Looking for headlight solution

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
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2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Yeah, another thread on headlights!

Anyone know where I get [standard halogen] US-spec [read: NOT E-code] headlights w/fogs AND glass lenses?

I'm wanting to improve the headlights on the wife's Golf. It's still got plastic lenses (that I'm tiring of cleaning), and seeing as my other two Golfs have glass lenses (I just put them on my Golf) I figured I'd like to do the same for hers.

I'd also like to add fogs: really helps for driving on country roads, which we do lots of. Fog lights in our blue Golf and the daughter's wagon are integral to the housings and I find them quite acceptable (fair amount of driving in the blue Golf). I don't, however, really like the E-code (pattern) on the blue Golf, hence specifically looking for US-spec headlights: lights in my car are excellent, though it does not have fogs either (hm, maybe both my car and my wife's are candidates for grill-mounted fogs?).

Not really interested in going HID. The Osram Rallye bulbs are quite sufficient: and I prefer the milder cutoff of halogens over HIDs.

I suppose I could go the route of lower grill mounted fogs, and doing another lenses replacement, but it would be nice to spare the hassle of doing the lens swap again (and so soon). IF, however, there's no other real solution AND the grill mounted-fogs are thought to be reasonably better then I suppose that would be the most prudent way to go.

This is a future project. Just wanting to get a bit of traction going.
 

hskrdu

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The only Golf headlights with glass lenses as OE were the E-codes. Easy solution is to take GTI headlamps (with fog) and add glass lenses. Glasses lenses on ebay are $40. Ten minutes, tops.

The Hella part numbers for newer GTI headlights with fogs used to be: 1J0941018E & 1J0941017E.

Late model Cabrio headlights with fogs will also work. The Hella catalog is also available ad a PDF online.

My swap from plastic to glass:

Polycarb:



Glass:

 
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Rrusse11

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UhOh,

I'm not after fogs myself, but here's a site worth investigating IMO
for some LED lights small enough to fit in the lower grills. They do some small light bars with a variety of beam options.

https://www.superbrightleds.com/mor...off-road-led-light-bars-18w-1650-lumens/3770/

For effective fogs my take is you want to be as low as possible.

I'm after a bumper mounted center bar for a driving light like this.

https://www.superbrightleds.com/mor...off-road-led-light-bars-18w-1650-lumens/3770/

Lots of switching wiring options, check out the "remote", no need to wire to the dash. Like you I'm running the Osram Rallyes as high beams, but I'd like something to reach waaaay out there.

Thorough specs and some good pics of what the variety of lights look like in the real world.

Cheers,
R*2
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
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2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
OK, I'm going to back up a bit here...

Are there any US-spec headlights with integral fogs? I guess that no matter what (unless I want to shell out a lot more and get E-codes, which I don't want) I'll be on the hook for installing glass lenses.

Rrusse11, thanks for the tips. I find that my Osrams do a decent enough job to cast light out: my standard spec lights seem better at high beam than the high beams on the car with with E-codes. My primary aim, other than to have clean lenses, is to get more close-by light (and to the sides of the roads), fog lights.
 

hskrdu

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As I said, the GTI and Cabrio (and oviously some Jetta GLI/GLX) headlights are NA market with integrated fogs. Hence the photo of my US DOT GTI headlamps with fogs and original poly lenses beings switched over to glass lenses (with lamin-x protection).

I chose the NA GTI headlights over the E-codes because I preferred the H7 high beam over the ....H1? Although the E-code low is nice. I also installed Hella DE's as fogs (Lito changed his to HIDs).

 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
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PNW
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So, (and thanks for the reply and pics) you've got fogs in your headlight housings as well as those lower grill-mount ones? What are you thoughts on the efficacy of those lower fogs (vs. the ones in the headlight housings)?

I prefer to have my cars fairly well uniformly outfitted: the blue Golf introduced some difficulties here, but would like to at least keep my other two cars more uniform. If the grill-mounts work well then my two green Golfs can be made to be uniform: having the glass lenses already on mine.

Oh yeah, thanks for providing the info on why it is that I don't like the E-codes: the bulbs/high beams. I think that you're probably right that the E-codes' low beams might be better, though I'm not certain how much (just know that the lights in my car do the job).
 

hskrdu

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Yes- NA market Hella GTI headlamps with fogs up top (replaced poly lenses with glass), and Hella DE fogs in the lower grills. A common refrain over the years is that the fog lights in the headlamp housings are not great in fog. I agree with this most of the time, but they are a good add-on as an additional driving light. They illuminate an area in front, and to the side of the car, lower than the low beam. There's a dark space there which is filled in nicely. In dense fog they are just a little high. The Hella DE's are exceptional fog lights, as well as terrific additional driving lights. They fill in a low and wide area missed by the low beams, and do not cause reflective glare in fog (or snow). My euro switch is set up with initial pull as the Hella DE's, with second pull for the headlamp fogs. If I had to pick one, I'd go with the DE's b/c they can be used in almost all conditions, but honestly, I wouldn't want to give up either one.

On adding DE's to your cars: The original Hella DE's for the Mk IV were not cheap, and not common in the US and CAN. They can be found on Ebay and from German/Euro sources, and often cost $250 or so. I got mine on ebay a long time ago for cheap, but sellers will sometimes ask silly prices. There is an Eastern European ebay solution, I think from the VW parts bin in Hungary or Latvia, where non-branded housings hold non-branded Hella lights using the same H3 bulb. These are solid items, and you can see pictures of them in Lito's thread. Caution: EVERYthing else for the lower grills is junk, usually from China, with cheap plastic grills and bad lamp housings. If you get this particular stuff from ebay, you will be wasting your cash. Your alternative is to buy the Hella DE's without the grill housings and mount them as you see fit. There is a whole thread on this, also.

Lastly, Lito eventually ditched the H3 (standard fog bulb) in his Hella DE's for a HID setup. It was so bright he could use it as DRLs- again, see the pix in his thread.

LMK if you have more Q's. My lighting mods were all carefully chosen.

(That's the first time the server has allowed me to post pics in 3 years!)
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
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Awesome reply! Even though Hellas might be expensive I'm thinking that they're still going to be cheaper than a set of new headlight housings. One thing I've learned here, and when researching light improvements for the daughter's wagon, is that real solutions are NOT cheap!

Oh, and I wanted to deviate a bit and give a HUGE thank you for your work in documenting the costs of owning one of these cars; I have linked your thread in some recent threads discussing ownership costs: nothing like having actual data!
 

hskrdu

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New NA GTI headlights with fogs made by Hella run $145 to $185 each, depending on source. The non-Hella versions are cheaper (and IMO, not as good).

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-volkswagen-audi-parts/oem-headlight-set/1j0941018eoemwf/

Add $40 for glass lenses and $25 for 3M lamin-x to protect the glass. Add $25 to wire the fogs. Add $? for the euroswitch. Total is somewhere over $430.

Hella DE (full kit) can be found (after a wait) for $250, add a euroswitch...total is somewhere under $300.

If you pull some OE Hella lamps (with fogs) from a GTI that have frosted lenses but are in otherwise good condition, you can replace the lenses with glass and save a lot of money.

Thanks for the good comments on the TCO thread. I'm glad it has been helpful. The countdown is on for the 15 year update!
 

dirtride

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The Hella DE's are exceptional fog lights, as well as terrific additional driving lights. They fill in a low and wide area missed by the low beams, and do not cause reflective glare in fog (or snow). My euro switch is set up with initial pull as the Hella DE's, with second pull for the headlamp fogs. If I had to pick one, I'd go with the DE's b/c they can be used in almost all conditions, but honestly, I wouldn't want to give up either one.

On adding DE's to your cars: The original Hella DE's for the Mk IV were not cheap, and not common in the US and CAN. They can be found on Ebay and from German/Euro sources, and often cost $250 or so.


LMK if you have more Q's. My lighting mods were all carefully chosen.
Quick question about installing the DE's; on the box it states "not for diesel vehicles." I assume that is because of the SMIC.

When you installed, did you dremel out the right side grill mount solid plastic areas?

Any other reason why Hella does not recommend installing these in MK IV vehicles?
 

hskrdu

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Mark- Right, the Hella DE's were not rec'd for TDIs (and some other turbocharged VWs) due to concerns that the replacement lower grill on the SMIC side would pass less air than the OE grill. From the original thread, some owners made cuts to mimic the OE grill, others (including me) did not. I agreed with those that suggested there would be no significant impact on the IC, given the total amount of air that is moving over it- especially since the Mk IV did not come standard with vented wheel well liners (like the Audi TT). Someone even did some testing to see of there was any difference, but I can't recall the thread. I've had them in for 5 years with no ill effects, and some Euro owners are probably close to 20 years, and the UK/Euro threads all seem to say that Hella was just being typically overly cautious.

The Jetta lower grills for the original DEs were slightly different than the Golf's, so this may be a factor for some owners, but I were worried about it, I'd be more likely to get a vented wheel well liner than dremmel the DE grill. If VW had a different design to the front bumper cover and lower valence, I might be more concerned, (or if there was a better snorkel running air to the SMIC), but given the OE design, I think it's proven to be a non-issue.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
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So, and BTW thanks for the links, I take it that these Hella DEs are standalone and that you have to fit and mount? (not that I'm opposed to that)

Also, in the name of falling short of catching up with the times, I see that there are HID fogs, and, well, LED? Really, how does one decide here? I like the idea of the LEDs given that they're likely to be a bit more robust, but have always felt LEDs to have a blingy feel to them.
 

BobnOH

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So, and BTW thanks for the links, I take it that these Hella DEs are standalone and that you have to fit and mount? (not that I'm opposed to that)

Also, in the name of falling short of catching up with the times, I see that there are HID fogs, and, well, LED? Really, how does one decide here? I like the idea of the LEDs given that they're likely to be a bit more robust, but have always felt LEDs to have a blingy feel to them.
Having a lot of experience making bad decisions I recommend you simply go back to why you wanted to do this. Are there alternative solutions?
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
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Bob, I've actually been pretty good at matching up solutions to my requirements: most of the time, however, I end up spending way too much time making the decision!

I need: 1) To eliminate the need to be cleaning/polishing the headlight lenses -> glass lenses (with Lamin-X); and 2) Fog lights. Figure I'm pretty much on the hook for doing the "Joey Mod" (plastic to glass change out).

I'm now starting to lean toward separate lower/grill mounted fogs. Replacing two sets of headlight housings seems to be way too expensive (integral fogs are nice, as experienced in my blue Golf, but it is sounding like the lower fogs can do an even better job). Some have gone with non-halogen -HID or LED- bulbs in these lower/grill mounted fogs. The H3/halogen bulbs would likely be fine, though I'm not certain. I would prefer to do this only once and call it good. Because this is of great importance to/for my wife I don't want to guess. Figured I'd ask about the HID and LED solutions before I make a final decision. Anyway...

On the DE Hella track, I ran across this deal from TireRack and it seems like they're offering more to this kit (at an even cheaper price than ECS Tuning). But, I'm thinking that any switch, such that is in this kit, wouldn't be needed if one has the Euroswitch (as I've installed in the daughter's wagon, and as installed in my blue Golf).
 

hskrdu

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So, and BTW thanks for the links, I take it that these Hella DEs are standalone and that you have to fit and mount? (not that I'm opposed to that)

Also, in the name of falling short of catching up with the times, I see that there are HID fogs, and, well, LED? Really, how does one decide here? I like the idea of the LEDs given that they're likely to be a bit more robust, but have always felt LEDs to have a blingy feel to them.
The Hella DE's I have been making reference to are not standalone- they are part of a kit that comes with the lower grills, mounting hardware, and wiring. That's why many owners were willing to pay more for them. If you look in the thread pics, you'll see the DE's mounted in specialized grills.

Not my pics:



Bora:

Beetle:


The install of the Hella DE's is simple, and time for install will be based on your familiarity with removing the front bumper cover. I can do it in about 20 minutes, but others take longer. The wiring is a different matter- but it's not hard and will be required for any additional lighting that you do up front.

See:
https://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=37585&highlight=oem

Hella DE's are available as standalone items, entirely independent of the VW kit mentioned above, and that's why some of the threads above show owners mounting them as they see fit. Check Amazon and other places for pictures.

http://www.myhellalights.com/index.php/products/auxiliary-lamps/halogen-lamps/micro-de-series/



The Hella DE's that these threads are about are the original style, which use a halogen H3 bulb. Cheap and bright. The discussion of LED and HID bulbs mounted in the original Hella DE housing refers almost entirely to Lito's progression from one bulb to the next (Lito is master of all MkIV mods, well, along with Graham).


Currently, Hella also makes the DE in a Xenon version (for the same cost as a small island in the Caribbean), but these are not the ones discussed in the above threads.



The reason that the DE housing is discussed for bulbs other than the basic H3, is the the housing and glass lens are quite robust (unlike the integrated fog position in the GTI headlamp) and so can handle a variety of different bulbs.



The pictures in the above threads, as well as other sites are quite helpful.

Tech (DE doesn't stand for Germany):
https://www.hella.co.nz/en/technolo...afer-driving-with-hellas-advanced-technology/
 
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BobnOH

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That's what I was thinking, glass lenses, maybe work with the bulbs for better illumination. Fog lights do work better closer to the ground.
Still wonder how that sun screen works on clean plastic.
 

hskrdu

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2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
I need: 1) To eliminate the need to be cleaning/polishing the headlight lenses -> glass lenses (with Lamin-X); and 2) Fog lights. Figure I'm pretty much on the hook for doing the "Joey Mod" (plastic to glass change out).
The Joey Mod is (IIRC) the VWVortex name for blacking out the inner surround within the headlamp, for a cheap copy of the 20th AE headlights.

On the DE Hella track, I ran across this deal from TireRack and it seems like they're offering more to this kit (at an even cheaper price than ECS Tuning). But, I'm thinking that any switch, such that is in this kit, wouldn't be needed if one has the Euroswitch (as I've installed in the daughter's wagon, and as installed in my blue Golf).
ECS is usually pricey. The Euroswitch will trigger the DE's, but you'll want a relay and fuse along the way, so the Hella wiring kit is good. If you don't mind Amazon, here's a kit for $108, but these will require you mount them in some fashion:

https://www.amazon.com/HELLA-H13090...D=51%2BEqPk9kuL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
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Yeah, that's about the same pricing as from TireRack. Apologies for pulling the "Joey Mod" out of my $##: I'd thought that there was actually a name given to the lens swap.

I'd bought what I think a pretty decent Euroswitch kit off of eBay (not the cheapest- claims to be OEM) for the daughter's wagon and it came with wire harness and relay.
 
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