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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I have the old melted down plastic lens headlights. I am buying a new set of plastic lens because (yes I admit it ) I am to cheap to pay the $75 - $100 dollars the are asking on E-Bay for the glass ones.
What the question is, what caused the old ones to melt? I had heard two theory's
(1) The bulbs are mounted to close to the lens, and are to hot.
(2) As suggested by HiFiDrive, the dreaded/common muffler leak and failure?

Can anyone confirm the real truth? :???:
 

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Donk

I Can

(1) Proven many times by many owners

(2) Who's HiFi LOL

You Can

(1) Be the new CCI plastic lens Mythbuster, Take your new lens and put an original bulb in the bucket then hook up the light to a battery charger and see how long it is before your new lens looks old. Or in thirty days when the lens is still brand new looking report the support of some muffler leaking lens destroyer.

Your Choice LOl

Stewart
 

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I can't confirm the cause of past meltings but I have replaced a lot of lenses with both plastic and glass. The standard bulbs used with the glass lenses will melt the plastic but I have several tractors with new plastic lenses that do not appear to be suffering any bad effects when using the proper bulb. The problem is that there are several bulbs that will fit and some people attempting to get more powerful light probably substitute a higher wattage bulb than specified and that causes the damage. Of course I'm usually in bed by the time it gets dark so my headlights don't get too much use.
 

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My LH plastic lens is the only one that melted slightly. I am still trying to decide if I want to cut the openings in my hood and install larger lights with a glass lens and 55w H3 bulbs or try to convert my OEM housings to accept H3 bulbs. The one I am worried about is draining the battery with the higher wattage bulbs. Im sure I will be fine at WOT but 90% of the time I am at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle. Sometimes I just let the tractor idle with the lights on in the yard while I finish up a project in the dark.

I also thought about polishing the dull plastic lens' and see how well they work with the stock 27 watt in there. decisions decisons...

I will go halfs with someone on a replacement set of plastic lens' if all you need is one.
 

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Bart said:
I can't confirm the cause of past meltings but I have replaced a lot of lenses with both plastic and glass. The standard bulbs used with the glass lenses will melt the plastic but I have several tractors with new plastic lenses that do not appear to be suffering any bad effects when using the proper bulb. The problem is that there are several bulbs that will fit and some people attempting to get more powerful light probably substitute a higher wattage bulb than specified and that causes the damage. Of course I'm usually in bed by the time it gets dark so my headlights don't get too much use.
Bart
Care to share the proper bulb #'s Plastic vs Glass

Thank you in advance

Stewart
 

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My lenses are melted horribly. I replaced the original bulbs with LED ones but they don't throw nearly as much light as the original bulbs. They don't throw any heat though.

I'm to cheap to buy new lenses... :sidelaugh:
 

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Stewart said:
Bart
Care to share the proper bulb #'s Plastic vs Glass

Thank you in advance

Stewart
The correct bulbs are #1156, 27w, for use with plastic lenses and #1195, 37.5w,
for use with glass lenses. You can find 1156 bulbs at any auto parts store, I've
also found them at Walmart. There are other bulbs that will fit and work, e.g. 1157, but those are probably the ones that cause the problems. Some people have experimented with LEDs and it appears that the technology is improving to the point that they might be a good alternative.
 

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Bart

That's unbelievable :sidelaugh:

I actually had the correct bulbs in my tractor after 30 years. I likely never changed them. LOL

Thanks
Stewart
 

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I am HiFiDRive..... :thumbsup: or at least I was at the previous site...

I'm pretty sure that the heat from the bulbs is the culprit.

I was just throwing another theory out there beacuse I recently experienced the muffler problem and could not believe the amount of heat that it causes to get trapped under the hood. Care for a fried egg anyone???

I was extremely lucky to find a guy off of CL that sold me a perfect condition set of glass lenses for $50 total, including shipping.

The glass lenses are unreal, they really throw out some light with the stock bulbs and it looks great, like I taped 50 or so really strong flashlights on my hood, at night you can see each individual beam for a good 30+ yards.
 

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Hi Troops,
I gonna chime in with what I have done. I installed Sylvania H3 halogen 55 watt lamps in my stock buckets by making a hole in the center and installing the H3s. Much brighter and deeper light, no more melting of the lensed. There are pics of this on the Yahoo group under Mad Mac, check them out if you are a member there. My 448 has these lamps along with a pair of fender mounted 35 watt halogen tractor flood lights. I put them on an on/off/on switch along with the head lights so both were not on at the same time to keep the amperage draw on the system to a minimum. The 448 also has a pair of marker lights with red lenses for tail lights. No problem with charging the battery with the throttle off idle. Tom GoldenCove now owns the 448.
Bob MacGregor in CT :razz: :lol: :lolno: :crazy: :sidelaugh: :letitsnow:
 

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I did the Sylvania H3 lights in the stock buckets with glass lenses and they work great. Then I bead blasted and powdercoated the buckets with "chrome" powdercoating I bought from ebay, $20.00 for 1 pound. Probably twice if not 3 times more light. I highly recommend powdercoating. Wish I could afford to have them chrome plated, I can buy a lot of parts or a tractor for what that costs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I checked out the picture MadMac (Bob) It looks like thats the best way to go, Not sure about the 55watts, I found a Hella HLA-H83135241 H3 12V 35W Halogen Bulb for $6.75 ea. Whats the consensus , I know brighter is better but can the system handle it? I know a chrome outfit maybe I can persuade them to help out? :crazy:
I did some research and found this by grummy, who is listed as a member here so if he's here He gets the credit for the real research, and I hope he doesn't mind me posting it.

He said, Likely, you have a 15 amp charging system. 15 amps in a 12 volt system equals 180 watts. If you use (4) 55 watt bulbs, you will be using more
energy than your tractor can deliver. It will run for a while, then eventually die on you as the battery gets sapped.

The best "balance" I have found is 35 watt halogens in the front (#796 bulbs), (1) 35 watt rear lamp ( I used one of these:
http://www.jwspeaker.com/catalog/forwar ... l_4200.htm)

Thats 105 watts so far. Then I have a pair of very bright, yellow LED marker lights facing the rear, blinking along with (2) 20 watt 1156 bulbs in 360 degree visible housings on the roof. Because they are blinking, I figure the blinky side of things to draw 30 watts. Thats 130 watts total, leaving 50 watts headroom to keep the battery up.
Even beyond that though, I plug a battery maintainer into the tractors cigarette lighter socket when parked. I'm not all that thrilled when it drops to 5 below zero and I have a lame battery.
Note that those "speaker 4200" lights I link to are fantastic lamps. They use off the shelf "under cabinet" halogen lights. They are super bright, and available in different wattage's and beam widths. Someday, I am going to make custom inserts to replace the front lights in my 449 project tractor. I will be able to fit one larger 50 watt and one of the smaller 35 watt bulbs within the confines of that area, and also be able to switch them separately. Should be kind of neat, AND deliver lots more light.

Donkman.
 

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Bart said:
Stewart said:
Bart
Care to share the proper bulb #'s Plastic vs Glass

Thank you in advance

Stewart
The correct bulbs are #1156, 27w, for use with plastic lenses and #1195, 37.5w,
for use with glass lenses. You can find 1156 bulbs at any auto parts store, I've
also found them at Walmart. There are other bulbs that will fit and work, e.g. 1157, but those are probably the ones that cause the problems. Some people have experimented with LEDs and it appears that the technology is improving to the point that they might be a good alternative.
Aren't the #1157 bulbs a two filament bulb?
 

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MyCase446 said:
Bart said:
Stewart said:
Bart
Care to share the proper bulb #'s Plastic vs Glass

Thank you in advance

Stewart
The correct bulbs are #1156, 27w, for use with plastic lenses and #1195, 37.5w,
for use with glass lenses. You can find 1156 bulbs at any auto parts store, I've
also found them at Walmart. There are other bulbs that will fit and work, e.g. 1157, but those are probably the ones that cause the problems. Some people have experimented with LEDs and it appears that the technology is improving to the point that they might be a good alternative.
Aren't the #1157 bulbs a two filament bulb?
yes. they are used as a stop/backup./brakelight
 

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Hi Troops,
No doubt that redoing the interior of the stock light buckets will improve light tremendously. I do recommend that a battery of no less than 300 CCA be used. When I had my 448 I mostly used the fender mounted flood lights and they were a total of 70 watts and with the tail lights and the ignition I had no problem with the charging system keeping up after I replaced the regulator/rectifier with the Ingersoll updated unit. I was getting 15-16 VDC at the battery with the old R/R, burning out the lights and cooking the battery!!!
Bob MacGregor in CT :sidelaugh: :letitsnow: :446:
 

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here is a photo of the Sylvania H3 halogen 55 watt lamps that Mac installed in the 448 that now resides at Golden Cove :grin: I was just in the garage and the team is ready for whatever the storm dumps on us!



 

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I hate posting this, in "case" someone has a meltdown, but heres what I did on both restores I did. The automotive aftermarket offers a #795 bulb. Its a halogen bulb used in emergency revolving lights. I did buy the glass lenses and have not ever felt how hot they are after blowing snow or cutting grass. They are very bright though and light up the night.
 
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