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  • Round headlamp Avanti

    I would do only one thing to change a round headlamp Avanti........I would replace the factory headlamp assy with that of a late model Jeep that has 7 inch round headlamps.

    Can anyone say:..........."man I can really see ahead of myself"

    PS.........On my '64 I replaced the standard bulbs with sealed beam Halogens..........still leaves much to be desired:-(

  • #2
    Two things are probably at play here. One is that the majority of halogen sealed beams in this form factor use a wimpy 35 watt low beam, which in some cases actually puts out less light than the standard tungsten low beam; high beams are the opposite. Also, most modern sealed beams are much more sloppily constructed than stuff from an earlier day. An exception was the GE Nighthawk line, which were skookum, and featured a 55 watt low beam... sadly, GE sold off its automotive lighting division a few years back, and everything they (as well as Philips, Wagner, and Sylvania) have their name on is made by Eiko, overseas. The less said about those, the better.

    Next, what is the voltage drop on you headlight circuit? Incandescent/halogen output drops exponentially with voltage. All manufacturers skimped on wiring; a drop of 1.2v (not uncommon) will drop your headlights to 70% of their rated output.

    Though I'm fairly hardcore into keeping my vehicles stock, there are lots of options for superior lighting in a sealed beam form factor. Daniel Stern Lighting has some 7" (PAR 56) Cibie headlamps that use an H4 bulb, and look pretty decent. I have driven with these, and they're awesome. Will also leave the modern Jeep lights in the weeds. There are also JW Speaker LED lamps, which will give you lighting that is as good as or better than most new cars. They look terribly out of place on a vintage car, though. Both of these options require no hacking up of your Avanti's bodywork. The Speakers also wouldn't ask for beefier wiring, as their output remains the same with a wide range of input voltage.
    Whirling dervish of misinformation.

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    • #3
      I've used LEDs in composite housings. looked stock.
      Bez Auto Alchemy
      573-318-8948
      http://bezautoalchemy.com


      "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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      • #4
        Just did a quick search, and came up with these housings.
        United Pacific A5023-3 Headlight With Replaceable H4 Bulb, 7 Inch (speedwaymotors.com)
        Bez Auto Alchemy
        573-318-8948
        http://bezautoalchemy.com


        "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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        • #5
          Get the LED tail lamp setup and then people behind you can see you when it’s foggy.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 64V19816 View Post
            Get the LED tail lamp setup and then people behind you can see you when it’s foggy.
            I have seen stated that doing that will "melt" the plastic covers;-(

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            • #7
              Halogen bulbs might LEDs no. They produce very little heat. Even Cree LEDs are much, much cooler than incandescent bulbs.
              Bez Auto Alchemy
              573-318-8948
              http://bezautoalchemy.com


              "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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              • #8
                It was a dark and stormy night. Years ago, on our way home we were caught in a rainstorm in the Avanti. I couldn't see a thing! Wimpy headlights and fogged up covers left me with little idea where we were. Did manage to glimpse a motel sign which we were so very happy to see. Grateful to escape with our lives and our car intact! The moral is either never drive after sundown or do something with those ridiculous headlights. Anything you'd do would be an improvement. Halogens are brighter but hot; would their heat defog those covers? LED's are great but would they be any better with fogged up headlight covers?

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                • #9
                  If they are fogging up, you have a leak in the gasket, or don't have the little wick in the hole in the bottom of the housing.
                  Bez Auto Alchemy
                  573-318-8948
                  http://bezautoalchemy.com


                  "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                  • #10
                    I worked at JW Speaker and was one of the "line" personnel that worked with engineering to develop the LED's for Harley Davidson. Those were some awesome lights and when we moved down here to Florida eight years ago the company was against making led's for automotive use. They have since changed their thinking and now make some terrific lights for all of us to use. Pricey, but very good units. Bill

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                    • #11
                      Every Avanti up until 1984 has round headlights, however many years had square headlight surrounds. Sometimes when we say round headlight, we are only referring to the 1963 and early 1964 Avanti. I just felt like putting that out there.
                      sigpic
                      In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jeffry Cassel View Post
                        Halogens are brighter but hot; would their heat defog those covers? LED's are great but would they be any better with fogged up headlight covers?
                        No. That condensation will stop a powerful beam of light dead in its tracks... and it will be re-dispatched everywhere but the places you need to see. I haven't done any headlight work on a car with separate glass covers, but those should be sealed up enough to stay dry without the heat from a headlamp. Every vintage car I've been around has inadequate wiring for the headlights; most other circuits also have the minimum to just barely get the job done- and that's when everything is shiny and new. If you're using incandescent/halogen lighting, huge improvements can be made by using a harness with relays and larger gauge wire and to make a more direct path from alternator to headlights. I'm in the process of building a harness for my daily driver (an older Chevy truck), while trying to keep it looking as close to stock as I can. I have an average 2.5 volt or more drop through the factory wiring, which is the difference between bright and brownout.

                        Whirling dervish of misinformation.

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                        • #13
                          On my 63 Avanti, I installed relays and replaced the undersized 18 gauge wiring to the headlights with 14 gauge wire along with installing halogen bulbs. Those modifications made a big improvement in the headlight brightness. Bud
                          Last edited by Bud; 04-03-2021, 04:38 AM.

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                          • #14
                            With LED lighting you do not need to add anything to the wiring plus you get better lighting. It's a a win-win situation. Adding circuits to the wiring has been the bane of every auto restorer in existence. There is nothing worse than looking under the hood or dash to see some "owner" has cobbled up something that they think would improve things. Then they usually put the connectors together with twisted wire, and tape, or wire nuts. Of course if someone is still stuck in old technology and insists on high current drawing halogen lighting, then of course they should use proper upgrades. Just remember for every power circuit on a fiberglass car requires an additional ground.
                            Bez Auto Alchemy
                            573-318-8948
                            http://bezautoalchemy.com


                            "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                            • #15
                              I used these Cibie Biode headlamps on both my Avanti and my GT Hawk. With proper wiring/relay upgrades as mentioned, I have 460 watts on high beam and 260 Watts on low beam. Night time driving is better than daytime as you can see animals at extremely great distances. Unfortunately I don't do all that much night driving like I used to.

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