Pathetic Headlights

Technical questions and answers about the Mazda Bongo

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Kentish Paul
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Pathetic Headlights

Post by Kentish Paul » Sat Nov 29, 2008 2:41 pm

I am one of those pathetic individuals whose technical skills just about extend to putting air into the tyres! I have a New Shape Bongo. Up until a few weeks ago, I used Bongo for summer day-camping trips only. Pretty soon it will be my only vehicle. Credit crunch has seen off any chance of running two vehicles and the Yaris lost out compared to Bongo's load and people carrying abilities.

I went out last night and was horrified at the pathetic lighting on Bongo. I realised then that I could count on less than one hand the number of times I had been out at night. Summer trips to the country had meant I was always back before dusk or that the poor lighting was not so noticeable.

There are two issues. The plastic lamp covers are diffusing the light and the light itself is definitely below par. I have used some specialist plastic renovator to polish out fine swirls from the front surface but the diffusing seems to be occuring inside. I know enough to know that replacement lamp covers will either not be available or will be silly money.

I bet that getting to the inside of the caovers will be a task equivalent to splitting the atom for me. Two questions then. Anyone know somebody who could do this type of work and is there any chance to upgrade the lighting on a New Shape.

Where other cars cas a notable beam, poor old Bongo looks as though two candles are casting a gentle glow!

Many thanks folks.
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Gaza69

Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by Gaza69 » Sat Nov 29, 2008 2:49 pm

Kentish Paul wrote:I am one of those pathetic individuals whose technical skills just about extend to putting air into the tyres! I have a New Shape Bongo. Up until a few weeks ago, I used Bongo for summer day-camping trips only. Pretty soon it will be my only vehicle. Credit crunch has seen off any chance of running two vehicles and the Yaris lost out compared to Bongo's load and people carrying abilities.

I went out last night and was horrified at the pathetic lighting on Bongo. I realised then that I could count on less than one hand the number of times I had been out at night. Summer trips to the country had meant I was always back before dusk or that the poor lighting was not so noticeable.

There are two issues. The plastic lamp covers are diffusing the light and the light itself is definitely below par. I have used some specialist plastic renovator to polish out fine swirls from the front surface but the diffusing seems to be occuring inside. I know enough to know that replacement lamp covers will either not be available or will be silly money.

I bet that getting to the inside of the caovers will be a task equivalent to splitting the atom for me. Two questions then. Anyone know somebody who could do this type of work and is there any chance to upgrade the lighting on a New Shape.

Where other cars cas a notable beam, poor old Bongo looks as though two candles are casting a gentle glow!

Many thanks folks.
I to have exactly the same problem as you. not sure how bad your technical knowledge goes, but i havent heard of "specialist plastic renovator". and most of the other things listed in these forums. :oops: lol. its amazing the :idea: knowledge :idea: does this stuff you mention also solve the yellowness mine seems to of developed in a perfect circle facing the bulbs themselves???
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Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by MountainGoat » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:08 pm

Have you upgraded to super brilliance bulbs. I found an improvement with my Bongo after I did but it also depends on the condition of your plastic headlamps. The headlamp covers are made of plastic not glass and blur with age.

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/products/p ... _cent.html
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Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by francophile1947 » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:17 pm

Use the search facility - there's loads on here :D Here's one of them http://www.igmaynard.co.uk/bongo/forum/ ... =headlamps
John
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heatherpetch

Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by heatherpetch » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:28 pm

we use 50%brighter xenon blue just like a boeing landing lights now :shock: :shock: :shock: if you pm dave edwards he may have some spare to sell you
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Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by kawasaki kid » Sat Nov 29, 2008 6:57 pm

Upgraded the sidelights, headlamps, foglamps and spotlamps on my 95 Freda with xenon super white bulbs - the difference was "brilliant". :)
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mikeonb4c
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Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by mikeonb4c » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:15 am

I my case, I fitted 100W spots to a Fender Defender Bar, but you can't fit FDBs to the new shape Bongos I believe. I wonder if you can get powerful ones for the fender slots and if they are as effective that low down. If so, try those and link them with main beam.

I got some bulbs v cheap thanks to David but have to say they didn't bring the improvement I'd hoped, and one blew within a couple of weeks. Others seem to be having more luck.

Also, whilst not outstanding, my Bongos headlamps are not that awful. Quite reasonable in fact. But 100W spots working with mainbeam is like Ben and Jerrys icecream for your nightime driving pleasure. Stunning! 8)
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helen&tony
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Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by helen&tony » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:43 am

Hi
Take care when fitting extra lights...foglights are, I believe , acceptable at bumper level, but spotlights have to be higher...I don't know whether the regulations have changed, but auxiliary spots used to have to be mounted between 2 foot and 3 foot 6 inches from the ground.
I have no problem with the standard lights, just replace the bulbs, and they should be perfect. Similarly, everyone used to complain of the lights on Type 2 VWs ....I never had any problems there, either. If your lights are clean, you should have no problems. I do have standard Cibie spots on the bullbar, but aimed high so other drivers can see me coming at night....I might even go for a bank of roof-mounted spots, for the same reason, as most Bulgarians driving after 10.30 in the morning are fully soaked in rakiya, and at night they only drive because they can't stand.....in fact a government official was recently stopped as she had knocked over a pedestrian, and when she staggered to the police car, she threw some money at the cops, saying "have a drink on me".....the fact that the person she knocked down was a German tourist, meant she was booked....personally I would have tied her to the back bumper, and backed into a wall...
Sorry to digress, but driving here is blinking dangerous if you don't have your wits about you.....and a good set of headlights at night!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Cheers
Helen
In the beginning there was nothing , then God said "Let there be Light".....There was still nothing , but ,by crikey, you could see it better.
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Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by bigdaddycain » Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:54 am

Some (most) of the "yellow headlights" found on bongo's have been deliberately designed "dimming" films that have been applied in japan. It would seem that due to the excessive traffic queues found in places such as Tokyo,headlight dimming devices have been used quite extensively to combat the issue of continuing glare of the lamps for the benefit of the driver of the vehicle in front.

Some bongo's have switchable self dimming headlights, others have the yellowish film applied in an effort to reduce the glare from the lamps.

Some have managed to remove the film via various means, T-cut, or some other mildly abrasive renovator.

To address the issue of polishing of the INSIDE of the lens, i can't comment on the bongo's headlights, but i have stripped and rebuilt headlights on other vehicles, which were supposed to be "sealed for life" and not designed to be taken to bits... The problem isn't the separation of the lamps, but effectively sealing them for use in our lovely British winter weather!

I personally dislike the "chrome effect" of my car's headlamps, so i strip them and spray paint the internal surrounds, then re-assemble, and re-seal.

I have done this a few times now,though the inside of the lens' didn't actually need attention when i dismantled the lamps.

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c97/j ... 0055-6.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c97/j ... 0056-4.jpg

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mikeonb4c
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Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by mikeonb4c » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:00 pm

Doh! :oops:

And I knew you had them on too. But I defintely recall someone saying there was an issue with fitting FDBs to later models. Is any cutting of the bumper plastic etc. involved? Where have I got this idea from that there are problems. Anyway, I would then strongly recommend spots mounted on an FDB and linked to main beam operation as an excellent solution for happy night time driving.

Personally, I have my spots angled fairly well down (alitgned with dipped beam) as I find the power of them, plus the fact that main beam is pointing further down the road, gives me all the illumination I need and more whilst reducing possibility of blinding motorists 10 miles away! But UK is not Bulgaria of course. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Yamaha
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Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by Yamaha » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:41 pm

Doesn't sound as though KP's headlamps are up to par - I'm very satisied with mine.

May be worth getting someone with a multimeter to check tha actual voltage reaching the bulbs, and comparing it with
the battery voltage - maybe some voltage drop through those 10 year old switches and connectors!!

If there is, it wouldn't be a big job to insert a relay into the headlamp circuit, so that the existing circuit just switches the relay, and the relay switches a direct 12 volts to the headlamps from the battery.

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helen&tony
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Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by helen&tony » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:51 pm

Hi Mike
I prefer to let them know someone is coming the other way :lol: :lol: ...only standard (55watt) Cibies....and I dip them well in advance.....they can't see where they are going at the best of times :shock: , let alone if I blind them :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: ....the main roads between villages are unlit, and no kerbs or white lines at the edge, and it's moderately easy to drive on dipped lights, and, seriously, I only drive around 10.00 p.m. to avoid early or late drivers....usually no other car on the road at that time, but I try to avoid night driving over here.......every day they publish the previous nights death toll.....HORRENDOUS!!!!!!
Cheers
Helen
In the beginning there was nothing , then God said "Let there be Light".....There was still nothing , but ,by crikey, you could see it better.
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Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by David Edwards » Sun Nov 30, 2008 2:28 pm

I can still get the 50% brighter blue or white bulbs at around £3.00 a set plus postage, our local "what" shop keeps getting em along with tons of bling stuff, worth a visit if anyone is near or once again I can get em and send em out no probs. Happy motoring.
Kentish Paul
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Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by Kentish Paul » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:22 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone. What a great forum and what a great bunch fellow Bongo owners are!

Paul
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Re: Pathetic Headlights

Post by bigdaddycain » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:55 pm

mikeonb4c wrote:Doh! :oops:

And I knew you had them on too. But I defintely recall someone saying there was an issue with fitting FDBs to later models. Is any cutting of the bumper plastic etc. involved? Where have I got this idea from that there are problems.
I reckon keefy will confirm that aside from cutting a slither from the centre strip on the lower aperture of the bumper, the BB's slip straight on mike... :wink:

I think i'd be inclined to remove the centre strip completely, and mesh it.
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