Facelift Headlight conversion/confusion

Makes two of us: I detest the look of the quads.

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:joy: :rofl: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: LMAO I think you’ve missed your calling. You could have been a comedian :smiley:
I seriously can’t stop laughing. That is simply hilarious

Im missing the humor…???

Come on, have you actually looked at the Amazon listing? It’s a super El Cheapo $21.00 POS. Here it is, you have contributors posting various methods and ideas for solving one of the XJS’s hazardous shortcomings, which he himself devoted numerous pages in his book about. I think he posted it to wind us up, and he’s probably sitting back chuckling waiting to see if anyone takes the bate. Any hoot, if he was serious I still find it pretty funny. I’m :100: sure that I won’t be buying that item :joy:

I’d use it. In fact, the ones I did use on my '83 were cheaper than that. They work fine. They may not have quite the perfection of light pattern that the big-bucks Cibies or Hellas have, but they are 1000% better than the sealed beam garbage the US-spec cars came with. And you can replace that H4 bulb with a 130W version or one of those modern LED conversion bulbs.

Whether or not you’d choose to use these headlight units for all four spots or just the outer two is a better question. I used the same units for all four, ensuring that they visually match. But some might opt to use different units for the inner two, something designed with less spread and more spot in the pattern to throw light far down the road ahead.

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I really want to help. Kirbert is correct, that lamp, while cheap, probably not long lasting, and certainly not my first choice, would be a vast upgrade over a sealed beam. Not because the lamp is wonderful, but because it would serve as a useful holder and reflector for the H4 bulb, which is the real secret to that system.

First off, let’s be clear: There are two things going on here: 1, the desire to replace the US Spec, Carillo built, “Euro look” lozenge style headlight system with the “Quad System”, and 2, Choosing the correct lamps and bulbs (and wiring them appropriately) for the new system.

On the first point, you’ve stated clearly that you do NOT want the lozenges. My understanding, and I’m willing to be corrected as I do not have a facelift car, is that the “old style” (pre-facelift) “sealed beam bulb holders” and not a one for one fit into a facelift. If they were, you could simply find a parted out older car, and pull the entire headlamp system out, and be ready to put in a new lamp.

As a thought, all these parts probably lead to the cost of the Arden system. Taking prices from Mr. Stern, you’d need four Koito lamps at $170 each, so there’s $680, and his “top quality bulbs” would add another $75 or so for a pair of H4s and H1s, so now your in for over $750 just in lights and you haven’t added buckets or trim rings yet… 1200 euro without MwST is looking not bad, in contrast.

Now, the lamps are the big glass round things (5 ¾ inches) of which I am speaking. They hold and focus the bulb (H4 or H1), Your current Carellos do use an H4, but the reflector inside is probably tarnished, and the plastic lens is probably yellowed. Either way, the plastic does not pass light like glass, and therein is the root of your problem. That, along with no attempt made at focusing the beam.

So let’s assume you have found a way to convert your facelift to a quad system. You have all the parts. The range of round lamps goes from the $21 one listed, to the $170 ones on Mr. Stern’s site. Any will work “better”, but make sure you separate our a right hand drive lamp from a left hand drive lamp. Otherwise, you’ll be sending the dipped light to dipping on the wrong side of the road, and blinding an oncoming driver. Now, once you have the lamp, you can add whichever bulb you like: H4s, LED bulbs that replace H4s, HID bulbs, an elaborate system of tallow candles, it’s up to you. You’ll get better light than sealed beams.

If you did get an older (i.e. not plastic) LHD euro light, assuming the reflectors are not corroded, you’ll also get good light. This is because the reflectors “shape” the beam correctly, as opposed to the Carellos that were a straight shot, like the sealed beams. What I noticed driving older European cars was that dipped was clearly dipped (after all, there is usually a lot of ambient light in traffic, and they did show the sides of the road well), but main beams were torches. They work well.

Now the city lights are really not a challenge at all. IIRC, they are H3s. They are small, not really set to reflect, and their only purpose is to be used the same way we’d use “parking lights” in the US. Your two options are to either wire them in series with the side lights (which is how we’d use parking lights), or simply seal the hole with a piece of tape. When I replaced the lamps on my Land Rover from RHD to LHD so I could aim the lights on the UK spec vehicle correctly, I simply left the bulb out. I’ll get to it some day.

Personally, I’d go with the Koitos (though the Arden lights do look good) with the H4 100/55 watt Narvas on the dipped beam, and the H1 100 watt Narvas on the main beam.

What I’m trying to figure out, and perhaps someone who is better at reading wiring diagrams than I can help me, is this:

We know that you want relays for running higher wattage bulbs. This prevents all the current from running through the switch. But I also know there are already relays under the hood. Is it sufficient to simply add a larger gauge wire from the existing relays to the bulbs (that is to say the current system will protect the switch) or are additional relays needed? Kirbert?

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That is totally correct

Not exactly sure what you are trying to say here, but the bulb connectors are totally different fittings

I see where you are going with this and the point is valid except the figures are a little bit off. Mr. Sterns lamps are actually $336 for the lot of four (two H4’s & two H1’s.) A set of four bulbs to accommodate $78.36 = $414 plus whatever the cost of relays & wiring.

Yes, the housings & headlight surrounds definitely add cost to the conversion.

Excellent point about the reflector and the yellowing of the plastic. Although it seems that with a bit of work the lens can be separated from the reflector and properly cleaned. True enough about no attempt being made to refocus the lamps.

I certainly didn’t know that the 5 ¾” lamps were right and left side specific.

Sounds like if all you had to do there was let the city light hang out, there wasn’t any conversion involved.

I think that you are confusing what’s actually going on. You cannot just add a lower gauge wire and expect it to protect the switch. Relays should probably be added even if all other things remain the same. The job of the relay is to take the load off of the switch. The purpose of adding a lower wire gauge is to lessen the voltage drop whereby increasing bulb efficiency.

Okay, I get your point. I thought you were pulling my leg. As in everything, a Rolls Royce or Yugo, they’ll both get you there, but the condition that your in upon arrival will be very different. Seems to me you could be all in (lamps, bulbs, relays, wiring) done and dusted for $100.00 or less

They are cheap enough, that I’m going to try a set in my Rover, with the LED bulbs and see how they perform.

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I’m struggling with the reply with quote, so bear with me:

In addition to the trim rings and bulb connectors, there is a different “bucket” for the quad setup than there is for the lozenge set up. This sits in the wing. That needs to be changed as well.

Ah, yes, you are right. I was confusing the pair price with an “each” price. Cheaper, but still…

I’ve read of others trying to separate the lens from the reflector. I haven’t read many successful attempts, but I’ve heard it’s possible. Either way, does not apply in your case because you want quads, and if you did want to keep the lozenge, replacement with glass is a much better deal. Kirbert raised a point about imports, but I don’t think it is as regulated as it once was. Parts are far easier than whole cars.

Yes, because the reflectors aim the beam, left and right are very specific. Dipped beam focuses the light down and to the shoulder (not oncoming traffic) and main beam is straight out.

On the Rover, the city light is in the wing, but the lamp can be used on any car, so there’s a hole for the city light bulb. I blanked it, because it’s not like you want to be connecting extra wires to anything marked Lucas.

And I think you may have misunderstood my point on the wire gauge and the relay. WIth the relay set up, you don’t need a lot of power to power the relay, so the switch is OK, but you do need power to go from the relay to the light… and that should be a gauge that matches the load. When I set up H4s in my 911, there was no relay in the system at all, so I made it where the switch triggered the relay, and the relay powered a 10 gauge line from the battery to the bulb. Basically, instead of the “light wires” powering the bulb, I tapped them into the relay terminal to fire the load wires. That’s what I thought I’d do on the Jag. Then I noticed a relay box under the bonnet, and I don’t know how the wiring is already set up or what those relays fire. I can’t wrap my head around the main/dip relay because I’m used to the German method of one wire to each bulb hot, and a common ground… but I’ll figure it out. I need to work on the Rover first. That will be easier because it’s one 7 inch lamp instead of two 5 ¼ inch lamps, and main/dip is all in the H4, there’s not a separate H1. The Jag does have two honking big positive posts, so power from the relay to the bulb will be easy. It’s the switch to the relay I need to figure out.

I duuno, but shouldn’t it be as simple as tapping into the +positive wire from the light harness? One relay on the right side of the car, and another relay on the left.

My '83 did not have existing relays under the hood. So it was a simple matter to add a relay scheme. What you’re asking, I guess, is whether your relay system is up to the task of operating the system you are contemplating. I believe the answer is probably no.

You’re talking about 100W in all four holes. 100W / 14V = 7.1A per bulb. Altogether 28.4A. Most automotive relays are rated at 30A. Legit, but marginal.

Relays are cheap. What I’d do if I were you is leave each OEM relay that’s intended to drive two headlights to powering your outer two. Add another relay to drive the inner headlights. While you’re at it, run new power wires to that additional relay, splitting the load between original and new wiring.

OTOH, a coupla decades of development has passed since I did this job. You could forget all that and just install the new LED conversion bulbs which supposedly produce 3-4X as much light while reducing the current draw.

Not right or left side of the car. Right or left hand drive. If you’re driving in the UK or Oz, you’ll need headlights intended for RHD cars. Because E-code headlights do such an excellent job of cutting off light that would blind oncoming drivers, you wouldn’t want to be using headlamps intended for driving on the wrong side of the road.

Hah! I’m imagining that British dinosaur rollin’ down the roads of Colorado with brilliant cool white light lighting up the road ahead! That’ll probably surprise a few oncoming drivers!

I’ll letcha know…if I actually remember this thread!!!


The problem with internet forii is that you can’t have a normal conversation and nuances get lost.

You’re right, relays are inexpensive. My usual method is to use one relay per bulb, not one relay per side. So while your math is dead on, the 30A relay on a 7.1A circuit should be fine. The alternator, on the other hand, will need to be checked to see that it is up to the task. I can also do a normal H4 bulb at 55/65 W, but I live in a rural area, and I’d prefer to see that deer or even moose well before I get there.

The way you’re suggesting of the current relays powering the bulb relays makes sense, and was my original thought. But I was getting a little lazy, and a little concerned about a neat cable management job in a very crowded area. Also, for the record, I use marine grade (usually Ancor) wires and connectors.

As far as LED bulbs, I go back and forth. On the one hand, they have many advantages. They do have drawbacks. A quality H4 replacement will have a large heat sink that may not fit in the bucket. It also may not push the light to the reflector like a real H4 will. A straight up LED bulb/lamp, like the Wipacs will fit, and will also generate its own heat to keep the lens from frosting in cold weather, but the plastic will yellow over time. LEDs also play hell with the bulb out system. This is normally solved by adding a resistor, but this confuses me: I go with LEDs to reduce load on the system, then add load back in so the bulb out system will work? So I haven’t decided yet.

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My '83 doesn’t have a bulb out sensor for the headlights. Neither do my early 2000’s Japanese appliances.

I get a kick out of the fact that the typical LED substitute bulb actually has a little cooling fan built into the base.

as long as we’re on LED… for example I solved a problem with a garage door opener that would not work with the clicker…the wireless one on the wall with number code… someone put LED bulbs in the motor unit… changed to incandescent and now all is well… I have encountered this in residential things before and knew how to solve the customers problem… believe it or not… now my point is… are there situations where LEDs mess with automotive stuff.

finding LHD euro lights is difficult even in Europe
they were specific to the XJS and production stopped years ago. My car is riunning with US specs “flat” Carellos, with an exemption on this conformity mismatch, supported by Jaguar issuing a statement that those headlamps are impossile to get
(my car was originally a Japan market car, so RHD lights even if it is a LHD car)

I think that the reflector is only a part of the light patern, the “glass” making most of the shaping, using the various types of waves on the surface
newer headlapms are using “complex mirrors”, with very simple glass, but such technology wasn’t available in the 90’s