Yet another headlight conversion

Yet another headlight conversion

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » March 26th 2016, 1:56am

Hey there,
I have a 2005 Astro cargo van with the sealed beams I have decided to do the conversion to composite headlights. In fact I have it all done... I think. But I have a few questions:
1. I wired the composites to the existing 9003 H4 connectors, but I was expecting both high and low beams to be on when selecting high beam. I don't get that, is something wrong?
2. Can I wire it up so both are on when High beam is selected? High and low beam have different bulbs so I don't see where it would cause any problems... though my electric bill is gonna go sky-high...
Thanks...
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby astroracer » March 26th 2016, 2:17am

The High and low beams are separate, even in the sealed beam bulbs. The low beams go off when the high beams are on. What you want to do requires a relay to be wired between the two circuits. It's called a "high 4" kit and is available most anywhere. Just Google "high 4 relay kit" and yo will see what I am talking about.
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby Coaster » March 26th 2016, 2:33am

are the composites really any better than the sealed headlites?
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby Davo2530 » March 26th 2016, 2:40am

I Am trying to remember back to when I did this similar conversion on my 97 s10 but I don't think that the hi and low beams are both one normally in a single light when the high beams are activated. I had to install some one way current flow resistors to have all my lights on at once but I had also converted to HID lights both high and low beam. Take a volt meter or test light and see if you have current in both sides of the 9003 connector.
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby Davo2530 » March 26th 2016, 2:44am

astroracer wrote:The High and low beams are separate, even in the sealed beam bulbs. The low beams go off when the high beams are on. What you want to do requires a relay to be wired between the two circuits. It's called a "high 4" kit and is available most anywhere. Just Google "high 4 relay kit" and yo will see what I am talking about.
Mark

Yup there it is and it was between the relays that I had to put the resistors to keep the high current from passing back into the headlight switch because of the high current required by the HIDs.
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » March 26th 2016, 2:48am

Coaster wrote:are the composites really any better than the sealed headlites?

I have always complained about the sealed beams on my 2005 cargo van, there just isn't enough light. That said, I'm not sure the composites are any better, but at least I can change the bulbs if I want more light. There's not too much that can be done with the sealed beams. I upgraded the sealed beams to halogens for a marked improvement, but you can only go so far...
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » March 26th 2016, 2:52am

astroracer wrote:The High and low beams are separate, even in the sealed beam bulbs. The low beams go off when the high beams are on. What you want to do requires a relay to be wired between the two circuits. It's called a "high 4" kit and is available most anywhere. Just Google "high 4 relay kit" and yo will see what I am talking about.
Mark

Yup I found those kits, that's what I want to do. But I've been thinking about it and I believe I can add a diode to my after-market relay kit which will do what I want.
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby Davo2530 » March 26th 2016, 3:01am

I have true white HIDs in all my vehicles and have never been disappointed, they are very illuminating and I hardly ever need high beams. Very easy to install and no maintenance necessary.
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby Coaster » March 26th 2016, 3:10am

i've had the composites on other vehicles (not astro) and have found the sealed beams in the astro to be a lot better in my experience. i've never driven an astro with the composites though so i really dont know
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby markmitch » March 26th 2016, 3:35am

I understand as we age our sensitivity to light changes but when I am driving at night and some one has there high beams on and does not click it to low I wish I had a 50 cal machine gun in my grill. That just pisses me right off. But I just switch mine back to high and keep driving. So please remember you have high beams on and be courteous to others.
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » March 26th 2016, 5:05am

Oh man what a difference! I just got back from an hour ride, some country roads, some of which was down a gravel road, and some in the burbs. My van seems like the headlights are twice as bright, better focused, putting more of the light where it's needed. Both low and high beams are much-much better! That $85 it cost me for the grill, both headlights with bulbs, and the corner reflectors, was money well spent!

I would recommend that anyone who feels their sealed beam headlights are not that good, just go down to their pick-and-pull, get the parts, and do it!

I'll post a picture of my baby tomorrow...
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby Coaster » March 26th 2016, 5:20am

interesting. i'm not being sarcastic or anything, but did you ever aim your lites before the change?

i have the sealed beams and they are the best headlites i have had in over a decade of vehicles. that said the express with sealed beams we have at work is horrible.
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » March 26th 2016, 6:02am

Coaster wrote:interesting. i'm not being sarcastic or anything, but did you ever aim your lites before the change?

i have the sealed beams and they are the best headlites i have had in over a decade of vehicles. that said the express with sealed beams we have at work is horrible.

Yeah, I did the aiming, face a white wall, measure up from the ground, get the center spot correct, I tried it many times but it was never any good. I also put on one of the relay kits with its own power lead and fuse, it helped some but not enough. I'm still using that relay kit with the composite lights. The problem with sealed beams is that they are old technology, 60 or 70 or 80 years old! The only change I have seen in them was when they put the halogen bulb inside the sealed beam, everything else was pretty much the same, especially the reflector, it was designed before they had computers!

Nah I am sold on the composite headlights, I just wish I had done it years ago...
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » March 26th 2016, 6:05am

markmitch wrote:I understand as we age our sensitivity to light changes but when I am driving at night and some one has there high beams on and does not click it to low I wish I had a 50 cal machine gun in my grill. That just pisses me right off. But I just switch mine back to high and keep driving. So please remember you have high beams on and be courteous to others.

Yeah, dimming your headlights is common courtesy, some people seem forget the 'courtesy' part...
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » March 26th 2016, 4:26pm

Here's my baby:
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I still have to de-yellow the corner reflectors and parking lights. I also painted both the grill and the bumper satin black (Krylon maxx)...
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby chevymaher » March 26th 2016, 4:54pm

andrew678122 wrote:Here's my baby:

I still have to de-yellow the corner reflectors and parking lights. I also painted both the grill and the bumper satin black (Krylon maxx)...

Looking great.
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » March 26th 2016, 10:36pm

chevymaher wrote:
andrew678122 wrote:Here's my baby:

I still have to de-yellow the corner reflectors and parking lights. I also painted both the grill and the bumper satin black (Krylon maxx)...

Looking great.

Thanks chevymaher!
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » March 28th 2016, 9:50pm

My headlight conversion is officially done. I now get all 4 headlights on in high beam (it took 1 diode from RadioShack (yes, we have a functioning RadioShack in El Paso!) and a minor wiring change on my headlight relay kit), and everything else works as the factory intended (well almost)!
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby Godron629 » April 5th 2021, 4:50pm

Sorry to necro, since all the threads on this are filled with missing images - figured I'd drop some pics.

Hit a deer on a weekend, did the swap.

Simple, but remember 1) to connect your grounds 2) don't try to install the grill upside down (it won't line up...) (ask me how I know :whack:)

IMG_20210403_072129.jpg

IMG_20210403_185008.jpg

IMG_20210403_202659 (1).jpg


If you're going to the junkyard, you need:
- 10 mm socket for lights
- 7 mm socket for grill
- Phillips screwdriver for marker lights and maybe grill
- Side cutters for harnesses

Cost me $30 for the lights and $40 for the grill. Also got a hood for $80 and 2 leather safari seats for $100.
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Re: Yet another headlight conversion

Postby sixsix » April 5th 2021, 5:54pm

haha... necro thread - thought we were having candy discs... LOL

Love the "Hairy Action Shot" - and to see you got that sorted Well - Nice !!
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