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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Wipac E Code Headlamp Bulb Replacement

After 8 years driving on the original 60/55 watt H4 bulbs that came in my Wipac headlamps from FFR I decided to spring for new bulbs with a little more oomph to them. I did a lot of research and almost immediately ruled out anything blue or that claimed to imitate HID as just marketing crap. That narrowed the field a lot. After some deliberation I decided to spring for the Osram H4 Rallye 70/65 watt from Daniel Stern Lighting. They are clearly brighter with a nice white beam but are not obnoxious to other drivers which was one of my concerns in staying away from anything like a 100/80. The price was $24.00 each which is not cheap but not outrageous either. Forget trying to find them for cheap anywhere else, won't happen.

Overall I'm happy with the results. They won't light up the night but they are clearly an improvement over the originals. It is important to adjust the aim of your headlamps to gain the maximum benefit from them. I have found that most of the recommended procedures winds up putting the hotspot on the ground in front of the car out to about 50'. I went up a couple degrees without causing any problems for others.

I also bought bulbs for the parking/city lamps that were supposed to be an improvement. This turned out to be a dud. If your headlamps have the city lights in them leave them alone unless they're burned out.

Frank
 

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This has been a major topic on 4WD forums for years. I made the conversion in the '80s, and have been running them off and on again for decades. I changed my Cherokee over five years ago.

Because I was using 80/100's, a new relay wiring harness was needed. In many cases, it's a major improvement in it's own right. Running 55 X2 watts thru the factory headlight switch for 15+ years will burn it out. The lengthy wire run from battery to switch and back to the buckets also creates voltage drop issues which reduce the output and life of bulbs - you keep replacing them sooner and sooner. Using a separate harness routes the power from battery to relay at the battery, to the buckets just inches away,with new wire in a heavier gauge. Voila, brighter lights with just stock bulbs, and certainly much more power for heavier ones. This alone is a major improvement and should be your #1 modification regardless. Many late models are using it now factory stock.

Second, the choice of a lens is critical. This is where politics in DOT has served us badly. The American makers held back allowing us halogens for years, and still disallow the Euro spec lens - because they make up the Headlight Advisory Board, and don't want competition. The Euro lens headlamps have a distinct cutoff on low beam, side by side with American spec lenses it's the difference between day and night. American spec lenses are basically a blob, Euro spec don't shine into oncoming drivers eye's by putting the light down on the road where it belongs.

Be advised, running E-code lenses like Cibie Z-beams (which I did in the '80s on my '66 Mustang) means taking a risk during inspections or on the road if stopped. Hasn't happened yet, but I'm not guaranteeing anyone a free pass. However, it won't likely happen because they are "too bright" - again, on low beam, you can't see them as much from an oncoming car, even tho I'm pushing 80 watt output.

On high, they will light up an old stop sign on a country road nearly a mile away. I did that repeatedly coming home from shift work at 2AM, and I certainly could see wildlife long before I got to where they were crossing the road.

The result for me was much improved visibility at night, low beam or high, and with the increasing number of HID cars out there with their poorly controlled projectors, I'm not the standout problem child to get noticed - they are. I do get their attention when I flash my high beams at them, tho.

This will be part of a build on my car, as the benefits are numerous - using the relay harness eliminates switch burnout, there's better visibility, and I'm less a problem to oncoming traffic. Win win all around. The only issue will likely be initial inspection, which some old spec bulbs should be able to handle.

Another Pro Touring concept, which used to be done as Grand Touring 24 hour racing. Carroll Shelby had more wins there than concours car shows. :evil:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Since I used relays and 14 GA wire for my Hi and Lo beams when I built my car I was pretty comfortable with the load carrying capacity. But, you're right, the wiring and relays is the first place to start before running out for high wattage bulbs. The Cibie Z beams were probably the finest 7" lamps ever made but sadly they've been out of production for years and the few remaining are being hoarded and command astonishing prices if you can find them. The Wipac E code headlamps are pretty good in their own right and do have that very pronounced cutoff which spares oncoming drivers but the 100/80 bulbs seemed a bit much for my needs. At this level, wiring as stated earlier must be top notch. Another consideration is that bulb life begins to decline as you increase bulb wattage and some bulb brands have a much worse service life than others. Something to think about if you do a lot of night driving.
Frank
 
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