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  #1  
Old September 4th, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Len Bruffett
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Headlight insurance for around $20. (USD)

My truck is 11 years old and I just replaced the stock main head lamp / running lamps switch again, (they appear to last about 5 years). The switch is rather rugged, simple and repairable. But it can (fail) at the most inopportune times. The first time mine failed it was 10 pm - we were out 20 miles from the nearest paved road in the Inyo Mountains boardering death valley - without a functiong switch you have no running lights, instument lights or head lights. Since I wire my aux driving lights on a completely separate circut and switch I was able to safely complete my drive.


The reason they fail is that the plastic base plate that holds the metal contacts within the switch melts and displaces the contacts. The reason the base plate melts is that there is no relay to reduce the load of electrical power passing through the switch.

I consulted the board on how to install a relay -- but got no joy..... so decided to get some external help to make sure I understood how to wire up a relay before I installed my simple and effective relay. Hella make a good relay with a pocket for a standard fuse (clever idea) ($9.) but the headlamp circuts on the rover already have 6 fuses to handle problems. I decided on a bosch 12v 30 amp relay that cost about $12... there are less expensive units ($3 to $4.)

I built a harness and tied it into the segment of the switch that only turns on the head lights - not the running lights and it seems to be working like a champ. I currently have the relay setting outside the dash, just below the instrument cluster so I can monitor any unusual heat that may be generated by the relay. After I am satisfied that it works without issue I will move it inside the dash behind the instrument cluster.

The only modification I made to my factory switch harness was to cut the blue wire (the wire that supplies power to the headlights from the switch) to install 2 bullit connectors. one for going to the relay - the second for comming back from the relay.
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  #2  
Old September 4th, 2008, 03:58 PM
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Great idea...

Can you post some photos?
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  #3  
Old September 4th, 2008, 11:21 PM
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Len Bruffett
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Sure,

I will take pics either tomorrow or on Saturday. I will have to remove the cowling and facia from the steering column to get the components in plain view. It might be easier for me to draw a picture and label the contacts of the relay and proper config for the harness. The pin out on this type of relay is pretty common. It is the same on an Optronic relay for my day time driving lights, the same pin out on my hella relay for my aux driving lights and the same pin out for the compressor for my hella air horns. Preliminary use tests show that the relay warms up during use - but does not get hot.

Len
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  #4  
Old September 5th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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There is a kit sold by ARB to do this for those without DIY harness making skill (not that it is hard to do mind you).

Expedition exchange (among others I am sure) sells it.

ARB Heavy-Duty Wiring Loom (M002) $110

Quantity 1 2 3 4 5 Add to cart




If you want to fit headlights with higher-than-standard-wattage bulbs, you must install the Heavy-Duty Wiring Loom to prevent damage to your factory headlight wiring. The Heavy-Duty Wiring Loom will transfer power directly from your battery to your high-power headlights and will prevent heavy power loads from harming your factory wiring harness. Installation is very simple as the Heavy-Duty Wiring Loom simply plugs into your stock wiring harness' connectors. The ARB Heavy-Duty Wiring Loom is recommended for all Defenders, regardless of headlight wattage used, as the Defenders lack a relay for the headlight wiring harness and frequently burn out factory headlight switches.
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  #5  
Old September 5th, 2008, 10:08 PM
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Len Bruffett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRW
Great idea...

Can you post some photos?
I snagged some of my prototype wires and with the some ILM magic I put in some connectors and the schematic for you to follow. The relay trigger spade is usually connected to a power source and a switch. The power spade usually just has power going in. I combined the two power sources with a grafted wire. All of this wiring has crimp fittings and was made up for prototyping harnesses... I have made for multiple harnesses for VDO gages and other lamps in the truck. If you make one of these up I would recommend using soildered connectors. That is what I did for my installed relay and harness. good luck
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  #6  
Old September 15th, 2008, 02:08 PM
MonLand
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Loic Fabro
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Hum.... I am probably looking at this the wrong way. But aren't you supposed to get the 12V to power the lights from the 12V battery feed and not from the switch?
From your picture, it appears the same (actually.... slightly more) power (amps) goes through the switch.


In my mind, the picture would look like this instead (not sure which wire is the 12V input to the switch red or brown, so I played safe).
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  #7  
Old October 6th, 2008, 03:44 PM
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Did you get a chance to try this out?
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I have an ex MoD and an ex wife. The two no longer conflict with each other.
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1996 Discovery NAS
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  #8  
Old October 9th, 2008, 12:59 AM
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Len Bruffett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonLand
Did you get a chance to try this out?
I have been super busy this last week...I spent the weekend working on web development projects, But I will do it either tomorrow or the next day and post some picks of the final layout.....
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