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Old 06-06-2011, 09:24 AM   #1
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PIAA 520's Help Needed

OK - this is killin' me. I am not an electrician and most of the jargon I hear about this issue I understand less than Greek.
Got PIAA 520's for the grill guard. Ran all the wiring through the grill and into the engine compartment. I haven't hooked anything up yet and here's why.
After searching this forum (and others) I am seeing various and sundry ways to connect the wiring harness that came with it. Some say all I need is a relay (already on the harness that came with it), some say an inline fuse is a must. Some actually connect the wiring harness to the existing fuse box (sounds good but how?)
Then there is the wiring that goes to the provided PIAA switch for the cab. One wire (seems to be about 50' long) is supposed to be connected to a "power source". Some say connect it to the cig lighter, but which wire is it?

So after that long winded explanation - all I want to do is turn these lights on with the PIAA switch I've already mounted into the cab. I don't really want them coming on when I use the brights so I'm just looking to keep it simple. Do I actually need an in-line fuse? What is the best wire to tap into as the power source without having to rip my dash apart to get to the cig lighter?
I would like to do this myself and it should be easy but I'm struggling with it. It is possible that I am overthinking this and making it harder than it is? I don't want to pay someone to do this as I want to do this myself and learn a little something along the way so I can be more self-sufficient with my rig.
I can make two computers talk across the globe, but this is kicking my butt - I need some help please. I'll try to post some pics if that would help.

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Old 06-06-2011, 09:25 AM   #2
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I know, I know - I have to mount the relay somehow, but I'll figure that out later.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:58 AM   #3
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1) Do I actually need an in-line fuse?
2) What is the best wire to tap into as the power source without having to rip my dash apart to get to the cig lighter?
3) It is possible that I am overthinking this and making it harder than it is?
1) Yes
2) See below
3) Deffinatly

The inline fuse is to prevent burning up the lights or the wiring if there is a short. The fuse pops rather than your battery. There should be a slot for a fuse somewhere on the line that connects to the battery. If not you can buy an inline fuse at any auto parts store or walmart should have them in there auto electronics section. The fuse should be located as near to the battery as reasonably possible.

the reason people use the cigarette lighter wire for the switch is because it only has power when the key is in the on position, incase you forget your lights are on and leave your jeep, so you don't come back to a dead battery. you do not need to do this.

When you run the wire from the switch out to the relay you could also run in a wire to power the switch. after the fuse, you could splice in a small gauge wire and run that into the cab to power the switch.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:13 AM   #4
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There should be a slot for a fuse somewhere on the line that connects to the battery.

the reason people use the cigarette lighter wire for the switch is because it only has power when the key is in the on position..
OK - so I'm a little closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. (man, that was a bad pun sorry)

So I put an inline fuse on a line close to the battery - might I be so bold as to assume it could be on the line that connects to the "+"? (white wire in pic) 20amp fuse? 30 amp fuse perhaps?

Is there no "power source" under the hood along the firewall that I can tap into for the switch? I do want the lights available only when the key is in the "on" position. It looks like a to get to the lighter.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:26 AM   #5
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A 20 or 25 amp fuse should be fine. Im not familiar with the JKs enough to help you tear the dash apart, but there should be plenty of write ups on it. If you look for radio instal, that will show you how to take the dash apart as well.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:44 AM   #6
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Thanks Peepers. Your advice (and patience) is much appreciated. I'll pick up a 25 amp in-line fuse then rip my dash apart looking for an elusive cig lighter wire to clamp onto into as the power source.

And just for the record...I CAN splice the fuse into the white wire that connects to the "+" on the battery correct?
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:06 PM   #7
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Just my 2cents make sure if you tap into cig. Lighter use the driver side .passenger side stays on when key is off
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:50 PM   #8
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Just my 2cents make sure if you tap into cig. Lighter use the driver side .passenger side stays on when key is off
What color is the wire?
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:22 PM   #9
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Cant remember but when you pull the connector off the lighter theres only two wires ones a ground the other has the power if you have a testor its easy to figure out wich one will read 12 volts
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:29 PM   #10
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Thanks Peepers. Your advice (and patience) is much appreciated. I'll pick up a 25 amp in-line fuse then rip my dash apart looking for an elusive cig lighter wire to clamp onto into as the power source.

And just for the record...I CAN splice the fuse into the white wire that connects to the "+" on the battery correct?

Yup. I'm not familar with the "pre-packaged" wiring harness (I've never used them), but I'm a little supprised it doesn't have one somewhere in the line to start.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:36 PM   #11
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was there no fuse at all with your package?
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:54 PM   #12
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was there no fuse at all with your package?
I've looked over pretty good and I don't see an in-line fuse with it. I'll work it out in time. I'm timid when it comes to electrical stuff anyway. It's bites you hard if it's done wrong. It'll throw you across the room or burn down your DD so I'm just being careful. Overly so it seems.

Now I just need to poke the wires through the firewall, rip apart the ole dash and snap it on the lighter wire.

Thanks all for the help.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:56 PM   #13
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Yup. I'm not familar with the "pre-packaged" wiring harness (I've never used them), but I'm a little supprised it doesn't have one somewhere in the line to start.
One would think an in-line fuse would be pretty obvious, even to me. I sure don't see one, just the relay and that is a sealed box.

I'll say a few prayers, hook it all up, throw the switch and try not to flinch.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:14 PM   #14
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What a giant pain in the arse this was - and it still doesn't work.

Tapped into the lighter as a power source. Two wires on the lighter black/white and purple/white. Tapped into the purple/white as I assumed black/white was the ground.

I felt very good about everything until I turned the ignition and started him up. Pressed the switch to turn on my new lights and... nothing. Not a f&*%$g thing.
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:09 PM   #15
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Here is a link to their wiring diagram.http://www.piaa.com/Lamps/install/520.pdf Make sure the relay is grounded to a good ground. (Good metal to metal contact) I live in the Smyrna area. I will be installing some Hella lights next weekend. If you still can't figure it out and feel like driving down here, I am sure we could get it working. Good luck.
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:26 PM   #16
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So I put an inline fuse on a line close to the battery - might I be so bold as to assume it could be on the line that connects to the "+"?
If you're still reading this, put the fuse in the POSITIVE line, close to the battery. If you put it in the negative, and your lights short to frame, it could still start a fire. Look at it as below. The dotted (....) line is cut if the fuse blows. The dashed (----) line is not. Your frame is at negative, anything that shorts to frame BEFORE the fuse will pull full battery current.

*\* = Short


[Neg]...(fuse)-------------------------------------(lights)---\ UNSAFE
[Pos]--------------------*\*-------------------------------/


[Neg].................................................. ..............(lights)...\ SAFE
[Pos]---(fuse)......................*\*................... .................../
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:01 AM   #17
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Here is a link to their wiring diagram.http://www.piaa.com/Lamps/install/520.pdf Make sure the relay is grounded to a good ground. (Good metal to metal contact) I live in the Smyrna area. I will be installing some Hella lights next weekend. If you still can't figure it out and feel like driving down here, I am sure we could get it working. Good luck.
Thanks, maybe the relay isn't grounded well enough. That's the only thing I see that might be the problem. There is a limited amount of space to mount the relay so I may have to rig something up to get better contact.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:03 AM   #18
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If you're still reading this, put the fuse in the POSITIVE line, close to the battery. If you put it in the negative, and your lights short to frame, it could still start a fire. Look at it as below. The dotted (....) line is cut if the fuse blows. The dashed (----) line is not. Your frame is at negative, anything that shorts to frame BEFORE the fuse will pull full battery current.

*\* = Short


[Neg]...(fuse)-------------------------------------(lights)---\ UNSAFE
[Pos]--------------------*\*-------------------------------/


[Neg].................................................. ..............(lights)...\ SAFE
[Pos]---(fuse)......................*\*................... .................../

Thanks for the info. I do have a 25 amp in-line fuse on the positive cable so I'm all set there. Man I just hate electrical work - won't be doing this again.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:21 AM   #19
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can you here the relay clicking at all?

it should click when the lights are turned on,,have someone stand near it while you flick the lights off and on and see if they hear a clciking noise,,maybe relay is bad..dont get to discouraged,this same thing hapened to me and i was under my hood for 4 days straight trying to get it. once i got it,the next set i did was a breeze.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:26 PM   #20
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can you here the relay clicking at all?

it should click when the lights are turned on,,have someone stand near it while you flick the lights off and on and see if they hear a clciking noise,,maybe relay is bad..dont get to discouraged,this same thing hapened to me and i was under my hood for 4 days straight trying to get it. once i got it,the next set i did was a breeze.
I don't hear any clicking anywhere. Engine's on, hit the button on the supllied PIAA switch and......nothing.

Checked the relay, it is well grounded. Pulled the dash again and checked the connection to the lighter (connected to the purple/white wire). Thought maybe the pre-supplied connector failed, but nope. Pulled it apart and have good clean connection there. (the metal tabs punched thru both wires as it was designed to do)

Maybe it's time to (gasp) pay someone. Clint Eastwood once said that a man has to know his limitations. I didn't know Clint was aware of my electrical abilities.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:46 PM   #21
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Ugh, I'm thinking of adding some dash mounted lighting, but this post is making me feel nervous. Good luck on this.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:51 PM   #22
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Ugh, I'm thinking of adding some dash mounted lighting, but this post is making me feel nervous. Good luck on this.
I suspect that this has more to do with my lack of ability as opposed to the 4,345 other threads that describe what a piece of cake this normally is.
I attempted this as a learning experience and I did, indeed, learn something. That no one should EVER contact me for electrical advice.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:30 PM   #23
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OK - the lights are working now. I did the ole dual hand crank down with the pliers on the connector splicing into the lighter wire. It's official, I may very well be an idiot.

Thanks to everyone for their help and support. This was kind of an aggravating project, but now that it is done and working, I see where I made my mistakes. If there is a next time (CB perhaps) this will go considerably easier.

MTH - go for it. It was EASY!!!
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:30 PM   #24
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awesome,,glad you got it man..

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