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MG TD TF 1500 - Advice needed on replica tripod headlamp


My TD is reimportation from USA, and came with the common sealed beam headlamps.

Now, and not least for carrying a H4 bulb rather than a complete lens as a spare, I think in changing to halogen lenses, keeping as much as possible the vintage look of the lens (not flat, not crystal, not leds..) and have come to the interesting offer at Europa Spares (see attached photo):

These are universal dipping lens (for LHD and RHD), what worries me a little. I have also read negative comments on the lighting power of tripod lenses.

Does anyone of the friends out there have any experience with or advice for this type of headlamps?

Thanks for your comments.


J Benajes

I've not used them but have heard it said that they are only really suitable for display and not advised if you plan to drive at night. Much better to have H4 bulbs as replacements for the original BPF type, however fitting relays is advised to cope with the higher current.
Dave H
Dave Hill

I've heard the same as Dave, the tripods on the market are not as bright as they should be. Possibly the tripod triangle is reflecting some of the light elseware? I have the halogens in mine. PJ

G'day Jesus, fitted replica P7000 lights to my TF. Only required changing the inserts at the end of the wiring loom! Work a dream, scares the kangaroos witless!

Kev S

K Simonsen

I am currently pondering these ones
eBay item number:221693267674
They are handed, so probably better in light output than universal ones. I have no idea on their performance, though.
So far I am using H4 bulbs with socket adapters in old bilux lights, and the light output is way sufficient.
Rgds, Mike
Mike Fritsch

Thanks for the inputs.

Kev, your TF is really beautiful. The photo is very useful for comparing the look of both type of lenses. Thanks

Mike, these lamps look really good! I’ve found ebay article 262134138037, which seems to be the same lenses, but cheaper. They are sold as for UK driving, but I cannot see any difference in the lens pattern, which looks symmetric, so probably not dipping to any side.

However, in both cases the lamps do not seem to carry the E approval sign. This may be a problem with the German TÜV…


J Benajes

Hi Jesus

I bought these
for my MGA they are Euro/US spec. I don't do much night driving but when I have I find them more than adequate. The car has passed CT in France so they must dip in the right direction.

B Bridgens

In Germany, cars before 1957 do not need an approval sign on their lights.
So with the TD, I´m lucky in that aspect (and in a lot of others ;-)

Rgds, Mike
Mike Fritsch

Barry, the svc lights don´t seem to have an approval sign either (at least that´s what it says on their website), but I assume the CT in France has similar flexibility as the TÜV for our oldies...

Rgds, Mike
Mike Fritsch

I had a set of the Lucas PL's on my TF and moved them to the TD before I sold it. They look nice but are poor lighting for night driving. I had a set of the generic tri pods that I moved to the TF but they are also not very good. At some point I will probably put some halogens on it.

MG LaVerne

Very nice TD, LaVerne.

Do you think that the poor performance is due to not carrying halogen bulbs?


J Benajes

No I don't think so Jesus. I think they have plenty of light but the reflectors do not project the light very well and it becomes defused.
MG LaVerne

Halogen does indeed make a strong difference vs. the old bilux lights.
And even within Halogen (H4), you can get extra performance H4 bulbs that give you another visible step of improvement ("nightbreaker" or similar)That´s the best you can get before moving to Xenon (real Xenon, not the bluish H4 bulbs that are actually worse than normal ones...)

Don´t know how H4 compare to sealed beam, but from what I hear normal SBs are not very bright.

I think with the size of the reflectors, the light output with Halogens bulbs should be way sufficient for normal night driving.

Bad light output can be due to badly designed reflectors, but often it´s badly aligned (cheap) bulbs, old bulbs (they do deteriorate over time), corroded contacts, power loss in the wiring. For the latter, using relays and fat cables does make a difference. Just had the experience in another car.
1 Volt loss on the way to the bulb is clearly visible in the light output.

Rgds, Mike
Mike Fritsch


Laverne is correct on this one. Although the do look nice, these tripod lights are all about aesthetics, not performance. Form over function as they say....

I purchased one for my Harley Davidson because I thought it would look "cool". After the riding season, I took it off. The light pattern at night was horrible and I felt unsafe riding at high speeds in case of the event of an emergency up the road ahead needing evasive action.

My humble opinion.



Frank Cronin


'fraid I have to go along with the masses on this one. I have two sets of tripods inn my shed. Great to impress concours judges, but less than best when you're cruising in the rain at 100 kph.

The hot rodders make some great headlamp inserts. (abt. $35/pr),, I'm sure there are more.

And my all-time fave - the Sylvania H6024. Had a pair on my TF for years.

But I don't think we can fit any of the LED lamps into our TD/TF buckets. The driver is just too big, except in a couple of cases, where the driver is soft-wired and can be put outside the bucket. But who want to drill the bucket?

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.
Gord Clark

Just came back from Technoclassica, Germany´s biggest classic car trade fair.

Treated myself to a nice set of Lucas tripods from SVC. He had a lot of choices on his stand:

Lucas Tripod PL700
no Name Tripod PL700
Lucas non tripod
non Lucas non tripod

+ there are variations with or without sidelight.

Prices ranged from 120 Euros to about 35 per pair.
Since it saved me the postage cost and I was able to get the "display" units at 20% off, I went with the Lucas tripods. They have a few minor scratches, but I guess they would get those anyway...

Rgds, Mike

Mike Fritsch

They are handed, as you can see from the asymmetrical glass pattern

Mike Fritsch

and they clearly say so.

There´s no E sign on them btw.

Rgds, Mike

Mike Fritsch

Thank you for all the useful comments.

I have ordered some replica tripod halogen headlamps form ebay, and will give them a try.

In the last five years I have driven the TD less than 500 miles (shame to me) and never at night (following the Lucas recommendation), so probably it will take still a long time or very special conditions to check the real value of those lights.

J Benajes

Replica tripods are probably just as good. Given their repuration, it seems counterintuitve to prefer Lucas parts anyway ;-)

Rgds, Mike
Mike Fritsch

This thread was discussed between 06/04/2016 and 11/04/2016

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