Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Tampa, FL
Flak7 is offline
Re: Project (Black and) Blue- restoring an old friend
Got the factory fog light switch installed, tied into the appropriate wiring under the dash and ran the trigger and sensor leads run through the firewall out to the engine bay. Finally had time to construct a power tap/distribution setup to get more power out to the lights.
Most of the posts I have read about upgrading the headlight wiring mostly lean towards having the "quad beam" setup and/or having the fog lights operate with both high and low beams; most of the headlight wiring upgrade work I have seen posted on the fourm is impressive and quite well done, however, call me an old "fuddy duddy", but my goal was just to improve the light output while adding fog lights and have everything function more or less as the factory intended.
When I swapped my dash last year, one of the things that came with it were the 3 relays that are usually found behind the glove box in the 95-97 trucks in a nice little cluster mount, I originally wanted to run everything from there just for convenience, but scrapped the idea cause I didn't feel like tearing into the dash again, and the long runs of wire would defeat the purpose, so I got a Dorman auxiliary 4 fuse block, and cut down a piece of aluminum server rack I had laying around for a mount for everything out by the driver side distribution block on the inside of the fender. I used a short length of 8 guage for the main feed for the "buss" through a 40 amp fuse, with 15 amp fuses feeding each circuit. All the power feeds are 12 gauge and new relay "trigger" leads are 16 gauge (which is only a little bigger than the stock headlight wiring). I popped all the pins for the relay feeds and cut the old wiring off (leaving a short length to solder to) soldered the the appropriate wire size, insulated with heat shrink and packed the individual sockets with a dab of Noalox, and reinstalled the connectors into their respective sockets. Each lead from the new distribution block is about 12 inches long and everything is wrapped in 1/2" split loom,triggers are terminated with insulated female connectors and power feed wires are terminated with insulated male connectors
Reasons for this are: I can't accidentally connect a trigger and power wire together, I really don't like soldering in the engine compartment if I don't have to, and finally, since I make my living fixing broken things, I like to have a backup. If a relay fails, my opposing connections will allow me to bypass a relay and revert to original headlight function in a pinch.
The whole setup is basically to make it easy to install and service if need be- I don't want to remove the grille to replace a fuse or relay and the resulting wire runs are no more than 6 feet long total.
Since it sits relatively close to the seam at the hood opening, it will sit at a slight tilt and I made a cover out of some plastic "Panduit" to shed any possible water that might leak on the the assembly, and the cover serves as a 'hold down" for the relays.
Most of the installations I have seen are using a direct tap off the battery with an 80 amp fuse and 10 gauge wire with individual larger 30 amp relays and fuses on each branch circuit- I commend anyone who went to the trouble to do this, especially if they are going to use "over wattage" bulbs.
I am going to switch to HIR bulbs, rated the same 55/65 watts as stock, I checked with Omron on the specs of the little relays and they are rated at 25 amps, and my calculations based on losses through the relay contacts and total length of wire should be less than 1.4%- about .2 volts, and no individual circuit should pull more than 9 amps total- even when "de-rating" the circuit 15-20% for the elevated temps in the engine bay it should be OK. I hope to get it installed this weekend and will post some pics of the install and light output before and after.
Meantime here's the assembly.