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Headlight Assembly Replacement?

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
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rivera0608
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rivera0608

Headlight Assembly Replacement?

Post by rivera0608 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:15 pm

My headlights are catastrophically dim. I basically depend on the street lights to see well at night, if there are street lights. A few months back I bought new bulbs, and no improvement. The interior reflectors are pretty brown/faded, so I'm guessing that's the main reason I'm not getting enough brightness.

However, before I go and buy new headlight assemblies, is there a way to troubleshoot if it's a possible wiring issue? Maybe I'm just not getting enough voltage to the bulbs.

Any tips are much appreciated!

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RickHaleParker
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RickHaleParker

Re: Headlight Assembly Replacement?

Post by RickHaleParker » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:10 pm

Measure the voltage drop across the bulbs and compare it to the voltage drop across the battery.
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BEJinFbk
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BEJinFbk

Re: Headlight Assembly Replacement?

Post by BEJinFbk » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:47 pm

If the reflectors aren’t mirror shiny any more, start researching.
There are plenty of great posts here about 70 series headlights.
The “jewel” versions from later P80 C70’s get rave reviews
and will bolt right up. Check out OEM and Depo options.
'98 V70 R - Well Equipped for Life Up North... ;)

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ecbsykes

Re: Headlight Assembly Replacement?

Post by ecbsykes » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:33 pm

FCP sells a TYC brand of headlight replacements that are relatively cheap and pretty decent quality. More or less exact copy of the OEMs. There aren't too many great ways to refurbish dead reflectors, and most junkyard ones will probably be crappy too at this point.

You could also buy clear lenses and do a projector retrofit for amazing results, though at an increased cost.
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Re: Headlight Assembly Replacement?

Post by yanga001 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:18 pm

I had a similar issue in my v70. Spent a $100 on a projector kit and any old HID set and it was more than adequate. Aim the projectors properly and you will not blind any oncoming drivers. One word of mention is that they might not pass safety depending on where you are. The most important thing with the retrofit is to ensure your lights are aimed properly!
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Re: Headlight Assembly Replacement?

Post by bmdubya1198 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:11 pm

I went with jewels in my V70R and love them. Light output is WAY better than the stock headlights... my reflectors were horribly faded and I could barely see a foot in front of me. I highly recommend them, even if you stick with the stock H11 or H7 halogen bulbs.

Also, check to see if you have the pig tails in place on the headlight harnesses. Remove that and you'll get slightly brighter headlights. It's like an extension harness between the headlight connector on the light and the connector from the body harness.
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Eddystone

Re: Headlight Assembly Replacement?

Post by Eddystone » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:24 pm

ecbsykes wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:33 pm
FCP sells a TYC brand of headlight replacements that are relatively cheap and pretty decent quality. More or less exact copy of the OEMs. There aren't too many great ways to refurbish dead reflectors, and most junkyard ones will probably be crappy too at this point.

You could also buy clear lenses and do a projector retrofit for amazing results, though at an increased cost.
I installed TYC headlight assemblies in my two P80s (98 and 99), and the difference was dramatically better. Plenty of light now. I posted before and after photos here a few months ago.
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erikv11

Re: Headlight Assembly Replacement?

Post by erikv11 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:47 pm

Eddystone's before-after post about TYC headlights: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=88189
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