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HOWTO: euro lights for 4kq
Yesterday I spent most of the AM (until about 2!) installing
euro lights in my wife's 85 4kq. I had planned to take pictures
and so forth, but I didn't have the time.
In short, a worthwhile upgrade.
Alcohol (to clean the bulbs, I told you it was the AM!)
Patience, or lack thereof
I bought the single H4 lamps from Wolfsport ($300 and change)
which were cheaper than the next option, the dual H4/H1 lights
that are over $500 a pair, and slightly higher than the setup
I run in my 84 4kq, the 4x6 quad H4/H1 lights (under $200
for the set).
The lights were from Bosch, with the part numbers curiously
deleted. They arrived without bulbs, per my request (I wanted
to get them at Competition Ltd).
The lights were a perfect boltin, everything lined up.
There is also a provision for city lights on these but I didn't have
the bulbs, so I will hook them up later, perhaps splicing these
into the parking lights harness or maybe using them as DRLs,
depending on the wife's taste.
I also ordered a wiring harness from Comp. Ltd, $62 with a pair
of 80/100 H4 bulbs. This harness uses 2 relays and has fairly high
gauge wire (I used thicker wire when I made my own H1 harness though).
I had bought a harness from CL previously, based on a lister's
recommendation, and though I had a problem with that one
(the harness I had was for a japanese car, and I didn't
realize this until it was already well in place,
so I had to modify it) with the last one, I decided to give them
another shot. I had problems again, and being Sunday, there was
no one I could call.
The problem I had this time was twofold:
1) the 85 uses (of course) 9004 bulbs. The CL harness is designed
to plug in to one of your existing headlight sockets, but this
connector is the type that would plug into the 84, ie the quad lights.
Solution - the connector on the 85 goes into another connector,
a round one, about 6 inches back. I presume this is because in
Europe they simply plug in the H4 connector here.
So I cut off the 9004 end, reasoning that if I decide to sell the car
and convert it back, I will just have to get one of those
connectors from a junkyard and it will be back to stock.
Once I had cut off the end, I had to figure out what the three
wires I was staring at did (Bentley and multimeter to the rescue)
and how I was going to mate them to the CL harness.
I crimped on three female connectors, and removed the connectors
in the CL harness by flattening the pin on each one - so I discarded
the plastic holder and now just needed to mate each one to the
right spot on the harness. Which leads to problem 2...
2) The color of the wires they used changed from the one on my
84 to this one, for whatever reason (different harness, whatever).
So after hooking it up the way I thought was right, it was not.
It took an hour and change of testing and thinking to get it all
sorted out. Also, the relays are unmarked, adding to the
Once it was all back together, I ended up having to switch the wires
for the high/low beams. Instead of undoing everything I just popped
out the connectors at the lights and swapped them.
I ran the harness inside the front bumper and tied everything
together with wireties. Then, I put a ziploc bag around the
relays and tied it shut with a wiretie.
Also, all electrical connections got a dab of dielectric grease.
I also took the opportunity to clean up the battery terminals.
Then, I had to align the lights.
I waited until it got dark, which was also when a torrential
downpour started. I think I got them pretty straight, but
we'll see what my mechanic thinks and what I think when I'm
not soaking wet.
The low beams are improved by about 300%. The lights
cast a wide, low pattern on the ground, and it is bright.
No flashes from oncoming traffic. The high beams I could not
test well since it was raining - they are also improved, but
I was disappointed with them. The next paragraph will explain
On my 84, I have as I mentioned the quad lights.
I just upgraded the lights to 80/100 H4s and 100w H1s,
from CL. I had been running 55/65 H4s (I think) and
100w H1 plus 55H1 on the other side (one burned out).
The result? My low beams are brighter than before,
possibly a tad less bright than the new lights on the 85.
But the high beams are phenomenal. I can light up
the road for miles. I can spot dandruff on that guy
1/4 mile ahead. Almost.
The 84 quad lights are not as pretty as the aero H4s, but you
can't beat 400 watts of high beam power. My goal was to improve
the 85's vision for "normal" use, whereas I'm the one driving
around like a nut at 0200 or tooling through the snow, so I need the
The Comp. Ltd harness is well made, if you choose not to make your
own. I would strongly suggest that they include a wiring schematic
with each one (I can see why they don't, since you could build your
own, but I could do that even without their schematic).
Also, make a provision for fitting this harness to cars with 9004
bulbs. Including the Audi harness bit that goes from the
round connector to the H4 connector would be very slick.
I would also suggest that you offer a service, perhaps on your
web page or in print, where people can share experiences installing
your products on their cars, and maybe you could offer a set of
bulbs in exchange for this information as a perk.
[I've cc'd CL on this by the way]
| Dan |
Dan Simoes firstname.lastname@example.org
ANS Communications http://coimbra.ans.net/dans.html
100 Manhattanville Road (914) 701-5378 (voice)
Purchase, NY 10577 (914) 701-5310 (fax)