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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1973 240z that is 90% restored, How hard is it to do something about the poor quality of the headlights at idle. The car has a new generater and voltage regulater on it now. Do I have to change these parts out and go to an alternater and all types of rewiring or what? Any info would be appreciated

Thanks

Dennis in Mesa AZ
 

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> I have a 1973 240z that is 90% restored, How
> hard is it to do something about the poor
> quality of the headlights at idle. The car
> has a new generater and voltage regulater on
> it now. Do I have to change these parts out
> and go to an alternater and all types of
> rewiring or what? Any info would be
> appreciated

> Thanks

> Dennis in Mesa AZ
Good day. I had the same issue with my '77 until I replaced the headlamps with new halogen units. Worth a try if you haven't done it. Great impovement. Good luck. Richard in Gilbert, AZ.
 

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> I have a 1973 240z that is 90% restored, How
> hard is it to do something about the poor
> quality of the headlights at idle. The car
> has a new generater and voltage regulater on
> it now. Do I have to change these parts out
> and go to an alternater and all types of
> rewiring or what? Any info would be
> appreciated

Well, there are two things to do to boost the performance of your headlights. (I'm assuming you're already using modern hallogen bulbs.) One of them is to do a headlight relay conversion, where the headlight switch in the car only works the real switch that's out under the hood. Going with this kind of setup takes the resistance of the internal wiring of the car out of the equation, and delivers a little more juice to the headlights.

It sounds like your issue isn't with the overall brightness of the bulbs though, it's with them dimming at idle. This is caused because of the voltage regulator, and it's normal. There are two ways to fix it. First, you could try to find a voltage regulator from another car that maintains a higher load on the alternator. It might be difficult to find one of those though, (especially since car people usually don't understand electricity... [i.e. people in auto parts stores, etc].) So, a better solution to that problem would be to put a smaller pully on your alternator. That'll cause it to turn fast enough at idle speed to keep your headlights bright.

Of course, you *could* just up your idle speed 100 RPM or so. Although that'd be sort of dumb, 'cause who wants a fast idle speed? :)

With the headlight relay switch conversion, it's good to remember that more juice getting to your lights not only makes them brighter, but burns them out faster. It probably won't be too noticable though, since headlights are cheap and generally last a long time no matter what.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe I've seen posts here about the headlight relay switch. You might want to try looking in the archives if you're interested in it.

Hope some of this helps. Sorry I can't give you more detail about these converstion tricks, but I've never actually done them myself. I just put up with the dim lights. :)

-Robroy
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Hey Rob

>I have heard about using a smaller pulley but how much smaller? Do you know what type of car I could get one from? How about more info on the wiring. I know a bit about electronics and if I can ue another relay to decrease resistance I would like to try that.
Thanks
Criag76Z
 

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Hey Craig

> If I understand the relay idea correctly, it
> uses the power from the switch to turn the
> relay(found at most radio shacks or alarm
> installation facilities) on to power the
> lights. What happens is, the
> distance(resistance) that the power has to
> go through to get to the lights is reduced
> by using a power wire directly from the
> battery to the relay which in turn is
> powered by the lights by remote from the
> light switch. Shorter distance = less
> resistance. It works just like electric door
> locks. Am I correct guys? The pulleys they
> refer to are in most high performance mags.
> I don't know which vehicles to get them
> directly from though. Hope this helps.
and I hope you didn't recieve that first post. I'm just alittle buzzed
 

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Link to Adding Relays page

I have the same problem on my '73 which I've had for three months. It has a new alternator. A previous owner had already installed relays in the lighing circuit, so adding relays might not cure your problem.

The link below has good information on how to add relays. Note that the 240z differs from most cars in that the light switch switches ground, that is the switch comes after the lights in the circuit. The circuits shown on the linked page have the switch before the lights, so some adaptation will be required.

For more Z specific info, check the ZCAR.COM archives, as this subject has come up a few times.
 

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> I have a 1973 240z that is 90% restored, How
> hard is it to do something about the poor
> quality of the headlights at idle. The car
> has a new generater and voltage regulater on
> it now. Do I have to change these parts out
> and go to an alternater and all types of
> rewiring or what? Any info would be
> appreciated

> Thanks

> Dennis in Mesa AZ

Dennis, on my first zcar (81ZX) the headlights flickered sometimes, but not just at idle, at all speeds. An alternator fixed that particular problem. Hope your problem is an easy one.
 
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