MG Tech – MGB Headlight Uprating

Winter driving immediately exposes one of the serious deficiencies of classic cars – poor headlights.

Roger Taylor says that one of the easiest, quickest and cheapest options for the owner of an MGB or a Midget is to change their old original specification sealed headlamps for a new halogen unit.

And, adds Roger, it is one of the easier tasks for every owner to undertake.

Suitable for any classic with a standard seven-inch circular headlamp assembly, the exchange headlight, as well as being significantly brighter also has the advantage of allowing the bulb rather than the whole unit to be changed if something fails.

First task in changing the headlamp is to remove the outer protective chrome rim. This can be done with a small screwdriver or suitable thin edge but, advises Roger, you should always protect the surrounding paintwork with a cloth to prevent any scratching.

Once removed this exposes the three retaining screws holding the headlamp unit in place. Carefully unscrew. If they resist use some easing fluid to avoid snapping the screws or stripping the thread.

With the screws out the retaining ring holding the headlamp in place will come away. Carefully lower the headlamp to expose the three pin plug which connects the headlamp to the electrical system. Un-plug this and remove the old sealed unit.

Before replacing with the new halogen headlamp check the condition of the plug for any corrosion and clean if necessary, Spray the headlight adjustment screws with a lubricant to allow for fine tuning of the beam once in place.

Repeat the process in reverse making sure that the locating tags of the securing ring are in the correct position. Because there will have been some movement in the headlamp housing and because halogen lights have a different beam pattern, it is advisable to have the headlight adjustment checked by an MOT test station where they have the correct equipment to test this.

A pair of halogen headlamps cost £38 including VAT, which is almost identical to the £36 replacement costs for a pair of sealed units. Replacement halogen bulbs cost £3.50.