Relay upgrade for lights - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Matt
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Beloit, Wisconsin
Posts: 195
Have any of you performed the relay upgrade for your headlighs without replacing the wires that go to the lights? My wiring is in great shape and I was going to just install relays and go. I have read a few articles about this and they install the same way but they differ on replacing the wires.
Thanks, Matt.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 06:04 AM
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Location: Temple City, Ca
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Not me. I really don't believe that there is such a thing as a relay upgrade or that it is needed. I've read the articles but running a test on an old car flaws the data. I agree that their system has some merit if you install headlights that require a lot of current, not brightness, they are two different things. Otherwise it's just replacing old with new.
I don't doubt the readings they got. I believe they took accurate measurements. I only wish they did the math to back up the measurements. There's about 6 feet of 16 gage wire between the horn relay and the bulkhead connector. The per foot resistance of that gage is a textbook number. It can be found in the Machinists Handbook amongst other books. Along with that wire, there are 4 connectors I can think of, perhaps 8 crimp joints, 2 switch contacts, and the 18 gage return wire to the lamps. A loss from 14 down to 11 volts doesn't add up, unless one is discussing old corroded wire and sockets versus a new factory harness.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 07:09 AM
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I have installed the relays on my head lights but you have to cut into the original wiring. Its not all that bad. just some careful planning and it should look factory clean. As far as I know that is the only way to do it unless there is a harness manufactorer that builds a harness with relay jacks already installed, you can always check around. If you think it will not be benaficial then check the voltage at the headlight and see what it is. If the light is designed to give the brightest light at 14 volts and it only gets 12 volts then there would be a benafit. Hell it might mean the difference in see something before you hit it one second sooner.
Eric
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 08:04 AM
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I'm not in the business of selling anything unlike the people who write articles to sell a product. Surprises me sometimes that a ton of time is spent on a carburetor and no effort is put into any of the electrical components until things die.
Why didn't the GM design engineers use a Ford type solenoid or relay to operate the lights? Because it wasn't needed.
Why didn't the people who wrote those articles clean a single connection before they performed the tests?
Because it would have changed the results.
Clean and/or repair the wire connections. Clean or replace the lamp connections (which their system doesn't fix). Replace the headlight switch. It's 30+ years old and their system doesn't fix that. If that is done there will not be a 2+ volt drop in the system. System voltage drop is first calculated on paper. Those numbers don't add up to the measurements taken on an untouched old car obviously needing repair.
Heck I may even get some email from them claiming I'm trying to hurt their business.
1, I've never mentioned any company.
2, They can't produce the calculations showing that voltage drop unless they factor in resistance due to corrosion or switch wear.
Do the necessary repairs and buy some good Halogens. I use Wagners in my cars because they gave me a lifetime replacement.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Matt
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Beloit, Wisconsin
Posts: 195
I am cleaning everything and relplacing the switch and bulbs. I also am upgrading the ALT. I started to built the parts I need to get the wiring harness all together. It will look nice and clean. When I got the car the lifgts were not bright at all so anything could mack it better.
Thanks for the info.
Matt

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 03, 11:51 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Ashby,MN, USA
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seems to me that a really wouldn't be a bad idea, even if it isn't truly necessary. just keep a spare relay or two in the glove box, and if the relay dies you just plug a new one in and be on your way. less current thru the tiny wires that go thru the bilkhead connector on the firewall and the light switch seems like a good idea to me. same theory applies to headlights as fuel pumps or electric fans, and i don't see too many of them wired straight to the switch.

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