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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aftermarket HID installation- How to rewire your headlight switch via an independent relay to send clean juice to the hid ballasts straight from the battery.

I began selling some mcculloch hid kits and a few people including myself ran into a problem with the aftermarket kit. The lights would flicker on and off repeatedly as if it wasn’t receiving enough power to ignite the ballast. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint where the problem was. Whether it was the oem relay or the small gauge oem wires. I kept sending kits back to the manufacturer thinking it was a defective ballast until Doug (slammedvwgolf) suggested the fore mentioned problem. I researched it online and it proved true.
Adding an independent relay can either fix a problem or avoid problems in the future. It’s very necessary if your hid kit is aftermarket, may not be necessary for oem kits. In my opinion I rather feed the ballasts their own juice straight from the battery since these cars weren’t designed for high intensity discharged lighting.
Ok enough yapping.. here’s the how-to-
Installing the Relay
It's fairly simple.
Things you need-
The Relay- I purchased mine at Advanced Autoparts for $3.99

Electrical Tape
Wire Stripper
Terminal Connectors
Round Connectors
14 Gauge Wire- Buy 2 colors. Red/Black or Blue/Black to differentiate polarities
a Fused wire like the one below-


First the Relay has numbered connectors on the bottom. Here’s the diagram.

Crimp a Female terminal to each wire and hook them up to the relay. Use electrical tape around the terminal for better protection. Measure how much of each wire you’ll need for it’s destination.
#30- Goes to the Positive (+) on the HID Ballast
#85- Goes to any good Ground (-)connection. (I got mine direct from the battery)
#86- Goes to the low-beamYellow/Black Line Wire from the Headlight Harness. It’s best to use the harness on the drivers side headlight.
#87- Goes to the Positive (+) Direct to your battery.
After the relay is all wired up, take each wire to their destination. Follow this diagram and pic-


Next, Mount your ballasts in a safe dry place. Remember that the Blue colored wire (that goes to the positive (+) of your ballast) goes to both ballasts. Add a FUSE to the wire before it splits.

And that’s it. Your HID’s will fire up using your headlight switch and gets it’s juice direct from the battery.

I have 2 Relays installed in this pic because I’m running 2 pairs of ballasts. Headlights and Fog Lights. If you plan to add HIDs to your foglights also it might be good to add a second relay.
This is my first writeup here so if I missed anything or didn't make something clear please let me know.



Modified by Misael at 6:54 PM 5-27-2006
 

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just as a side note its a really good idea to get relays that are sealed up and are water proof. my 1st relay was not and it rotted out inside it only took a few months and yea one night the headlights just went out... glad i had fogs and highbeams hehe
 

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Re: HID Installation with an Independant Relay (Misael)

Nice write up.
Terminal "30" is constant power and is the one that is usually wired to the battery - "87" goes to the load (the ballasts). And you should put the fuse between the battery and the relay - not between the relay and the ballasts. If you are going to bother adding a relay I'd also run the ground to the ballast directly back to the battery.
And automotive relays usually aren't designed to be sealed. But they do need to be installed properly - in a dry location with the wires running down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: HID Installation with an Independant Relay (dennisgli)

Quote, originally posted by dennisgli »
Nice write up.
Terminal "30" is constant power and is the one that is usually wired to the battery - "87" goes to the load (the ballasts). And you should put the fuse between the battery and the relay - not between the relay and the ballasts. If you are going to bother adding a relay I'd also run the ground to the ballast directly back to the battery.
And automotive relays usually aren't designed to be sealed. But they do need to be installed properly - in a dry location with the wires running down.

Thanks for the input. For the sake of not re-photoshopping the diagrams i'm sure we could use terminal 30 but I guess it can be either/or then since they work fine for me. The HID ballast needs to be fused so I didn't bother adding another fuse from the battery but you certainly can if you desire.
Where did you mount your relays?
 

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Re: HID Installation with an Independant Relay (Misael)

I mounted them on the back of the air intake plenum cover above the radiator - MkIV. I need to rewire them this summer - do a little neater job; move the wiring away from the fan blades so they don't rub; and add a third relay for the fogs/DRLs so the fog indicator light doesn't come on when the DRLs are on.
The 30/87 stuff is just a convention - 30 to the battery and 87 to the load. But it will work either way.
You should move the fuse though. It should be as close to the battery as possible. The relay also needs a fuse - 30amps max' for a 30amp relay. If you have a short in your relay or wiring the fuse won't blow and you'll get smoke instead!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks dennis for the insight!
I need to clean up my wires too, I was only really testing things out when I took those pics.
Alright guys/girls.. Add another fuse between the battery and the Relay!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: HID Installation with an Independant Relay (dennisgli)

Quote, originally posted by dennisgli »
You don't want/need two 30amp fuses in series - just move the one fuse to the connection to the battery.

Well one fuse from the battery to the relay and another fuse from the relay to the ballast. The ballast needs to be fused according to the manufacturer specs. If it's not fused and it shorts it might void the warranty.
 

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Re: (DubbHatch)

I ran two relays...one for each headlight. With a 15a going to each ballast and the main 30a at the battery.
This allows for the occasional failing relay to not leave you stranded with absolutely no lights...at least you'd have one lamp left to limp home with.

Not sure if it was mentioned already...I sorta jetted through the thread real quick.
 

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Re: (nater)

Quote, originally posted by nater »
I ran two relays...one for each headlight. With a 15a going to each ballast and the main 30a at the battery.
This allows for the occasional failing relay to not leave you stranded with absolutely no lights...at least you'd have one lamp left to limp home with.

Not sure if it was mentioned already...I sorta jetted through the thread real quick.

you could also carry an extra relay with you.
 

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Re: (DubbHatch)

Quote, originally posted by DubbHatch »

you could also carry an extra relay with you.

You could...
But that would be too easy, right? And I'm just trying to do things the hard way. So let a man be anal, ok?
Carry on now, little ones
.



Modified by nater at 6:48 AM 5-31-2006
 

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Re: HID Installation with an Independant Relay (DubbHatch)

Quote, originally posted by DubbHatch »
I used one 30amp fuse from the battery to the relay, then two 15amp fuses from the relay to the ballasts.

This makes some sense - particularly if the ballast manufacturer specifies a 15amp max' fuse.
Quote, originally posted by nater »
I ran two relays...one for each headlight. With a 15a going to each ballast and the main 30a at the battery.

This makes a little less sense - why not just a 15amp fuse for each relay/ballast? That way, if a relay were to fail it wouldn't blow the 30amp fuse and take out both lights.
The problem with putting fuses in series is that it isn't easy to predict which one will blow - particularly if they are close in value.
 

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Re: HID Installation with an Independant Relay (dennisgli)

Quote, originally posted by dennisgli »

This makes a little less sense - why not just a 15amp fuse for each relay/ballast? That way, if a relay were to fail it wouldn't blow the 30amp fuse and take out both lights.

This is how I did it (to be honest, I forget...it was two years back).
A quick write-up I did on my website a couple years back.
http://www.geocities.com/nfe10...s.doc
It says:

How to wire up a relay with your HID’s:
Get a relay then check out this page on the FAQ automotive lighting site:
http://faq.auto.light.tripod.com/general-faq.htm Go about half way down to a title called "Electrical-Wiring Related. By the way, I found great relays at the Circuit City Stereo Install Garages in the back. Nice beefy relays there.
I'll explain what you need to do here in case the schematics are a bit confusing...
There should be 4 connectors on the relay itself and they should be marked pretty much like this:
87
86
85
30
Each one of the above numbers has a Male connector coming out of it. To connect the appropriate wires you must use female crimp connectors. I would make sure these connectors aren't crimped and that you solder them (but crimping will work to start-at least until you know they work).
Here is what each of those 4 numbers means:
A) 87 : It's the power output that goes directly to the ballast (put an in-line 15A fuse in this line b/w relay and ballast). This basically is power coming straight out of the battery and thru the relay and to your ballast so use heavy gauge wire like 12AWG or similar.
B)
85 : This is basically a ground wire for the circuit or relay. I just hooked up my negative terminal of the battery to this but others may suggest that you find a quality ground on the chassis. Try the chassis but MAKE SURE it's a quality ground. If not, it may appear like it's working but you may get intermittent problems with a faulty ground. If not sure-start with the battery.
C)
86 : This goes straight into the hot lead that turns on your low beams. Use a tester and find out which lamp going into your low beams (before it was HID) goes on when you turn on your headlight low beam switch. This is the one that you can use an in-line splice or find a way to solder this in place. This will simply tell the relay (when you turn on your low beams from inside your car) to pull current directly from the battery. This is why it's important to do this. It's a very simple design yet ingenious in many ways. You can still incorporate your OEM headlamp switch but not stress out the wiring associated with it.
D)
30 : You connect this straight to the positive terminal on the battery. B/w the relay and positive terminal on the battery you MUST put a 30A fuse in-line. If you don't you defeat the whole purpose of this setup.
**Unless you have one relay for each ballast then it's just 15A main fuse**
Now, I only used one relay for both ballasts.
So, for the wire coming out of #87 and going to the ballast I soldered another wire in to go to the second ballast.
If you want to go with one relay per ballast then your main fuse coming out of #30 and going to the battery can be 15A for each one.
Just make sure you use the right wiring (12AWG at minimum) for the wiring that goes from #30 to the battery and 12-14AWG for any wiring coming out of 87 and going to either of the ballasts.
#85 and #86 do not need special wiring as one is only a ground and the other is simply a trigger for the relay to switch. Don’t get skimpy here though as a bad/inconsistent ground can cause all sorts of odd electrical problems.
*** You may need 10AWG or 12AWG wire for the negative just to be safe. There are a few reasons for this but mostly, you just want to make sure your ground doesn't fail. Go big and you'll be happy. As a matter of fact I am going to go do this now with my main grounding wires.
Hope this helps! Before I put my relay in I was clueless! When you see the relay you will understand-it’ll take a couple hours if you do it deliberately and carefully but it's just busy work-not rocket science as I mentioned earlier.
If you ever need help regarding relays, wiring up an HID kit, or any other general lighting question I’d be happy to help (the best I can as I’m still learning each and every day).
My aim SN is nfe100 and my email is ‘ [email protected]"

EDIT: I guess I DID only use one relay. I just read through my own post and see that....
Anyway, carry on.

EDIT: I had 85 and 86 mixed up with each other. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.



Modified by nater at 7:19 AM 6-15-2006
 
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