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Old 05-15-2002, 02:12 AM
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JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189
Not necessarily. Wattage is only one of many lighting factors. Any wattage bulb is only as good as the reflector and lens of the headlight unit. A crummy reflector and lens are going to waste much of the light as scatter (and attract Police attentionand road rage as well). Adding just the large wire relay kit will give you an improvement with even just your stock wattage bulbs (less resistance in the new larger wires than in the factory wires means more current to the bulbs, and more light output). Changing to a redesigned +50 Philips bulb will focus the improved light even better than a regular bulb, again without drawing any extra amperage. Using Euro light fixtures focuses everything very precisely for max lighting, without drawing more power. (Mid - late 90s US MB lights are basically late 80s Euro lights with minor mods).

Power draw is the key here. When adding higher wattage bulbs, especially if you have some high watt items (like an amp/sub, use the rear defroster/power seat adjusters a lot, etc.) then you have to make sure the alternator is up to the current draw demands. A pair of 110 watt bulbs is going to draw an extra 9 amps out of your 60+ amp alternator. The 160 watt hi beam pair are going to suck about 18 amps!!! That doesn't leave much to charge the battery, run the ignition system, 400 watt stereo amp, AC, and rear window defroster. MB didn't install an alternator with super stereo amps and aircraft landing lights in mind. With a stock alternator, and a heavy guage wire/relay kit, I wouldn't go over 85 watt hi beams, and would keep the low beams at 55. Otherwise think about an 85 amp alternator and deep cycle battery.

The above assumes you are just trying to get the maximum useful light on the road without getting tickets, blinding oncoming drivers, or damaging your battery/electrical system.

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