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ay up chief

couple of questions for you...

chatting with my best mate at my garage, where we will eventually be fitting them and he had 2 questions ..

1) with regards MOT does the plastic cover distort the beam or will the lights just shine through the perspex without moving/changing the beam pattern as apparently they check this for the MOT

2) are the perspex covers going to be a sealed unit or do they detach incase we get condensation in them

i couldnt answer him so i thought i'd make the call

:)
 

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T4 2.5 TDi 2003 SWB
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4,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #3,884 (Edited)
Hi Dave,


Two very good questions mate ........................ and something that I covered a while back, but really didn't go into the finer details. As you may recall I spent a ridiculous amount of time preparing my headlight covers tooling plugs, buying special sandpapers with grits up to 12,000 grit! then spending a few days using rubbing compounds and finally polishing and waxing to a glass like finish on the resin.

That entire procedure was for the sole purpose of vacuum forming transparent plastic sheets to a glass-like finish. The proof of concept ( tests ) were to show that a glass-like finish is indeed doable, using the vacuum forming method of shaping transparent headlight covers. The industrie use injection moulding, just the aluminium injection moulds cost thousands, not to mention the cost of the machines they use. Way beyond the means of the home workshop! So I had to find out if I could replicate good quality transparent covers, that wouldn't diffuse or distort the light.

Here's the link to that page > Quad headlight design project ..... Update

And here's one of the photos showing just how clear it's possible to get the plastic. I used PETG in the tests as that's what I had in stock at the time, but in the final 'production' headlights, I'll be using transparent Polycarbonate >>

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This image, using the Frosties box ................... because it's clourfull, it's got printed text on it and we can all relate to it as we all know what it looks like in the real world.
Even though it wasn't perfect, I did manage to get it very clear, but I did get a small amount of distortion. I did mention at the time that may of been down to my stock of PETG being a bit old. It's still a work in progress however >>

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If I can't get it perfect, I just won't go with the transparent version of the quad headlights. The Quad Headlight Project has always been to supply the headlight covers with two appertures in them, like in my early mould in the picture below >>

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Your mate is absolutely right Dave, and that' also what I found in my research, transparent headlight covers have to be 'Homologated' .................... that's what all the fuss is about over here in France. Particularly on the French T4 forum, of which i am a memebr also. They're queuing-up for these, but if they're not homologated I can't sell them! I looked into 'Homolation' and what's required ........... appart from supplying a few working prototypes to the autority who run the tests, I have to part with the best part of €15,000 ! Minimum!!!


Many people on here ( and on the French T4 Forums ) have automatically assumed that the quad headlights will be as in the pictures, in reallity, it's far more easier to make the prototypes out of transparent plastics as I can see what's happening inside the assembly. I've never shied away from a challange, so I will still try to make the transparent covers for those who want them. But they certainly won't be 'Homologated'. The cost involved just doesn't make that particular option viable.

Having four Hella headlight units that are already homologated, and rated E1 by UNECE protruding throught round apertures makes that particular option road legal. So no issues with the MOT ( or the dreaded 'Control Technique' over here ).

To answer your second question .................. the covers won't be bonded to the rest of the assembly, the covers with the two appertures would need to be painted to match the colour of our vans ( or matt black if you wish to blend with the radiator grill ). If the transparent covers are feasible, they also won't be bonded into place. Easy removal is what I intended for cleaning purposes. I've had a set of the Hella 'Classic' range on my van for a few months now, and yes, they do have condensation in them in the early mornings particularly when it's been very cold over night. But when you turn your headlights ON, that condensation quickly goes away >>

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TURK
 

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T4 2.5 TDi 2003 SWB
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4,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #3,886
I try to Dave :) Hopefully I haven't forgotten anything, but there always seems to be something that does get bypassed!
If anybody should think of something, please let me know.
Or if anything isn't too clear .................. just ask :)(y)


Right now, I'm incapacitated :sick:
I spent days, weeks, just sanding, adding resin coats to resize and re-form the tooling plugs ( both the headlight covers plugs and the headlight mounting brackets tooling plugs ), I then left that alone for almost a week as it was doing my rake in !!! .................... I came back with vigor, revitalised as it were, attacked the tooling plugs with sanding blocks, spent a few days just sanding reforming the headlight mounting brackets. Entire days just sanding resin by hand.

When I rose the following day, my hand was like a claw, couldn't move my fingers or my wrist! I have no idea what 'repetative strain injury' is or what the symtoms are, but if it feels like you've sprained your wrist ................... that's what I have :mad: even typing this out is a major pain. I know I have another hand, but it's on the left hand side of my body, so it's practically useless to me!

Even making a cup of coffee is a nightmare, not to mention the mess I'm making!



TURK
 

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Hey turk! Basin news on the rsi...I used to get that working on computers!
Interesting that you have to build these units to pass the french control also. I'd be interested in looking that up concerning our beloved t4s.
Have you got a link to the french t4 forum sites?
Keep calm and carry on!
 

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Hi Turk,
Just writing my annual post! But still a full time lurker! Good job on the latest updates. Hope the rsi is better.

Matt
 

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T4 2.5 TDi 2003 SWB
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Discussion Starter #3,889
Hey turk! Basin news on the rsi...I used to get that working on computers!
Interesting that you have to build these units to pass the french control also. I'd be interested in looking that up concerning our beloved t4s.
Have you got a link to the french t4 forum sites?
Keep calm and carry on!

Hi guys,

Yeah, that RSI thing is bizzare, first time I've ever hand that. I still have a slight tingling sensation but at least I can still work with it. I'm limiting my sanding to just a couple of hours now though!

Thankfully homologation is not required on all the various options of the Quad Headlights that I'm designing, only the transparent version requires UN approval. The main reason for this is down to the material, and the process for forming it. The process of vacuum forming plastics causes it to stretch, thus potentially distorting the transparency of the plastic sheet. This can cause the focused light beam to be defused which results in the beam pattern to be scattered, and no longer 'focused' on the road where it should be. That's why HID headlamps have a washer system installed ............ dust free clean headlamp lens doesn't create light scatter.

Interesting article on Aftermarket HID headlamps >
Aftermarket HID Headlamps

The French 'Contrôle Technique' isn't the only obsticle ( even though much stricter than the UK's counter part, the MOT ) ............. 'Homologation' is a European thing, in fact, it's fast becoming a global thing, currently 58 member states enrolled I believe, and a further dozen or so waiting in the wings to be approved. In the UK 'E11' is the approval mark, here in France it's 'E2' and I'm reliably informed that the strictest approval type is Germany ( E1 ), each country having it's own regulations. As the Hella units I'm using in my design are already approved 'E1' ( Germany ), if I don't install a transparent cover in front of them, they automatically conform to UNECE legislation. Installing the transparent cover ( referred to as a 'lens' ) is the issue.

I've been a member of two French T4 forums for a number of years now, but it's really of no use asking questions on either forum as no one seems to know anything about headlights or even regulations! It's more a case of me educating them, when I find the information myself. Sometimes a member will do a little research, as many of them are so keen in buying a set of the Quad Headlights, but they need them to be homologated as you will get pulled over by the boys in blue, and incur an on the spot fine! Same applies to any other modification made to the vehicle.

'Personalising' ones vehicle is a big no no over here, 'tuning' they call it. And of course all this has an impact on your insurance, if the mods have not been cleared by your insurers it just gives them an excuse for not paying out! They don't miss a thing do they!

The French T4 forums - I'm TURK on there as well ;) >
T4Zone - Connexion
BuSpirit.org • Connexion

Other interesting reading >
https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/main/wp29/wp29wgs/wp29gen/wp29pub/WP29-BlueBook-4thEdition2019-Web.pdf
Aftermarket HID Headlamps


Hopefully you guys don't find all this too boring, it's a fascinating subject actually, we're playing with the big boys now! What began as a 'man in his shed', with an idea, has grown into a potentially marketable product. It's not just a case of melting plastic, making resin and silicon moulds and glueing plastic parts together .................. research is key!

There would be no point in spending years in Research & Developement, and injecting piles of cash in a project that isn't road legal. I for one, wouldn't charge people thier hard earned cash for something that might or might not pass an MOT inspection, nor would I sell anything that I would consider to be inferior quality for the sole purpose of lining my pockets!





TURK
 

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we're playing with the big boys now! What began as a 'man in his shed', with an idea, has grown into a potentially marketable product.
Oh please.. playing with the big boys. After the best part of 10 years & still no (notice it's been scaled back to 'potentially') marketable product; perhaps you delude yourself a touch my friend.

Don't be cross - you'll thank me for the above one day.

HH
 

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Exactly my thoughts...I lost hope too...You're marketing such a niche market that others ave already reaped the fruit: projektzwo 20 years ago and now Eljot engineering in germany who already have- i believe- a TUV marked few version of their lights with tasty bi-led units and hid as well...I gave in and bought a pair o projektzwo headligts which i will modify and copy to make another set with modern light units- should be good enough for the girls i go out with...
 

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T4 2.5 TDi 2003 SWB
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Discussion Starter #3,892
Why would I get cross Hobbyhorse? You're entitled to your opinions ..................... Free speech and all that :)
I do think that you missed the point though mate, 'Playing with the big boys' was in reference to the clear cover option only. So was the potential product quote, as that's a product in it's own right. What they want me to do in order to get the clear covers homolagated won't happen, it's just not possible with my budget. Read the document above. Not only do I have to supply them with a few sets of headlights for them to run tests, but I have to supply evidence of my own testing proceedures, special equipment is required for testing headlights, usually under laboratory conditions! They also require evidence of the production method used and the manufacturing process. Do you have a spare 20,000 Euro plus knocking about? No, neither do I !

Adams, you're a bit late to the party mate ..................... 3D printed parts for automotive applications was covered a while back, and the reasons why it's a bad idea. I've known about 'Eljot' for quite a while now and they strike me as to what is wrong with most internet based companies these days ...................... they're only in it for the money. €1,300 for a 3D printed part that will degrade within a year, UV light being the biggest enemy of any plastic filament. Also, you neglect to mention that they sell a 'kit' ( a bent sheet of metal ) to make your own headlights! Good luck with that one!



TURK
 
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