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LED DRL bulb replacement with stock DRL flasher and NO RESISTORS!

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Old 09-11-2011, 03:48 PM   #1
jgraham [OP] jgraham is offline
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LED DRL bulb replacement with stock DRL flasher and NO RESISTORS!

I just got this done this weekend. I'll do a good write up later, but here's the quick summary for now:


  1. You can use the DRL flasher with an LED replacement, and there is an easy fix for the hyperflash.
  2. You need to use SRCK wired 3157 LED bulbs as sold by autolumination, due to the way the bulb socket is wired. The normal ones will be shorted when plugged in and will blow a fuse. Autolumination offers a 20 LED and 60 LED SRCK wired model. I picked the 20. Read this to understand the SRCK socket wiring issue: http://autolumination.com/3157_led_s...eshooting.html
  3. After getting your new LED bulbs in place, disconnect and pull out the flasher relay. Open the case and look for the shunt resistor hoop (shown in the foreground of the picture I've included of the flasher internals).
  4. You will need to grind down this resistor loop in order to raise the reference resistor and make the higher resistance LED bulb appear “normal” to the flasher's solid state comparator circuit.
  5. Use a dremel with a sanding drum and blow off the shavings with compressed air after each pass.
  6. Grind a little, then plug the flasher relay in to the wiring harness and test the right and left turn signals. It will hyperflash if the resistor hasn't been ground enough, but it doesn't do this on 4-way hazard flash mode so you need to test with the turn signals.
  7. Once you have it flashing properly, put everything back together and enjoy. No resistors to get hot behind the lamps, and no need for an impossible to find 12 pin led flasher.
Good luck!













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Old 09-12-2011, 05:05 AM   #2
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Interesting. Nice work.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:47 PM   #3
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Sub'd, I've been waiting for this or a company to make the DRL LED 12 pin flasher with no luck
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:55 PM   #4
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:00 PM   #5
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This looks great ...... but .... let me be the 1st to ask ...... how the hell did you figure this out?
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:26 PM   #7
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finally, someone did it. I've been waiting for a solution to my melting dtrl. Hopefully this solves it before it melts a hole completely through the plastic, its getting really close. Rep sent. Jgraham, is the 20 LED just as bright as the stock bulb that you replaced?
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:13 PM   #8
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:58 AM   #9
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Sorry for the delay in responses. The 20 LED isn't quite as bright as the original, but I wanted to get minimal temperatures.

I figured this out by taking the flasher apart and then looking up as much as I could on the apparently solid state logic. There was a post I found on a Honda Ridgeline forum about it, but it of course didn't apply to the Denso flasher directly.

I'm still going to do a better write up of this. Just extremely busy this week.
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:54 PM   #10
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While I'm still working on getting my detailed write up together, here is where I got the inspiration for making this mod to the flasher circuit:

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/f...ad.php?t=37691

Note that the Honda Ridgeline uses an Omron solid state flasher relay, whereas ours is made by Denso. Omron uses a fairly generic IC to control their flashing, while Denso uses a Denso-designed IC with no documentation that I could find. Grinding on the shunt resistor to change the resistance was purely my idea (but inspired from how my last job's calibration techs changed the resistance on their 1000A current measuring shunts by grinding them down).

This creates the same effect as replacing the shunt with a more resistive pack of resistors like the Ridgeline guy used, but I don't expect that the value he called for would be exactly what our Denso logic expects, so the grind and test method is a more adaptive way of getting to the desired result. (Plus you don't have to buy & solder resistors on)
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:39 AM   #11
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I have these switchback LED in 60-60 SMT's found here:

http://autolumination.com/switchback.html

I've had them in for awhile now, they constantly show the white as a DRL replacement which is sweet and occasionally show the amber when utilizing the turn signals/ I also have LED amber turn signals in the rear as well. In your opinion will this mod work for my set up on my 2011? If I try it and it doesn't work, what will happen? Blown fuse? Need to replace stock relay?

Thanks
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sledneck View Post
I have these switchback LED in 60-60 SMT's found here:

http://autolumination.com/switchback.html

I've had them in for awhile now, they constantly show the white as a DRL replacement which is sweet and occasionally show the amber when utilizing the turn signals/ I also have LED amber turn signals in the rear as well. In your opinion will this mod work for my set up on my 2011? If I try it and it doesn't work, what will happen? Blown fuse? Need to replace stock relay?

Thanks

If the LEDs come on for you now without blowing a fuse, then they won't blow a fuse after modifying the flasher's resistor.

Do you get hyperflashing (double the normal flasher speed of ~85 flashes per min) with your current setup now? This mod corrects the hyperflashing issue by modifying the reference resistance on the flasher. By doing this mod, you eliminate the need to use the "load equalizer" resistors that are sold to splice into your lamp wires, which waste power and get extremely HOT. (They can melt plastic as well, which might defeat the purpose of switching to LED to save your lenses).

Since you have LEDs at all 4 places, you would need to grind the reference resistor a little more than I did for just 2 LEDs in front and incandescents in back. You grind a bit, blow off the shavings, plug it in, test, and repeat until the flashing is normal speed.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:54 AM   #13
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Oh, and I should add that if you grind too much off that resistor shunt, the function will still work but the detection of an open circuit might not happen anymore. The logic is comparing the resistance it sees in the reference resistor with the resistance in the lighting circuit. If it's higher in the lighting circuit than the reference, it assumes a burned out bulb and doubles the frequency of the signal to the relays so they hyperflash. The hyperflashing is designed to be an indication for YOU to notice that a bulb is burned out. Without the reference resistance in an appropriate range, if you still have incandescents in the circuit (like me in the rear lamps), you wouldn't get that indication that the bulb had burned out. You can test this function after final grind by pulling a bulb out of the socket and checking that it still hyperflashes with that condition.

I'd imagine you could put some metal back on the loop if you wanted to restore the lower resistance, by depositing solder onto it. This would likely be a messy process, though, hence the recommendation to grind and check a little at a time.
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:32 AM   #14
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I was hoping to have all my stuff in place to add DRL to my truck by this weekend. Now I have a whole new set of options. I think I will wait a few more weeks and see if this mod is done by anybody else first.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgraham View Post
If the LEDs come on for you now without blowing a fuse, then they won't blow a fuse after modifying the flasher's resistor.

Do you get hyperflashing (double the normal flasher speed of ~85 flashes per min) with your current setup now? This mod corrects the hyperflashing issue by modifying the reference resistance on the flasher. By doing this mod, you eliminate the need to use the "load equalizer" resistors that are sold to splice into your lamp wires, which waste power and get extremely HOT. (They can melt plastic as well, which might defeat the purpose of switching to LED to save your lenses).

Since you have LEDs at all 4 places, you would need to grind the reference resistor a little more than I did for just 2 LEDs in front and incandescents in back. You grind a bit, blow off the shavings, plug it in, test, and repeat until the flashing is normal speed.

Yes I get hyperflash now. I was debating on waiting for an after market option for 12 pin led flasher or resistors. I am going to try this tonight if not tomorrow night. I'll post again with results. Thanks
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sledneck View Post
Yes I get hyperflash now. I was debating on waiting for an after market option for 12 pin led flasher or resistors. I am going to try this tonight if not tomorrow night. I'll post again with results. Thanks
Good luck. Don't hesitate to post any questions that you may come up with during the process; it will help me make the final write up as clear as possible.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:22 AM   #17
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Nice mod:

Question: Since you are changing the resistance value of the "shunt resistor hoop" would this effect the operation of the flasher when a trailer is hooked up?

Richard
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco Taco View Post
Nice mod:

Question: Since you are changing the resistance value of the "shunt resistor hoop" would this effect the operation of the flasher when a trailer is hooked up?

Richard

I thought of this same thing as well, and one of the first things I did was to try it post-mod with my trailer (a single axle utility with a 4-pin flat connector), and all signals worked fine, even with the added load.

One thing you may have noticed with these solid state flashers is they always flash at the same speed, unless they are in hyperflash mode, in which they flash at double speed. This is nice, especially compared to the old thermally driven flashers that would often flash slower or faster when you had more lights connected, as with a trailer.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:28 AM   #19
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Sorry guys, I had to go to Chicago for the weekend. Anyways I tried this last night and I grinded the resistor loop almost all the way through and up and down both sides, plugging it back after each little bit. It still has not solved my hyperflashing. I wonder what will happen if I grind all the way through the loop? Will this cause it not to work or will it just be that ifn I will no longer get hyperflash even if old bulbs are back in and blown?
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sledneck View Post
Sorry guys, I had to go to Chicago for the weekend. Anyways I tried this last night and I grinded the resistor loop almost all the way through and up and down both sides, plugging it back after each little bit. It still has not solved my hyperflashing. I wonder what will happen if I grind all the way through the loop? Will this cause it not to work or will it just be that ifn I will no longer get hyperflash even if old bulbs are back in and blown?
Since you have LEDs in all the turn signals, you'll end up taking off a lot more than I did. I left the incandescents in the rear because I just wanted the LEDs in the front in order to reduce the heat from them being on as DRLs all the time.

I would try grinding it very thin in one spot if possible. If you grind too far, you can always solder back up. Not sure what would happen if you tried to use the flasher with the resisitive loop in open circuit. It might just flash without trouble, or it might burn up the IC. You might end up having to cut the loop and put a higher resistance wirewound resistor, similar to what the guy at the Ridgeline link did for his little Honda flasher.

I would suggest trying with an incandescent bulb in a front turn bulb socket (since it's easier to access than the rear bulbs) just as a test to see if you've gotten it ground down enough to work with 1 led and 1 incandescent bulb.

Has anybody else tried this with the same setup I've used here? (Incandescent rear turn signals with LED front?)

Oh, and I'm in Italy on business until next weekend, so I can't look at my truck till I get home.
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