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Discussion Starter #1
I finally got all the important stuff in for a conversion from the weak 9004 USA-spec headlamps to the European-spec H4 headlamps, including a new relayed wiring harness. The lamps I got were brand new OEM Hella lamps (not DEPO or other aftermarket crash-replacement imitations). I managed to find them on ebay.de sans mounting frames (but you can re-use the USA frames...same for USA vs. Euro). I thought this would be a good way to go (no frames and re-using the US ones), but in retrospect I'm not totally sure about that since I ended up having to source out a few other misc. parts as well.

Old and new lamps for comparison (right side E-code and left side USA)
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The parts and prices:

L and R Hella H4s for early T4, brand new, shipped from Germany to my door for $188.00.

Philips Xtreme Power +80% (so they say) H4 bulbs, 1 pair, from candlepower.com for $48 shipped to my door.

1 H4 relayed wiring harness and one male 9004 socket with pigtails from suvlights.com, $80 shipped to my door.

1 H4/USA sealed beam socket pigtail from my local FLAPS ($14), although the one I bought looks real nice but it's a ceramic high-temp one and is total overkill. The $3 plastic one will work just as well for where I used this.

The lamps arrived and while I was hoping for these to be included, they weren't (seller never said they were but I just assumed they might be...so I had to track these down):
1 pair of rubber caps (VW P/N 531941605A that go on the back of the lamps over the bulbs) and 1 pair of city light sockets (VW P/N 191941669A) from worldimpex.com, $58 shipped to my door.

Note that the city light socket, despite being correct for the T4, is a 191 number which is a Mk2, although when I searched I found other variations for the Mk2s and Mk1s where the city light socket had more generic spade connections (so you could probably find another Mk2 socket to use) but I wanted to keep it totally "correct".

Still waiting (not as important)...wiring plugs for the city light sockets (these use the typical 2-wire VW connector that has the metal clip around it)...$16 from rallylights.com (Susquehanna Motorsports) shipped to my door. I actually don't know if these are the right connectors but from the pic on their site they sure look right. They're for a Hella aftermarket lamp but they look just like the VW connectors and the price is good ($3.75 each plus shipping...many places are $7-11 per plug alone). You could go to a junkyard and snip off two of these from any junked 80s or 90s VW though. Since I'm still waiting on these, I'll cover the city light wiring in another post (so for now my e-codes have city lights but not hooked up).

So the total so far? This is a $400 venture for OEM Hella parts and upgraded wiring.

Can you get by with dropping in DEPO units for a little less than 1/2 that price? Yeah, probably. But you could potentially have inferior copycat lamps, ones not made quite as well as the Hellas, and you'd still have old VW wiring and voltage loss without a new harness.

Anyway, on to the install.

1. Put the radiator in the service position (unbolt the four 10mm bolts and carefully pull it up and out on top of the bumper).

2. Remove the two screws (8mm) that hold the panel under the headlamps. The panel then unsnaps from the end by the fender (although these tend to hold on rather tightly).
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Repeat the above step for the other side.

3. Remove the headlamp from the vehicle. Undo the four 8mm screws (two top, two bottom) and pull the headlamp and corner lamp from the car as one. Disconnect the headlamp wiring connector and remove the corner lamp socket/bulb on the way out.
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Repeat the above step for the other side.

Your van should now look something like this:
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4. Remove the corner lamp. It unclips via a tab (use a screwdriver) from the top and slides forward off of the headlamp frame. You might want to have a helper give you a hand here. I fumble-thumbed it while trying to pop it off and ended up launching the corner lamp into the air and bouncing it halfway across the garage floor. Thankfully it didn't break!
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Repeat the above step for the other lamp.

5. You should now have just the old headlamp and frame. If you bought new units that come with frames, skip ahead to step #9 where you start the wiring. If you are like me and have new lens/reflector units with no frame, continue with the next step.

New headlamp (no frame) and old headlamp (with frame):
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6. We need to transfer the frames over. The frames are held to the lamp via three anchors (two of which are aim adjusting screws and one is just a stud). These anchors snap into the lamp via tabbed swivelling fittings. It's as simple as unsnapping all three of these and snapping the new lamp onto the frame. These things are a bit fussy though and you might need a screwdriver or needle-nose pliers to effectively do this.

There is one at the top inside corner of the lamp (this is also the left-right adjusting screw BTW).
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There are two at the outside edge of the lamp (the lower one is the up-down adjusting screw and the upper one is a stud not intended for adjustment and just allows some pivoting).
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Once unsnapped, the fittings look like this:
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7. You now should have two lamps and neither on a frame.
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8. Snap the new lamp into place over the fittings for the two adjuster screws and the pivoting stud so that now the new lamp is on the frame.
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Make sure that for every fitting that all the tabs (4 tabs per fitting) are snapped securely into place.

9. Now the fun part...wiring. Your challenge is that the 9004 bulbs on the USA lamps and the H4 bulbs on the European lamps have different terminals and spacing, so you need to convert from one to the other. Top is H4 (also the same as old-school 3-wire USA sealed beams ironically) and bottom is 9004 USA.
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Using the 9004 male socket that I got online and the H4 female socket that I got at the FLAPS, I made a pigtail converter.
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You can buy these pre-made online, but most of the time I found they are a bit overpriced and you usually can only buy them in pairs whereas here I only need one (I only need one because I am converting my trigger connection first and from there to both lamps it's all the new H4 harness; if you are not using a new relay harness at all **or** if you are using a 9004 relay harness and **then** converting fro 9004 to H4 at each lamp, that's when you'll need a pair of these converter pigtails).

If you make a pigtail, make sure you get the ground-low-high wires right. On the car, brown is ground, yellow is mellow (low beam 12V+), and white is bright (high beam 12V+).:D

On my pigtail therefore, black is ground, white is low beam, blue is high beam.

10. Plug the pigtail into the passenger side headlamp plug on the car.
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That then corresponds to this on the H4 bulb:
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Clear as mud?;)

11. Now I have my full H4 harness.
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Can you make one of these yourself? Yes. But I was too tired to come up with all the connectors myself, wrap the wires up nicely, etc. and you won't save that much money relative to the time you spend making it, so just buy the dang thing pre-made...much easier.

The connections:

The pair of red wires with ring terminals connect to the alternator or battery + for constant 12V master power. I prefer the alternator because it's closer to the source and you avoid the drop between the alternator and battery (the less wire you use the better).

The big black box in the middle are two relays snapped into a holder. These are pre-made. Nothing to do here except mount these somewhere (you'll see).

The yellow 3-wire male connection goes into the H4 socket on the pigtail that you just did in step 10.

The remaining two cream-colored connectors will eventually plug into each headlamp. The black wire with the ring terminal hanging off of each of these will go to a bolt on the radiator support to ground the headlamps.

Got all that?

(Now if you weren't doing this full harness, you'd be just using a pigtail on either side of the car to switch from 9004 to H4 sockets and then plugging right into the lamps.)

12. Locate the 12V+ on the alternator. It'll be a fat wire with a ring terminal under a nut. This pic is from under the car. It's not the blue wire but it's the nut above it (I think the cable had a black cover and so it's hard to see).
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13. **With your negative battery cable disconnected from the battery** (or take extreme caution to put rags, etc. around everything so if a wrench contacts metal you don't short to ground), undo the nut. From the new harness, disconnect the red wires (for convenience) and put the red wires on the stud and replace the nut. I did this from under the car but you can probably do this from above w/the radiator tipped out.
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14. From the top, the red wires now look like this coming up towards the top.
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15. Connect the harness back to the red wires.
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16. Go back to the pigtail from before. Plug in the harness (yellow plug) to the H4 socket.
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This is your trigger wire. When the headlamps are turned on, the dash switch really switches on the relay(s) and the relay(s) in turn take power from the red wire(s), through the relays, and out to the lamps. Since it's the job of the relays to split the power to left-and-right lamps, this is why there's only one trigger wire socket for this (your existing VW headlamp connector on the other side of the car will be unused in all this).

17. Find a place for the relays. I found that they zip-tie nicely to the ledge by the washer bottle and air filter (try to keep them out of the way of removing the air filter though).
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18. Prepare the two headlamp plugs by bolting the ring terminal on the black wire to the car as a ground. I put it under the 10mm bolt at the corner where the outer radiator support bolts to the fender.
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Yeah, you could use one of the four 10mm bolts that you removed earlier to tip-out the radiator, but I prefer to not disturb the connection every time I tip out the radiator for service.

19. Route the remainder of the harness across the car to the other side for the other headlamp plug. It's as if VW planned this! I routed the harness up under the top of the radiator support and zip-tied it up off the radiator so it wouldn't be right on the fins. Existing holes worked great.
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In the above pic, the harness comes out from behind the passenger headlamp and up under the top of the radiator support where it's zip-tied in two places as it goes across.

20. At the other side, repeat step #18 for bolting the respective ground ring terminal for the other headlamp to a similar suitable ground.

21. Bolt up the headlamps, connect the negative battery terminal, and do a test!
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If you did it all right, your e-code low beam should look like this (horizonal line and then an upward-rising diagonal):
___/

Your e-code high beam looks more like a concentrated spot.

22. If everything is working OK, pop the corner lamp bulbs back into the lamps and slide the corner lamps onto their respective headlamp.

I still have city lights to wire up though but since I'm waiting on the connectors from Susquehanna Motorsports, I'll do that in another write-up when the time comes. For the record though, this is what the T4 city light bulb sockets look like installed (these sockets are from worldimpex.com, and you can also see the rubber caps I had to buy from them as well):
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The old USA lamp didn't have such a cap and of course no city light parking light.
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Now, go for a drive on a dark road.

I didn't take before/after pics of the light on the road because I was a bit sloppy with keeping my camera settings, so I didn't necessarily take pics that would have been apples-to-apples comparisons, but these are a major improvement. No they're not HIDs and projector beams, but the light seems so much better thought out. The problem I had with the USA lamps was that they have little foreground light and all their light goes a few hundred feet in front of the car (but is dim light due to the wiring setup and age and the weak 9004 bulbs). So between the car and the light is a black hole and the light itself once you get there isn't very good. The e-codes put a lot more light fairly soon in front of the car and it extends out as a wide flat "carpet"of light for a few hundred feet.

You will need to aim your lights though. So far I have eyeballed them and I keep a screwdriver in the car with me and I'll be tweaking them off and on over the next week or so. The bottom line is they should point straight ahead (in terms of left-right) and they should drop slightly as they extend out (in terms of up/down).

Good formal instructions are here:
http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html

I just eyeball it though and make sure they're straight ahead (L/R plane) and drop slightly below the horizon (up/down plane). Nobody's flashed at me yet.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
No problem!

I wired up the city lights last night. I thought I'd put them in a new thread but it's really very simple and so I'll just document it here.

The city lights/parking lights are the 2-pin rectangular connectors shown here:
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I used 1893 bulbs. Just pick anything from your FLAPS with the right base and a small enough globe that it fits in the hole. 1893 was one of several of the same size but had the highest wattage (something like 4.3) so I chose them.

The connectors on those holders is a very common VW 2-pin connector. Unfortunately, these are a bit pricey (IMHO for what they are) through the dealer or even through aftermarket VW sites that sell the genuine VW part. However based on looks, I risked it and tried these and sure enough they're the same connectors that VW uses:
http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=1256

HL68140CC Connector 90mm City Lamp


At $3.75 that's about 1/2 price of the cheapest place online selling these under the VW part numbers.

Anyway, I tapped into the brown wire in each existing turn signal/parking lamp socket (brown is in the center) and the 12V+ wire for each turn signal/parking lamp socket (IIRC gray + red on the passenger side and gray + black on the driver's side, but test for voltage to be sure) and used these connectors and voila! City lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will also give one caveat to the e-code install above. I am having a problem with the low beams sometimes coming on in the parking lamp position. When I go low beam --> parking lamp, the lowbeams stay on. When I go off --> parking lamp, sometimes it's right and sometimes the low beams come on. I think though that it's not a wiring issue with what I did but either a strange way that VW has something wired on the car or I have a defect in my car's wiring to begin with that I never noticed. If I figure it out, I'll post it up.
 

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Is this the correct lamp assembly for the 95 Eurovan Camper Matt?

I read your well written piece on replacing the headlights on a 95 Eurovan, and I had a question or 2.

I had also already naively installed an HID kit in my 95 EVC without realizing how poorly the light would emit through the stock lenses.

So your article suggests that I get Hella H4's for early T4's...Hmm, since I do not sprechen sie deutsch all that well =, are these the lights you got ?:

http://www.ebay.de/itm/SCHEINWERFER...864401731?pt=DE_Autoteile&hash=item336c8b5143

Thanks in advance!

jim alden
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Sort of. Those don't look like Hellas to me (the lens does not have a Hella logo in it like mine do, unless the seller is just using some generic photo he found online) but could be aftermarket non-Hella replacements. They should be fine though and the lens pattern tells me they're H4s too just like Hellas.

EDIT: The price also tells me they're not Hellas.;) If they are real Hellas that's a steal.
 

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I realize I am resurrecting an old thread... Just purchased E-code Hella lights on Ebay Germany for a great deal. They will replace the lights on my 1993 T4 Eurovan Weekender. I now need to figure out the wiring. It seems to me that this product would work:
https://hidkitpros.com/shop/h49003-to-9007-conversion-adapter/

However, it says it is a 9003 adapter and I am pretty sure I need a 9004 adapter. Not being a wiring / electrical guru, can someone tell me if the 9003 and 9004 use the same plug? Can I use the adapter linked above? Any info would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
9004 and 9003 are entirely different animals.

The product at the above link is the opposite of what you want. You want the other way around. You want a pigtail that has a male 9004 and female 9003(HB2) or H4.

Minimally, this is what you need for plug-n-play:
http://www.parts-vehicle.com/detail...-Mk1-Mk2-9004-H4-Euro-Ecode_301971360186.html

That will work but you still will be dealing with 25 year old wiring. Spend the $50 or so and get a relayed harness. You won't regret it. Totally worth it.

If you do that, you need either of these combos:

1. Relayed harness for 9003(HB2)/H4 *plus* one of the above pigtails to convert your 9004 to 9003(HB2)/H4.
2. Relayed harness that is already built to make that conversion and no pigtail needed at all.
 

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Thanks for the link and info. Do you also have a link for the relayed harness where no pigtails would be needed? I couldn't find anything but could easily accomplish the first option with the pigtail.
 
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