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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Edit I changed the name of the thread due to my latest research. See post #4 below.

I'd like to figure out what exactly I want to do with my front inboard (i.e., adjacent to the grille) lights. But first let me tell you about my day:

Today was so much fun, because I went to a pick & pull yard for the first time ever. I've been to "conventional" junkyards, but this is so much cooler. I mean they give you a wristband; it's like going to a nightclub, and nobody keeps watching over your shoulder.



I picked up some chrome door knobs (because I love bling - don't judge)...



...and these three-prong plugs/harnesses, which brings me to the topic of this thread:




The Factory Setup

As you all know, the inboard parking lights in the front are just that: parking lights. That was just a waste in my opinion, since there are already parking lights at the corners.

The Current Status

Currently I have white 3157 Zevo LEDs in this spot. I modified the plug by moving the parking pin into the major slot, i.e., the LEDs run on the bright LEDs when the parking lights are on.
My rationale for this was that I would use the parking lights as DRLs. While that works great during the day, the problem is that the LEDs are too bright at night. I absolutely hate cars with lights that glare, are ill-aimed, etc., so I don't want to be guilty of doing that myself.



Changing the plug back to running on the minor pin would not really help, because then the LEDs would be quite dim for DRL duty. (Zevos have great contrast between the Major and the Minor LED).

What I Want and Don't Want

  • With the three-prong harnesses/plugs I picked up at the junkyard, evidently I want these lights to have dim and bright functionality going forward
  • I do want some sort of DRL function (but it does not have to be automatic)
  • I like using LEDs in general, but I don't really want to add any resistors
  • For the High/Low beam headlights, I want to keep incandescent bulbs; I don't really trust LED replacements, especially considering that their cooling fans would be exposed to the elements inside the engine compartment

Option 1

  • Make front inboard lights amber incandescent parking and turn signal lights
Advantage: Since I would then have two incandescent bulbs in the front per side, I could use an LED brake/turn bulb in the back without having fast flash (cruise control wouldn't be affected since I still have an incandescent CHMSL).
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Disadvantage: No real DRL function other than driving with parking lights or just driving with headlights on during the day.

Variation to Option 1

  • Make front inboard lights amber LED parking and turn signal lights (while corners remain incandescent)
  • This would effectively give me front sequential turn signals because the LEDs light up faster

Option 2

  • Keep the white LEDs, but install a DRL module
  • DRLs would use the bright LED elements; parking lights would use the dim elements
Advantage: Real DRLs during the day; white parking lights without glare during the night
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Disadvantage: This seems complicated. I'm not even sure where to source such a DRL module, and then where to get ignition power from in the engine compartment.

Option 3

  • Same as above, but without the DRL module
  • I would run a wire through the firewall and place a switch on the dash
  • This would control the bright LED elements in the inboard lights for DRL duty
Advantage: Very easy to do; real DRLs during the day; white parking lights without glare during the night
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Disadvantage: I'd probably constantly forget to turn off my DRLs.

Your Thoughts?

The best in my opinion would be some combination between option 2 and 3, i.e., something that doesn't require an additional module under the hood, but that has some level of automation (auto on with ignition; auto off with headlights on). How can I accomplish this? (Does anyone have a wiring diagram of the headlight switch by the way?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I may have found a solution!

I am reading Ford headlight switch diagrams, and apparently there is a circuit 484 (O/BK) which is hot when the ignition is on but off when the switch is turned to Parking or Headlights On.

This circuit is used to illuminate the radio LCD during the daytime.

Could I use this circuit to power my DRLs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Depending on what LED's you are powering, it would probably be a good idea to put a relay in so too much current isn't drawn through the 484 circuit.
Well, the whole point of this idea is not having to add a relay. But I see your concern. I was hoping some electrical experts would chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Safest bet is to add a relay. But...
-What is the fuse size on that ckt?
  • What all is powered by that ckt?
  • What is the current draw of the LED lights your installing?
I don't have a service manual or wiring diagrams. Googling only gets me so far.
I was hoping someone here could answer those questions.

The power draw of 3157 Sylvsnia Zevo LEDs on the bright element per the packaging is 1.7W per bulb. There will be two bulbs total.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What year is your wiring diagram/EVTM for? The radio display isn’t a backlit LCD but a VFD display, it uses the illumination circuit(LG) as a signal to dim the brightness of the display internally when the lights come on. I don’t believe this 484 O/BK exists, but if your using a Ford EVTM tell me the numerical section to look in and I’ll check again.
I don't have the manual. What I found googling were diagrams for F-150 of the same year. I was hoping that the circuit would also exist on MN12 - it was worth a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@XR7-4.6 ,

Where would be a good place to get ignition power in the interior? I think what I'll do are DRLs with a manual switch. I just want them to draw from a circuit that is off when the ignition is off; that way I cannot forget to turn them off.

Whenever, I use the headlights, I'll just have to remember to turn them off. I think I can live with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
there are numerous and way easier to access hot-in-run wires you can tap into to power the lights
For example?

I just figured interior would be good so the relay isn't exposed to the elements.

Speaking of which, could you show me a good example of a relay (link)?
Autozone today was less than helpful. I told the lady I was looking for a relay for such and such purpose. She asked the usual year, make and model. And I said no, it's not like that... We didn't get anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@XR7-4.6 , ok, I'm liking this idea more and more...

One thing I don't understand: why would a 4-pin relay not work, yet I'm leaving 87 open (so I'm only using 4 out of 5 pins)?

Also, would there be any harm in using the low-beam lead as a trigger instead of the parking lead?

And finally, you mentioned adding a fuse earlier. Where would I do that? Consider that we're talking about two LEDs with a total output of 3.4 Watts; isn't that minuscule?

(Sorry, I'm a total newbie at this.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
@XR7-4.6 , thank you so much for all your help. Before you chimed in, I was actually ready to just settle for making these lights supplemental turn signals - better than nothing.

But now I'm definitely liking the idea of using a relay. The only thing that I haven't figured out yet is where to pull the ignition power from. I really don't want to touch any powertrain or emissions components. I was thinking of doing a fuse tap; for example, the fuse for the rear defroster should be hot with ignition ON only. Unfortunately the fuse box is extremely tight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
So to put this thread to rest, I ultimately went with Option 1 (dual front incandescent turn signals with LED rear turn signals/brake lights). Clarification: My CHMSL still uses incandescents, so cruise control isn't affected.

This was the simplest modification to do quickly; however, come some more free time, I may still go the relay + DRLs route.

I definitely learned a lot in this thread; so thanks to everyone who chimed in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
@3_97_sports , I'll edit my post to be clearer. What I meant by rear LEDs were the corners only. The center high-mounted stop light still has incandescents, so my cruise behaves normally.

I did test this though simply by disconnecting the center light, and indeed cruise control was disabled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
OMG, I just had a midnight epiphany: I realized I didn't even need an ignition/ON feed.

Here is how I could wire the relay for DRL use:

  • 87a: lead to LED bright element
  • 87: unused
  • 30: parking light lead
  • 86: low-beam lead
  • 85: ground
The resulting behavior would be this:

  • Ignition ON (but headlight switch OFF): no lights
  • Headlight switch PARKING ON: parking lights + LEDs running on the bright and dim elements. I would have the same daytime light output as described under Current Status in my original post.
  • Headlight switch LOW BEAM ON: low beams + parking lights including LEDs running on the dim element only.
This would alleviate my original concern that the LEDs were too bright at night. I'd have to manually turn on/off parking lights for daytime driving, but I'm ok with that.

@GreenT , this would also take into consideration your wish to have control over the DRL function (rather than fully automatic with ignition on).

As @XR7-4.6 pointed out, when using the high beams, the LEDs would run on the bright element. That doesn't seem to be a concern though.

I wish I had thought of this before going with the basic dual turn signal setup...ugh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Yep that’ll work, I figured you wanted the traditional DRL function where only the DRLs are on
Well, what I want is subject to change. But yes, the initial idea was that of traditional DRLs.
On the other hand, DRLs in certain countries actually include taillights; it does make good sense, e.g., when driving into a dark underpath in bright sunlight, so that you don't become invisible for traffic behind you.
I was also not entirely sold on the idea of not having a switch; there may be that odd occasion where I want the lights to be off with the ignition on - who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
@Kenz , I'll stick to the Zevo bulbs. Have used those for years, without any problems. And Zevos do not exist as switchbacks unfortunately; otherwise that would be cool for the corners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Their LED fog lights replacements have a large disclaimer on the box to only use in foglights, not in the headlights.
I know. They do have 9007s. My issue with those is that the fan would be exposes in our cars. In most newer cars, the light assembly is inside a larger assembly, so the fan would be behind the dust cap.

The problem with switchbacks is that during turn signaling, the white (parking light) is momentarily off. And assuming that's your only parking light, now your car is (momentarily) missing a required piece of illumination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I love the ZEVOs in the taillights but I found the ambers for the front very disappointing, they’re almost invisible on a sunny day, it’s kind of surprising they’re DOT approved, I ended up going to silverstar incandescents
Interesting you say that. I have the red Zevos in the back currently and love them. I did try the amber Zevos in the front and didn't hate them; I just figured they weren't worth the money so I kept incandescents. But if I were to go to LEDs in the front, I would get Zevos.

Speaking of which, since I'm going to one front turn signal bulb per side, and Zevos in the back, I installed a flasher EP34 today to prevent fast flash, which works great.
 
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