Half burn headlights

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Half burn headlights

Postby Doive » 17 Apr 2005, 00:08

I feel like experimenting again. Having crammed my brain full of useless information for the last month in an attempt to gain a degree, my engineering instincts are bursting to get out again. Driving home this evening in the dusky sun down light, visibility good enough to see well but I popped the sidelights on anyway. Cars coming with dipped lights on, I got flashed at every set of lights to put on my dips as well, but I didn't really think this necessary so I waited until later on when light levels started to affect visibility. Anyway, this leads me to consider the addition of the half burn feature as used by various manufacturers on their cars, such as BMW on my 525e.

The half burn system takes the form of a power resistor fitted in line with the dipped beam bulb and this is switched in by a relay when the sidelights are on with the engine running, the switch to dipped beam switching out the relay and so applying full current to the dipped bulbs - hence the term half burn. With the engine off she would revert to sidelights only. Of course as always any mods I make would be fully reversible with no original wiring cut. Does anyone think such a system would provide any benefits, or am I just looking for excuses to play with my car?!
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Postby supersport » 17 Apr 2005, 06:17

i get that with my MK1 fiesta! if other people didn't put there lights on at dusk, then i would be able to see where i was going, as would they! i can see perfectly well with my side lights on untill it gets dark
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Postby Neilyman » 17 Apr 2005, 07:20

Good idea Doive. I know it as Dim/Dip headlights though, for what it`s worth.
Go find a Mk2 Astra in the scrappy, the factory fitted dim/dip unit is situated below the radio din hole, it`s an allloy & tin box about the size of a ciggie packet. It`s clipped in & can be removed through radio slot. I used to have to drop them down the back of the dash, as the used to cause `proximity`interference to the early in-car CD players when the side lights were switched on! Maybe you could use one of these...it`s a Vauxhall part ;)

I also used to get Volvo owners wanting their sidelights putting on a switch instead of them coming on with the ignition. They were sick of people `flashing` them to tell them the lights were on during the day! :)

Them were the days.........we had to walk 24 miles to work in the snow in bare feet etc...... :P
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Postby hsr2.6 » 17 Apr 2005, 10:55

i think all cars should have this option,as you can see lights way before you can see the car and in daylight as well
rally drivers do it sideways.............well the quick ones do....................
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Postby Doive » 17 Apr 2005, 14:11

I think the daytime running lights on the Volvos are a daft idea. What is the point, on a hot summers day with the sun beating down and bubbling the tar, of having your headlights blazing away? I would guess that having headlights on puts additional strain on an engine, causing it to use more fuel for no returns at all. Why did the Volvo 340 not have this as standard?! Because they realised it was a stupid extra that nobody except the nutty scandinavians wanted. On the newest Volvos they are fitted with a switch for the daytime running lights.

I'm still liking the half burn idea. Neily, your suggestion is a good one, but you know me I like to build things from scratch! I don't recall the mk2 being fitted with this feature, but then I never paid much attention to them when they were around anyway so I'll take your word for it. Come to think of it, my flatmate's Metro has this fitted - I'll steal the necessary bits when he isn't looking. *Maniacal cackle*
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Postby chris(not) » 17 Apr 2005, 16:09

Don't think you'ld need to bother with relays- just use a big diode in series with a power resistor pointing from the sidelight circuit to the dipped headlight circuit. Come to think of it, no need for the diode really- if the headlights are on, so are the sidelights so you can't get current the wrong way. 'spose you might need to interlock with main beam perhaps if the extra power in the bulb with dim dip filaments on simultanously was a problem. Just talked back round to a relay, then.

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Postby Neilyman » 17 Apr 2005, 17:20

I had a `D`reg Mk2 Ashtray, that had dim/dips.
Cheaper idea.........Get 2 sidelight holders & bulbs from a F**D, & drill them into the back of your headlights, wire into side lights.
Or, & I can see Doive doing this.........a nice pair of `Angel eyes` from a new Beemer....look wicked on your orange Beastie! ;)
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Postby Doive » 17 Apr 2005, 23:04

Erm......I think the angel eye headlights looked great on the first E39s that had them, but then all the neds nicked them and stuck them on their saxos and novas, and now they just look stupid. Same story with Lexarse lights. One of the guys in the BMW Club has just fitted his E36 old shape 3 series coupe with a set of angel eyes headlights, they look superb if you forget you ever saw any of the neds with them fitted. There are also ones available for the mk4 Astra, you take the headlight apart and just glue these rings into the inside of the lens. Looks ridiculous - the BMW ones work because they are round headlights, whereas the astra etc definitely do not have round headlights. Ned logic at work.

Also on the idea of drilling holes in my nice new headlights for anything...... :shock:
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