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November 2010 Randy's Electrical Corner

Posted in How To: Electrical on November 1, 2010
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I have to say I am happy to be back. Those mean old editors were making noises about not inviting me back again to cut back on costs. Since they pay me only in pretzels, I really don't see much of a problem. I mean, how expensive is a 6-pound bag of pretzels anyway? I have to thank those of you who wrote in these last few months with electrical tech questions, cause I now have a few more months to be around.

This month, I have to thank Marco Novy from New York who wrote in to ask how to neatly and efficiently wire up some off-road lights. Now Marco isn't the first one to write in about it, but Hazel sent his email over to me and I have a bunch of ways rattling around in my head. There are many wrong ways, and some right ways to do it, depending on what you want to do. Do you want them to come on with the high beams (might be illegal in some states)? How about only come on if the parking lights or headlights are on (great for ease of on/off)? Then there is the always popular "just-turn-the-darn-things-on-already" method, too.

I am only going to deal with higher-draw lights here, which most driving and fog lights are. I always found it funny that you guys call them driving lights. I mean, what else are you going to do with them on the Jeep? Park it in the driveway and light up your house?

These HID608 from Eagle Eye have a few really cool design features. They are available in black paint and stainless steel, with your choice of spot, driving, or fog lenses. This light requires only 1-inch of mounting depth, so it fits hard-to-fit areas like Cherokee front bumpers. Also, the wires come out of the light through the mounting stud for a clean installation, so there are no problems with water getting into the exposed grommet.

I've talked about relays before and how they keep the high current out of the Jeep. They can extend the life of the actual switch too. I put relays on just about everything, but I would definitely suggest that any light or lamp over 15-watts gets installed with a relay.

For this article I needed some lights, and Eagle Eye just came out with what are possibly the most affordable 50-watt HID lights on the market, so I grabbed a set of them along with one of the company's wiring harnesses for this article.

PhotosView Slideshow

Sources

Eagle Eye Lights
800-882-7903
http://www.eagleeyelights.com

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