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evan9eleven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Norway
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Canada/Europe "on with the key" lights, or idiot buzzer...

So, I'm not very keen on being nanny-ed by my car. Thats why I drive an old Porsche. I But living in Norway, the law says lights on all the way around regardless of time of day. I'm not here to debate this, please spare me the diatribe.

More to the point, I'm forgetful, and my car is USA spec. Which means that sometimes I forget to turn on the lights. And like today, sometimes I forget to turn them off and the battery dies. I could add a nanny buzzer, but a rewire is really a better choice.

I have the headlight relay upgrade, and I have also installed the instrument lights fuse. I have to think that there must be a fairly easy wiring job to get the right combo of lights to illuminate with each step of the ignition. I can figure this out myself, but someone has already done it, I'm sure. Any tips?
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1981 911SC "Minerva"
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The slope is not slippery; in fact it is entirely frictionless.
Old 08-24-2017, 12:52 PM
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ROW '78 911 Targa
 
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First step would be to put the headlight relays coil power on a switched power circuit (fuse only powered when ignition on)
Second would be to add relays for running lamps wired the same as above.
Leave light switch on at all times.
Turn car on, lights go on. Turn it off, lights are off.

Add another relay for the dash light circuits so you don't kill the battery with the switch on.
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Euro 1978 SC Targa, SSI's, Dansk 2/1, Bitz kit EFI.
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Last edited by timmy2; 08-24-2017 at 02:21 PM..
Old 08-24-2017, 02:15 PM
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Formerly known as Syzygy
 
Canada Kev's Avatar
 
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Quick and easy way to accomplish this with no real wiring? Two down sides. One is that you'll have to leave your headlight switch on all the time. Second is that you won't be able to turn on your running or tail lights separately from your headlights. And you have to remove the knob and the nut to pull your headlight switch out from under the dash to change some orientation of the wires on the backside of the switch (two minute job).

Not a big deal? Then follow along...

You will need to move the two running light wire connectors on the back of the headlight switch to the same terminal as the headlights. Thats it.

The headlights can be left on all the time and will turn off automatically when you turn the car off. The problem is that the running lights will also remain illuminated doing this. If you take the two running light terminals (58L and 58R) and attach them to the headlight terminal (56), all the lights will illuminate whenever the car is turned on (or key is in the ON position) and the headlight switch is pulled out to the second detent.

** Two other things I just noticed after looking at the pinout list is that you will also need to move the terminal for your license plate light (terminal N) to the headlight terminal as well or it will stay on all the time.

In addition, there is a green light in the speedo that will illuminate whenever the running lights are on but the headlights are not. This is on terminal 57. This can be unplugged and left without connecting if you wish, as it won't do anything. Or you could ignore it if you leave your switch ON all the time. I'd just tape it up so it doesn't ground to anything, label it and tuck it in with the other wiring coming off the switch. Actually, this won't be affected with the other lights mod because it's only on with the headlights off, so pretend I didn't even bring it up.

By doing this and leaving your headlight switch in the ON position all the time, your lights will be on whenever you turn the car on, but will turn off when the ignition switch is turned off.

I have my fog lights set up something like this. I like to be able to use them to be more visible on the highway without my high-current headlights on, but can sometimes forget to shut them off when I park. I just set them up to turn on like the headlights. The switch must remain ON for the fogs, but who cares? They'll turn off when I turn off the ignition.



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Kevin

1987 ROW coupe, Marine blue, with a couple extra goodies.

The cars we love the best are the ones with human traits, warts and all.

Last edited by Canada Kev; 08-25-2017 at 04:13 AM..
Old 08-24-2017, 04:38 PM
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Nice neat mod and write-up Kev. I achieved the same by moving the headlight,parking, l/p and int lights wiring to switched power at the fuse panel but unfortunately did not keep notes to share. Like you, Like you, I leave the switch on all the time
Johan
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:11 AM
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Thanks guys! I'll give it a go. Kev: no switchable running lights. I guess this isn't a big deal? Did you consider a workaround for this on your setup?
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1981 911SC "Minerva"
2004 Boxster S, Seal Grey
The slope is not slippery; in fact it is entirely frictionless.
Old 08-26-2017, 01:03 AM
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Formerly known as Syzygy
 
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Not sure what you mean by no switchable running lights. Yours is a US car, right? The first detent on the headlight switch is for the running lights.

What I understand is that you want to have ALL your lights on when the car starts up, but then have them off without needing to remember to turn them off.

The headlight switch is kind of the gate keeper for the power to all the lighting in the car. The headlights by design will only illuminate when the car is running and no other time. As well, all the other lights can be illuminated at other times by turning your switch to the first detent and not all the way to turn on the headlights.

If you left the switch on for the headlights, this would work for the headlights only but the other lights like your tail lights, front running lights, license plate lights and interior gauges would remain illuminated when you turned the car off. The trick here is to move the wires (those on 58L, 58R and N) for all the other lights that are operated through the headlight switch to the terminal that is only powered with the headlights (terminal 56). That way, all those other lights would be controlled the same way as the headlights and would switch on and off with them, and conversely, on and off with the ignition switch.

But ONLY if your headlight switch was left in the ON position all the time.


Not to muddy the waters too much further, but you could also put those wires on to terminal 75 which, if you reference my headlight switch matrix diagram above, is energized whenever the ignition switch is in the on position and not powered when the car is off. This should work for ALL the lights including the headlights. In this scenario, you shouldn't have to turn on your headlight switch at all; the lights would just come on whenever you turned the ignition to the ON position.

This would cause all your lights to illuminate whenever the ignition switch is in the ON position. The other method using terminal 56 would still give you light whenever the ignition switch was on, but only if your headlight switch was left on all the time. This would give you the option to turn all those lights off if you chose to so so. In short, the Terminal 56 method gives you some flexibility in that you could turn the lights off if you wanted by closing the headlight switch. The Terminal 75 method does not - the lights are on regardless of switch position, no matter what.


Whatever you do, I would highly recommend that you print labels to attach to each individual wire you move on the back of that headlight switch before your move anything. It could save you some major headaches later on.


I didn't really have to find a work around for my situation at all. On my car, I just wanted to operate the fog lights in any position of the headlight switch but have them go out when I turned the car off. I moved the fog light wire (thick grey wire on terminal 56) to terminal 75 which is powered at those times: ignition on and switch in any position. Essentially I have daytime running fog lights, but can still turn them off if I choose by closing the fog switch which is downstream of the headlight switch. Make sense?

And to be clear, the only part of this I have done myself is to move the fog light wire so that they work when I want them to. However, when I purchased my car some portion of the headlight switch had failed and a prior owner moved the wires about to get the non-working lights to kind of work. I spent quite a bit of time to figure out what had happened and what they did, so I feel pretty comfortable in the headlight switch world. That was the process where I came up with the headlight switch matrix diagram: to figure out which of my wires were supposed to go where and what terminal on the switch was energized at any given time. I feel pretty confident that everything I said will work the way I expect.

Good luck. And remember to label your wires!
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1987 ROW coupe, Marine blue, with a couple extra goodies.

The cars we love the best are the ones with human traits, warts and all.

Last edited by Canada Kev; 08-26-2017 at 07:48 AM..
Old 08-26-2017, 07:42 AM
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Formerly known as Syzygy
 
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When you said no switchable running lights, did you mean that your running lights don't turn on at the first notch on the headlight switch but they will with the headlights? If that's the case, perhaps someone has already been mucking about with the wiring on the back of your switch. That sounds rather like mine was when I first got it.

If that's the case, it shouldn't be a problem. Pretty much everything still applies the same. Keep in mind that your license plate lights (and the ashtray light) have their own terminal on the headlight switch (terminal N) and will need to be moved as well. I have a concern about the gauge lights. I think they have their own wire at the switch, maybe on 58, 58L or 58R, but I don't know for sure. They are dimmable through the headlight switch so you'll have to determine that for yourself.

Actually, they are probably on 58A, as on my testing, it showed a lower voltage, and so were probably partially dimmed when I metered everything.

Test to ensure there aren't any lights on that shouldn't be as well before relying on the position of everything.
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Kevin

1987 ROW coupe, Marine blue, with a couple extra goodies.

The cars we love the best are the ones with human traits, warts and all.

Last edited by Canada Kev; 08-26-2017 at 08:08 AM..
Old 08-26-2017, 07:56 AM
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Light switch.


^^^^^
For our M/Y 1986.

Gerry
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:38 AM
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Formerly known as Syzygy
 
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If you have difficulties determining where your other lights (gauges, ash tray, etc) are connected to the switch, perhaps it might be best to just move your exterior lighting to terminal 75 to get them to automatically illuminate and then just use your headlight switch to manually turn on your gauge lights as you need them.

And it's always a good idea to confirm with a meter if a terminal is hot when you're playing with the electrical system and moving wires about.
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1987 ROW coupe, Marine blue, with a couple extra goodies.

The cars we love the best are the ones with human traits, warts and all.
Old 08-26-2017, 09:27 AM
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Hi Kev!

Thanks a million for all the info. I'm very comfortable with wiring so this will be no problem. Having your wiring cheat sheet saved me the joy of figuring it all out on my own. You are a gentleman of epic proportions!

Yes, I have a US car and the headlight switching works just as it should. You mentioned that one downside of moving the wires as suggested is losing the ability to switch on the running lights (parking lights as I know them) separately from the headlights. Thus my comment about no switchable running lights. Sorry to create confusion, easy to do when I respond to posts at groggy hours. Though while we're on the subject of running lights, this mod will of course mean that these are only on with the ignition. Probably not a big deal, except for those few times where one might like to park with ignition off and only parking lights on.

The terminal 56 version is probably the best as it gives the flexibility to turn off the lights with ignition on as you said. Probably not a lot of times where this is needed but handy to have the choice.

Cheers!
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The slope is not slippery; in fact it is entirely frictionless.
Old 08-28-2017, 12:36 PM
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Gerry-- thanks for the pic of the back of the switch!
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1981 911SC "Minerva"
2004 Boxster S, Seal Grey
The slope is not slippery; in fact it is entirely frictionless.
Old 08-28-2017, 12:37 PM
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Formerly known as Syzygy
 
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You're very welcome.

And I typically refer to the corner lights as parking lights, too, as you might notice on the switch matrix.

If using the Terminal 56 approach, just be sure there's nothing else in the car that's turned on with the headlight switch that you haven't connected to T56. If there is, it'll drain your battery which is typically not very much fun. And everything that is connected to T56 will NOT work unless the ignition is on and the headlight switch is pulled all the way on to the second detent.

Good luck with your project.
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Kevin

1987 ROW coupe, Marine blue, with a couple extra goodies.

The cars we love the best are the ones with human traits, warts and all.

Last edited by Canada Kev; 08-28-2017 at 05:59 PM..
Old 08-28-2017, 05:52 PM
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Formerly known as Syzygy
 
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As you said, it might be nice to turn on the parking lights with no headlights. I wonder if the signal light switch would still illuminate the parking lights on that side with the ignition off like it does now... Probably not as it likely just energizes the lights connected to Terminals 58L or 58R. Easy to check with a meter or test light when you have the headlight switch out.

And being able to turn off your headlights is a nice feature, like if you're in your running car with the lights shining through someone's window at night or something. If that's an important thing, you could always run a relay between terminal 75 and your lights with the parking brake warning light as the trigger to open the relay and shut off your lights. Just a thought...
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Kevin

1987 ROW coupe, Marine blue, with a couple extra goodies.

The cars we love the best are the ones with human traits, warts and all.

Last edited by Canada Kev; 08-28-2017 at 06:07 PM..
Old 08-28-2017, 05:58 PM
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