Anyone install a relay box to keep low beams on with high beams? - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone install a relay box to keep low beams on with high beams?

I am thinking about installing a relay box that keeps the low beams on with the highs. This is on a 1993 that has the 9006 low and 9005 high beam. The one I am considering is The Brite Box, which keep the low beams on, when you activate the high beams. It takes the 12v direct from the battery voltage, which puts full voltage to the lights, and also prevents overloading the light switch.

I was wondering if any of you have installed one of these before? How complicated was it to install?

-----1993 Bird 5.0------
393 stroker, Vortech YSi, on E85
Lentech Strip Terminator & 4,000+ RPM stall converter
Detroit Locker with 3.55 gears.
17x9 Cobra Rs with 255/45/17 BFG KWDS
275/50/17 M&H DR on the rear

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 09:19 PM
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I have a full relay harness; but I discovered it actually made it HARDER to see what was down the road with both low and high on at the same time.

RwP
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 09:33 PM
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I installed a Brite Box on my 93 Mark VIII many tears ago. It wasn't that hard as I recall but the details are fuzzy now.

I did it because I switched to the 96 HIDs to keep the HIDs lit when turning on the high beams. I used HIR bulbs for the high beam which made a tremendous improvement in the high beam light output.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks... Ralph, which year do you have? I know when I use the dimmer switch to activate both temporarily, it makes a huge improvement with the 9005/9006 combination.

-----1993 Bird 5.0------
393 stroker, Vortech YSi, on E85
Lentech Strip Terminator & 4,000+ RPM stall converter
Detroit Locker with 3.55 gears.
17x9 Cobra Rs with 255/45/17 BFG KWDS
275/50/17 M&H DR on the rear

Click for Full Project
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by 392Bird View Post
Thanks... Ralph, which year do you have? I know when I use the dimmer switch to activate both temporarily, it makes a huge improvement with the 9005/9006 combination.
Actually, no, it doesn't if you're actually driving; it's called Near Field Brightness. You COULD turn the interior light on. It's really bright --- but you don't see squat down the road!

I have a 1991 Cougar with the Grand Marquis headlamps installed. I also have the 9011/9012 upgrade installed.

But I did the testing of low/high both on with my old 2000 Malibu.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 05:52 PM
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First of all, everyone should most definitely be running relays for both the headlights and high beams, unless you are running LED lights. Running that much current through the switch not only dims the headlights, but also burns out the switch. You don’t need an aftermarket box to do this, it is a very simple circuit. Headlight or high beam signal from the switch goes to terminal 85, terminal 86 goes to ground, 30 goes directly to battery voltage through a fuse, and 87 goes to the headlights or high beams. Once both relays are wired in this way, all you need to do is run a diode from the 87 terminal on the high beam relay to the 85 terminal on the low beam relay. This will trigger the low beam relay whenever the high beams are on, but since it is a diode, it won’t back feed the high beams when only the low beams are on. All told, it shouldn’t take more than an hour to wire everything up, and probably about $20-25 in relays, relay connectors, and wire.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Good information, thanks

-----1993 Bird 5.0------
393 stroker, Vortech YSi, on E85
Lentech Strip Terminator & 4,000+ RPM stall converter
Detroit Locker with 3.55 gears.
17x9 Cobra Rs with 255/45/17 BFG KWDS
275/50/17 M&H DR on the rear

Click for Full Project
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 08:28 PM
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Something like this would be the place to start; it's fairly cheap.

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

You can go cheaper, if you search, but you don't have to make everything unless you're a totally cheap bastard, like me.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
You can go cheaper, if you search, but you don't have to make everything unless you're a totally cheap bastard, like me.
I was converting from 9007s to 9005/9006 so I made my own. Also, making your own means you can design wiring to fit exactly how you want.

RwP
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Madmikeyl I think I am going to go that route. What diode did you use? Be a nice little project to do after I replace the upper control arms. Seems I tore the boots on them, and may have tweeked them after a wheel stand gone bad. I put the top of the ball joints part way through the top of the inner fender well.

-----1993 Bird 5.0------
393 stroker, Vortech YSi, on E85
Lentech Strip Terminator & 4,000+ RPM stall converter
Detroit Locker with 3.55 gears.
17x9 Cobra Rs with 255/45/17 BFG KWDS
275/50/17 M&H DR on the rear

Click for Full Project
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 392Bird View Post
Madmikeyl I think I am going to go that route. What diode did you use? Be a nice little project to do after I replace the upper control arms. Seems I tore the boots on them, and may have tweeked them after a wheel stand gone bad. I put the top of the ball joints part way through the top of the inner fender well.
Before the relay, a pair of 1N4000 series diodes (I used 1N4007, but that's actually overkill at 1KV. But it's what I carry on my bench for Justin Case).

After the relay - a really REALLY big 40A or larger.

(You want a pair so that the low beams won't turn on the high beams and vice versa.)

You can grab a nice bridge rectifier of 1A or so, 50V or more. Low beam to one of the AC input, high beam to the other one, and the + side to the low beams.

Before you do that ... upgrade to a 9011/9012 pair and the relay, and see if that doesn't do it for you.

https://store.candlepower.com/mohirbuba.html

Also, be sure to clean the headlight lenses. Or replace the assemblies.

RwP

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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I will draw it up this week and see what I need, and make sure I do not leave anything out. Thanks

-----1993 Bird 5.0------
393 stroker, Vortech YSi, on E85
Lentech Strip Terminator & 4,000+ RPM stall converter
Detroit Locker with 3.55 gears.
17x9 Cobra Rs with 255/45/17 BFG KWDS
275/50/17 M&H DR on the rear

Click for Full Project
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 05:37 PM
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I don't know the name or part number of the diodes I use, but they aren't anything heavy duty. By having the diode only trigger the the low beam relay, it isn't subject to much current at all.
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-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
-97 Tbird Sport 4.6 Nice weather daily driver
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Being a old guy, I do better with pictures, so I drew up the wiring to make sure I have it laid out properly. My control arms will be here Thursday, and I will put them in, then take the Bird out to see how these Silverstar Ultras with new housings do. If I think I want to keep the lows on with the highs, I will go ahead and make up a harness.
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File Type: jpg 9005 9006 lights.jpg (46.9 KB, 2 views)

-----1993 Bird 5.0------
393 stroker, Vortech YSi, on E85
Lentech Strip Terminator & 4,000+ RPM stall converter
Detroit Locker with 3.55 gears.
17x9 Cobra Rs with 255/45/17 BFG KWDS
275/50/17 M&H DR on the rear

Click for Full Project
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 02:28 PM
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I'd add a second diode, to keep the high beams from feeding back into the low beam circuit.

See the slightly modified schematic below.

Actually, I'd run the lower diode to the high beam 85 terminal.

EDIT: You want to use the 87 terminals, not the 87a. Run the other side of the light harness back to ground, not to the 87a contacts.

RwP
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File Type: jpg 9005 9006 lights.jpg (44.8 KB, 0 views)

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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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I agree, good idea. Thanks

-----1993 Bird 5.0------
393 stroker, Vortech YSi, on E85
Lentech Strip Terminator & 4,000+ RPM stall converter
Detroit Locker with 3.55 gears.
17x9 Cobra Rs with 255/45/17 BFG KWDS
275/50/17 M&H DR on the rear

Click for Full Project
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 03:10 PM
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I disagree. The second diode is totally unnecessary. The relays isolate the power feed from the actual lights. Bruce’s diagram is exactly how I have wired this type of thing many times on many different vehicles.

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
-97 Tbird Sport 4.6 Nice weather daily driver
-"Your buddy Mike is INSANE!" -ClintD's dad
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 06:41 PM
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I disagree. The second diode is totally unnecessary. The relays isolate the power feed from the actual lights. Bruce’s diagram is exactly how I have wired this type of thing many times on many different vehicles.
Yes, but the original design DOES back feed the high beam voltage back into the low beam circuit BEFORE the relay.

Whereas it may not show as being different ... it WILL do such nice things as turn the fog lights on also. Which will be illegal (too many lights on the front!).

So the isolation diode, which runs a whopping 10 cents or so if purchased wisely, keeps it legal.

Follow it around again, MadMikeyL.

RwP

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 09:39 PM
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If you don’t want the fog lights on, turn the fog light switch off. All the other lights on the car stay on regardless of whether the high beams or low beams are on. And it isn’t the cost of the diode that concerns me, but rather that diodes sometimes do fail, and when they do fail, they usually become an open circuit rather than allowing current both ways. If that happens in the first design, you lose the all lights on at the same time feature, but the headlights and high beams will otherwise work as designed. If that happens in the second design, you lose headlights completely.

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
-97 Tbird Sport 4.6 Nice weather daily driver
-"Your buddy Mike is INSANE!" -ClintD's dad
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 10:48 PM
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No, you don't. You may lose low beams, but not high beams. Two diodes, remember?

I've had more mechanical switches fail than diodes in my years of working with electronics.

*shrug*

Do yours how you want; I'd rather do mine my way.

RwP

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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 01:51 PM
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Of course, after thinking about it, I have figured out how to do it without even a single diode.

1) Use SPDT or 5 terminal Bosch relays.

2) On both sides, current headlight signal wires to 86, ground 85.

3) On both sides, connect the light to terminal 30, and the fused 12V to terminal 87.

4) Connect a jumper from the high terminal 30 to the low terminal 87a.

5) This will take a 35A to 40A fuse on the high beam side - but what that does, is if the low beams are off, the lamps themselves are wired with the high beams. If, however, you turn the low beams ON, then the LOW beams will be lit.

This also means that a failure of one side is isolated from the other side.

Only possible problem is if either low beam bulb shorts, it'll blow BOTH fuses as you try low then high beams. I'd consider using circuit breakers instead of fuses for that reason ...

But not a single diode to be seen anywhere!

So MadMikeyL's worry is taken care of, MY concern is taken care of, and the OP gets to cause his/her night vision to degrade.

RwP

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