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Registered User
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Hoboken, NJ USA
Posts: 15
Fog Light Upgrade..Can stock wiring handle?

Installing 100 Watt Hella Driving light (upgrade). There is talk about wires getting hot and fuses that may burst or fires/smoke could evoke from installing such a powerful light. Anyone know about the safest way to install these lights?
Old 04-26-1999, 04:36 PM
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Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Dade County, FL.
Posts: 1,145
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Sorry if I spooked anyone, let me explain the "smoking wires". My first 914, a 74 1.8L, had the "logic/seatbelt interlock" relay replaced with a bus block by the PO. Somehow the block worked its way loose (the part of the floor it was screwed too rusted away) and the wires grounded out under the pass seat while I was going 70+ MPH. The whole car died, ignition, lights, hazzards, the only thing on was the red gen light. I pulled over and immediatly pulled the battery cable (I'm paranoid, it's the first thing I do when the car dies). Just as I pulled it, I looked into the interior to see a plume of smoke coming from under the seat. Found the shorted wire (it now looked like a bungie cord), taped it up, and drove straight home.

Here's the funny part. I noticed while first fixing the car to a drivable condition that there was a 8 ga wire coming, off the battery and going to the ignition switch by way of a little brown plastic terminal block. Then the wire went to the interlock relay, then back to the starter (12 ga from switch to starter) so I thought I'd fuse it. I used a marine fuse block and two 20 fuses in parallel. When I got home I looked at the fuses wondering why they didn't save me. One did in fact blow, the other was twisted and about to.

Moral of the story???? Don't ASSume anything. I thought that by fusing the fat wire with 40 amps I was safe, unfortunatly the fat wire fed a small wire that was burning away until the fat wire started to burn. So if you want 100 amp lamps up front...

8-10 gauge wire from the battery to a fuse then to a relay close to the bulb. Get this stuff at a car radio place, or a off road truck place, they can tell you what fuse you need. Trigger the relays (I would use one for each light) using the foglight switch so the switch only seeing a .5 amp load that is needed to trigger the relay. This pretty much takes the load off the factory wiring.

A thing about wires and lights. The thicker (to a point) the wire the brighter the light will be. A company called Jacobs sells a kit that promises "50% more light from your headlights" some of the kits simply turn the highbeams and low beams on at the same time. Other kits are simply a thicker supply wire and a relay.

This is the way I understand it. Anyone else care to explain?
Old 04-26-1999, 07:23 PM
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