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Lighting upgrade for my 1986 Cabrio

403 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  2L Bunny
Need some assistance. I am in the process of picking up a nice little 1986 Cabriolet but I am not to keen on the two headlight design. I would like to go to the four headlight system but a friend of mine also told me that you can upgrade the existing lighting with better lights. My question to everyone is how much would it cost to go to a four headlight system (lights, grill and wiring) vs. upgrading the existing lighting? I know that the look of the car would change but I want to know what am I really gaining? Also, would it be possible to do an integrated rear fog light since I am already doing the lighting. As usual, thanks for the assistance.
Rodney C
1996 VW GTI VR6
1986 Cabriolet
1990 VW Jetta GL (sadly departed)
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Re: Lighting upgrade for my 1986 Cabrio (hotrodc)

this is just an example mabe you could find cheaper somewhere else?
you need to go to German Auto Parts | Genuine and OEM Replacement Car Parts Online | Audi VW BMW MINI Mercedes Porsche Saab Volvo | German Auto Parts and get:
4 headlight grille $85
2 inner headlamps- $57 each for Hella, cheaper for Carello brand or used Hella
5 prong Bosch relay (cheap) from same place
wiring- umm hardware store, cheap, not sure which gauge to use.then see my wiring diagram
Hella does make a drop-in grill that includes the driving lights. Some of the better Import parts (only) shops can get them. Check with http://www.parts4vws.com as well. That way you only need to take out the grill you have and bolt on the driving light grill.
quote:[HR][/HR]but I want to know what am I really gaining? [HR][/HR]​
More light output and more control over the pattern your lights are throwing off. Personally, I would use the Hella grill that i mentioned above; I think it runs $150 with lights and wiring.
quote:[HR][/HR]would it be possible to do an integrated rear fog[HR][/HR]​
It's not like it will be that much easier since you'll be working from the rear of the car, but it would be nice to get all of the wiring with the relays done at once.
Also, I know you're going to use relays for this project, but this always bears repeating for other people contemplating lighting upgrades:
It doesn't matter what kind of lights you are running on your car (from the stock headlamps to an aircraft landing light), until you upgrade the factory wiring, your lighting output will only be about 40% of the stated value (unless you are running high wattage bulbs in which case your lighting output will only be about 40% AND you will be drawing too many amps for your wiring).
As always, this is better exlpained from the Daniel Stern MBZ lighting page http://lighting.mbz.org/tech and http://lighting.mbz.org/faq
Learn it, know it, live it.
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Re: Lighting upgrade for my 1986 Cabrio (hotrodc)

Can't help on the relative cost.
I will say though...
If you stay with the two round 7 inch lamps then please go with Cibie e-code lamps, the wattage bulb of your choice and relays of course.
Already posted; Daniel Stern's website - tons of good stuff there.
Good luck,
fat biker
Re: Lighting upgrade for my 1986 Cabrio (fat biker)

yes make sure you change the crappy buble looking sealed headlamps, replace with h4, halogen or xenon or somethink like that with the replaceble bulb
Re: Lighting upgrade for my 1986 Cabrio (stevelangford)

First and foremost is to upgrade the 7" round housings that are there with H4 housings. Cibies are what I run, and they're on sale at Ardvaark Int. for $39 each, but you can get Hella 7's for $30 each from http://www.rallylights.com This is a must do, then also rewire with Relays for max output.
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