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Any merit in doing relays on headlights?

Discussion in 'Microvans' started by t_g_farrell, Aug 31, 2021.

  1. t_g_farrell

    t_g_farrell Active Member

    New to this forum and getting an Every delivered this week.

    Would putting the headlights on a set of relays be advantageous in these vans? I know it helps a lot of older vehicles which I've done in the past. Keeps the full load from running thru the switches in the steering column for the headlights. I have an Ford Explorer that had issues with the switch overheating that I fixed doing this.

    I'm talking about doing this kind of mod: https://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/relays/relays.html
  2. Chad Cataldo

    Chad Cataldo New Member

    Did you ever try this? I would think anything can help these little alternators.

    SAITCHO Active Member

    Using a relay will not help the alternator. If you switch your headlight to a LED one you will draw less current than the stock ones.
  4. t_g_farrell

    t_g_farrell Active Member

    Not yet, I've done it on other cars and its a real improvement because the current doesn't go through the switched circuit up in the stalk and then back down to power the headlights. By making it a relay and having the relay direct connected to the battery, the load on the wiring is significantly lowered and also on the stalk switch and the lights get a better connection to full battery power. It also will help the alternator because the connection is directly to t he battery and the alternator won't see it as high a load as before due to the improvement on the resistance by not pushing all the current through the full loom and the stalk switch.
    fmartin_gila likes this.
  5. MitsubishiBravo

    MitsubishiBravo New Member

    Any experience in putting LED headlights in? I was about to start my first thread asking about this but saw your post.
  6. Jigs-n-fixtures

    Jigs-n-fixtures Well-Known Member

    Some of the Japanese vehicles (Daihatsu, and Toyota for certain), are ground controlled. So, the hot lead goes to the headlight, and then the ground for the headlight goes to the switch. Since an LED only lets current flow one way, you have to get a relay set up to make them work on vehicle with the ground controlled headlights.

    I had to install a control relay kit I found on Amazon or eBay, to get mine to work. And I ran a home run back to the battery to power the headlights, so the only thing going through the factory wiring is a little bit to control the relays.

    I switched all the lights to LEDs, and had to install a variable flasher relay to adjust the flash rate down to the point it was flashing and not just bouncing on and off really rapidly.
  7. t_g_farrell

    t_g_farrell Active Member

    Yep, had to get a digital flasher as well and use it once I did LEDs for all the non-headlight lights.
  8. Jigs-n-fixtures

    Jigs-n-fixtures Well-Known Member

    Found one on Amazon which is adjustable. I mounted it just behind the dash, and put the adjustment knob out a small hole just below the instrument cluster and to the left of the column. Put jumper wire down to where the stock flasher mounted in the fuse panel.
  9. t_g_farrell

    t_g_farrell Active Member

    I couldn't find one that fit the OEM socket so had to make jumper wires and velcroed it on t he side of the fuse box

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