I have discussed this in another post and adressed some of the misunderstandings with regard legality of these HID kits.
I have ever since had a deep dislike of 'projector' lenses and regard them as another triumph of style over function.
I actually design automotive lights, and have to agree with you on this one. Projector units were meant to be a 'cheap' modular option for headlamp design that would allow low design, development & tooling costs for new headlamps. Aimed really at low volume vehicles where often the economies of scale do not allow the £1 million required to design & tool up a bespoke headlamp. They have never performed aswell as a standard reflector unit, however stylists used them to take the opportunity to reduce the frontal size of the headlamps to the point where a reflector couldn't perform and now we seem to be stuck with them.
I just fitted a set of non standard and highlty illegal bulbs to mini
I think bulbs are normally 55W Dipped beam
Mine are 100W
makes all the difference. Got em of the internet somewhere. Probably end up melting the wiring harness but hey ok for now
Well yeah, each 55W bulb will draw 4.5-5A depending on your alternator. A 110W bulb 9-10A each!!! Thats 20A all the time your headlamps are on. I hope your alternator is in tip top condition because as soon as you turn on th AC it's really going to start struggling. Seriously though, you will probably find that the extra heat will burn off the top lacquer on the reflector and then oxidise the aluminium coating pretty quickly, leaving you with even less light output than the standard bulbs. Only option then is to buy complete new headlamps.
GTV dipped headlights are woeful... I have put xenon bulbs in (the 60% brighter one) but they don't materially extend the range.
Monty, the range of a headlamp is govened by the aim, not the amount of light. In fact too much light close to the car can infact be worse than correctly aimed lamps that are a bit dimmer. The problem is that your iris 'shutters down' to the high intensity and you can no longer see the parts of the road further away from you. The more even (though lower level) illumination of a correctly aimed set of lamps will actually allow you to see further.
Got a mechanic to check the adjustment last time it went in. I guess it's a relative thing as my last car had a much better dipped 'throw' distance.
Again, the range is governed by the aim. If you open your bonnet you should see a little sticker on the cross member with the dip beam symbol and 1%. This means that the lamps should be aimed 1% down from horizontal. That means that for every metre of range the aim will drop 1cm (over 10m, the cut-off will be 10cm down from horizontal- infact this is the principal that we use to set up test cars when assessing lamps). Therefore the maximum range is governed by the height of the lamps above the ground. Most cars have their headlamps mounted about 600mm above the ground, so an aim of 1% down will give a range of 60m. I think you will find that on a GTV the mounting height is somewhat less than this, hence a reduced range.
Take off the rubber boot sealing the low beam bulb holder at the rear of the unit. Poke a finger around the outside of the reflector. There is a metal lever that adjusts a metal "deflector" up or down in front of the bulb. This thin plate (which I call the deflector) may have sagged, as it is mounted "upside down", blocking to much light before it reached the lens. How do I know? My LH low beam light's lens was "smoked up" on the inside. Succeeded to split the unit and the frons lens by removing the clips and then heating it up with a hot air gun. (Seemed the bulb fitting overheated, probably due to a bad connection in the holder, giving off slight smoke inside the unit.) I cleaned the lenses on the inside and moved the deflector out of the way as much as possible. This, and an adjustment of the headlights, restored much of the vision at night.
I was not aware that there was a 'Dover-Calais' lever in the headlamp (it is a device that allows the inclined part of the beam to be occluded when driving cars on the opposite side of the highway, as when crossing the English channel between England & France) If there is indeed such a device it may well have dropped, possibly if the lamp has had a large shock. I will have a look at my lamps to see if there is indeed a dover calais lever present. It maybe part of the RHD variant as I believe that in SA you also drive on the same side as we do.
For anybody trying to improve the performance of your headlamps there are some easy things you can do without resorting to major expense.
- Make sure they are kept clean. It is amasing how much light dirt will absorb.
- Make sure they are aimed correctly. Find a flat, level piece of ground with a wall to shine the lamps onto. Position the car with the headlamps 10m from the wall. Measure the height above ground of the centre of the lens. Mark a level on the wall 10cm less that the height of the lamp. Aim the horizontal part of the beam to this line.
- Clean your windscreen
If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.