Need help with a Dodge Charger question.

Electrical and Ignition

  1. 72bluNblu

    72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    “Ruin” your wiring? The factory headlight wiring was terrible.

    Clearly you’ve never seen @crackedback ’s harnesses. They’re practically artwork, and the relays are a better way to run it.
     
  2. crackedback

    crackedback FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Thanks for the compliment! My kits don't require ruining the oem harness... if someone wants you to cut up your harness, it's not designed to make things easy on you. JMO
    Plug and play is the way I try to do things, say no to wire side cutters! :lol:
     
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    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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      Thanks Dan! Muchas grassy ass.
       
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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      No kiddin. It's plug and play. Nothing to "ruin". You can uninstall it and never know it was there, although that would be stupid. lol
       
      Last edited: May 6, 2022
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      • slantsixdan

        slantsixdan =..=

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        Adding headlight relays does not require cutting, changing, or ruining any of the car's wiring.
         
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        • G70464

          G70464 Active Member

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          Some of us like to keep cars as they were, the shortcomings make the car. Why butcher perfectly good wiring when you can just plug something in and it works simply.
           
        • G70464

          G70464 Active Member

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          No it just ads complexity and more failure points, it is 2022 you can put LEDs in a car for less money and hassle than relays also LEDs are a lot brighter and use 1/10 the energy . Relays where neeeded before this technology came out.
           
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          • slantsixdan

            slantsixdan =..=

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            The smart thing is to put together the right balance of the likelihood of a failure and the consequences of a failure. Y'don't just count up the components and go "There, see? More components = more failure points = more bad"; that's not how this works.

            The math doesn't necessarily work that way. Legitimate, good LED headlamps are expensive, and it's often easy to spend less money on good halogen lamps + a relay installation.

            Nope. LED headlamps are not necessarily better or brighter than halogen headlamps. Good headlamps are better than bad headlamps, period. There are good and bad LED headlamps, and good and bad halogen headlamps.
             
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            • slantsixdan

              slantsixdan =..=

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              Sorry, I've lost count; how many people who know more about this than you have told you you're fulla bulk wrap about "butchering" or "ruining" wiring? You're still gonna be wrong about it, no matter how many times you repeat it.

              Also, which is it? You like to keep cars the way they were (=sealed beam headlamps and no point participating in this thread), or you want to change the headlamps to something other than the car came with (=be smart about it and remember that guesses, assumptions, and oversimplifications aren't the same thing as facts).
               
              Last edited: May 6, 2022
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              • Mattax

                Mattax Just the facts, ma'am FABO Gold Member

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                We still don't know what lamps @cruiser has in this car.
                This came up because it would be a clue as to whether its more likely the wiring saw higher loads than it was designed for.
                That said, the failure description was that the battery circuit was wildly fluctuating from charge to discharge.

                Yes original 4001, 4002 would place less load on the system than some later replacements. And my understanding is that depending on the hours of use and condition, some older sealed beams do a better job of putting light on the road than many of the current replacement lamps.... :(

                Regardless, in terms of lamp efficiency, a properly built and installed relay harness will reduce the resistance of current to the lamps.
                This means less heat in the original connections and wires. Equally important it means less voltage drop on the way from the alternator to the headlight.
                The impact of a lamp seeing lower voltage is described here. Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply :)

                I'm not against people using original lamps, especially in a car that is meant to be as original as possible. I gave someone an appropriate sealed beam specifically for that purpose. But for those that want more effective lighting for driving at night, its nice to know the options that are technically sound. Just like a lot of replacement parts on the market today, many things are not as well made or even as well designed as they used to be. :(
                 
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                • Bewy

                  Bewy Well-Known Member

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                  35 posts talking about LED lights, but not fixing the OPs problem, which I stated early in this thread is probably worn out alt brushes. They cannot handle the extra load of the Hi beams.
                  H/light switches get warm because they switch a lot of current & they have a rheostat that dims the panel lights; depending on where this is set, it will also generate some heat. A warm switch is not necessarily an indicator of failure. If the HL switch [ or dimmer sw] was faulty & causing a bouncing ammeter needle, I would expect the HLs to be flickering, & this has not been reported.
                   
                • crackedback

                  crackedback FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  Another benefit to the relay kit. No headlight load crossing the bulkhead multiple times and only switching energy to turn on relay, maybe 1/3 amp. Saves the headlight switch and bulkhead from all that heat. Reduces those failure point that makes these cars so adorable...

                  I do enjoy the butchering comment. I'm sure the guys with original hemi and six pack cars that I've built kits for feel that way, butchered. Even us lowly A body guys. :) A well designed kit is virtually invisible to most people looking in the engine compartment. Some take my kit and wrap it in friction tape. You really have to look for it and the halogens with a relay perform great, many comment they are better than the new vehicles they drive. No cutting EVER with a well designed kit.

                  In 10+ years I've had one reported failure of a relay and it had NOTHING to do with the relay itself. An acid was sprayed very close and corroded the relay switching mechanisms.

                  JMO, led lights look like crap in these older cars. Talk about butchery... :) As I say.. pick your parts, pay your money.
                   
                  Last edited: May 7, 2022
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                  • RustyRatRod

                    RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                    Do you know what plug and play means? I'm guessin no.
                     
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                    • cruiser

                      cruiser Well-Known Member

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                      Thanks for all the good ideas from everyone. As for the alternator, it was professionally rebuilt with new brushes so I think it might be okay. I had an extremely weird failure mode in my Duster last year that was a bit similar to this. The high beam headlights would cut out at night, leaving me going down the dark highway with NO LIGHTS. Very distressing. I instantly hit the floor dimmer switch to cut in the low beams, and the headlights came back on. This happened several times, so I pulled over. As I did, I had an entire electrical failure of the car. Everything went absolutely dead. Nothing. Opened the hood, couldn't find any problems. Five minutes later, I heard a click and the interior lights came back on. I was able to restart and drive the car with the headlights off the rest of the way. Replaced the floor dimmer switch and never again had that problem. It would appear that the main power for the car is routed in through the headlight switch, and that some sort of circuit breaker in the headlight switch cooled enough to reset itself and restore power to the car. Somehow, the dimmer switch was shorting something and overloading this circuit breaker.
                       
                    • Bewy

                      Bewy Well-Known Member

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                      Agree that relays are a good idea for incandescent HLs, especially a four HL car. Quite a bit of voltage drop through the harness & correctly wired relays will reduce this & give brighter lights. Relays not reqd for LEDs because of the low current draw.
                       
                    • 72bluNblu

                      72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      They still draw more power than would go through the switch with relays. The relay set up isn’t likely to make them brighter like running relays with incandescent lights, but it still lowers the draw on the switch. So it’s still a good idea.
                       
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                      • crackedback

                        crackedback FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        Indeed

                        Lots of new cars run LED style lights, I believe every new vehicle has relays to operate headlights. It's more about protecting switches and circuits from potential fatal draws.
                         
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                        • RustyRatRod

                          RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                          It sure is, plus we have a upstanding member that makes a very high end harness at a really reasonable price. What's not to love?
                           
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                          • Bewy

                            Bewy Well-Known Member

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                            I'll say it again: no need for relay with LED headlights. A 60w LED draws about 1/2 amp. That is a mere 3 amps for a 4 headlight car & 2 amp for a 2 h'light car.
                            The saving in voltage drop by using a relay, & all the extra trouble of wiring it up, would be sooooooooooo minimal that you would not see the difference in light [ lumens ] output.
                            Incandescent headlights, different story: typical 35w low beam/55 w hi beam. Four headlights would draw 24 amps, so well worth the trouble of fitting relays.
                             
                          • RustyRatRod

                            RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                            My Valiant did exactly the same thing after I installed a Hella H4 halogen conversion kit. Now mind you, this was before I installed @crackedback's conversion harness, so the headlight switch was handling the full load of the headlight circuit. Something it was not designed to do even with the stock lighting, much less the upgraded Hellas I installed. As long as I kept them on dim, all was well.

                            I got crackedback's conversion harness and installed it and that took care of it 100% and also made them much brighter, since I was now getting alternator voltage to the headlights. I later upgraded to the genuine Cibie 7" E code lights later on. Although the Hellas are good, they are still not as good as the Cibies.

                            I agree with the others though, that you should find out what's going on first, before you upgrade anything.
                             
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