Add me to the list of those recommending a relay harness. You use your existing wiring for the control coils on the relays, and you use short runs of heavy gauge wiring for power through the relays to the headlamp bulbs.
Halogen sealed beam units (H5006 low beams/H5001 high beams) will be brighter than conventional incandescent sealed beam units (5006/5001). Philips bulbs are still available in those sizes. It doesn’t look like there are any “high performance” choices available any more for that size. You might contact Daniel Stern and ask him for recommendations.
If Halogens with relays aren’t good enough, you might also consider some Euro conversion lamps. Hella makes the outer lamps (high/low beam combinations). There are at least three part #’s (depending on how high the center of the lamp is from the road surface). Again, I’d contact Daniel Stern and make sure you get the correct part number for this application. Buying the wrong number will put the high beams up in the trees if you aim the low beams properly. For the inners (high beam only), Valeo (Cibie) units are still available, and are superior to the Hella high beam only units.
Any Euro light set is going to run you between $200 and $500. The European lights are legal everywhere in the world, but on US roads, they are only technically legal on Canadian cars with Canadian tags and registration. They aren’t particularly noticeable or annoying to oncoming traffic. They are far better than the unsafe/illegal LED and HID conversions on the road. However, if you meet the wrong “Officer Friendly,” you could get a ticket for “illegal headlights” with Euro lights.
I think the Hella Euro low beam lamps are now marked as US DOT compliant as well as ECE (E1, Germany) tested and approved. There’s also a Hella “Vision Plus” headlamp available, at least for the outers. That one is fully DOT compliant, but higher quality than current sealed beam offerings, and it uses the same H4 bulbs that the European low beam units use.
Avoid any “LED” units, and any “conversion” lights which I didn’t mention specifically by brand. There’s a lot of real junk out there in the “headlight” market. Most of what’s available is either illegal on public roads, dangerous or both. If you really must use LED lights, again, contact Daniel Stern, and if he can’t talk you out of it, buy only what he recommends. There are a few LED options that are at least legal for public roads and marginally safe. Most aren’t anywhere near as good as the European choices or the Hella “Vision Plus” lamps.
I wouldn’t go to the H4 solutions at all until after you’ve done the relay setup, though. Relays + halogens would be the first step, then once you’ve got the relays working, if the halogens are inadequate, upgrade to the Euro or Vision Plus lamps with H4’s. [external_footer]