Lancia Montecarlo Technical Tips
The front headlights on the Montecarlo were never very good. In the intervening years since your car was built, the reflector in the headlight will have deteriorated and the light output can be bad.
There are a number of ways to improve the situation:
- Increase wattage of lamps
- Upgrade the electrical wiring to the headlights
- Restore the headlight reflector to its original condition
- Replace headlights with alternative type
Increase lamp wattage
In the UK the Montecarlo was shipped with 55/60W headlight bulbs. This is the maximum wattage permissible under UK law, but this does not stop some people using larger (80/100W) lamps.
If you install larger bulbs then you need to consider the increased current drawn through the wiring. This will increase from 10A to 16.6A, and will over time cause damage to the wiring. It is not uncommon to burn out the switch on the steering column used to select between dip and main beam. If you intend to use larger bulbs then you need to uprate the wiring.
Uprate the wiring
The wiring can be modified and some relays added to switch the power directly from the battery. This takes the strain off the wiring and switches. This change also raises the voltage at the headlight slightly thereby giving a brighter light.
Peter Smith has performed a similar modification, and has sent in his circuit diagram.
Restore headlight reflector
The headlight glass can be carefully separated from the bowl of the headlight. The reflector can then be carefully removed and re-silvered by a specialist. You can also send off your complete headlight to the Monte Hospital for the process to be performed for you.
This will produce the best gain in light output, but is slightly fiddly and costly.
You will see in the photo gallery that a number of Montecarlo owners have replaced their original headlights with two pair of circular lights. These lights are commonly taken from the Lancia Delta Integrale and give a better light, and some people prefer the end look.
The Monte Hospital still supplies kits to achieve this conversion