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>From: "Livolsi, Stephane" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: euro lights
>OK, this is going to sound silly, but what exactly are euro headlights?
>and what is the big deal with them?
>180 Yorston St
>Williams Lake, BC, V2G 3Z1
>'86 5KTQ stock (if you don't know what it means, you aren't in the club)
Ahh, eurolights. And thereby hangs a tale . . .
To meet mid 80's vinatge US DOT requirements (which evidently said
headlights should be useless at night, thus reducing speeding by killing
off anyone who drives faster than 35 mph at night), many european
automakers had to design headlights which were the same shape as the
european parts, but met USA requirements.
The USA requirements were poorly formulated, and many of the resulting
headlights were downright dangerous, but legal. The USA headlights in the
5000 non-turbo cars, for instance, have plastic reflectors, so if you put a
higher wattage bulb into the lights so you can begin to see where you are
going, the race is now on to see whether the reflector or the headlight
switch melts first.
One of the first things I noticed about my 86 5KS was that I couldn't see a
damn thing at night. Step one was new, stock bulbs, which helped a little.
Step two was Wagner "brite-lites", which helped a little more, but was
I finally decided to bite the bullet and get a set of eurolights, but
quickly ran up against the cost and availability problems: They were scarce
and expensive. (Dave Head had a set in his 87 5KTQ, and that is what
Anyway, I found a source of non-turbo style eurolights, and after
estimating the demand on the list, imported 16 sets of them, complete with
corner lamps (which are different for the euro lights). This was a real
PITA, and I'm not going to do this again. I also now understand why the
other people who import these as part of their business charge as much as
Well, my "estimate" of demand turned out to be closer to an "optimistic
guess", and I still have 12 sets for sale! Two sets went into my cars (86
5K and 86 5KTQ), two sets actually got sold (!), and the rest are sitting
here. There's lots of enthusiasm, but actual sales have been disappointing,
to say the least.
The lights themselves are nothing short of amazing. Even with standard
45/60 (or 55/60) watt H-4 bulbs in them, I can confidently state that I
appear to have the best lights on the road - and I can SEE!!! 65 MPH at
night is no longer scary, because on high beams, I probably have a good
half mile's visibility, whch translates to 30 seconds to see an obstacle
and stop the car. It isn't the wattage of the bulb that makes a difference,
but the design of the lens and (metal) reflector that points the light
where it will do you some good. I also installed relays, which means that I
could even use 100/130 watt bulbs if I wanted to, and the light switch and
wiring won't melt.