Changing relays (headlight) for a novice - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old May 22nd, 2014, 12:16 PM
ymc226
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Changing relays (headlight) for a novice

Just reading about upgrading headlamps for a D90 '95 NAS. Going with the Hella Vision Plus from RN.

Other pertinent threads mention changing the relays but, not being a car guy, what does this mean and is it easy to do? What parts do I need?
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  #2  
Old May 22nd, 2014, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ymc226 View Post
Just reading about upgrading headlamps for a D90 '95 NAS. Going with the Hella Vision Plus from RN.

Other pertinent threads mention changing the relays but, not being a car guy, what does this mean and is it easy to do? What parts do I need?
Get an auto electrician to do it ... it's not hard but to integrate it nicely so it looks factory and will be reliable takes experience.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Get an auto electrician to do it ... it's not hard but to integrate it nicely so it looks factory and will be reliable takes experience.
Thanks. I think I will. Thinking of getting the Mantec spare wheel carrier and new Trailhead oil cooler lines put in so I'll have them upgrade the relay harness as well.

I looked at the US ARB site and these are the wiring looms they have:

http://store.arbusa.com/IPF-Wiring-Loom-M002-P3645.aspx

http://store.arbusa.com/ARB-Intensit...20-P22768.aspx

The second one is for their Intensity LED light. Which is the correct one for head lights. BTW, the truck came with extra Hella lights mounted on the bumper. Is that going to make a different in the wiring harness that is required?
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 02:15 PM
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Not to a professional electrician.
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  #5  
Old May 25th, 2014, 05:56 PM
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Thank you Jeff. Just ordered.

------ Follow up post added May 25th, 2014 06:02 PM ------

Being new to Defenders, how real is the risk of a switch burn out (without the harness upgrade) if I run either the Hella Vison Plus upgrades which are 60/55W or the IPF 920H replacement headlights with the Super Low Beam X4 H4 bulbs which are 60/80W?

I assume both are road legal and the IPFs are brighter.
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Old May 25th, 2014, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ymc226 View Post
Thank you Jeff. Just ordered.

------ Follow up post added May 25th, 2014 06:02 PM ------

Being new to Defenders, how real is the risk of a switch burn out (without the harness upgrade) if I run either the Hella Vison Plus upgrades which are 60/55W or the IPF 920H replacement headlights with the Super Low Beam X4 H4 bulbs which are 60/80W?

I assume both are road legal and the IPFs are brighter.
I've run a similar combo for about 5 years with no issues ... probably my lights arent as bright as they could be ... but the switch hasn't burnt out. YMMV.
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #7  
Old May 25th, 2014, 09:30 PM
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I upgraded to the Hella Vision Plus headlights from RN and since then I've had to replace the master headlight switch twice; about once a year. Both times I saw that the plastic piece that holds the conducting 'rivets' of the switch overheats and melts causing a poor or non-existent connection.
Between switches I cut off the switch part from the block connector and wire-nutted the wires together so that I could temporarily drive at night by plugging in this connector, even then I felt the block connector and wires get quite hot just from the headlights. Perhaps I drive more at night than the average D90 driver or use my headlights more but I intend to buy a relay type harness in the near future.
Whenever I order a new switch I am surprised that I still get a Lucas product.
I have seen the wiring they use in Britain on household lamps and the insulation on the cord is alway very thick and the copper content is very small. I feel like the cost of copper is probably very expensive for the U.K. and they try to use as little as possible; therefore when you try and upgrade to a higher wattage bulb you're overworking the wire that was intended for only a 'stock' set-up.
The Prince of Darkness, warm beer from Lucas refridgerators in England, so on and so on.
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Old May 25th, 2014, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by BMGmotors View Post
I have seen the wiring they use in Britain on household lamps and the insulation on the cord is alway very thick and the copper content is very small. I feel like the cost of copper is probably very expensive for the U.K. and they try to use as little as possible; therefore when you try and upgrade to a higher wattage bulb you're overworking the wire that was intended for only a 'stock' set-up. The Prince of Darkness, warm beer from Lucas refridgerators in England, so on and so on.
Those poor Brits can't afford copper and make under spec wires ... Would be nothing to do with the fact the UK runs on 240v ??? No ??? didn't think so ... It's just those poor unfortunates that can't afford enough copper ...

That doesn't take away from the crap products that Lucas made ... Especially when operated at greater than their designed capacity.

Let's be honest American made cars don't seem to be fairing very well ... Must be all that 'real' American steel and quality that's causing GM to recall millions of vehicles for cheaping out on the ignition switch which is running within it's designed capacity.
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #9  
Old May 25th, 2014, 11:24 PM
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Ouch...
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  #10  
Old May 25th, 2014, 11:52 PM
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Naughts and what naughts....the exposed nerve is painful...lol
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Old May 26th, 2014, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Its a matter of simple math. The Brits make 100's of thousands of cars. The US makes Millions of cars. -Jeff
GM's recall number for the past few years are greater than the number of vehicles sold ...

Mary Barra getting the CEO role was a conspiracy to expose her incompetence and complicity in the defects. The illuminati are using her to demonstrate finally that women should not hold such positions.

( just in case anyone takes offense ... You can find both sarcasm and irony in this post ... But you might have to ask for help to find it ... )
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #12  
Old May 26th, 2014, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Its a matter of simple math. The Brits make 100's of thousands of cars. The US makes Millions of cars. -Jeff
So making millions of something means you don't have the same safety responsibilities? Ok got it.
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #13  
Old May 26th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
No, reaclling means you have a higher saftey responsibility.

-Jeff
US demands more safety.

Don't forget Jeff, the US wouldnt even allow those Defender shitboxes to be sold here without those monkey-bar roll cages being installed for safety.
The Rest Of World just drives in peril.
Fucking Brits.


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Old May 26th, 2014, 10:36 AM
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US demands more safety. Don't forget Jeff, the US wouldnt even allow those Defender shitboxes to be sold here without those monkey-bar roll cages being installed for safety. The Rest Of World just drives in peril. Fucking Brits. .
We should break this into another thread as it's getting off topic.
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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Old May 26th, 2014, 12:11 PM
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Let's not forget this isn't General Motors, it's Government Motors, the company to big to fail that failed its own customers.
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Old May 26th, 2014, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
GM's recall number for the past few years are greater than the number of vehicles sold ...

Mary Barra getting the CEO role was a conspiracy to expose her incompetence and complicity in the defects. The illuminati are using her to demonstrate finally that women should not hold such positions.

( just in case anyone takes offense ... You can find both sarcasm and irony in this post ... But you might have to ask for help to find it ... )
Like I said...Ouch...
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Old May 26th, 2014, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Its a matter of simple math. The Brits make 100's of thousands of nice cars. The US makes Millions shit of cars.

-Jeff
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  #18  
Old May 26th, 2014, 01:39 PM
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There are a lot of options for headlight relays, a big part is your skill with wires in the first place. If you think a spade connector is a guy who runs around hitting people on the head with a shovel, then get the ARB kit. They tend to have instructions for the complete novice. On the other hand there are scads of kits on Amazon for a fraction of the price, the relays are all pretty much made in China now and of similar quality, you just want a load rating on the relay that is greater than your requirement. Also, stay away from plastic plugs on the headlights, I favor ceramic ones. The Brits are not the only ones with cheap crap wires, VW does it as well. Lots of their 80's cars has wire quality that made Land Rover look as if NASA wired them.

I have done this mod to quite a few cars, since the older they get, the more expensive the switches are. I put Hella E-Codes in my headlights, which are a better pattern for my purposes and I put 60W/100W bulbs (there is a huge range of different bulbs you can get). These would quickly reduce the stock switch to slag in short order. I got my harness from Amazon for $19, it was for dual headlights, but had the connectors and fuse holders along with relays I wanted. I clipped out and spliced the wires to eliminate the spare connectors. I also picked up the output power from the distribution box. You just need to plug one headlight connector into the harness, find a GOOD ground and hook it into the main lead in the box. I used rivnuts to make a mounting on the left wing, close to the box.

It is a 45 minute job, depending on how easy it is to get you headlights lout. You also need a bunch of decent quality zip ties. Routing really depends on your vehicle, keep items that vibrate, like the engine to body length a little looser so they can flex. Just keep you wire loom away from rotating thins like belts. After you drive it a bit, re-check the loom, they do shift occasionally and then may start rubbing on something you didn't consider. So between the Hella Lenses, bulbs and harness, it came to $120.



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  #19  
Old May 27th, 2014, 08:33 PM
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Dogpilot,
I like the looks of that harness you purchased on Amazon, do you have a part no. or anything for it? I would like to do the same upgrade to my truck and maybe one day use the other two plugs for auxiliary lights. Thanks.
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  #20  
Old May 27th, 2014, 10:03 PM
ymc226
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I got the ARB loom from Amazon and will receive it tomorrow. I also realize that the truck came with a pair of Hella off road lights mounted on the front bumper. The operation for these lights is more complicated as the normal lights have to be turned on to the high beam position and another switch on the right side base of the steering column has to be activated so all 4 lights (headlights + off road) are turned on.

I assume I need to include this in the relay and seems quite complicated. Does the ARB relay have the parts to allow this to be done? I'm going to have my LR specialist do this but want to know if the ARB kit includes everything that is necessary.
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