Daily Archives: July 6, 2022

I got a new part for the Sprint-T yesterday

I bought an assembly from the jungle store, that was intended for semi-trucks that holds 2 4 x 6 headlights. It’s a bit wide for the Sprint-T, but I can trim it down to fit better. It was serendipity that I found this as I was just looking for the headlight buckets to fit the lights I already purchased, expecting to have to fabricate the backing plate and the adjusting screws and springs, now all I have to do is assign wire colors to the headlight pins to connect the existing harness to the rest of the car because this is buckets, adjusting screws and springs and backing plate all together in one inexpensive assembly. That and make the structure to mount these assemblies to the fenders. Also I won’t need to make a waterproof structure to protect the wiring because the bracket already is a waterproof structure that I just have to seal against water from the tire inside the fender.

The assemblies have the three-wire headlight harness but the wires aren’t pinned to the included sockets, so I’ll have to decide which color wire goes to which headlight pin. I have black, red and green wires to assign, the black is easy, that’s ground. The red and green are less easy as I want to make this repairable but any klutz with a pair of wire pliers and a soldering iron who knows the automotive color code. And from what I can find there is no universal color code for headlights beyond making the ground wire black the rest of the wires are of any and all colors and some with white or black stripes. So future mechanic trying to repair a broken Sprint-T the low beam positive is red, the high beam is green.

Now as I was saying the big bracket that holds all this mess is a heavy injection molding about 15.5″ wide by 6.5″ tall with all the wiring inside the bracket, while the usual street tires I’m going to be running are a bit more than 10″ wide (255/60R15), meaning there’s going to be some excess width either to the outside or inside of the tire, or split to either side. Actually I was going to trim this mess so that the fender sides just clear the adjusting pivots on either side of the headlights, and the top was just clear of any adjustment screws. That makes it “only” 14.5″ wide by 6.25″ tall. It’s important to make this as small as possible to minimize frontal area of the tire fairings. The other consideration is the bottom of the headlights has to be 24″ from the ground at rest to pass inspection in Texas. If this was an airplane I would make the fenders only as tall and wide as needed to cover the tires because there would be nothing else to take into consideration, but on a car they’re an ideal place to mount the headlights because they’re both the widest and most far forward places on the car. So I have to make the top of the fenders tall enough to make the bottom of the headlights 24″ high, where if I was mounting the headlights anyplace else I would just have to make the fenders so that the tire would just kiss the inside of the top at extreme jounce travel.

The problem is there isn’t anyplace else to mount 4 headlights and still make them far enough apart to pass inspection in Texas. If I mount them in the only other logical place on the front of the car they would be practically a solid light bar on the front of the car 31″ wide across the nose, because that is how wide the nose of the car has to be to clear the tires at full lock and cover the radiator. In the fenders they have enough separation to make 2 distinct lights and also make it possible to determine how far away the car is at night to allow pedestrians to estimate speed and distance before trying to cross the road in front of the car. Headlight mounting width was a problem with the first Baja Bug conversions, because some states didn’t approve of the 2 lights in the nose that were even closer than the early Jeeps. I’m not sure about if Texas was one of those states, but a Google search says it was as it requires headlights “on either side” of the motor vehicle. (TXVC547.302) And after measuring the bracket and doing some quick arithmetic of the wheel travel and diameter I can say the bottom of the headlight will definitely be above 24″ from the ground at static ride height if I make the top of the tire just kiss the inside top of the fender with the headlights mounted as high as possible in the fender and the ride height at rest of 6″, or 3″ at full bump travel. Woo! Still legal at minimum frontal area!