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Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: jazzworkerbee ()
Date: May 25, 2020 01:15PM

Pardon if this has been raised a hundred times, but I searched and couldn't find anything. How common is it to wire the headlights of a Corvair in parallel? Meaning, I want to run a pair of halogens with low and high beam on each side that will function as a single unit between high and low, as opposed to the inner lights being high beam only.

Thank you,

Daniel Atkinson
Tacoma, WA
65 Turbocharged Corsa

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: playerpage ()
Date: May 25, 2020 01:27PM

Not sure how common it is but I don't see why not. Just a matter of changing the inner bevel wire to a three prong and then wiring it over from the outer bevel. In fact, most halogens come with a separate 3-prong adapter anyway. I had to put one on in order to get my inner set of halogens on. I didn't fully rewire it, but now you've given me an idea!

____________________________________________

Eric C. Player, Porterville, CA, USA (Seriously! It's the USA out here!)
MEMBER: CORSA National, Central Coast CORSA, South Coast CORSA, Vintage CORSA, Sfba CORSA, and the San Joaquin Valley Corvair Club.
THEN:
1965 Monza 110, Canary Yellow
1965 Corsa 180 Turbo, Red
1966 Monza 110, Purple
1967 Monza 140, Red
1966 500 110, Black; nicknamed "Shadow"
1965 Monza 110, Camaro Yellow; nicknamed "Silver"
NOW:
1966 Corsa 180 Turbo, Blue; nicknamed "Bluvair"

"He cautioned me not to take notes. It would not have helped if I had, as he would start a paragraph with, 'It is therefore obvious. . .'
and go on from there to matters which may have been obvious to him and God but to no one else."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, character of Daniel B. Davis, 'The Door Into Summer.'

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: jazzworkerbee ()
Date: May 25, 2020 01:34PM

Right?? It's so simple that I was afraid to post the question. As you said, it's just a couple of plugs and some extra wire.

Another concern was whether or not such old wiring could handle the load. I'll most likely be installing a relay and I have a new dimmer switch on the way just in case.

Daniel Atkinson
Tacoma, WA
65 Turbocharged Corsa

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: May 25, 2020 01:36PM

So, If I am understanding you correctly, you want four dual-beams, instead of the single-beam High-beams in the center?
Sounds like you are planning on running them all on at the same time.
Is that correct?
Yes, it is possible, BUT, it may not be legal in your area.
Also, while the dual-beam does have a high-beam, it does not have the same pattern as the single high-beam, due to the fact that it is sharing the same lens, and reflector as the low-beam.
While you will have more lamps on ALL the time, it may not actually improve your road illumination, especially when you want your High-Beams.
Just something to consider.

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
Have; '66 Monza Coupe - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 A/C Moredoor Monza
Have had; '61 Monza coupe, 80hp, PG
'62 Monza Wagon, 4spd.
'63 Spyder,
'65 Corsa
.
non-vair
'04 Dodge Cummins Quad Dually, approaching 400K
'03 Honda Del Sol
17'Terry

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: jazzworkerbee ()
Date: May 25, 2020 01:45PM

Mel, you are correct on the desired outcome. From what I have read, Washington State has no restriction for driving with four lights on low. However, your point is well taken.

Daniel Atkinson
Tacoma, WA
65 Turbocharged Corsa

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: acardon ()
Date: May 25, 2020 01:51PM

You will probably need relays to operate all at the same time. There is a circuit breaker in the headlight switch that probably won't handle the current of 4 halogens. Also. the 18 and 20 gauge original wire is way too small for any more current, even if i8t's brand new.

Don
Southlake, Texas
The Trunk Belongs in Front, Ask Any Elephant
Caution: Images in This Mirror May be Waterpumpers

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: May 25, 2020 01:53PM

If you go through with it, let us know how it turns out.
It would be helpful in judging the results, if you take the car out some evening BEFORE and take some pictures of your Light Pattern, and distance illuminated.
Then do the same AFTER.
IF, you are doing it purely for the aesthetics of four-low beams, then it is a moot point, and unnecessary.

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
Have; '66 Monza Coupe - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 A/C Moredoor Monza
Have had; '61 Monza coupe, 80hp, PG
'62 Monza Wagon, 4spd.
'63 Spyder,
'65 Corsa
.
non-vair
'04 Dodge Cummins Quad Dually, approaching 400K
'03 Honda Del Sol
17'Terry

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: playerpage ()
Date: May 25, 2020 02:00PM

Those points about the power draw are well taken. But never occurred to me. I suppose halogens would overpower the wiring, I kind of assumed that they wouldn't because I'm running LEDs that draw less power anyway than the original bulbs. I misspoke when I spoke of the halogens before, because I no longer have halogens in mine.

____________________________________________

Eric C. Player, Porterville, CA, USA (Seriously! It's the USA out here!)
MEMBER: CORSA National, Central Coast CORSA, South Coast CORSA, Vintage CORSA, Sfba CORSA, and the San Joaquin Valley Corvair Club.
THEN:
1965 Monza 110, Canary Yellow
1965 Corsa 180 Turbo, Red
1966 Monza 110, Purple
1967 Monza 140, Red
1966 500 110, Black; nicknamed "Shadow"
1965 Monza 110, Camaro Yellow; nicknamed "Silver"
NOW:
1966 Corsa 180 Turbo, Blue; nicknamed "Bluvair"

"He cautioned me not to take notes. It would not have helped if I had, as he would start a paragraph with, 'It is therefore obvious. . .'
and go on from there to matters which may have been obvious to him and God but to no one else."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, character of Daniel B. Davis, 'The Door Into Summer.'



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2020 02:01PM by playerpage.

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: solo2r ()
Date: May 25, 2020 03:51PM

No matter where you are you are going to get flashed if 4 headlights on!

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: May 25, 2020 07:23PM

solo2r Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No matter where you are you are going to get flashed if 4 headlights on!

Absolutely. In some areas don't be surprised if you end up in a road rage incident.

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: May 25, 2020 07:37PM

playerpage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Those points about the power draw are well taken. But never occurred to me. I suppose halogens would overpower the wiring, I kind of assumed that they wouldn't because I'm running LEDs that draw less power anyway than the original bulbs. I misspoke when I spoke of the halogens before, because I no longer have halogens in mine.

Actually Halogen lamps use less amperage per lumen output.

The H5006 (outside LO/HI) used less amperage on both HI and LO versus the old sealed beam.

The H5001 (inside HI only) use the same amperage, but are noticeable brighter than the old sealed beam.

If you are going to upgrade to H4 bulbs or other types of replacements, then you'll probably have to upgrade the wiring and headlamp sockets.

Note: installing good grounds at the stock headlamps often improves brightness. The stock headlamp ground wires are on the small side and there are a few connection points that tend to corrode. Run a wire from each sealed beam headlamp ground on the socket to a good body ground INSIDE the trunk.

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: TerribleTed ()
Date: May 25, 2020 07:44PM

66vairman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> solo2r Wrote:
> -------------------------------------------------------
> > No matter where you are you are going to get flashed if 4 headlights on!
>
> Absolutely. In some areas don't be surprised if you end up in a road rage incident.

Or at least getting stopped by the cops again and again and then having to convince them that it was 4 low beams you had on not the 4 high beamssmiling smiley

There may or may not be an overload of wiring or breaker. It depends on the wattage of the halogen lamps. From the wattage you can determine the amperage draw and see if the wiring is large enough and breaker high enough. Wiring a large enough wire gauge feed for the amp draw switched by relays would eliminate the issue with over working the existing wiring. You might need to wire this feed from the battery? Would have to do the calculations to see if the main power feed wire to the front (a 10gauge) could handle the entire car and the extra load of the lamps.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avid Corvair hobbiest since 1984.
I have personally performed ground up restoration on over 20 Corvairs.
I currently work full time at restoring and repairing Corvairs.
Located in the Atlanta Georgia area.
[www.facebook.com]

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: May 25, 2020 08:03PM

Not allowed here in Vrginia. Here is a quote from the state safety inspection manual: 19VAC30-70-140

8. When lamp pairs are mounted horizontally, the low beam lamp must be on the outer side and when mounted vertically, the low beam lamp must be at the higher position in the pair.

9. The four headlamp system must be wired so that only the lower beam lamp will burn when the light beams are depressed. When switched to high beams, both high beam and low beam may burn.

We also have the only four bright things on at a time on the front of the car (does not count parking lamps, cornering lamps, etc.)

19VAC30-70-160, D. No more than four lamps, including two headlamps, may be lighted at any time to provide general illumination ahead of the vehicle.

But we can have LOTS of backup lamps!
C. There is no limit on the number of backup lamps that a vehicle may have so long as they are of an approved type (SAE-R).eye popping smiley

And for you California folks, we can have spot lights, and they HAVE too work, but only two allowed!

14. Spot lamps are not required; however, if installed they must operate and be inspected.

Inspect for and reject if:

a. Vehicle is equipped with more than two spot lamps;

Enough Virginia law for now....grinning smiley

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: RexJohnson ()
Date: May 25, 2020 08:30PM

On my old '65 daily driver I put 2 pair of high/low beams in. I added extra dimmer switches to run them. They were in a square pattern on the floor and it was quite crowded. The top row were used as on-off switches and the bottoms were for the high-low. This way you could run any combination that you wanted to. If I ran them all 4 on low I was always being flashed by on coming cars but if I ran the outer ones on high I hardly ever was flashed. In the fog it did help to have all 4 on low and one time when it was foggy I was driving them all on and a car flashed their lights at me. So I flashed them all 4 to bright. The car then did a U-turn and turned on these red and blue lights. So I pulled over and when the officer came to the window he said that he pulled me over because he thought I had my brights on. I told him that my car could have all 4 lights on low beam and he said that yes they did get brighter after he flashed his lights. He didn't ask me why my car was the only one that could do this so I didn't tell him that I did it. I actually had a 5th dimmer switch on the floor but that was for the headlight mounted behind the rear license plate but that is another story. The bottom line is it will probably be a real hassle after a short period of time always having to deal with them.

RJ tools
Salem,Oregon

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Date: May 26, 2020 01:00AM

You could always try something even more unconventional, like this! grinning smiley

Canadian 1961 #00214, 700 4DR 80HP/PG
Saskatoon, SK, Canada

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: May 26, 2020 01:46AM

Effeminate-Gearhead Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You could always try something even more unconventional, like this! grinning smiley


AND, it would be legal. (at least in Oregon)
When I was in PDX, and before I bought my H.I.D. headlights, I ran a Spot-light as shown.
BUT, it can NOT be more than 55 watts, and must be aimed in the middle of your lane, and no more than 100 feet in front of the car.
I bought a Harbor Freight "100 watt, H3 Halogen OFF-ROAD" light, removed the lamp from the chrome housing, replaced the 100 watt bulb with a 55 watt H3, and installed it into the driver's side high-beam location on my Vert.
Never received any grief over it.
I believe that the Fitch Sprints had an option for installation of a single Lucas Flamethrower Spotlight as a high-beam replacement.

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
Have; '66 Monza Coupe - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 A/C Moredoor Monza
Have had; '61 Monza coupe, 80hp, PG
'62 Monza Wagon, 4spd.
'63 Spyder,
'65 Corsa
.
non-vair
'04 Dodge Cummins Quad Dually, approaching 400K
'03 Honda Del Sol
17'Terry

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: wittsend ()
Date: May 26, 2020 09:18AM

8. When lamp pairs are mounted horizontally, the low beam lamp must be on the outer side and when mounted vertically, the low beam lamp must be at the higher position in the pair.

This in and of itself does not preclude using two sets (four bulbs) that are the combination low/high type. In this case "a" low beam WOULD be mounted on the outer side fulfilling that requirement.

9. The four headlamp system must be wired so that only the lower beam lamp will burn when the light beams are depressed. When switched to high beams, both high beam and low beam may burn.

There is no mention as to the number of low beams that are illuminated. Again in theory the combination low/high bulb has separate high beams. So, the system is wired normally and only low beams could be on as required.

Being illegal would come down to more of a law law regarding WHEN one can use high beams than how the poster desires to wire an alternate type of bulb. Using relays and additional switches he could get:

1. Outer low beams only

2. Inner and outer low beams only

3. inner and outer high beams only.

Like most laws these are poorly written in a one dimensional mindset as to what the lawmakers want and does not considered other interpretations. I'd think a good lawyer has an easy argument to stand in the original posters case. because:

A. The ("a") low beam would be mounted in the outer position.

B. Only low beams would be on (it would be the four allowed bulbs) with a normal switching.

In essence that is all those two laws require. I know that is not the common interpretation because of how we are programmed to think but again a good lawyer ... . smiling smiley

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: jazzworkerbee ()
Date: May 26, 2020 10:28AM

Not sure of what to do now... Must ponder. However, I found a super cheap harness that I'm guessing would be a fairly easy swap, but I'd have to account for the parking lights and routing it to the switch on the dash.

Daniel Atkinson
Tacoma, WA
65 Turbocharged Corsa

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: May 26, 2020 10:35AM

"the low beam lamp must be on the outer side "

What confusion? The low beam lamp MUST be on the outer side. So therefore it CANNOT be on the inside! It does not say A low beam must be on the outer side, it says THE low beam lamp must be on the outer side.

And yes, here in Virginia that spot light in the grille is only allowed to burn when the two low beam lamps are on. It can not burn with the four lamps on. Same with fog and driving lamps. Of course fog lamps on with high beams just shows how stupid one can be, as they are opposite in effects on the fog.

I just wish people would quit blinding me with these bright lights. If you are by yourself on open straight road, that's fine, but here every road is crooked and your car is facing my eyes more than it isn't.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Headlights in Parallel
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: May 26, 2020 11:15AM

Frank DuVal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "the low beam lamp must be on the outer side "
>
> What confusion? The low beam lamp MUST be on the outer side. So therefore it CANNOT be on the inside! It does not say A low beam must be on the outer side, it says THE low beam lamp must be on the outer side.
>

Yes Frank, BUT it does NOT explicitly say that one can NOT also be on the inside. That is the point that wittsend is trying to make. Without making that a clear and distinct part of the rules, the state has left that possible interpretation open.

> And yes, here in Virginia that spot light in the grille is only allowed to burn when the two low beam lamps are on. It can not burn with the four lamps on. Same with fog and driving lamps. Of course fog lamps on with high beams just shows how stupid one can be, as they are opposite in effects on the fog.
>

Can't speak for Virginia rules, but in Oregon, and a few other states that I am aware of, this is just not correct. The spot is used with the High-beams, Fogs are to be wired in such a way as to only be usable with the Low-Beam headlights, BUT Driving Lights are to ONLY be used with the High-Beams.
And if you want to get Technical, MOST auxiliary lights are in violation of Oregon Vehicle code when used on a Four-Headlight car. Since the vehicle code specifies NO MORE than four WHITE (clear) lights, it precludes adding any additional light sources, unless they are tinted some other color.
Fogs are available in Amber, but Driving Lights are always white.



> I just wish people would quit blinding me with these bright lights. If you are by yourself on open straight road, that's fine, but here every road is crooked and your car is facing my eyes more than it isn't.

I felt the same way, . . . . until I finally faced the fact that it is NOT them blinding me.
It is my tired body getting old, and becoming more sensitive to the lights.
I didn't have them glarey stars when I was young.
eye rolling smiley

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
Have; '66 Monza Coupe - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 A/C Moredoor Monza
Have had; '61 Monza coupe, 80hp, PG
'62 Monza Wagon, 4spd.
'63 Spyder,
'65 Corsa
.
non-vair
'04 Dodge Cummins Quad Dually, approaching 400K
'03 Honda Del Sol
17'Terry

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