Upgrading the lights

It should be a straight bulb swap! well no it wasn't....

First replace the rear brake / tail light bulbs for these LED ones. It's important to use the correct colour bulbs when choosing LED's. Red LED's should be used behind a red lens and amber / yellow LED's behind an amber indicator lens. White LED's should not be used behind coloured lenses as they emit light at the wrong spectrum. Whilst the units were apart I cleaned the inside of the lenses and sprayed some anti corrosion wax into the light mounting units LED Bulbs In the image above there doesn't appear to be a lot of difference but that's down to the camera (and sunlight) as there is quite a bit more output from the LED's plus a lot less load on the wiring and dynamo. Not the cheapest Led replacements out there but good quality compared to some I have bought for other cars in the past..

The Indicators simply involved swapping the old 15 watt relay for a 0.2 - 20 watt LED one and changing the 4 bulbs for Amber LED ones. (The bulbs I already had from a previous project)

The front bulbs were a bit more involved to change. 1st the sidelights. The whole in the reflectors are 9.5mm diameter and the LED bulbs 10.3mm diameter so it meant a quick easing of the hole with a dremel and diamond tipped tool. Once those were fitted it was onto the main headlights. LED Bulbs In the image above you can see on the left the difference the sidelight bulbs make and on the right, the dipped headlights, both compared to standard incandescent bulbs. Both are daylight, 6000k spectrum and NOT 'warm white'. I used this Conversion Kit from Classic Led's which required a bit of modification to be able to use the original Beetle Bosch/Hella P45T bulb retainer.

However after measuring up behind the bulb in the headlight bowl it appears there is not enough clearance at the back for the heat sink which fouls the wiring.

Unfortunately even the 'Compact' pair of LED bulbs I sourced from Classic LED's are also to big and foul the rear headlight bowl to the point that the lights are simply un adjustable. I had to abandon that part of the project and revert to a pair of Halogen 60/55w bulbs for now.

It would appear that I need to do a lot more research on the market currently for bulbs that will fit in a VW Beetle with 'sloping' headlights.

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