RWD - Headlamps, halogens

Volvo RWD 120-130 Forum

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Headlamps, halogens 120-130

Kwas - simply trying to provide the OP with another resource he could draw on to make his choice.

I’ve been performing this “upgrade” on cars of mine for (edit - I'm older than I thought....) 30 years. For me, it started with a simple measurement - put the black lead of your DVM on the location where the headlight bulbs are grounded and the red lead on the hot side of the light bulb - check low beams and high beams as there is additional wiring/switching (V loss) with the high beams. Car warmed up and hold the rpm up a bit. Now check voltage at the alt output at same rpm. If you have more than a volt or two difference, you’re losing significant lumens of lighting. Whether it’s in wire length/gauge, connections or switches only matters if you’re willing to replace the offending bits with upgrades. In my experience, every car has significant voltage drops even when new - primarily because of long wire runs and minimal gauge size. Even my wife’s 2016 sees over a volt drop - and I’d bet money those lights are triggered via control module/CAN system. And if you wanna upgrade to more powerful bulbs, upgrades to the system are usually necessary - many popped fuses on E30 BMW trying to run 100W bulbs through factory wiring. In fact, it was that experience that caused me to investigate the V-drop in the first place.

I upgraded the Volvo in an afternoon using spare relays I’d collected over the years. Keep grounds and wiring large gauge and as short as possible. My DVM currently measures 0.00V difference between alt output and the bulb hotsides. I’m seeing a full 14.2-14.6V at the bulb. Hella euro lights with 55W on the low beam and 100W on the high. No worry about burning up fuses or factory wiring/switches. And I can fry eggs at 50’.

Pull out your DVM. I’d lay odds on a perfectly functioning (clean connections) 50 year old system you’ll see at least a 2V drop....lumens left on the table.

Appears you and I have differing opinions on this. I’m good with that.

82 242-6.2L; '17 Mazda3; '16 Crosstrek


New 1 Headlamps, halogens [120-130]
posted by  longhorizon  on Sun May 5 14:21 CST 2019 >

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