Installing Halogen Headlights
Easy steps to install Halogen headlights
It's often easy to overlook something as simple as your vintage Mustang's headlights. If your local parts house even stocks them, your options are usually limited to a standard GE or Sylvania (just to mention some of the more common brands we've seen on the shelf) 7-inch halogen bulb. Once installed and aligned, they're not given a second thought until later when a fellow driver informs you that one of your lights are out. Then it's off to the store for a replacement. Most of us just replace the bad lamp, but for optimum night time driving you should always replace your lamps in pairs. Bet you didn't know that, huh?
For those that are looking for the utmost in correctness and detail, but still drive their vintage Mustangs, it sure would be great to have a correct looking headlight but with a bright halogen bulb in it, wouldn't it? Apparently our good friend Scott Drake thought so as well and set out to build a new vintage Mustang 7-inch round glass headlamp with the proper look and lettering with modern illumination. Anytime you can throw more light down the road (with a proper beam pattern and correctly aimed) you're going to be able to see road hazards, pedestrians, road signs, and more that much sooner and clearer. For those of us with old, tired eyes, that's certainly a welcome idea. The fact the bulbs have the correct FoMoCo script and other concours-type details certainly doesn't hurt the next time you hit the show field either.
In speaking with Mory Riley, R&D Project Coordinator for the Drake Automotive Group, he was able to give us the lowdown on the new Drake headlamps (PN C0DZ-13007-A). "They are 70-90,000 candela halogens in a flame-sealed 7-inch glass housing." Riley explained. The lens is designed for optimum light disbursement and comes with the reverse raised FoMoCo script logo as used on original Ford lamps and they are a Ford licensed restoration part. We were able to get our hands on a pair of the new headlamps (by the look of the shipping boxes we're betting they're pre-production samples) for us to install.
Of course, every time you replace a headlamp, you should take the time to verify and adjust the lamp's alignment/aiming, so we'll walk our readers through that process as well. Riley expects delivery of their first shipment of the new FoMoCo script halogens well before this article hits the newsstands, so your favorite Drake dealer will have them ready for you by the time you read this.
The Big Difference
In this How To, we're replacing a halogen (agreeably an old one) with a new halogen and we still noticed a marked improvement in illumination. However, if you're currently running a vintage tungsten bulb, perhaps trying to keep your Mustang as correct as possible, then the difference between a tungsten bulb and the more modern halogen is even more dramatic. Just check out this photo that Mory Riley of Drake Automotive Group supplied us. This is Drake's newest project car, a '67 GT 390/four-speed convertible "survivor" that was displayed at the 2011 SEMA show in "as found" state. On the driver's side is Drake's new FoMoCo script halogen and on the passenger side is the original style tungsten. The Drake bulb is 40 percent brighter than the tungsten, which is a huge difference when it comes time to drive home from that car show or cruise night.