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EFV-8 Club Forum / General Ford Discussion / Dim Headlights

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04-15-2021 @ 2:27 PM
New Member
Posts: 114
Joined: May 2016
There are many strings discussing dim headlights on this forum. I am in the process of checking grounds. I was on the Fifth Avenue Internet Garage site and discovered a "Heavy Duty 6V Headlight Relay". The site claims a 30% increase in headlight brightness plus a 50% longer service life for the headlight switch. Has anyone tried this relay? If so, what were your results? Thank heavens I have foglights, but I want to increase my headlight brightness.



04-15-2021 @ 2:59 PM
Posts: 913
Joined: Oct 2009
I have installed one of these relays on a 1953 Ford and found that the headlights are brighter with it. They may not be as bright as the headlights are in a 12V system but are definitely brighter than 6V headlights with the standard system.

This message was edited by carcrazy on 4-15-21 @ 3:00 PM

04-16-2021 @ 9:25 AM
Posts: 6579
Joined: Oct 2009
The headlights need at least 6 volts going to them to acheive normal brightness. You can get that by cleaning all of your connections and repairing or replacing switches that have high resistance. I have explained how to find the poor connections and corroded switches many time on this forum using a voltage drop test. The voltage drop test also checks the grounding system, eliminating many hours fixing what is not broken.

The relay will also work, because it delivers 6 volts to the headlights by bypassing all of the connections.

Once you have 6 volts to the bulbs, you will also need to make sure that your lens and reflectors are clean and not scratched

I would not put halogen bulbs in your stock headlight buckets due to the heat that they generate.


04-16-2021 @ 9:46 AM
Posts: 252
Joined: Jan 2016
I have no experience with a headlight relay, but here's my thoughts on it for what its worth:
If your problem is with too much resistance thru the switch, circuit breaker, and associated wiring, then a relay may solve the problem.
But if your problem is too much resistance at the headlight wiring and grounds (which is more likely), then a relay will probably not solve anything. After the relay, the current will still need a clean path to ground thru the headlight wiring and grounds.

I think you are on the right track in first checking/cleaning the connections and grounds at the headlights themselves.

04-16-2021 @ 11:42 AM
Posts: 6735
Joined: Oct 2009
Usually the problem with dim headlights is that most of the power is lost at the dash switch, the dimmer switch, and the numerous "bullet" connectors. I solved the problem in my '47 by operating the lights though a pair of 6v starter solenoids controlled by the stock headlight wiring. Now the headlights are as bright as modern vehicles. If you need instructions, I can post them, or use the personal message to have it mailed.

1931 Flamingo
04-16-2021 @ 12:22 PM
New Member
Posts: 183
Joined: Nov 2019
Try adding a seperate ground wire at the headlights themselves.
Paul in CT

04-17-2021 @ 4:03 AM
New Member
Posts: 114
Joined: May 2016
As soon as my '38 is back from the shop (having Diamondback's installed) I will get to work on cleaning the headlight grounds. Previously I cleaned the lens and reflectors. Also I have no plans to replace the standard bulbs with halogen or LED bulbs. I seldom drive after dark, but I still need to beable to I can navigate the road.

Thank you to everyone that replied to my query. I appreciate the wealth of knowledge on this forum. At this time my '38 has only three modification; 1) electric fuel pump which I seldom use, 2) Fender headers and 3) third brake light. I guess adding radial tires makes four modifications.


04-17-2021 @ 4:05 AM
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Posts: 114
Joined: May 2016
Supereal, please post your instruction to this forum. Others on this site may find your information useful.

Thank you,


04-17-2021 @ 6:12 AM
Posts: 483
Joined: Oct 2009
I second that motion, Supereal. If you could post those instructions, that would be a big help.

Where did you install the extra solenoids on your '47? On one of the inner fenders?

Are you using a normal six volt headlamp bulb like a Wagner 6006?

Thanks very much for participating on this thread.


This message was edited by Grant on 4-17-21 @ 6:14 AM

04-17-2021 @ 8:14 AM
Posts: 6579
Joined: Oct 2009
Ray, Your grounding connections should be checked using the voltage drop method. It will probably save you many hours of checking and cleaning ground connections that were doing their job.

Connect your voltmeter red lead to the POS battery post and the black lead to the headlight bucket. Turn on you headlights to the high beam. The meter should read 0.1Volt or less. If the reading is higher, you have a grounding problem.

If you have a grounding problem, the most likely failing component is the grounding cable from the battery to the body or from the body to the engine.

Check for 6 volts at the head light wiring, by using a paper clip to probe that bullet connection for the high beams and turn on the hi beams. If you have less than 6 volts, you can try operating the dimmer switch or do a voltage drop test.



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