Headlights A Bit Lame

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by John Dirks Jr, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. The battery and alternator are in good working order. The headlights are not as bright as they should be. Could it be these bulbs are just crappy? What about these aftermarket lenses, could they have poor design that would contribute to the problem?

    CE6FE3E2-951C-447D-AB4A-8DC2A2FA5F30.jpeg 2F851850-DF22-4DCA-97F5-882A62A874D4.jpeg
  2. What is the bulb number?
    Does your headlights get brighter with higher rpms?
    You could do a volt drop test at the headlight grounds.
    Also look at the reflective material is still shiney
  3. Thanks for the suggestions. I will follow up on them and report.
  4. Reflective material still shiney. Brightness consistent at idle and every rpm above idle.
  5. There are little ground wires screwed into the top of the radiator core support on both sides by the hood prop. ( green little bolts...black wires ). Those are the headlight grounds. You can take them loose and clean them up...might help.

    Check the connectors, too.

    You could also buy sylvania ultra bright bulbs and blind the hell outta folks.
    jrichker likes this.
  6. I’ll check the grounds and connections. I was pondering brighter bulbs but I surely don’t wanna be one of those jerks that blinds other drivers. I hate that. Of course proper aiming would be essential if I get brighter bulbs.
    90sickfox likes this.
  7. The problem I've found with the aftermarket headlights is they don't seem to refract (not sure if that's the correct term) the light correctly.
    Basically the beam seems to narrow not enough spread and aiming them is a crap shoot.
    Not sure if this is what your experiencing?
    revhead347 likes this.
  8. Aftermarket headlights....well..suck. They don't project the beam correctly, not that the stockers were much better. Those headlights were never factory, so you are relying on the supposed ability of a company to properly design and validate the reflector, and then build them in china with very loose QC and meet strict roadway standards that OEM's spend millions on design to achieve. So you need to take their abilty to project with a grain of salt.

    However, part of the issue coule be electrical as well. The intensity of the bulb depends on the voltage it receives and this all depends on the wiring feeding it and the grounds. A good solution is to rewire the headlights so that the original wiring triggers a relay that is feeding direct voltage from the battery and a good ground. This will ensure the brightest beam from the bulb.
    #10 Mustang5L5, Oct 11, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    Noobz347 and jrichker like this.
  9. I have a 1985 foureye and I will take aftermarket over my dim headlights. A candle might be brighter than these headlights.
    Boostedpimp likes this.
  10. It's the aftermarket headlights. Get good quality OEM ones, and it will be much better. It won't be like a current model car though. Headlights have come a long way over the years. You can brighten them up with a set of better bulbs; like those $60 Sylvanias they sell at the parts store. I've bought them for all my older cars because my eyes just aren't what they used to be.

  11. Grounds are good. Batt resting voltage 12.8. System run voltage at idle 14.7. Bulbs are Sylvania Xtra Vision which are decent quality.

    Closer look at these aftermarket lenses and it’s obvious they’re crappy. Made for appearance, not function. They have maybe 9 large flutes in the reflector and shine through the clear lenses. OEM lens has maybe 250 flutes in 6 or 7 different groups. It’s obvious where the engineering efforts were.

    Aftermarket top pic. OEM bottom

    C3E98296-B425-4171-965D-284E97441C6B.jpeg 79A855C7-2224-4613-A43B-45F107803ABC.jpeg
  12. Try LED headlights i have a set in my 04 Excursion stock head lights they work great! a much brighter head light i can see now VS the crappy stock 9004 bulb.
  13. Here is what I see from the pic.
    The reflective material at the back is dark, it appears the reflective material is either dirty or discolored not being able to reflect the light outward, is my observation correct?
  14. Unfortunately that really doesn't tell you the whole picture. You have voltage drop through a headlight switch with known melting/overheating issues, plus general voltage drop through the wiring, so it's possible to have 14v at the batt but 10-11v powering the actual headlight under load.

    Using relays is a method that ensures full voltage without any drop reaches the bulbs .
    karthief and killer5.0 like this.
  15. I woild have stopped after this.
    karthief and revhead347 like this.
  16. X2 on running headlight relays...they allow full battery voltage to the headlights...my headlights are tinted so i dont drive at night lol...but when i redid my wiring I added relays so when i do opt for different headlights they are as bright as possible...
  17. Exactly. Stop chasing electrical problems when the answer is so obvious.

  18. I think this answer is two fold...to get optimum brightness upgrade to a better housing and add relays so they get full voltage...or do an HID retrofit