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Headlight bulb fitment

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, including 850 R, 850 T-5R, 850 T-5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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454cid
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Headlight bulb fitment

Post by 454cid »

I recently was tempted to buy some LED headlight "bulbs" (high-beams) without fully knowing where I'd install them. The 850 makes the most sense, since that gets driven 50 miles a "day" in the very early morning hours, where I'm often alone on the highway.

They arrived today, and I started (trying) to install them. They're not exactly formed like a standard bulb base, but they seem to fit with some fiddling in a spare housing for my truck, so I moved on to the 850.

I got the passenger side in, and it lit up bright white, and I can't wait to try it tonight. However, I can't get the existing bulb out of the driver's side, and I noticed that it's clocked differently. I would have thought that both bulbs would be clocked the same way, and why can't I budge it? Any ideas? (good ideas?)

Also, the existing bulbs are Sylvania's..... I assumed they'd be Hella. Have then been replaced? I have not found much non-factory on this car.
1996 Volvo 850

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RickHaleParker
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Post by RickHaleParker »

454cid wrote: 28 Jun 2022, 12:52 can't I budge it? Any ideas? (good ideas?)
Put a drop of penetrating oil on it and let it soak in.
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MrAl
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Post by MrAl »

454cid wrote: 28 Jun 2022, 12:52 I recently was tempted to buy some LED headlight "bulbs" (high-beams) without fully knowing where I'd install them. The 850 makes the most sense, since that gets driven 50 miles a "day" in the very early morning hours, where I'm often alone on the highway.

They arrived today, and I started (trying) to install them. They're not exactly formed like a standard bulb base, but they seem to fit with some fiddling in a spare housing for my truck, so I moved on to the 850.

I got the passenger side in, and it lit up bright white, and I can't wait to try it tonight. However, I can't get the existing bulb out of the driver's side, and I noticed that it's clocked differently. I would have thought that both bulbs would be clocked the same way, and why can't I budge it? Any ideas? (good ideas?)

Also, the existing bulbs are Sylvania's..... I assumed they'd be Hella. Have then been replaced? I have not found much non-factory on this car.
Had the same problem in a much older car many years ago. After the bulb broke, i used a set of expanding pliers to get the base out then was about to install a new bulb. If you dont have those pliers sometimes what works is to use the handle end of a screwdriver of the right size. Stick the handle in the base and turn. May have to play with it a little.

The trick to preventing this is to use what they call "bulb" grease. It's really silicone grease and it is a special kind of grease that does not harm plastics. It's the best grease i think for slow moving parts, but maybe fast moving too.
Grease is an insulator, but because the coating is very thin it does not stop conduction with normal voltage levels. It does prevent oxidation and thus stops the bulb base from getting stuck in the socket. Makes life a lot easier.
I dont buy bulb grease anymore i just buy the silicon grease from an auto parts store. I got one tube from Auto Zone and another pressurized cylinder from Amazon. As long as it is silicone grease it's good for this stuff and other plastic moving parts.

When i converted my Volvo lights i took out the bulbs and installed one unit in each side that did both high and low beams. IT wasnt easy though the wiring was a trick to get run right in that tight space.
I’ve been driving a Volvo long before anyone ever paid me to drive one.
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454cid
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Post by 454cid »

Gah!!! Apparently I moved something while trying to install the passenger side bulb. I adjusted the aim, and lightly pushed on the back of the bulb when I got home, and something inside the housing let go. I must have had the thing right at the end of it's adjustment. Haven't searched yet..... how hard are these things to disassemble so I can put it back together?

MrAl, the silicone grease sounds like a great idea.... these bulbs have o-rings after all.
1996 Volvo 850

454cid
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Post by 454cid »

RickHaleParker wrote: 28 Jun 2022, 12:57
454cid wrote: 28 Jun 2022, 12:52 can't I budge it? Any ideas? (good ideas?)
Put a drop of penetrating oil on it and let it soak in.
I've got a spray dry-lube, I wonder if that would work. I really don't want to put oil in there. These LED bulbs may get returned. The one I did get in place seems to rock up and down.
1996 Volvo 850

454cid
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Post by 454cid »

Looks like Robert covers it here, pretty well. I have the new lights, but I'd guess it's similar.



I wonder if I can possibly re-seat the reflector without disassembly.
1996 Volvo 850

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Post by abscate »

Take it out to reseat the reflector. It’s tough on car

Three M6 bolts, 10 mm hex head socket. Flex and gun are nice after they crack
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Post by MrAl »

454cid wrote: 28 Jun 2022, 23:23 Gah!!! Apparently I moved something while trying to install the passenger side bulb. I adjusted the aim, and lightly pushed on the back of the bulb when I got home, and something inside the housing let go. I must have had the thing right at the end of it's adjustment. Haven't searched yet..... how hard are these things to disassemble so I can put it back together?

MrAl, the silicone grease sounds like a great idea.... these bulbs have o-rings after all.
Hi again,

Yes it helps a lot and lasts a long time.
But i forgot to add one detail. They often sell this stuff as "Dielectric Grease" and that's the right kind. It's just clear silicone grease.
Good luck with it.
I’ve been driving a Volvo long before anyone ever paid me to drive one.
1998 v70 on the road since April 2nd, 2015

454cid
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Post by 454cid »

Messed with this some more yesterday. With a flashlight, I could just barely see the point of disconnection on for the reflector. I was able to reconnect it, but it doesn't stay well. This leads me to believe that it may be worn or cracked. It's a bit strange that I can't seem to get the same reading on the bubble level that the other headlight is adjusted to. I run out of adjustment. I did get it better..... I found my core support was not fully secure and tightened the bolt down just behind the corner light. It could be this is remnant from a collision, as I do see signs of bodywork (over spray).

I'm contemplating trying to get a used light, or set of lights, and maybe a set of e-code lenses. I've also thought about going aftermarket with TYC lights or Pro-Parts, but I'm a bit leery of that since other TYC headlights are known to not have reflectors with good optics. I could also just see if that connection holds, and not worry about it unless it doesn't.
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Post by abscate »

I’ve been happy with TYC headlights on two of the 1999s, FWIW
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