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Morimoto HID issue

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by JoshS, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Nov 12, 2019 at 5:37 PM
    #1
    JoshS

    JoshS [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I posted this in a smaller electrical thread, but didn't get much traction. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this.
    ---
    I've been having some issues with a newly installed Morimoto HID Kit on my 2014 Tacoma.

    Here's the hardware I've got installed (recommended by The Retrofit Source for use with these): https://www.ebay.com/itm/2012-2015-...tor-Headlights-Black-Left-Right-/303149869255
    • 2x Morimoto XB35 Ballasts (35watt)
    • 2x AMP: Morimoto XB Igniters
    • 2x Morimoto H7A: XB 5500k bulbs
    • 1x Motocontrol Bi-Xenon: H4/9003 Wiring Harness
    I've watched the Retrofit Source's videos on troubleshooting to narrow down the fault, but I can't pin it down. Every time I swapped the ballasts, the bulbs or the igniters, the issue randomized, no results were consistent.

    Here's a log of what I've observed each time I turned the truck & lights on (I didn't make any changes to ballasts/wiring/bulbs throughout this testing):
    • Morning 1: Driver side out, flicked stock off/on multiple times and both lights finally came on
    • Morning 2: Both lights turned on without issue
    • Evening 3: Neither light fired up. Left truck on for 5 mins, flicking the stock multiple times - no light. Returned to truck 15 mins later, turned on truck, both bulbs fired up.
    • Morning 4: Passenger side did not fire up. Flicked stock off and on 15 times, nothing. Arrived to destination 20 minutes later, turned truck off and on, and both lights fired up immediately.
    • Evening 4: Both lights fired up immediately after turning truck on
    • Morning 5: Only driver side came on. Turned truck off and immediately turned back on, both lights came on
    • Evening 5: Only driver side came on. Turned truck off and on immediately, both came on.
    • Morning 6: Neither light turned on. Turned truck off and back on immediately, and both lights came on
    • Evening 6: Only driver side turned on. Turned truck off and back on, and both lights came on.
    • Morning 7: Both turned on without issue
    • Evening 7: Both turned on without issue
    • Evening 9: Only drivers side turned on. Shut off truck, started truck, and both lights came on.
    • Morning 10: Both lights turned on without issue

      Turning the stock off and on in the same short time frame yields the same result most of the time (e.g. driver's is out, flip stock 10 times in 60 seconds, drivers still out), but waiting several minutes between each attempt yields different results.
    Couple notes:
    • I always turn the headlight stock to the on position when turning the truck on, and always turn it to the off position when turning the truck off.
    • The driver's side ground on the H4 harness slipped off when I was installing it - I crimped a new ground ring back to it.
    • The Retrofit Source support said it was "strange to have a ground for each side of the harness". I tried with each ground on it's own, issue persisted
    • I've tried putting both grounds beneath the OEM grounds, directly on the chassis, but the issue persisted
    • Replaced both Headlight-LO fuses
    • I am not using the hi-beam connector on this harness (not troubleshooting the highs, just the lows, but figured it worth pointing out)
    • I recently relocated the grounds so they aren't piggy-backing factory grounds (TRS support recommendation)
    • I've checked all connectors are securely fastened, and that there are no lose wires/pins inside
    • I get consistent firing of both bulbs if I turn the truck on, turn the light(s) on, and then off, and then wait a couple minutes and turn the lights on again.

      Right now my only guesses are that I have a defective wiring harness, or the harness is incompatible.
      ground_drivers.jpg ground_passengers.jpg
     
  2. Nov 12, 2019 at 6:45 PM
    #2
    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

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    Did you remove the paint off the fender where you are grounding those wires?
     
  3. Nov 12, 2019 at 7:20 PM
    #3
    Babybluetaco

    Babybluetaco Well-Known Member

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    Try grounding them on the battery??
     
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  4. Nov 12, 2019 at 7:22 PM
    #4
    JoshS

    JoshS [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Luckily there is bare metal underneath
    exposed metal.jpg
     
  5. Nov 12, 2019 at 7:25 PM
    #5
    JoshS

    JoshS [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I did try grounding the driver's side ground to the battery directly. I didn't try with the passenger's, as it doesn't even closely reach.
     
  6. Nov 12, 2019 at 7:30 PM
    #6
    Babybluetaco

    Babybluetaco Well-Known Member

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    Idk. I grounded my morimoto control box thing for my projectors the same way you did yours. Works fine
     
  7. Nov 13, 2019 at 3:46 AM
    #7
    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

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    I’d clean that up, should bare steel as In no paint at all, maybe also put a star washer under the ground tab so it bites into the fender so you know your ground is really good.
     
  8. Nov 13, 2019 at 5:16 AM
    #8
    navynuke

    navynuke Well-Known Member

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    Don’t turn the lights on while you are starting the truck. When you are starting your truck voltage is gonna drop a lot and you may not have the required voltage to fire the HIDs. I’ve had this happen once and it was because I started the truck while turning on the lights.
     
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  9. Nov 13, 2019 at 5:40 PM
    #9
    JoshS

    JoshS [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So I should keep the stock in the on position? Or I should wait ~30 seconds before turning headlight stock on?
     
  10. Nov 14, 2019 at 4:08 AM
    #10
    navynuke

    navynuke Well-Known Member

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    Keep it in the off position. Start the truck, start the headlights. I’ve never needed to wait 30 seconds.
     
  11. Nov 14, 2019 at 9:42 AM
    #11
    Capt. Obvious

    Capt. Obvious Fearless Keyboard Warrior

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    Are you powering the ballasts with the factory headlight connectors? You should be running them off a relay harness directly connected to the battery.

    One of these: https://www.amazon.com/LIMICAR-Head...r_1_3?keywords=h4+relay&qid=1573753284&sr=8-3

    And don't turn on the headlights until the truck is started.
     
  12. Nov 14, 2019 at 10:00 AM
    #12
    TacoFergie

    TacoFergie Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so I see a couple issues here.

    1. Those are not what I would call good ground locations. If you can ground to the battery, to a stock ground location or to the engine.

    2. Wait till the truck is running. Not during starting, as others have stated you have a large voltage drop during starting. This will not allow the ballast to start.

    Another note... on all of my installs I have ran the Moto Control harness to alleviate issue #2 from being a problem to begin with, also so you don't have to worry about turning them off and on again after every start. The Moto Control harness delays when the power is sent to the ballast, about 8-10 seconds. Especially on my wifes fusion where it has auto on/off and I don't want her to have to think about switching the headlights on/off for any reason. I just want it to be seamless for her so she doesn't have to think about it. My Victory, our fusion and even my 01 subaru outback have Moto Control harnesses. I have yet to retrofit the taco....it's last on my list since it has pretty good factory lighting to begin with.

    EDIT: just saw you have the moto control harness.....nevermind the paragraph and issue #2.... but I'll leave it for info
     
  13. Nov 14, 2019 at 5:38 PM
    #13
    JoshS

    JoshS [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The factory connectors connect to the Morimoto Harness I'm using, but I believe power does come through the harness itself: https://www.theretrofitsource.com/9003-h4-morimoto-elite.html / https://www.theretrofitsource.com/media/custom/upload/File-1551809362.pdf (page 4)
     
  14. Nov 14, 2019 at 6:00 PM
    #14
    JoshS

    JoshS [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I can move the grounds back to the factory spots (battery chassis & behind windshield washer fluid), but the issue was the same there.

    @navynuke were you running an HID kit in your case?

    I think you guys are onto something with waiting a few seconds before turning them on. Gonna do some more testing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  15. Nov 14, 2019 at 9:09 PM
    #15
    Lefkos

    Lefkos Well-Known Member

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    Where you put your grounds are fine. I grounded mine in that hole above where you put yours. I’m running a full Morimoto setup, igniters and all. Lmk if you need any photos or help.

    36B7A7E9-C123-42AC-ABEF-9718B5090A26.jpg
    0E213861-6EB6-476F-87E0-4EBF28858753.jpg
    880BF631-045C-4E01-9D7D-1060A1F266D0.jpg
    1745DD0A-7621-44FE-BE41-848B425F0B23.jpg
     
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  16. Nov 15, 2019 at 6:45 AM
    #16
    TacoFergie

    TacoFergie Well-Known Member

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    I have not ran into any issues but I have helped some friends out with issues like this before.

    If you are running a Moto Control harness you should not have to worry about whether or not the headlight switch is turned on as you start the truck since it has an 8-10 second delay before it sends power to the ballasts.

    Is this the Harness you are using? https://www.lightwerkz.net/index.ph...oto-h4-motocontrol-bi-xenon-wire-harness.html

    How is your power connection to the battery? Is it pretty solid? I have seen a poor power connection (usually a crimp) that will give issues like this also.

    In the past I have ran into issues where the ballast would not fire a certain bulb, but a different brand bulb it would fire just fine. But that was el cheapo ebay bulbs. Do you know anyone locally that is into retorfitting to possibly swap ballasts or bulbs and try that? For testing purposes the bulb can be any style as long as it has the right connection.
     
  17. Nov 15, 2019 at 7:14 PM
    #17
    JoshS

    JoshS [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes that is the exact harness I'm using. I did a test earlier today and left the headlight stock in the on position when I shut off the truck (both bulbs were working at that time), and both lights turned off when I opened the door as expected. Returned ~3 hours later and turned truck on, and only the DRLs came on. Let truck sit on for ~20 seconds, turned stock to off position and then on, and both lights fired up.

    I'll double check my positive battery terminal tomorrow morning and make sure it's free of corrosion and the harness connector is crimped well. Don't know anyone local into retrofitting, may have to opt for an exchange from TRS if I run out of troubleshooting.
     
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  18. Nov 15, 2019 at 7:16 PM
    #18
    JoshS

    JoshS [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Great looking truck! Would love to know what harness, ballasts, igniters, and bulbs you're using since we have identical headlights. (Or at least they look like mine, and you modded the DRL bar with a brighter LED and turn signal?)

    Here's what I've got:
    • 2x Morimoto XB35 Ballasts (35watt)
    • 2x AMP: Morimoto XB Igniters
    • 2x Morimoto H7A: XB 5500k bulbs
    • 1x Motocontrol Bi-Xenon: H4/9003 Wiring Harness
     
  19. Nov 16, 2019 at 12:50 AM
    #19
    Kidwidataco

    Kidwidataco Yes, my avatar is a real car.

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    Could be a motor control issue. I was having similar problems. Give the retrofit source a call. They are mad men genius level smart
     
  20. Nov 17, 2019 at 7:41 PM
    #20
    JoshS

    JoshS [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My positive battery terminal bolt looks like it's painted white in the valleys of the threads. That's not normal right?

    +1.jpg +2.jpg +3.jpg
     

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