Euro Lights / Relays (last one, I promise)

Jon Archibald urquattro at
Thu Feb 12 00:04:32 EST 2004

David writes:

"I get 13v at the headlamps w/o any rewiring, maybe people should just
caig some connections, but if your voltage is low, harness away.  on the
urq I was getting 10v to the lites so i added a harness....but there is
no comparison between the urq wiring and the 200..."

First off, at 13v, you are on the high side of voltage most people will see at there headlights with stock wiring. That said, you are still only lighting at about 85% of the luminous intensity of someone with 13.5v at the lights. In addition, it is beneficial for anyone to relay the headlights if only to prevent the eventual demise of your headlight switch. 

As for your comments about "wankers with SUV's", the problem there is that their headlights are at our eye level, and they are using fog lights inappropriately. Properly aimed high wattage headlights on a sedan will not blind any oncoming traffic, unless you are using English-spec. headlights on US roads or vice versa. I'll point out that most people who have upgraded headlights are doing it for cosmetic reasons and don't bother to take the time to aim them. This is a big problem, but preaching dim headlamps for everyone doesn't seem like the solution. Of course there are instances when I've been blinded by a Beemer with HID's, but the vertical and horizontal lines of sight need to be -perfect- for that to happen on a properly set-up car, and it has only happened a few times in the 4 years or so they have been HID'ing the hi-end cars. Incidentally, I design roads for a living so motorists' field of vision is not a new subject for me.

On the topic of aftermarket harnesses:
Wolff writes:
"If you have ratcheting crimpers, understand wiring well and are good atlow voltage wiring, then 1/2 hour is reasonable, but does that include the time
to source the parts?  I think there are a fair number of people on the list that could benefit from having the harness pre-made either due to time or even quality. OTOH, there may be a few that would want to do it themselves to learn in the process. I've done it both ways. I ordered the harness the second time."

My point was that IMHO, the biggest pain in the butt is crawling around the car getting it all hooked up properly. The actual assembly of the harnesses is the fun/easy part for me despite the fact I am no kind of electrician. I will admit to spending $65 on an Ideal crimpmaster, but I think it is well worth it for any wiring work on or off the car. The switch which enables in-car operation of the H3's is an unneccessary complication, and overall, purchasing an aftermarket harness still leaves a lot of grunting, cursing and probably drilling before you are set up. I just wanted to make sure folks know buying the relays pre-wired still leaves a good deal of work to the purchaser.

OK, sorry for the rant, just have to do one of these once in a while :-)

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