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H4 Headlight Upgrade

Discussion in 'Early CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by Renegade ll, May 16, 2019 at 4:41 PM.

  1. May 16, 2019 at 4:41 PM
    Renegade ll

    Renegade ll Member

    Thayne Wyoming
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    I know this has been discussed, however I want to ask a few questions. First off my headlights are stock for my 1971 cj5. I have added relays for the low and high beams. Do I just buy the 7" round headlights that have the H4 bulbs and plug them into the 3 prone plug? Do I need to make any cuts in the headlight buckets? Is the upgrade noticeable?
     
  2. May 16, 2019 at 6:22 PM
    PeteL

    PeteL Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    You will notice. No one else will care.
     
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  3. May 16, 2019 at 6:22 PM
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Yes. No. Yes.
     
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  4. May 16, 2019 at 8:20 PM
    Posimoto

    Posimoto Hopeless JEEP Addict Sponsor

    Kings Beach, Ca....
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    i bought a conversion setup from Summit Racing. It was pretty straightforward. All plug and play, no cutting. It went into a '66 CJ
     
  5. May 16, 2019 at 8:45 PM
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor Sponsor

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    H4's are a big improvement, and they will work plug & play. I would recommend the relay upgrade for both regular sealed beams and H4's. Some of the cheap offshore brands work well, but are not the quality of Hellas.
    -Donny
     
  6. May 16, 2019 at 8:45 PM
    NCRenII

    NCRenII yellow fever Sponsor

    Far Nor Cal
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  7. May 17, 2019 at 6:57 AM
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Detroit Area Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    I live South of...
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    I don't use my headlights much, don't drive at night, are you saying the relay that came stock on my Jeep is not strong enough for stock head lights? I have extra original head lights, American made, so I don't think I will ever run out of them, plus the ones in my Avatar work, so I could use them if I had too. I had a 62 Vett, I put Aircraft landing lights in the High Bean side, they would draw so much power that the relay would open and out went the light when the relay got hot, Scary stuff.
     
  8. May 17, 2019 at 7:46 AM
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    What you describe seems more like circuit breaker behavior than relay. There is no headlight relay on a factory CJ-5. There is, however, a thermal circuit breaker that protects the lights circuit, and there could have been a similar breaker on your Corvette. The thermal circuit breaker is ideal for this application because it will reset by itself when it's been off for a while. It will cycle on and off if the short circuit or overload is not corrected.

    The factory headlight wiring is all directly wired through the circuit breaker, headlight switch and high beam switch, plus about 10' of smallish gauge wire, and the ground returns through the steel body. Adding relays makes the bulbs brighter because it substitutes a large gauge feed wire to the relays for the factory switches and wires. This reduces the resistance between the battery and the lights, and raises the voltage to the lights (by Ohm's law). The relay contact resistance is also lower than the switch contact resistance, typically. With the high-power bulbs, you need the relays because the factory wiring and switches are inadequate for the higher current demand.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 7:54 AM
  9. May 17, 2019 at 8:13 AM
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist Sponsor

    Albertville, AL
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    I put Halogen sealed beam lights in my cj5 in about 2005 when I put the EZ wire harness in. That harness had relays and with the Halogen bulbs probably improved light output 40%. It alone is a fantastic improvement over the factory sealed beam lights.
     
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  10. May 17, 2019 at 3:15 PM
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Western North...
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    Check out the photo below. On the passenger side is a stock (Westinghouse) sealed bulb headlight, and on the driver's side is a Wagner H6024 Halogen sealed unit. The Wagner bulbs do not need a relay, and plug into the stock wiring harness (though I should mention that my original 1967 harness was recently replaced with a new one from Walck's, and the original light switch was replaced with an NOS one from Debella's).

    Though the two bulbs look pretty much identical when turned off, when they're turned on there's a very significant difference in the amount of light output:

    [​IMG]

    I was looking for something else on Rock Auto this week and found these Wagner headlights on closeout for under $5 apiece. Here's the link (first item shown on the list):

    1967 JEEP CJ5 3.7L 225cid V6 Headlamp Bulb | RockAuto
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 10:20 PM
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  11. May 17, 2019 at 4:15 PM
    Focker

    Focker I Hate Being Bi-Polar, It's Awesome. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    I don't think many do, but the relay helps prevent dimming at idle and brightening when hitting the gas pedal.
     
  12. May 17, 2019 at 5:09 PM
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist Sponsor

    Albertville, AL
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    That’s about the difference that was made on mine between relays and sealed halogen bulbs from the stock lights.
     
  13. May 17, 2019 at 5:56 PM
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! Sponsor

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    I use the halogen ones too. Didn't even consider the stock ones. Bought the correct plugs, wired up up, used the stock cj2a switch and they work great.
     
  14. May 17, 2019 at 7:34 PM
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    My halogen bulbs don’t seem to dim noticeably when idling. Would the fact that I’m running a 55 amp alternator tend to reduce dimming at idle?
     
  15. May 17, 2019 at 9:25 PM
    Focker

    Focker I Hate Being Bi-Polar, It's Awesome. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    That sounds like a good guess. Without relays the current is passing through the switch. With relays, the power is directly pulled from the battery and your switch activates the relay.

    How To - Install Headlight Relays
     
  16. May 17, 2019 at 11:00 PM
    Buildflycrash

    Buildflycrash Member Sponsor

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  17. May 18, 2019 at 9:32 AM
    Renegade ll

    Renegade ll Member

    Thayne Wyoming
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  18. May 18, 2019 at 8:24 PM
    Mike C

    Mike C Member

    Austin, TX
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    I put the Hella H4 lights in my A1, in my MB, and in my '79 CJ-5. They plug right in, look great with real glass lenses and dramatically improve the lighting for $75.
     

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