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"Willy Mammoth" - Volvo 730 RV Hauler Build


bmzero
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bmz,

The job you did looks really nice! Just wondering with as poor as the Volvo lights are why would you use smoke tint on the headlights?

Thanks, Rick. It's solely for looks. The tint should have almost zero affect on the light output. Also, I plan on doing a headlight upgrade soon. I haven't decided on which kit to go with yet, though.

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Wow, your headlights look great. I had Sam's Club do mine for $29.95 and they don't look nearly as good as yours but they are better than they were. Love the work you are doing on "WILLY". I hope you will make it to the ECR so we can get to know you and your family. Keep up the good work, Charlie

 

Thanks, Charlie.

 

After a couple of nights driving Willy around, I am convinced I need a light upgrade ASAP. I'm sure the tint isn't helping matters any, too, but I don't notice a lot of difference between the current output and how it was prior to polishing the lenses and no tint.

 

I am looking into getting up to the ECR. Sounds like a good time. I hope we can make it happen.

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I polished my lenses few years back, with a help of an industrial buffer I picked up at an auction. This sucker took care of everything, including the deepest gouges and scratches, probably took 1/4 of the plastic down. It helped some but I was still not impressed with the lights. Picked up couple of halogens from Sylvania, went for the most expensive ones back than , Silver, or Gold series, they were like three times the cost of the "regular" bulbs. I couldn't believe what a difference these made, they easily illuminated road three times further than the old bulbs. The lenses yellowed again since than, I guess you have to coat them with something to protect the "virgin plastic", but those Sylvanias still work like the champs even through inferior lenses.

Edited by phoenix2013
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Thanks, Charlie.

 

After a couple of nights driving Willy around, I am convinced I need a light upgrade ASAP. I'm sure the tint isn't helping matters any, too, but I don't notice a lot of difference between the current output and how it was prior to polishing the lenses and no tint.

 

Volvo is strange. I see that you have both the fog and the driving lights in the lower bumper. Your truck is newer than mine but my fog lights come on only with the low beam headlights and the driving lights only with the high beam. I added a switch so I can turn on the driving lights. They give a lot better light when combined with the low beams. I know someone else has done this and says that people flash their lights at them, I have not had any issues. Of course I rarely drive at night, but I do drive in the predawn on occasion.

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Volvo is strange. I see that you have both the fog and the driving lights in the lower bumper. Your truck is newer than mine but my fog lights come on only with the low beam headlights and the driving lights only with the high beam. I added a switch so I can turn on the driving lights. They give a lot better light when combined with the low beams. I know someone else has done this and says that people flash their lights at them, I have not had any issues. Of course I rarely drive at night, but I do drive in the predawn on occasion.

 

I didn't realize that. Phil, do you still have the OEM partnumber blubs in your lights? If so, do you feel you have enough light with the extra bulbs in the driving lights on?

 

Picked up couple of halogens from Sylvania, went for the most expensive ones back than , Silver, or Gold series, they were like three times the cost of the "regular" bulbs. I couldn't believe what a difference these made, they easily illuminated road three times further than the old bulbs.

 

I'm going to look into swapping bulbs.

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We too are not satisfied with the lights on our rig. We are working with our builder and a company called XTP from Xenia, Ohio to find a better set off bulbs and the other light for the lower set of driving lights . We've used the insect repellant "40" and it did work better, but As we've all said it's not perfect. Man I HATE to spend the money on new lights. Does anyone have the " best price " on a set? I 'm like you Big 5er, we seldom drive in the dark, but I like to always have my headlights on.

Edited by Denver Geitgey
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I was in Fort Garry Industries the other day and they had the Dorman replacement headlight assemblies on sale at $179 each. But on their own they are no better than the factory lights other than they are new. Complete replacement fog/driving assemblies can be bought around here for $129 each side, that puts you about halfway to David's kit that we know works. If you can wait till the ECR there will be several trucks there with the upgraded lighting and you could see for yourself and make an informed purchase after that.

 

Nigel

Edited by Nigel
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Guys, this has been an issue forever. EVERY trick has been tried. Some of the tricks will give you "some" improvement. Like the Sylvania bulbs. That will bring your lighting from "nonexistent" to "barely there". But it is better than nothing. You do need to do the lens polishing and if you clear them that will last for awhile - that is a given.

 

Adding the high power bulb replacements like on street cars will accomplish little but melting stuff, or causing other issues.Including pocketbook issues. There is NO satisfactory "cheap" solution that really solves the issue.

 

Davids lights were designed with a lot of experimentation for the best light output that is legal and can get the light onto the pavement. There is nothing even close to it. I've looked and others have looked. If you drive at all at night, my advice is to solve the problem the right way, and to my knowledge the only effective way. Spend the money and buy Davids lights.

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Time to do a little Hi-Jack....

Are there any small items that can be done to make the GEN 1 headlights better. Yes, Nuke E's replacements are on the list, but camera's and a bed extension are first.

Any simple tricks? They're not faded / clouded too bad, as you can see the thru the lens into the housing, but an improvement would be nice.

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Jim, about the best you can do is clarify the covers, and then put in the Sylvania bulbs. They help.

 

You might want to add on some of THESE externally. But you need to control them carefully to keep yourself legal. Mount them inside the bumper gap that most trucks have. That will be low enough to really light the road pretty far out when you do not have a lot of opposing traffic. You can use the dimmer module to control output. I'm probably going to add them to my truck even with Davids lights.....I'll use them as DRL lights since they will be brighter than the existing DRLs. (I did not find these parts...someone previously posted the info. But they do look good).

Edited by Jack Mayer
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A previous owner added what looks like the KC Highliter headlamps to the lower fascia, kinda fit a round light into a square hole. But the inside of the lamps has aged and rusted so there isn't much light being reflected out. They are always on with the low beams and off when the high beams are switched on. I would rather them be independently switched.

Edited by Alie&Jim's Carrilite
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So, as I was pulling into the driveway last night in Willy, I saw a code on the display saying the right drive lamp was out. At first I thought it was just a loose connection from where I had the lights out. Unfortunately, the filament in the bulb had actually come apart.

 

Seeing that I have to drive back home tonight, I had to have both lights functioning. I stopped by Advance Auto Parts and picked these up.

 

15454351023_2cb4d1380f_c.jpg

 

I couldn't tell much difference for the one bulb against the other one. I'll post back later about how they did after dark.

 

I'm also going to put a set of these in the opening under the grill.

 

2" X 6" 26 SERIES HALOGEN LIGHTS

 

516.jpg

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I didn't realize that. Phil, do you still have the OEM partnumber blubs in your lights? If so, do you feel you have enough light with the extra bulbs in the driving lights on?

 

When I left Kansas after the Nataional rally, I pulled out onto the road muttering about the poor Volvo lights. It was also beginning to drizzle which didn't help at all. Right as I was beginning to grumble, I said to myself: "Hey stupid, turn on the driving lights". It is a BIG difference, in my opinion. The fog lights are useless, the driving light actually puts some light on the road.

I have wet sanded and polished my lenses before. It is a long tedious process to do right, but the effect is amazing. I do not drive in the dark enough to justify Dave's lights, but I will buy new lenses in the fairly near future.

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Volvo is strange. I see that you have both the fog and the driving lights in the lower bumper. Your truck is newer than mine but my fog lights come on only with the low beam headlights and the driving lights only with the high beam. I added a switch so I can turn on the driving lights. They give a lot better light when combined with the low beams. I know someone else has done this and says that people flash their lights at them, I have not had any issues. Of course I rarely drive at night, but I do drive in the predawn on occasion.

 

That would be me. The driving lights make a big difference but driving at night with them on I have been flashed by on coming traffic on regular basis. My driving lights are on a separate switch so that is with the driving lights on with low beams. Fog lights off.

 

While night driving is not the normal for us I did purchase David's kit at the rally. Finally got it installed last week just before heading out to the in-laws for a early Christmas. No night driving so no review yet. I did forget they took a second to warm up and when I tried to use the high beam flash button on the steering wheel I was flashing too fast. So will have to see if I can rewire the front flash feature to use the driving lights or maybe wire it to factory high beams since they are no longer used with the kit.

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Jim, about the best you can do is clarify the covers, and then put in the Sylvania bulbs. They help.

 

You might want to add on some of THESE externally. But you need to control them carefully to keep yourself legal. Mount them inside the bumper gap that most trucks have. That will be low enough to really light the road pretty far out when you do not have a lot of opposing traffic. You can use the dimmer module to control output. I'm probably going to add them to my truck even with Davids lights.....I'll use them as DRL lights since they will be brighter than the existing DRLs. (I did not find these parts...someone previously posted the info. But they do look good).

 

I am the one that originally posted the info about the LEDRider LED lights, and have no affiliation or interest in the company. I put them on my Yamaha FJR1300 earlier this year for doing my long distance Iron Butt rides. They make a HUGE difference. I also installed the LEDRider dimmer that lets me dim all the way down to about 10% power. It also has a circuit built in that you tie into your high beam circuit for instantly going to 100% when you hit the high beam switch. I run the lights full time at about 15 - 20% to make the bike more visible, and have not had anyone flash me yet. I am seriously considering putting these on my pickup.

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Just as an update, the Sylvania bulbs did make a little difference in my lights. Although, I think the tint on my lights is restricting the light more than I thought. I'm going to try another set of LED bulbs I bought and see if that helps. If it doesn't, the tint is coming off.

 

I'm taking Willy in to a truck shop today. I have a pretty bad vibration at 40MPH and 60MPH. I first thought it was a front tire, but after a few hours at a Love's truck stop over the weekend, I'm not so sure. The tire looked perfect and was balanced pretty well. I despise chasing vibrations. My F450 was plagued with one earlier on in its life.

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