Sunday, 6 March 2016

Adding lightness & light part 3

With all the hardware in place it was time for the final and probably the biggest upgrade, the headlights themselves. While working on this up-grade over the past few months I started thinking off adding some better lights up front, and to replace the ageing Lucas 7" H4 headlamp units (actually originating from BAOR surplus ...), with some more efficient headlights. In the end I went for LED headlights which are more commonly seen on Land Rover Defenders (JW Speaker 8700 Evo2). They are certainly not cheap, and they do add a little extra weight compared to the original Lucas 7" headlights, though less than expected. 

But their high Lumen output and focused beam pattern is absolutely brilliant. And they have a low current draw of only 3 Amp's @ beam, reducing the loads on the switchgear, thus improving reliability a bit. And they were unexpectedly plug and play, with absolutely no changes necessary. Even the original wiring connector was a straight fit ...

Sadly I forgot to inspect the rubber headlamp surrounds properly when I took them off, so when I wanted to refit them most of the steel rings that are moulded into the rubber fell out. Time for another upgrade. Luckily this one was much simpler compared with the work already done. Fabricate eight ΓΈ22,25 mm (in this case 2 mm thick alloy) washers and machine two countersunk screw holes in each of them, and screw them to the back of the headlamp surrounds. Together with some special glue/sealant that should do the trick ...

With the headlight surrounds repaired they were fitted to the headlamp pods and the wiring was reconnected. Job done!

... Well almost, only need to (fine) adjust the headlamps aim.

I have to admit that I have chosen these lights for their performance and not their looks. And I had mentally prepared myself in case they'd spoil the car's looks even more. But I think they don't look to bad, actually the more I look at the end result the more I like it. I still have to drive the car in the dark yet, to see how the lights perform. But I have seen them in action on a Land Rover and they definitely are very effective!

Almost forgot the original target for the project, which was shedding some weight up front. In this I succeed ...

And for those interested, the spec-sheets from the JW Speaker 8700 Evolution 2 headlight units

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