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Willys

Front LED driving lights?

34 posts in this topic

OK, I have the two marker lights already changed out and LEDs installed by Glenn while he owned the car. My interest is getting some lights that can be seen better than the weaker LED conversion or mod...?  I am now driving with the headlights on to make me more noticable.....I have had 2 or 3 vehicles almost pull out to pass someone and then at the last minute pull back in  while approaching me on the country roads.  I bought the car because of it's neon green or yellow colour, similar to my riding Hi-Viz bike jacket.  So this new issue has me upset so to speak. This is why I'm searching for very bright LED lights that could fit where the two round  just over 2 inch stock ones live at.....? Any ideas or thoughts?   I could buy 2 four inch LED spots and install them under the bottom skirt but I would like to see if I can find some that would fit in the stockish location.

Thanks in advance..

 

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12 hours ago, Willys said:

OK, I have the two marker lights already changed out and LEDs installed by Glenn while he owned the car. My interest is getting some lights that can be seen better than the weaker LED conversion or mod.

 

If you are referring to the 2 on the front grill;  I'm running 2, H3 Hella Driving Lights. Google "Hella Micro DE Halogen H3 55W 12V Lamp Kit". A Site member designed a new bracket for the housing. They fit-in behind the grill like a glove. I've had them for 4 years and they are incredible.

 

100_0649[1].jpg 6087.jpeg

 

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Yep....that's the spot, but I wish to use strong LEDs to help with the drain on the system if possible.  I know you can find all sorts of crap leds on FleaBay  as I have used them in the past on my bike. They never seemed to last long for some reason. Probably crap circuit boards.......so I was hoping someone here had tried a good set and could shine me in the right direction...lol   that is without breaking the bank...lol

Thanks for the suggestion ....appreciate  it.

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14 hours ago, Willys said:

 I am now driving with the headlights on to make me more noticable...

 

Does this mean that your normal headlights are not coming on as DRL's?  If so, then it is an easy fix to have them on.  With the ignition off, simply pull the high beam stalk towards you (as if to flash to pass) and at the same time, press the LOCK button on your key fob.  You should hear a beep.  Your headlights (and tail lights) are now on as soon as you start to move the car.

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7 minutes ago, Leadwing said:

 

Does this mean that your normal headlights are not coming on as DRL's?  If so, then it is an easy fix to have them on.  With the ignition off, simply pull the high beam stalk towards you (as if to flash to pass) and at the same time, press the LOCK button on your key fob.  You should hear a beep.  Your headlights (and tail lights) are now on as soon as you start to move the car.

I think Glenn did the mod to have them turned off as to save the bulbs etc etc or for whatever reason, cool looking maybe.....???
OK, sounds good.....but are the DRLs using the same brightness as the low beams or are they slightly weaker? IF weaker I'll leave it alone and play with spots...?  IF the regular low beams they are bright enough to get the job done I have found as no-one has tried to kill me since simply turning the normal low beams on.

Was this mod done or used to be a "COOL " factor or for some other reason, like giving the electrical system a break?  Seeing as there seems to be altenator issues...? Or are those simply due to sitting and rusting up the bearings? Or are the altenators simply poorly made, which I find hard to believe seeing as it's a merzedes so to speak..?  Or did they cheap out on a few areas?

 

Thanks...

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Posted (edited) · Report post

im fairly certain the alternator problem develops because of clearance issues

 

the clearance between the rotor and the stator is so tight that any corrosion fills it quick and seizes it up

 

 

also i think the reason some people turn off the drl is to save bulbs and to lessen the chance of burning up that plug and terminals on the back of the sam unit

 

 

Edited by LooseLugNuts
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Willys 

The DRL are all lights on full power except the dash lamps.  I agree the number of times I’ve almost been hit in a parking lot I can’t imagine turning them off.  When are you leaving for Dawson City?

 

Nigel

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Nigel, I'm not going out west this summer, unfortunately, I need to build a trailer suitable for one person to sleep in, just me..lol. No guests...lol. I have the tow hitch built and installed. Next will be the electronics to light the trailer etc and loops for safety chain. Then attack the trailer to finish it to resemble a covered wagon but made from roofing sheet steel for keeping the weight as low as possible. I have the basic trailer body done, slightly larger than a coffin...lol. all alluminium, less than 200lbs.  I also have a very ill uncle in England at the moment and I'm hoping I do not have to buy a plane ticket  and he recovers well. But.......
So next late May I'll start the adventure out west.
I have been attacked so to speak twice in parking lots but more so while driving on the two lane highways....#48 and #7 mostly....they simply pull out to pass someone and do not see me or don't care, then pull back in when they realize I am there.  That is what scares me the most, a high speed bang...lol.  Don't want to prove the crash test to be true...lol.

 

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Did I hear somebody building their own trailer? Hahaha, must hijack this thread! I thought I was the only lunatic that wants to build my own trailer. Even though a smart car should be easily be able to pull it, I will not be installing a hitch on my smart. The one in the pic is designed my CLC-Boats - I'm about 80% done. The pic was about 2 months ago.

IMG_3248.JPG

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4 hours ago, Willys said:

I think Glenn did the mod to have them turned off as to save the bulbs etc etc or for whatever reason, cool looking maybe.....???

Yup!

1. Headlights bulbs last longer ( they are a pain to change)

2. Less chance of burning out the sam ( a sam from the dealer is about $1300)

3. Relocated turn lights to the euro position and flashing side markers - safer.

4. leds in the old turn signal last longer

5. and they do look cool

 

fyi - the fog lights that the HandyHobbit posted has its own wiring circuit and you can use the dimmer switch to activate them (but you lose the dim function). I'm sure there is info about this on the site.

Using appropriate fog lights would solve your visibility issue - but they are expensive - not many people opt for this anymore.

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4 hours ago, Willys said:

OK, sounds good.....but are the DRLs using the same brightness as the low beams or are they slightly weaker?

 

The original DRL's are full strength and during their operation, ALL exterior lights are on fully.  However, While using only the DRL's at night, there will be no dash lights and no high beam available other than the "flash-to-pass".  For these, you must manually turn on the lights via the stalk.

As Glenn mentioned above, turning the original DRL system off saves wear and tear on the SAM and the headlight bulbs which are a real PITA to change. The headlight bulbs in both my '05 and '06 are original and still work!  Some of the above work was done on mine to extend the bulb life. ( Relocated turn lights to the euro position and flashing side markers. LED's in the old turn signal last longer and they do look cool.)  I also went one step further and modified the old turn signals to have parking and turn signals as well as the euro location since the bulbs are 1157's and already have the proper base .. I just drilled out the bottom and found the extra contact.

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4 hours ago, Willys said:

 Seeing as there seems to be altenator issues...? Or are those simply due to sitting and rusting up the bearings? Or are the altenators simply poorly made, which I find hard to believe seeing as it's a merzedes so to speak..?  Or did they cheap out on a few areas?

 

Everything on the smart is generally smaller than what would be found on an average sized car.  The alternator is no different.  In order to make things fit into the tight spaces available, items such as the alternator are smaller and to make it work efficiently, the tolerances are very tight. Because of this, it doesn't take much moisture (humidity) and a small period of idle time to cause issues with alternators and rust sticking the rotor. 

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OK, then, great, back to my first thought pattern...

 

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I have gone through 3x H7 light bulbs in about 9 months, My house mates 451 has gone through 4. (Im guessing environmental conditions + how we use the car are to blame) 

 

Either way you can now buy H7 LED bulbs for about $30. Nex time one goes out im thinking about trying LED DRL low beams.

 

Has anyone else done this? 

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Sorry I had the Rogers guy in trying to solve my slow internet issues.....I have intermittent slow signal speeds etc ....they tried to tell me it was my PC at fault but why would two speed test sites give me half the speed results and only rogers full tilt speed signals..? So I had the guy in and he changed every connecter and ground point in the house and outside, kept testing and finally used his laptop and showed me that they all worked perfectly on his not just the rogers one, so he concluded it is my pc that is faulty....I still can't see it, but....augh!

 

Back to the lights.....I'm all for perserving the stock headlights for as long as possible if I can. That is why I wanted to simply use far stronger LED spots in place of the weaker ones being used now in those two locations. The two and a half dia lights. I figure LEDs won't pull anything near as much as a halogen bulb would so far better on the electrical system. I know you can get very almost stupidly bright lights....using LEDs. That is why I wasasking specifically about them.  
Now someone has mentioned protecting the SAM...?  WHY..?  What is weak about the SAM when it comes to lighting?  Worst case I'll wire them directly off the battery using my secondary fuse panel..? Use a switch or a relay from those two leds in the spot location now to trigger the new higher powered spots...? Does that make any sense...lol.?  

Please keep the suggestions coming...I'll start up another thread about computers as in my desk top issues...

 

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26 minutes ago, Willys said:

What is weak about the SAM when it comes to lighting? 

 

the pins and terminals are really small for the amount of current and they melt if youre lucky..burn out completely if youre not

 

theres plenty of threads here about it...a lot of us have wired in external relays for headlights and fuel pump circuit so that the sam is only powering the small current required for the relay iinstead of full component power

 

 

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21 hours ago, RobCDI said:

Either way you can now buy H7 LED bulbs for about $30. Nex time one goes out im thinking about trying LED DRL low beams.

 

Has anyone else done this? 

 

There are no H7 replacements on the market that are legal for on-road use in reflector housings. Period. The light output and beam pattern would be all over the place.

 

The best/lowest-cost/easiest option I found was:

 

  1. Turning off the automatic DRL
  2. Doing the Euro turn signal mod (returning turn signals to the headlight cluster)
  3. Adding LED running lights to the grille location
  4. Manually turning on the grille lights and/or low beams as needed.

 

It's been a while since I've owned my 450, but I do seem to recall one of the issues that shortened bulb life was a power surge a few minutes after moving off, when the car does an ABS check. By waiting until after hearing the pulsing sound from the braking system before turning on low beams, bulb life is prolonged significantly. 

 

I went from burning out bulbs every 9-12 months to getting close to 2 years out of a set of bulbs. Buying good quality bulbs helps, too. I was buying the Philips ones from PowerBulbs, and they were way better than anything I ever bought from Canadian Tire.

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1 hour ago, darren said:

.

 

The best/lowest-cost/easiest option I found was:

 

  1. Turning off the automatic DRL
  2. Doing the Euro turn signal mod (returning turn signals to the headlight cluster)
  3. Adding LED running lights to the grille location
  4. Manually turning on the grille lights and/or low beams as needed.

 

 

That is exactly what was done to the smart that Willys bought.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thanks Glenn.....that's what i was waiting for, conformation of it being the best it could be already....so now it comes down to adding a set of spots in the grill to help what's already there. I'll use the new LED  bulb wires to trigger a relay for the new far more powerfull or bright LEDs running from my added fuse panel.  Thoughts...?

 

Edited by Willys

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Posted (edited) · Report post

ive added a thin LED lightbar into my grill a few months ago

 

dont know how good it is though as i havent wired it up yet...i plan to just trigger a relay from a high beam feed but i suppose it would be a effective daytime running light as well until some barney fife cop gives a ticket for using non-standard light

 

im surrently using the grill fogs as turn signals and I added bulbs to the empty spot in the headlights and wired them up to the fogs so basically doubled up the turn signals on front....my sides are still stock parking/markers but upgraded to led...i should do the turn mod to them to because the led stick out much more than stock

 

 

light.png

Edited by LooseLugNuts

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I just looked at this location also.....just searching for the best place to mount lights......?  What about the airflow to the rad behind that opening?  How bad does this effect it's performance?  I thought about whats behind the front cowling to attach lights to that won't wobble which will attract unwanted attention from Barney.....I am thinking of moving the winter heater plug-in and mounting spots there?  Just thinking as they is so few spots that do not require changing the look of the front.....I even looked at the two flat areas next to the licence plate as it's a solid so to speak structure so to speak compared to lower down.   My main goal is people directly ahead of me so imbeding the lights behind the front cowl also apeals to me So you could find that spot and simply bore two nice round holes and place a wire grill over the holes with lights deep behind...?  I'll have to take the front grill off my spare to see whats behind everything to get a better idea if this is possible or even sensible...lol.
I do know a single light could make someone think you are a bike and that could be worse.....lol.

The ideal location is to replace the round lights with very powerful spots and have them triggered  using a relay and also send that triggered power wire through a switch on the dash so you can shut them off when you are using your normal headlights and IF you really needed them at night flick the switch back on as hi powered spots also!  They could also be triggered off couldn't they by another relay attached to your low beams and not use a switch...maybe???   But a switch would be ideal as then you can manually decide when they are used......so far the few times I have driven m ine at night the stock headlights seem perfectly fine.
The flat spots I was thinking of were the 4 inch versions of what you have, I have two mounted on my Rav4 and they work very well to accent the high beams.  They could sort of fit in the lower areas under the licence plate where the winter plug-in plug lives now.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

i didnt mount it exactly

 

the friction fit is enough to solidly keep it where it is without falling in deeper  ...and the little end brackets are positioned in a way that stops it from wiggling forward if someone tries to take it for themselves they wont be able too without taking the whole grill

 

it stayed exactly where ive put it for a few months now and we have really bad roads up here

 

i wasnt concerned about airflow...if it blocks some air flow in the winter im perfectly fine with that...in summer ive always had 3 blobs...that never changed after the light was there...the only interference issue i had was that i needed to bend my airhorns down a bit so the light wasnt forcing them into the rad

Edited by LooseLugNuts

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What Wattage is that light...?  Get it wired up and lets have a look see at it from a distance....lol.   

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On ‎14‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 5:24 PM, LooseLugNuts said:

 it would be a effective daytime running light as well until some barney fife cop gives a ticket for using non-standard light

 

Back in the beginning of daytime running lights, Cdn. Tire and other auto supply stores sold little 2½" round white lights similar to a truck clearance light and drivers were encouraged to install them in the middle of the grille on their cars to "update" their cars to the new and exciting world of DRL's.

Location of the lights across the front of the car shouldn't be an issue.  Just make sure they are either white or orange/yellow.  Any other colour and Barney might get a little bent out of shape.

 

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