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Old 02-11-2004, 08:42 PM   #1
Jon Bogert
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Question Higher wattage bulbs in '04--what's the problem?

From another thread, referring to high beam bulbs:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You have to use the factory recomended wattage otherwise they tend to fry the inner housing. I figured that out the hard way.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Can anyone elaborate on this?

Is the issue the wiring (as has been posted by some)? Is it the socket? Or is it the plastic reflector which overheats?

Has anyone wired around the problem?
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Old 02-11-2004, 09:38 PM   #2
nhluhr
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the factory wires are very minimal - like 18ga.

If you look at a table of wire gauge ampacity, you'll 18ga can only carry up to like 10amps at maximum...

Using higher wattage bulbs will push this very close to that max current which will in turn heat up the wire, causing more resistance and more heat.

Add in poor contact between the connector pins and the bulb pins and you have even more places for heat and such. The connector eventually melts and the pins no longer make good contact.

If you want to run higher wattage bulbs, you need a wiring harness with the kind of current capability you're after. 12-14ga would be good.

Another excellent reason for an upgraded wiring harness is that with the stock wires, people have measured a very significant voltage drop through the headlight wiring when the lights are on - this means the bulbs aren't getting as much voltage as they could and therefore aren't burning as brightly as they could.
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Old 02-11-2004, 10:18 PM   #3
Jon Bogert
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If that's all there is to it--great! Headlight relays are a piece of cake.

I was afraid there might be a fatal design flaw like in some older cars where the cheap plastic reflector could actually distort with the heat from 100W bulbs.
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Old 02-12-2004, 07:44 AM   #4
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"I was afraid there might be a fatal design flaw like in some older cars where the cheap plastic reflector could actually distort with the heat from 100W bulbs."

Well, there's that too.
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Old 02-12-2004, 11:09 AM   #5
Jon Bogert
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OK, so I'm back where I started.

Have there been any occurances of the reflector or other plastic distorting or melting or burning specifically caused by bulb heat and not by inadequate wiring?

(MY04 headlights only, since the housing is completely different from the older WRX style)
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Old 02-12-2004, 11:29 AM   #6
ATX25RS
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i've been running 100W h1's for about 2 months...no problems...i usually just let the drl's run the lights...only when I need them will i actually turn them on...i dont do much night driving anymore.
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Old 02-13-2004, 11:35 AM   #7
Jon Bogert
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Anyone? Anyone? Let's see those pics of melted plastic...
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Old 02-14-2004, 12:42 AM   #8
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the don't melt, man.
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