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How To Fix Your Abysmal Headlights

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OK, the KE70 has pathetic headlights, even at 60kph!


So the first thing I tried was replacing ONE bulb with a 100/90watt halogen. This was a pain as the three 'wings' were not quite in the same place so I had to cut one off and re-rivet it back on a few mm around the edge. Then I found the difference in brightness to be very small!


A bit of research found that the power goes straight to the bulbs, then earths back up the steering column and through the switch. Never a good idea, my old Datsuns were the same and we always re-routed those! So I decided to run relays on the lights and just go alternator-relay-bulb-earth.


First I tested the idea- I set up the wife's digital SLR camera on the tripod, pointed it at one headlight beam on the garage door and read the F-stop, 5.6. Then I put a wire from the battery to the bulb and straight to earth and read it again, this time 7.1. That one F-stop is double the light getting in!


Next was off to the spares shop to buy-

Bosch 4pole relay $12

Narva 5pole relay $10

6M of 6mmwire (too big!) $11

3 30amp fuse holders $6

2 30amp fuses and three 15amps $1.50 (spare of each!)

Big spade and ring terminals $5


...and a few extra bits that you will find in the reply I made further down!! This circuit doesn't have the blue 'highbeam' light working, so I added that later!




The wiring diagram I 'borrowed' from a 4WD club article and modified for the KE.


Edited by altezzaclub
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The headlight power comes from the alternator direct to the 4pole relay at the top, then into the two bulbs, then through the 5pole relay to eath. The dashboard switch turns on the 4pole relay, and the 5pole relay switches low beam to high beam.


The 6mm wire is too hard to work with, and massive overkill really, so if I did it again I'd get 4mm.


As I only had soldering gear and no wire crimper I soldered everything, so first job was to trim off the plastic ends.



Then I cut the wires to length and soldered on the terminals. This is where joining two wires at one terminal was difficult.



Only one relay had a mounting bracket, so I made one out of alloy sheet and bolted them both to the engine bay behind the battery. This meant taking the plastic out of the mudguard, so I sprayed a bit of rustkill everywhere while I was under there.



They mounted here-



One slides on and the non-mounted one got a garden tie! The earth wires were the first on.


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The three headlight wires that run across the car I tied into the front top rail, drilling one hole in the middle.



Then the painful job- Under the car putting the ring-clip on the alternator, the headlight power for the 4pole relay. Too close to get in focus!



The rest was simple, plugging wires in following the diagram



I cut an ice-cream container up for plastic strip insulators as some terminals were quite close to one another. Headlights got one-



and the relays another, as they are quite small physically.



I just used two male spade to get into the original headlight socket, but there are special plastic moulding with male ends, like a lightbulb, for this.


Just before I connected it all (two weeks after first starting) I ran the camera again. Cleaned the headlight first and set it up.

Stock setup-

Low beam 7.1 full beam 8.0


Relay setup

Low beam 10 full beam 11.0


That is more than two F-stops gain, so the light output has at least doubled. Looks spectacular on the road now, you can see reflective markers a Km away or so, and see the road clearly 400-500M away.

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This is something I'm considering doing, as a lot of my driving is at night.


How did you locate the wires for the beam and the dip ? Just went around with a circuit tester while you had the lights on I'm guessing?





Thanks for posting this Altezza :happy:

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How did you locate the wires for the beam and the dip ? Just went around with a circuit tester while you had the lights on I'm guessing?


Yes, and it was easy to swap them around once it was all wired up anyway. The new circuit works the opposite way to the stock one that earths back through the switch.


I had a circuit to make the blue light work, but the diode was too small and fried itself, and I've never worried about doing it again.

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Okay, excuse my ignorance but in the diagram "stock h4 connector", is this referring to the original plug for the globe?


Have you just pulled the 85's power from the closest plug (passenger side) and joined the 5 pole 86 to another of the terminal's on the same plug?



I'm sorry but some of these thing's are still quite new to me, being a young bloke and being self taught is tough sometimes :|







This video was excellent knowledge which I have taken in, also the diagram make's a lot of sense now. (Except the bit I have mentioned)



Thanks :)

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Yes, the 'stock H4 connector' is the original plug on the passenger's side that goes onto the headlight bulb.


Have you just pulled the 85's power from the closest plug (passenger side) and joined the 5 pole 86 to another of the terminal's on the same plug?

Yes. So now the dipswitch and all the original wiring is just acting as a control for the two relays and hence not carrying much current or being responsible for the brightness of the headlights. When you switch the headlights on it immediately activates the 4pole relay, which turns on the low beam lights. The bulbs earth through the 5pole relay, both filaments, and when you flick the dipswitch the 5pole relay is switched over, which changes from earthing the dip filament to earthing the fullbeam filament.


Here's another view of it. The high beam indicator lasted a week, but the blue bulb was extremely dim and eventually the IN5404 diode melted in a spectacular column of smoke!


Keep asking questions, the answers help everyone else.


Edited by altezzaclub
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Come on darkness! I wanna test out my new setup!



Spent a few hour's getting this done.. Took some trial and error as I think the diagram might be ever so slightly off, will double check the diagram to what I did and post it up over the next couple of days.




Fingers crossed I'm not driving down the road and bang, no lights :laff:

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Sorry for all the chit chat and filling this thread up. But to anyone thinking about this.



Do it! :yes:




Took it for a drive and wow, the moment I turned the light's on in my usual spot where I park, I noticed the difference.



The high beam goes a lot further, the low beam's have more spread, and most of all, both beam's are just so much brighter!




Thanks for posting this Altezza, and I recommend this mod to anyone who thinks their light's are a bit of a let down.

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