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Old 10-17-2012, 01:08 AM   #1
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Help 3hids 1 works 2 won't

So I wired up 3 hella 500 converted to 55w hid. I used one relay and each ballast has it's own ground wire. Problem is when I fire it up only the middle one lit up....so I swapped out one of the side ones with a forth light I had, and tried again...just the side one fired and not middle or other side!!! Swap side light that worked to other side and it fired but only that one! What the f! Is three lights two much to run off one relay? Do I need a separate relay for the third light? Why would a different one work each time? Almost like first one to fire was taking all the juice? So pissed spent all day getting it ready for Thursday glamis run! At least the rear amber came out fine....any suggestions or help?

Sorry no pics, try to get some up tomorrow.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:21 AM   #2
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A sketch of how its wired up would be very helpful!, but here's my shot at it.
1. Ground
2. Connections
3. Wiring(ignore the indicator)


Wish i could help more! but pics would be helpful for sure..
Hope you get it figured out
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:28 AM   #3
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That's basically how it's wired up. Pretty confident in the wiring part, thinking 3hids might be to much for one ballast to "ignite".....gonna try a few things tomorrow. I also ran the 3 grounds from lights each with it's own ring connector to same bolt, might split them up. They are on one bolt on body, I sand paint off first but maybe split them up and move em to frame?????
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EL ROJO View Post
That's basically how it's wired up. Pretty confident in the wiring part, thinking 3hids might be to much for one ballast to "ignite".....gonna try a few things tomorrow. I also ran the 3 grounds from lights each with it's own ring connector to same bolt, might split them up. They are on one bolt on body, I sand paint off first but maybe split them up and move em to frame?????
Maybe?
But yeah i pigtailed 4 ballasts to one ground and that worked fine.
When i hooked up Hid's for a buddies chevy we had to like reverse the polarities of the ballast to get it to work, so we flipped the main connector from the ballasts to bulb 180 degrees. If that makes sense.. Its late haha ill see what i can sketch in the morning
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:33 PM   #6
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So wired from relay to lights with 12 gauge.... Split in a 3 way Y with equal distances. Fired it up with just two outside lights connected bam both came on. Turned it off, tried again a few minutes later and now just one comes on....wtf can't get the other side to fire and obviously the middle. The ballasts and light works cuz I got to come on already. I tried unplugging the one that lights and do just other side and nothing! So pissed.

Does the ground wire need to be bumped up from 14 to 12 gauge? I'm ready to just throw all this bullshit away and buy a led bar!!!!!
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EL ROJO View Post
So wired from relay to lights with 12 gauge.... Split in a 3 way Y with equal distances. Fired it up with just two outside lights connected bam both came on. Turned it off, tried again a few minutes later and now just one comes on....wtf can't get the other side to fire and obviously the middle. The ballasts and light works cuz I got to come on already. I tried unplugging the one that lights and do just other side and nothing! So pissed.

Does the ground wire need to be bumped up from 14 to 12 gauge? I'm ready to just throw all this bullshit away and buy a led bar!!!!!
thats really weird. Maybe try splicing all 3 into the same 1 ground..
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EL ROJO View Post
U think one ground would do it? I just wrapped it all up with loom and all cuz I'm out of time. Leaving for glamis in da am.
Maybe?
IDK i have all mine connected to one groud. 4 Ballasts one ground.
If iy was in person it'd be easier to try and help haha
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:55 PM   #10
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What are you using as your switch?
Also do you have your switch wired to the battery and relay direct?
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EL ROJO View Post
Tried different grounds....

Switch is wired off fuse tap and fuse box....
I have my switch running to my relay, and the other line to the battery with a fuse.

Did you solder your grounds together? Also did you use heat shrink tubing? A bad connection there can be the culprit
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:35 PM   #13
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I have my switch running to my relay, and the other line to the battery with a fuse.
^same here.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:43 PM   #14
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Double check your relay connections... been more than once that people have flipped them and ended up powering their lights directly from the switch.

Also, are you testing with the engine running or not?
HIDs can be sensitive, and the ballasts draw a fair amount of current at startup. It could be that the three ballasts are pulling too much and the voltage is dropping so only one pops on.
Separate the ballast connections to the relay and try each one individually to confirm that all three work. Then connect two and confirm that two work together.

All three are only 165 watts continuous, which would be just under 14 amps. An 18amp fuse and wiring suitable for 25 amps would be more than adequate for that. #12 is a little light for that, I'd step it up to 10ga for the feed from the battery to the relay.
The 40a relay is more than adequate. Three individual #12's from the relay to the ballasts is more than adequate, or you could run a single #10 from the relay to the ballasts.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:55 PM   #15
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Each ballast can draw about 15-20 amps each at startup though. Assuming its as low as 15 amps each, that is an initial draw of 45 amps minimum. A standard relay has a rating of either 30 or 40 amps max. Seems like something doesn't add up. Unplug your 3 ballasts at the relay and try each one individually, then 2 at time. See what happens
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:17 AM   #16
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I have the relay to lights wired with one single 12g that I soldered into a three way "Y" with each length being equal lengths. I have had all three ballasts working at different times during install. I tested all the lights and all seem to be fine....ahhhh I need a led bar instead lol.

I used the wiring harness that came with kit. It had 16g all around...I ground lights with individual 14g, from relay to lights is the 12g mentioned above, then the relay is grounded with 16g and power from battery to relay is 16g, from relay to switch is 16g...is that the weak links? Thought they were ok to be that size for what they were doing, am I wrong? First time doing this type of thing ever. the best it got was I had two light up first try after rewiring with 12g, turned off and tried again.....only one

THANK YOU for all the info and help, I appreciate it!!! TW is. Great bunch of people for the most part lol.



I will make this shit work, guess after glamis nice I'm leaving in just hours
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:24 AM   #17
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I'm sure someone at glamis will be able to fix it!
but have fun at glamis i'm jealous i cant go.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EL ROJO View Post
I have the relay to lights wired with one single 12g that I soldered into a three way "Y" with each length being equal lengths. I have had all three ballasts working at different times during install. I tested all the lights and all seem to be fine....ahhhh I need a led bar instead lol.

I used the wiring harness that came with kit. It had 16g all around...I ground lights with individual 14g, from relay to lights is the 12g mentioned above, then the relay is grounded with 16g and power from battery to relay is 16g, from relay to switch is 16g...is that the weak links? Thought they were ok to be that size for what they were doing, am I wrong? First time doing this type of thing ever. the best it got was I had two light up first try after rewiring with 12g, turned off and tried again.....only one

THANK YOU for all the info and help, I appreciate it!!! TW is. Great bunch of people for the most part lol.



I will make this shit work, guess after glamis nice I'm leaving in just hours
THAT is your problem! 16g wire is very thin. One thing you have to understand about electrical is that it flows in a continuos loop. The power comes from the battery, and is then sent BACK to the battery through the ground (not exactly but thats the easiest way to explain it) Therefore, your weakest link is the best the system can be.

Here is your problem:

Your are using 12g wire from relay to lights which is great, but you have to consider that now you have 3 12g wires pulling power from a single 16 gauge wire. Imagine connecting 3 fire hoses up to a single garden hose... you can turn that garden hose on full blast, but once its output is split into the 3 larger fire hoses, those hoses will hardly output a small drip of water. This is exactly what is happening in your setup with the hoses being the wires and water being current (electricity). The result is that the 16g wire from battery to relay will heat up and melt or catch fire... or both. Even with a proper fuse, this is a dangerous setup. SOLUTION: Battery to Relay (should be pin #30 on relay) wire needs to be a minimum of 12g. it still will supply a lower amount of current once split into 3, but it will be still be enough to power your lights now. The 12g wire going to each light is a little excessive, but it wont hurt. Leave it as is.

Note that the the 16g wire from switch to relay (pin 85 or 86), and from relay to ground (pin 85 or 86) is more than enough. Those 2 pins/wires are used strictly for use in switching the relay. That part is independent of the light setup and currents are never shared. A relay requires less the 200ma (milla amps) to trigger, so that wiring is fine.

Pin 87a should not be used, and pin 87 is what the lights should connect to.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProForce View Post
THAT is your problem! 16g wire is very thin. One thing you have to understand about electrical is that it flows in a continuos loop. The power comes from the battery, and is then sent BACK to the battery through the ground (not exactly but thats the easiest way to explain it) Therefore, your weakest link is the best the system can be.

Here is your problem:

Your are using 12g wire from relay to lights which is great, but you have to consider that now you have 3 12g wires pulling power from a single 16 gauge wire. Imagine connecting 3 fire hoses up to a single garden hose... you can turn that garden hose on full blast, but once its output is split into the 3 larger fire hoses, those hoses will hardly output a small drip of water. This is exactly what is happening in your setup with the hoses being the wires and water being current (electricity). The result is that the 16g wire from battery to relay will heat up and melt or catch fire... or both. Even with a proper fuse, this is a dangerous setup. SOLUTION: Battery to Relay (should be pin #30 on relay) wire needs to be a minimum of 12g. it still will supply a lower amount of current once split into 3, but it will be still be enough to power your lights now. The 12g wire going to each light is a little excessive, but it wont hurt. Leave it as is.

Note that the the 16g wire from switch to relay (pin 85 or 86), and from relay to ground (pin 85 or 86) is more than enough. Those 2 pins/wires are used strictly for use in switching the relay. That part is independent of the light setup and currents are never shared. A relay requires less the 200ma (milla amps) to trigger, so that wiring is fine.

Pin 87a should not be used, and pin 87 is what the lights should connect to.
Sweet thank you!! Maybe I can get to it early before I leave and swap that out! Is the ground from relay ok being 16g or should I change it also?

I wired up a rear amber led with 14g ground and 14g power from relay to light but used the 16g from battery to relay and 16g from relay to ground. Should I swap both of those two out or just the batt to relay, or neither cuz led has low draw? Sounds like whatever I. Running on ligh o relay I should be running on battery to relay. The led works fine, but don't want to over heat the 16g...now I'm freak out a tad....

Thanks for the heads up! Last thing I need is a fire under the hood
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:21 AM   #20
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Just to give a quick background on relays so you understand how they work. This is a standard 5-pin automotive relay:



Notice in the picture pin 30 has a wire on it that directly connects to a "steel plate" which is connected to pin 87a at all times.

Now, pin 85 and 86 go to each and of a magnet. The magnet has no charge unless it get energized. To do this, you must apply 12v to one side and ground to the other. It does not matter which side gets what, you can even give both ground or both power, it will not hurt the relay. All that matters is that once 85 and 86 get a positive and negative signal, the magnet in between them is energized. This make that "steel plate" which used to be connected to pin 87a, now pull down and switch contacts to pin 87.

At this point, whatever is connected to 30 now directly passes to pin 87 instead of 87a. As soon as you cut wither power or ground from 86/85, the magnet discharges and 30 switched back to 87a.

------------------------

Now that you understand the internals of a relay, you can see that in your setup, pin 30 is the "source" which is going to power everything you connect to pin 87. This is why your 16g wire from the battery is what is directly powering your lights, regardless of what size wire goes from relay to lights. The power is not "amplified" inside the relay.

**NOTE that many people reverse 87 and 30. Meaning that I said 30 is your input from power source and use 87 to go out to your accessories... you can choose to make 87 your input and 30 your output, it does not matter. The are both connected the same no matter which way you look at it.

The 16g wire from your switch is in an independent circuit with the ground (pins 85 and 86) on the relay. Therefore, because a relay take a minimal amount of power to be "relayed" (switched, triggered, etc) then your 85 and 86 wires can be very small, as low as 18g or less even. However, the rest of the wires are more important!

-----------------------------------

With a full knowledge and understanding of a relay, you can accomplish an endless amount of electrical mods.

The first picture shows a relay at rest with the coil (85/86) not energized and the second shows what happens after it is triggered:




Here are a few of the various applications that can be done with relays and a little wire:

Headlights and Parking lights on with wipers (a law in some states). Notice is uses the wiper 12v+ wire to act as a trigger for the relay which then turns on the lights:



This is a weak positive input to a strong positive output (basically what you did in your system)



Convert a (-) signal to a (+) signal:



and the opposite...



The list goes on and on and on!

Notice that in almost all diagrams, pin 87a is rarely used. The purpose of this pin is to have a "pass-through" for certain setups. An example is used it for is in my headlights. I have a lighting system that requires me to cut power to my headlights automatically even without turning them off in the cab, and then send their power to a different set of aftermarket lights.

For this, the Low beam headlight (+) wire is cut in half. The car side is connected to pin 30 since it is my common input, then the light side is connected to 87a. This way, the lights function as normal without any further modification. Now, pin 85 is grounded, and 86 goes to the power switch for my aftermarket lighting setup. Once i turn on these aftermarket lights with their switch, it powers on the relay, disconnects my headlight wire which in turn shuts off my headlights, and uses their power to send out to my system through pin 87.

Hope you followed this. If not, oh well. Atleast your lights should get fixed after swapping out that one wire. Good luck.
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Check this one out - if this works. Jim Mann 1st Gen. Tacomas 3 12-02-2006 10:19 AM


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