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Old 11-26-2018, 07:56 PM   #1
Mr. V
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Default 940 headlight upgrade

My wife wants me to find and install better bulbs in the headlights of her '92 940 Turbo.

Currently they are Sylvania HB1 9004 (dual hi/lo beam).

She says the current bulbs aren't bright enough, especially on really dark, rainy nights.

I googled up many possibilities but do not know which to choose, so I ask for the collected wisdom of T-brickers.

What bulb would be a great upgrade?

Last edited by Mr. V; 11-26-2018 at 10:27 PM..
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:58 PM   #2
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Are your headlights foggy/yellow? If so replacement lenses might be the trick. Also the reflectors can lose their reflective coating. Both issues can reduce light output a lot.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:07 PM   #3
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Also add Osram nightbreaker laser globes
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Old 11-27-2018, 02:08 PM   #4
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Anyone have success with adapting 9007 bulbs? The wiring plug is the same but the wires are rearranged. The bulb holder will accept the 9007 bulb with a little work.
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Old 11-27-2018, 02:25 PM   #5
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Ecodes if you can swing it. There are ecodes for non-fog front cars, but as far as I know they're an OE only option... no aftermarket suppliers.

Installing Ecodes on your 940 with foglights, step by step

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Old 12-01-2018, 12:07 PM   #6
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There isn't a simple answer, but a few things can improve the wimpy headlights. First, get new lenses. The old foggy lenses won't let much light through. Unfortunately the lenses have little posts sticking out the front which makes re-polishing impossible.

Next, install the relay kit from Painless Performance. The relays will make sure that battery voltage is getting to the headlights. At the same time, check on the headlight relay on the relay panel under the radio. Mine was melted and ready to catch on fire. I had to replace it using a pigtail arrangement since the original melted a hole in the panel.

The 940 just does not have room at the back of the headlights to install LED units. Almost all bright LED headlight replacements need large cooling fins and most use cooling fans as part of the assembly. Short of someone offering a drop in Lens/LED Headlight assembly, LED's are not an option.

Don't install bulbs with higher current draw. The lenses aren't designed to handle the extra heat. The car's existing headlight wiring isn't designed for the extra current draw, either. Another reason to put in the headlight relay kit. All in all, you will see a big improvement if you do the above steps.

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Old 12-01-2018, 02:13 PM   #7
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First off, he likely has the glass headlights. Therefore, the lenses are not "yellowed". 1992 US market 940 turbos all came with glass headlights with the plastic fog light next to them. That headlight setup puts out dismal lumination. I have the same problem with my 92 940T on rainy nights. It's like driving a model T with kerosene lamps. Even the plastic headlights put out more light. It is a headlight design problem. Perhaps, one of the HID conversion kits would help. I have been considering trying one on my 940.
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hessam69 View Post
Also add Osram nightbreaker laser globes
Can confirm. I've put in Osram Nightbreakers in my stock E-codes and they are so much brighter than any other lamp I've had in there before. Maybe try these first before making some expensive upgrades if they're available for your lights (don't know if the US lights have different sockets etc. than EU).
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Old 12-01-2018, 08:38 PM   #9
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Since you're in the US, just avoid Sylvania.
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:13 PM   #10
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Amazon has some interesting converters + bulbs for sale, you can plug the puppies right in and then use LEDs, if youre into that sorta thing. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...LYY81PTV&psc=1
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:02 PM   #11
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E-codes have room for LEDs. According to a test in a car and technics magazine, the light pattern is even surprisingly good in H4 LEDs, IF the diodes are placed in the right place and there are reflectors. The thested bulbs were Phlilips H4 IIRC.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:28 PM   #12
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If you want to stick with stock housings instead of going E-Codes, the NightBreakers are good, so are the Phillips XtremeVision's. I've got the XV's in my wagon with e-codes, wife's wagon with e-codes, and her old wagon with e-codes, really happy with em. A relay kit will help as well, got an extra 1.2v to the bulb when I did mine.

E-codes will make a bigger difference with pattern on the road and amount of light on the road than bulbs will though, but there's a cost associated with them.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:22 PM   #13
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The problem is not as much the bulb, but the rather poor beam pattern of the headlights (in the US market -- the Euro lights are much better). You can put bigger/brighter/funkier bulbs in, but it doesn't put the light where you want it. For driving at night in the middle of nowhere, I want to see far down the road and have a wide angle so I can see small and large creatures before they jump in front of my car, and where I am turning into. (That why the fogs in the photo are pointed out.)

The best solution I have found is to go with auxiliary lights.

You don't have to go as fancy as the photo. (The whole bar comes off and has quick disconnects for the wiring.) . You can just mount to the bumper. With the advent of LED auxiliary lights, there are even smaller packages, but make sure they put the light where you want it.

The nice thing here is you can move them to a different car. (The car above is long gone, but the light bar lives on!)

Back in 2005, I wrote an article for Rolling about improving lighting. I think it was 3 parter. Unfortunately, I had a hard drive crash a few years ago, and I can't seem to find an accessible version anymore.

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Old 12-06-2018, 01:36 PM   #14
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I would upgrade the stock bulbs to a higher quality bulb and add the relay harness to the headlight circuit.

Then I second the suggestion to add under the bumper fog lights. You can get an affordable set of Bosch, Hella, Cibie, or the above pictured Marchal lights and that will be a big help with the road lighting when driving in the foggy wet weather.
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