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Old 14-05-2014   #1
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Changing Headlamps

Hi Guys new here so here goes.
I have a 63 plate 500L MPW bought from a UK dealer. I go to Spain in October and need to make the modifications. I am told that I can order headlamps from Italy at 130 euros the pair including postage. Does anyone know anymore about this ?
I have looked on one parts website and it lists two parts to the headlamps, upper and lower. Do I need to buy both parts to convert to european spec ?
The other thing I need to do is get the fog lamp and reversing light swapped at the rear. Is this just a case of swapping wiring and changing the bulbs and facia or do I need parts for this too ?
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Old 15-05-2014   #2
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Re: Changing Headlamps

Quote Originally Posted by selseyboy View Post
Hi Guys new here so here goes.
I have a 63 plate 500L MPW bought from a UK dealer. I go to Spain in October and need to make the modifications. I am told that I can order headlamps from Italy at 130 euros the pair including postage. Does anyone know anymore about this ?
I have looked on one parts website and it lists two parts to the headlamps, upper and lower. Do I need to buy both parts to convert to european spec ?
The other thing I need to do is get the fog lamp and reversing light swapped at the rear. Is this just a case of swapping wiring and changing the bulbs and facia or do I need parts for this too ?
When you say upper and lower do you mean

Upper being the light unit that contains the dipped beam and lower being the unit that contains the high beam and the DRL's.

If so my guess is you only need to swap the upper units to get the correct beam pattern for driving on the right. I don't think the high beam pattern will be different for RHD and LHD, that said I'm open to correction on that latter point.

Swapping the fog and reverse lights may not be as straightforward as you think on a modern vehicle with modern electrics and bulb failure warning systems, however it may just be a matter of extending the respective wires at the light unit end so that they cross to the opposite sides of the vehicle -

The lenses are a different colour too - so you would need these as I don't think they can just be swapped from side to side.
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Last edited by MJG; 15-05-2014 at 14:09.
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Old 15-05-2014   #3
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Re: Changing Headlamps

Quote Originally Posted by selseyboy View Post
Hi Guys new here so here goes.
I have a 63 plate 500L MPW bought from a UK dealer. I go to Spain in October and need to make the modifications. I am told that I can order headlamps from Italy at 130 euros the pair including postage. Does anyone know anymore about this ?
I have looked on one parts website and it lists two parts to the headlamps, upper and lower. Do I need to buy both parts to convert to european spec ?
The other thing I need to do is get the fog lamp and reversing light swapped at the rear. Is this just a case of swapping wiring and changing the bulbs and facia or do I need parts for this too ?
Surely you don't need to do all that for a holiday?...If you're moving over to live I'd consider selling the car and buying a left hooker locally, from experience there always seem to be little differences that turn into PITA later.
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Old 16-05-2014   #4
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Re: Changing Headlamps

Thanks, Its dip beam to full beam that needs to change
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Old 16-05-2014   #5
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Re: Changing Headlamps

Quote Originally Posted by selseyboy View Post
Thanks, Its dip beam to full beam that needs to change
Now you've confused me.

The bulbs for dipped beam and the bulbs for main beam are in separate units on a 500L.

The upper unit contains the dipped beam bulbs only. (Plus of course the indicator bulbs)

The lower unit contains the bulbs for the main beam. The lower unit also has the bulbs for the daylight running lights.

When you apply main beam the dipped beam bulbs in the upper unit stay alight and don't change and the main beam bulbs come alight. Think of them as the old type 'driving/spot' lights.

It's an unusual arrangement that I've not noticed on a car before, our 500 could have been the same but I am not sure it was.

So if you need to drive on the right and need the correct beam pattern as in more illumination up to the right it will be only the dipped beam upper units you will need to change.

I see no reason why the lower/main beam units would need to be changed as I suspect they will be identical for both RHD and LHD cars.
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Old 21-05-2014   #6
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Re: Changing Headlamps

Ok So from What you've said Martin Its the upper unit I will need to change. I have spoken with my local dealer today who tell me Fiat don't list LHD and RHD Units as they are not directional. Surely this is not right. They were able to quote me for reversing light and fog lamp for the rear but had no idea what work would be required to swap them over so the new reversing lamp on the other side (previously the fog lamp) would operate when I selected reverse and similarly the new fog lamp (previously the reversing light) to select it from the fog lamp button on the dash. They said it might need a computer reprogramming. Surely Im not the only one who's ever had to change a fiat from RHD to LHD. Help !
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Old 22-05-2014   #7
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Re: Changing Headlamps

Quote Originally Posted by selseyboy View Post
Ok So from What you've said Martin Its the upper unit I will need to change. I have spoken with my local dealer today who tell me Fiat don't list LHD and RHD Units as they are not directional. Surely this is not right. They were able to quote me for reversing light and fog lamp for the rear but had no idea what work would be required to swap them over so the new reversing lamp on the other side (previously the fog lamp) would operate when I selected reverse and similarly the new fog lamp (previously the reversing light) to select it from the fog lamp button on the dash. They said it might need a computer reprogramming. Surely Im not the only one who's ever had to change a fiat from RHD to LHD. Help !
I too find it difficult to believe the parts for the RHD and LHD are not different that is unless there is some adjustment available which converts them from RHD to LHD, many many years ago I used to have a Mini on which the beam pattern could be switched by sliding a metal adjuster from one side to the other. I don't however know if the L has anything like this and the handbook doesn't make any mention of it.

TBH I think what you are intending to do will indeed be a pretty unusual thing as most people will buy a vehicle suitable for the market they intend to use it in, I would think swapping a relatively new vehicle like the L is virtually unheard of.
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Old 24-05-2014   #8
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Re: Changing Headlamps

Quote Originally Posted by selseyboy View Post
Ok So from What you've said Martin Its the upper unit I will need to change. I have spoken with my local dealer today who tell me Fiat don't list LHD and RHD Units as they are not directional. Surely this is not right. They were able to quote me for reversing light and fog lamp for the rear but had no idea what work would be required to swap them over so the new reversing lamp on the other side (previously the fog lamp) would operate when I selected reverse and similarly the new fog lamp (previously the reversing light) to select it from the fog lamp button on the dash. They said it might need a computer reprogramming. Surely Im not the only one who's ever had to change a fiat from RHD to LHD. Help !
OK I have had a good look at our headlights this morning and it is pretty clear to me that there will be a difference between the units on a RHD car and a LHD car.

There looks to be no adjustment available what so ever and the reflector at the back of the unit has a distinct shape/pattern to it which is not the same either side of the bulb. It is clearly shaped to cast more light up to the left on a RHD car. That same shape is replicated in both units and is matched on the same side of the bulb.

Have a close look and your will see what I mean.

So there must be different part numbers for a RHD and a LHD care, maybe the LHD units are just not available in the UK??
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Old 24-05-2014   #9
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Re: Changing Headlamps

As said above, only the upper lamps will need changing at the front. The rear lamps will need changing and this will be complicated, either extending wiring across the car, or a reprogram of the body computer, which may not be available to dealers.

Best options.
1. sell the car here and buy LHD when you get there. A RHD car is worth nothing in a LHD country.
2. Fit beam deflectors (stick-on bits) like a tourist. Buy the necessary lamps there and fit/have them fitted there. Lights are likely to be cheaper there.
Before going for option 2, talk to Fiat UK about the conversion. They will know/find out if the reprogram is possible.
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Old 24-05-2014   #10
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Re: Changing Headlamps

I have had some quotes and the price as you say is cheaper abroad. As for the fiat dealer they were about as much use as a chocolate fire guard.
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Old 24-05-2014   #11
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Re: Changing Headlamps

Quote Originally Posted by MJG View Post
OK I have had a good look at our headlights this morning and it is pretty clear to me that there will be a difference between the units on a RHD car and a LHD car.

There looks to be no adjustment available what so ever and the reflector at the back of the unit has a distinct shape/pattern to it which is not the same either side of the bulb. It is clearly shaped to cast more light up to the left on a RHD car. That same shape is replicated in both units and is matched on the same side of the bulb.

Have a close look and your will see what I mean.

So there must be different part numbers for a RHD and a LHD care, maybe the LHD units are just not available in the UK??

Martin I have information from another source that they are fitted with either Halogen or Xenon headlamps. The later are adjustable but I can get the Halogens fro E250 the pair. It would seem you're observations confirm they are going to be Halogen. The Zenons would have been adjustable but E125 each so Im not out of pocket buying the Halogen ones.
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Old 24-05-2014   #12
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Re: Changing Headlamps

Quote Originally Posted by selseyboy View Post
Martin I have information from another source that they are fitted with either Halogen or Xenon headlamps. The later are adjustable but I can get the Halogens fro E250 the pair. It would seem you're observations confirm they are going to be Halogen. The Zenons would have been adjustable but E125 each so Im not out of pocket buying the Halogen ones.
Yes mine is a Pop Star, and just bog standard Halogen bulbs.
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Old 24-05-2014   #13
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Re: Changing Headlamps

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
talk to Fiat UK about the conversion. They will know/find out if the reprogram is possible.
Quote Originally Posted by selseyboy View Post
As for the fiat dealer they were about as much use as a chocolate fire guard.
A UK Fiat dealer will have no need to convert for Europe. If they are presented with a LHD car for conversion to UK spec, they would have to talk to Fiat UK.

As I said earlier, talk to Fiat UK. (Not a UK dealer.)
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Old 28-05-2014   #14
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Re: Changing Headlamps

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
A UK Fiat dealer will have no need to convert for Europe. If they are presented with a LHD car for conversion to UK spec, they would have to talk to Fiat UK.

As I said earlier, talk to Fiat UK. (Not a UK dealer.)
Got the reply from Fiat UK
Take it to an approved Fiat Dealer when you get there.
As I said Chocolate Fire Guard
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Old 28-05-2014   #15
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Re: Changing Headlamps

I see that as good news. Fiat UK will not tell you how to reset the car for a LHD country, but they should tell you if it cannot be done. Advising you to go to a dealer when you arrive suggests to me that it can be done, and Fiat HQ in that country will tell the dealer how to achieve it. Always better to convert it there, so that the host country makes it to their spec.
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