For some reason I just can't leave the headlight alone in my TaoTao ATM50-A1. I've already tried a bunch of BA20D bulbs that fit the stock housing. You can check those out HERE.
*NOTE : This is what worked for me to fit these bulbs. Not all headlight assemblies for BA20D bulbs are exactly the same. Making an H$ bulb work on some headlight assemblies may require more or different modifications. There's always a risk of ruining the housing. Even if you get the bulb to fit it may create more heat and melt the housing or surrounding parts.*
I picked up a 9003/H4 Sylvania Silverstar 60/55W headlight bulb.
I put it up to the stock housing and marked the location of each tab. The bulb should be installed with the 3 prongs toward the top and the widest tab straight up. Remember to never touch the glass portion of the headlight.
Then I cut and filed the headlight housing to accept the tabs.
The next problem was that the diameter of the H4 base was a tiny bit too large to fit inside of the stock housing. A few seconds on the grinder fixed that. I removed a very small bit of metal from the circumference of the base.
I ran the scooter for a full 30 minutes with the high beam on at 4100RPM (light never seemed to get brighter beyond there) on the stand. It was 48F in the garage, no air moving across the light to cool it.
Max temp I saw was 261F. The hottest area is right above the light on the top of the housing.
The housing itself seemed to be dealing with the heat OK, but the fairing just above it was soft by somewhere around 240F.
Messed with it more with the pliers for no good reason. Doesn't really matter. There's a 10" long crack in the bottom of this fairing anyway that's held together with Gorilla Tape.
Went to take the lens off to get better pics of the inside of the housing and cracked off a tab so now the lens is loose. Seems like that was the only tab that was actually holding anything.
It didn't melt the housing itself, but the reflective coating doesn't look like it will hold up to the heat of the Silverstar.
The stuff around the housing melting worries me more than the housing itself. It was pretty warm behind the housing, where all of the wires for controls are, when I pulled the fairing apart. I wasn't at all surprised to see something melting, but expected it to be the headlight and not the fairing that holds it.
Last Edit: Nov 17, 2017 10:35:50 GMT -5 by 90GTVert
Even though the Silverstar gets really hot, I just had to find out how well it performs. The outside temperature was in the 20s so I thought it should be cold enough to keep things reasonably cool for one ride.
Since I broke one tab on the headlight the others won't grab like the should. I drilled a hole through the mounting area and zip tied it tightly. Worked better than the clip ever did so I did another one that was loose.
It was probably a mistake to find out how the Silverstar did at night, because now I'm gonna hate every other light unless I get a new housing that can take the heat someday. I had it aimed a little low, but it was still great. The road directly ahead is brightly lit and it does an excellent job of illuminating the sides of the road as well. This is what a headlight should be like.
As soon as I got home I checked the heat from the light. The plastic above the light was maybe room temperature. The housing itself was warm, but I could hold my hand on it indefinitely. I don't think I'd have a problem with the bulb when it's this cold out, at least at night, but I don't like the risk of melting things and potentially a fire hazard.
Last Edit: Nov 17, 2017 10:38:26 GMT -5 by 90GTVert
I bought a pair of 35W H4 bulbs on ebay. The cheapest I saw for a pair with the coated tip. I had to grind the circumference of the base just slightly as I did the last bulb to make it fit. Otherwise, no sweat.
I fired it up, put the high beam on, and set the engine at over 4000RPM to keep the light bright just like last time with the 55/60 Silverstar. The garage was just 2 degrees warmer today at 50F. I let it run for a full 30 minutes and the hottest temp I saw was 189F, again pretty much dead center above the housing being the worst. It would need another 40-50F to get the plastic soft from what I saw last time. Not really sure how often anyone would sit at a red light or whatever for 30 minutes holding the revs up to keep the light bright so I think it's fairly safe. I'm sure it would be worse in the summer heat with the sun on it, but should still be alright in reasonable riding conditions.
Here's a look at the 35W H4 low/high.
Here it is on the road.
One thing I do see with both H4 bulbs is that they project a lot wider for better peripheral vision. The low beam on this bulb looks like it could use a bit tighter focus to really do well, but it's not bad. The high beam shines more light higher, but also concentrates more light where it's needed on the road surface.
Update : I've been using the 35W H4 for months now without issue. I'm pleased with the swap overall. I'm not sure that it will be worth the effort over a 45W or so BA20D bulb unless you enjoy modifying. It is an upgrade over the BA20D bulbs I've tried, or at least the ones that don't melt things.
Last Edit: Nov 17, 2017 10:45:08 GMT -5 by 90GTVert
I had to try this. The big reason I have not considered HID is that I thought they all needed DC. I didn't want to convert anything and I have seen with the grip heaters that the stock DC charging system can't support 35W without the battery needing to be on a charger after each ride.
I hooked up the three connections from ballast to light.
All that was left was the H4 connector that would plug into my current H4 connector.
I see that the ballast says V-in, I assume volts/voltage in, 9-16V AC. Sounds perfect to me for the power heading to the connector on the scoot.
At this point I'm quite pleased. "All I have to do is install the bulb, ballast, and plug it in? Nice." I went out to the garage and reinstalled my exhaust first so I didn't have to run it open port. I'll have to work with the bracket later BTW, something isn't lined up quite right with 1 mounting bolt after I re-welded it in all the spots that it had cracked. I removed the standard H4 bulb and replaced it with the HID. Plugged in the single connector and let the ballast kind of hang around. I wanted to test it before securing anything.
I grabbed the drill to start the engine since the variator is still curing. The TaoTao is quite a mess with the front wheel off, a pipe in need of attention, and being started with a drill. I fired up the engine and switched the headlight on. It looked like a strobe light. "Son of a." I also notice that when the HID is on the oil temp gauge goes off. I switched to high beam, the halogen bulb, and the oil temp sensor comes back on and the light is steady. I got the multimeter out and I was indeed within the ACV range stated on the ballast. Mostly 10-13V. I didn't get it. I would understand the flickering if it were meant for DC, but it says AC.
I then hooked the bulbs directly to the battery and the HID worked fine. It's pretty bright, but I wish it would work with AC.
I came back inside and looked online. As it turns out, AC ballasts just mean they convert DC input to AC to the bulbs. Apparently AC is easier on the bulbs. What AC does not mean is that it's plug and play with our AC headlight system. To the electrical savvy folks reading, I'm sure this is amusing. I just wanted to make sure no one else picks this up assuming they're 10min of work away from HID lighting on their scoot.
Last Edit: Nov 17, 2017 10:47:19 GMT -5 by 90GTVert
Got a few pics together of the ScrappyDog 35W H4 HID/halogen combo. It was hooked directly to the battery for testing. No way this scoot could support the HID since voltage was only in the mid-high 11V range.
This one should compare to others I've done.
I tried to give an idea of how well the HID spreads out here.
I did this one with the garage lights on to try and show the difference in intensities. The garage isn't this dark, but I do all headlight pics on a dark setting.
Not so sure this thing won't annoy other drivers on high or low beam. The high of course projects high. The HID low is instense and hard to look at and hopefully you can see it spreads light out even though it has a definite focal point that's much more intense.
I didn't do a full 30 minutes like I did with the H4 Silverstar and standard 35W, but after 15 minutes I could find spots at 185F around the headlight.
Last Edit: Nov 17, 2017 10:48:20 GMT -5 by 90GTVert
Because I can't leave things alone, I've also had a 45W H4 here to see how that does. It's was $5 shipped on eBay.
Here are pics of the 45W H4. I think looking at the pile of bulbs I have now tried, this would be the "simple" low cost choice. It requires some conversion work, but the harness is a few bucks one time and the bulbs are $5 each shipped and easy enough to find for future replacement. Puts out good light and the extra 10W over the 35W version makes a good bit of difference.
Last Edit: Nov 17, 2017 10:49:04 GMT -5 by 90GTVert
Brent Smoking section, please.
Senna1Rossi: Ah, gotcha! Thanks, Fox. Does everyone see the Shoutbox, or just the people who you choose?
Feb 16, 2016 12:39:35 GMT -5
Fox: Anyone who is logged in can see it but it's down at the bottom so most have either chosen to ignore it or haven't discovered it yet.
Feb 16, 2016 18:42:39 GMT -5
Deleted: Wow, I just found this. I feel smart now, ha ha.
Feb 27, 2016 19:24:24 GMT -5
Silar: Ahh.. New feature for a new riding season! YAY!
Mar 16, 2016 17:12:34 GMT -5
Silar: Apparently this still is not being used much. hmm..
Mar 17, 2016 13:55:04 GMT -5
180°off: Anyone want to buy a Yamaha 2t that needs a complete rebuild?
Mar 27, 2016 16:00:19 GMT -5
larryhobman: What is the leanest jet size you would try on a 47mm setup, 60cc stock head with a A9 cam
Apr 2, 2016 20:17:30 GMT -5
Senna1Rossi: Thanks renagade281!
May 23, 2016 14:59:12 GMT -5
Fox: I don't really know how to say this but straight. I am Dave's Girlfriend Kellilee and bluntly and VERY SADLY he passed away early Tuesday morning. I know he would want ya all to know this. Thank You Brent for befriending my love he was very happy on here!
Jun 18, 2016 16:26:04 GMT -5
Fox: www.gofundme.com/29mgf6b8 I hope it is ok to pass on his gofundme page link. If not you will un-post it I'm sure. Thanks again all!!
Jun 18, 2016 16:31:18 GMT -5