The headlight illumination on my 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 (Cummins) is so
dangerously bad....I do not drive this vehicle at night. I have called
the local dealership and they have no record of such a problem...and
no ideas as to how to recitfy the problem. Last year I replaced the
bulbs with PIA 9004-65?45 watt...small improvement. I can drive at
night on high beam...all the time. Nobody flashes at me....including
the folks I drive behind. The lenses look clear. Are the reflective
surfaces breaking down? Is this an electrical
problem....grounding...voltage? I think these are the same lights as
the infamous Caravan headlights. Is there an aftermarket drop-in
replacement that works? Do I have to sell this vehicle due to
inadequate headlight illumination?
I have had a pair of Slyvania H-6054 lose their "silvering" and become
exceptionally dim, but the newer Ram lights aren't the old sealed beams
either. If the lights still look "bright" when you look at them in the
daylight (lights off) the silvering is still good, if they look dark, they
need to be replaced. Lot's of guys, (me included) have retrofitted the
"Sport" quad headlights and gotten good improvement in lighting. Generic
Sport lights are available as well as genuine Sport lights from the dealer.
For your '98 you'll need to do a little sheet metal surgury behind the
lights to fit them if you you gennies. I "think" the aftermarket ones will
fit w/o the sheet metal work. The gennie lights are reputed to be better
quality and I got mine used from eBay and polished them up to look good and
I've heard of and used "better" bulbs with my original lights and never
noted any real improvement. YMMV.
Check for corrosion on the ground at the lamps. I had a similar problem on
my old Suburban and ended up just replacing the pigtail. Sometimes just
cleaning the connectors does it. Night and day difference (no pun intended).
Plan B would be to upgrade the wiring with heavier gauge wire and a relay
tripped by the stock headlamp circuit.(I did this too). Factory wiring is
often just barely adequate for the loads encountered. See
http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/relays/relays.html for better info.
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