Face it: Your original muscle car’s headlights and taillights are old. Maybe they’re still as good as they ever were, but the world has changed around them. Drivers today are more distracted than ever, and even the most bland, blob-shaped commuter junk has better lighting than your prized stock GTO, Charger or Mustang. Do you really want to gamble that you’re going to be seen when you brave modern traffic in your classic machine?
With a little work, you can inject modern lighting technology into your classic car without changing its OE looks or hacking up its original wiring.
That’s what we did with ACC Contributor Jay Harden’s ’69 Chevelle — installing a set of headlight relays and a set of Digi-Tails LED taillights at World of Speed in Wilsonville, OR. Don’t let the wiring intimidate you — these are easy projects. Here’s how we did it:
Headlight Relays: From the factory, this Chevelle’s headlight power had to run from the battery into the interior, through the headlight switch and high-beam foot switch, and back out to the lights. It’s not the most direct connection, and there’s some substantial voltage drop in all that old wire and all those old connections.
We’re still going to use the factory setup, but only to trigger a set of brand-new relays, which takes next to no juice. All the load on the circuit will be gone, yet the factory switch, dimmer, high-beam indicator and warning buzzer will all still work.
Summit Racing Parts List
Pico 40-amp mini relay, P/N PCO-5591PT, $6.97/each (2 required)
Vintage Air 30A Circuit Breaker, P/N VTA-23160-VUW, $8.97
Ron Francis Wiring Sealed Beam Connectors, set of 8, p/n RFW-AM8 $12.69/each (2 required)
Standard Motor Headlight Plugs, 2-wire (high beam), p/n SMP-S529, $5.97/each (2 required)
Standard Motor Headlight Plugs, 3-wire (low & high beam), p/n SMP-S526, $4.97/each (2 required)
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