Converting Your Expedition or F150 Lighting System to Utilize Daytime Running Lights


 

By Chris Coleman

For those that have toyed with the idea of putting DRLs on their trucks, here’s a cheaper way to do it. These instructions are going to allow you to either use the headlights and/or the fog lights as your DRLs. Granted, you don’t get the time delay feature that the DRL module has, but, this gives you a much larger degree of control in what you can have on and what you can’t. WARNING: IN SOME STATES, THIS MAY CAUSE YOU TO VIOLATE A LAW (SOME STATES REQUIRE YOU NOT HAVE MORE THAN 4 BEAMS ON AT ANY GIVEN TIME-IE, LOW BEAMS COUNT AS 2, HIGH BEAMS COUNT AS 2 MORE, AND FOG LIGHTS COUNT AS AN ADDITIONAL 2-CHECK YOUR LOCAL LAWS AND THE ADDITION OF A SWITCH MAY BE ADVISABLE SO YOU CAN TURN OFF THE FOG LIGHTS.

List of materials:

-up to 8 feet of 16 gauge wire (various colors are advisable but not necessary)

-1amp(12v min, 125 VAC preferrable) switch (only required if you are attempting to not violate the above stated law)

-butt connectors (blue size, may want to even go to the yellow size if you use a larger gauge wire)

-soldering iron and solder if cutting of factory wiring harness is not d (NOTE: this is increase your time by approx 0.5 hours or more based on your soldering abilities but will give the apprearance of a total factory look)

-11/32" socket and appropriate socket wrench or screwdriver attachment

-wire cutter/crimper

-dremel tool (only needed if modifying headlight switch to allow you to turn on fog lights manually)

-flat bladed screw driver to aid in removal of trim panel around radio(application of masking tape across tip will aid in not scratching the interior plastic)

-small jewelers flat bladed screw driver (if soldering wires only)

-nylon tie straps or electrical tape to hold wires with factory wiring harness.

 


Directions:
Disconnect the NEGATIVE battery terminal.

First remove the headlight switch panel by performing the following:

-turn headlight switch to the on position (2 o’clock position)

-pull knob outward and then remove knob by gently prying on knob

-turn knob 180 degree so the knob now faces the 8 o’clock position and reapply knob

-turn the knob counterclockwise to the 6 o’clock position

-turn the knob back to the 8 o’clock position and pull outwards, headlight switch should be able to be removed from the dash at this point.

If you are desiring either the headlights or the fog lights to turn on with the key being placed in the RUN position, removal of the trim panel around the radio/heater control panel is necessary. Removal is as follows:

-using finger tips, gently pull out on the lower edge of the trim (beneath heater control panel) out and slide screw driver underneath and slide to the right about 4 inches.

-Using the screw driver, gently pry the trim piece outwards. Trim is held together with snap clips. Pulling the panel out about 1/2" is sufficent to disengage clips

-With trim pulled outwards, slide around trim panel popping each clip loose until panel is removed

Now, with the trim removed, remove the 4 screws holding the heater control panel in place using the 11/32" socket (NOTE, BOTTOM 2 SCREWS WILL NEED TO BE REMOVED USING THE SOCKET AT A SLIGHT ANGLE DUE TO INTERFERENCE, BUT WILL SAVE A LOT OF TIME AS REMOVAL OF ENTIRE LEFT HALF OF DASH WOULD THEN BE REQUIRED-ADDS 3 HOURS TO JOB) and pull heater control panel out and let hang like headlight assembly.

This is the time to decide if you are either soldering or using butt connectors to attach the new wires. If you are soldering, removal of the terminals on the connectors is simply done by inserting the jewelers screwdriver into the connector at the appropriate wire and disengaging the locking mechanism (spring clip) on the inside of the connector, wire/terminal will then remove out of the connector from the wire side. You will then need to bend the spring clip back out so it will lock the next time being inserted into the connector. If you are using butt connectors, slide back about 6 inches from the connector and cut wire there. This will allow for any future modifications/corrections.

If making your low beams your DRLs, install a jumper wire from the white wire with a light blue stripe on the back of the heater control panel and run the wire over to the headlight switch and attach to the red wire with a yellow stripe. This is cause the headlights to come out without turning on the driving lights.

If you are making your fog lights your DRLs, install a jumper wire from the white wire with a light blue stripe on the back of the heater control panel and run the wire over to the headlight switch and attach to the white wire with a black stripe(there are 2 wires here on the same terminal, either wire works). You will then need to attach a second wire from the yellow wire on the headlight switch and attach to either the black wire on the headlight switch or to a ground (just about any piece of metal on the truck). If you are worried about the above stated law, insert a switch into the first jumper wire as this will be the most safe route and also lends to installation of the switch into the horseshoe trim piece around the steering colum. Remember, don’t forget to include sufficient extra wire to allow for installation/removal of the switch.

An alternate means to use the fog lamps as DRLs and not use a switch is to perform the following (WARNING: THIS WILL RESULT IN THE OPERATOR HAVING TO TURN ON THE FOG LIGHTS MANUALLY, BUT CAN BE LEFT ON ONCE THE SWITCH HAS BEEN TURNED ON):
Install a jumper wire from the white wire with a light blue stripe on the back of the heater control panel and run the wire over to the headlight switch and attach to the white wire with a black stripe(there are 2 wires here on the same terminal, either wire works). Now, remove the headlight switch from the plastic trim piece (WARNING, A PLASTIC PIN AND SPRING ARE LOCATED INSIDE AND WILL NEED TO BE RETAINED(LOCATED AT THE 6 O’CLOCK POSITION), THEY TEND TO FLY AWAY FROM THE SWITCH IF POSITIVE MEANS TO RETAIN THEM ARE NOT USED-RECOMMEND WRAPPING THE SWITCH ASSEMBLY INSIDE OF A TOWEL DURING REMOVAL OF SWITCH FROM PLASTIC TRIM). Looking inside the plastic trim piece and locate the ramp at the bottom of the plastic trim piece. Using the Dremel tool, remove the ramp and using some of the factory grease, apply to the freshly cut plastic. WARNING: THE QUALITY OF THE CUT DIRECTLY RELATES TO THE FEEL IN THE HEADLIGHT SWITCH.

For those just wanting the fog lights on with the high beams, a jumper wire from the brown wire on the back of the headlight switch to the white wire with a black stripe is inserted. This bypasses the High Beam contact which opens when the high beams are turned on. Modification of the headlight switch is not necessary unless operation of the fog lights with only the parking lights is wanted. If so wanted, then follow the above instructions.

Once the wiring modifications have been performed, reinstall all pieces removed by just going backwards through the instructions making the appropriate changes (ie, instead of remove, install the item, etc).

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