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Re: Burning Out Light Sockets?

>What's the deal, folks?  One of the posts today implies that the 
>material behind the reflector (and not a bad idea to consider having 
>the reflector improved, if possible...) is plastic.  Do I deduce 
>correctly that the basic problem is that socket area of the headlight 
>assembly is plastic, and that it simply cannot accept the heat from 
>upgraded bulbs...and will fry?
>Inquiring minds wanna know about this before it's too late!!


In my experience I have found that no matter where the hi-watt 9004s come
from and no matter where the socket those bulbs plug into are obtained, the
sockets themselves get overheated at the point where the ground connection
for the 9004 connects with the socket.  This indicates that excessive heat
is being produced at this contact which means that for some reason a poor
contact exists at this point.  It is enough that the bloomin' plastic of the
socket itself melts and chars.  It is the SOCKET (the part to which the
wires are attached) which burns, not the reflector. (Thank God.)

I have spent countless hours working on solving this problem to no avail and
have reached the conclusion that it is simply a poor design.  

I first tried 100/80 watt lights from Competition Unlimited (CU).  They did
not have their wiring harnes available at that time and backordered it.  I
went ahead and installed the 100/80s in the stock sockets.  Mistake #1.
When the harness finally arrived I installed it.  By this time the stock
sockets were nearly shot.  (Time involved, a bit less than a month)  A while
later, I was getting essentially no light with the 100/80s and investigated
and found that the "high power rated sockets" which were part of the harness
were completely wasted by heat as described above.  I contacted CU about the
problem and they sent another pair of sockets.  I installed (soldered) them
and, again, after a while the same problem developed.  Again, new sockets
and, this time, 100/55 lights were tried.  Same results, it just took a
while longer. 

Again. more sockets and, this time for variety I got some el-cheapo brand
100/55 9004s from JCW.  Same results for about three more sets of sockets.
He** with it.  Back to stock lighting and install driving and fog lights and
that's where I am today.  I no longer have to regularly desolder old sockets
and solder in new sockets at about three to four week intervals and I can
see the GD road at night here in the boonies of Wild, Wonderful, West (by
God) Virginia.

Here ends the saga of the high wattage 9004 lights.  Again, my
recommendation is to forget the whole idea and get some decent auxilliary
lighting or, else, go for the euro conversion lights.

BTW, FWIW, the CU sockets gave the best performance of all the various
sockets I tried, by far.  They were the slowest to burn up.

   *  Robert L. Myers  <rmyers@olie.wvitcoe.wvnet.edu>      *
   *  Chair, Department of Chemistry, WVIT                  *
   *  Home:(304) 574-2372        Office: (304) 442-3358     *
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   *       My Huskies like to ride in my '89 200TQ.         *