Off Road light wiring - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 26th, 2012, 06:08 PM
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Andy
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Off Road light wiring

Ok, I know this is super simple. I ran a wire from the battery througha fuse to the part of tge switch that says "power", hooked the red wire from the lights to the part of the switch that says "ACC", and a wire to ground from the ground part of the switch. The lights are also grounded. Still no worky....what am I missing? Pictures to follow
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  #2  
Old February 26th, 2012, 09:12 PM
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As you can see by all the views, 36 at last count, we want to help but, you're not very clear about your question. 1st check your fuse again, you may have already blown it.

Sounds like you have a 3 wire switch. Is one of those 3 wires possibly illuminates the switch itself when you turn on the your headlamps, another to go to the new lights and a ground for the switch illumination? You're right, the off road lights should get their ground based on mounting them to metal (roll bar, bumper, etc.) Some switches only have 2 leads, one in and one out.

Also it's never a good idea to run all the amps though a switch to power lights as they pull quite a few amps and burn switches out. You should run a relay for a lighting circuit. My four 550 Hella's burn out my 1st 20 amp relay, had to go to a 30 amp rated relay.

Need some more details.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 09:30 PM
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Daniel Marcello
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I would use a relay in there. Battery power through fuse to relay. run switch to relay to click relay over to power the lights. I run all my lights like that.

here is a simple diagram
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  #4  
Old February 26th, 2012, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ini88 View Post
I would use a relay in there. Battery power through fuse to relay. run switch to relay to click relay over to power the lights. I run all my lights like that.

here is a simple diagram
No mention of your switch. Have you tried to wire it straight through, bypassing the switch ?
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  #5  
Old February 26th, 2012, 11:53 PM
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Sorry, the other message was from my Android so it was short and garbled. My question is: Is there something I am missing. From your posts, it seems like what I did should have worked. I ran the power wire from the battery, through a 20 amp fuse (which was not blown) to the power side of the three sided switch. The other two connections were for the lights themselves and the ground wire. Still nothing, I purchased a higher rated fuse and a new switch today as the others were quite old and I am not sure about their reliability. Anyways, will give the new stuff a try this week. If it doesn't work I will try the relay.

Cheers,
Andy
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  #6  
Old February 26th, 2012, 11:55 PM
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What is the wattage of the lights?
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  #7  
Old February 26th, 2012, 11:57 PM
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with pictures
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  #8  
Old February 26th, 2012, 11:58 PM
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I'm not sure to be honest, they were on there when I purchased the truck and I am now just try to wire them up. I will try and check in the morning, maybe there are written somewhere
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Old February 27th, 2012, 12:00 AM
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Maybe the bulb elements are blown.

Do you have a voltage tester?
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Old February 27th, 2012, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
Maybe the bulb elements are blown.

Do you have a voltage tester?
I think he said the fuse was blown.
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  #11  
Old February 27th, 2012, 10:44 AM
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The switch never illuminated. I didn't try bypassing the switch. If it doesn't illuminate should I remove the ground from the switch?
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  #12  
Old February 27th, 2012, 11:19 AM
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Holey Cheeses that's some bad connectivity. The crimp connectors I see are of marginal quality and the bare wire is giving me the willies.
I will assume that the power to the lights is coming thru the blue/yellow wire coming from the fuse holder, yes? From there it goes into the switch and out to the lights when switched on, yes? The ground tab on the switch is only to ground the neg leg of the switch's illumination circuit, so you can leave that off if you want; the switch will simply not light up when tripped. The ground for the lights should be close to the light mounts, like on the roll cage or wherever they are attached. You need only run the switched feed to the pos side of the lights. You have a much fatter gauge of wire on the feed side of the switch with the supply wire being of what looks like rather light weight stuff. That may induce high resistance (heat) in the feed wire.
That switch is not what I would consider good quality and it is very possible that it is no good. Buy a good quality Carling or Cole Hersee switch. In addition, it is advised that you use crimp connectors that fully shield the tab so that there aren't any places for loose wires to make contact.

Use of a relay is optional, but highly recommended. Refer to the diagram above. Since the power wire you are tapping from is awfully small, it would be better to wire that to a switch that will trip a relay rather than push all the amps thru the switch itself. You just don't want to be starting any fires.
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  #13  
Old February 27th, 2012, 11:24 AM
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^^^^^^^^
What he said!

Was waiting for someone to bash on the wiring job.
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  #14  
Old February 27th, 2012, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Holey Cheeses that's some bad connectivity. The crimp connectors I see are of original quality and the bare wire is giving me the willies.

I hate those damn crimp-on's connectors too. What I do is pull the insulator off, slide it back down the wire, soldier the wire into the connector (do not crimp), and slide the insulator back over the connector... done !!

I can't tell you the number of times a crimped connector has caused me problems, some of them pretty expensive too.
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  #15  
Old February 27th, 2012, 11:56 AM
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Thanks for all the inputs. Think I will start over and press forward with a higher gage power wire running through a relay to the switch as per the diagram above. Will report back with progress.

-Andy-
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  #16  
Old February 27th, 2012, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
What I do is pull the insulator off, slide it back down the wire, soldier the wire into the connector (do not crimp), and slide the insulator back over the connector... done !!
There are many reasons against solder only connections. Search for the "electrickery" thread to see why.
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  #17  
Old February 27th, 2012, 01:08 PM
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While I agree with your opinion on soldering, I only agree on the idea that it does take "some" knowledge and practice to solder properly. The reason that all of the devices in our lives and homes are soldered has something to do with space savings but mostly to do with reliability. I have been an electronics technician for over 30 years, and back in the day doing TV repairs, almost all the points of failure are at metal on metal connection points (plugs, sockets, etc) that are not soldered. Soldering done properly is just like welding. The weld is stronger than the metals being welded. Solder is the same IF done correctly. The typical lay person does not have a reason to know how to do it properly and so crimps are often used. Crimps are good, very good - but they too can be done poorly (think Lucas electrics!)
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  #18  
Old February 27th, 2012, 02:05 PM
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I won't repeat them here but in addition to the reasons pointed out in the Electrickery thread, attempting a solder connection with your head and shoulders stuffed into the footwell may prove too challenging, especially if the solder has any chance of dripping onto your skin.
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  #19  
Old March 5th, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Alright, I got the lights to work this weekend by running it through a 70 amp switch. Of course after turning it on a couple of times the switch stopping working. With that I purchased a relay and new switch to wire up as described above. One question. With not knowing how many watts the lights are should I use two relays as described in the diagram and if I do will I need 2 switches to operate each relay? What I was thinking was to add a a relay and switch for the outside lights and insides lights respectively.
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