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MG TD TF 1500 - Headlamps LHD vs. RHD

In the 70's I bought the original Lucas tripod bulb headlamps due to the attractiveness. They turned out to be left hand dip for a right hand drive car! So I drive on high beam (usually never get the brights from others, as they aren't that bright). When I dip to the left, on low, then I get the brights from other drivers! I have heard I can get a bulb that is right dip, although I think part of the effect is in the lens. Can anyone enlighten me? Does anyone have asource for LHD lights like the original with Lucas in the middle, not the shield shaped "PL" ones?

Keith Murphy

The left or right hand dipping on any headlamp is a function of the glass lens, not the bulb at all. I have repro tripods with the PL. Check and ebay US under Lucas. You will find lenses from both side of the Atlantic for LH drive cars. Just keep up a daily or frequent search till they pop up.

L Karpman

Irrespective of whether its a RHD or LHD car, in North America, the head lamps should legally dip to the right.

I found that even my nice tripod lamps didn't cut it in today's fast traffic at night.

So I installed a pair of Sylvania Silverstar sealed beam head lamps. They are both very white and bright and a vast improvement. Not original, but they sure do a good job on the backroads of up-state NY and here in Québec.

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.
Gordon A. Clark

Sorry to use that phrase LH drive. I meant drive on left - dip right. My tripod repros are halogen and are pretty bright. I used Silver Stars in my other cars before I got xenon.

L Karpman

God it's late. I meant drive on RIGHT! Oh what the heck, I'll just go to bed.

L Karpman

Wait...wait... Its the bulb that is LH or RH dipping...not the lenses. The Tripod housing/lens/etc are the same. The filiaments are different.
On the original tripods the little reflector in the middle is a sphere...the bulbs that came in mine were spheres as well. When you order new bulbs you order 'left dipping' or 'right dipping'
The new bulbs with the elongated shape don't work nearly as well and don't even consider 45/45's Big empty spot in the middle of the road.
My original bulbs were 'Royal' (am told it was a Lucas brand) and were 60/45's Havent been able to track any down, in fact, no one has heard of them. Get 50/45's from ASpares.
gblawson - TD#27667

This is the Tripod that came on mine: You can see the reflector (sphere) pretty well.
gblawson - TD#27667

Have been thinking about the LH/RH... I know the bulbs come RH/LH and assumed the units themselves were the same... don't have proof however...perhaps the whole units, bulbs and all were L dipping and R dipping.
Again, assumed the elements were reversed for the different drives! Perhaps someone else knows?
gblawson - TD#27667

I put a clutch in a 38 Rolls Royce once and the reflectors in those monstrous headlights are what dipped the lights. But other than that sort of thing, it is always the filament.

I brought an old Jag from the UK with the Lucas lamps dipping opposite of the US versions so I had to just replace the headlamp bulbs.

That being said, I have a set of genuine Lucas non sealed beam lights from my 54 TF from New Zealand. (rhd) I simply installed new halogen beam bulbs for the US from Moss. However, the light emitted thru a spot of a beam instead of a fan of light. I finally removed those pretty lights and put them up and installed some Cibie non sealed beam headlamps that I found locally and installed the halogen touring blue bulbs. The TF has modern light in front of her now.

I run RHD lamps in my RHD car here in the US. My lamps are quite bright but I never get complaints from other drivers. Perhaps your aim is too high?

I thought the lens pattern was reversed between LHD and RHD bulbs. Am I wrong, or perhaps it's a combination of both?

Here's a shot of my Lucas RHD sealed beam lamps on my '67 BGT.
Steve Simmons

This thread was discussed on 31/10/2006

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