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Thread: Need headlights that don't suck! Mk3 VW Gti VR6

  1. #1
    Regular Member benny_mech will become famous soon enough
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    Need headlights that don't suck! Mk3 VW Gti VR6

    So far the car has had:

    OEM: Light output sucked
    Hella Mk4 look: Light output good, glass lenses broke, 'spensive.
    Depo Smoked E-codes: Light output sucks, bulbs not grounded or retained well. (current)

    I'd really like to have projectors this time around, with a modern style bulb, and I prefer the plastic lenses. I know they can fog, but I'd rather polish them than replace cracked glass, and I'm not a fan of Lamin-X/Stonguard. Don't want angel eyes, anything fugly, or something poor quality. Don't really want to fork out $600 for Hella Celis, but I'm not seeing a lot of other options. Helix makes a Mk4 look non-angel eye projector, but I'm worried about quality.

    Any input? Help a brother out please!
    “Religion is a defense against the experience of God.”
    — C.G. Jung

  2. #2
    any retrofit options? That could be a lot cheaper than a $600 Hella set
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  3. #3
    Regular Member benny_mech will become famous soon enough
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    The ones I've got have the fluted lenses, so not really. I also have limited time for fab projects these days. Might just have to fork out the $$$.
    “Religion is a defense against the experience of God.”
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  4. #4
    make car go faster guy Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v's Avatar
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    OEM ecodes with relays and higher output bulbs. stonguard is out of business. glass lenses can break, but they dotn break too often unless you are tailgating snowplows.

  5. #5
    make car go faster guy Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v's Avatar
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    Sorry to chime in so late.

  6. #6
    Regular Member benny_mech will become famous soon enough
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    I had the glass lenses in my Hella Mk4 looks break, I think twice, and I never tailgate. Just sayin.' I do still have some Stonguard kicking around my garage, which I may apply to the new lights if it's not too yellowed from age. I ordered the Helix projectors (non angel eye version), and I think they have glass lenses. I may resort to a retrofit on these if they have the same issues with bulb retention and grounding. I've stopped driving the Gti for the moment because the light output is so poor, and one bulb is intermittently on.
    “Religion is a defense against the experience of God.”
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  7. #7
    make car go faster guy Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v's Avatar
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    Hmm, thats strange. Maybe its just where you drive. Or maybe its the car. Many of my cars have glass lenses and tehy havent been cracked or broken. Maybe yours broke because they werent oem? All mine are OEM.

  8. #8
    Regular Member benny_mech will become famous soon enough
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    Hella makes the OEM lights, right? In any case, it looks like the lights I ordered are backordered with no ship date in sight. Might be looking at other options again.
    “Religion is a defense against the experience of God.”
    — C.G. Jung

  9. #9
    make car go faster guy Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v's Avatar
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    Hella does of course. Perhaps there are different quality controls for OEM vs. aftermarket? But that might be a stretch. I think the best solution might be to get a German car...

  10. #10
    There is Hella Germany and Hella China.. don't know if they've been making mk3 lights in China though?
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  11. #11
    Regular Member benny_mech will become famous soon enough
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Rabbit 16v View Post
    Hella does of course. Perhaps there are different quality controls for OEM vs. aftermarket? But that might be a stretch. I think the best solution might be to get a German car...
    My B5 Passat was German. I was not a fan. Much happier with my Messican Mk3.
    “Religion is a defense against the experience of God.”
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  12. #12
    make car go faster guy Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v's Avatar
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    b5s dont count newer cars with more things to break!

  13. #13
    Regular Member benny_mech will become famous soon enough
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    Lol @ "newer cars," said B5 is now 15 years old. Go change your Depends!
    “Religion is a defense against the experience of God.”
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  14. #14
    make car go faster guy Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v is a jewel in the rough Rabbit 16v's Avatar
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    Haha! Well, they still have more things to break and I was comparing a Mexiwagen to the B5. So relatively speaking, the B5 is a newer car. Dork

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    Normal Member electromage will become famous soon enough electromage's Avatar
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    Still stuck here? I'd suggest getting a new set of OEM lights, either US or Euro if they'll fit, adding a custom harness for better power, and running the best bulbs available. It looks like the US OEM lamps are 9004, which is quite unfortunate because they have traverse filaments and are limited to 45W on low, but Philips X-treme Vision are good if you can find them.

    Personally I'd get some OEM EU lamps like these http://www.ebay.de/itm/OEtec-SCHEINW...item4ac8daa30e or http://www.ebay.de/itm/HELLA-Scheinw...item5d4639ded7 and do what I had to in order to make them fit. They use H1 bulbs which are much better quality (tighter tolerance), have axial filaments, and are available in 55W. Philips X-treme Vision and Narva Rangepower +50 are good choices for that. I'd also do a harness either way, connect them direct to the battery with 12AWG+ wire and a relay, switched by the stock harness.
    Last edited by electromage; 2015.01.16 at 13:37 PM.

  16. #16
    Regular Member benny_mech will become famous soon enough
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    Quote: Originally Posted by benny_mech View Post
    I ordered the Helix projectors (non angel eye version), and I think they have glass lenses.
    Unfortunately these lights were backordered to infinity and beyond, so I ended up with the Angel Eye version. They sat in a box in my garage for a while, but I finally got around to installing them after finishing up some other maintenance stuff. Bulb retention looks better than the old ones, and light output looks ok. Still haven't driven it, but I'll report back.

    The main reason I didn't go OEM was the fluted lenses. Never been a fan of the way those scatter light.
    “Religion is a defense against the experience of God.”
    — C.G. Jung

  17. #17
    Regular Member benny_mech will become famous soon enough
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    Got these on and aimed, and light output is good. I wouldn't call it great, but it's a helluva lot better than stockers, or the last POS headlights that were on there. Projectors have a nice cutoff with minimal scatter.
    “Religion is a defense against the experience of God.”
    — C.G. Jung

  18. #18
    Normal Member AlexPirate will become famous soon enough
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    you can always remove the flutes from factory lenses and do a retrofit
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