Need More Light on da road

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Bob Weir
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Need More Light on da road

Post by Bob Weir »

I was discussing the need for Merkurs to put more light on the road. When you're my age driving an older car, nighttime driving can be an adventure. I always wanted to add auxiliary light to my Merkurs, but never did. My 2000 "Merkur" Sable Wagon suffers same condition as XR & Scorpio OEM lights.

For the Sable, I used Hella Optilux 2020. Each light contains a shared "Driving" and "Fog" lens and a H3 55 watt bulb for each beam. I used a relay for each with power directly from the battery. The included switch is Off / Drive / Fog. I rate the output as reasonable.

Photo attached for your viewing pleasure.
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andyofcolumbusmerkur
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur »

I have that same license plate frame. :o
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Bob Weir
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by Bob Weir »

I bet your looks better than mine. My frame & Margaritaville plate look like I've pushed too many things with my front bumper.
zxr250cc
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by zxr250cc »

Hi all,

As the Sable uses 9007 bulbs you can update the main set with 80/100 watt Hella bulbs for an incredible update to the low beam output in particular. (Both settings are obviously brighter than stock.) Yes, there is plenty of power from the 120 amp alternator for it. I did this in my Taurus and it was a revelation.

This same Hella bulb update for the 9004 bulbs in the XR4Ti had an incredible improvement over the lame stock 45/65 watt bulb designs. Stock low beams were so bad that even the fog lights being on weren't enough to see well with low beam on.

YMMV

Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic
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Bob Weir
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by Bob Weir »

zxr250cc

Thanks for the reply,

I participate in the TaurusClub.com forums. The general consensus is the harness would need to be upgraded with heavier wire and relays to use a higher wattage bulb. The Taurus/Sable has a long run from the headlight switch using only 20 awg wiring.

I've done another compounding of the headlight lenses to eliminate the clouding, but still have to get Krylon with UV protection to help prevent future clouding.
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by zxr250cc »

Hi all,

I clean the headlights with fine polishing compound for paint, the Turtle Wax stuff. It cleans a headlight very well with very little effort and leaves a very smooth surface. I then rinse the lights, dry them and use paste wax and am finished with both headlights in about 10 minutes or less including the time waiting for the wax to dry before buffing with a soft old towel. This is good for six months at a time and the plastic headlight is clear like new. I do this to the XR4Ti as well with good results. I have seen the kits that add a covering compound to 'seal' the lens after cleaning. They seem to go bad themselves after a couple of years and those are hard to clean off as I can attest from experience. I prefer the simple plan mentioned first and have used it on multiple cars for years. Cheap and cheerful, as the English used to say.

The wire in my Taurus for the lead to the headlights is certainly not 20 gauge wire. It looks more like 12 or 14 gauge which will easily hold an 8.5 amp load for a 100 watt bulb on high beam. I added an after market jumper lead with heat tolerant upgraded socket and 12 gauge leads as a jumper to have the bulb connected with a plug that can take the heat. These are easy to use; plug it into the original lead and then plug the bulb into it. I did the same for the XR4Ti headlights as well. I might add a set of fog lights to the Taurus as well if I can figure out where to mount them since all is plastic in the front. I have had the fog light kit for years but never did anything with it.

Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic
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Bob Weir
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by Bob Weir »

Thanks for the additional info, especially "I added an after market jumper lead with heat tolerant upgraded socket".

Unfortunately, Per the Elec Manual, my 2000 Sable has 18 awg fuse <-> headlight and 20 awg headlight <-> switches. As much as I would appreciate the 100 watt bulb output this winter, I doubt I'll consider rewiring until spring. Winter has finally arrived here.

Do you have any more info on the "heat tolerant sockets?
What year is your Taurus?

I tried the paste wax on headlights years ago, but it didn't "appear" to prevent discoloring for any noticeable amount of months. Maybe my expectations were beyond reality.

I bought the Krylon UV Resistant Clear Acrylic. Hopefully, I'll remember to post results in a few months.
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by zxr250cc »

Hi all,

Standard Motor Products sell them for about $10-$15 or so at all sorts of car parts stores. They may be under other labels. Tech Smart is one of the labels. 9007/9004 bulbs use the same extension since they have the same pin pattern out of the bulb.

Here is a good link for wire ratings: https://jascoautomotive.com/automotive- ... ity-chart/

I have a '99 Taurus SE with the 24v engine.

The secret to the rubbing compound and paste wax use it to use the rubbing compound first on a rag until the lens is clear and then wipe it off and paste wax the lens. If they are coated with a spray of some kind the film needs removal with either fine sand paper or a sponge sanding block. Not nearly as much fun... This easily last six months with good results. Even on a Merk!

Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic
zxr250cc
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by zxr250cc »

Hi all,

They are Dormann, not Standard it seems: https://www.techsmartparts.com/media/16 ... ss-WEB.pdf

Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic
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Bob Weir
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by Bob Weir »

I'm confused; AutoZone & SMP indicates F90006 will fit my Sable. However Advance Auto & NAPA say no, but maybe because F90006 is not OEM spec.

I'm concerned with only replacing the pig tail with 14 awg to the car's 20 awg. How would the rest of the harness at 20 awg handle the 100 watt load? Or are you assuming I'll replace the remainder of the harness with 14 awg?
zxr250cc
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by zxr250cc »

Hi all,

The part you have listed is correct. Not all shops use the same software and some have errors in their system. A Peterson v520-40 relay should be less than $10 or so and can easily be added into your system if you wish. Use 10 or 12 gauge lead wire to the battery since it will be doing the two bulbs then connect the + output to your headlights. Good current load with great light output and no worries about an overload. One relay can easily do both bulbs.

Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic
Ed Lijewski
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by Ed Lijewski »

Not to dampen (pun intended :mrgreen:) this enlightenment, for unknown reasons the Scorpio charging system is easily taxed just keeping up with installed electrical devices (this is documented in other posts re Scorpio). The XR system, on my XRs at least, easily handles a set of add-on driving lights. It may not be an issue for anyone, and personally I don't worry about it on my Scorpios because when my cars aren't used daily they are connected to battery maintainers to assure full charges when next used. Just a consideration.

YMMV
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zxr250cc
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by zxr250cc »

Hi all,

One of the fundamental rules of electricity is P = EI which means power equals voltage times current and in this case it would mean 100 watts = 12v x 8.33 amps each. The normal high beam load of 65 watts = 12v x 5.4 amps so we are not talking about high current in and of itself; merely what load the wires can carry, I believe. The fog lights are 36 watts I think (45 watt in alternate bulb possible?) so that would be 3 amps each. We have 90 amp alternators in the XR and the computer needs current to run but that should be little draw as it is not complex like recent systems. 16.66 amps plus other small bulbs and the computer should still leave ample power to charge the battery and run the fog lights with power for the blower motor or the stereo. In normal use we use the low beam lights far more than high beam which is less than 7 amps each for the low beam.

With low beam normal: 9 amps for both plus 6 amps (fog lights) plus others as needed. With 80 watt low beam: 13.4 amps plus 6 amps plus others as needed is not so different for the system from original.

If your system is working normally and I would guess they are with the care we try to take then this small change is worth any small changes needed to accomodate the high output bulbs. Just an opinion, of course. Let there be light!

Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by thesameguy »

While I really anti-endorse (illegal) high wattage bulbs, you can buy prefab high-amp headlight harnesses.... they connect to an existing headlight bulb connector, the battery, and ground, and voila, 14ga (or whatever) wire to your headlight...

https://www.amazon.com/34265-9007-Headl ... B00F0YHYSM

You really should not run high-watt bulbs on street-driven cars. They are dangerous. If you need more light, correctly selected and installed aux lighting is the right move.

FWIW, Optilux is Hella's budget line. The results tend to be reasonable. Hella does make better light, but they're gonna set you back.
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Bob Weir
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Re: Need More Light on da road

Post by Bob Weir »

thesameguy

Thanks for the link. I like the relay for each headlight. Because I'm almost anal about wire awg, I'm going to ask them where the 16 & 14 awg wire is used.

At 74 my eyes aren't as good as they once were, and I question the light output of newer vehicles, especially trucks.

My understanding is auxiliary lights should be positioned close to the road. I chose the Hella 2020 because it has driving & fog bulbs with lens in each light assembly and would fit between the horizontal bars of the bumper. Unfortunately, the bars were cutting off too much light, so I cut them out. I'm going to replace the bumper because of damage on the right side, so no big loss if my cut job looks fugly. Now that I made the space larger in the bumper, I might replace mine with bigger aux lights.

Enjoy the holidays...
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