Headlights - pre-‘74 reflector bowls

Discussion in 'Panels, seals, doors etc' started by Gingerbus, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. I was fed up with poor headlight performance, having to source specialist p45 bulbs, sidelights intermittently going off and the Bakelite retainer thing springing apart at the slightest provocation and testing my patience trying to fit it back together due to poorly made repro bowl patterns having not copied or reproduced the mounting flange correctly.
    This also stopped me using p45-H4 converter rings.

    I have even had to butcher an old p45 bulb and use the base to fit an H4 when a bulb failed out on the road and I didn’t have a spare and couldn’t get one locally.

    With these early pre-74 type 3 screw rim/ single tab fixing headlights I couldn’t understand why no one seemed to stock a reflector bowl with a decent H4 type spring clip until I found these Hella units for Beetles.
    Post-‘73 single screw 3 tab fixed headlights seem to have more options.
    Curiously the Hella website lists them for T2s as well even though it doesn’t say so on the box:

    [​IMG]

    They replace these rubbish high maintenance contraption original - or even worse badly reproduced - reflector bowls and retainers, which also limit to p45t halogen conversion bulbs:
    [​IMG]
    With these sensible ones allowing modern brighter H4 bulbs:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Had to find my own sidelight solution since you just get a hole in the reflector for a hella part that doesn’t seem available, but these cheap wedge type bulb holders fitted just fine. Wiring is simple, just requiring a couple of spade connectors each side to use the existing bus sidelight wiring.

    [​IMG]

    And some warm white LED sidelight bulbs that won’t mess up the beam pattern:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To fit these Hella OE LHD beetle reflector bowls you’ll need to reposition the 3 rubber mounting bungs and tabs to the same hole positions as your old pre-74 bowls, and you’ll need to cut the long wide tab (visible on the left in the photo before I cut it out) that extends back from the thin metal bulb shield cap as it’s for a LHD beam pattern, which I confirmed with Hella.
    My original reflectors had a shield cap without a tab so no difference there, the lens does the beam shaping.
    Or you could just remove the entire bulb shield as H4 bulbs have one painted on the bulb head, the shield would have been required for the pre-halogen round tungsten bulbs.
    The purpose was to shield the naked filament from the human eye.

    All in all I think it’s a much better arrangement that still uses a VW OE part.
    I might even explore LED headlight bulbs at some point to reduce the alternator load, although heat dissipation seems like it might be an issue - lots of options now I can fit H4s.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018

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