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Headlight relay wiring


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Just a quick question: how many here have done the relayed headlight wiring upgrade?

 

For those that don't know, the factory wiring for Chrysler back in the day did not use relays to turn the headlights on. ALL of the power load goes through the switches, connectors, etc. before getting out to the bulbs. This does 2 things: #1 it creates a fairly significant voltage drop at the light bulb, reducing its output (you can't see at night!), #2 it can cause electrical issues (fires being the worst possibility) and that switch in the dash can get SUPER hot, melt, etc. 

 

To remedy these issues, you install relays at the front of the car that make it so all the switches do are just turn the lights on. I've done this modification to a few cars and it works well. I have just got a couple of pre-made kits online to do it to the red TC. I plan to take pictures and make a write-up...maybe a video. Any interest?

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You might just contact Daniel Stern who has written on this topic years ago, and whose information can be applied to the TC as well as all other cars and trucks. Information available by typing his name in your browser.

Why and How to Upgrade
Your Headlamp Circuit

By Daniel Stern

http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/relays/relays.html

Edited by Hemi Dude (see edit history)
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I have to tell you all, a number of years ago while I still had my shop in Venture, Ca., I had a customer with an 89 TC. He had driven to Las Vegas one night, likely with his bright lights on a long way on I-15. He called me and told me that he saw a lot of smoke come from the dashboard in the area of the headlamp switch. He also told me that his headlights stopped working. I told him to drive down to my shop when he came back and I would look at it.

YES, the car still operated normally except for the lighting.  I found that the headlamp switch had burnt up and the wiring harness to the switch, all the way through the firewall and into the engine compartment was also burnt up in that headlamp 'feed' circuit. It melted many of the other wires together, so that entire harness needed to be replaced. That is a costly harness.

Unfortunately, I never got to repair the car as I found out, after a time, that he had returned to Las Vegas in his other car and was found dead in his hotel room, in a Las Vegas Casino. Since he had not authorized the repair, I did not make any repairs. His parents eventually showed up and drove the car away, still with no lights working. That was the last time I saw that car.

 

http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/relays/relays.html

Edited by Hemi Dude (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Garnet & Gold said:

And then there is the story 4 years ago when you borrowed my triple black TC and drove to visit an old friend up the rode and the head light switch burnt out and you could not drive back to my house.

That story, the repair part, is best told by you.

 I just had the experience of being somewhere in Northern Florida, lost in the dark. That was a fun night, NOT!

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  • 1 month later...

Just as an aside to the problem of small gage wires, as mentioned. Wouldn't the use of LED headlight bulbs

instead of the normal halogen bulbs, reduce the wattage significantly and hence limit current 

draw to the point that a small gage wire would be adequate, without the attendant overheating?

Perhaps this would be a simple solution that would undoubtedly be less costly than installing relays. Plus, the LED bulb would certainly outlast the life of the car!

Edited by rmtroutman (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, rmtroutman said:

Just as an aside to the problem of small gage wires, as mentioned. Wouldn't the use of LED headlight bulbs

instead of the normal halogen bulbs, reduce the wattage significantly and hence limit current 

draw to the point that a small gage wire would be adequate, without the attendant overheating?

Perhaps this would be a simple solution that would undoubtedly be less costly than installing relays. Plus, the LED bulb would certainly outlast the life of the car!

Yes is the very simple answer. 

 

The reason I did not go after that solution is that I personally do not like LED headlights. I don't like the light they shine and I don't like how they blind other drivers. Plus, it is a controversial subject concerning the retrofit of either HID or LED bulbs in housings designed for Halogen type bulbs. I don't want to get into all that and clutter this thread up with those arguments. 

 

Currently I am not able to continue with this project as I am in the middle of some major life changes. I will hopefully pick it back up sometime this summer/fall.

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3 hours ago, Reaper1 said:

Yes is the very simple answer. 

 

The reason I did not go after that solution is that I personally do not like LED headlights. I don't like the light they shine and I don't like how they blind other drivers. Plus, it is a controversial subject concerning the retrofit of either HID or LED bulbs in housings designed for Halogen type bulbs. I don't want to get into all that and clutter this thread up with those arguments. 

 

I installed a pair of ‘zXe Sylvania Gold’ low beam headlamp bulbs recently, in anticipation of a road-trip to the TC America National meet planned for September. These headlamps are amazing compared to the stock, normal halogen bulbs the car came with. They were costly, though.

I still plan to wire the headlamps up through individual relays for maximum available voltage and the least amount of wiring resistance.

 

btw: The TC National Meet will be EXCLUSIVELY for TCA club members, who will be coming from both the East and West coast. If any non member wishes to attend, there is still plenty of time to sign up for membership in the club and later to register for the event beginning in June. Many of the Chrysler Engineers from the time of TC production will be in attendance as well as most of the TC AMERICA Tech Team.
Further announcements will be through the TC America June newsletter.

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