day".
 

·
Real Jeeps have dents
Joined
·
29,463 Posts
Can anyone speak to the relay harnesses that are sold on Amazon?


I have a similar low cost headlight wire harness upgrade in all 3 of my Jeeps. Not the best, but functional. The relays are kinda unimpressive, but on the ones I bought, Honda relays plug right in. I bring home few from the junkyard now and then, I should have a lifetime supply by now.

You can also buy all the parts you need to build your own and use bettter wires and better relays,
 
  • Like
Reactions: sherm1016

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
I agree with Bajusjeep about the Hella H4 E codes, they are great lenses, but if you just run LED's for them, you don't need to upgrade any wiring or anything... they also help your electrical system out because they draw such a low amount of power... and if you use 6k LED's your light output is incredible, the only drawback I have found which doesn't affect me is that if you're driving in falling ice or snow, it won't melt it off the headlights because there is no heat generated by the LED's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,104 Posts
I would maybe change to LED bulbs but what concerns me is whether they are legal. Not just whether the boobies would allow me, but whether they dazzle other drivers.

I have a Ford SUV that I got 5 years ago that the PO had fitted aftermarket LED bulbs to. near every driver flashed me. i moved back to halogens, no flashing. Perhaps I am out of touch, but that experience put me off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,495 Posts
Here's the thread I did on the lighting relay upgrade. It was one of the best upgrades I've done to my CJ.


Here's before an after pics.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Hood Automotive lighting

Vehicle Automotive lighting Car Automotive tail & brake light Headlamp
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
221 Posts
Wow, interesting thread. I had pretty well convinced myself that I wanted to install Morimoto LED Projector headlamps just hadn’t been able to swallow the high price. The Hella housings with relays seem like they could be a much more reasonable cost option that I could run halogen or LED in. The projector lamps have a sharper top illumination line that oncoming traffic would appreciate, just not sure the extra cost is worth it to me. Does anyone have experience with projector lamps in your Jeep?
Air travel Aircraft Aviation Automotive design Wing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,104 Posts
the E-code Hellas with Hella halogen bulbs are $80 for the pair, which I think IMHO is good value. The relays and wires and bulb connector etc you can assemble yourself for about $50, I would use Hella relays and thick wire.

So for around $130 and a day's work you could have bright headlights. Mine are more than adequate for the driving I do and far better than the dim yellow ones I had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,029 Posts
I HATE THOSE EXTRA BRIGHT HEAD LIGHTS... THEY ARE BLINDING TO ONCOMING TRAFFIC AND THE TRAFFIC IN FRONT OF THEM , I'VE HAD TO TURN MY REVIEW MIRRORS BECAUSE OF BRIGHTS LIGHT BEHIND ME....
Especially older drivers that might be having a problem driving at night.. and then those that park on the wrong side of the road.. People don't realize that head lights are aimed pointing to the right so they DON'T blind on coming traffic.. So when you park on the wrong side your head lights are shining RIGHT IN TO ON COMING TRAFFIC'S EYES AND BLINDING THEM.
VERY FRIGHTENING TO A DRIVER WHEN THEY CAN'T SEE AT ANY SPEED.
DOWN WITH HALOGEN , LED HEADLIGHTS..
take care
tim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,663 Posts
What Tim just said X 2! Even more importantly if you lift it you need to change the alignment of the headlights to compensate for raising them up. I don't know how many times I've wanted to allow Colonel Colt to sacrifice a couple of his soldiers to extinguish bright headlights. Someday I am going to be slow in issuing the "At Ease" command.

Perhaps we need a tutorial here to show how to align headlights and driving lights on lifted and non-lifted Jeeps and other trucks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
What Tim just said X 2! Even more importantly if you lift it you need to change the alignment of the headlights to compensate for raising them up. I don't know how many times I've wanted to allow Colonel Colt to sacrifice a couple of his soldiers to extinguish bright headlights. Someday I am going to be slow in issuing the "At Ease" command.

Perhaps we need a tutorial here to show how to align headlights and driving lights on lifted and non-lifted Jeeps and other trucks.
Alignment, Alignment no matter the type or type of vehicle!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,210 Posts
As far as relay harnesses, I installed a Painless Products harness in our '98 ZJ in 2002 with Crown aftermarket ECE H-4 headlight housings. In all that time (nearly 20 years) the harness has been great, I only had to replace one relay (uses standard Hella relays very easy to find). I would not use a cheap relay harness it could literally leave you in the dark one day. Painless or build your own, its not that hard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
If you are still interested in LED headlights that do look decent, check with a Semi-Truck parts shop. I ordered a set from Packer City for $138.00 a piece. They are really good. If you need the heated ones, they are about $600.00 a piece. I don't plan on driving my CJ-7 in the Wisconsin snow and salt.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top