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Old 12-01-2007, 10:06 PM
Tom McMenamin's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Orange Park Florida
Posts: 365
Thumbs down 560 SL Headlamps

My '88 has the standard headlamps, that as we all know, are not the best here in the new millenium.

Several months ago, I asked for a lead on replacing the headlamps with a brighter product. I got a guys name (web site) and this guy knew everything about headlamps and all other light bulbs on all cars. He was a genius and had a web site that was phenomenal (sic). Unfortunately I lost the web site.

The deal was that you purchased the lamps and a minor electrical change needed to be made by slicing the existing headlamp wires and inserting some sort of circuit assembly to get the power that is needed to pull off this change.

I don't want to go to Euro's as I want to keep the standard appearance.

Anyone ever heard of this guy? If so, How do I find him again?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:32 PM
Tom McMenamin's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Orange Park Florida
Posts: 365
Answered my own question.

Guys name is Daniel Stern Lighting. Web site is: http://www.danielsternlighting.com

He talks about the relay issue as follows:
He also has 3 schematics on the site. I stopped looking at this because I didn't have the GUTS to try this because I am not an electrical guy! It scared me. Could someone take a look at this plus the site and see if they can interpret what he is saying for the layman and also give me a heads up about making the electrical change?

Relays: WHY AND HOW TO UPGRADE YOUR HEADLAMP CIRCUIT

By Daniel Stern with special assistance from Steve Lacker and David Hueppchen

Click here for a printer-friendly PDF version of this article.

THOUGHTFUL CARE & CAREFUL THOUGHT REQUIRED

The success or failure of your lighting upgrade efforts rides on the quality of your parts and the quality of your work. It matters how carefully you route wires to avoid chafing insulation. It matters how well you solder connections (crimps and sloppy or 'cold' solder joints corrode and die). It matters how well you shield added wiring from road spray. It matters that you use fuses in the new wiring to protect against vehicle damage due to a new or old electrical fault. It matters that you use high-quality parts that are designed to stand up to the rigors of automotive usage. Such components must be resistant to a wide range of temperatures, road splash, fumes found under the hood of every car, severe and prolonged vibration, etc. It will pay you to select only the products of companies with well established reputations for quality and durability; your $2.25 bargain no-name relay could easily kill you when it fails on a dark road somewhere, leaving you with no lights. Do not purchase vehicle components based solely on price!

The techniques described in this article will yield excellent results only if the work is carried out carefully and to a high standard, with quality parts and materials and without corner-cutting or sloppy work.

I personally wouldn't perform this upgrade on a really collectible car without taking care to hide all the new wiring. Actually, there's probably not much need to go to high-powered Cibie (or other European-specification) headlamps on a true collector car that is not driven at night. But on a hard-working daily (and nightly) driver like mine, powerful headlights are a real blessing, and keeping the wiring out in the open where it can be seen and inspected helps avoid failures!! Also keep in mind that this article focusses on the general principle behind headlamp wiring. There are many variations in original-equipment headlamp circuit design, and it will be worth your while to examine your vehicle's setup thoroughly, preferably with the aid of wiring diagrams applicable to your specific vehicle.

WHY USE RELAYS?

Power for the headlights is controlled by a switch on the dash. This is *not* a great place to tap into the system, for two reasons: The headlamp switch uses tiny, high-resistance contacts to complete circuits, and the wire lengths required to run from the battery to the dashboard and all the way out to the headlamps creates excessive resistive voltage drop, especially with the thin wires used in most factory installations.

In many cases, the thin factory wires are inadequate even for the stock headlamp equipment. Headlamp bulb light output is severely compromised with decreased voltage. The drop in light output is not linear, it is exponential with the power 3.4. For example, let's consider a 9006 low beam bulb rated 1000 lumens at 12.8 Volts and plug in different voltages:

10.5V : 510 lumens
11.0V : 597 lumens
11.5V : 695 lumens
12.0V : 803 lumens
12.5V : 923 lumens
12.8V : 1000 lumens ←Rated output voltage
13.0V : 1054 lumens
13.5V : 1198 lumens
14.0V : 1356 lumens ←Rated life voltage
14.5V : 1528 lumens
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