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Old 02-14-2020, 12:40 PM   #1
dschwartz
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Default 6 Volt dim headlights

I have a restored 40 ford coupe with dim 6 volt head lights. How can I get them brighter?
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

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Originally Posted by dschwartz View Post
I have a restored 40 ford coupe with dim 6 volt head lights. How can I get them brighter?
Dan, first check all your grounds. There is a ground that goes from the headlight plug to the headlight bucket. Make sure it's a good clean ground. As a test also run a ground from the bucket to the frame. Often with a new restoration paint and the gaskets between the bucket and the fender cannot make a proper ground for the lights.
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:20 PM   #3
19Fordy
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

Do they make 6V halogens or LEDs?
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

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Do they make 6V halogens or LEDs?
6 volt halogen sealed beams can be found on e-Bay.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:27 PM   #5
Alaska Jim
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

There are 6 possible reasons for dim headlamps. being 6 volt has nothing to do with it. 1. bad grounds ( dirty, corroded, or bad contact with bare metal due to paint) 2. wrong size battery cables. 6 volt cables need to be of a heavier gauge than a 12 volt cable. 3. a bad or incorrectly operating generator. 4. Bad, or incorrectly adjusted voltage regulator. 5. Bad, or low charged Battery. 6. loose generator belt. also be sure to run a ground from the body to the frame and a ground from the frame to the engine, and the battery ground cable to the engine . also on the grounds, if the headlamp bucket is painted , it may not be grounding, run a ground straight from the bucket to an unpainted metal area and see if it makes a difference
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

Also be sure the charging rate is set high enough. I assume the bulbs and reflectors are in good shape?
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

If you follow these tips, you will find that your lights will be bright. No need to go to 12 volts, or to install Halogens (which take a lot of power).

That being said, I would be interested if someone came out with a set of reasonably priced 6 volt positive ground sealed beam LED's.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

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If you follow these tips, you will find that your lights will be bright. No need to go to 12 volts, or to install Halogens (which take a lot of power).

That being said, I would be interested if someone came out with a set of reasonably priced 6 volt positive ground sealed beam LED's.
Haven't seen LED sealed beams during my search, cost would be a large factor, then no demand since I don't think any new cars use sealed beams, but here is a viable alternative with a U-tube video thrown in for viewing. You probably already saw this though.

I was looking for 4" lens housings, to replace my fog lights, that you could change the bulbs to LED's, so far no luck.

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...22#post1796222
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

I ain't holding my breath on these. Even if they did come out, they'd probably look weird anyway.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:35 PM   #10
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

Measure the voltage at the bulbs, compare to battery voltage--- it won't matter what bulbs you have in the electricity is not getting there

A 6 volt car (Packard)that I work on came with every type bulb, all were dim, only 4.5 volts making it to the lights. kept tracing back and found the loss at the ammeter, it had rusty nuts, replaced them, now all lights bright
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

7" headlights with H4 and curved glass is around...6v H4 is a step up but not big enough to replace a working sealed beam.
Every LED H4 i´ve seen this far hasn´t had a correct beam pattern that would pass our inspection here...and cost a fair amount of money.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

check all ground ,had same problem on my 53 f-100 ,ground was loose , I also have 6 volt halogen headlights
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:18 AM   #13
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

Had the same problem on my '39 with sealed beam replacements. On this one, only the right side was dim. Thought the bulb was bad, so bought a new one....same result!! So, went after the ground issue....Voila!!!...problem solved.

Hope you fix is that simple!!
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

An easy fix to dim headlights on a Ford is to make sure all or the wiring/grounds are clean and tight. Add a GM style headlight relay into the headlight wiring. The headlight switch will activate the relay, then full power goes from the relay to the headlights. Conventional 6v headlights will be amazingly bright.
When I converted the headlights on my '36 from the original reflector/bulb type, I used '40 Chevy headlight pods/wiring, eliminating the original Ford column mounted switch. When I removed the '40 Chevy headlight pods in 1961/62 in favor of original 36 pods I retained the Chevy wiring and relay.

Ya know the old saying, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'..
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

Make sure your ground points are clean and tight. Also make sure all the wiring connections are clean and tight. If all of the wiring and grounds are good and you are not happy with the brightness look for Wagner number 6006H headlamp. that is a 6 volt halogen sealed beam. i am running these on my 53 Courier.
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:15 AM   #16
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

Your lights are dim? mine are candles of course I don't go out in the dark but my 1923
Ford will blind you 6vts too. Ok We all know about the grounding. We all know about
charging and healthy battery. I don't remember if a 1940 has a terminal board left
inner fender but my 46 does. So on this board I found my high & low candles and jumped
from the battery each one and the sealed beams went from yellow to bright white. Only
means the headlight switch power is sick, the power from switch to dimmer switch is sick or the dimmer foot switch or the wires to this terminal board needs help. No doubt
all these years switches get green contacts or so. A little OT make you feel better. My
father when everything was 6vts was the first 'road rage'r ' High beams on his rear
mirror he pulls over then gets right on the guys bumper and high beams him while my
mother is having melt down while he's mumbling *(b##*tard) * LOL I'm just saying
they were bright then and no reason not for now. And after the war many cars got
headlight relays maybe a band aid but worked well. Think I'll get one. sam
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:03 PM   #17
Adam/Mill Valley CA
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

In the 14 years I've owned my '36 pickup,I had never driven it at night, due to the dim headlights; it has the original headlamps, 6V positive ground, three brush generator.This was a particular problem in winter since it gets dark so early which would limit travel destination. , I finally decided to do something about it. Checking the grounds did not help, clearly the problem was the voltage drop in the switch at the bottom of the steering column. There was an excellent post from about 2015 by JSeery (also with input from supereal) about setting up high and low beam relays on a compact board, including a wiring diagram. This made it an easy one day project, and the light output was dramatically improved. I used heavy duty 6 volt Cole Hersee solenoids (from dbelectrical.com,#24039), and original type wiring/connectors from Brillman Company. To get an even better light, I used high output LED bulbs from classicautobulbs.com (2330 P15-d-30), these have the APF (American Prefocus) base like the original bulb, draw only 1.14 amps on high beam, 1000 lumens light output, and a decent beam pattern with the original lenses. I would say the light output now is comparable to my '65 Mustang with halogen sealed beam headlights-not spectacular but reasonably good-enough for SF Bay Area traffic, which is very heavy. Many thanks to JSeery and supereal, also petehoovie who posted the link for the LED bulb source.
Adam
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:03 PM   #18
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

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Originally Posted by Adam/Mill Valley CA View Post
In the 14 years I've owned my '36 pickup,I had never driven it at night, due to the dim headlights; it has the original headlamps, 6V positive ground, three brush generator.This was a particular problem in winter since it gets dark so early which would limit travel destination. , I finally decided to do something about it. Checking the grounds did not help, clearly the problem was the voltage drop in the switch at the bottom of the steering column. There was an excellent post from about 2015 by JSeery (also with input from supereal) about setting up high and low beam relays on a compact board, including a wiring diagram. This made it an easy one day project, and the light output was dramatically improved. I used heavy duty 6 volt Cole Hersee solenoids (from dbelectrical.com,#24039), and original type wiring/connectors from Brillman Company. To get an even better light, I used high output LED bulbs from classicautobulbs.com (2330 P15-d-30), these have the APF (American Prefocus) base like the original bulb, draw only 1.14 amps on high beam, 1000 lumens light output, and a decent beam pattern with the original lenses. I would say the light output now is comparable to my '65 Mustang with halogen sealed beam headlights-not spectacular but reasonably good-enough for SF Bay Area traffic, which is very heavy. Many thanks to JSeery and supereal, also petehoovie who posted the link for the LED bulb source.
Adam
My experience with LEDs has not been as good. I suspect you are lucky and have found an LED bulb that sits at or close to the focal point of the reflector and hence you get a close to correct beam pattern. I've tried several LED bulbs , including the same source as you in my 34 and could never get an acceptable beam pattern when tested on a calibrated machine. I would have sworn that there was more light but proper testing revealed it was unfocused light and was going everywhere but on the road where it should be -Karl
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:19 PM   #19
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

I would also recommend installing a 6V headlight relay as this takes all the stress off the old wiring/headlight switch and also ensures maximum current/voltage is delivered to the headlights thus maximizing performance. I have done this with my original '41 coupe with Halogen bulbs in semi-sealed beam units and the headlights are comparable or even better than some later model 12V headlights, definitely no real need to go 12 volts, if everything else is up to scratch of course.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:42 PM   #20
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Default Re: 6 Volt dim headlights

If you are not wanting to keep it 100% original, relays are a good option.
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