Dodge RamCharger Central banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The headlights on my 94 dodge ram 2500 just plain suck and are downright dangerous.The driver side is "ok", but the passenger side was leaking water into the housing so i replaced it with a good condition headlight that has been stored for several years in the roof of an autobody shop. One of the tabs broke off when I went to install it, so I've had a piece of heater hose between it and the bumper just to point the headlight in the right general direction.Then the chrome started flaking off the reflector in short order.Now the headlight is so dim and cloudy that even with xtravision headlight bulbs its no better than a marker light. I know I should find new housings.My question is should I replace the bad passenger side headlight and put some 10w led chip light bars in the openings of the bumper and call it a day, or should I convert to sport headlights and mess with the wiring and add some relays until the low beams use the 9004 low beam only,and the high beams run the 9007 high along with the 9004 low?

using standard headlights with led light bars in the bumper would run about $100 but I would lose the convenient holes in the bumper for climbing on the truck to work on it.

Converting to sport headlights would be a couple hundred dollars but would look cleaner.

end goal is better headlights in low and high beam with alot of spill lighting to find suicidal deer on the highway at night.


hmm to think on my 89 I just mounted 3 forward facing spot lamps to the bumper, and 2 flood lights at about a 30* angle so I could see around turns and in the fields...I must be growing up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,362 Posts
I agree you need new housings or need to polish your current ones
I agree putting the headlights on relays will help alot

That said, there is no bigger ass in the automotice world than those that run LEDs and wonder why people flash their lights at them.  Around here they are called poacher lights cause of the clientele that uses them
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
To Improve the Lighting in Pop's Old '94 2500 I installed new lenses, and Xenon Bulbs.  Yes, there is a warm up when first switched on, but I like them better than LED's/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
jerseybud said:
I agree you need new housings or need to polish your current ones
I agree putting the headlights on relays will help alot

That said, there is no bigger ass in the automotice world than those that run LEDs and wonder why people flash their lights at them. Around here they are called poacher lights cause of the clientele that uses them
Agreed. Tools around here run them driving thru town and it's like looking into the sun,you cannot see anything for a few seconds when they go by. Likely somewhere they've caused an accident. Same for those who fit HID Burners in type of headlights being discussed in this forum.
The light is not controlled at all as lamp lens/reflector was designed around the light source intended and installing anything other than bulb specified in that lamp and you can throw the beam design away. Very disconsiderate of other drivers on the road as just like the guys with the LED bars that throw light everywhere.

Ironic is the fact that they can now see less than their original lighting provided because that's being thrown all around with no pattern. But,it looks cool...Driving a vehicle such equipped in heavy rain,dense fog and snow is dangerous-for everyone on the road as that light illuminates all the droplets of rain/fog moisture and throws it back in drivers face. But it looks cool...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
dwrestle said:
I'm interested in this thread. I don't know why I can't just find a relay kit for the bulbs it has now. I've done that on 2 of my older trucks with excellent results.
Assuming you have a truck discussed in thread 94-99 using 9004 or 9007 bulb

Putco is a company that's been making headlight harnesses for a long time. I have been using them for over 18 years in all types of cars trucks,foreign and domestic. There are better harnesses made with the pricetag that goes with them.
Putcos harnesses are cost effective and i have used them for years with 130/90-100/80 bulbs and they are still in service.
They address the tiny wiring going to headlights in modern cars and trucks,Dodge trucks fit this discussion perfectly. You cannot do anything about the shit*y headlights this generation comes with,they suck. So did the Fords and GMs . I mean the actual lamp/lens/reflector.

Best you can do with actual housings is to polish the lens best possible or replace them.

The wire gauge in headlight harness is too small,the switches too cheap and the lighting circuit is too long-with too many connections in harness. Each of these adds more resistance in a circuit that can ill afford it. Add age to increase resistance further and you have poor(er) yet light output.

A quick test to see how poor YOUR vehicle headlight wiring is...Start vehicle and let it idle,check battery voltage with a multimeter,leave ground test lead on battery and backprobe low beam and high beam connectors with lights on. The voltage will be 2-3 volts less than battery/charging system voltage.

A 9004/9007 bulb operating in a system voltage of 12.54 volts at the headlamp is only producing 83% of the bulbs rated output.

Same bulb at 11.88 volts produces 67% of rated output.
Systems with 11.22 volts at the bulb,more than a few,output only 53% rated output.

Installing a harness as suggested above with bulbs being fed right from the battery @14.5 volts,all bulbs will produce twice the lumens at 14.5 volts as they do at 12.8 volts. This is a difference in brightness you can actually see.
The headlight/dimmer switches have essentially no load on them and will never wear out electrically.

This harness is a legal modification on any vehicle that makes a definable difference in light output. Your stock headlights will be brighter than when vehicle was new.Period!

There are bulbs that can be installed in headlight housings that can further improve light output legally.
THe Sylvania/Phillips extreme or ultravision bulbs you find at your parts stores are not being referenced here,i'm not saying what they claim is a gimmick but it is not accurate. What they want for them tells me they're very proud of them. Look into Vosla plus 130 bulbs,read about them,how they're tested
and expected light span-no BS. Some other names to look into,Narva,Norma,Osram.
Compare the prices for what you get. Some of those other manufacturers are asking $60+ for a pair of their bulbs

These are relatively inexpensive and legal upgrades you can do to your vehicles that can return 30% and better light output. Though you can find hi wattage replacement bulbs to fit your headlamps,the harness can support the amp load easily but not recommended as they will melt plastic headlamps in these trucks...and they're illegal.

Harness is an easy install and most can be done in 1/2 hour.

Putco harness for both 9004/9007 2 lamp system is #239007 HW and fits these trucks perfectly ,have installed many of them.

Putco #230004HW will work on 81-93 Dodge trucks and there are harnesses they make that can be used on older Quad headlight Dodge trucks.

Consider changing Headlamp assembly style to the type used on Later Dodge sport trucks as they use separate lo/hi beam bulbs for each side,total of four,twice as much light and lens/housing quality and light beam are a step up from the earlier trucks in that generation.

If looking for foul weather lighting consider a set of quality fog lamps-not the crap that comes on most every car/truck these days. Hella makes good quality fog lamps in round and rectangular style that actually work and don't ding the wallet so replacing one or both from an accident or deer hit is not a big deal money wise. Once you've driven a vehicle with a good set of fog lamps in really shit*ty weather you will "see" driving in inclement weather is less stressfull.

You will notice the word legal used several times in this post. I do a lot of headlight upgrades for customers-all legal. All cars/trucks can have their lighting systems improved meaning what you can see without being a nuisance to oncoming traffic.
I Do Vehicle inspections in three state and familiar with lighting codes.

Pretty much all cars/trucks made in this country and many imports have headlight systems and headlight performance as an afterthought to the style and design of the vehicle and they suck. High end European cars tend to have the best lighting system as form after function design is is used.
The technology has made its way into other manufacturers vehicles but quality of parts and corners have been cut and we now have the current generation of the curse of the glaring blue light car/truck because manufacturers think that's what the customer wants though it has been proven the blue spectrum of light(referred to as daylight)is not the most effective to help the human eye see detail after dark.

Just realize i wrote a book here,i can tell by how much is missing from Jim Beam bottle.
Hope it's been more helpful than not. Not going to proofread for grammar,been one eyeing it for awhile,lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
Good writeup! I bought a relay setup for my '73 truck. Will do the same for my '93.

For these 70's models like my '73, with the single pair of headlights, is there an upgrade on lamp you recommend? Which Hella fog lights do you like? Going to put a pair somewhere on the front of my '73, and a small light bar somewhere around the rear bumper, eventually.

On my '95, I ended up having to drill a small hole on both housings, to keep the water out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I went to went to my dad's house for christmas and we were talking about how crappy the headlights were.Turns out he had a set of chinese sport headlights that he didnt like so he gave them to me.So I'm gonna apply some silicone to help seal up the lights then go install them tomorrow. The headlights came with a 9004- 9004/9007 splitter harness so atleast I can plug them in.At a latter date I will make a harness that runs the 9007 low beam for low beam, and the 9007/9004 high beam for high beams.

sylvania xtravisions for all 4 bulbs so it should be alot better than my current headlights, but taping a couple of flashlights to my fenders would provide better light than my current headlights...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
jcruse64 said:
Good writeup! I bought a relay setup for my '73 truck. Will do the same for my '93.

For these 70's models like my '73, with the single pair of headlights, is there an upgrade on lamp you recommend? Which Hella fog lights do you like? Going to put a pair somewhere on the front of my '73, and a small light bar somewhere around the rear bumper, eventually.

On my '95, I ended up having to drill a small hole on both housings, to keep the water out.
I'd be happy to,away visiting family til New Year,when i get back home i will have access to brands,prices and best place to purchase them.
I can supply a "map" to adjust your headlamps and auxiliary lamps to both get full performance from them and to not cause any stray light to oncoming traffic
Post back your intention for use of vehicles,all can be improved and specific improvements can be tailored to use of vehicle.

Some pics on my phone i think i can post here.

1st set of pics are all low beam shots i took to show a member here what to expect of light beam cutoff and spread. Pic of large double doors is a firehouse around the corner from me.
Car is a Mazda RX7,firehouse pic is 200' back from doors on concrete pad that's level and can use the light spread on doors to rough in adjustment on headlamps/driving lamps/fog lamps.

Car is capable of high speed and light provided allows comfortable driving at speed. High beams reach over a mile and lane markings and reflective signs will illuminate more than two miles ahead. Low Beams do not offend oncoming traffic,they have a razor sharp cutoff with a kickup to the right to illuminate street signs and ditches and do a good job of giving you a good shot of wildlife.

Last set of pics is of my Tacoma that i use for surf fishing. I'm 4hrs away from where i fish,all rural area,lot of deer ,raccoons,etc to deal with and these give me a comfortable margin to see and react to whatever is in the road and what's soon to be in the road. Lights mounted above lightbar are driving lamps,they are large 8"round.
Foglights below lightbar are a little over 71/2 long and 31/2" wide.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
The '73 will just be a daily driver work/hunt/fish truck. Not much in off-roading. Was interested in a fog light setup for the front for when the fog rolls in around the river, when going to work in the early mornings. The rear light bar is just for more light when backing up to boat trailer in the dark or unloading decoys and equipment out of the bed when duck hunting.

Any help illuminating to see the deer about to become a problem would be a plus, lol.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Asking about headlights on the 73 truck. I really liked the Sylvania square ones you can get at Walmart they aren't the cheapest Sylvanias at Walmart, but they are not expensive. They worked awesome with a relay kit.

I read all that write up, but I didn't retain it all. I've only been able to find relay kits for the sport headlights(which is kind of an expensive upgrade). I just wish I could find one for the stock 95 single headlight set up. I like the fog lights on my truck they seem brighter than the headlights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
dwrestle said:
Asking about headlights on the 73 truck. I really liked the Sylvania square ones you can get at Walmart they aren't the cheapest Sylvanias at Walmart, but they are not expensive. They worked awesome with a relay kit.

I read all that write up, but I didn't retain it all. I've only been able to find relay kits for the sport headlights(which is kind of an expensive upgrade). I just wish I could find one for the stock 95 single headlight set up. I like the fog lights on my truck they seem brighter than the headlights.
My '73 has the round headlights, and I don't want to change that up. Not needing to replace at this time, just looking for what would be best to replace with when the time comes.

I got my relay setup for this '73 off of member "crackedback" who is a regular on the Moparts and For A Bodies Only forums. I am very happy with mine, and have not seen a single bad review on him on either site (he's sold a lot on those forums). He also made me a set of bigger battery cables for the '73. The light relay setup he sells id more expensive that what you see on LMC or other catalog sites, but he uses a better quality relay and wiring to build them, and they are not a cheap finish, either. I'll get a relay setup for my '93 at some point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I spent today installing those sport headlights,They are amazing.The harness they came with is utter shite.The harness the lights came with is just a 9004-9007 splitter so it runs the 9007 low beam and then the 9004 high beam.The low beams are fantastic, they push light a decent amount for low beams with decent spill light for the ditches.The high beams utter suck because the splitter harness.The high beams are just a spot beam with almost no spill lighting.I would imagine with a proper harness the 9007 spread with the 9004 distance should be pretty good, but with just a splitter the highbeams suck,but at least the low beams provide more light than the factory headlights on either high or low beams...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Can you post a pic of headlight and harness you have or name of it so i can see what you're working with.

A solution would be a harness that would allow low beams to remain on while hi beam selected so you'd have best of both beams to maximize light output. Lets see what you got. Ability to run both direct to battery/alternator would give bulbs brightest light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
jcruse64 said:
My '73 has the round headlights, and I don't want to change that up. Not needing to replace at this time, just looking for what would be best to replace with when the time comes.

I got my relay setup for this '73 off of member "crackedback" who is a regular on the Moparts and For A Bodies Only forums. I am very happy with mine, and have not seen a single bad review on him on either site (he's sold a lot on those forums). He also made me a set of bigger battery cables for the '73. The light relay setup he sells id more expensive that what you see on LMC or other catalog sites, but he uses a better quality relay and wiring to build them, and they are not a cheap finish, either. I'll get a relay setup for my '93 at some point.
I mentioned my square ones because they make the same lights in the round ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
RedneckInTraining said:
Fair amount of money for that...

Recommend the harness i posted earlier. Putco 239007HW. Amazon has it for $42.95
It is a full harness with relays to battery to headlamps.
This is a really quick sound install on your truck.
Install it as normal to 9007 low beam bulbs each side and cut hi beam feed wire about 3"from low beam connector.

Cut 9004 connector wires about 8" back from connector from your shite harness giving you a connector pigtail and splice/solder/heat shrink hi beam power from this connector to wire you clipped from Putco hi beam plug at headlight. High beam ground wire can be grounded to same place you ground the Putco harness headlight ground.

Now you have to install a diode in Putco low beam harness that plugs into original headlight connector so lo beams can operate normally and high beams when selected will keep lo beam on with hi beams. I have to look at my cheat sheet for diode that you can get at any electronic store-i miss Radio Shack.

Some call this a "Quad mod" and it is legal. In your case you get benefit of low beam spread+hi beams together. This will double your candlepower running lo/hi beams together each from their own independent fuse link. Even if you crash complete headlight from one side of truck you will still have lo/hi beams simultaneously from the other headlight.

Your headlight and hi beam switch in truck control low and hi beams as normal.

If i'm not clear enough,pm me and i can send you a diagram on how to do this. Putco harness will get you 95% plug and play and using hi beam connector/pigtail from your shite harness the other 5%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So I was driving my 2005 dodge caravan today and as soon as it got dark it hit me.I went through all that effort to end up with low beams that are slightly better than the stock headlights on a 2005 minivan. :(. Go from piss poor headlights to purely average and its such an improvement.The stock ram headlights were only exceptional in how utterly horrible they were.. go figure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
jcruse64 said:
The '73 will just be a daily driver work/hunt/fish truck. Not much in off-roading. Was interested in a fog light setup for the front for when the fog rolls in around the river, when going to work in the early mornings. The rear light bar is just for more light when backing up to boat trailer in the dark or unloading decoys and equipment out of the bed when duck hunting.

Any help illuminating to see the deer about to become a problem would be a plus, lol.
sent pm.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top