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Old 03-01-2021, 09:47 PM   #1
Becauseracecar
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Default headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

So I picked up a 98 SL1 recently to become my new daily, I live out in the middle of BFE with alot of deer population, so I decided to add a little light bar to the front of the car. I've done this on some previous cars, and normally I use a 4 pin relay (power to relay from battery, ground to relay, power out to accessory lightbar, and then a trigger 12v from a switch) in which I use 12v+ from my brights so my bright switch is the trigger for the relay. I ONLY use the brights when there's absolutely no one else around, and I've found having the lightbar on the bright switch is much faster at being able to turn off/on than adding a secondary switch that I have to flip. Now fast forward to yesterday when I went to hook up the relay for the lightbar to find out that saturn does some weird DRL wiring etc and the circuit isnt as simple as a positive and negative to the headlights. Is there anywhere easy to pull 12v ONLY when the brights are on, that doesnt have a underlying current to it when they're off? Am I missing something simple here? Thanks



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Old 03-01-2021, 10:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

You might be able to use the high beam indicator bulb in the cluster as a 12v switch. It would be kind of a hassle to run a wire from under the dash to wherever your light bar is, but it would completely bypass the DRLs.

Someone else may have a better suggestion for under hood wiring. I've never hooked up a light bar and I don't know very much about how the DRLs work with the high beams.
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

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Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
You might be able to use the high beam indicator bulb in the cluster as a 12v switch. It would be kind of a hassle to run a wire from under the dash to wherever your light bar is, but it would completely bypass the DRLs.

Someone else may have a better suggestion for under hood wiring. I've never hooked up a light bar and I don't know very much about how the DRLs work with the high beams.
That would probably work, I'd just have to find a pinout for the cluster, assuming its not a nightmare to pull the cluster on these anyway...
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

Or, you could disable the DRL function. Then the high beams will only be on when you turn them on, then you could simply wire the relay to one of the high beam bulbs to have it trigger it. I did exactly that on an old Corolla I use to have.

Unless your state requires the DRL, I'm pretty sure there are some that do? I disabled mine on my 98, pretty sure I just pulled the relay in the under hood fuse box labeled "DRL", but it's been a while so I don't recall exactly... Personal preference really, I don't care to have them on when the sun's out, I don't really see the point...


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Old 03-02-2021, 10:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

You can't just pull the relay, it's a 5-pin and when the relay isn't on 87a powers one of the highbeam bulbs. You can pull it out, fold over pin 85 and put it back in however (or jump 30->87 with a 18awg wire).
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

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You can't just pull the relay, it's a 5-pin and when the relay isn't on 87a powers one of the highbeam bulbs. You can pull it out, fold over pin 85 and put it back in however (or jump 30->87 with a 18awg wire).
Maybe that's what I did. It was a while back so I really do not remember... I followed a how-to here on the forum.

While we're on the subject, is there a way to trick the system (like the relay pin folding or jumper wire) into keeping the low beams on with the high beams? One that would also keep the fog lights on at the same time possibly?
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Old 03-03-2021, 02:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

There's a way to make it work with adding relays but it's not the best idea as the electrical system is already at the brink of being overloaded as-is with all the factory accessories. If you setup the relays such that power is sourced directly from the battery and the stock wiring is only used for switching then it'll be fine.
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

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Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
There's a way to make it work with adding relays but it's not the best idea as the electrical system is already at the brink of being overloaded as-is with all the factory accessories. If you setup the relays such that power is sourced directly from the battery and the stock wiring is only used for switching then it'll be fine.
Yeah I'm still messing with the wiring on this, I'm using a relay to pull power for the lights from the battery directly The only thing I was trying to use wiring existing for was to switch the relay on and off, normally I would just tie into the 12-volt positive wire going to the brights so that when I hit my bright switch it kicks the relay on which kicks the light bar on, but the way they have the daytime running light and voltages and stuff ran through the headlights of these cars is making it more complicated than I'm used to. I don't really want to have to hit two switches to turn them on and off because I like the ability to shut them all off in a hurry instead of blinding people. I've tried several combos with the headlights from both low beams and high beams and I can't get this set up right for whatever reason.
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Old 03-09-2021, 10:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

You don't want to try using the high-beam indicator lamp circuit to control the relay? That seemed like an ideal solution to me.
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Old 03-09-2021, 10:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

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You don't want to try using the high-beam indicator lamp circuit to control the relay? That seemed like an ideal solution to me.
If I had wiring schematics, or any idea where to access that circuit other than straight from the back of the cluster, then sure. But being that I don't have a pin out for the back of the cluster or any real schematics for that matter, and I haven't really had time to get into ripping the dash apart versus headlight wiring that was right there. I do agree that it would be a relatively easy solution though if I knew where to access the circuit
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Old 03-09-2021, 10:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

I don't have a schematic either. Let's hope somebody else comes through with one.
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Old 03-10-2021, 03:05 AM   #12
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Default Re: headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

Hopefully this can be of help. I can take pics of other pages too if this doesn’t have everything you need.
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Old 03-10-2021, 12:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: headlight/DRL wiring questions with adding aftermarket lights

OK, I see it there; on the "speedo board". Scabbing a wire on at the light socket is probably easy, but the dash cluster would have to get accessed...
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