Mitsubishi Montero: Headlight Swap

Here’s a quick and easy upgrade to my 1991 Mitsubishi Montero. I felt the Sylvania beams were a bit lacking at night. So I ordered a set of KC headlights and popped them in. Having a vehicle with 7″-round sealed beams makes this sort of upgrade an easy affair. It’s three fasteners to get the grill loose. The turn signals require two screws to move out of the way. And then it’s two more screws to get the headlight surrounds undone. After that, there are three screws that hold the retaining trim in place on the headlight. Undo the plug at the back, swap the new light in via the old “installation is the reverse, etc” and flip the switch.

New lights go FWOOM and the world is a brighter place…

8 Comments

  1. What KCs did you go with? I put Sylvania Silverstars in my Jeep, but I wasn’t real impressed with how long they lasted. They did make the world a whole lot brighter though.

  2. I’ve got a set of Hella H4 housings for the Thunderbird to replace the old sealed beams. I’ve been told, however, that I need to rewire it to run the power through a relay because the existing wire isn’t adequate for the extra current the halogens draw. That’s held me up in making the swap. I assume your 80s era wiring is beefier than my 60s era stuff.

    1. Check the wattage of the sealed beams against the Hellas – I think you could run the regular 55/60W bulbs with the stock wiring. Still, a relay wouldn’t be a bad idea, for the high beams at least. When I put the Z-Beams (55/60W) in our ’66 Rambler, I used the stock wiring without any issues. But, the car was only ten years old at the time. A 60-year-old wiring harness might be a different matter. Does the T-Bird use a circuit breaker in the headlight circuit? A lot of American cars did back then – sometimes the breaker is in the headlight switch.

      1. It seems that non-halogen sealed beams are hard to find and hard to find specifications on. That is what the car was designed around. A drop in halogen 5 3/4″ sealed beam is 40/60W (Low / High, I assume) at 12.8V. Halogens weren’t available until the 70s or 80s, but I can’t find wattage on the standard sealed beams.

        The H4 bulbs in my Hella kit are 60/55W (High / Low) at 12.0V. I’m guessing that if the drop in Halogen Sealed beams, about all I can find now, are OK, these Hellas should be too.

  3. Very cool. And the price isn’t bad. A zillion years ago I had a set of Cibie’ Z-Beams. They were first in my mom’s car (’66 Rambler American), then when it was traded in, they went in my first car (’75 Vega), then later they went in my ’76 Vega GT. Stupidly, I let them go with the car when I sold it. They were less than $75 a set in 1976, but now they’re rare, and worth hundreds of dollars.

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