Headlight Upgrade for Mk3 Jetta? (fog lights and auxillary)

Rig

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New LED fog lights are in! I am very pleased with the the look. After dark, I will assess functionality. But they are definitely brighter.
 
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Rig

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So, total dark review: I like these lights. They are brighter than my headlights actually. The color is a bit extreme, but I think it will work. I'll do another review the next time I drive in rain or snow.

It's a lot of light for just a couple of old fog lights with oem fitment. for 30$ I think this was a good purchase.



 

BoiseTDI

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Where did you purchase them and what model#? I need to do the same, those look great!
So, total dark review: I like these lights. They are brighter than my headlights actually. The color is a bit extreme, but I think it will work. I'll do another review the next time I drive in rain or snow.

It's a lot of light for just a couple of old fog lights with oem fitment. for 30$ I think this was a good purchase.



 

Rig

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Confirm bulb type on your fog light housing, but mine are H3s.

These are the ones I bought, but not to say they are best out there. The yellow is a bit extreme, maybe 3500K would have been a bit better for me, but they are hard to find.

Notably these don't claim a lumen rating but you can't really go by those anyway.


Here's another one that might be good:



I'm currently looking to replace my turn signal bulbs and all the rear bulbs with LEDs. turn signals are so dim during the day people can't see them.

Trying to figure out what bulb type they are and what the LED equivilant would be.
 

ToddA1

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I'm currently looking to replace my turn signal bulbs and all the rear bulbs with LEDs. turn signals are so dim during the day people can't see them
You may want to confirm you have the correct bulbs installed. Rotbox’s exterior lighting was more than satisfactory, with standard incandescents.

-Todd
 

Rig

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Here is a good reference chart. No idea if the bulbs are right actually. The only lettering/numbers on the bulbs are HL0, PA6 GF30 which i can't find any cross references for.

Anyone know what the difference is between 7528 and 7506?

1996-1998 Jetta, 1996-1997 Golf

High & low beam headlamp 9004
4 headlamp headlight 9005 9006
Parking light 7528
Front turn signal 7528
Rear turn signal 7506
Tail light 7528
Stop light 7528
High mount stop light 70
Fog/Driving light H3-55W
License plate 2825
Back up light 7506
Map light 6411
Dome light 6411
Step/Courtesy light 6418
Trunk/Cargo area 6418
 
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ToddA1

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I can see if I still have Rotbox’s front turns, tomorrow.… I’m willing to bet they’re 1157.

-Todd
 

ToddA1

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I did a quick search on the World Wide Web…. now I don’t need to look tomorrow.

"The base of an 1157 and a 7528 is exactly the same. ... The difference is that an 1157 bulb draws 27 [traditionally 21 - 27] watts for the high filament and 8.3 [traditionally 5 - 8.3] watts for the low filament. A 7528 bulb draws 25 watts for the high filament and 5.9 watts for the low filament. For all practical concerns, the two bulbs are 100% interchangeable."

I was kinda right…

-Todd
 

Rig

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@ToddA1 @Steve Addy Maybe you can chime on this new problem I'm having. I purchased some drop in LED turn signals for front and rear. They absolutely solve the issue of being much brighter and easy to see during the day. The front ones have a switchback function where they turn white and act as auxilary lights when not flashing amber.

For reference here are the front turn signal LEDs I chose: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WPTRN8V?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

And here are the rear: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VZ46L52/ref=twister_B07WCFZ2PM?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

They were working perfectly (aside from hyperflash) for about 5min but then the right side suddenly stopped working and just has a solid buzzing sound, no flashing.

Do you think I blew a fuse or what is causing the solid buzz?

Looking into it, I see you need some kind of special LED relay. Here is one that I found:


do I also need resistors?


Just wondering if you have experiences with this?

I'm also looking at replacing ALL of my other auxilary lights with LEDs. tail lights, brake lights, license plate and interior lights, etc.. where else do I need to make electrical modifications to make the LEDs work properly? If you have a link to a write up that would also be great. Did some searching but found nothing too definitive.
 
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ToddA1

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I’ve never run resistors since resistors are inside the base, but ymmv.

i clicked your flasher relay link and i think you ordered the wrong one. People mentioned Ford in the reviews. You want one for European cars.

No clue about the buzzing.

-Todd
 

Rig

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Alright, I orderd the CF13GL-02, euro relay linked on another thread. https://www.superbrightleds.com/cf13gl-02-led-bulb-electronic-flasher-3-pin-black-european-flasher Hopefully this fixes my issues, otherwise I will try different lights. I would be sad to give up on the switchbacks because they add some extra much needed light i wasn't planning on.

I'm encountering an issue with the in-pros. The white plastic fine adjustment knobs do absolutely nothing. All four of them. So I have no idea how to aim these headlights other than to make adjustments via the four mounting screws. No idea why they wouldn't be working as these headlights are new out of the box.

Additionally, I've noticed that when I am switching from highs to lows, if I hold the stalk back instead of letting it lock back into it's neutral position, both my highs and my lows are on at the same time. Not sure if this is an anomoly or is normal with these cars. (I know next to nothing about electrical stuff) I rather like the additional light and am wondering how to make it stay that way when I switch to highs.
 

garciapiano

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I'm encountering an issue with the in-pros. The white plastic fine adjustment knobs do absolutely nothing. All four of them. So I have no idea how to aim these headlights other than to make adjustments via the four mounting screws. No idea why they wouldn't be working as these headlights are new out of the box.
I’ve seen repair kits available for their dual round headlights… but that’s rough luck. I have had the exact same thing happen to me. Brand new out of the box Hellas with stripped adjusters…
 

Steve Addy

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Alright, I orderd the CF13GL-02, euro relay linked on another thread. https://www.superbrightleds.com/cf13gl-02-led-bulb-electronic-flasher-3-pin-black-european-flasher Hopefully this fixes my issues, otherwise I will try different lights. I would be sad to give up on the switchbacks because they add some extra much needed light i wasn't planning on.
I'm honestly not sure you're going to be able to make this scenario work..and I'm not sure how adding a relay will remedy the problem.

I'm encountering an issue with the in-pros. The white plastic fine adjustment knobs do absolutely nothing. All four of them. So I have no idea how to aim these headlights other than to make adjustments via the four mounting screws. No idea why they wouldn't be working as these headlights are new out of the box.
That may just be a side effect of the euro lights in a NA radiator support although I don't know. You may have to remove one of the lights from the car and work with it to see how the adjustment isn't working right.

Additionally, I've noticed that when I am switching from highs to lows, if I hold the stalk back instead of letting it lock back into it's neutral position, both my highs and my lows are on at the same time. Not sure if this is an anomaly or is normal with these cars. (I know next to nothing about electrical stuff) I rather like the additional light and am wondering how to make it stay that way when I switch to highs.
Yes...getting both hi and low to illuminate at the same time is nice...especially for flashing oncoming cars (that's the intention of this feature) it's not viable for long term use. I'm of the opinion that this will generate too much heat and will either burn out the bulb or worse it may cause some type of combustion inside the lamp that would ruin them. Also bear in mind any plastic used in these lamp assemblies would be vulnerable to the higher output.

It would be better to try and accomplish this with additional lamps although there are limits in the law about how many forward lamps you can have. The fact that your current lamps are combination high/low would suggest to me that an additional high beam 'pencil beam' type lamp might not create any friction with law enforcement. It just needs to be operated only when high beams are on IMO.

Steve
 

ToddA1

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Additionally, I've noticed that when I am switching from highs to lows, if I hold the stalk back instead of letting it lock back into it's neutral position, both my highs and my lows are on at the same time. Not sure if this is an anomoly or is normal with these cars.
Pretty sure that’s normal. I think my old Rabbits do the same.

-Todd
 

Rig

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That may just be a side effect of the euro lights in a NA radiator support although I don't know. You may have to remove one of the lights from the car and work with it to see how the adjustment isn't working right.
That adjustment has to be independent from how the headlight is actually mounted. I made no changes to the headlight itself. Only changes were on the radiator frame. I will do what I can do dissect the light, but I suspect I may just have to adjust position with the mounting tabs instead. washers or varying degrees of tightness on the mounting screws.

Overall I'm happy with the in-pros. I think they work well with LEDs. its a decided improvement over my previous situation. I will post some pictures when I can get some adjustments made to the posistion of the lights.
 

Abacus

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I'm encountering an issue with the in-pros. The white plastic fine adjustment knobs do absolutely nothing. All four of them. So I have no idea how to aim these headlights other than to make adjustments via the four mounting screws. No idea why they wouldn't be working as these headlights are new out of the box.
Yep, I've seen this too many times to count. The end of the adjuster is knurled and they press the plastic adjuster on so it's held on by friction. What happens is the plastic becomes brittle over time and it strips off the metal adjuster. As to a good workaround, I've had some success disassembling them and gluing them onto the center shaft with epoxy.


Additionally, I've noticed that when I am switching from highs to lows, if I hold the stalk back instead of letting it lock back into it's neutral position, both my highs and my lows are on at the same time. Not sure if this is an anomoly or is normal with these cars. (I know next to nothing about electrical stuff) I rather like the additional light and am wondering how to make it stay that way when I switch to highs.
There is a jumper on the B4's you can put in the fusebox (same as the A3) that will allow both the high and low beams to stay on when you run the high beams. I don't recommend it for the A3 because they use the same bulb and it'll burn out the filaments. The B4 has separate assemblies for high and low beams.
 

Rig

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Gluing with expoxy sounds like a good plan. Depends on how hard these are to take apart though.

There is a jumper on the B4's you can put in the fusebox (same as the A3) that will allow both the high and low beams to stay on when you run the high beams. I don't recommend it for the A3 because they use the same bulb and it'll burn out the filaments. The B4 has separate assemblies for high and low beams.
I'm using dual H7 bulb projector headlight lenses with LEDs (German made In-Pros with e-code fitment 4 prong). One lens/bulb is for lows and the other for highs. Lows turn off when brights are on. That said, no idea what would happen if both LEDs were to stay on for extended periods. The lows are "minis" which means they have direct fitment in the housing just like a halogen bulb, the highs are bigger with fans and a separate driver. Haven't noticed an excessive amount of heat from either of them which is part of the reason I like LEDs.

The lows are more of a traditional flood light, but the highs are very concentrated beams. I wish the highs were more of a flood though because there are a lot of dark areas in my vision, specifically immediately to the left and right of the car which is where deer like to hang out!

If I hold the stalk back both the highs and the lows are on simultaneously and so far I like that the best for lots of light when I need it. Wish there was was a way to have the option do this independently. Almost like a super brights mode (could still have brights on without the lows).

Fogs definitely do something to fill in but the light is a bit dim for deer spotting.

The turn signal switchbacks I bought act as a second pair of fogs, albeit white light. May end up changing these to normal amber especially if the relay doesn't fix my issues with them. (hazards don't work, no flashing when lights are on, and hyper flashing when they do)

I'll take some good pictures soon when I can get the headlights aimed properly.
 
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Steve Addy

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Gluing with expoxy sounds like a good plan. Depends on how hard these are to take apart though.



I'm using dual H7 bulb projector headlight lenses with LEDs (German made In-Pros with e-code fitment 4 prong). One lens/bulb is for lows and the other for highs. Lows turn off when brights are on. That said, no idea what would happen if both LEDs were to stay on for extended periods. The lows are "minis" which means they have direct fitment in the housing just like a halogen bulb, the highs are bigger with fans and a separate driver. Haven't noticed an excessive amount of heat from either of them which is part of the reason I like LEDs.

The lows are more of a traditional flood light, but the highs are very concentrated beams. I wish the highs were more of a flood though because there are a lot of dark areas in my vision, specifically immediately to the left and right of the car which is where deer like to hang out!

If I hold the stalk back both the highs and the lows are on simultaneously and so far I like that the best for lots of light when I need it. Wish there was was a way to have the option do this independently. Almost like a super brights mode (could still have brights on without the lows).

Fogs definitely do something to fill in but the light is a bit dim for deer spotting.

The turn signal switchbacks I bought act as a second pair of fogs, albeit white light. May end up changing these to normal amber especially if the relay doesn't fix my issues with them. (hazards don't work, no flashing when lights are on, and hyper flashing when they do)

I'll take some good pictures soon when I can get the headlights aimed properly.
Yes... please post pictures...I'm not sure how you're getting two h7 bulbs into that reflector, it was designed for a single H4 55/60 watt lamp.

As Mark said, there's a jumper you can install in the fuse box that allows the highs to remain on when the lows are on. There's also a jumper that allows the fogs to remain on when the high beams are on too.

The former; high and low together, I think would be a problem , especially if you're still powering your headlights with the factory wiring.

Steve
 

Rig

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As you can see on the housing 2x H7s.




These are blurry and I've since been able to get better alignment on them using just the mounting tabs, but will give you an idea of what they look like on the road.


LOWS:




HIGHS:

 

Steve Addy

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Ah...I see what you mean, I didn't realize they had dual projectors inside, I've not seen those before. I'm not really a big fan of projectors, I think they tend to overall be kind of underwhelming in performance.

While they do have two separate lamp units inside I would still be hesitant to run both lamps at once, that's a lot of plastic and you'd have to be extra mindful of the heat situation, especially with LED bulbs.

I don't see the performance being all that bad based on your photos.

Steve
 

garciapiano

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Looking pretty good! Compared to the stock stuff I'm pretty impressed. My passengers always ask me if my headlights are even on... so maybe it's time to finally bite the bullet...
 

ToddA1

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Inpro was consdered quality stuff back in the day. Being a German company, I’m sure these lights were TÜV certified, meaning they had to meet certain quality metrics.

My passengers always ask me if my headlights are even on... so maybe it's time to finally bite the bullet...
Maybe I’m crazy thinking that Rotbox’s lighting wasn’t that bad. Personally I’d save a few bucks and get Hella e-codes.

I think I got an email from The Retrofit Source, about a sale. If you could find nonfluted lenses, I bet a HID or LED retrofit would blow encode performance away.

-Todd
 

garciapiano

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Maybe I’m crazy thinking that Rotbox’s lighting wasn’t that bad. Personally I’d save a few bucks and get Hella e-codes.
Hilariously, I just compared the prices and NOS Inpros are cheaper than NOS Hella E-codes… of which just saw some on fleabay for $600. NOS Inpros land around $350-400. Looks like even the mk3 stuff is starting to take off in price.

For the record I do prefer the look of the OEM stuff… but I also need headlights that actually work.
 

ToddA1

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Earlier in the thread, I saw used Hellas for around $250. If you can find a set with beat reflectors, that’s even better.

I mentioned buying B4 ecodes from Germany. What I also did was took them apart and had the reflectors recoated with AL. I sent a couple sets in at the same time, and they looked perfect when they came back. I sold a refurbished set to pay for mine.

-Todd
 

Rig

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It wasn't cheap. I paid $500 for the in-pro projectors (including shipping and tax), around $170 for the LEDs, 70$ for the bracket adapters (definitely overpriced), and 25$ for the wiring harness adapters.

Was it worth the money? I don't know. Overall pretty happy with this setup.

I chose projectors because I wanted to use LEDs and I heard LEDs perform better in projectors.

They need some tweaking for sure. How the LEDs are sitting in the headlights isn't perfect. Going to get them perfectly aligned if I can before I make any final judgments or decide if I want to wire them so the brights and lows are on at the same time. I know the light application isn't ideal a the moment. I'll take better pictures at that point.

Here are the regular ecodes I found on ebay:

 

Steve Addy

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I am not impressed with pricing on ebay and the premiums for FB junk are getting outrageous. Unfortunately people seem to be using those prices as a guide.

I wouldn't mind Hella E-code lamps for my Mk3 but I'm not going to any effort right now to spend money on that when prices are so high.

I guess the real question is what you need all this illumination for....i.e. running high / low at the same time? Based on what I see in your photos it looks like you have much better illumination than OE DOT headlights for US cars....so the rationale for more would be? I know people get fixated on something and (like a friend I have here in Iowa) there tends to be a 'going overboard' moment, but before you condemn what you have now for being insufficient maybe take a breather?

As an aside...you need to start thinking about powering these outside of the existing harness before you cause a meltdown that takes a full rewiring to fix...since headlight harness is part of the engine harness IIRC.

Steve
 
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garciapiano

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I am not impressed with pricing on ebay and the premiums for FB junk are getting outrageous. Unfortunately people seem to be using those prices as a guide.

I wouldn't mind Hella E-code lamps for my Mk3 but I'm not going to any effort right now to spend money on that when prices are so high.

I guess the real question is what you need all this illumination for....i.e. running high / low at the same time? Based on what I see in your photos it looks like you have much better illumination than OE DOT headlights for US cars....so the rationale for more would be? I know people get fixated on something and (like a friend I have here in Iowa) there tends to be a 'going overboard' moment, but before you condemn what you have now for being insufficient maybe take a breather?

As an aside...you need to start thinking about powering these outside of the existing harness before you cause a meltdown that takes a full rewiring to fix...since headlight harness is part of the engine harness IIRC.

Steve
The bar for automotive illumination now being so high is part of the problem. A base Corolla has better headlights than the mk3 Jetta could ever aspire to have. The other thing is that there are so few options available for the chassis. So I could understand the fixation. It’s one of my biggest problems with the car.

As for the current draw, I suspect that the LEDs might draw significantly less current to make it not a problem. No way of knowing without hooking up an ammeter.

By the way Rig, I found this video which goes into fixing the headlight adjusters. This is on a corrado, but I think the process will be pretty similar for the Jetta.

Looks like a PITA…
 
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ToddA1

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Rig

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I forget about German ebay, good call!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
 
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