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Question H4 Headlight upgrade

I've read a little about the H4 headlight upgrade and it only talks about 1965-86 cars. Does the '87 911 already have halogen bulbs?
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Old 09-12-2003, 08:15 AM
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Cool

my brother's '88 came stock with the sealed lens halogen.. yours probably does also.. check it out.. then do a search for big info here on this BB
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Old 09-12-2003, 08:20 AM
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'87 Carreras' stock headlights are H5's and they SUCK compared to H4's. My H4's were the best upgrade I did to my Carrera - such a HUGE improvement. My 993's lights aren't even that good.
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Old 09-12-2003, 08:29 AM
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Traveler,
Yes you may have a Halogen Sealed beam light, but it is a completely diff animal than an H4. These are higher powered and allow you to replace just the bulb (in any power you wish!). I did this upgrade to my SC and it was night and day (literally!). Pretty easy upgrade!
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Old 09-12-2003, 08:45 AM
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Actually, on an '87 I think you'll have to buy those 3-prong plug adaptors and wire them in. I did it in about 10 min. and for $10. This is also a good time to spring the $20 for the relays, so you can have hot bulbs and not fry your $100 and 2hr. R&R turn signal stalk.
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Old 09-12-2003, 08:55 AM
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Okay, so on the following page:
PelicanParts
What do I need to order. How do I know if I need to order the 3 prong plug adaptor? (I suppose I could pull the assemble and look for myself, couldn't I...Nah! that would be too easy.)
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:09 AM
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Look closely at the photo labeled Figure 12 in that tech article. You can see an orange plug going onto the 3 prongs of the back of the bulb. I don't think your '87 has those plugs. Mine didn't. I bough them at the local NAPA for $5 each. You splice them into the existing 3 wires coming out of the buckets. Then it's a very easy job.
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:13 AM
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I have H-4 option on my car. They're not sealed beam but you change the bulb inside the light. However they don't have the smooth flush slanted back lens. It has flat lenses inside the headlight ring. The upgrade is over $200. Can I do this any cheaper because I have factory H-4s in already? Are my lights just as bright as the upgraded H-4s sold by the host?
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:42 AM
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There seem to be two H-4 Upgrades:
Bosch


where you install Euro style lenses
and Hella


where you just repalce the sealed beam. Other than appearence, does any one know if one is brighter than the other?
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:50 AM
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Cool

brightness is determined by the bulb.. Optics is determined by the lens. Although I use Cibie Euro lens the main concern, IMHO, is that DOT lens, with the tits on the lens, sucks.
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:56 AM
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Brightness is going to be a function of the reflector quality and the bulb wattage. Oops. Ron beat me to it!

The European H4's are the popular choice because of the looks and they also incorporate a larger reflector and lens. When doing this upgrade, you would be wise to do a "while you're in there" and add relays to the system. It's not a matter of if, but when your headlight switch can fail. Especially if you use higher wattage than stock bulbs. The headlight switch has all the current of the lights running thru the switch itself and this is not as reliable as using the relays to carry the load of the headlight current.

I did this upgrade and I can say it is a worthwhile one to do. The standard headlights are pretty weak (other than the earlier cars using H1 assemblies) and the H5 lights, although nicely put together and very similar looking to the Euro H4, have a terrible light spread.

I went waaaaaay overboard and rewired everything beyond the fuse panel using marine grade Ancor wiring, crimp on heat shrink terminals, PVC wire sheathing, circuit breakers and Bosch relays. Got alot of my stuff (terminals, PVC, relays & sockets, circuit breakers, proper crimp tool......) from
Waytek Wire Inc. Great service and nice online catalog. Got my Ancor marine wire from Boat U.S. Marine Supply Co.

I did the complete rewiring because:

1. I wanted to retain the originality of the stock wiring in case I ever needed to reinstall the H5 lights.

2. Using 90W low, 100W high beams, the exisiting wiring is not sufficient to handle the higher wattage.

Took awhile to route, cut and pull all the wiring. Also took me a while to decide where to mount the relays. I used four of them and put them on the front trunk tub wall beneath the jack. Also made a new ground location dedicated to the relays alone.

So, after all of the above babble, I can say that my H4 upgrade rocks. The newlights are soooooooo much better than the H5 because I was able to make them brighter (albeit illegally) and the light spread of the H4 lenses is so much more crisp and well defined than the old setup. I've been meaning to make a tech. article but haven't had the time or motivation. Much thanks to RoninLB for his advice on supplies and recommendations.

I'll post some pictures later if anybody's interested how I did it. They're on the home PC.
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Last edited by KTL; 09-12-2003 at 11:17 AM..
Old 09-12-2003, 11:14 AM
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Here's a shot of mine:

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Old 09-12-2003, 11:18 AM
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Oh yeah, well here's mine.......... ;)

Here's mine with the black housing (because i'm Mr. Cheap-A$$ and don't wanna pay for the trim rings and have to have them painted)
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Old 09-12-2003, 11:48 AM
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oops

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Old 09-12-2003, 11:49 AM
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Hella H-4

I have the Hella H-4 lense (the flat headlight pictured in the post above) on my truck. They are a great lense and provide a much better pattern than standard DOT. Much cheaper than the Bosch option, not sure about performance comparison.

Gordo
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Old 09-12-2003, 12:22 PM
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The Hella H4 and Bosch H4 perform about the same. Don't like the Hella for a 911 because you retain the USA-spec "sugar-scoop" trim ring that funnels water into the headlight bucket...
---Wil Ferch
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Old 09-12-2003, 12:39 PM
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OK, call me thick but my car has body colored "trim rings" on the H5's, not chrome, not black. Can I retain these factory rings in doing an H4 conversion?
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Old 09-12-2003, 02:52 PM
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I am not positive, but on my euro H4s, the chrome trim ring seems to be attached. I would like to know if you can get replacements without replacing the entire assembly also because my chrome is pitted on one light. I think the answer will be no though.
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Old 09-12-2003, 03:00 PM
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Purry,
I just looked at my '87 Targa and it looks like all we will have to do is replace the bulb and, perhaps, the 3 prong plug adaptor. I plan on adding in the relay, too. I'm going to pull it apart this weekend and find out for sure.
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Old 09-12-2003, 03:01 PM
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On my '89, the H5 headlights have replaceable bulbs, but they are not the same as the H4 bulbs, nor is the rest of the headlight the same between the H4 and H5. So, Traveler, I think to get H4's on your '87 will require more than just a bulb replacement.

However, you might consider simply replacing your H5 bulbs with higher-power ones, adding relays to support the higher current, and cleaning the reflector and the inside of the lens. I did that, using 100/80w bulbs (from Pelican, around $20 each I think) and the Sucro relay kit ($25) and the improvement was dramatic. Don't know if it is as good as H4s, but it was more than good enough for me. If I want even more light, I'll replace the foglights with full-on illegally powerful driving lights.

Some tips:
- You should do the relays no matter what.
- The H5 bulb carrier is plastic and can overheat and melt into the plastic socket. You may encounter this when you go to remove the old bulbs. Use a sharp knife, possibly a small drill, to cut / pry / drill away the melted areas. Be patient and it will come apart without breaking the socket. You'll see that only a little bit was really melted together. Destroying the socket means replacing the whole headlight, to be avoided.
- The higher-wattage H5 bulbs would seem even more likely to melt to the socket. This made me avoid the 130/100w bulbs that are available. I am also assuming that my 100/80w may be the last set of bulbs I can ever put in the headlights.
- Clean the inside of the headlight by pouring in isopropyl alcohol and swishing it around. I didn't try the long Q-tip method because there is a fragile metal shield that might easily be bent.
- Be careful not to lose or cross-thread the screws that retain the headlight in the bucket. Easy to do.
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Old 09-13-2003, 08:43 AM
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