View Full Version : TR4/4A Headlight Upgrade for TR4A

12-17-2007, 03:58 PM
I am interested in upgrading my headlights and have decided on halogens. Here are my main requirements:

1. 60/55W bulb
2. the new lights assemblies fit within the stock headlight buckets
3. I do not want to upgrade to an alternator (at least this year)

Cibie, Hella, and Wipac offer H4 halogens at varying prices through various vendors

Whatever lights I choose, I am planning on using the Advanced Auto Wire headlight harness (https://www.advanceautowire.com/).

Has anyone already done this conversion and would be able to offer any advice and pointers on what are good headlights, especially regarding my 3 requirements above?


12-17-2007, 04:46 PM
Any of those will be a vast improvement over the stock headlights. I went with the Cibie (now Valeo) and was happy with them. Fit perfectly in the original buckets (unlike some of the cheap knockoffs found on eBay).

Your stock generator should be fine with the 60/55 H4 bulbs, as long as you don't make a lot of short trips at night, or a lot of driving with the headlights, heater and wipers on. But I upgraded many years ago, when both of the above were true for me.

12-17-2007, 06:00 PM
May I suggest 55/100. Nothing wrong with lots of light when needed!

12-17-2007, 06:08 PM
Actually there is one problem ... with 100w filaments and the stock generator, the battery will run down when driving with high beams on. (Well, run down faster anyway.) And with the lower system voltage, likely there won't be much more light on the road.

Geo Hahn
12-17-2007, 06:39 PM
I know zip about headlamps but FWIW -- I used the Sylvania Silverstar, 65/55W (purchased from Amazon). Guess I wouldn't want to land a 747 with them but they are so much whiter & brighter than originals that they seem good to me.

They fit the buckets perfectly, I am using a generator and have not noticed any untoward battery drain (though I do not do a lot of night driving).

12-17-2007, 06:52 PM
Randall- The 4 still uses a gen?
Had a 66 Cortina and my gen kept up fine with the 100's and I never used a relay .

12-17-2007, 06:55 PM
About every LBC I've ever owned got a set of Cibies or Hellas to replace sealed beams, along with either halogen bulbed Lucas or Cibie Oscars as driving lights as soon as it could be done. Most were generator cars and had no problem keeping the battery up. I'd drive regularly thru the night on 800+ mile weekends (Newport News to Pittsburgh and back). Currently have Hellas in the Alfa and Benz but they have them new-fangled "alternators" in 'em. /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/jester.gif

12-17-2007, 07:47 PM
Randall- The 4 still uses a gen?Yup. Uprated by a whopping 2 amps from the 19 amp version the TR3 had, but still a generator. TR's didn't get an alternator until the 6-banger came in, in 68. (And then it was pretty wimpy.)<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]Had a 66 Cortina and my gen kept up fine with the 100's and I never used a relay . [/QUOTE]Not having the relay may be the reason why /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif ... they draw less power if they don't get full voltage. And IMO, more voltage to the headlights (which means more light on the road) is the main reason for adding relays.

The TRs are also hampered by an overly crude (IMO) regulator design. Since it has only 2 bobbins, the voltage set point goes down as you draw more current through it; giving you the choice of overcharging when the headlights are off or discharging when they are on. (Proper adjustment is a just a little bit of each.)

12-18-2007, 12:26 AM
Have Cibie's in my TR6 and had them in my Cortina. Will upgrade my TR8 to them in due time. Loved the light pattern from those lenses. /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/thumbsup.gif

12-18-2007, 03:46 AM
I've always had them in just about every car I've had. Now that I'm in Denmark (since 93) that's just about all they have here. As in previous posts, problem is that when using the old type generator, there just isn't enough current available to keep the voltage up to keep the lights bright.

I would strongly suggest switching to an alternator. I put one on my Land Rover many years ago, Delco I believe. It was just a few dollars from the scrap yard and I just made a mounting system. I was very glad to get rid of the stupid generator. The BE doesn't have one yet, but I haven't driven the car since the early 80's.

And though I hate the generators, I like the looks of the regulator. I think I'll take an old regulator and use the case for some electronic goodies in the BE, like maybe MegaJolt.

12-18-2007, 10:15 AM
I agree about the alternator. I changed to an alt. added the advance wire headlight circuit and now have excellent lighting at night. The alt. improved all of the cars lighting to include the brakes/rears and the dash panel. The wiring in the car is stock but new other than the advance wire kit (excellent and easy to put in).
Donn, I gutted my 3's regulator (old and broken) and used it as a wiring point for the alt. and other wires. I store points/condensor etc. within the empty box.

Who's a reasonable source for Cibies?

12-18-2007, 02:52 PM
I also went with the Silver Stars and am quite happy.
I used to run Cibies in an old 510 and loved them as well.
I think I will wait out a retrofit Mercedes et al blue Euro set up or LED's when they become more practical and affordable.