But before I talk headlights, let me introduce you to my good friend Jerry, his loyal companion Sadie and his Chev truck.
Now getting back to headlights, from day one when the Red Chev hit the road back in 1975, I was never happy with the headlights. I tried several minor upgrades, going from the original 11 candle power, that's correct, the power of 11 candles, to 21 candle power, with no success.
Going for broke I fitted 50 candle power thinking that would solve the problem. The results were still below expectations and the conventional globes as shown below were consigned to the parts cupboard, where they still live some 30 plus years later.
Out driving one Sunday afternoon I called into my local garage to fill up, and talking to the guy behind the counter about the Red Chev I mentioned my frustration with the headlights and that I had tried every possibility with a 6 volt system.
Try these he said, as he lifted 2 boxes from under the counter, being 6 volt Quartz Halogen globes as fitted to Volkswagen.
They will never work I thought to myself. My 6 volt genny wont have the output to power them. But I was desperate for a solution, as the alternatives were no night driving or a 12 volt conversion. Both of which were out of the question. I had decided back in '73 to stay with the 6 volt system, and to this day I am still happy with that choice.
Before I fitted the QH globes I spoke to a few Chev guys who were very negative.
" They wont Fire up"
"They will be way too hot"
"You will crack your lenses after 5 minutes"
Any way I pressed on, and pleased to say a trail blazer back then, as the Filling Station in the USA now has 6 volt Quarts Halogen conversion kits for Chev 4's.
The only difference from my conversion to the Filling Station kit, is I have mounted the globes from the front, whereas the Filling Station kit mounts the globes from the back, as per the standard H4 globe fit in modern headlights. As I was a bit rough in those days I took the easy way out, but it worked, and it worked well, and it still does.
I rewired a low beam wire back to the light switch to give me a true high and low beam as opposed to the original resistor in the light switch that simply reduced the voltage to the globe on low beam.
In the early days until I realised my headlights were mounted over an inch too high on the car as well as to high to the road surface it was common to be flashed for having headlights that were too bright. A pretty good indication I had a good light source.
I refitted the headlights in 2009 after discovering they were mounted too high during the Chev 4 Tour at Castlemaine, Victoria. There was a row of some 20 plus Chevs and a guy walking up and down saying your headlights are the right height, yours are wrong, your are correct etc. Four of us in the line up had made the simple mistake of fitting the adjusting bell on the bottom of the headlight shell on top of the headlight bar instead of being underneath. In my case it went unnoticed from 1975 to 2009. Hey you cant rush these things.
If you look at the fourth car on the left hand side of the picture below (The Red Chev) you will see that the headlights appear higher in relation to the others close by. If you double click on the picture it will go full size for a better look.
I then found a posting on a Chev web site describing how to correctly adjust Chev 4 headlights. I can now drive at night confident that my headlights are up to standard, with a low beam that gives a good spread on the road, and a high beam that if I use does not blind oncoming drivers.
I still have to ascertain the amount of drain, if any, on the battery if I run the lights for a prolonged period, and that will come with experience. So far suburban night driving has not been a problem, and hopefully as I run a dual battery setup it should reduce the effect.
What do you think?
I have included a few more photos below
Thank you to Jerry for stimulating a few more grey cells back into action to recall this modification.