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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old Today, 02:55 PM
eakermeld's Avatar
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Headlight Relay Build

I finally got my headlight relay setup finished, so I thought I would share it with everybody.

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This was the first version. I built 2 identical ones, one for each side. Then I thought, "You dummy! One box will be more than enough to run both sides!" So the second is up on the shelf for the next truck.

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I didn't like the big red power wires. They were just to much. So I made the power connector like this to save space and hold the relay in place. In the process of building that, I realized it needed a fuse or relay somewhere. I had a relay in the drawer with a place for a fuse. It came off of one of our tractors. So I made this:

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That looked like it would work well, so I ordered some from John Deere. They were only $8.20. Surprisingly inexpensive.

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Relays came in today.

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Replaced the fuse with a circuit breaker.

Here are a few pics of the part# of the relay.

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And then I looked at the instructions. The power terminal is in a different location! Aw crap!

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Ended up making 3 versions before I got it right.

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I ordered this wiring connector. It allows me to simply unplug the original plug from the light bulb and plug it to the relay box. Then plug the relay box plug onto the light bulb. If I should happen to have a relay failure, all I have to do is unplug and replug and I'm back to factory stock till I can fix it.

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Color coding made easy! Factory colors and all!

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For the power to the relay box, I tapped into a resettable circuit breaker over by the battery. Lights don't need 100 amps, but the power will be going back out of that relay box to future projects, so that's why I did it that way.

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Power and ground in loom tucked in behind the radiator.

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Box is wired. Power and ground in. Plug from original harness coming in and 2 plugs going out to the headlights. The one going back to the other side of the truck is also tucked behind the radiator.

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Installed and done!

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Now granted, a simple relay and plug like these with an inline fuse or breaker would be just as effective and properly placed would look good too. But there's nothing quite like trying to re-invent the wheel. Hey, if it's worth doing, it's worth over-doing, Right?!
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1989 F250 460 C6 D60 front 10 1/4 rear 3.55
1990 F150 300 4R70W
2004 Silverado 5.3
2000 Buick LeSabre
1982 IH S2500 400 Cummins 13spd
1994 CAT 953B 3116 Hydrostat
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Old Today, 03:14 PM
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Good job! Trial and error pays off and you got it right. How about a "How to" write up? I'm interested in putting a relay in at some point, but I really don't know how to go about it.
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Old Today, 04:13 PM
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eakermeld eakermeld is online now
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The simplest setup is the last pic. Most of the "how-to" is on the relay package itself. You need 2 relays per side, one for hi beam and one for low beam. The posts on the relay are numbered.
#30 is power from the battery. This is where you will want a circuit breaker of 10 amps per relay.
#85 is ground. Make sure you have a really good to-the-battery ground. Poor grounds generate heat in the circuit and burn stuff up.
#86 will come from either the low beam or hi beam wire FROM THE TRUCK.
#87 will go to either the low beam or hi beam BULB.
Double up on the ground on the bulb connection and the original ground wire going back to the truck. You can combine them with the ground #85. You can never have too much good ground.

And really, that's about it. A new plug for the light might not be a bad idea, they are cheap. Good heat shrink type connectors work well and are dependable. A little dielectric grease for the plug connections won't hurt.
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1989 F250 460 C6 D60 front 10 1/4 rear 3.55
1990 F150 300 4R70W
2004 Silverado 5.3
2000 Buick LeSabre
1982 IH S2500 400 Cummins 13spd
1994 CAT 953B 3116 Hydrostat
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Old Today, 04:13 PM
 
 
 
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