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Old 05-11-2014, 11:32 PM   #1
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How does the Putco harness work?

Hi all,

I'm looking at buying the putco headlight wiring harness but I can't find a description anywhere of how it works (i.e. Where the new connections to the headlight run to). Just wondering if it's something I can make myself for less money. Thanks!

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Old 05-12-2014, 12:37 AM   #2
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Those who've purchased the Putco report that the harness uses low quality china-mart relays. If you're interested in building your own but don't want to source the relays, sockets, connectors, etc. Daniel Stern Lighting sells a kit (RIK-2) that comes with Tyco relays, ceramic sockets and connectors. The only thing you need to supply is the wire.

Here's the link to the kit (you email him and he'll arrange the transaction): Products!

Here's is a wiring diagram and some information regarding relays/harnesses: Relays: WHY AND HOW TO UPGRADE YOUR HEADLAMP CIRCUIT

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Old 05-12-2014, 01:09 AM   #3
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Grant, I see you are from Canada, right? If you have DRLs be sure to consider that & make sure any supplier knows it too. I've read that the reduced voltage when in "daytime" mode causes problems & probably needs to be wired differently than non-DRL vehicles. Unless you remove the DRL module which is not legal, I'm guessing.
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:41 AM   #4
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My Putco harness has been going strong for 1.5 years with BusDepot Bosch 55W H4s.

Here's what I found as far as voltage vs stock: H4 Lighting upgrade - Page 3
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:05 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input guys. I'll be sure to read that link UnlimitedRubicon. Why would my DRLs be affected Rubi? My understanding is that DRLs are just your headlamps at a reduced voltage. I don't understand how they would be affected. That being said my electrical knowledge is pretty minimal.
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:16 PM   #6
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The reason DRLs don't work with the common relay harnesses is that the relays don't trip until 12v is applied to them from the headlight switch. DRLs use more like 7v (I've heard numbers from 6-9 depending on the vehicle), so your DRL module won't trip the relays. Since this isn't an issue for us south of the border, I haven't looked into if it's possible to get different relays that do work with DRLs, or if you'd somehow have to still wire directly from the DRL module to the headlights in tandem with the new harness.
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:43 PM   #7
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Most, if not all the harnesses use the connector at one of the headlights to trigger the relay. If that voltage is reduced it may or may not close the relay. Then either the lights won’t come on in the daylight mode or if they do it will be at full power. If the relay closes you have full power to the lights, if the relay stays open you have no lights. You didn’t say if this is to improve your existing headlights or if you are planning to upgrade the lights too. Either way DRLs may complicate this & just be aware before starting.

I’ve read that the relay won’t close but will buzz as it “tries to close” but can’t with the reduced power to the coil. That may not hurt the relay, not sure, but something to consider. If it buzzes that possibly will cause the relay is cycle which possibly will cause the OEM lights to be on dimmer than full power (again not sure how/if that might work) but I’m pretty sure that won’t work on halogen lights.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:41 AM   #8
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For background info, I've put in a set of hella e codes and replaced the bulbs with I think 100w/80w. Can't remember the bulb wattage but I can tell you it's not 55/60. If it's this much of a pain then I won't even bother with it. Seems DRLs screw is over when it comes to getting brighter lights. No HIDs, no new harness etc.

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