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Replace old plow lights with new Nighthawk

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by Jeff Block, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Jeff Block

    Jeff Block Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 3

    Is it possible to replace the older lights with the newer brighter lights. Tired of not being able to not have bright lights.
     
  2. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Certainly possible. Easiest if u have an ultramount 3 plug. U just remove old and bolt on new. If u have the two plug ultra u need to either splice the wires into plow / light harness or upgrade to 3 plug isolation module which means it's going to b $. New lights plus harnesses for plow and truck plus the isolation module. $500 to $1000 plus installation.
    If u have a uni it will b 2 plug (same issues) plus they don't bolt on directly and wire is too short.
    So what kind of plow do u have?
     
  3. Jeff Block

    Jeff Block Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 3

    It's an MVP
     
  4. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    MVP came with uni and ultra-mount so it could be two plug or three. That changes nothing, options are still the same except of course for MVP, since there are more wires in the harness, it would cost a bit more for harnesses if you choose to upgrade to three plug. (if it's not already) The thing you need to understand is that the uni-mount two plug system wired the headlights in parallel with a single wire feeding high beams and a single for low beams. Since Nighthawks are significantly brighter they naturally draw more power. The original Nighthawk cable has four wires for headlights, one for each filament on each side. So, single wire, plus twice the current draw, you are effectively multiplying the load on your wiring by a factor of four. That means you will be pushing a lot of current through one of two little pins on your grill plug, either the high beam circuit or the low. This is a bottle neck and it could get hot and damage the pins possibly destroying the plug especially if the pins are old and don't fit tightly together or if they are dirty. The first sign of problems will be that your new headlights are not as bright as they should be because the bottle neck will cause a voltage drop. I have heard that many people have done this on the original 9 and 12 pin plugs (you could have either) and I am told that "they never had a problem" but the engineers at Western upgraded the wiring to have a dedicated pin on the light plug for each bulb and each beam. That means they chose to have 4 wires to feed the positive side of the Nighthawks. They did that for a reason. If you want your new lights to work well you would be well advised to upgrade to a three plug isolation module system.... but that's a lot of money.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  5. Jeff Block

    Jeff Block Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 3

    sounds like a question for the dealer.. thanks for the help. i'll contact them but it sounds like more $$ than the benefits...
     
  6. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Dealers opinion will depend on the skill and experience of their technical team and how willing you are to pay$$$ they will probably just tie it into original cables and let you deal with the consequences two winters down the road.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  7. thesnowman269

    thesnowman269 Senior Member
    Messages: 954

    Simply build your own harness and call it a day
     
  8. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,973

    You can do it with the old wiring
     
  9. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    I agree, u can tie into old wiring but how well does is work and how long does it last. Frankenstiening has two down sides. 1) when u have trouble there is no schematic to look at because it's Jerry rigged so u will pay more for repairs in future. 2) the resale value plummets. When u go to sell people will see it's not original and offer less to buy.
    I buy used old plows all the time and I love it when they r Jerry rigged because I know it will bring my cost way down. Then I make them right and sell for what they r worth.
     
  10. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    "Simply" that's funny.
     
  11. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,973

    Tapping into wiring at the headlight buckets isn't that rigged. Nick I understand where your coming from. Dealer only r factory only isn't always the only option. Splicing in 4 wires is not rigginguf its done properly
    So when my factory fuse harnes on my ford goes bad b/c of faulty design. Should I replace it with the same exact one or an upgraded aftermarket one that I have to wire in? Per what your saying it should be the factory one even tho its proven to fail. When you do brakes do you by the factory ones or better aftermarket ones? How about tires?
     
  12. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    This is all true. Not difficult, may be even better than original and may save a lot of money. But operators r not always their own best friend when it comes to repairs. What I want is to educate Jeff so he can make a decision with all the implications in mind. Despite my opinion most of my customers ask me to do exactly what u r suggesting. And I do it gladly. But when I take their money I never worry about when it fails because they new the risks.
     
  13. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,973

    Understand, in reading what you told him. It's basically buy the ISO components. Not how he could ungrade with the current setup he has. I understand your reasoning behind it, but everything was for dealer replacement parts.
     
  14. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    We still don't know if any of this is even relevant as Jeff never told us if he has the two or three plug system. If he does have the three plug it's a no brainer....
     
  15. nealybird

    nealybird Senior Member
    Messages: 716

    I assume he probably has relay wiring. for Jeff or anyone else wondering, you can purchase the Nighthawk lights and a 29033 adapter kit. Then use your original wiring out of your old lights, and use the 29033 to attach it inside the new lights.

    If you have a unimount plow you can also get the bracket adapters, part # 28340, if you don't want to modify the light brackets yourself to accommodate the two stud mounting on the Nighthawks.

    PS.. one 28340 has brackets for both sides, so just order one kit. the 29033 should have adapters in it for two lights, but we have received some with only one in the bag.
     
  16. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    That adapter plate works great to mount Nighthawks but it doesn't address the problem of the X 4 current load on the grill plug pins. And the electrical adapter doesn't do anything for that either, it's just four pigtails that you crimp onto the original harness.
    But if you do use this keep in mind that the original cable that comes with the nighthawks is wort about $150 to buy new, put it up for sale on eBay or something.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014