Will 7" H4 headlight fit a /5 headlight bucket?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by rbm, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. rbm

    rbm Adventurer

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    Hi,

    As part of a customization I'm performing, I purchased a BMW /5 headlight bucket, sans innards. The item was advertized as "BMW Airhead R50 R60 R75 /5 7" Headlight Bucket Shell ". The inside diameter of the chrome bezel ring on the bucket I received measures 176mm, which is indeed about 7".

    I will be using this shell on another bike with a capable electrical system so I'd like to outfit the headlight with a H4 halogen assembly and use a standard 55/60 halogen bulb (meaning, there is no need to use original /5 headlight parts). I've searched locally through junkyards and aftermarket auto parts dealers for a 7" round headlight assembly but have failed to turn up anything locally which would give me the chance to test fit before purchase. This leaves me to purchase mailorder.

    Given that I can't test fit the headlight assembly before purchase, my question to this group is:

    Will a universal 7" diameter H4 headlight fit the /5 headlight bucket I have?

    There are numerous candidates on Ebay that I can choose. Thanks for any help.
    #1
  2. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked

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    The only problem I can think of is the automotive bulbs have nubs on the glass for locating in the bezel that may not work with the /5 ring.
    #2
  3. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

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    A standard 7" automotive headlight is to big to fit a /5 headlight bucket.
    #3
  4. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    a standard auto 6024 sealed beam is the same size as a 7" H4 so you could take your parts to any auto parts store to check the fit for free...FWIW they use the same plug too
    #4
  5. rbm

    rbm Adventurer

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    OK, thanks for the replies. I'll try to locate a sealed beam unit to test the fit. The problem with the aftermarket dealers around here is they want to know the year, make and model of the vehicle ... which I don't really have. So, they usually throw up their hands and say, "Sorry, can't help you if you can't tell me the make, model and year". They can't look it up in their computerized catalogues otherwise. Seems the old days of finding a parts guy who can help are long gone.

    If I succeed, I'll post my experiences.
    #5
  6. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    So tell them what they want to hear, "It's a 1972 BMW R75/5". This is a specific year and model for them to chew on. There are several other years and models that are the same. It's all /5 to us but they can't look it up that way.
    #6
  7. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    If you just want to try out a headlight to fit the bucket. Just ask for a headlight for any 1970 Volkswagon Beetle or maybe a 1972 Datsun 1200 or 1975 B210. They all take the exact same 7 " replacement light unit.

    If it fits the bucket, then see if they can get you the Bosch unit. The Bosch 7" refelctor and lens assembly uses standard H4 bulbs and will give you a much better beam than a sealed beam unit. Plus the glass on it is much thicker and will not break as easily as some of the other makes.
    #7
  8. Schlivitz

    Schlivitz Mercury Freefall

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    The /5 bucket will accept the bezel and (halogen) headlight from an R65. Early eighties I think, maybe any of them.
    That's what I'm running. Hope that helps.
    #8
  9. Tin Woodman

    Tin Woodman Mike

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    #9
  10. rbm

    rbm Adventurer

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    Right! That's exactly what I told the Napa Canada rep when he asked the question over the phone last week. He basically blew me off with "We don't have anything you're looking for. Sorry." Kind of rude and perfunctory, and not at all helpful.
    Yes, Crappy Tire wasn't any help either, but that's expected from them.

    The references to VW and Datsun models will really help me in the right direction. That's information I was missing. Thanks hugely. BTW, in reference to the Bosch unit -- would that be part number 301 600 118? I've seen many online vendors offering this headlight.

    Although going with OEM parts is the best route, I want to keep the price point under $100 if possible; I've seen the recommended upgrade parts on Bench Mark Works approaching $200. That's a bit pricey for this build.
    #10
  11. Tin Woodman

    Tin Woodman Mike

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    Agreed, the reference to VW and Datsun is an excellent idea. I have a conversion to do, too.
    #11
  12. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

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    You are correct. 79-84 R65 and 83-84 R80ST however they are about $500 last time I looked.
    #12
  13. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    There are H4 conversions for /5 headlight buckets available. Hans Lowe carries them:

    07 63 R kit 012 headlight H4 conversion kit 12V / 5 $ 115.00

    http://bmwhucky.com/007500.html

    Probably not mil-spec, but it's available.

    --Bill
    #13
  14. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

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    This is the only way to go. I sold the same one for many many years and they work great.
    #14
  15. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

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    It might help to be forewarned on this conversion kit, it's all plastic, lens, reflector etc. Likely works but personally didn't think much of it.

    #15
  16. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, that's why I said "non-milspec" and was planning a followup if anyone asked. I didn't see the "better", glass, $400 version listed at Han's website, so it's either NLA, or the cheepest part of the motorcycle didn't want to plunk down Four Bills.

    Is there a source for the glass H4 conversion?

    --Bill
    #16
  17. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    Typical present day parts punks....When I'm looking for a part that I know won't match their books, when asked "what's it for?" I say, "it doesn't matter"....that really gets them going. The typical parts guys these days only (somewhat) know "the book".....if it ain't in "the book" then it doesn't exist....,:lol3
    #17
  18. Renner

    Renner combustophile

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    I wanted modern lighting, didn't want to pay a lot or wait for an R65/R80ST headlamp assembly to turn up, or whatever.
    Bought the kit, plastic reflector shell and all.
    My only regret is the lens: so crystal clear that it looks out of place on my tatty toaster.

    [​IMG]

    when it really begins to annoy me, then I'll go back to the original assembly.
    #18
  19. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    Back in the day, "plastic lens and reflector" was EEWWWW. But nowadays, most headlights (the fitted, sleek "aerodynamic" ones) are plastic, lenses and reflectors. Technology has gotten better. Old school sez pyrex lens and metak reflector, but times are a-changin'...

    --Bill
    #19
  20. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    The Bosch unit appears to fit fine. The glass lens may be "old school" compared to the new fangled plastic ones, but I have yet to see a glass lens get the frosted foggy look that the plastic ones do. Plus, the beam pattern of the glass lens seems to be a lot better controlled. I have polished and re-coated lots of the plastic lenses used on cars and vans. They just don't stand up.

    And if you are like me and use higher powered H4 bulbs, and ride at night a lot, the glass lens will not melt. I have seen a few of the plastic lenses distort due to the excess heat of running the 80/100 watt bulbs.
    #20