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Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens
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AKT6168
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:05 am    Post subject: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

Hello everyone, Im having trouble understanding fully how to convert my stock 63 beetle headlights to the euro fluted style. I have some Hella fluted lenses, but I dont understand what to replace the original sealed beam globe with. Ive uploaded a pic showing an exploded view of the headlight bucket, and it appears there is some sort of reflector that fits in where the sealed beam was. Then I assume you buy an h4 bulb to fit in the reflector. The problem is I have looked high and low for this reflector part and I cant find jack. Also if I was to find one it would be nice for it to be Hella brand. Ive search forums up and down and there is nobody talking about my specific problem. Please help me out if you can.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:31 am    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

The cheapest thing to do is to get a pair of E-code H-4 headlights & remove the glass lens from them & install the reflectors in your assemblies. This will not quite be correct as the reflectors are not aimed for the lens to be so far away.

The correct thing to do is to source the correct reflectors from an early European Beetle or a Porsche 356/early 911.


I do have a set of these light assemblies for the Porsche available.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2173957
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henry roberts
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

I think basically everything bar the chrome ring and the rubber seals are different.

Im not sure about the adjuster screws but you will need sheetmetal (or plastic) bit between the lense and the reflector, plus the reflector and the correct bulb holders.
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Danny604
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

I did this on my 59, I bought the fluted lenses and H4 conversion from CIP. I also bought both seals (outer edge of lens and housing to fender). Everything interchanged and worked fine.

I think this conversion also depends on what you are looking for as a final product, I only wanted better lighting and fluted lenses.
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AKT6168
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:42 am    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

Danny604 wrote:
I did this on my 59, I bought the fluted lenses and H4 conversion from CIP. I also bought both seals (outer edge of lens and housing to fender). Everything interchanged and worked fine.

I think this conversion also depends on what you are looking for as a final product, I only wanted better lighting and fluted lenses.


Im not familiar with CIP or the conversion kit. Can you post a link to them it would be much appreciated. Im also just looking for better lighting and fluted lenses.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:47 am    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

AKT6168 wrote:
Danny604 wrote:
I did this on my 59, I bought the fluted lenses and H4 conversion from CIP. I also bought both seals (outer edge of lens and housing to fender). Everything interchanged and worked fine.

I think this conversion also depends on what you are looking for as a final product, I only wanted better lighting and fluted lenses.


Im not familiar with CIP or the conversion kit. Can you post a link to them it would be much appreciated. Im also just looking for better lighting and fluted lenses.

CIP= California Import Parts.

GOOGLE knows them.
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AKT6168
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:08 am    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

I thought Id come back here and share some finished product pictures. Most of you will think Im crazy but I put together 5 different pairs of headlights. Yellow fluted and yellow non fluted. Fluted clear and stock clear, and a Porsche 911 style. The headlights are so easy to swap out, I just pick a set for how Im feeling that day.

Yellow fluted - Hella lenses and Hella reflector with H4 bulb
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Yellow non-fluted - Hella lenses and Hella sealed beam conversion kit with H4 bulb
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Clear fluted - Hella lenses and Hella reflector with H4 bulb
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Clear non-fluted - Hella lenses and Hella sealed beam conversion kit with H4 bulb
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Porsche 911 fluted - Bosch lenses and Hella reflector with H4 bulb
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Last edited by AKT6168 on Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:11 am; edited 4 times in total
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tisius
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:06 am    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

not sure why you would like to change your headlights regularly....
I get it if you like the yellow Euro style headlight, but then you change it once and be done with it Smile
All of your headlights look good!
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AKT6168
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

tisius wrote:
not sure why you would like to change your headlights regularly....
I get it if you like the yellow Euro style headlight, but then you change it once and be done with it Smile
All of your headlights look good!


Im a tinkerer, I have no life and I have OCD 😁
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KTPhil Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

I think you should work up a mechanism to quick change them on the fly from the dash, like the license plates on James Bond's DB5.
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tisius
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

No worries, I do get it!
It's all about having a unique ride!

https://youtu.be/k39TDovQhDk
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danhay
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

I can't tell, are there reflectors behind the fluted outer lenses? Or are all they all sealed beam inside? Also, I searched CIP and couldn't find anything so a link would help. I have the fluted lenses but I would like to convert to a reflector/bulb like 356/911.

I did find complete headlight assemblies for a 356, but it sounds like you were referring to something simpler and cheaper. (they are $215 each)


AKT6168 wrote:
I thought Id come back here and share some finished product pictures. Most of you will think Im crazy but I put together 4 different pairs of headlights. Yellow fluted and yellow non fluted. Fluted clear and stock clear. The headlights are so easy to swap out, I just pick a set for how Im feeling that day.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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buguy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:12 am    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

I don't want to Jack this thread but it might be something that since the subject is up. I bought a set of Empi H4 bulbs from CIP1. They are nice and bright, way better than the stock ones. Problem I have is when I set the low beams to the appropriate place, the high beams seem to be up way out of site? Anyone else experience that?
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AKT6168
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:01 am    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

danhay wrote:
I can't tell, are there reflectors behind the fluted outer lenses? Or are all they all sealed beam inside? Also, I searched CIP and couldn't find anything so a link would help. I have the fluted lenses but I would like to convert to a reflector/bulb like 356/911.

I did find complete headlight assemblies for a 356, but it sounds like you were referring to something simpler and cheaper. (they are $215 each)


For the headlights with Fluted lenses I found a guy in the UK (eBay) that had the Hella reflectors for sale. Then I had to source a bulb for it which ended up being a oddball size/type (for the United States) Bosch 410H R2 (Bilux) Rated Power [W]: 45/40 W.
There is also a small hole and electrical connector for a "City Light" bulb. Basically it's what we call in the US "parking light". If your headlight buckets already have the parking light then you can just use that. My fluted headlight buckets did not have the stock parking light hole, so I had to find the city light bulb. It ended being an oddball bulb as well. It's a Hella G20 4 watt, BA9s. 8GP 002 067 831.
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Frederik
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:47 am    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

The fluted lens on pre -68 euro (or at least Swedish) vw's were availible as symmetrical (what you have) and asymmetric. None of them had H4. The reflectors and lens were usually two units and vw headlights only have one glass (the outer) and where the sealed beam is on a US bug there is only a reflector. The early symmetrical used a orinary incandescent BA20D (socket) bulb, but you can buy an aftermarket halogen bulb with BA20D socket for it today. The later used an incandescent pt45t (socket) bulb. But this was neither a halogen bulb or "H4" bulb, but they are common to find as an aftermarket bulb with halogen popular called "p45t h4" (but they are not really a H4 bulb) and thats what the Bosch 410H R2 you got is. Another option is to buy a p45t to p43t adapter to fit ordinary H4 in the older p45t reflector.

To sum up, you can convert to any early euro headlight assembly and then just fit a halogen bulb if you like. But none is really a H4 conversion.

From left to right: BA20D, p45t, p45t halogen, p43t/ H4 (here fitted with yellow glass cover, usually without)
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There are some problems to consider with retro fitting aftermarket halogen light bulbs as above:
1) Quality. Often the bulbs are low quality aftermarket (the Bosch should be fine?).
2) Focus. The reflectors and lens are not made for halogen bulbs so focus and light output will not be as good as a halogen bulb in a halogen reflector (a H4 in a H4 reflector for example).
4) Wattage. This is a problem if you have a 6V car. Often the halogen bulbs have a higher Wattage rating. "All Good"? No not neccesary, the 6V generator often have a hard time manage the higher watt of the halogen bulbs.

All this and the accual win with using a halogen bulb is not as great as it could be. However there is some and I have used the p45t halogens in both my -60 bug (6V) and -68 baywindow (12V) for years. It is fore me easiest to compare this in my baywindows as I also have a -75 with stock H4 and the true H4 (bulb, reflector and glass) and this is way better than the -68 with p45t aftermarket halogen fitted I think.

The H4 or halogen headlights with p43t socket was introduced in the 70s in vw. This was a headlight with glass and reflector usually in one unit for vw. This is what you've used with the "US" outer lens and H4 inner reflector and lens unit. This is a true H4 conversion and would think this or the "911" H4 conversion would work the best If its halogen light you are after (not the fluted lens look). For you (them) with a US headlight this should also be the easiest and cheapest way, as you just have to replace the sealed beam unit with a universal 7" H4 unit (used on many euro cars and very common). For us in Europe it is the oposite, it is easier to just fit a aftermarket halogen bulb in any of the older headlight units. On my 912 that is a US import I did replace the sealed beams when they burned out with 7" H4 units and it cost less than a new sealed beam. I just did the same for my -60 bug by replacing the whole euro headlight units with US headlights to get "true" H4 instead of p45t halogen, this of course cost more here. I used NOS Hella units (flat lens) on the 912 but for the bug I bought some new Lucas units as they had a nice "vintage look" curved lens.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:51 am    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

This thread became very helpful! I found it easy to tune out early on because of the existing threads on the topic. I appreciate the reference quality pics and description from ATK6168 and Frederik. Very good info.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

Some old Bosch parts numbers for euro headlights vw and porsche (mid-late 50's)
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

Does that book include fog or driving lamps? IN the thread below someone would like to substitute clear driving light lenses for his T34's fog lamp lenses.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=518323
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Help converting a 63 Beetle to fluted headlight lens Reply with quote

Yes they cover fog and driving lights and most everything else Bosch from the time, but the pages are mainly from 1956-58 with some updates 1959 and later so they don't cover T34.

Most aftermarket bosch fog and driving lights from that time were 105mm, (110mm), 130mm or 150mm (lens diameter). Then there are cars, motorcycle and trucks spare parts but that section don't mention diameter or other specification.
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