Hella Headlight Conversion Help - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old May 27th, 2012, 08:03 PM
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Ross Simpson
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Exclamation Hella Headlight Conversion Help

Happy Memorial Day, Gents...

Started a Memorial Day Defender project that I've run into an issue with- hoping I can find help here.

Motivated by a burned out turn indicator, I decided to replace ALL of the bulbs, which then turned into the lamp assemblies, Bosses, re-painting of the front wings, and of course...Headlamps!

No real problems with any of it (short of a few rusted out screws that had to be drilled through), but during the headlamp swap (Rovers North talked me into their Hella "Vision Plus" HB2's), I've found that the back of the Hella lamps have a different headlamp frame attachment point than the stock Wagners did [see pics]. Problem is, the stock hardware that mounts the headlamp to the headlamp frame doesn't appear to work with the Hella's mounting points.
Those of you who are familiar with such an install- is there a workaround? If not, what hardware is needed and where can it be purchased?

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old May 27th, 2012, 08:28 PM
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I bought the same lights and they dropped right in to my defender, now I do have the English defender and not a NAS, does this mean the NAS has a different set up??
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  #3  
Old May 27th, 2012, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USLandy View Post
I bought the same lights and they dropped right in to my defender, now I do have the English defender and not a NAS, does this mean the NAS has a different set up??
Couldn't say, but the bracket issue is the only thing keeping the Hella from "dropping in" this NAS Defender... Everything else about it is smooth.

I'm out in the garage- anyone have any ideas?
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Old May 27th, 2012, 09:10 PM
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Get a few pieces of thin metal, bend them to fit and drill the hole for the screw.
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  #5  
Old May 27th, 2012, 09:42 PM
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I put the hella euro specs in mine and they dropped right in.. Remove 3 screws ... The adjusters remained in place and they dropped back in ... 20 min job. Can't see where anything could go wrong. Are they rotated correctly?
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  #6  
Old May 27th, 2012, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
I put the hella euro specs in mine and they dropped right in.. Remove 3 screws ... The adjusters remained in place and they dropped back in ... 20 min job. Can't see where anything could go wrong. Are they rotated correctly?
Okay, maybe I'm missing something here. How then, does the OEM mounting hardware (pic #2; upper right) fit into the Hella mounting point (pic #1; upper left)


------ Follow up post added May 27th, 2012 07:09 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post
Okay, maybe I'm missing something here. How then, does the OEM mounting hardware (pic #2; upper right) fit into the Hella mounting point (pic #1; upper left)
They don't appear to be made to work together.
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  #7  
Old May 27th, 2012, 11:39 PM
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I'm not sure that it goes like that ... It's a while since I did them ... The headlight goes in the bowl the two metal rings connect to each other and then it is held in place by 3 screws. The other 3 screws just adjust the level and shouldn't be changed unless you had to.

I don't think the headlight is mounted to the ring ... It's basically 'loose' and then clamped in by the the 2 outer rings.

That's how I remember it ... But I could be wrong.
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  #8  
Old May 28th, 2012, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
I'm not sure that it goes like that ... It's a while since I did them ... The headlight goes in the bowl the two metal rings connect to each other and then it is held in place by 3 screws. The other 3 screws just adjust the level and shouldn't be changed unless you had to.

I don't think the headlight is mounted to the ring ... It's basically 'loose' and then clamped in by the the 2 outer rings.

That's how I remember it ... But I could be wrong.
Thanks for your feedback! Took a look at installing the headlamp without attaching it to the OEM mounting ring, and I don't believe it's substantial enough- a slight amount of movement still exists in the lamp.

Of course it WILL fit this way, but is this best method of installing these headlamps??
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  #9  
Old May 28th, 2012, 09:25 AM
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Ross, I also haven't done it in a while, but they should pop right into the original mountings as Jason described. Take another look and try actually attaching everything. They should be quite solidly in place once everything is tightened down.
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  #10  
Old May 28th, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post
Thanks for your feedback! Took a look at installing the headlamp without attaching it to the OEM mounting ring, and I don't believe it's substantial enough- a slight amount of movement still exists in the lamp.

Of course it WILL fit this way, but is this best method of installing these headlamps??
look in this link at 3:16

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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #11  
Old May 28th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Thanks guys.

What I'm talking about happens at 4:10- installation of the tab hardware. The OEM "tabs" do not seem to fit on the 3 Hella lamp mounting points. I'm beginning to question whether or not I got the right model of Hella.

Apologies if I haven't been clear!
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  #12  
Old May 28th, 2012, 11:49 AM
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they look like mine

------ Follow up post added May 28th, 2012 11:50 AM ------

What do you think is wrong in 3?
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #13  
Old May 28th, 2012, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
they look like mine

------ Follow up post added May 28th, 2012 11:50 AM ------

What do you think is wrong in 3?
Should've explained pic #3:

To make the tabs fit into the Hella "brackets" (I'll call them), I had to file off the edges of the tabs (the 90 degree angles you see in pic#2). They will then fit, but will not sandwich the headlamp frame against the headlamp. So, it's doing no good.

Thanks for sticking with me!
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  #14  
Old May 28th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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That clamp is to pull the light towards the retaining ring ... before you filled them ... would turning them over have clamped it up? I would have installed them the opposite way up to what you have shown in picture 2 ( screw and bracket ).

Now you've filled the clamp bit away I would pack the gap with rubber ( between clamp and back of headlight ) ... cut up and old inner tube or something to get a firm clamp ... alternatively maybe the box had some hella 'clamps' in the box and in your excitement to look a the lamps they went missing?

The clamps are just spring steel with a hole in them .
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #15  
Old May 28th, 2012, 03:14 PM
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I had no issue with those little clips on my defender or classic when I swapped to the ecodes
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  #16  
Old May 28th, 2012, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
That clamp is to pull the light towards the retaining ring ... before you filled them ... would turning them over have clamped it up? I would have installed them the opposite way up to what you have shown in picture 2 ( screw and bracket ).

Now you've filled the clamp bit away I would pack the gap with rubber ( between clamp and back of headlight ) ... cut up and old inner tube or something to get a firm clamp ... alternatively maybe the box had some hella 'clamps' in the box and in your excitement to look a the lamps they went missing?

The clamps are just spring steel with a hole in them .
Well folks...it appears that this has been an issue of "user error" after all! The first tab I picked up didn't fit on the Hella mount (it was too small), but wouldn't you know- the rest...do. So, although I nearly wasted two of the tabs by filling off the edges, I was able to salvage them and put them to use.
Long story short- it's all back together: headlamps, turn indicators, brake lights, and reverse. On aesthetics alone- it's a major improvement! Looking forward to checking everything out tonight...

A sincere thanks to all for the help- especially Leastonce! Appreciate the patience...

Ross
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  #17  
Old May 28th, 2012, 08:34 PM
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Now go for a drive now that its getting dark out
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  #18  
Old May 28th, 2012, 10:15 PM
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Did you upgrade the wiring as well? I used the painless harness so I can run the 100w bulbs later if I ever choose to.
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  #19  
Old May 29th, 2012, 07:03 PM
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I am a fan of these with PIAA H4's.

There is a guy on eBay always selling them. Look up "Porche h4 hella". When I bought them they where 55 a piece.
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  #20  
Old May 29th, 2012, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover4x4 View Post
Now go for a drive now that its getting dark out
Just got around to driving it. I'm not easily impressed, but...they're damn impressive! Both low and high beams are a vast improvement over the stock Wagners. More volume, and a much whiter light. I'd highly recommend the Hella's- hard to beat for $80/pair, especially when the bulbs are replaceable.

Replacing the indicator lights was another great improvement- MUCH brighter (safer) with the new lenses. My originals had seen better days, after 160k miles of use.

------ Follow up post added May 29th, 2012 07:41 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Broncoduecer View Post
Did you upgrade the wiring as well? I used the painless harness so I can run the 100w bulbs later if I ever choose to.
I didn't- mine were in good shape. Nice though.
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