Lighting upgrade: headlights, running lights and fogs - Fiat 124 Spider Forum
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Lighting upgrade: headlights, running lights and fogs

Greetings,

There are a lot of threads popping up around here about lighting upgrades to the OEM halogens found in the headlights and fog lights. I wanted to make sure there was good understanding of what it takes, what it looks like, and thoughts after the install. There was absolutley NO MODIFICATION to the car - all this stuff just drops into place.


Headlights:

The halogen low beam headlights use an H11 halogen bulb. I choose to replace them with a set of HIKARI "Eyes of Megatron" kit and have been very pleased.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thoughts: install was easy, and the cutoff is great! In the pictures below you can see one where I have an LED and halogen installed and the cutoff is maintained. The light output is amazing at night too!

Left is LED - right is halogen


Both LED





Fog lights:

The halogen fog lights use an H11 bulb, just like the headlights. I ended up going with a set of yellow LED bulbs that were inexpensive but designed to go into halogen housings.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thoughts: easy install, not quire as bright OEM lights, but i'm loving the look. Up to you if this is worth it.

Yellow fogs installed





Headlight DRL/"halo" bulb:

The bulb i'm talking about is the orange one that lights up the plastic ring surrounding the main low-beam projector hosing. This is a type 194 bulb, and can easily be replaced with a nice white LED bulb. Doing this really cleans up the look of the front by lighting up the halo with more "white" light vs the orange glow it gives from the factory.

Amazon link (these also work for the license plate lights): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thoughts: I really like these bulbs as they are compact and the same length (about 1mm shorter actually) than the factory bulbs - so they fit everywhere!

OEM bulb with orange color:


White LED + LED headlight bulbs + LED fog






Install:

All the bulbs described here are accessed through the front of the front wheel wells / fender liners.

You can jack up the car and take off the wheels, or you can turn the wheel (all the way right for the left-side install, and left for the right-side install) to access the bulbs as well.

Once jacked up or with the wheel turned begin to remove the fender liner clips. These have a central pin that is pulled back - the whole plug/fastener can then be removed.

You can see most of these fasteners, but there are a few you may have trouble seeing (like the one in the middle of the fender arch on the lip and the ones behind the suspension). You really don't need to take them all out, just keep removing them until you can bend back the plastic to gain access.

Make sure you test all the bulbs before you button everything back up!



Headlights: Unplug the factory bulb harness by pushing the plug further onto the bulb, you then press the release and pull away from the bulb. Then turn the bulb and it will come free. The install is the same but in reverse. You do want to make sure the LED bulb plug/harness is pointing straght down (6:00 position), otherwise the LEDs will not be properly aligned to maintain appropriate cutoff.

If you can't seem to align the bulb in the described position, remove it and you'll find that you can seperate the bulb from the mounting plate. I would recommend clocking them differently and then trying again. I use the little fastening prongs on the headlight to secure the LED ballast and wiring.


Fog lights: Unplug the factory bulb harness by pushing the plug further onto the bulb, you then press the release and pull away from the bulb. Then turn the bulb and it will come free. Insert the new bulb into the housing and connect the wiring harness. You do need to have these clocked correctly (LEDs aligned to point at 3:00 and 9:00). I installed mine once, noted how the installed bulb plug was clocked, and then pulled them out, adjusted them and reinstalled. This "adjustment" process took about 2 minutes per side.


DRL / halo lights: . These are installed in the upper left-hand (driver) and upper right-hand (passenger) side of the headlights if you have North America halogen lamps (I presume all LHD, but unsure). They're actually on a long piece of plastic than is rotated to remove. Once you have them out, put the new LED bulbs in and reinstall.


Overall, I'm very please with this upgrade! The visibility at night is great, and visually the car is a lot better!

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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Now with bigger pictures
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 04:50 PM
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Hmm... do the beams look that blue in person or only on camera? The Hikari bulbs I got are the whitest ones I’ve tested. I really hope the quality haven’t gone down since I bought them.

Also, photos in a well-lit environment don’t do justice to just how much better the Hikaris perform. Ambient light can easily drown out car lights since H11 car bulbs are only 55W. It’s when you’re on a pitch black road that you can really tell the difference between a good bulb and an ordinary bulb.

I’ll try to get some more comparison photos between halogen vs LED when I have time. For now this is all I have:
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 05:29 PM
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Great writeup! I'm hoping since the fogs are down low, it won't take much to swap them out, compared to the headlight bulbs.

Robert / Newport News, VA
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 10:49 AM
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Any Fog Light bulbs that tou can reccomend that aren’t yellow color?

I’d like to upgrade but not a fan of the color personally, thanks.

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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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You could use the same lights I used for the headlamp low beams. Really any h11 bulb will fit, although i did look for ones that performed well in halogen housings.

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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 06:39 AM
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Putting LEDs in the fogs requires you to look at the size of the bulb compared to stock/standard bulb (unless you want to do surgery on the fog light housing). There’s a center shield which limits the length. A few people went with bulbs which fit precisely. I went the surgery route.

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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 10:17 AM
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@james.today Do the Hikaris come in a 2 pack? I can't seem to find it on the amazon page.
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 11:58 PM
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Some photos I took comparing OEM halogen vs. Hikari LEDs. My potato keeps auto-adjusting light exposure and white balance, thus making the halogens look whiter and brighter than they really are. Despite this, you can clearly tell that the LEDs perform far better. I can barely see 20 ft ahead of me with the halogens.

Top: OEM halogens
Bottom: Hikari LEDs



Quote:
Originally Posted by Misto279 View Post
@james.today Do the Hikaris come in a 2 pack? I can't seem to find it on the amazon page.
It's a 2-pack. Almost all car bulbs are sold as 2-packs.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 12:16 AM
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Adjusted white balance using my dashboard as reference. Now this is way closer to what you would see in person.


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