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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if this seems like a weird question. But I had my 2018 Alterra VLX 700 at the dealer the other day as I was getting water in my headlight and both the bulbs died.

So they replaced the 2 light bulbs with 37.5 Watt 896 Bulbs. But the headlamp is clearly maked to use 881 Bulbs. So will these 896 bulbs cause any issues ? (they take 10.5 watts more then stock).

If they will cause issues then I’ll replace them, but if they’ll work fine, I’ll use them for highbeams and the stock 881 bulbs as my running lights.
 

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Did your dealer give you a reason?
 
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As doorfx asked, maybe ask your dealer if there was a reason for the switch.

I'm going to use some real legal speak with my next comment.

I BELIEVE you SHOULD be ok to run those headlights, I'm not sure for your machine, but if I recall correctly the headlight fuse is 10A fuse per hi and low beam on most Arctic Cats.

Amperage = Wattage divided by voltage, 37.5/12= 3.13A per bulb while the machine is off...

While the machine is running 37.5/14.5= 2.58A Per bulb

If the fuse is 10A, in theory anything over 10A is where the risk of damage comes from, and you are running 3.13A or 2.58A per bulb that has you sitting with a bit of padding before damage may occur.

I've also done lots of reading on guys putting HID conversions and 55W bulbs into their cats with no real adverse effects while I was trying to decide if I would eventually plug my Rigid Dually LED pods (35W each) into my factory harness with my conversion plug, the consensus was: yes I could do it with no issues, BUT my headlights would move entirely to keyed power and sometimes I like having light with the key off.

in my OPINION, you SHOULD be OK to run the new bulbs despite the change in wattage. BUT I am NOT a professional and fully advise you to inspect your fuse box for fuse sizes, and check the headlight wire gauge if they are labeled on enough of a piece you can see it.

ALSO, the other risk being the headlights getting so hot they melt the globes from the inside, highly unlikely as you typically won't be using full headlights on a hot +45C summer day in the scorching sun, and I believe there is and should be enough air space in those globes that this won't happen..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As doorfx asked, maybe ask your dealer if there was a reason for the switch.

I'm going to use some real legal speak with my next comment.

I BELIEVE you SHOULD be ok to run those headlights, I'm not sure for your machine, but if I recall correctly the headlight fuse is 10A fuse per hi and low beam on most Arctic Cats.

Amperage = Wattage divided by voltage, 37.5/12= 3.13A per bulb while the machine is off...

While the machine is running 37.5/14.5= 2.58A Per bulb

If the fuse is 10A, in theory anything over 10A is where the risk of damage comes from, and you are running 3.13A or 2.58A per bulb that has you sitting with a bit of padding before damage may occur.

I've also done lots of reading on guys putting HID conversions and 55W bulbs into their cats with no real adverse effects while I was trying to decide if I would eventually plug my Rigid Dually LED pods (35W each) into my factory harness with my conversion plug, the consensus was: yes I could do it with no issues, BUT my headlights would move entirely to keyed power and sometimes I like having light with the key off.

in my OPINION, you SHOULD be OK to run the new bulbs despite the change in wattage. BUT I am NOT a professional and fully advise you to inspect your fuse box for fuse sizes, and check the headlight wire gauge if they are labeled on enough of a piece you can see it.

ALSO, the other risk being the headlights getting so hot they melt the globes from the inside, highly unlikely as you typically won't be using full headlights on a hot +45C summer day in the scorching sun, and I believe there is and should be enough air space in those globes that this won't happen..
Thank you for your response, yeah it’s a 10 amp fuse. So running the two 27 watt 881 bulbs and the two 37.5 watt bulbs would put me at 10.75 amp’s at full load vs 9 amp’s with all stock bulbs.

As too the dealer reason for doing what they did, my guess, they didn’t check what the housing and manual says or it’s what they had / could find at the time. I just spent way too much money and didn’t even have the issue corrected. Was told to “keep out of puddles and water”, which my response was; impossible as our trail ways are full of pot holes the size of ponds that fill with water, I have to cross a small creek bed to get to the cabin, and 2 times a year I’ll travel to a plane crash site / memorial with a bunch of friends that has a trail where the water will be covering the wheels halfway in parts. So his response was, the only thing we could do to fix the water getting into the headlamp is replace the whole headlamp assembly and that’ll probably cost you $600 - $700.

At this point, unless I need a code diagnostic, as I don’t have a display on this quad to see codes, speed, or mileage, I won’t be using the dealer services. I’ll do my oil changes, and repairs, especially considering I can get a new headlamp assembly sent from the USA to me and it’ll cost only a few hundred with the shipping and import fees if worst comes to worst.
 

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I have reviewed your fuse box diagram in the 2018 VLX service manual, just as I had assumed there is 2 fuses for your headlights, 1x 10A "Lights" should do your low beam and tail light, 1x10A "Hi-Beam" for your high beams only.

I'm not sure about your specific headlight globes as my machine is older, you could consider adding a thicker gasket to increase tension when locking the headlights into place to seal them,
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have reviewed your fuse box diagram in the 2018 VLX service manual, just as I had assumed there is 2 fuses for your headlights, 1x 10A "Lights" should do your low beam and tail light, 1x10A "Hi-Beam" for your high beams only.

I'm not sure about your specific headlight globes as my machine is older, you could consider adding a thicker gasket to increase tension when locking the headlights into place to seal them,
You’re absolutely correct, there is a 10 amp fuse for highbeam. I just went up to my storage unit after getting off at 6AM and pop open the fuse box.

so I guess I could use the 896 37.5 watt bulbs they put into both high and low beam on my left headlamp as highbeam only and the stock 881’s as my low beams.

Thanks everyone for the help. Been working non-stop and was planning to go up to see the dealer on Thursday about them using 896 bulbs instead of 881 like what in my right side headlamp and marked on the headlamp housing. But now I’ll leave it alone and just use the brighter bulbs as my highbeams.
 

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I would still ask them. That’s not right
 
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I needed to reduce my rig's power consumption so that I could add an LED light bar. I changed to stock bulbs for LEDs. It was inexpensive; reduced power consumption dramatically; and gave an awesome improvement in light output. As a result, the fancy light bar I installed gets very little use.

The magneto on this machine has a very low output, and even the fan kicking on really taxes the system. I certainly wouldn't run higher wattage bulbs than stock. Save the power for the heated grips, heated seat, heated visor, horns, gps, and radio.
 
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