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Making Off Road Lights BRITER!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by dawson444, Mar 27, 2001.

  1. dawson444

    dawson444 1/2 ton status

    Jul 5, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Raleigh, NC
    I bought some Hella 500 driving lights the other day. They have 55-watt H3 Halogen bulbs in them, but I want more power! I want to replace them with either some 100 watt bulbs or 130 watt bulbs, I think I will be ok with the 100 watt ones, but what about the 130 watt ones? Only things I'm worried about is will the wiring be good enough? Will I burn the housing? Which bulbs would be the best, I'm leaning towards the first ones. Thanks!

    Raleigh, NC

    88 K5, 4" lift, 33" BFG muds
  2. Cavalry

    Cavalry 1/2 ton status

    Oct 1, 2000
    Likes Received:
    upstate NY(although I cant figure out why)
    I have heard the whitney bulbs are kinda junky(as far as connector size vs amperage) |Check out this site <A target="_blank" HREF=http://lighting.mbz.org>http://lighting.mbz.org</A> He seems to know what he is talking about.

    84 K5
  3. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

    Mar 6, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I doubt you'll burn the housing on a Hella lamp, but you could end up shattering the lens if it's super hot and you hit some water. If you go with 100w bulbs, you're talking about 17 amps of current draw just from the bulbs alone. You'll need to run at LEAST 12ga wire, a 30 amp relay, and a 20-30 amp fuse.

    Incidentally, do you have the lights aimed properly? I had a friend who insisted his KC Daylighters sucked until the night he finally aimed them correctly and found out how bright they really were.

    [​IMG] Semper Maintenance!
  4. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

    Feb 17, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Auto Electrics 101..class in session

    What if I told you that you can make your stock head lights brighter and possibly your aftermarket lights also.
    Yeah you read that right. On the headlights there is a lot of wire between power source and the actual bulb. On a older truck you also have the possiblilty of corrosion in each and every connection along the way as well as the head light switch and the dimmer switch.
    By upgrading the wire thickness and changing where your pulling your power from you can make your lights brighter and even get rid of some of that lights dim when stopped syndrome.
    Start by using the exsiting wiring as a trigger for a set of relays. Draw your main power from the battery with a 12 gage wire. Places like Painless wiring even sell a kit for this and the plug ends for the head lights. Or hit your local junk yard and Find an older German car. Many older german cars used a high quality plug with real copper terminals and nice 12 gage wire. They didn't play around and did it right.
    If you want to do it yourself here is the wire pin out for a standard Bosch type single pole relay.
    Pin 30 is main power from battery. Fused at 20-25 amps.
    Pin 86 is the trigger wire. on headlight you would use the Low beam circuit or High beam that would normaly go to the head light. 85 would be to ground. 87 would be to the light.

    If you were doing this for a fog light the same would work or a varation is to Jump 86 to the 30 terminal and then trigger with ground from a switch on the dash for the lights. the switch would complete the circuit to gound so one wire would lead from 85 to the switch and the other end would be connect to ground. This is nice because you can run a thin 18 gage wire from the switch as a trigger and requires minimal wiring.

    Don't forget that your ground is as important as your power and upgrade it also. Just upgrading the ground from battery to body can often get rid of the dash lights dimming when signals are on of stopped at lights or if you have a high power stereo. The ground stap from the back of the passenger side head to the body is often in bad shape and since it is just a open weave strap it may have lots of corrosion if you live in the rust belt. It amy have also been dammaged when sombody forgot to disconnect it when pulling the engine and ripped it half through or even worse never connected it. If it isn't connected the the body is trying to pull all the ground through that little wire off the ground terminal at the battery that goes to the core support. They your pulling ground through paint where the fenders bolt to the tub.
    Also concider soldering as many connecttions as possible. While crimp connectors are easy to use they are a failure ready to happen. Some use cheap metal that relaxes over time or if drawing high current. Moisture gets in the connection and caused corrosion and a failure. Solder avoids most of those downfalls.
    When your adding lights avoid taping the fuse box for power. your just asking for problems. The fuse box was designed for minimal additions and never inteded to handle any aftermarket products like 10 lights. Run it from the battery and don't forget to fuse it. If you know your going to add several ne circuits for lights and stereo concider adding a AUX fuse box. You can buy these from most Stereo shops and it will have 5-6 fuse slots for your accessories. You still need to put a BIG main fuse or circuit breaker at the battery. You want that fuse to be about 50 amps (more if you plan to run a gazilion lights or huge stereo). It makes adding stuff easy and takes the load off the factory stuff. It also means if something you added fries it doesn't damage your factory wiring and fuse box and the truck will not be effected.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/>http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/</A>

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