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Old 01-12-2021, 11:19 PM   #1
pjdeb
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Default Headlight Help

I am trying to improve headlight performance. Need some advice. I have been using standard two filament 32 CP bulbs.

1. One of my lenses might be original or at least older than the other. One shows clear white. The other has a slight yellow tint. Just curious on this one. Common problem?
2. My reflectors are pretty hazy. I have polished them, but that has not changed much. Before I spend the money, will new reflectors make a significant improvement?
3. I purchased LED bulbs. 300k I do not see much improvement over the 32CP. LED bulbs are not expensive. I am going to try 600k. I know they will be "whiter" but not all that much brighter.
4. What is your experience with halogen?
5. What is your experience with sealed beam?

Thanks.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Headlight Help

OK. So now you know I do not see very well. It is 6000K and 3000K
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:50 PM   #3
J Franklin
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Default Re: Headlight Help

Don't blind oncoming traffic! Maybe choose your modern car at night. Bratton's has a reflector that mimics the factory ones with a modern permanent reflective surface that gives the best light for the proper bulbs used. I use 32-50 CP bulbs sold by the dealers. Focus and aiming is the most important aspect of good lighting, A relay setup might go a ways to lighting the road also.

Last edited by J Franklin; 01-12-2021 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Headlight Help

X2,

I have exactly what J Franklin recommends except my original reflectors have been re-silvered. Brattons excellent new reflectors were not yet available. Very good headlights.

I have tried LED's but overall they are not as good as the 32/50 cp bulbs. Lots of light but it does not seem to focus nearly as well. I have heard others complain about the same thing.

I would NOT recommend Quartz/Halogen. These require lots of amps and run really hot causing problems with connections.

Good reflectors and 32/50 bulbs properly focused and aimed is the way to go in my opinion.

Chris W.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Headlight Help

I had a similar experience with the LED's, they don't seem to focus very well. On the checklist is, focus, correct sockets for the year of the headlight, good electrical connections, and reflectors in good condition.
My first problem was that a previous owner had replaced the sockets with the wrong year parts so I could never get the bulb adjusted to the correct location in the reflector shape.
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:45 AM   #6
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I have tried them all. Came to me with 6-v 32cp bulbs. Changed to 12-v 50cp, then to Halogens. A couple years ago (before the LogoLite LEDs came out) I installed JDM Astar LEDs that plugged directly into the Halogen reflectors.

The LEDs I now have are by far the best solution for me. Aimed correctly I have had no complaints from oncoming traffic and have more than adequate lights.
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: Headlight Help

LED element focal length doesn't match the tungsten element so the focus is off. There's actually a ton of math involved in reflective angles.

I used cleaner polish on my lenses to remove yellowing of the glass. It made a huge difference.

I haven't powered mine up yet but I had repro halogen H4 bulbs and reflector kit come with my car.
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:21 AM   #8
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For good reliable wiring that is very close to stock I use the 32-50 bulbs, brattons reflectors and ditch the factory plugs in favor of spade connectors. I also run a dedicated ground to each headlight bucket. Works great and it's easy to do.


Your yellow lens might be "sun-turned", http://www.glassencyclopedia.com/sunchangedglass.html.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:38 AM   #9
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My A had sealed beam (6 volt) conversions in it when bought and they work excellent.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: Headlight Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjdeb View Post
I am trying to improve headlight performance. Need some advice. I have been using standard two filament 32 CP bulbs.

1. One of my lenses might be original or at least older than the other. One shows clear white. The other has a slight yellow tint. Just curious on this one. Common problem?
2. My reflectors are pretty hazy. I have polished them, but that has not changed much. Before I spend the money, will new reflectors make a significant improvement?
3. I purchased LED bulbs. 300k I do not see much improvement over the 32CP. LED bulbs are not expensive. I am going to try 600k. I know they will be "whiter" but not all that much brighter.
4. What is your experience with halogen?
5. What is your experience with sealed beam?

Thanks.
The brightest bulb Ford authorized for model A was 21/32 CP, A-1116. 32 CP stresses the capacity of the generator, and should be used sparingly. Obviously overuse of 50 CP can shorten the life of the generator.

1. Yellowing of lenses is likely due to sun exposure, as previously stated.

2. Haze usually results from silver sulfate, oxidation from air exposure. If it is not removed before polishing, it will be sealed in by any wax content. Salt and vinegar solution removes the tarnish easily. New aluminized reflectors are the best remedy, as they require practically no maintenance.

3. 3000K LEDs mimic the wavelengths produced by incandescent filaments. 6000K are somewhat brighter but I suspect they will make it more difficult to see through fog and snow. They generally can't be focused; however they reduce current draw dramatically.

4. Halogen bulbs require at least as much current as 50 CP bulbs, see above.

5. Sealed beam, like halogen - too much current. As an added bonus, they're ugly.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: Headlight Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneBob View Post
I had a similar experience with the LED's, they don't seem to focus very well. On the checklist is, focus, correct sockets for the year of the headlight, good electrical connections, and reflectors in good condition.
My first problem was that a previous owner had replaced the sockets with the wrong year parts so I could never get the bulb adjusted to the correct location in the reflector shape.
Interesting thread and something I need to tackle on my car as well. I was considering the LED option and as with many things, there seems to be a split in the opinions in that option. I prefer the look of the incandescent bulbs but night driving is a bear and I donít like to limit myself.

Iím keying in on GeneBobís point about mismatched parts. My car has 2-bulb housings with one-bulb reflectors (and cowl lights). I wonder if this could complicate my ability to focus the bulbs ?


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Old 01-13-2021, 12:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: Headlight Help

Please describe what you mean by a relay set up. Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:21 PM   #13
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Please describe what you mean by a relay set up. Thanks.
Headlight relays put the power closer to the bulbs, with less wire resistance. You can look it up on the net.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:22 PM   #14
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Two years ago I did Like J.Franklin did. New aluminized reflectors and focusing makes all the difference. I run an alternator.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:24 PM   #15
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Here are my results from testing LED headlight bulbs. It might be that the LED bulbs do not focus as well as the stock bulbs but in my tests the LED bulbs definitely light up the street much better. Note that I tested the LED vs halogen bulbs. Standard incandescent bulbs would light up the street even less than the halogen bulbs. Also note that the camera exposure was identical for all pictures.
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: Headlight Help

Bob: Did you have to install load resistors on the low beams to prevent "flickering"?

Where did you buy the led bulbs?






























w
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:19 PM   #17
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I purchased them from a company in England. However if I were to buy more I would get them from one of the Model A parts houses. No I did not install load resistors. A word of caution, make sure you have a real good ground. Solid state devices do not like bad grounds.


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Old 01-14-2021, 09:45 AM   #18
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I went through the same as what Carl mentioned, except I used Logolite.

Yes, you loose the ability to zero in on a light alignment, but the benefits of the LED out weigh that for me.

The LED produces a nice white light, good visibility, no complaints from oncoming drivers, and uses no current.
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:36 AM   #19
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Default Re: Headlight Help

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Originally Posted by Badpuppy View Post
The brightest bulb Ford authorized for model A was 21/32 CP, A-1116. 32 CP stresses the capacity of the generator, and should be used sparingly. Obviously overuse of 50 CP can shorten the life of the generator.
I should add that 12V systems reduce current requirements by half, which doubles generator power capacity. The generator can thus handle the load of 50 CP bulbs without overheating.

Of course, a 6V alternator is a much easier conversion.
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
5. Sealed beam, like halogen - too much current. As an added bonus, they're ugly.
What makes you say that sealed beams are ugly? They're hidden behind the original lense.

https://www.brattons.com/headlight-seal-beam-set.html
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