DIY Dim Headlights Brighter - Team Integra Forums - Team Integra
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a DIY little article on how to test the voltage used on your headlights and also how to wire relays into your headlights. You need to have a little experience with electrical circuits and testing in order to do it proficiently. If no experience, be ready to use some critical thinking!

To Get started, get out your DVOM or other volt meter. With the Key in the on position, engine off, and headlights oN, insert two T-Pins on the backside of the bulb connector of each headlight, one bulb at a time. Set your DVOM to the DC Volts scale and touch each lead to the T-Pins. This will tell you how much voltage is being used by the headlights. on this circuit, the headlight itself should be the only load and should drop a voltage very close to source voltage, around 12 volts. Make sure that you turn off as much stuff in your car as possible as other things may skew your readings.




After you read the voltage dropped across each bulb you can determine if your lights are as bright as they should be. If you get readings less than about 11 volts, you have an excess resistance somewhere in the circuit.

To find which side of the circuit your losing voltage on, touch a lead from your meter to the red wire t-pin and the other lead to the battery positive post. This will test the wiring on the power side of the circuit.


The reading here should be minimal, as the wire should not use up voltage, I would say under a half of a volt. . Do the same with the black wire t-pin and the negative battery post. Readings should be the same. Whatever voltage you measure, is voltage robbed by the wires and connectors from the headlight bulbs. This is why you are not getting the full potential out of your headlights.

If it is on your positive side, voltage drop your switch itself. In this headlight circuit, the full current from the battery to the bulbs runs straight through the switch. You can test the switch itself by doing the same t-pin method. This will tell you how much voltage the switch is using. It should be minimal because a switch, when energized should act as a wire. It shouldn’t use up voltage. If the switch is using excess voltage, start by cleaning up the contacts and if no improvement, replace the switch.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Now that we have determined if the voltage getting to the bulbs is a problem or not, it is time to complete the repair.
Here are a few ways to repair it.

You can either run all new wires, in the same way that OEM wires are ran.
Or the way that I did it, you can install relays into the system.

A relay is a big switch. It uses 2 circuits. one side of the relay is the control side, the other is the load side. Here is more information: Relays Explained

To wire in the relays, start by getting all your supplies.
A few things I used::
1. 2 ISO standard 5 prong relays.
2. Relay Holders
3. about 10 feet of 14 or 16 gauge wiring.
4. Shrink Wrap
5. Solder and a Soldering Iron
6. Zip Ties
7. T-Pins
8. DVOM or Voltmeter



Now, since your OEM switch will be used to control the “control side” of the relays, we will keep all the wiring before the switch and some after the switch in tact. Even if the wires you know have about 10 or so volts, it is still plenty of current to control the relay.

We will be using 2 ISO relays, one for low beams and one for high beams.


And 2 Relay holders.(Much easier to use the relays, it involves no soldering straight to the relay itself, just to the lead of wires coming off the holder.


I started off by cutting the power wire to each bulb. You can do them one at a time so you are not stuck without headlights if you run out of time.



The wires that are in the bulb connectors, are going to be wired to each other, right low beam to left low beam and right high beam to left high beam. i ran the wire under the fender, like the hood release cable.



Now, the 2 sets of bulbs that you have wired together need to be ran to pin 87 of each relay. I did my low beams all at once, and then my high beams so I wouldn’t get things too mixed up!

The grounds for each headlight can stay if you did not see a high amount of voltage lost on your ground side.
I did nothing with the grounds of the bulbs. If your problem area is the ground side, cut the ground wire and run a new ground wire.
You also need to find a good ground for the relay. Run the wire from pin 85 of each relay to a good ground.





Next, the red wire that goes back into the wire harness, goes to the switch inside the car. You only need to use one of these to do the next part because they both do the same thing. So you can just tape one of them off. The other goes down to pin 86 on each relay.


Now run a wire from the battery + post to pin 30 of each relay. Be sure to run an inline fuse holder in series near the battery post. I used a 30 Amp fuse, because the OEM headlight fuses were 40 Amps.



The pin numbers of the relays should be engraved on or have a picture on the relay somewhere. If not, refer to the relay’s explained article.

After all is complete, your headlights should turn on the same as they always did, except this time, quite a bit brighter.

Now get out your DVOM and t-pins again and do the same voltage drop test as we started out doing. You should get a number quite a bit higher than you started out with.

Hope this helps! Good luck with fixing all those dim lights.

Here are some before and after shots of my project!!
Before:


After:


Quite a difference i would say!!!
More Pictures
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 10:06 PM
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is it just me or you drove your car closer to the garage door in the After picture? lol

so what does it do? it makes the headlights get juice directly from the battery thus reducing/eliminating the drop?

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 10:25 PM
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This is the way it should have been wired from the factory, as the switch only carries relay current instead of full load current. The only change I would make to this system is to feed the relays from fuse #40 (50A) in the under hood fuse/relay box (instead of the battery) so the headlight current runs through the ELD.

Dave
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 11:15 PM
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hmmm I'll haveto try this out when it gets nice out.

Mess With The Max, Get Scrapped Like The Rest. Well I guess 5th times a charm so to speak. switching over to the Subie scene and checking them out. So Far AWD is the SHIT!!!!!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 12:16 AM
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? does the lightbulb go out quicker?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 12:45 AM
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Are you running a 30 amp inline fuse or a 40?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codenamezero on Oct/20/06
is it just me or you drove your car closer to the garage door in the After picture? lol



I'm doing this today - and (if it doesn't rain) I have a 'couple' different types of bulbs I can test (vs each other and w/ and w/o relay) - so I'll post 'better' pics.

Quote: dfddfd2 on Oct/20/06 This is the way it should have been wired from the factory, as the switch only carries relay current instead of full load current. The only change I would make to this system is to feed the relays from fuse #40 (50A) in the under hood fuse/relay box (instead of the battery) so the headlight current runs through the ELD.

Dave
That is great advice - it also means there's no need to use an inline fuse - cleaner, cheaper - you amaze me at most every post.

<- For your chart, which is the size of the side of an average home by now, no doubt.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 10:54 AM
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hm... I might have to try this on my lights...

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 11:19 AM
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So with this setup, since you are using relays, upgrading the gauge size of the supply wires, etc, I'm assumming that doing the 9005 conversion wires like this would be 100% safe, unlike before where you could possible burn up the wires or pop a fuse?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pothiawala786 on Dec/22/06
So with this setup, since you are using relays, upgrading the gauge size of the supply wires, etc, I'm assumming that doing the 9005 conversion wires like this would be 100% safe, unlike before where you could possible burn up the wires or pop a fuse?
The 9005 conversion was always safe. The wires for the high beams are the same size as the low beams. I never burned up anything or popped any fuses.

However, a 9005 light burns out 2x fast as a 9006.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 11:51 AM
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i may have to try this out, or atleast rewire my headlights all together.

do you think it would have any affect on the brightness of my headlights if they are required to run a 30amp fuse but instead it has a 20?

my HID's arent very bright and ive always thought it was the projector but there new headlights.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 02:31 AM
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I was kinda skeptical at first, but It works.

When I first checked all my readings came out pretty good.
11.6-11.8 volts, and since we're running on a 12volt system (I know it goes a little higher) I figuire that's pretty good.
I did lose a little through my NEG side though.

I was about to pass on doing it, but I decided to just ghetto rig it really quick and try it out anyways.

Yup, it jumped. Now it reads around 12.7-12.9 volts.
I also checked it from the old power source wire (with the new ground, old ground would have been Way lower) and it went down .4 volts, so I diffenitely know that the relay way is boosting more power.

This was all check with the car running at idle also.
Also I didn't use an inline fuse, I went to the under hood fuse box.

Nice upgrade for $10 bucks or less.
Not including my new voltage meter, and aftermarket H4 light bulb harness.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 01:29 PM
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as much as i want to do this, i can't see the pictures cause "they're not found". are there any other references i could possibly look for for this diy?
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