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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,I want to upgrade my headlights to reflectors with replaceable bulbs.Will the stock wiring handle H4 bulbs,130/90 watts?Or should I wire in a heavy duty relay setup?
Any brands that you all recommend?Where to buy?
Thanks for any help. :)
Shane
 

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90/130 watt headlights? Are you planning on lighting up the runways at the local airport? Even the Sylvania Silverstar High Performance Halogen Upgrade are only 60/70 watts each. I'd be concerned that yours would be illegal.

But, if you're determined to do it. Two bulbs at 130 watts maximum each is almost 22 amps of current. I don't know what gauge wire your headlights currently are but I'll bet that it's too small. I'd go with a separate heavy duty relay, a 25 amp in-line fuse, and AWG 10 stranded copper wire. AWG 10 is rated at 35 amps max with a run of up to 7 feet.

:mrgreen:
 

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Don't know what year yours is, but it doesn't affect the answer. You definitely, absolutely, positively need to use relays with that setup. The stock electrical system is not designed to do anything near that. Relays and such add to the cost, but cheaper than replacing a slagged wiring harness.

I've got a set of H4 7" units to go in mine (just haven't gotten to putting them in yet), and what I am going to do it rig up a set of male spade connectors with some sheet plastc and RTV to make a plug I can then plug into the stock connector, then relays and big wire from battery to relay to new high-amp sockets for the lights. That way I can back the installation out seamlessly if I want to later.

On your bulb choice, you are probably a little too aggressive if you are planning on driving it on the street. Your reflectors are probably E-code (mine are) which are great (better beam pattern by far than US-standard), but not DOT-approved. The sharp cutoff in the low-beam pattern will already make it more likely that the boys in blue will take notice, add to that you burning the paint off their car as you pass makes it a near certainty. :p

You will be approximately the same brightness as an aftermarket halogen sealed beam (H6024 or H6054) with somewhere around the 65/55 H-4. My plan is to run 110/55's (or so), so in traffic I don't dazzle folks but when it's just me and the open road I can light the night :twisted: . Your mileage may vary, of course.

Note non-DOT beam patterns and high wattage lamps would be illegal for on-road use in all 50 states as far as I know. The E-code pattern is okay (not really a safety hazard and seldom noticed by law enforcement), but high-wattage low beams might be both real obvious to law enforcement and carry some real risk of blinding oncoming traffic.

Another note - you may well need to Dremel out some of the back of the headlight bucket to get the reflector to seat. The plug pattern of the H4 is the same as your stock sealed beam, but most reflectors are still fatter at the very rear due to the clip and the dust/moisture boot.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
:D Thanks Guys,I think maybe that the 130/90 bulbs are a bit much.I will tone them down to 100/55 or so.I had 130/90 in my old BMW and loved them.I'm in a part of Georgia that has few street lights and NO state inspection.
BTW I have a 1976 El Camino,350 w/ cam,weigand manifold and Carter four bbl carb.Runs very nice indeed!
Thanks again'
Shane
 

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You won't be able to run that amount of current through the original headlight switch. If you choose to use the higher output lights you will need relays as mentioned above.
 

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:D Thanks Guys,I think maybe that the 130/90 bulbs are a bit much.I will tone them down to 100/55 or so.I had 130/90 in my old BMW and loved them.I'm in a part of Georgia that has few street lights and NO state inspection.
BTW I have a 1976 El Camino,350 w/ cam,weigand manifold and Carter four bbl carb.Runs very nice indeed!
Thanks again'
Shane
Don't know what year yours is, but it doesn't affect the answer. You definitely, absolutely, positively need to use relays with that setup. The stock electrical system is not designed to do anything near that. Relays and such add to the cost, but cheaper than replacing a slagged wiring harness.

I've got a set of H4 7" units to go in mine (just haven't gotten to putting them in yet), and what I am going to do it rig up a set of male spade connectors with some sheet plastc and RTV to make a plug I can then plug into the stock connector, then relays and big wire from battery to relay to new high-amp sockets for the lights. That way I can back the installation out seamlessly if I want to later.

On your bulb choice, you are probably a little too aggressive if you are planning on driving it on the street. Your reflectors are probably E-code (mine are) which are great (better beam pattern by far than US-standard), but not DOT-approved. The sharp cutoff in the low-beam pattern will already make it more likely that the boys in blue will take notice, add to that you burning the paint off their car as you pass makes it a near certainty. :p

You will be approximately the same brightness as an aftermarket halogen sealed beam (H6024 or H6054) with somewhere around the 65/55 H-4. My plan is to run 110/55's (or so), so in traffic I don't dazzle folks but when it's just me and the open road I can light the night :twisted: . Your mileage may vary, of course.

Note non-DOT beam patterns and high wattage lamps would be illegal for on-road use in all 50 states as far as I know. The E-code pattern is okay (not really a safety hazard and seldom noticed by law enforcement), but high-wattage low beams might be both real obvious to law enforcement and carry some real risk of blinding oncoming traffic.

Another note - you may well need to Dremel out some of the back of the headlight bucket to get the reflector to seat. The plug pattern of the H4 is the same as your stock sealed beam, but most reflectors are still fatter at the very rear due to the clip and the dust/moisture boot.
Don't know what year yours is, but it doesn't affect the answer. You definitely, absolutely, positively need to use relays with that setup. The stock electrical system is not designed to do anything near that. Relays and such add to the cost, but cheaper than replacing a slagged wiring harness.

I've got a set of H4 7" units to go in mine (just haven't gotten to putting them in yet), and what I am going to do it rig up a set of male spade connectors with some sheet plastc and RTV to make a plug I can then plug into the stock connector, then relays and big wire from battery to relay to new high-amp sockets for the lights. That way I can back the installation out seamlessly if I want to later.

On your bulb choice, you are probably a little too aggressive if you are planning on driving it on the street. Your reflectors are probably E-code (mine are) which are great (better beam pattern by far than US-standard), but not DOT-approved. The sharp cutoff in the low-beam pattern will already make it more likely that the boys in blue will take notice, add to that you burning the paint off their car as you pass makes it a near certainty. :p

You will be approximately the same brightness as an aftermarket halogen sealed beam (H6024 or H6054) with somewhere around the 65/55 H-4. My plan is to run 110/55's (or so), so in traffic I don't dazzle folks but when it's just me and the open road I can light the night :twisted: . Your mileage may vary, of course.

Note non-DOT beam patterns and high wattage lamps would be illegal for on-road use in all 50 states as far as I know. The E-code pattern is okay (not really a safety hazard and seldom noticed by law enforcement), but high-wattage low beams might be both real obvious to law enforcement and carry some real risk of blinding oncoming traffic.

Another note - you may well need to Dremel out some of the back of the headlight bucket to get the reflector to seat. The plug pattern of the H4 is the same as your stock sealed beam, but most reflectors are still fatter at the very rear due to the clip and the dust/moisture boot.
What is the original factory wire size for head lights on a 1969 El Camino
 

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play with the parameters
 

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@Sunshine*2020
There is a good upgrade for the headlights on our 19644-1972 El Caminos.
You will see it mentioned in the links CyberRay provided in post above.
It changes to use relays in the headlight circuit, and then draw power straight from the battery.
This can help the light bulbs put out more light and reduce the temperature and electricity at the light switch.
Here is a post about using relays.
 
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