Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

WTF is it with me electrical/wiring stuff??????

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Zeus33rd, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    7,324
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA
    So I bought two sets of fairly cheap, $30 a set, 55 watt driving lights for my truck. Kinda like these. Two on the back of the truck for back up lights and two on the front for "headlights", basically just so I can move it around the yard at night. Anyways, weekend before last, I installed the front set and just about pulled my hair out in the process. Wired it all up just like the diagram showed. Flipped the switch and the fuse popped. So I checked all the things I could think of trying to figure it out. Went through about 15 fuses. I was getting pissed and frustrated, so I stupidly stuck a jumper wire in the fuse holder and flipped the switch. The lights came on and worked till about 3' of the wiring harness had a meltdown. duh. So after a trip the parts place to get new wire, connectors, fuses etc, I rewired the hole thing, stuck a new fuse in the holder and flipped the switch. w00t! They worked the way they should. Well...wtf? /forums/images/graemlins/screwy.gif Fast forward to tonight and I'm working on wiring the rear set. Same exact problem. Wire it all up the same as the front, both grounds in the same place, good connections etc etc....And another 15 frickin fuses. WTF is goin on here? I got pissed off again, but this time I just gave up on it and left. The fuse that came with the lights was a 15amp. I tried a 30amp fuse and that popped too, just took 1/2 second longer. I've moved the ground around to a few different spots with no luck. One thing I did do different from the stuff that came with the lights, was get different switches. I didn't like the plastic ones that came with the lights, so I got some good 50 amp heavy duty ones. But that shouldn't make a differance. The switch for the front lights works just fine. Another thing thats different on the rear setup is the inline fuse holders. When I pulled the dumb ass jumper wire stunt, the original fuse holder melted, so I had to get another one. The fuse holder on the front lights is a new one from autozone, and the front lights work. The one on the rear lights is the one that came with the lights, and the rear lights won't work. Could it be the fuse holder causing this?

    I have no patience for wiring stuff, if it doesn't work right the first time, I freak out. Now can someone shed some light on this for me so I don't smash something I can't afford to fix? /forums/images/graemlins/screwy.gif
     
  2. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Posts:
    16,217
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Mesa , Arizona USA
    Don't trust their wiring diagrams . The cheapies will include a fuse and switch , some even say wire to your fusebox ( Autozone 6" round ) .

    The right way is to wire a relay in there . Get a light relay , basically it will be Battery to relay to lights , and then a 12 volt switched smaller wire to trigger relay . Not at all unlike a starter system . I know I saw a write up on basic lighting here somewhere , will look for it /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  3. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    7,324
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA
    Hmm, I would have to see what you just described before I'd totally understand it. Or see a diagram or something. An aritcle like you mentioned would be great...."Basic Wiring For Dummies". /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif
     
  4. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2001
    Posts:
    8,972
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    I would say the problem my be in the wire or the fuse holder. Make sure you are using a heavy enough wire to carry the power needed and I would change out the fuse holder.

    I am running 4 55w tractor lights off a 50 amp switch and a 25 or 30 amp fuse. Works fine. I have 2 runs on the setup and it has worked fine for hours on end.

    I would make sure you are using a good fuse holder and that the wire is good quality and rated to carry the amount of power you will be drawing.

    Harley
     
  5. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    7,324
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA
    Wire is 12 gauge. Pretty fat stuff. The lights came with something like 16-18 gauge. Wasn't long enought so I replaced it all with 12 gauge. I'll definatley swap out the fuse holder tommorrow. Easy enough to do that. If whatever I do tommorrow doesn't work, I know I'll smash something. /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif Guess I'll just move all the expensive stuff out of the way before I start. /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif
     
  6. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Posts:
    12,838
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    B.C. CANADA
    I dont mean to ask a stupid question, but I know NOTHING about electrical/wiring stuff, thats something my dad never taught me...
    Where is the fuse box thing in a k5? And why do you need to use them? /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif
     
  7. or2play

    or2play 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Posts:
    657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Yuma, Arizona
    I agree with Paul. When ever wiring high current access. like offroad lights you should always use a relay. This way the large amp draw of the lights isn't going through the switch. You also should use 10 or 12 gaauge wire like you said you already did. The larger wire gives less resistance to the current. I'm having I similar problem with my arb compressor. Just haven't had time to trouble shoot it in depth.
     
  8. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Posts:
    16,217
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Mesa , Arizona USA
    Hope this is easier to understand than my last reply . You can do this , its easy .

    Relay I have used is 3.99 at parts store . There is a diagram on back .

    One wire runs from battery to 12 volt in on relay , one wire runs from 12 volt out on relay to the lights , one wire runs from relay ground to ground .

    Now to trigger the lights take the switch you have now , run ground to ground , 12 volt from ignition on fusebox to the the switch , now take the wire that WOULD OF gone to your lights and run that to the relay .

    After all that when you hit the light switch , instead of turning on lights , you turn on relay ...........which turns on the lights for you .

    Safer as all those amps bypass the switch . /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  9. jester

    jester Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Posts:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Prineville, OR
    As for blowing fuses, you probably have a hot wire that is grounded some where or some way. To check it disconnect both ends of the hot wire, hook 1 lead of an ohm meter to the point you are using as a ground for that circuit, hooke the other lead to the hot wire, any reading other than infinity proves a ground. Here is a simple diagram for wiring in a relay.

    [​IMG]

    Here are some links to pages on wiring in off-road lights. Hope this helps you.

    http://www.offroaders.com/info/tech-corner/lightforce/

    http://www.kchilites.com/instructions/6315_RelayHarness.pdf
     
  10. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    7,324
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA
    Wow... /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif

    Sooo much infoormation. Always good to learn new stuff. Thanks d00ds!
     
  11. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    7,324
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA
    [ QUOTE ]
    Hope this is easier to understand than my last reply . You can do this , its easy .

    Relay I have used is 3.99 at parts store . There is a diagram on back .

    One wire runs from battery to 12 volt in on relay , one wire runs from 12 volt out on relay to the lights , one wire runs from relay ground to ground .

    Now to trigger the lights take the switch you have now , run ground to ground , 12 volt from ignition on fusebox to the the switch , now take the wire that WOULD OF gone to your lights and run that to the relay .

    After all that when you hit the light switch , instead of turning on lights , you turn on relay ...........which turns on the lights for you .

    Safer as all those amps bypass the switch . /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Ok, that makes it muuuch easier to understand. Now how would I wire it if I didn't want to run it to a keyed ignition power source? I want to be able to turn the lights on without the key on or even in the ignition. Would I wire it like the diagram that Jester posted?
     
  12. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2001
    Posts:
    22,060
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA.
    Joe, I replied to your NCOR post as well but I should do it here also for anyone else to see. To figure out how many amps your lights will draw you need to divide the watts by voltage. 55 watt light divided by 12 volts = 4.58 amps per light.
     
  13. Derf00

    Derf00 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Posts:
    1,683
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Abilene, TX
    Jester,

    Take a look at the wiring diagram your referenced from KC. In the one that is hand drawn, you have power from the battery to the ground on the relay and the lights. Your fuse needs to be between the battery and the relay which is correctly shown, but the power goes to term 30, 85 is a ground, 86 is the switch leg, and 87 goes to the lights. All of these little relays are very simple and work great at keeping the large power wiring close to the battery which allows you to run a smaller switch leg to the cab to operate the relay.
     
  14. 82diesel

    82diesel 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Posts:
    316
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stockton, CA
    [ QUOTE ]
    I dont mean to ask a stupid question, but I know NOTHING about electrical/wiring stuff, thats something my dad never taught me...
    Where is the fuse box thing in a k5? And why do you need to use them? /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Find your dimmer switch on the floor board. Lay on your back next to it and look up. There it is.

    Fuses are designed to blow so that a large amount of energy does not destroy your electrical system. Similar to the breakers in your house and surge protectors.

    Too much electricity going to the devise because of a short or something else will destroy that item. But a fuse in the path will take the hit. Fuses are cheaper then everything else on your truck.

    FYI electricity must have a complete route for it to work. If a link is broken it does not work.
     
  15. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Posts:
    12,838
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    B.C. CANADA
    wow thanks, that helped me alot... I'll look for it tomorrow when I am out there /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  16. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2001
    Posts:
    8,905
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    central IL
    does this post really exist ?

    no way, /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  17. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Posts:
    16,217
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Mesa , Arizona USA
    [ QUOTE ]
    Ok, that makes it muuuch easier to understand. Now how would I wire it if I didn't want to run it to a keyed ignition power source? I want to be able to turn the lights on without the key on or even in the ignition. Would I wire it like the diagram that Jester posted?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Simply substitute Baterry for ignition , then they would turn on anytime switch flipped . /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     

Share This Page