Another lighting post! New Sylvania Brownstar bulbs
Old Busted Hotness last edited by
Yeah, these Silverstars ain't silver at all. They're exactly the same color as the OEM bulbs. I think I know what's going on here: current limiting.
Silverstars and other blue-coated bulbs use high-output filaments to make up for all the not-so-blue light they filter out. So a blue bulb that outputs 55W of light needs a 75W filament to do it. And to do that, it needs 75W of input power.
Blue H1 and H4 bulbs used in the Crown Vic. H13's for the Challenger are similar.
I tested the bulbs with a 12V wall-wart just to see if they worked before trying to install them, and got the same brownish light. But in the car they ought to shine nice and white, like they do in the ads, right?
Maybe not. I'm pretty sure the Challenger (and pretty much every other modern car) feeds the headlights through the Body Control Module (BCM) via some transistors and a current-limiting scheme. The wires going to the bulbs are tiny, smaller than the turn signal wires. Looks like 20-gauge wire, which again points to current limiting.
This is what I'm hoping for. Crown Vic uses relays, mostly to save the antique wiring.
So, I'm going to try a relay harness. The BCM can feed its piddly output to the relays, which will feed the lights, and then we'll see some white hotness. At least we better.
Anyone else run into this using blue-tinted or other high-wattage bulbs on a modern car?
WhoIsTheLeader last edited by
@old-busted-hotness No, I'm not. Are you saying in the top shot that the Silverstar is on the right? They looked pretty blue tinted in the rest of your photos.
ItalianJobR53 last edited by ItalianJobR53
@old-busted-hotness i had Philips blue headlights and they were indeed blue but I switched to a lower temp lights coz the blue lights lacked contrast wrt to the road and I couldn't see jackshit...maybe it's just me...
Edit: I had these ones
Old Busted Hotness last edited by Old Busted Hotness
@whoistheleader The lead pic shows a Silverstar in the Challenger's headlight (on the right of the pic). It's getting a full 13.2V. If it got more current, it would shine white like the ones in the Crown Vic. On the left is an LED (switchback) and I'm hoping for a closer color match, in addition to more light on the road.
@ItalianJobR53 If I don't like the color, I can put the OEM bulbs back in. I'm sure they'll be brighter with the relays. The headlights on this car are pretty weak.
Old Busted Hotness last edited by
Update: Relay harness arrived. Made in Taiwan, not PRC, I guess that's as good as it gets these days. This is the Putco harness you can get from Summit Racing or Amazon. Things to like: BIG wires, 14 gauge throughout. Probably overkill. All the connections look pretty well made, and they actually give you more than enough wire. Things to not like: Horrible yellow sheath, that needs to go right off the bat:
Re-sheathed in proper black split loom.
Also, the relays themselves are a weird 4-pin type, two parallel rows of prongs, not the normal automotive type of relay. But they work. If/when they don't it's going to be a PITA to find replacements. No fuse is included, but really should be. Other than those points, I like. So let's get on with the install.
First off, look at these dinky wires:
That's the same size as the turn signals. Literally. And too small in my not-an-electrical-engineer opinion.
That looks more like something you'd feed a headlight with. Bueno.
The harness is pretty much plug & play, but I changed out the main feed for a 12-ga wire with a 30A fuse. Fuse is not included in the kit, but should be. Here's a shot of the install:
Dodge even gives you a bracket to hang the relays from. Relays feed off the jumper terminal, after I cut the cover so the wire could go thru. Safety Police would say to disconnect the battery first. Maybe I did and maybe I didn't. Either way the car didn't burn up. Fuse is the last thing to get plugged in. Headlights ground at the fender-to-core-support screws. I stacked a couple 1/4 inch washers in there so the little grounding rings wouldn't get smashed flat, and slobbered the ground with carbon conductive grease.
The longest part of the install is cutting the yellow sheath off. After that it pretty much fell into place, maybe 30 minutes start to finish. And after all that:
Okay, still a little brownish, but there's a hell of a lot more light coming out. I had a choice between working in the dark and getting a good test, or seeing what I was doing and testing later. I'll test later. Initial impression is that it's worth doing, though.