Upgrading headlights to relay style. Easy, and quick!

James Romano

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I've been knocking down some of the power mods in my 65 Sport Fury while she's waiting for other items.

One of which was the headlight to relay upgrade. This is a great, 1 hour install that again is a must do for these old gals. Naturally, not for the strict OEM/Die-hard originality guys. This mod will lower the power draw through the bulkhead connector and get it out of the light switch on the dash and high beam switch on the floor. I recommend it to anyone that is trying to lower the chances of future issues... as well performing the Underhood Bypass and the Bulkhead Connector/Ammeter bypass as well.

I went with this harness from Octane Lighting. I am NOT plugging these guys, I just went with the fact that it's a 4 way harness, and the reviews were very good. The quality is very good and it comes with the ceramic style connectors in case you want to upgrade to Halogen or other hotter bulb types. The wire harness is already assembled, comes to you ready to go with all 14 gauge wiring for the whole circuit... that's really good and you will see the difference in the brightness of the new system.

https://www.amazon.com/LIGHTING-Cer...63Q28MQHJ0B&psc=1&refRID=8EYG7VRPK63Q28MQHJ0B

This is a direct plug and play... disconnect the battery before the install!

1. Mount the relay boxes in a place of your choosing near to the battery. I mounted mine under the battery box to hide the mod.
2. Run the wires that are already wrapped in the plastic wire guard through the radiator support. Split them up left to right. Its a little short for our C-Body width, but not noticeable.
3. Disconnect the left Low Beam connector and plug it right into the black plug on the harness.
4. Connect each of the blue connectors to the Low, then High on the left then right... using the plug with the 3 wires for each of the Low Beam bulbs respectively. 2 wire goes to High Beam.
5. Connect the ground wires to a good known chassis ground... or cut off the connectors and splice them all together for 1 lead back to battery (your choice).
6. Connect the Red fused line direct to battery as this is a nice short run for maximum current to the lights.
7. Tie wrap to existing harness.
8. Test. Completed. Wear sunglasses. LOL

If you want to remove the old harness as I did... remove all the old black tape which will expose the parking/turn signal leads and the low/high beam leads. They are taped together, along with the horn lead as well. Separate all three systems so you don't cut the wrong wires out. Check your schematic for proper colors.

You can cut it all back to the Low Beam side of the left harness. Leave plenty of wire as you will need to add a connector on the end of the WHITE wire to mate it to ground. I cut the wires right after the left side High Beam connector, leaving me 3 wires... white, black and red.

The Black wire does nothing... the red is still hot. Cut them both back and tape them. What you will end up with is just the First connector of the old harness going to the Main control connector of the new harness. That's now the switch to relay circuit for both the Low and High beams in the new harness. So if the white wire is not grounded... the lights won't work. I did this because I won't be going back, and my original harness was a mess.

Tape it all up, tie it down clean. No one will ever know other than what little they can see of the blue wires and connectors.

Good Luck!
 

mr. fix it

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This is a bargain if it sells for the $39.95 shown on the link.
Can't buy the relays, sockets, fuses, wiring for that price.
 

Big_John

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Looking at it, there's one thing I don't like. It's fused. That should be replaced with a circuit breaker like the factory does with critical circuits. That way, if there's a momentary issue, the breaker will reset and all is good. A fuse literally leaves you in the dark.

I'd spend $7 for this circuit breaker: https://www.amazon.com/Bussmann-CB2...eaker&qid=1590844581&s=automotive&sr=1-5&th=1

I'm just going to toss this out there. If one of those relays fail, replace it with a better Tyco relay. Sometimes those relays (identifiable by the clear case) will last forever and sometimes they don't.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P61E36/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

3175375

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Looking at it, there's one thing I don't like. It's fused. That should be replaced with a circuit breaker like the factory does with critical circuits. That way, if there's a momentary issue, the breaker will reset and all is good. A fuse literally leaves you in the dark.

I'd spend $7 for this circuit breaker: https://www.amazon.com/Bussmann-CB227-20-Automotive-Mounting-Connection/dp/B004AHC2CS/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=plug+in+circuit+breaker&qid=1590844581&s=automotive&sr=1-5&th=1

I'm just going to toss this out there. If one of those relays fail, replace it with a better Tyco relay. Sometimes those relays (identifiable by the clear case) will last forever and sometimes they don't.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P61E36/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Concur. I will actually look for a solid state switch, to replace the relays...
 

James Romano

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Looking at it, there's one thing I don't like. It's fused. That should be replaced with a circuit breaker like the factory does with critical circuits. That way, if there's a momentary issue, the breaker will reset and all is good. A fuse literally leaves you in the dark.

I'd spend $7 for this circuit breaker: https://www.amazon.com/Bussmann-CB227-20-Automotive-Mounting-Connection/dp/B004AHC2CS/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=plug+in+circuit+breaker&qid=1590844581&s=automotive&sr=1-5&th=1

I'm just going to toss this out there. If one of those relays fail, replace it with a better Tyco relay. Sometimes those relays (identifiable by the clear case) will last forever and sometimes they don't.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P61E36/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


I really should have taken pics, but I felt it would be too much. But the relays they show, are not the ones you get. You get closed plastic. Not Tyco, but they are definitely replaceable and standard. So if they do go, you can get the ones you posted and replace.

I do like the circuit breaker idea. They are used in aircraft for the exact reason you mention...to reset and test. Once a fuse is blown, you're done until you replace it.

But a C/B indicates a constant problem...if you reset it, it will pop again indicating an issue that needs to be solved. It's really the same thing based on what the problem is
 

James Romano

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Just ran out and took some shots of the setup installed ...
Relays and the install. You can see the Low Beam connector plugged into the main control connector in the harness. Routing is straight forward, but I like the idea it comes already enclosed in plastic tubing

IMG_20200530_103328047.jpg


IMG_20200530_103443401.jpg


IMG_20200530_103418797.jpg


IMG_20200530_103433885.jpg
 

jct

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The only part i didn't like about the octane kit is the plastic housing on the headlight plugs too much on the cheap side. I've already upgraded my headlight bulbs to hella with H4 and H1 bulbs and the light pattern is perfect
 

70bigblockdodge

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A auto reset circuit breaker would be best, like the one in your stock headlight switch. Give you a fighting chance to stay out of the ditch.
 

70bigblockdodge

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Oops... I thought the one I posted was an auto-reset. Sorry...
I did not check till after you mention it. You did not state auto reset in your post, so I assumed. Looking at link I still cannot tell. Those style are usually auto reset, but I'm not sure with the tits on the top.
 

carrman

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Had a custom harness made for the Newport using 10 gauge grounds and high beam feeds with quality relays. Lets me run my 100w high beams with no problem, while conserving the dimmer switch and headlight switch lives.
 
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71Polara383

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I did the wiring upgrade on my 69 Wagon. It really made my old sealed beams much brighter and I am ready for H4s when the time comes.
 

Turboomni

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Thanks for this topic Mr Romano. I had been thinking how to reduce load on my stock electrical system and had thought of using Led headlights and tail lights as they use half the energy or less than Edison bulbs and head lights. I started with led tail lights. Did not go well as they didnt beam their light into the reflector where as an edison radiates 360 degrees. Led headlights actual light is strangely white. Also they are expensive for the glass stock looking ones. Your idea is much cheaper!!
 

3175375

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Thanks for this topic Mr Romano. I had been thinking how to reduce load on my stock electrical system and had thought of using Led headlights and tail lights as they use half the energy or less than Edison bulbs and head lights. I started with led tail lights. Did not go well as they didnt beam their light into the reflector where as an edison radiates 360 degrees. Led headlights actual light is strangely white. Also they are expensive for the glass stock looking ones. Your idea is much cheaper!!
There are now warm white LEDs. I replaced all of the halogen ceiling bulbs in my RV with LEDs and am very happy with them.
 

James Romano

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I swapped out my low beams with standard lights, I was going to use Hellas but I felt it was pricey for what I use the car for. I live in an area that all the roads are well lit, and I don't expect to do much night driving. So the stock sealed beams are good enough... they are 4 times as bright as before. I'm happy. I also bought a couple of replacement relays I'll toss in the console in case something fails.

I'm happy I could help.
 

tbm3fan

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Looking at it, there's one thing I don't like. It's fused. That should be replaced with a circuit breaker like the factory does with critical circuits. That way, if there's a momentary issue, the breaker will reset and all is good. A fuse literally leaves you in the dark.

I'd spend $7 for this circuit breaker: https://www.amazon.com/Bussmann-CB227-20-Automotive-Mounting-Connection/dp/B004AHC2CS/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=plug+in+circuit+breaker&qid=1590844581&s=automotive&sr=1-5&th=1

I'm just going to toss this out there. If one of those relays fail, replace it with a better Tyco relay. Sometimes those relays (identifiable by the clear case) will last forever and sometimes they don't.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P61E36/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Now I have five cars that use relays for the headlights not that I drive at night. I built all my own so I can choose the parts namely Tyco relays. Now three of the cars use a fuse box. The Cougar uses four blade fuses to power low beam, high beam, electric choke, and Pertronix while two don't need an electric choke. Two have a Bussman resetting circuit breaker.

Now I have heard pros and now cons about both. The con about the resetting circuit breaker is what if there is a serious electrical issue and you keep blowing the breaker only to reset without checking into it. Ergo a blade fuse takes out the circuit and would be safer if there was a deeper problem. One could carry extra blade fuses. What are your thoughts with what I have read and not from amateurs? Below Cougar blades and Polara Bussman.

Cougar_relay_002.jpg
Pol_relay_02.jpg
 
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