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Author Topic: Headlight Options for 5 3/4 headlights? Driving Lights?  (Read 5558 times)
rv_safetyman
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Jim Shepherd


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« on: September 27, 2009, 08:27:34 AM »

My Eagle has dual 5 3/4 headlights.  I really like the looks, but they are not much better than a flashlight.  I have added relays on the headlights and that helped some, but still not acceptable (standard sealed beam headlights).

A while back I did some research and found:  http://www.danielsternlighting.com/products/products.html.  I am very impressed with the technology and information he has on his site.  I even ordered the Cibie CSR headlights(@ $111 each). He never did ship them even though I bugged him a couple of times.  Probably for the best, since I really did not want to spend that much (I try my best not to drive at night).

On this trip we are on (sadly still not with the bus Angry), I stopped by one of my favorite truck supply stores:  Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply (http://wilkinsots.com/).  I looked at what looks like great technology headlights.  The box is labeled with the name "Crystal".  They are shown at:  http://www.magictrucksupply.com/product_info.php?cPath=20&products_id=57.  The reflector looks like the European technology that is said to be  superior to USA technology.  

The price of these headlights is quite reasonable (~ $30).  However, I can't find any  reviews or technical information.

So, I come to this wonderful group of folks to see if any of you know anything about Crystal headlights or any other option for 5 3/4.

Thanks, Jim
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 06:47:06 PM by rv_safetyman » Logged

Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
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Len Silva
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2009, 08:48:13 AM »

Jim,

I'm sure you have already checked but, just in case, the first thing to do is to be sure you have full voltage at the lights.  If the voltage at the lights in not very close (1/4 volt) to the battery voltage, then you have a significant voltage drop. My guess on an Eagle would be ground issues.

If that's the case, it wouldn't matter what lamps you used.
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2009, 08:58:28 AM »

The problem with most Eagle headlights is low voltage people have replaced the 300 amp 50d with smaller alternators and when you light the system with all the outside lights they just don't have enough power.
 I helping a guy now that has 135 amp alternator on his Eagle the headlights are dim

good luck
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2009, 10:14:57 AM »

Jim, They just had a discussion about this on Barthmobile.com in the tech section i think. I am also thinking of doing something about my lites....same size as yours. Why don't you wait till you get to Yuma and we can do them both at the same time?  Grin
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 10:30:05 AM »

Len, I ran heavy gauge wire to the relays and mounted them very close to the headlights.  I did not measure the voltage, but I will do that when I get it running again Angry.

Clifford, I do have the truck alternator on the bus.  It only powers the start batteries (have a separate one for the house batteries).  I watch the voltage and it always stays in the high 12s as I recall (via SilverLeaf).  That is at the engine, so when I check it at the headlights, that will tell me if I have a loss in the path to the front.

Ed, sounds like a deal.  I just have to get the darn thing running Smiley

I head home around the 5th  and that will be my focus.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009, 10:31:05 AM »

Sorry, it turns out it is in the Barth upgrades and improvement section under headlights, dated around 9/16.
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 12:06:29 PM »

I never liked the small headlights. I have had a lot of them, my favorite KW has them. Not enough light at their best.

First thing I always do is install a pair of nice chrome Austin spots, (available in pairs @ Peterbilt, sometimes as inexpensive as $60 on sale for the pair). I have had experiences where I burned the entire wire harness out of trucks and when that happens it gets completely dark and smokey real fast, not to mention the danger of 60 MPH and no lights!.

The solution for me was to install the drivers side spot light switch directly in front of my left hand so I can always find it in the dark. I always wire the emergency spot directly from the battery so even if the truck/bus harness frys I will have enough light to safely get off the road. Aircraft lights are hi wattage and will need a separate on/off switch for each light.

If traffic is heavy, I leave the passenger spot on, (non aircraft), and can see just fine. If oncoming traffic is light I use the aircraft spot until traffic comes, then I drop it, unless I need it. There is a sign in Idaho that says Rest Area 10 miles. It is a straight 10 miles to the Rest Area and with the landing light, I can see the entrance to the Rest Area 10 miles ahead.

I don't know of any professional driver who runs day and night over the road who does not have and use auxiliary lights. If ya ain't got some, get some. They will make you a lot safer driver in the dark and also give you alot more confidence because there is no substitute for being able to see well in the dark.

People hit me with the brights from time to time, but when I hit them back with the aircraft landing light, they never fail to yield! You can almost hear them say O ____...
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 12:40:29 PM by NJT 5573 » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2009, 06:30:52 PM »

Somebody got a link for the "aircraft" landing light?

I am interested.

God bless,

John
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2009, 06:46:12 PM »

John beat me to it. 

I had thought about driving lights.  Indeed, I had two from a previous project and started to install them, but have misplaced one of them  Smiley

I suspect they were not the best quality.  We are in a hotel next to wally world and I went over to look at driving lights.  I like to have technical information or a good recommendation.  At wally world, they don't carry anything that has technical information.

So, like John, I would like to have folks discuss their driving light experience.  Aircraft landing lights sound interesting.

I will change the subject to reflect that we are also discussing driving lights

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2009, 07:00:17 PM »

Jim and John you can buy the 100w landing light at Napa for 12 bucks but all I have seen were 4 inch 12v . 
They are against the law in most states for driving and like Larry I flashed mine at a guy in Idaho for not dimming his brights and guess who he was so I don't have mine any more

good luck
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 07:07:11 PM »

Hi fella's. Projector beam head lights such as found on the new German cars seem to be the way to go. The kids from the Noppi crowd add them to their fast and furious customs, and let me tell you, they are bright.
  I googlied projector beam headlights" and found quite alot of resources, some for custom application. Here's one:
http://www.carid.com/projector-headlights.html
I think Installing these would be a cake job,fab out 2 deep light boxes and a clear lens  Grin
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2009, 07:37:28 PM »

Any small airport should have lights.

aircraftspruce.com lists all the different GE bulbs in both 13 and 28 volt.

My favorite was always the pencil beam, but I don't remember what one that is. 100 watts is alot of light, but they have them up to 250 watts in 13V and 600 watts in 28V. You can probably use the GE numbers from Spruce and get the bulbs from NAPA. They fit upside down in the inexpensive Austin fixture, it comes 2 to a box with mounts from Peterbilt and possibly KW, the aircraft bulbs don't care if you mount them upside down or not, just aim them. Aircraft need a switch and power supply for each bulb, they take some power and will fry a single switch setup if you put two bulbs on the same switch.

One landing light is all you need. I like mine on the drivers side, straight ahead, it will make it almost like daylight! You can see bumps in the road at night and a small rock will show up at a few hundred feet. I keep the factory Austin GE low watt bulb in the passengers side and that way it doesn't bother anyone with brightness, but still lights the roadway well when there is too much traffic for the landing light.

I came across the Florida panhandle one night after the Daytona 500 in my 05 Eagle in the hardest rainstorm I have ever run. I felt safe running 90 with the RainX and landing lights, I just ate those miles up! Lights make all the difference.

Driving bulbs for the Austins are rounded in the front, aircraft are flat. CHP has never said anything to me about them, but I have had a few I'm sure they tapped with a hammer and broke out for me over 40 years. I usually just cover the landing light for Ca. and save it for worse weather than Ca. normally has. I doubt anyone would ever see them on a bus though, mine have been on both buses for 15 years and no one has ever said anything to me. Yet..., but I am pretty good about hitting the off switch for oncoming traffic.

They are just a driving aid, but you can't beat lots of light when you want it. I doubt I would still be alive after all these years and miles without great lights.
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$1B in $1000 bills = 800 feet high.
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2009, 08:52:22 PM »

Last year we saw a new Newell that had small headlights, ( looked to be about 3 or 4 inches at the most ) i thought at first they were just driving lights until i realized that is all he had.  He said they worked great. Last week at a small rally there was a new Prevost that also had the small lights and he too said they were fine so i took a closer look. Turns out they are made by Hella. Thought maybe i would mount them as driving  lights so i could retain the look of the dual round lights but maybe also upgrade them too to a better bulb so that i could have my choice of high beams.
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Tim Strommen
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2009, 10:47:45 PM »

Aircraft landing lights....  Wow, I didn't even think they could fly - whay are your tail numbers? Shocked

I would suggest E-Code lights, I have them and so do several others on this board.  The beam pattern is better designed (scientificly, not lobby-powered Roll Eyes).  Cibie has the ones that will fit you bus (5.75" both low and high-beam) they are bulb-replacable ad take H4 bulbs (which you can find in either 12 or 24 volt) and at various different wattages.  Standard H4 wattage is 55-low/65-high - but I've seen 90-low/110-high... I'd hate to be on the receiving-end of that Cool.

They will be more expensive that the sealed-beam, or halogen DOT fixtures but they are worth every penny.  Of course, since thay are ECE not DOT (european regulating body not US regulating body) you may fail an inspection in some states - but many states are allowing these fixtures because they dont' give off an offending light pattern so they are harder to spot...

-Tim
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2009, 11:07:35 PM »

Jim -

Hope to see you again this January in Quartzsite!

Anyway, I've discussed headlights numerous times on this bbs and over on BNO.  Here are two links to the general discussion as to why I highly recommend what I recommend.  Scroll down thru the thread to see my comments:

http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/233/1795.html
http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/233/16922.html

And here's a link on how to adjust them properly:

http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/233/2621.html


IMHO & IMHR, you cannot go wrong with a properly installed set of Cibie headlamps.  At roughly $300 for a set of four with tax & shipping, they are a little pricey.  But again, I'll ask you the question:  "What price SAFETY?"   (Especially with you in the RV safety products arena!)

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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