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I'm assuming headlights for speedsters and spyders are the same.  Does anyone have the code or link for a front headlight.  I'd like to get the headlight before I take things apart.

Or is this a good opportunity to upgrade both bulbs.  Thanks.

Phil Luebbert

Last edited by 550 Phil
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Phil, what Stan's link doesn't make too clear (to me at least) is that these units are sized and shaped just like an old 7-inch sealed beam bulb (so they will fit right into a VW light bucket), but are instead a reflector and front glass with a socket in the back for a standard H4 bulb.

Dave's link is the slightly more expensive Hella version of the same thing.

I went with the EMPI version, and it has been working just dandy, but I think the Hella is probably better made, and is the one I'd choose if I had to do it over again.

The worst H4 bulbs are way better than the best sealed beam halogens. And better H4 bulbs are, well, better than that.

Sealed beam halogens are better than candles, though.

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Last edited by Sacto Mitch

I bought my Hella H4 conversions from SoCal VW parts (or was it "Latest Rage" back then?) back in the 1990's for around $70 bucks per pair.  I would guess that they're closer to $90 now and yes, they fit a standard 7" sealed beam headlight assembly.  Mine have a cool-looking flat lens with the typical European light field kip-up on the right hand side so you can read street signs at night (if you can see up that high with your top up).  They also have a horizontal straight line cut-off on Lo-Beam at about 3'-4' so you don't blind on-coming drivers but you can still almost scorch the paint on the car in front of you at a light.  😉

I tried the stronger Rally bulbs like Dave bought,  but found they wouldn't fit inside my headlight buckets (mine were too long by 1/4") so went with 65/85 watt from Phillips that just barely fit.  

If you have headlight grills or screens, then the H4 conversion with it's added brilliance is the only way to go unless you go with LED conversions.  I'm not ready to go that route, yet.  

If you do go LED, then try to get a hue somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 Kelvin which will give you a clean, white light not leaning towards a blue tint.  Also, be aware of the length of the bulb out the back of the sealed glass unit.  Some LED's have a heat sink on the rear that can be pretty long and might require cutting a hole at the back of the fiberglass bucket to fit them in there.  And then you have to figure out how to seal it from tire splash.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

I bought my Hella H4 conversions from SoCal VW parts (or was it "Latest Rage" back then?) back in the 1990's for around $70 bucks per pair.  I would guess that they're closer to $90 now and yes, they fit a standard 7" sealed beam headlight assembly.

Genuine Hella H4 lights are $100 each from SoCal Imports.

The EMPI versions are $20 each, so my recollection of $30 was not so far off. OG Hella for $200 or Chinese knock-offs (for the knock-off car) for $40. You decide.

My Asian copies (with Sylvania bulbs) have been flawless for 18 years.

Last edited by Stan Galat

It has always seemed strange to me, here in the good old, progressive USA, that starting way back in the 1950's, European headlights have been so much better than what we got here, up until about ten years ago, when we sort-of tried to catch up with LEDs but didn't quite make it.  

To this day, the American idea of OEM "fog lights" really are about as dim as "running lights" and are almost useless in any conditions, while NOBODY offers "driving lights" that can really light up the road 1/2 mile ahead where it could give you better reaction times (and a mile ahead would be even better for some of us slower "oldies").  

I got shot down at a Mass. state vehicle inspection in 1969 when I rolled in with my 1966 mustang with Cibie H4 7" headlight conversions for a motorcycle, along with Hella 500 driving lights that went out on low beam.  The inspection guy freaked out when the driving lights came on and wouldn't give me a sticker until the H4's were gone and the driving lights wouldn't work and were for "show only".  And how much stuff have we bought for Speedsters in the past that has been "For Off-Road Use ONLY"??  (like our engines used to be?) which we totally ignored?

Heck, the rental cars I used outside of the US over the decades always had better lights than my daily driver back home!!  (although my '77 Ford F250 had a pair of 10" Cibie "Super  Oscars" out front and those were wicked bright).

OK.....   I'll get off my Soap Box, now.   😠  

@550 Phil  When it was time to aim my headlights, I found that the buckets in a Spyder are tilted back just a bit more than a Speedster. The adjustment mechanism is the most rudimentary design I've ever seen. It's almost useless. Almost.

I had to move the pivot points, hyper extend one of the adjustment screws and bury the other to get the lights to point sorta down the road instead of at the tree tops.

https://www.speedsterowners.com/topic/headlights-6

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

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Gordon, the old sealed beams were sketchy enough at 70 mph. At 130, they'd be lethal.

If you've got cars that are actually engineered to be driven at those speeds and roads where it's legal (and you want your customers to survive to buy the next model), you make changes.

Stateside, you could get a sealed beam at any FLAPS for two bucks as late as the mid-80s, so imagine how little it cost Ford and GM to install them on new cars. You don't think the auto industry had anything to do with putting the brakes on progress, do you?

(And let's not talk about brakes.)

In 1965, the BMW 1500 was introduced as a no-nonsense, no-frills economy car for the German domestic market. There was nothing 'performance' about the car or its marketing. BMW was in dire straits and needed a bare bones bread and butter car for the mass market, to save their own necks as a company.

Standard were IRS (a real IRS), disc brakes, real steering, and radial tires. Standard, not options.

How were the Corvair, Falcon, and Valiant equipped? And, I could tell you a few stories about attempting to drive a Corvair at 80 mph.

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Last edited by Sacto Mitch

To this day, the American idea of OEM "fog lights" really are about as dim as "running lights" and are almost useless in any conditions, while NOBODY offers "driving lights" that can really light up the road 1/2 mile ahead where it could give you better reaction times (and a mile ahead would be even better for some of us slower "oldies").  

When I bought my 968 I was really confused because I could find the fog light switch, but not the driving light switch. RTFM! They come on with the high beams, and they look like the like at the friggin Singapore GP.  

The fogs are surprisingly useful. I rarely drive at night* but the fogs get me home without having to use the pop up headlights. Enough to warn oncoming drivers.

But something to remember fog lights are just that. Their purpose is to throw diffuse light over the 80°-90° 20’ in front of your car, low, so it doesn’t reflect off the fog, so you can see the road marking in fog.

The ones in my Smart work great to spot potholes in low light as well.  



*I have a hard time seeing at dusk. My irises don’t seem to work properly in low light. Oncoming headlights virtually blind me. Nice it gets completely dark, I’m ok. But at dusk, the fog lights help me see the road.

Last edited by dlearl476

I respectfully disagree, being a former motorcyclist. Motorcycles have been required to have headlights always on for at least 40-50 years.

Nobody sees you with the tiny profile, and the headlight might get you noticed.

Then came DRLs for cars.

Now, nobody notices anything because everyone is the same.

For the record, my Spyder headlights are always on for whatever good it may do.

It makes sense to require the lights on motorcycles, and should help with tiny clown cars. If only everyone didn't have them on as well.

Last edited by DannyP

I like cars with DRLs because when I'm on my bicycle I can see them in my teeny-tiny rear view mirror a good 100 yards farther back to get ready for them.

Heck, even my E-Bike has a DRL!  I have that and a super-bright AUX headlight that blinks annoyingly, as well as a constant tail light and a super bright rear blinkie light.  Sometimes all THAT isn't even enough.

I’m cheap so I bought the Empi H4s. I can’t remember the last time I drove the spyder at night so I really don’t need super bright lights. I not only burn the lights during the day I’ve also got bright little LED parking lights. Original light lasted 6000 miles. Hopefully the halogens are better. At least it will be easier to replace next time.
Great advice Carlos. Installation week after next.

I have the Empi H4 buckets. I replaced the lenses with the fluted ones, I prefer that look. They work better too, in my opinion.

I bought some LED bulbs though, can't remember where.

I concur that the buckets lean back more on a Spyder.

The adjustment screws are backed almost all the way out, I bent the tension springs for maximum tension all the way out there. I may need to get longer screws, the lights are reasonably adjusted. They are just a touch high, so I mostly just use the low beam.

I prefer the EURO STYLE HELLA’S they are p45t H4 not P43T the normal ones but you can get 80/100 bulbs for them or adapters to use a P43T more commonly available.

FYI, there is a company in europe that makes a 4700lumen LED that is the same length as an H4 and fits in there and uses the exact same pattern as an H4 which allows the buckets to focus the light exactly like a traditional h4… this would have less draw on your light circuit…

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Last edited by IaM-Ray

Thanks Ray, I think this is going to be where I go the next time I replace a bulb. Anyone know what the difference is between a P43t and a P45t?

I’m somewhat hesitant with the “4300 Lumen ‘Classic’ color. One of the greatest advances ever for my partial light vision issues was switching from yellowish incandescent sealed beams and early H4s to Phillips “Bright White” bulbs.

ps: hard to tell from a picture on an iPad, but the “high beam” shot on their site looks like the high beam (Phillips WhiteVision Ultra) plus driving light look of my 968 lights.

Last edited by dlearl476
@dlearl476 posted:

Thanks Ray, I think this is going to be where I go the next time I replace a bulb. Anyone know what the difference is between a P43t and a P45t?

I’m somewhat hesitant with the “4300 Lumen ‘Classic’ color. One of the greatest advances ever for my partial light vision issues was switching from yellowish incandescent sealed beams and early H4s to Phillips “Bright White” bulbs.

They are the same bulbs  but the base is a bit different.  take a p43t  use these and they fit a p45t bucket ,,,,euro buckets

https://www.dynamoregulatorcon...motorcycles-shop.php

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