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Kevin K
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:37 pm  Reply with quote
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Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 783
Location: Brooklyn Park

Those of you still running a sealed beam unit may or may not have ever had to replace it. My guess is that most of you have. For those of you who haven't yet, here's some tips.

Myth: motorcycle sealed beam lamps are the same as car lamps. FALSE!
While they share the same outside dimension, and three-prong connector,
they're not the same unit. In fact, I think that the wattage is higher on the car lamp. The bottom line is that they WILL NOT FIT. You need a motorcyle-specific sealed beam unit.

So where do I find one of these, you ask? Some motorcycle shops still carry them, but you're more likely to find one in the most unlikely place--shops that cater to Harley Davidsons. It seems that Milwaukee's best ran the 5 3/4" sealed beams for many, many years so a lot of shops still carry them. I picked one up at The Shop on the West Bank (near Whiskey Junction). If the shop/dealer asks for the year and model, tell 'em it's for a 1980 Sportster.

My local auto parts store wasn't any luck either. But now that I have the bulb--with the manufacturer and part number on the back--I may be able to get one from a place like NAPA or such.
Here's the info on back of the bulb:

Wagner (manufacturer) 4420 (P/N) 30/30W (wattage)

So there you go. I'd recommend picking one up now, so you're not scrambling to find one like I did.

Or, you could go with the smart choice: replacing the whole thing with a halogen upgrade. The plus there is a) better light and b) replaceble bulb that's available everywhere. I plan to go this route very soon.

So that's it. Now it's time for me to go intstall my righteous headlight so I can once again ride at night.
-K

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Matty
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:57 pm  Reply with quote
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Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 1323
Location: MPLS

So you're saying the car lights I've been using for 10 years will not fit?

They work, you just either ground down the 'nubs' on the light a bit or cut a notch on the metal bracket that holds the light in. Totally fits though. But now that they have the holgen conversions that is smarter, but nothing beats buying a new headlight for $5 at any autoparts store....

Oh this only works for P series.

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Kevin K
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:42 pm  Reply with quote
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Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 783
Location: Brooklyn Park

True, you can modify either the stock headlight housing or the light itself.
I was trying to inform the uninformed (like me) that it's not going to fit right out of the box.

Gotta gets me a halogen upgrade. Light = good.
-K

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