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  1. #1
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    Default Headlight bulbs...

    Howdy,

    My lights on the 405 are shithouse. So, having read a while back that the 405's lights are meant to be pretty good, I thought the bulbs must be the original 60/55 watters which have deteriorated (as they do) and undertook to replace them with new 75/60's or similar, possibly in one of the 'blue' types. I'm not into super eye burners - just decent lights.

    Anyway, imagine my surprise when I popped the bulbs out to find that they are 140/100 watt H4's! And the inner spots are up from 55 watt standard to 100 watt H1's!

    So here's my question - could the wiring be too resistive for the current draw, but still not burning out? I know there are relays in the light circuit.

    All I can think of is that there isn't enough current to fully light these bulbs to their max. brightness.

    All answers appreciated!

    Stuey

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    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey

    So here's my question - could the wiring be too resistive for the current draw, but still not burning out? I know there are relays in the light circuit.


    Stuey
    YES! There is no way the Mi16 harness could support 100/140, let alone 80/130. Run a nice big wire from the batt. direct to the head light to confirm. Don't forget to a decent earth.

    '92 205 Mi16
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    Good on you Peter. Thanks.

    I'll get some mildly brighter bulbs as I intended.

    Cheers
    Stuey


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    Default Stuey

    I put 130/80 in my MI16 and shortly after had a crack appear across the right hand headlight! There was no indication off impact and I had headlight protectors on it.

    I do not know if they were the culprit but I took them out rather than risk it. I was told at the time that closing bonnet to hard can do it but that was not the case with mine.

    I have put plus 50 in the 406 and they are god also in GTI

    Graelin

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    If you have a multimeter check the voltage at the back of the globe with the lights on and the engine running. Ideal voltage would be the same as the battery voltage with lights on and engine running. It doesn't take much difference to severly reduce light output. Most new cars have relays but they have a habit of not putting them near the headlights and using small guage wire to run to the headlights. As Peter said run a bigger wire. Also check earth points and also check 12v feed to relay and upgrade this as well if required.
    Lower wattage globes will mean less current which means less volt drop in cable therefore higher voltage at light. If you are suffering from voltage drop at light you may actually get more light with lower wattage globes.

    Jarrod

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    Thanks Jarrod - I'm familiar with all the electrical checks etc. My main point of this thread was to confirm my understanding of what you said in your last sentence.

    I won't bother with increasing the wire size. I reckon new 60/55 H4's are bright enough anyway! I've got these in my R12 (along with 100W 'Kangaroo' lights) and they're great.

    Thanks again.

    Stuey


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Thanks Jarrod - I'm familiar with all the electrical checks etc. My main point of this thread was to confirm my understanding of what you said in your last sentence.

    I won't bother with increasing the wire size. I reckon new 60/55 H4's are bright enough anyway! I've got these in my R12 (along with 100W 'Kangaroo' lights) and they're great.

    Thanks again.

    Stuey
    Stuey,

    So what EXACTLY are you using in the 405? And is there a relay between switch and bulb? I've always felt the 306 had pretty ordinary headlamps - complained when new - and realised that few people drive on country roads at night. Funny isn't it? I'd always wanted good high beam but what I really need is good low beam!!!

    I reckon our Virage with 100W bulbs in the spots and about 60/55 in the regular lamps, both with new Hella units, gave the best lighting I've ever had in a Renault. Much better than the Peugeot, somewhat better than the Xantia and I think better than the Kangaroo lamps in the 16TS.

    For a chuckle, I do have 6V QI bulbs in the 750, with new Cibie reflectors. Now 45W at 6V might make people laugh, but the depth penetration on high beam isn't bad at all. Brightness not too flash, but the optics are good.

    You can tell from this morning's burst of activity that I've been away....

    Cheers

    JohnW

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    Hi John,

    Yep, I noticed you'd been away, because you hadn't yet responded to the Simonetta Motors thread!

    The 405 came with 100 watt H1's in the inner spots, and 140/100 in the normal headlamp. They had no penetration on low beam, and at dusk were downright dangerous. You could barely see the light cutoff! The beam was a yellowish light, too.

    I've just bought some Narva Plus 50's in 60/55 watt for the main headlamps. These are Osram Germany bulbs repackaged, by the way. I'm going to leave the spots at 100 watt and see how it goes - I figure that the current draw should be OK, as the high beam wattage is reduced by 80 watts per headlight! I'm guessing that the safety margin built into the wiring should cope with the 100's on high only. Anyway, they look white and bright, but the test will be tonight when I align them...

    I remember pugambo saying that the 405 (and another) had the best lights of the Peugeots - this is where my comment came from.

    My R12 has excellent lights (obviously the square ones) so if your Virage lights were better, then they must've been good. Unfortunately, the Kangaroo reflectors have done that brown thing and are now useless.

    I'll report back on how they are, tonight.

    Stuey


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Hi John,

    Yep, I noticed you'd been away, because you hadn't yet responded to the Simonetta Motors thread!

    The 405 came with 100 watt H1's in the inner spots, and 140/100 in the normal headlamp. They had no penetration on low beam, and at dusk were downright dangerous. You could barely see the light cutoff! The beam was a yellowish light, too.

    I've just bought some Narva Plus 50's in 60/55 watt for the main headlamps. These are Osram Germany bulbs repackaged, by the way. I'm going to leave the spots at 100 watt and see how it goes - I figure that the current draw should be OK, as the high beam wattage is reduced by 80 watts per headlight! I'm guessing that the safety margin built into the wiring should cope with the 100's on high only. Anyway, they look white and bright, but the test will be tonight when I align them...

    I remember pugambo saying that the 405 (and another) had the best lights of the Peugeots - this is where my comment came from.

    My R12 has excellent lights (obviously the square ones) so if your Virage lights were better, then they must've been good. Unfortunately, the Kangaroo reflectors have done that brown thing and are now useless.

    I'll report back on how they are, tonight.

    Stuey
    Thanks Stuey,

    Lucky those high wattage bulbs haven't damaged anything. Narva Plus 50s eh? I'll remember that. I fitted higher wattage bulbs to the 306 about 8 years back and they certainly were a bit brighter, but they both blew within months. Our 306 just post-dated the early ones with extra spotlight elements so just have a single bulb each side - pretty average, but we rarely drive out of town at night.

    Cheers

    JohnW

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    a multimeter check and a better grade wire will help but as you mentioned the 'blue 'type bulbs ,i thought id respond.i must say that i have them in my 205 and think they are really good value for money.
    apparently because they are in the blue light spectrum instead of the yellow-white of normal headlight bulbs,they tend to be less tiresome on our nightvision giving you extended night driving time before your eyes begin to tire.
    i have them in my lower driving lights as well[205 gti] and when on high beam its really good.
    they spread better and are clearer than the yellow -white bulbs.
    anyways if you fell inclined,give then a go.-BAZZ

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    Oh, and John, I'm pretty certain the 405 has relays on the headlights. Problem is, they're under the dash (I think) - ideally they should be close to the headlights/battery.

    To add to the above, I've had the 405 side by side in the carport with 'er indoors Astra, and the Astra's lights are much whiter. Hmmmm. Mine look yellow-ish next to them. We'll see.

    Bazz, I didn't buy the blue ones; the Narvas claim to be 50% brighter than stock with the same current draw, so that was good enough for me. It's something to do with having Xenon in them. I'll check tonight, but they don't seem 50% brighter than my R12's, which are also 60/55 quartz halogens.

    By the way, the wires to the bulb sockets are VERY thin. I was quite surprised.

    Stuey


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    Quote Originally Posted by bazgti
    a multimeter check and a better grade wire will help but as you mentioned the 'blue 'type bulbs ,i thought id respond.i must say that i have them in my 205 and think they are really good value for money.
    apparently because they are in the blue light spectrum instead of the yellow-white of normal headlight bulbs,they tend to be less tiresome on our nightvision giving you extended night driving time before your eyes begin to tire.
    i have them in my lower driving lights as well[205 gti] and when on high beam its really good.
    they spread better and are clearer than the yellow -white bulbs.
    anyways if you fell inclined,give then a go.-BAZZ
    How much are those 'blue' type bulbs Bazz and where d'you get them?
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    1000+ Posts Fordman's Avatar
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    Default polycarbonate lenses

    Many if not all newer cars use polycarbonate (lexan) headlight lenses instead of glass. I don't know if they were in use when your car was built Stuey, but you can pick them because they turn yellow with long periods of exposure to UV so the earlier ones are all yellowing, except if kept under cover all day I suppose.
    My Scenic has p/c lenses so Renault started using them sometime down the track.
    I have a 1996 EF Falcon with p/c lenses - they are yellowed enough to reduce the power of the lights I am sure. The lights were never good on this car but I have improved them immensely by fitting Philips bulbs which claimed to be 30% or 50% more light (I forget which, but they were certainly much brighter) - they were not the blue lights - they make about 3 different types including blue ones. Basically I need to replace the lenses or the complete assy to make the lights suitable for country driving again.

    The reason I am saying this is that if your (or anyone's) car has polycarbonate lenses - you MUST use bulbs which have a reduced UV radiation - this is supposedly what yellows the lenses. The bulbs are now marked as reduced UV if applicable - I guess all the better quality bulbs will be made this way soon.
    BTW there is a good side to this, I personally feel its not necessary to fit headlight protectors if the lens is probably stronger than the protector!

    Cheers
    Fordman.

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    No, they have glass lenses. I noticed that some bulbs are marked as reduced UV for polycarbonate today.

    Well, there's good news and there's not so good news.

    The good news is that the lights are just OK, and the spots are now bright-as-anything. However, the lights are pretty much rubbish. It's not the brightness, but the concentration and spread. And weirdly, one of the spots is a really useful intense spot, the other is spread out, even though the bulbs are the same brand (so the filament is in the same place) and they are seated properly. Regarding the main lights, it's obviously the design of the lens and the size of the reflectors that is the issue. Oh well...time to graft on a couple of R12 lights...

    Stuey


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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    No, they have glass lenses. I noticed that some bulbs are marked as reduced UV for polycarbonate today.

    Well, there's good news and there's not so good news.

    The good news is that the lights are just OK, and the spots are now bright-as-anything. However, the lights are pretty much rubbish. It's not the brightness, but the concentration and spread. And weirdly, one of the spots is a really useful intense spot, the other is spread out, even though the bulbs are the same brand (so the filament is in the same place) and they are seated properly. Regarding the main lights, it's obviously the design of the lens and the size of the reflectors that is the issue. Oh well...time to graft on a couple of R12 lights...

    Stuey
    They will be the same as my Xantia lights ie: bloody digustingly bad ...... The old CX's lights have more coverage on low beam the Xantias high beam.

    I intend to relay them and run 100/80globes, even if it risks damaging the light units themselves.

    I can't believe Citroen fitted such terrible lights to a car .... But then again, the BX seats are one of the worst car seats I've **EVER** sat in, so I guess it's just the mediocrity of modern Citroens showing through (the older ones were NEVER poor in an area that concerned safety/comfort).

    seeya,
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  16. #16
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    Default Headlight design

    It makes you wonder what they are doing, doesnt it? The manufacturers are telling us how good the new type lights are but it doesnt add up.

    The best lights on a standard car I have owned was a 1973 car with twin 5" round lights, the outers were low/high and the inners were high beam only QH bulbs. Bring back the old round sealed beams (and they were only about $15 to replace the whole unit!). 30 years of achievement!

    Cheers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordman
    It makes you wonder what they are doing, doesnt it? The manufacturers are telling us how good the new type lights are but it doesnt add up.

    The best lights on a standard car I have owned was a 1973 car with twin 5" round lights, the outers were low/high and the inners were high beam only QH bulbs. Bring back the old round sealed beams (and they were only about $15 to replace the whole unit!). 30 years of achievement!

    Cheers
    Fordman.
    sorry for getting off topic but has anyone got the cibie spelling?? lights that peugeot offered as an option for the 306. They were twin round headlights. Fordmans coment just jogged my memory

    I find the lights on the 306 really bad. I used to have 7" halogens on my Morris with a pair of hella 130W spots, and I reckon the 306 is worse than the morris was without the hellas switched on! It is the one thing I really don't like about the car. I've often wondered whether the headlight upgrade would be worthwhile.

    Tony.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordman
    It makes you wonder what they are doing, doesnt it? The manufacturers are telling us how good the new type lights are but it doesnt add up..
    These are just 'old type' lights with the smooth reflector and a lens, as opposed to a computer designed reflector with a smooth 'glass' on the front.

    My wife's Astra (2002) has very good lights - the latter sort of new type, pre-projector lenses. And the reflector is a very similar shape...

    Stuey


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    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermute
    sorry for getting off topic but has anyone got the cibie spelling?? lights that peugeot offered as an option for the 306. They were twin round headlights. Fordmans coment just jogged my memory Tony.
    Tony, a lot of French cars have OEM Cibie lights, for example, both my cars do.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordman
    It makes you wonder what they are doing, doesnt it? The manufacturers are telling us how good the new type lights are but it doesnt add up.

    The best lights on a standard car I have owned was a 1973 car with twin 5" round lights, the outers were low/high and the inners were high beam only QH bulbs. Bring back the old round sealed beams (and they were only about $15 to replace the whole unit!). 30 years of achievement!

    Cheers
    Fordman.
    Exactly. That is the Virage lighting package too! Oh, except that they came with Lucas sealed beam units for local content reasons. Threw them out of course.....

    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Tony, a lot of French cars have OEM Cibie lights, for example, both my cars do.
    Hi stuey I'm wondering if that means that cibie aren't so crash hot based on the first comment about the lights on the 405 being shithouse



    pic above are the ones I'm talking about the biggest problem I have with the 306 lights is that the adjustment appears to be woefull, and the high beam seems like a slightly brighter low beam without really making much difference further in front of the car.

    I thought that with the lights pictured above at least the high beam might be separately adjustable. probably hideously expensive though and might not fit an S16 if the later models have a different headlight.

    Tony.

    edit: Should have searched found a thread Twin headlight kits
    Last edited by Wintermute; 10th April 2005 at 11:19 AM.

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    Default +50

    I have run plus 50 in the S1 Xsara and did not find much differance on high beam but did improve low beam.

    Did a good country run in the GTI last night out to Toodyay for the weekend and I have Narva pus 50. They were useful at the speds I was traveling at.

    The biggest difference I found was with the 406 putting Phillips plus 50. They have lenty of range now but do need to be aligned lower. Pity the early 406 does not have remote ajustment.

    My Brother put spotlights on his Citroen and when I said I was not that impressed with my Citroens lights he said try my Subaru Outback. He said they wee dangerous for a car with a name like that he would have thought lights would have been good. He has to wait for another car let it past and follow it!

    I have driven our work Mazda Tribute fitted with plus 50 and you still struggle to see on highbeam at night! Most of ours now have $800-00 worth of additional lighting. Spot on right and spread beam on left. Just wondering if Stueys car is set up that way from factory.

    So it is not just French car lights and from the two japanese vehicles mentioned the French are superior.

    Can remember reading around 20 yrs ago on motorcycle headlights one commentator saying the best light he ever had was from number 9 bulb factory CHINA!

    Graelin

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    Update to spotlamps problem...

    For those that know the 405 lights, the RHS spotlamp bulb can be a pain to change the bulb on, as it's really hard to see, and to get your hand into the gap.

    Anyway, thinking in bed last night I figured that maybe the previous owner didn't mount the bulb properly, and the filament wasn't at the correct focus point. So this morning, I got out there and took the bulb out with the lights on, and keeping it earthed I noticed that it only took a millimetre of difference to make the spot spread out. So I tried to remount it flush - and couldn't. I removed the bulb, and the flat mount was welded on to the main body at a few degrees of angle...a manufacturing fault.

    Anyway, a careful tweak with the needle nosed pliers, comparing to the other side, and **hey, presto** - both sides now have an intense spot! By the way, I didn't mention that the spot on the good side last night was excellent. I look forward to trying them tonight. Of course, this doesn't help the low beams.

    As it happens, I checked my R12 lights and the spot part of the lamp is only a 50watt H1, the main bulb being 60/55. So the design of the lamp unit must be even better than I thought!

    -------

    Tony, Cibie make excellent lights; you might have noticed them as the lighting of choice for rally cars etc. I suppose Cibie aren't perfect, though!

    The bigger the reflector area, the better - as the lights get more slit-like, it's harder for the manufacturer to get a good light output/pattern. The parabolic reflector of a round light is probably the best for a smooth reflector style light (one not optimised by computer design). So you might find a big improvement with those round inserts.

    Cheers

    Stuey


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    Quote Originally Posted by JAG80
    How much are those 'blue' type bulbs Bazz and where d'you get them?

    you get the 'blue 'typw bulbs at most auto shops,i got mine at autobarn doncaster.
    a few companys make them now.
    phillips make them along with a company called INTEC'
    they are rated as a hid[high intenstiy discharge]lights.
    hid lamps are usually found in carparks and artificial plant growing rooms and the like.
    they spread the light better at distance from less power drain.
    i think they are about $70[dont quote me],-BAZZ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Update to spotlamps problem...

    Tony, Cibie make excellent lights; you might have noticed them as the lighting of choice for rally cars etc. I suppose Cibie aren't perfect, though!

    The bigger the reflector area, the better - as the lights get more slit-like, it's harder for the manufacturer to get a good light output/pattern. The parabolic reflector of a round light is probably the best for a smooth reflector style light (one not optimised by computer design). So you might find a big improvement with those round inserts.

    Cheers

    Stuey
    Thanks Stuey I might have a look at the bulb in my left spot as I think it seems to have the same problem you have described! ie not very focused compared to the right.... after seeing the cost of the lights (around $1100 with painting) I might hold off on that for a while!

    Tony.
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