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Thread: Help needed upgrading 9004 bulbs and aux lights

  1. #1

    Default Help needed upgrading 9004 bulbs and aux lights

    New to the forum, some questions about what I want to do

    I just joined so I could search around to find what I wanted to know, however searching on my phone gives me a lot of irrelevant results and my desktop computers antivirus goes crazy with your site and I basically cant go on it. Keeps telling me your site is dangerous. Also i hit a cyote last night which i should have seen and that makes me mad...
    So, I would like to explain what I would like to do, ask a few questions and then if you guys don't mind please direct me to threads that already answer my questions since i'm sure this is nothing new.

    So, I have a 1993 Ford Festiva (aka mazda 121, kia pride) I have had one 10 years and just dealt with the poor 9004 lights. I got a new festiva, have a new commute and am sick of the bad lights. In the past I tried 9007 bulbs (stupid) and cheap ebay HID bulbs (also stupid) and I want something that will actually work.

    What i need and want to to is get my low beams better. I drive 2hrs a day at night for 6 months of the year but now its a busy highway and i rarely use my high beams. Im happy enough with my high beams for the 3 miles a day or less i use them.

    My initial plan was to install relays to high and low beams to improve both and use GE Nighthawk bulbs.
    However after thinking about it i realized my daytime running lights will no longer work with this relay setup. However they work on the high beams at 7.5 volts.
    So i want to improve just my low beams to keep the drl's i think.

    The low beams suck even when there is nobody oncoming close by, no rain and no moon. If theres anybody coming at me or rain i cant see and when litereally any vehicle is behind me their low beams are brighter than mine, put my car in a shadow and i can see better from their lights than mine.

    So i'm thinking of Ge nighthawk bulbs, new grounds to both lights, new low beam wiring off a relay, leave the high beam/drl wiring stock and then some sort of bright fog light or driving light that will be used with low beams only that will help me see better/farther but not bother other drivers at all. They dont need to function as actual fog lights, I only want to see better with my low beams.

    So I measured headlight voltage with the car idling. Took wires out of the drivers headlight plug and put them into the bulb, then tested voltage with headlights on.

    Low beams with headlights on 14.3v at battery, 13.5v at headlight. No difference between using headlight gnd and battery gnd.

    High beams 14.25v at battery, 13.03v at light using its ground and 13.07 using battery ground. So no difference really.

    But thats a 1.2v drop for the high beams and a 0.8v drop for the low beams. Thats a lot of lumens lost

    I know the wiring going to the passenger side is longer and has much more voltage drop but It was way too much of a pain trying to measure the voltage by myself for me to want to do the passenger side too.

    Having more trouble than I would have imagined finding the nighthawk bulbs, hopefully some more phone calls will find me some.

    This is the front of the car:


    This is the wiring diagram if that makes a difference:


    So my questions:
    1. The pins/contacts in the 9004 bulb sockets-can I buy new ones to crimp my larger wires to? If not I cut some headlight plugs (for 9004) off another car, If I splice my larger ground and low beam wires onto it close to the plug will I still get voltage drop from the short section of small wire?


    2. Is there any way possible to do the relays and larger wires on my high beams and still keep the headlights as daytime running lights?

    3. The auxiliary lights. I have some pilot brand fog lights that I had on my car years ago. I thought they were amazing at the time. They had a really sharp cutoff when looking against a wall with them (I know thats not a good way to tell) but there wasnt enough room on the car for the mounting hardware and the one would always turn up and blind other drivers so I took them off. Now I am more capable of making them fit and will have to anyway since I lost one mount... Anyhow, I don't remember how far they shone and i havent been able to find them the last 4 days (had em in my car 3 weeks ago) but are they worth trying or is there something else I should buy? I don't want to spend a ton, maybe $100 or less. Not sure if fog lights is what I want or if I should be getting some sort of 'driving lights' and just aim them lower.

    4. Where should these auxiliary lights be mounted? This is where I had the old fog lights but should they be higher for what I want now?

    I block the entire front of the car like this so blocking airflow is not a concern, I can remove the lights for summer if its an issue. (this was a failed pair of fog lights I tried, they didn't do a thing)

    I plan to make my own relay harness for these lights as well unless whatever is recommended already comes with good wiring.

    5. wire size to the headlights. Just want to verify that i am on the right track. Relays will be close to the battery, maybe 1 foot. Was planning to use 12awg wire to them from the battery. From the relay to the headlights 14awg to the drivers headlight and 12awg to the passenger. 14awg for grounds no more than 1ft long.
    From relay to drivers headlight is no more than 1.5ft, probably 1ft. At 2.5ft total for the drivers side and 6ft total for the passenger side starting at 14.3 volts that should be 14.265v at the drivers side and 14.24v at the passenger side using an online voltage drop calculator. That is acceptable correct?

    Thanks for any help

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed upgrading 9004 bulbs and aux lights



    Move the DRL function to the front turn signals using the DRL-1. That lets you do relays for both the low and high beam headlamps without losing DRL function.

    14ga wire would be the smallest I'd use, but if you are doing foot-long or shorter runs directly to battery or alternator grounds (not a frame ground), then that may be OK. The signal wire doesn't need to be particularly large, but the power and ground wires really ought to be 12ga. Don't skimp on that cheapest part of the relay job! In fact, going with 12ga silver-teflon wire will be optimal and won't break the bank

    Daniel Stern sells relay installation kits that have all you need but the wire (there's no sense in him reselling wire that you can pick up locally or on Amazon cheaper than he can sell it to you), you'll want the RIK-HB1 listed there. You might could spend less elsewhere but with Daniel Stern you're guaranteed to get high-quality parts. Genuine [Brand], not [Brand]-style like some vendors may be selling.

    The auxiliary lights. I have some pilot brand fog lights that I had on my car years ago. I thought they were amazing at the time. They had a really sharp cutoff when looking against a wall with them (I know thats not a good way to tell) but there wasnt enough room on the car for the mounting hardware and the one would always turn up and blind other drivers so I took them off. Now I am more capable of making them fit and will have to anyway since I lost one mount... Anyhow, I don't remember how far they shone and i havent been able to find them the last 4 days (had em in my car 3 weeks ago) but are they worth trying or is there something else I should buy? I don't want to spend a ton, maybe $100 or less. Not sure if fog lights is what I want or if I should be getting some sort of 'driving lights' and just aim them lower.
    As far as auxiliary lamps: Do you want fog lamps (which should almost never be switched on, and never used above 25mph), or do you want auxiliary high beam lamps ("driving lamps")? Either way, the "Pilot" lights are pretty much a no go. And if you want "driving lamps", mount them so their filaments are at least as high up as your high beam filaments are, and do *not* aim them lower. Aim them straight out, just like a high beam would be. (If by aiming them downward you intend to use them as auxiliary low beams, just get auxiliary low beams instead.)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help needed upgrading 9004 bulbs and aux lights

    I'm guessing auxiliary low beams are so hard to come by these days that they are not worth discussing unless the budget is much bigger, right?
    There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures. ~James Thurber

  4. #4
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed upgrading 9004 bulbs and aux lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamilton Felix View Post
    I'm guessing auxiliary low beams are so hard to come by these days that they are not worth discussing unless the budget is much bigger, right?
    You'd have to scout eBay for gently-used or NOS. NOS might be silly expensive.

    However, this may be one of those cars that auxiliary low beams would make sense on depending on the type of traffic they were used in.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help needed upgrading 9004 bulbs and aux lights

    I thought I would get an email when I had replies and didn't see these till now!
    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post


    Move the DRL function to the front turn signals using the DRL-1. That lets you do relays for both the low and high beam headlamps without losing DRL function.

    14ga wire would be the smallest I'd use, but if you are doing foot-long or shorter runs directly to battery or alternator grounds (not a frame ground), then that may be OK. The signal wire doesn't need to be particularly large, but the power and ground wires really ought to be 12ga. Don't skimp on that cheapest part of the relay job! In fact, going with 12ga silver-teflon wire will be optimal and won't break the bank

    Daniel Stern sells relay installation kits that have all you need but the wire (there's no sense in him reselling wire that you can pick up locally or on Amazon cheaper than he can sell it to you), you'll want the RIK-HB1 listed there. You might could spend less elsewhere but with Daniel Stern you're guaranteed to get high-quality parts. Genuine [Brand], not [Brand]-style like some vendors may be selling.


    As far as auxiliary lamps: Do you want fog lamps (which should almost never be switched on, and never used above 25mph), or do you want auxiliary high beam lamps ("driving lamps")? Either way, the "Pilot" lights are pretty much a no go. And if you want "driving lamps", mount them so their filaments are at least as high up as your high beam filaments are, and do *not* aim them lower. Aim them straight out, just like a high beam would be. (If by aiming them downward you intend to use them as auxiliary low beams, just get auxiliary low beams instead.)
    Thanks for the welcome

    I have thought of moving the drl function to the side markers and/or signal lights but I don't think they would be bright enough for what I would like. In Canada here where every car has them people look for headlights and go if they don't see them. If I wanted relays to the high beams I would have to look at some sort of LED drl i could stick just below the headlights.

    Ok, sure, I could use 12awg for that one light, but 45watts at 2ft isnt much of a draw For high beams I would for sure.
    Why not a shorter ground wire to the frame? Wouldn't you get less voltage drop that way and have less mess? The battery is grounded to the frame with an 8awg wire that is under 16in long.

    I read through daniel sterns website. Are there photos of what you get in his kit anywhere? If I was doing high and low beams maybe, but Im having a hard time justifying the $75 CAD + shipping here if im going to only doing the low beams and I don't know whats in it.

    I do not want fog lamps or auxiliary high beams...


    Quote Originally Posted by Hamilton Felix View Post
    I'm guessing auxiliary low beams are so hard to come by these days that they are not worth discussing unless the budget is much bigger, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    You'd have to scout eBay for gently-used or NOS. NOS might be silly expensive.

    However, this may be one of those cars that auxiliary low beams would make sense on depending on the type of traffic they were used in.
    Yes, Its auxiliary low beams I want. I saw some rectangular sealed low beam lights in a store today. Would that be a good idea? Do they sell mounting kits for them somewhere?

    I phoned/went 7 stores locally and only one had the nighthawks. $77 for the platinums and $65 for the regular nighthawks. Everyone else sells sylvana. So I just ordered the nighthawk platinums for this car and my other car on amazon. To ship them right to me would be those same prices so I got them shipped to a friend in the USA, Ill pay him to bring them across the boarder and ship them to me from there. still cheaper to do that and pay the 11% tax than to ship them straight here....
    After work today I bought some sylvana xtravision to hold me over till the nighthawks arrive. I will install them tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed upgrading 9004 bulbs and aux lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Dancam View Post
    I have thought of moving the drl function to the side markers and/or signal lights but I don't think they would be bright enough for what I would like.
    The front turn signals on that car should meet the requirements. Side marker lamps will not-- they are side marker lamps. You want to use the turn signal lamp at turn signal intensity.

    In Canada here where every car has them people look for headlights and go if they don't see them.
    ?

    If I wanted relays to the high beams I would have to look at some sort of LED drl i could stick just below the headlights.
    Separate LED DRLs are available, but the turn signal DRL is extremely neat and clean.

    Ok, sure, I could use 12awg for that one light, but 45watts at 2ft isnt much of a draw For high beams I would for sure.
    In some cases, 12ga wire is cheaper than 14ga (I've seen examples in recent memory where that was true of silver-teflon wire)-- chalk it up to the economy of scale lowering costs making the supply abundant.

    Why not a shorter ground wire to the frame? Wouldn't you get less voltage drop that way and have less mess? The battery is grounded to the frame with an 8awg wire that is under 16in long.
    Frame grounds are terrible. Ground it to that connection point on the frame that the negative terminal is connected to, or directly to the battery, but not to any other frame point.

    I read through daniel sterns website. Are there photos of what you get in his kit anywhere? If I was doing high and low beams maybe, but Im having a hard time justifying the $75 CAD + shipping here if im going to only doing the low beams and I don't know whats in it.
    I'm surprised he doesn't have photos up, but it would be the the relays and sockets and connectors, rather dull-looking and don't tell you much about the quality.

    Yes, Its auxiliary low beams I want. I saw some rectangular sealed low beam lights in a store today. Would that be a good idea? Do they sell mounting kits for them somewhere?
    Good quality sealed beams (like these) in 'buckets' would work. Then they could be aux lows or highs-- but you want to wire it so the highs do not come on automatically with the high beams, nor do you want the lows to come on automatically with your lows.

    You could also get the 0549211 low beams in pedestal mounts.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help needed upgrading 9004 bulbs and aux lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    The front turn signals on that car should meet the requirements. Side marker lamps will not-- they are side marker lamps. You want to use the turn signal lamp at turn signal intensity.
    Here DRL's are required by law, nearly everyone has them and most are still headlamps or bright LED's around the headlights. Very few are orange. It will sound stupid to anyone who doesn't live here but everyone is used to having lights on all the time on vehicles. So when someone goes to cross a highway, turn right or left, merge, or anything else and they are in a bit of a hurry they look for headlights rather than vehicles and just go if they don't see headlights. I know a few people that have been hit because they pulled in front of another vehicle that didn't have DRL's, one friend of mine nearly died from that. Ive caught myself a few times not seeing a silver vehicle thats half a mile away or so. My car is small and I have people not paying attention try to run me off the road all the time. Or maybe they see me and just expect any little car to move for them. Whichever, I just would prefer to keep my drl's and not use the orange blinkers. I briefly considered these since they are at least white but I have no idea how bright they are. Could be typical chinese junk.
    Oversize Image

    Separate LED DRLs are available, but the turn signal DRL is extremely neat and clean.


    In some cases, 12ga wire is cheaper than 14ga (I've seen examples in recent memory where that was true of silver-teflon wire)-- chalk it up to the economy of scale lowering costs making the supply abundant.
    Sure, I just have a ton of nice red 14awg anyway, I figured the smaller wire would look neater and bend easier but it may look better all the same gauge.

    Frame grounds are terrible. Ground it to that connection point on the frame that the negative terminal is connected to, or directly to the battery, but not to any other frame point.
    Why though? not trying to say your wrong here at all, I would just like to know why. I do a lot of automotive wiring and am in the middle of a big wiring job on a trailer I'm building. I always put the grounds to the closest neat frame point. literally everything in the car including the alternator uses a frame ground so what is not as good about it?

    I'm surprised he doesn't have photos up, but it would be the the relays and sockets and connectors, rather dull-looking and don't tell you much about the quality.
    I'm sure they are all good quality, was more wondering what plugs and connectors you get. If your getting male headlight sockets for feeds to the relays, if you get new female plugs for the headlights or if you reuse yours, what grommets you get, how the relays mount and that kinda thing...

    Good quality sealed beams (like these) in 'buckets' would work. Then they could be aux lows or highs-- but you want to wire it so the highs do not come on automatically with the high beams, nor do you want the lows to come on automatically with your lows.
    Thanks, I went to a store today to check out what they had but all they had was this:
    Oversize Image
    Oversize Image
    its pretty huge and im not sure how well it would stay aimed. Do you know if these work well? looks like the best lamp they had was an xtravision to fit it. unless one of these conversion kits would be better.
    Oversize Image
    Oversize Image

    You could also get the 0549211 low beams in pedestal mounts.
    Huh, there is actually a dealer near me. Are these supposed to be pretty good? or a lot better than those nighthawk sealed beams? I bet they are pricey but i could phone and check.
    I will have to look around some more for buckets I think.
    I believe I want to stay with the rectangular shape and would prefer high and low beams in one. Is there a particular size thats better quality than the others? I mean out of the REC 46, or 48 or 58 or 68 is one size better? or are they just different dimensions?

    So I went to sort of a nut and bolt store this morning to get some bolts and noticed they were selling wipers. So i asked if they sold headlights and they had the GE Nighthawks! So I bought em for $40 and installed them. I will return the xtravisions i bought the day before but didnt install. The bulbs I took out appear to have a manufacture date of 1994 on them...
    Oversize Image
    That would explain why they were dim...
    The nighthawks are a fair bit brighter but not quite as bright as I had been hoping. But when the nighthawk platinums arrive I will be able to compare them.



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    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 10-12-2017 at 07:31 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tagging & oversize images

  8. #8
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed upgrading 9004 bulbs and aux lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Dancam View Post
    Here DRL's are required by law, nearly everyone has them and most are still headlamps or bright LED's around the headlights. Very few are orange. It will sound stupid to anyone who doesn't live here but everyone is used to having lights on all the time on vehicles. So when someone goes to cross a highway, turn right or left, merge, or anything else and they are in a bit of a hurry they look for headlights rather than vehicles and just go if they don't see headlights.
    They should practice driving "like they want to get there", not "driving in a hurry". They need to look for vehicles-- DRLs can help with that but they still should keep in mind there can be anomalous vehicles.

    Amber/SAE Yellow DRLs are permitted so long as the DRL function is performed by the turn signal. Those "very few... orange" DRLs you've seen? Almost certainly turn signal DRLs (or someone just stuck some other amber lamps on and wired them as DRLs without realizing that's the wrong way).

    I know a few people that have been hit because they pulled in front of another vehicle that didn't have DRL's, one friend of mine nearly died from that. Ive caught myself a few times not seeing a silver vehicle thats half a mile away or so. My car is small and I have people not paying attention try to run me off the road all the time. Or maybe they see me and just expect any little car to move for them. Whichever, I just would prefer to keep my drl's and not use the orange blinkers. I briefly considered these since they are at least white but I have no idea how bright they are. Could be typical chinese junk.
    Oversize Image
    A car one half mile away traveling at 70mph will take about 25 seconds to reach your position. I'm thinking even that car should reach 70mph in that time. Maybe. But if they rear-end you then they'll likely to be in violation of your province's "Basic Speed Rule" if it has one (most places, rear-ending the car in front of you means you're going too fast for conditions).

    Those things you linked? Total junk.


    Sure, I just have a ton of nice red 14awg anyway, I figured the smaller wire would look neater and bend easier but it may look better all the same gauge.
    I suppose if you have all the wire already, and the runs are that short (but to appropriate grounds, not the frame), then that should work. It'll be an improvement over the 24+ year old wiring you have, for sure.


    Why though? not trying to say your wrong here at all, I would just like to know why. I do a lot of automotive wiring and am in the middle of a big wiring job on a trailer I'm building. I always put the grounds to the closest neat frame point. literally everything in the car including the alternator uses a frame ground so what is not as good about it?
    Disconnect the negative battery terminal (in case the resistance is too great and an electrical signal actually seeks a return to the battery along your VOM) and measure the resistance between the negative battery terminal (on the cable, not the battery post, obviously) and your proposed ground point. Another test involves leaving everything hooked up and turning on the electrical item, and measuring voltage between that same ground point and the negative terminal, which will show current is seeking a return to ground through the VOM. (In fact, that's probably the test you should perform first.)

    I'm sure they are all good quality, was more wondering what plugs and connectors you get. If your getting male headlight sockets for feeds to the relays, if you get new female plugs for the headlights or if you reuse yours, what grommets you get, how the relays mount and that kinda thing...
    The kits are designed that in most cases you won't have to cut original wiring. Remember:
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Stern Lighting
    Kits include American and European-made extreme-duty parts to accept your own 10-12ga wire: 30-amp relays with dual output terminals, relay brackets and terminal blocks, terminals, extra-tough fused fuseholders and high-heat headlamp sockets. In most cases, the vehicle's factory wiring remains uncut.
    (Emphasis mine)
    Grommets, though, for passing your signal wire through the firewall, would better be obtained locally- too many variations of cars out there to include those. You can also often pull thin signal wire through existing grommets. Wrapping your wire with friction tape is another option when you pass it through other openings under the hood.


    Thanks, I went to a store today to check out what they had but all they had was this:
    Oversize Image
    Oversize Image
    its pretty huge and im not sure how well it would stay aimed. Do you know if these work well? looks like the best lamp they had was an xtravision to fit it. unless one of these conversion kits would be better.
    I installed the Hella XL auxiliary low beams on a '95 Previa. I did a little "fabrication" (using an angle grinder to cut some bar stock); results here.
    I don't check their aim that often, but it seems they don't really move that easily.

    The Hella XL is based on the "Comet 550" form factor. If you can find the complete lamps and the lenses are marked SAE Z (for auxiliary low beam), those would be the Hella XL. Hella don't make their own bulbs, so no telling if you'll get decent ones in it or not. I'd replace them with some Philips H3 bulbs (but nothing like "Crystal Vision" or overwattage bulbs, either). Refer to that earlier thread about the Hella XL for more information.

    Huh, there is actually a dealer near me. Are these supposed to be pretty good? or a lot better than those nighthawk sealed beams? I bet they are pricey but i could phone and check.
    There will be no halogen low beam that can compete with those JW Speaker lamps.

    I believe I want to stay with the rectangular shape and would prefer high and low beams in one. Is there a particular size thats better quality than the others? I mean out of the REC 46, or 48 or 58 or 68 is one size better? or are they just different dimensions?
    No real reason to not go with rectangular ones. Round ones might look out-of-place in some cases. Larger lamps with all other engineering factors equal are, as a general rule, better than smaller lamps, but there are good and bad lamps of all sizes so just picking the largest ones isn't a good idea.

    So I went to sort of a nut and bolt store this morning to get some bolts and noticed they were selling wipers. So i asked if they sold headlights and they had the GE Nighthawks!
    As long as they are "Nighthawk" or "Nighthawk Platinum", not "Nighthawk Sport".

    The bulbs I took out appear to have a manufacture date of 1994 on them...
    That would explain why they were dim...
    If they lasted that long, your system must be starved for voltage.

    The nighthawks are a fair bit brighter but not quite as bright as I had been hoping.
    Starved for voltage.
    "If the solar eclipse is anything like my Mitsubishi Eclipse, it'll darken the daytime sky"

    --Philip J. Fry


    (stolen from a friend)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help needed upgrading 9004 bulbs and aux lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    They should practice driving "like they want to get there", not "driving in a hurry". They need to look for vehicles-- DRLs can help with that but they still should keep in mind there can be anomalous vehicles.

    Amber/SAE Yellow DRLs are permitted so long as the DRL function is performed by the turn signal. Those "very few... orange" DRLs you've seen? Almost certainly turn signal DRLs (or someone just stuck some other amber lamps on and wired them as DRLs without realizing that's the wrong way).
    Of course, if everyone looked where they were going my drive to work would be so much different!
    I think its mostly dodge pickups with led turn signals built into the headlamp that are used as drls but i havent paid close attention.

    A car one half mile away traveling at 70mph will take about 25 seconds to reach your position. I'm thinking even that car should reach 70mph in that time. Maybe. But if they rear-end you then they'll likely to be in violation of your province's "Basic Speed Rule" if it has one (most places, rear-ending the car in front of you means you're going too fast for conditions).
    yup, this car gets to 75mph in 18 seconds! lol, it wasn't that I was worried about being hit, just that it bothered me that I didn't see them the 2 times or so before i started moving. Kinda like the one time I started slipping the clutch to turn left before I saw a pedestrian crossing about a year ago. I didnt move more than a foot or 2 and i had a very low sun right in my eyes but it still bugs me that I can make mistakes like that.

    Those things you linked? Total junk.
    haha, ok.


    I suppose if you have all the wire already, and the runs are that short (but to appropriate grounds, not the frame), then that should work. It'll be an improvement over the 24+ year old wiring you have, for sure.
    I'll see what happens when I do it, Ill have to buy the 12awg anyway.



    Disconnect the negative battery terminal (in case the resistance is too great and an electrical signal actually seeks a return to the battery along your VOM) and measure the resistance between the negative battery terminal (on the cable, not the battery post, obviously) and your proposed ground point. Another test involves leaving everything hooked up and turning on the electrical item, and measuring voltage between that same ground point and the negative terminal, which will show current is seeking a return to ground through the VOM. (In fact, that's probably the test you should perform first.)
    Thanks, Ill try that on the weekend probably.

    The kits are designed that in most cases you won't have to cut original wiring. Remember:
    (Emphasis mine)
    Grommets, though, for passing your signal wire through the firewall, would better be obtained locally- too many variations of cars out there to include those. You can also often pull thin signal wire through existing grommets. Wrapping your wire with friction tape is another option when you pass it through other openings under the hood.
    Thanks, read that too fast earlier I guess. I had meant the grommets that keep water out of the headlight socket terminals actually.


    I installed the Hella XL auxiliary low beams on a '95 Previa. I did a little "fabrication" (using an angle grinder to cut some bar stock); results here.
    I don't check their aim that often, but it seems they don't really move that easily.


    The Hella XL is based on the "Comet 550" form factor. If you can find the complete lamps and the lenses are marked SAE Z (for auxiliary low beam), those would be the Hella XL. Hella don't make their own bulbs, so no telling if you'll get decent ones in it or not. I'd replace them with some Philips H3 bulbs (but nothing like "Crystal Vision" or overwattage bulbs, either). Refer to that earlier thread about the Hella XL for more information.
    Thanks for linking that thread, maybe I can trust those buckets. How do you like the Previa? I have never met anyone with one of those. On paper they would be cool for a minivan but whats it like?

    There will be no halogen low beam that can compete with those JW Speaker lamps.
    cool. I called the local distributor here. Gave him the part number and he couldn't find it. Then I read him the description and he had no clue what pedestal mount low beams were, thought I was nuts and told me they had nothing I was looking for. lol

    No real reason to not go with rectangular ones. Round ones might look out-of-place in some cases. Larger lamps with all other engineering factors equal are, as a general rule, better than smaller lamps, but there are good and bad lamps of all sizes so just picking the largest ones isn't a good idea.
    Thanks

    As long as they are "Nighthawk" or "Nighthawk Platinum", not "Nighthawk Sport".
    yup, I made sure to avoid the sport ones.

    If they lasted that long, your system must be starved for voltage.


    Starved for voltage.

    yes, like i said, a 1.2v drop on the high beams on the side closer to the battery crazyness. I wonder if they actually design that into vehicles to make the headlights last longer?

    Anyway, I might email this daniel stern and see what he thinks I should do.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 10-13-2017 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Fixed stray quote tag

  10. #10
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed upgrading 9004 bulbs and aux lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Dancam View Post
    Of course, if everyone looked where they were going my drive to work would be so much different!
    I think its mostly dodge pickups with led turn signals built into the headlamp that are used as drls but i havent paid close attention.
    There are many more than that.

    yup, this car gets to 75mph in 18 seconds! lol, it wasn't that I was worried about being hit, just that it bothered me that I didn't see them the 2 times or so before i started moving. Kinda like the one time I started slipping the clutch to turn left before I saw a pedestrian crossing about a year ago. I didnt move more than a foot or 2 and i had a very low sun right in my eyes but it still bugs me that I can make mistakes like that.
    As much as you need to drive like you want to get there, pedestrians should walk like they want to get there. They should also pay attention to their surroundings and assume that they're invisible.

    Thanks, read that too fast earlier I guess. I had meant the grommets that keep water out of the headlight socket terminals actually.
    It might make sense to pick new ones up. There will be variances in how they are designed between cars, so get the ones right for you.

    Thanks for linking that thread, maybe I can trust those buckets. How do you like the Previa? I have never met anyone with one of those. On paper they would be cool for a minivan but whats it like?
    The Previa's pretty decent on ice and snow, gets mostly decent mileage and just holds a lot of stuff. Very "Star Trek" look about it, but a real pain to work on the engine (to check the oil you have to flip the driver's seat back. Spark plug changes mean taking out the passenger seat).

    cool. I called the local distributor here. Gave him the part number and he couldn't find it. Then I read him the description and he had no clue what pedestal mount low beams were, thought I was nuts and told me they had nothing I was looking for. lol
    Email JW Speaker and let them know their distributor is costing themselves, and Speaker, sales. You could also give that distributor the URL to the product page so they can figure it out for themselves.

    yup, I made sure to avoid the sport ones.
    Good. If I had my 'druthers, I'druther those things didn't exist.

    yes, like i said, a 1.2v drop on the high beams on the side closer to the battery crazyness.
    You've got ancient wiring. Brand-new, the voltage drop wouldn't have been so bad.

    Anyway, I might email this daniel stern and see what he thinks I should do.
    He'll definitely be able to tell you more about the relay kits. And he might have some auxiliary low beams still, even if they're not on his page.

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