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Long story short - I put in a pair of the Holley Retrofit low beams in my car. For one, they're overpriced. For two, they don't plug-and-play. After figuring out the wiring I found that when low beams are on the high beams are very slightly on. I checked all my grounds but something is amiss. If I unplug my high beams, my low beams dim considerably. What the heck.

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Sounds like a similar problem here.
http://www.montecarloss.com/communi...at&Number=1074469&gonew=1#UNREAD
Trying to interface old tech with new tech is bound to have headaches. My old incandescent sealed beams work fine.
If I had to guess, a dim high beam that comes on with the low beam is caused by a stray ground that is not compatible with the amperage of the headlight.
You really need a wiring diagram when you modify the stock wiring.

Last edited by upflying; 07/30/22 03:59 PM.

86 MCSS Notchback coupe, LS3, 4L65E, QP 9", Eaton Truetrac, 4 wheel disc, column shift, Dakota Digital, silver with maroon bench interior

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So Holley replied back via eBay messages. Apparently they didn't like my message saying they weren't plug-and-play. To be fair I brought it on myself with suggesting they were greedy given the pricing compared to the product they delivered no working out of the box. I kind of took offense to the "competent mechanic" part and started a return. I'm not sure who they put in charge of customer service but that doesn't seem productive. Off they go. Sylvania XtraBrights going on. I'm wondering if my car had the wiring messed with prior to me owning it...high probability it may have... I'll go at them with a test light again. Supposedly plug-n-play headlights with instructions - funny crowd.

Quote:
New message from: holleyperformance (53,764PURPLE_SHOOTING_STAR Star)
This is plug and play for any vehicle with a 4"x6" headlight and the same part number will work for the low/ high beam or high beam only. The included adapter harness will allow it to be used as a high beam only.

No you don't have to figure it out for yourself because this is all explained in the instructions. If you misplaced the instructions they can be downloaded here - https://documents.holley.com/199r12347.pdf. If you don't understand them then I suggest taking your vehicle to a competent mechanic and have them install it.

Thanks

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This is how Holley shows the connections. Does that look right for our H4656 Low Beam bulb?

[Linked Image]

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This is the color of the wires going to the Low Beam. (NOTE: This is the drivers side, the passenger side Low Beam only has 1 brown wire going to it.)

[Linked Image]

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Not sure if this helps but this is the 2 schematics from the 88 electrical supplement. One for headlights, one for headlights composite.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

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That's exactly what I needed! The top picture is what I have on my 88. Thank you!

Last edited by kevins88ss; 08/01/22 11:21 PM.
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Driver
[Linked Image]
Passenger
[Linked Image]

Last edited by 88ssBrent; 08/01/22 11:28 PM.
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Not sure if your interested but if your working on electrical on your 88 this might be the best $10 one could spend, I've used mine 100 times over. It has every schematic for your car.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1843110210...r=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Last edited by 88ssBrent; 08/02/22 12:19 AM.
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For anyone with an SS, anyone who can read, anyone with a just little interest in their car and fixing the simplest electrical problems that Electrical Supp at 10 bucks may be the bargain of the century.
If you intend to keep an SS for any amount of time a must have. Have never seen an Electrical Supp for that cheap, you rarely see them sold separately.

I would buy it but already have two copies of it and two of the Service Manual.
Bob

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Bob, I thought the same thing when I saw it. I have 2 of the supplement only 1 of manual. If you notice the seller has 3 available and they are "make an offer" so a person could get it cheaper than the listed price.

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Wait - so, it looks like low beams are connected opposite of the ground wire, with high beam being the middle - only on the low beam/high beam bulbs?

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The Holley retrofits use H4 bulb & wiring pinout. You can just repin the original connector without the need for a adapter.
The problem with the dim partially lit high beams is the common result of a incorrect pin out.
Not sure if you got the issue resolved yet?

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I just need to know what the Sylvania bulb is expecting. From the pictures provided, low beam is opposite the ground, and high beam is the middle connector. I'll go make sure mine matches on both sides in the outer most headlights.

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FWIW, I used some aftermarket LED's in place of sealed beams on another vehicle that required me to swap some leads around, don't recall exactly which way. I think it has to do with GM wiring, LED polarity, and the difference between H4 and sealed beams that sometimes happens. Wish I was more help...


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
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Thanks for the link - I ordered 1 of the 3 manuals available. I'll go see what Sylvania has for their H4656 bulb - maybe they show the pinout.

Me working on it the other night.

[Linked Image]

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That's a good looking car!

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Thank you! Had it 15 years now. Good times. It needs paint though - looks good from a distance...and a snow storm... smile

Here's the pinout for a Sylvania H4656 - which I think is the headlight we use in our Low Beam spots. Found it from someones thread on thirdgen.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by kevins88ss; 08/05/22 06:54 PM.
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Not an advocate of blinding headlights, or blue light specials. A couple years ago was not happy, well actually the eyes needed help at night and looked for a better low beam for the 86. For several years ran a Sylvania XtraVision halogen low beam, better than the original Sylvania halogen that came in the car.
Xtra a little brighter and more side lighting, a good bulb but as I got older needed more.

On here everyone was upgrading to bigger and better, LED, HID, blue, relays and you name it as the bulb market went nuts. My night driving isn't extensive and don't fly down the roads at night, and don't want to be that guy that blinds everyone with ridiculous overkill.

I went with a Syvania H4656ST.BX SilverStar low beam which is still a halogen but top of the line for halogen. Pricey yes at little over 50 bucks a pair, yes shorter lifespan, yes more light, yes whiter, yes glass not plastic bulb and yes I like them, and yes, just plug and play.

Are those Holley bulbs really that expensive???????????
https://www.holley.com/products/electrical/led_lighting/retrobright/parts/LFRB120

Bob

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Yes - silly expensive for the Holley Retrobrights for 25w LED bulbs. The light wasn't great either in my opinion - I went with the 3000k. I wonder if the whiter light would have been better. Doesn't matter - I sent them back due to not plug-and-play and the snide reply from the Holley rep on eBay.

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A note on the color temps and lighting in general from someone who has spent more time than is reasonable on lighting theory...

Higher K ratings/color temperature are generally thought of as being brighter or easier to see etc, but in lower light conditions, it is the opposite actual effect. Most think that your pupil dilation is based on the Amount of light present, but that is not the main factor. More blue light present from 3000k plus, especially the 5000-6000k that some folks like to use, causes the pupils to shrink, limiting how much light can come through. At home, in a well lit environment, that higher K rating will help to sharpen visual focus due to the smaller pupil (so your reading lamp during the day should be "Daylight White 5000k" especially if your eyes aren't what they used to be, similar for the lamp above your workbench where you do highly visual tasks). But night driving is a completely different ballgame, you don't need to read the name on the tag of the dog on the side of the road, you just need to be able to see the dog on the side of the road. Lower K lighting (2000k "yellow" lights up to the 3000k halogens etc) is MUCH better for keeping your night vision acclimation and letting you use other ambient light to help drive. Think of it this way - a 5000k headlight only looks brighter because it makes everything else look dimmer. a 2500k headlight looks dimmer because you can't tell as much difference from the ambient light around (that you can still see). The biggest problem is the 5000k light from the car coming towards you, which still triggers your night vision to disappear as well. I haven't tried it, but it's possible some of the blue-blocking glasses might be helpful for this at night.

Most of the improved halogens/sealed beams are optimized for a little bit lower voltage, and typically have a slight blue filter for the premium look. Doing relays is basically nothing but good stuff, the lamps are rated at 14.4v but in reality on a vehicle old enough for sealed beams with wire running through the headlight switch inside etc, the voltage at the lamp is probably 10-11v at best, and the light production curve drops off significantly below about 12-13v. Good conversion lights will spend 10x the R&D on reflector design vs lighting element itself, because how you disperse the light make a much bigger difference than how much light you throw, which is why HID or most LED conversions that don't replace the lens are usually a big step backwards for the driver and a safety hazard for other cars on the road.

Fun back story, in the early days of HID's, BMW and other premium OEM's spent a ton of time and money engineering the lenses to put as much Useful light where it was needed to be safe and effective for drivers. One thing they did was to limit blue light creation, then filter all the blue light that did exist and jettison it off to the side, where it would not impact the driver's vision. This made a pretty little blue rainbow effect on the fringe of the beam pattern and a neutral to yellow main coverage pattern that is evenly distributed on the road ahead. Onlookers seeing the headlights from off-axis would only notice the blue fringe (unless you were staring straight at it, about to get run over), and when riding in one of those vehicles, you only notice how well the road was lit. Based on those two situations, the association was made between blue light, fancy cars, and good driving vision. Folks started short circuiting the engineering and making their headlights as blue as possible, which triggers poor vision, needing higher wattage to try to level it back to what is was before, emitting more blue light scattered to other cars and impacting their night vision, making them consider a similar "upgrade", spiraling the blinding effect for the driver and for other vehicles on the road. BMW and others then felt compelled to start making their headlights "bluer" to keep the premium image, and the cycle continues. Europe tends to have much warmer lights, even dedicated yellow lights in countries like France. Yellow filters don't necessarily help, but don't hurt nearly as much as blue filters.


Another side note for home lighting, make sure you have a light that is 90+ CRI (which is a scale from 0-100, daylight is 100 and those yellow bug lights are ~5, old school street lights ~50) if you need to see colors accurately such as wire colors or detail painting. A good general rule for lumens is that you should have 50 lumens per square foot (this is pretty similar to the term "foot candles", although they aren't exactly the same thing) that the light is covering for "Good" task lighting, such as work bench areas. Overall in the shop, 25 lumens/sq ft is probably a good target for most folks for being very well lit, it's about what we use in industrial fabrication areas. 10 lumens/sq ft is reasonable baseline that you won't be unhappy with, especially if you are younger. For reference, a 60w light bulb in the middle of a 2 car garage gets you 2 lumens/sq ft. Distribution is more important than amount of light, so 4 60w light bulbs in that 2 car garage, one ~5' off of each corner of the room, gets 10 lumens/sq ft and almost no shadows and would be a pretty good solution, and using decent LED equivalents, you would have ~9Wx4 for 36 watts in place of 60w with much better light. Putting a single 4000 lumen/36W LED in the center gets you the same average, but you will have shadows and dark corners that will frustrate you and cause your eyes to fatigue much quicker, making it feel darker.
And for practicality, I'm a fan of Feit Lighting. I'm not saying they make nothing but perfect products, and I'm not saying other folks don't make good stuff too, but overall across the product line, they have good CRI, good pricing, and decent lifespan when used appropriately. Heat will kill any LED, so be weary of enclosed fixtures.


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
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Man, that's a novel...

If you don't want it to clutter your thread, I'd be happy to start a new post in the lounge or something, just let me know. I tend to ramble about stuff sometimes


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway

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