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Old 10-31-2020, 09:54 PM   #301 (permalink)
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How I tamed my Crown Vic’s head lights.

One major problem with today’s head lights is that D.O.T (Deportment Of Transportation) lost control of the shape and type of head lights allowed on cars and trucks.

This has allowed some great LOOKING head lamps, streamlined and matching the shape of today’s cars.

But it also has allowed some poorly focused light, from downright very poor lighted roads and objects in front of your car on the road, or too badly aimed and focus causing head lights that can be blinding to on coming other cars.

The Crown Vic has the first type of head light with stock light bulbs.

AND has the second type with brighter LED light systems.

WTF!! From dim to bad by a simple lamp change…

So it took me a little time and a nice drop in prices for me to find a system that really works.

And considering this problem happens with many a head light design, they have been using this solution: Projector lens with a mechanical cut off flap to control the low beams.

What had held me back was to use these projectors you have to do one of two things, cut holes in the back of the head light housings and then mount it from the back end.

Or remove the clear front cover, so you can work from the front inside.

I tried a way by heating the housing to get the glue used to seal the clear lens to the reflector body, and failed. I ended up burning the lens and still it did not release.

So I mounted one set used non low/high beam projector for what I hoped would be a great high beam from the rear.

That did not work out as well and I hoped; cutting a large hole into the back put sticky dust all over the inside of the lamp. I ended up stuffing the inside of the lamp housing with clean rags to try and stop all the dust, it mostly worked.

So I mounted these head lamps on the car with four LED lamps and damn, low beam lighted the tops of trees, and high beam was not much better. I even considered using the projector as a low beam by using a fixed bar to cut its high beam spread but it did not work. I learned later it was upside down, you would think this cut off bar would be on top, but they need to on the bottom as the focus is upside down. I learned this with the new projectors I bought. Hindsight with new knowledge can be 20/20!!

I figured out a way to cut the lenses off the housings so I could get them off so I could mount aftermarket projectors into my head lamps. Messy but a working system, most cases anyway.

But at this point I was out of good head lamps, so I shopped eBay. I spotted what looked like a cheaply made pair of head lamps not made in China but in Taiwan, I was hoping they MIGHT use even a cheaper glue…and I was right, it was still slightly soft when I got them and a few hours on the back deck under the rear window in our summer heat melted them very nicely so that I was able to pry them off with no damage.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Headlights-...72.m2749.l2649

{A side point, I am running a pair of 98 to 2002 Mercury Grand Marques head lamps and the core supporter from my 2000 Mercury in place of the stock cross member and grill support on a 03 Crown Vic P71 as I have another thing I wanted forever after seeing the turn signals on a 1965 T Bird and then on my own 69 Mercury Cougar XR7.

I had found these great two color LED lights for daytime running white light and sequential flowing amber LED lights for turn signal light.

Like these: https://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-12LEDs-C...IAAOSwT9Ndts7i

And amber running with RED sequential flowing LED lights for turn signal lights that I mounted on the rear Tail lights…later I found a set of WHITE day light with red, which I will replace the current RED only turn lights and use the white wired to work as backup lights.

This setup with the 98/02 Mercury head lamps and the stock 03 bumper cover left a nice one inch gap between them which I used to mount there Bight White day light LEDs as running lights and giving me the sequential flowing amber LED lights for turn signal lights.} See extra pictures:

SO I then ordered some cheap projectors made for HID lamps in the hope I could modified them to use LED lamps. If I failed I would only be out a little money.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HID-Project...72.m2749.l2649

I ordered two pairs, thinking I might mount two of them side by side giving my car a triple set of projectors in each lamp assembly; or if I messed up one I had a replacement set on hand.

And wanting the best brightest LED lamps and finding four sided units which should have even a better spread of light ordered these for the new Projectors:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4Sides-9006...72.m2749.l2649

I already had a pair like these in the old projectors I had mounted from the back out of some junked car I bought the head lamp to remove them for my car.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-sides-LED...0AAOSwV3pex7Dw

I found that these new projectors mounted in the old lamp hole of the stock lamp assemblies …and by band sawing part of the stock lamp mounting they fitted very well. So it was going to just be one projector in the main section after all.

I am now thinking I will use the second set of projectors as Fog lights. And rig them to pop up THEIR low beam flapper when I hit high beams…OMG EIGHT high beams lights…

I then drilled, ground and drum sanded the main lamp holes out to fit the LED lamps.

Next I spend a couple of days testing these new lamps…I had already read how one person did a similar conversion and he said you might need to move the lamps in and out for the best focus of the light so I tested this in my shop on a bench and he was right as I found the best focus was about 3/8s pulled out for my LED lamps inside the projectors, I had already drilled a hole for a set screw which I used to lock them in place.

It was during this inside testing I discovered that they needed to be mounted upside down for the flapper high/low beam feature to work.

Once mounted in the car I also found I need to work on the aiming of these projectors, they needed to be pointed as high as I could get them to LOWER the beams on the road, (That odd upside down focus again) so I shifted them as high as I could inside the lamp housing and bingo, they worked.

Now I need to hook up a BUNCH of relays to control all these lamps.

Like how the Main head lamp projector LED are only one setting, no high/low LEDs, low beam is controlled by the flapper, so to work it by the cars high and low beam controls I need to rig a relay to turn on the LED when I select high beams and that also makes the flapper open up for high beams.

The low beams can run off the low beam power line. But so it will switch the flapper up for high beam I need to separate power to the low beam power and that for the high beam power by a relay so the high beam flapper is only powered when high beam is wanted.

Then to give me as much control as I want I will have a relay that I can switch on and off to power the center high beam projectors so IF I want I now have two high beam projectors lighting to road.

AND for real power I also am adding another relay to turn on the old round highway road lamps behind the grill for a real powerful long reach lighting I call The Super High Beams so with them powered up I have six high beams projecting bight light on the road, all high beams are controlled by the cars low/high beam controller.

And the make all of this even better I have a relay that powers these high beams up whenever I hit the horns, so my car honks and flashes the high beams at the same time.

I invented this when driving in LA freeways in the 80s when due to my loss of hearing in my left ear, when I was 16 and hit a VW bug on my motor scooter, that I CAN not tell where sound is coming from, and thus when I heard a car’s horn on three to five lanes of freeway I could NOT tell whom was honking..and I wished for them to flash their lights so I could know whom was honking, thus my idea was born.

There will be a switch to turn on and off this feature as well.

And one last part of this setup is a set of Air Horns, which also relay and switch control so they sound with the cars stock horns and they can be turned off as well.

So while wiring the real tail lights for a separate Turn signal by running the turn signals power from the front to the rear I also added a stop/turn signal to my third brake light…for the fun of it.

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Old 10-31-2020, 10:00 PM   #302 (permalink)
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I got down next to the parking brake handle with a screwdriver and bent the switch out of the way to disable those damned DRLs. Take THAT.
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Old 11-01-2020, 01:42 AM   #303 (permalink)
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Installed a Viofo A119 V3 dash cam in the 09 Prius. Now if someone runs a light right in front of me I'll get their license plate number.
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:11 AM   #304 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_a_t_t View Post
I found a very unfortunate side effect of the "active weight reduction" on the rear pass. wheel well in the mercury. When the roads are wet it flings water into the car, even up to the dash.

Woo! Reminds me of my "rust-free" 2000 Metro winter beater.


Daox posted a hilarious pic of his, which rusted in the same place:






From: Ecomodding my winter beater: a unicorn no-rust (*) 2000 Chevrolet Metro 1.0 5-spd
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:15 AM   #305 (permalink)
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drip drip drip

Latest MPGiata activity (and probably last of the year... soon going to put it away for the winter):


I put a big piece of cardboard on the ground under the engine/trans, marking the position relative to the front tires so I can pinpoint where it drips the 1 or 2 drops of fluid every day.


Not so I can fix it, but so I can more accurately position a smaller, more focused piece of cardboard from now on.
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:26 PM   #306 (permalink)
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I got "stuck". Dang open diff. Also rear wheel was locked up so that didn't help. Just rocked the car back and forth between reverse and drive and the rear wheel loosened up as well as backing up onto my driveway.


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Last edited by M_a_t_t; 11-28-2020 at 06:32 PM..
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:53 AM   #307 (permalink)
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You do know that mostly setting the parking brake is known as "poor man's positraction"?
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Old 11-30-2020, 01:31 PM   #308 (permalink)
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Never heard that. But I've never used the parking brake since I've had the car so I'm not sure why it gets stuck after sitting.
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My herd includes:
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1975 Honda Civic CVCC 4spd
1981 Kawasaki KZ750E
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1983 Kawasaki KZ1100-A3
1986 Nissan 300zx Turbo 5 spd
1995 Chevy Astro RWD
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Old 11-30-2020, 04:25 PM   #309 (permalink)
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Makes it harder to slip, allowing power to go to the other wheel...

I just checked over my rear brakes on the insight. Deglazed the pads and drums. No need to order parts for that. Ordered front rotors and not much else.
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Old 11-30-2020, 07:39 PM   #310 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotrsko View Post
You do know that mostly setting the parking brake is known as "poor man's positraction"?

I was able to drive a RWD open diff car out of a slippery situation once using that trick. After partially setting the brake the improvement in traction was dramatic.



I've tried in FWD vehicles to mimic the approach with light pressure on the foot brake, but it doesn't seem to work. Any thoughts on that?

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