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Old 05-10-2011, 05:29 PM   #1
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wiring aux lights for dummies

I got a set of cherokee fogs that i want to mount on my tj. It does not have the factory wiring so i will have to run all new. I know VERY little about wiring so most of the searches i have done are confusing..... anyone have any basic tips/instructions for me?

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Old 05-10-2011, 06:45 PM   #2
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Basic Car Audio Electronics

This is not a bad primer for starters on HOW electricity works.......

Specific questions about YOUR application should fall out after reading all of this....

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Old 05-10-2011, 07:03 PM   #3
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i want to get buy with no relay any1 have a recomendation for a switch capabable of carrying the load?
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:24 PM   #4
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Use relays. Jeeps burn easily. If you need a diagram I can send you one.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:51 PM   #5
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lol pm me one if you dont mind. any suggestions on wire/fuse/relay/switch ect type and size?
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:17 PM   #6
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Have to agree a relay is a must. Along with a fuse. And the proper wire gauge for the amp load.

Gauge/12V 22 /5A, 20 /8A, 18 /10A, 16 /20A, 14 /40A, 12 /60A, 10 /100A,
8 /150A

Also increase the wire size when making long runs to compensate for voltage drop.

Here's a simple wiring diagram.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:28 PM   #7
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thanks guys not sure i understand why the switch need to be tied into the fuse box though? also wont be using an indicator light.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:37 PM   #8
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Just make sure you fuse the switch and the relay power. That way you don't take any chances burning up the wiring if it shorts out. Also, I suggest you wire it up into a switched ignition source, that way you won't have to worry about leaving the lights on if the Jeep is off. Although that's up to you.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
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lol pm me one if you dont mind. any suggestions on wire/fuse/relay/switch ect type and size?
Shelby427 has what you need.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:56 PM   #10
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ok so im thinking running the power for the lights from the battery to a fuse to a relay then out the other side of the relay to to each light parallel not in series then power the relay by tapping into the power running to the cigarette lighter by running a line with a fuse to a switch then to the power on the relay. Not sure i understand the necessity for a relay though with the inline fuse at the battery would the load not be the same?
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:57 PM   #11
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You want a relay because most switches aren't rated high enough for the fog lights power draw. Even if they are, running the wiring that long will create more resistance and decrease the output of the fogs.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:16 PM   #12
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so i could in theory use a heavy switch (like a light switch) and heavier wire to make up for a voltage drop but would be better running a relay? i think im all set to run a realy just trying to make sure i fully understand
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:59 PM   #13
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I disagree with the RELAY aspect of this conversation. You can obtain a toggle switch at any Farm store that will handle the current (AMPS) that fog lights will draw. Adding a relay complicates the circuit needlessly and allows ONE more thing that COULD go wrong.

The reason manufacturers use relays these days (They did not use to use them much at all) is because they are controlling most everything via the computer or similar output device and need teh interposing relay to handle the current (amps).
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Had 75CJ5, 89YJ, 93YJ. Have 82CJ7 & 95YJ____Not one burnt yet due to lack of relays.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jebby View Post
I would be better running a relay?
Yes, you are far safer to use a relay than not. Look at how the factory wires your headlights; follow their example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bc3_Jeep View Post
I disagree with the RELAY aspect of this conversation. You can obtain a toggle switch at any Farm store that will handle the current (AMPS) that fog lights will draw. Adding a relay complicates the circuit needlessly and allows ONE more thing that COULD go wrong.
Going out of your way to avoid using a relay is inviting disaster. The primary reason you want to use a relay is to keep the high-powered wiring (translation: the wiring which is most likely to catch on fire) out of the vehicle's interior. When using a relay, your toggle switch only has to transmit a tiny amount of voltage to the relay--it takes next to nothing to activate the relay. (You can go even further and connect your toggle to the low-powered ground rather than the low-powered voltage input; in this way, you aren't dealing with any hot wires inside the cabin.) Meanwhile, the heavy voltage circuit is entirely located underhood.

A friend of mine has an old saying which I have adopted; he coined it in reference to power tools but it applies here as well: "Air is our friend; electricity is to be feared and respected."

Jebby: study that diagram posted by Shelby427. It is a wise, safe way to install your lights... just like the factory did with your headlights.
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:48 AM   #15
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Also, if you used no relays the wiring you'd have to move into the cab would be larger in size. If every wire was larger because of the use of no relays, then there'd be a lot more wiring and weight. Relays hardly go bad if used for the correct thing, ie. don't pull more amps then they are rated for. Also, if they aren't watertight relays/connectors, then if they are exposed to water, that could destroy them as well.

In reality, you could run larger wiring to make up for the length, but that costs more money for the wire and it's harder to run larger wiring.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:31 AM   #16
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:39 AM   #17
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I have been in the Automobile/Truck/Bus business for over 40 years. In the past a lot of body upfitters did not use relays because they were either cheap or did not understand how much draw their addons did to the factory electrical systems. You cannot count how many electrical fires I have seen. If you do not want to use relays then don't it's your jeep.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:22 AM   #18
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Well while we're on the subject of safe wiring for lamps, I got a question.

To those that installed the hinge mounted driving lamps, how did you route your wiring from the lamps into the engine compartment?

Drill holes/ grommets (another must if you run wires through metal)

Getting ready to do ours and I want a nice neat job not a butcher job. Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherpa View Post
Yes, you are far safer to use a relay than not. Look at how the factory wires your headlights; follow their example.



Going out of your way to avoid using a relay is inviting disaster. The primary reason you want to use a relay is to keep the high-powered wiring (translation: the wiring which is most likely to catch on fire) out of the vehicle's interior. When using a relay, your toggle switch only has to transmit a tiny amount of voltage to the relay--it takes next to nothing to activate the relay. (You can go even further and connect your toggle to the low-powered ground rather than the low-powered voltage input; in this way, you aren't dealing with any hot wires inside the cabin.) Meanwhile, the heavy voltage circuit is entirely located underhood.

A friend of mine has an old saying which I have adopted; he coined it in reference to power tools but it applies here as well: "Air is our friend; electricity is to be feared and respected."

Jebby: study that diagram posted by Shelby427. It is a wise, safe way to install your lights... just like the factory did with your headlights.

First......ANY TIME you add components to a circuit it makes it inherently more complicated. Relays are merely energy control devices that are NEEDED only in the event that your switching device is incapable of handling the energy.

Second......ALL THREE of the wires coming from your fuse block to the switch to the indicator light and then out to the relay are "HOT" wires and could start a fire in exactly the same way ANY other "hot" wire could. In this respect, you are TRIPLING the potential for "hot wire" fires.

Third.....there is no such thing as a "light voltage" circuit. All of the voltage in an present day automotive circuit (except for ignition) is 12 Volts DC. To comment in any other manner is to confuse the issue even further. Current (AMPS) is the subtantiative measure for wire sizing. Unless the mentioned fog lamps are of some sort of ABNORMAL current range, relay is not NEEDED.

Fourth....reiteration on the "computer" or similar evolution of control is what has driven the industry to relays and NOT..... I repeat NOT.... cabin wire sizing.
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Had 75CJ5, 89YJ, 93YJ. Have 82CJ7 & 95YJ____Not one burnt yet due to lack of relays.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:04 PM   #20
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thanks guys. im going to be using a relay.... looks like i ended up with 2 fogs and 2 spotlights the fogs are off a zj (not sure what wattage) and the spots are 55W each. I want to wire the 4 to a single switch any suggestions on how heavy the wiring should be as well as how big a fuse i need for the main circut and the relay circut and how bit a relay i need? thanks. Also curious about how to get the wiring into the engine compartment from the windshield mounts because i think im going to slap the spotlights there and the fogs on the bumper.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:02 PM   #21
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Ohms law: Watts = volts x amps.
So since you have a 12 volt system, and 55 watt lamps, you divide 55 by 12 to give you 4.583333333 amps. PER LAMP. For example if your fogs are the same you will have 4 x 4.5833 amps. Or approx 18.332 amps. So for safety sake figure at least 20 amps.

You will need 16 gauge wire minimum to handle 20 amps.

You may get other opinions, but I would wire it with 2 switches and 2 relays. One set for fogs, the other for driving lamps, unless you want them all to come on at the same time.

A standard Bosch relay will handle 40 amps. Can be picked up at most auto parts stores. Photo below.

Wiring for is (terminals are marked on them)
#30 is main power in from fused battery
#85 is relay ground
#86 is power from your switch
#87 is main power out to lamps

As for fuses, 20 amps for the main feed, most likely a 5 amp will work for the switch feed to the relay.

Rubber or plastic grommets MUST be used anywhere wires go through a metal hole. Again most parts stores carry em.


And I'm with you on how to run the hinge lamps, still waiting on replies/photos of others ways of doing it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:12 PM   #22
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Hey... I know...... why not triggger the relay with an even SMALLER relay..... then add a smaller relay yet to trigger THAT relay....... then.......I think you get the idea.....

Make sure you use fuses that are small enough to protect the WIRING you are using. Fuses are not meant to protect END devices.......they are meant to protect WIRES in the EVENT of an end device malfunction OR a WIRING malfunction. If the circuit wiring is too small...... the RIGHT fuse for the load is USELESS and DANEROUS.....if you are actually desgning a circuit (which you are) all things need to be considered.

I would severley suggest that those of you who insist on giving electrical advice to electricaL novices consult some sort of RELIABLE reference prior to giving advice to others. Yeah... quoting Ohm's Law is VERY impressive UNLESS you were just previously butchering it in a post.
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Had 75CJ5, 89YJ, 93YJ. Have 82CJ7 & 95YJ____Not one burnt yet due to lack of relays.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:33 PM   #23
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lol think im getting my ducks in a row. any1 know what the factory fogs off a zj draw?
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:50 PM   #24
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picked up a ton of 14 gauge wiring (way on sale) the 2 spot lights 2 switches 2 relays 2 20amp inline fuses and some connectors. now i just need to find the time/energy
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:26 PM   #25
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the switch that came in the kit has 3 prongs the one i bought has 2 any idea why?
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:45 PM   #26
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you can ground the switch and it lights up
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:01 PM   #27
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and if i dont it will function but not light up? the other doesent have a light so id prefer neither to light up
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:08 PM   #28
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picked up a ton of 14 gauge wiring (way on sale) the 2 spot lights 2 switches 2 relays 2 20amp inline fuses and some connectors. now i just need to find the time/energy

14 gauge wire??

Correct me if I'm wrong but in 99% sure, 0 is the biggest wire and the larger the numbers gets the smaller the wire gets..

I used 10 gauge wire to run wire for my speakers and 4 gauged wire to run ignition wires for my old '60 Johnson outboard. I personally would NOT use that wire to power my lights!

But that's just me
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:27 PM   #29
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2 lights on a circut 55W each so should be drawing less than 4.6 amps each givin safety factor say 10 amps which should mean i can run 25 feet or so with no issue?
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:53 PM   #30
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bc,
I apologize if I erred in some way, please let me know so I may learn also.

For the reference material I used not only the info from the offroad site.
Wire Gauge Amps Ratings for 12 volt Automotive Systems

I also checked the service manual for what Jeep themselves use, and confirmed such on our Jeep.

And looked at my KC Daylighter's. They came with 16 gauge wire, and are 130 watt versions.
KC Hilites Daylighter 130 Watts Halogen Long Range Off-Road Lights - KCH630SERIES

Jebby I guess I should apologize to you also for recommending a larger gauge wire then Jeep themselves uses on the 55 watt factory lamps. They use 18 gauge and a 20 amp fuse.

Unless I'm explaining it wrong, the larger wire being able to handle more amps and watts, even though your load is not at that rate, would allow for less voltage drop over a distance due to less resistance.

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