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    Thread: Pseudo Double Barrel H4 Modification - 60/55 to 115/55

    1. #1
      Jai Radhe Maa
       
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      Pseudo Double Barrel H4 Modification - 60/55 to 115/55

      Before I begin, let me start with a disclaimer: This modification most probably will kill your bulbs and headlight housings prematurely. Running two filaments at once will cause the bulbs to run hotter, and lead to heat related side effects. This is the same as running higher wattage bulbs in stock headlight housings. So if you find your headlights retaining moisture and / or bulbs burning out quicker, I will not be held responsible. This DIY is about extracting the most out of a H4 setup to simulate a double barrel setup without adding too much complication or load to the electrical system.


      With that out of the way...

      I always hated my OHC headlights functionally. No matter what I tried, the lighting always seemed inadequate. I've tried all sorts of wattages, and technologies and every single one of those ended up sucking. I figured this was because:

      1. The "open reflector" [for the lack of a more accurate description] design was not meant for high speed night driving.
      2. Barrel type housings do a better job of focusing the light output.
      3. Most importantly, the H4 design forces the user to choose between spread [low] and throw [high], but doesn't give you both at the same time.
      This is where double barrel designs with individual bulbs for low and high beams excel. On Low beam, only one circuit is active, but on High beam, both circuits are active, thereby providing both spread and throw at once.
      The same is accomplished to a certain extent in H4 setups by using Aux lights to provide spread while High beam is active.

      What I wanted to do was to achieve the double barrel effect without adding Aux lights and stuff, but extracting the most out of what already existed from the factory. I was also certain that this would work nicely because if I held the headlight switch in the "Flash" position, where both circuits are simultaneously active, it would make things much better. The only problem being I that could not lock the switch in that position.

      So I decided to create a one way bridge between the High and Low circuits.

      Here is a simplistic schematic of the stock setup:

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      My first thought was to add a diode between the two circuits like so:

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      The problem here is that when High beam is active, Low beam is powered by the same wire that carries current for High, and the designated Low beam wire does nothing. This is liable to place load on the High beam circuit and probably burn out the wire. Not good.


      The next solution was use a relay instead of a diode, with the low power side of the relay being powered by the High beam circuit, and using the high power side pf the relay to power the Low beam circuit. This places negligible additional load on the High wiring while providing a safe path for the Low beam current.

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      With the choice of solutions decided upon, the fun bit was to implement it elegantly. That meant:
      1. Keep it stealthy
      2. Keep the footprint small
      3. Don't cut any stock wires

      This is the result:

      Click image for larger version. 

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      I used a relay and coupler from a wiring harness I had lying around. Next, I stripped the ends of the wires, keeping the exposed wire long enough to properly slide into the factory coupler's spade terminal for a proper lock. The rest of the wire was routed through some blank holes in the coupler that seemed to exist for this very purpose. If these blank spots did not exist, It would have been a major pain to get the coupler to lock properly in place. Thank you Honda.
      The end result is total stealth.

      After this, once I fixed my long pending headlight alignment, the results are absolutely stunning. I did a night drive from Bangalore to Rajahmundry via the dual carriageway via Mulbaggal and Palamaneru, and was able to easily keep speeds above 100 through the twisties without having to squint and strain my eyes. Never before have I had such stress free driving on a dual carriageway at night.
      What makes the whole thing sweeter is the fact that 60/55 bulbs are performing better than 100/90 and at par with 120/100 without requiring additional wiring clutter in the engine bay. Technically, this isn't 60/55 anymore, but 115/55, with the difference being that the 115W is distributed between spread and throw, unlike a conventional 120/100 setup where you get 120W of throw and 0 spread.

      What remains to be seen is how the additional heat is going to affect the bulbs and housings. Whenever I find out, I will update this thread.

    2. #2
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      Heat is a killer - Please carry spare bulbs with you.

      I don't think anything will happen to the reflector considering you are sticking to 60/55s - your bulb life may get halved (or worse) though.
      A closed mouth gathers no feet.

    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by kb100 View Post
      Heat is a killer - Please carry spare bulbs with you.
      Already am.

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      Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
      Already am.

      And time for a change of signature!
      A closed mouth gathers no feet.

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by kb100 View Post
      And time for a change of signature!
      I like the centipede.

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      Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
      I like the centipede.
      Put a bunch of diodes or resistors together and make it go horizontal will ya? Change!
      A closed mouth gathers no feet.

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      My Santro had this issue where the high beam and low beam used to get switched in simultaneously and sometimes in my new honda city. But the throw and spread used to be beautiful. Carry 2 pairs of spares at every time
      Pioneer P99RS | Sinfoni Amplitude 120.4X | Sinfoni Allegro | Soundstream D200 | DLS A6 | Hiqphon OW II | Exodus Anarchy | AP RAM 3 | JBL GTi 12 Mkii| Polycab 1 gauge:) | Street Wires ZN9 RCA's

      Something new is Coming!!

    8. #8

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      007,

      Firstly thanks for introducing me the concept of pseudo-upgrades . Since I am not from a engineering background, I will ask my brother to help me out with your diagram.

      That said, I would like some serious feedback from you on one matter which I have learnt from experience:

      - Karnataka and to some extent Tamil Nadu's roads are much much better laid out than most states I have visited.
      - When I was on my way back from chennai to MH, I observed that overall, the road was reflecting the light from my 100/90 setup much more (comparatively speaking), than the roads I encounter in MH.
      - Few years back, when I was experimenting with headlamp upgrades, I realized that beyond a point the upgrade is pretty useless even from a vision point of view (i.e. even if I were to consider that the life of my reflectors, bulbs would be reduced). A 100/90 setup soon seems like your 60/55 setup, and a 120/xx (I forget now) seemed like a 100/90 or less after a few days. In my car, I observed that the 100/90 was the best and most balanced setup for me.
      - My theory is that a good reflector design can actually give better result even from a 60/55 setup as mandated by the law. My New Fiesta's stock lights are as good as the 100/90 setup in other cars at home. This was something that immediately drew my attention.
      - Now, no matter how powerful your headlamps, if you were to drive on the dual carriageways here in MH, at least to me, the upgrade 'feels' useless.
      - There are a lot of sections here where the white reflector line on the side of the road isn't present, and lane markings are faded. Add to this, the tarmac doesn't really reflects the light. Now add the glare of opposite lane vehicles to this whole scenario, and I soon felt that these headlamp upgrades aren't justified.
      - I have driven some german luxury sedans on these stretches as well, which are equipped with factory fitted xenons, and I can honestly say that even they don't help much in 'low' beam mode compared to the normal halogen setup. High beam is a different ball game.
      - Come drive in bombay, which has some really well lit up roads, and I am sure your upgrade will not really help.

      Do you share the same view as mine, or do you differ? If you do differ, can you explain why so?

      The best solution to these problems according to me is to fit in the hella rally headlamps in front of the car. What say?

      Thanks,
      Simple_car
      Last edited by Simple_car; 20th Dec 2014 at 02:34.

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      Nice work there 007. The M800 comes with this setup from the factory. It would be nice to have it in our cars as well.

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      Karnataka and to some extent Tamil Nadu's roads are much much better laid out than most states I have visited.
      The Karnataka roads I've driven on aren't too great. But I've been told that some other roads are quite nice. The KA roads I've seen are built by people with a fetish for speed humps. TN roads, however, are pretty damn good.


      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      - When I was on my way back from chennai to MH, I observed that overall, the road was reflecting the light from my 100/90 setup much more (comparatively speaking), than the roads I encounter in MH.
      Not really sure. Might have something to do with the material used to lay the road.


      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      - Few years back, when I was experimenting with headlamp upgrades, I realized that beyond a point the upgrade is pretty useless even from a vision point of view (i.e. even if I were to consider that the life of my reflectors, bulbs would be reduced). A 100/90 setup soon seems like your 60/55 setup, and a 120/xx (I forget now) seemed like a 100/90 or less after a few days. In my car, I observed that the 100/90 was the best and most balanced setup for me.
      Yeah. You do get used to it, especially when each one of the upgrades is as inadequate as the other. The inadequacy is because the additional power is not channeled correctly. So even if you have a 120W high beam, you have a blind spot as far as spread goes. So the difference gets pretty old pretty quick.


      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      - My theory is that a good reflector design can actually give better result even from a 60/55 setup as mandated by the law. My New Fiesta's stock lights are as good as the 100/90 setup in other cars at home. This was something that immediately drew my attention.
      Absolutely. I love the barrel type design and even more than that, the double barrel design. I am envious of cars that come with nice headlight designs from the factory. Unfortunately, there is no way to retrofit such setups on older headlights reasonably.


      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      - Now, no matter how powerful your headlamps, if you were to drive on the dual carriageways here in MH, at least to me, the upgrade 'feels' useless.
      The lesser said about MH dual carriageways, the better. I still have nightmares about my drives from Sholapur to Pune. When you are assaulted by high beams from the other direction, all your fancy lighting goes out the window. Even more so when you are sitting low like in an OHC. To me, a regular low beam coming from the other direction looks like a high beam. Nothing I can do about it.


      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      - There are a lot of sections here where the white reflector line on the side of the road isn't present, and lane markings are faded. Add to this, the tarmac doesn't really reflects the light. Now add the glare of opposite lane vehicles to this whole scenario, and I soon felt that these headlamp upgrades aren't justified.
      Very true. Glare from oncoming headlamps destroys everything.


      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      - I have driven some german luxury sedans on these stretches as well, which are equipped with factory fitted xenons, and I can honestly say that even they don't help much in 'low' beam mode compared to the normal halogen setup. High beam is a different ball game.
      Not really sure. Low beams are probably deliberately weak so as to not blind oncoming traffic.


      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      - Come drive in bombay, which has some really well lit up roads, and I am sure your upgrade will not really help.
      On well lit roads, you don't really need headlights of any kind.


      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      The best solution to these problems according to me is to fit in the hella rally headlamps in front of the car. What say?
      I hate those things, especially on street cars. You might as well paint a giant bull's eye on the car. Cops will screw your happiness, vandals will try to steal your shit, you will have to mutilate your bumper to fix them properly, and not to mention, most cars with big fog lamps sticking out the front just look super ***. Even if you are fine with all this, what percentage of driving time do you think you will be *actually* using the fog lamps? Totally not worth it, in my opinion.
      I like light bars better, because of their low profile and power draw.

      This DIY is all about bang for buck, where you get the most output using the least amount of equipment.

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