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Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage
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mjanderle
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:09 am    Post subject: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

Hi All,

'87 Westfalia.

If I run my high-beams for longer than a few min. I cook the ignition switch. The headlights are grounded at the light. I'm thinking the PO put in higher wattage lamps w/out a relay. Can someone tell me what stock headlight wattage is / should be? I'm going to go take a look during lunch break today.

Thanks in advance!
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Altoona
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:17 am    Post subject: Re: Quick Question : Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

55/60 outers, 55W inners.
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mjanderle
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:17 am    Post subject: Re: Quick Question : Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

Found it : 12V 60/55W - Main Headlight (H4)
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mjanderle
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:18 am    Post subject: Re: Quick Question : Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

Thanks!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:29 am    Post subject: Re: Quick Question : Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

If it is an '87 with the rectangular headlights, they are probably not H4's, They are probably a HB1/9004.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

mjanderle wrote:
I'm thinking the PO put in higher wattage lamps w/out a relay.


Regardless of bulb wattage, it's wise to add relays to the headlights. Wink
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DwarfVader
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

Get yourself these and install them, you can't really go wrong installing both:

Headlight Relay
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1007337

Hard Start/Hot Start Relay
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1066289

Both of them for less $$$:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1089150

***I am in no way associated with Jay or his products, I don't even have my own van yet... but trust me, you want both of these, they will save you a ton of headache. (AND you'll get brighter headlights out of the stock bulbs.) The majority of users here will concur with this assessment.
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

From my understanding, this was an unwise wiring decision by VW and you will likely find normal bulbs in your headlamps. Be sure not to touch the bulb as this will cause early failure, btw. My stock headlamps did the same thing with the wiring and I suspect many are driving along completely unaware that their wires are near-smoking hot. I just happened to notice because I had the steering column cover off and was on a road trip and happened to put my hand there to feel the blazing hot wires.

Most have the plastic cover over that wire bundle and the starter switch and will never know until the insulation completely cooks off and they have a more serious issue.

Another bit of praise for Jay's wiring harnesses. I also got both and my van has snappy bright headlights and starts fast. Good stuff and plug and play.
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

So, what did you find?
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mjanderle
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:18 am    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

IdahoDoug wrote:
From my understanding, this was an unwise wiring decision by VW and you will likely find normal bulbs in your headlamps. Be sure not to touch the bulb as this will cause early failure, btw. My stock headlamps did the same thing with the wiring and I suspect many are driving along completely unaware that their wires are near-smoking hot. I just happened to notice because I had the steering column cover off and was on a road trip and happened to put my hand there to feel the blazing hot wires.

Most have the plastic cover over that wire bundle and the starter switch and will never know until the insulation completely cooks off and they have a more serious issue.

Another bit of praise for Jay's wiring harnesses. I also got both and my van has snappy bright headlights and starts fast. Good stuff and plug and play.


Thanks all for the responses and yep, you nailed it, I had stock headlamps installed. The posted wiring harnesses above are next on the list. My headlamps are currently grounded at the lamp. Will this be in issue with installing the relays? Thanks all.

MJA
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

Just F.Y.I., the reason to not touch the glass of the bulbs is because the naturally produced oils in our skin, in this case the fingers, will deposit itself on the bulb just like a fingerprint. Then when the bulb heats up the heat will concentrate in the finger print and this will cause the bulb to fail because the heat will no longer evenly dissipates through the glass.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

mjanderle wrote:
My headlamps are currently grounded at the lamp. Will this be in issue with installing the relays? Thanks all.

MJA


No. That is the best place. Good time to dis-assemble and clean then use dielectric grease on them tho.


Last edited by Merian on Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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chase4food
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

Merian wrote:
mjanderle wrote:
IdahoDoug wrote:
My headlamps are currently grounded at the lamp. Will this be in issue with installing the relays? Thanks all.

MJA


No. That is the best place. Good time to dis-assemble and clean then use dielectric grease on them tho.


Better fix that misquote. I am no moderator. Very Happy It is now a car wreck.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

sorry

And Remember! It is not a car wreck until the TiKi torch is lit.
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

Steve,

Yep, nice explanation. So, when I get new bulbs, I actually clean them with NAPA's ammonia-based window cleaner, though I have also used rubbing alcohol before discovering that NAPA product. Anyone have a thought on which is wiser, or a better way to clean the glass bulb before install? BTW, I use the NAPA because it's so good on glass in general and thought it a good product for this.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:03 am    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

Steve M. wrote:
Just F.Y.I., the reason to not touch the glass of the bulbs is because the naturally produced oils in our skin, in this case the fingers, will deposit itself on the bulb just like a fingerprint. Then when the bulb heats up the heat will concentrate in the finger print and this will cause the bulb to fail because the heat will no longer evenly dissipates through the glass.


This man speaks the truth...


Lint free gloves are used in industries that deal with high output halogen bulbs on a regular basis. (eg: 50w-2000w+ studio lights)

As most people don't have these kind of gloves sitting around, it's helpful to know one can also use vinyl or latex gloves in place of stupid white itchy cotton gloves. (And it never hurts to have a box of vinyl/nitrile/or latex gloves around.)

All of this can also apply to headlights.
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:43 am    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

IdahoDoug wrote:
Steve,

Yep, nice explanation. So, when I get new bulbs, I actually clean them with NAPA's ammonia-based window cleaner, though I have also used rubbing alcohol before discovering that NAPA product. Anyone have a thought on which is wiser, or a better way to clean the glass bulb before install? BTW, I use the NAPA because it's so good on glass in general and thought it a good product for this.


If your getting new bulbs I would hope they've not been touched by human hands presuming they are coming off a mechanical assembly line.
BUT not having seen that assembly line that is just a fantasy on my part!
For new bulbs I always handle them with a clean unfragenced tissue or glove if I have available at the time...depending on time and location anything clean! You have to be aware of some of these tissue brands having a nice smell for your nose!
I would venture to say you could touch them with your fingers if you just washed your hands with a good soap that cuts grease. It will take mother nature a few hours to get your oils back into your skin, but I would only do this with immediately washed hands.

Alcohol and acetone leave a residue. Ammonia I am not sure about. You can see the Windex evaporating on the windows, but not sure if it is leaving something behind?
The only chemical I am sure about is the electronic or brake cleaner sprays as they evaporate. When I was working overhauling the engines for the Space Shuttle we were not allowed to use alcohol or acetones on sealing surfaces. They were hand polished for metal to metal sealing using no gaskets.
I use a brake cleaner spray before applying sealant to a surface that requires sealant. Brake cleaner sprays will cause some rubber to slowly decompose so you have to be wary of using it. From what I have been told the "electronic" spray cleaners do not - but that is only hearsay on my part.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: Quick Question: Stock headlight wattage Reply with quote

I most often change halogen bulbs with bare fingers. I first read about you shouldn't but came to same conclusion as Steve explained. I tried to use a piece of tissue paper so not to transfer body oil to the bulb when installing into the bulb receptacle. Problem is most of the requires a lot of force and the slippery tissue paper make the job impossible. I just went to clean my fingers good and handle the bulb with bare fingers. That make the job a snap.

With very high wattage bulbs like the headlamps I would take more care not to touch them with bare fingers. If I cannot avoid it, I just clean them good after with plain soak and water and dry them.

One thing that is most counter intuitive is one of the best cleaning agent for most expensive and delicate optics is acetone. Acetone destroys just about any consumer or prosumer camera gears not having even to come in contact, but is use to clean optics in military, aviation and space industries.
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