December 10th, 2009, 16:39
How to install street legal off-road lights
A few years ago, on my way back from Ocotillo Wells, I got pulled over by the CHP. It was right were the S-22 hits Hwy 76. He was sitting on the side road and motioned for me to pull over. I figured he was stopping me for my window tint or my non existent front license plate. It was actually for just my uncovered off-road lights. There was getting out of it and I was hit with a $120 fine.
Even though these lights are considered off-road lights, I also use them on the street. The high beams on my Tundra just are not bright enough. It seems when ever drive at night I am always dodging coyotes or some other critters. Looking at this from a safety issue, what is the point of having an extra set of lights if you can’t use them on the street? The truth is you can legally run a pair of off-road lights, with out covers, as long as they can only be activated by your high beam switch. Most people are not aware of this as well as most cops. If you ever do get pulled over keep a copy of this CA vehicle code just incase.
24402. (a) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two auxiliary driving lamps mounted on the front at a height of not less than 16 inches nor more than 42 inches. Driving lamps are lamps designed for supplementing the upper beam from headlamps and may not be lighted with the lower beam. http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d12/vc24402.htm
If you are wondering how to legally setup your existing lights, or if you want to add some lights and a harness, Soltek Light System has you covered. We have 4”, 6”, 8” and led lights available, along with a special wiring harness. This simple harness wires directly off your vehicles battery and ties into you high beam wiring. It easily installs in about half an hour. You also do not have to run any wires through your fire wall. If you are a stickler and you must have a toggle switch to turn the lights on, there is a separate switch harness kit available. This toggle switch harness plugs directly into the Soltek harness. If you use the toggle switch remember to cover the lights when you drive on the street. We also offer a splitter harness if you would like to add an additional light. Legally you can only run two.
For your reference I’ve created step by step installation instructions. To start here is a picture of the basic harness.
First detach the ground cable(s) from the vehicle’s battery. From the Soltek harness attach the red fused ring terminal to the positive side of the battery. Attach the black ring terminal lead to the negative terminal or suitable grounding surface.
Now mount the relay to your firewall or inner fender. Make sure to mount it so that the wires are exiting the relay from the bottom. This will prevent water from getting into the relay and damaging it.
Next route the leads for the lights through the front radiator support. If you have Soltek lights simply plug the weather pac connectors from the harness into the lights. If you have other lights, I suggest cutting off your connectors and installing new weather pac connectors. Make sure to secure any excess wiring with zip ties. Be sure it can not be pinched, burned, crushed, or pulled too tight as this well lead to electrical failure.
To activate the lights you will need to determine in you will be using the optional toggle switch harness or the factory high beam wiring. If you are doing it the legal way and using the high beam wiring to activate the lights you will need to attach the yellow and black wires to the wires plugging into your headlights. On a H4 or three prong bulb you will need to identify the positive high beam wire and the negative wire. Looking at the H4 connector from the front, the positive high beam wire should be the terminal on the left. The center upper terminal is usually the positive low beam wire and the negative the terminal on the right. On a single filament bulb you will have only two wires. Again determine what wires are positive and negative. Crimp the included splice connectors onto the wires and plug the yellow wire from the Soltek harness into the positive high beam wire. Plug the black wire into the negative headlight wire.
If you are using the toggle switch you will need to find a suitable location on the dash for the toggle. Mount the switch and route the harness through the fire wall. If you look at the fire wall you can usually find a hole to push the harness through. Next plug the switch harness into the white three prong connector on the Soltek harness. Now locate the short ring terminal extension provided with the switch kit. This extension is used to ground the relay and insulate the exposed hot lead in the Soltek wiring harness when the vehicles’ high beam switch is not being used to trigger the lights. Attach the extension wires (yellow & black) to the yellow & black wire pair from the main Soltek harness. Attach the ring terminal from the extension to the chassis of the vehicle.
If you want do not want to use the crimp connectors you can purchase this little H4 adapter plug. It simply plugs into your factory connector and has a new connector to plug into your headlight. It also has the connections for the yellow and black wires to plug into.
Lastly reattach your ground cable(s) to your battery and test you lights. If you wired them correctly the lights should come on with the high beams or by flipping the toggle switch. If you wired them to your high beams and they do not come it’s possible you plugged the yellow and black wires into the wrong wires. If you reverse polarity to these wires it will burn the relay and pop your headlight fuse. Replace the relay and fuse and try again. If you have any questions please give us a call. Note that the white connector on the harness will not be used if you are not using the optional toggle switch harness.
December 10th, 2009 16:39
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