Mazda 6 Forums banner
1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I decided to turn the white part of my LED switchbacks into a sort of DRL. With this mod, the white portion of the switchback LEDs come on when the ignition is ON (not accessory position) and the hand brake is down. Pulling the handbrake up when parked turns them off. Turning on the headlights does not alter the behavior, but it would be easy enough to turn them off with an additional relay if you decided to.

This was actually a relatively easy mod (since I had already done the swithcback mod.) The hardest part was running the wire for the hand brake switch through the firewall. I chose to run it through the grommet for the windshield wiper wires.

1. My car has a fuse position that is unused (shown as a slash in the upper left of the photo.). I used a "add a fuse" to tap into that. This particular fuse position retains power for 90 seconds after turning the car off, so it also makes a good "hey, you forgot to pull up the hand brake lever" reminder.





2. Using the hand brake switch (so the LEDs turn off when the hand brake is pulled up) I created the following circuit:



3. Here's a picture of the installed relay:



That's all there was to it. I know this isn't as bright as a "true" DRL, but I like the added visibility of the car.

Update 09/27/12:

I added a second relay to turn off the DRL when the headlights are turned on. I also added a 12V voltage regulator to fix a problem with "transient flashes" on the switchbacks.

Updated Schematic:



Picture of second tap-a-fuse for the headlight power:



Picture of relays installed:

 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just noticed images were broken - fixed the images.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,995 Posts
I'm assuming your switchbacks are the 1157 bulbs? If so, how did you go about making use of the extra contact? I saw the DIY method of soldering to the bulb, but I dont like that idea. I'm in process of doing the same, in my own way. Do you have a pic with them on?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm assuming your switchbacks are the 1157 bulbs? If so, how did you go about making use of the extra contact? I saw the DIY method of soldering to the bulb, but I dont like that idea. I'm in process of doing the same, in my own way. Do you have a pic with them on?
Heh - I actually just finished re-doing them for about the 10th time yesterday because I was always having one problem or another with them. Here is what I wound up with in the end:



Basically, I bought a regular metal dual-contact 1157 socket, used the dremel to bore out the plastic Mazda socket, "cross-wired" the ground and high filament to the high filament and ground metal strips on the Mazda socket (since the OEM Mazda socket is actually wired "backwards"), then ran the 3rd wire (the low filament) out through the engine side of the Mazda socket. Here is the metal socket "insert" I purchased:



(purchased from Custom LED: Custom LED Dual Contact Bayonet Light Bulb Sockets )

This finally seems to be a solution that works great. I initially soldered the LED in, but that got old after about the 3rd time of removing it to troubleshoot... I also tried a metal socket "insert" that I made from one I purchased from Advance Auto by removing the giant flange:



That insert failed as soon as I drove the car a little bit because the "pressed metal" design that is supposed to hold the bulb nubs in sucks and the bulbs vibrated out. I also had a problem with my bulb sockets that I created in the original post because they would pop out sometimes due to the flanges on the OEM Mazda socket being removed. What you see here in my updated picture are brand new Mazda sockets I bought to re-do this mod with (keeping the tabs in place.) I was somewhat demoralized by the whole thing yesterday when I re-did all of this, so I didn't take any pictures during the work (expecting it'd probably fail one way or another again,) but I hope to write up a how-to for this method soon (I just won't have the actual "during" pictures.) I'm really happy with how this version of the mod turned out though!

Side note: our BCM's seem to do something weird with the turn signals that was causing a weird "transient flash" on my switchbacks (video here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7mPGdPquBB4a3p3c3EyR0hXdWs/edit?pli=1 ) but I ultimately found the solution to that was to install a 12v voltage regulator on the white LED positive supply line.

Good luck on the project!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,995 Posts
Oh! That's a fantastic idea! Nice work!

For my project, I actually swapped the contacts in the headlight housing, instead of messing with the bulb holder or re-wiring. Worked out really well.. seamless.
Then, when I had my drive side headlight assembly open for "other" reasons.. I fabricated a third contact for the directional stalk and wired to the 194 bulb's power.
Then I made this..





So far it works pretty well, though it is currently disconnected until I can do the passenger side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,995 Posts
Ohhh so you have them wired to turn off with headlights on.. That's probably the proper thing to do.. I was just going to have mine on/off with ignition.

Here's what became of the other side:





To revert to stock I really just have to pull the ex-paperclips off.

Anyway, back to your original post... I currently have my fog relay triggered by the Main relay in the fuse box. This turns them on with ignition, and off aprox 10 seconds after ignition off, and I still have control via the factory switch. However, once in a while the main relay doesn't turn off for 10+ minutes after shutting the car off, and this concerns me a bit. I think I may take a few cues from your method for a bit of piece of mind.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ohhh so you have them wired to turn off with headlights on.. That's probably the proper thing to do.. I was just going to have mine on/off with ignition.
...
Anyway, back to your original post... I currently have my fog relay triggered by the Main relay in the fuse box. This turns them on with ignition, and off aprox 10 seconds after ignition off, and I still have control via the factory switch. However, once in a while the main relay doesn't turn off for 10+ minutes after shutting the car off, and this concerns me a bit. I think I may take a few cues from your method for a bit of piece of mind.
Yeah, I don't know what that unused fuse position is for that I plugged my "DRL" into, but it comes on with ignition and stays on for 90 seconds after ignition off - it's pretty much ideal since I also wired up the handbrake to turn off the "DRL" when the handbrake is up. (That's kinda optional, but nice for when you want to sit at night with engine on on but have the DRL off - "stalker mode" LOL.)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
GRR - I also just realized that I haven't updated this post with my "Version 2" of this mod that uses a second relay to turn off the DRL's. Another update is that I had to add a 12v voltage regulator to cure the "transient flashes" problem I was having with the switchbacks. I'll try to update the OP soon w/new pictures and schematic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,995 Posts
Nice. I wonder what could have been causing those flashes.. Then again, I know that LEDs cause some weird stuff to happen elsewhere, so who knows. I've had LED brake lights (with brake light mod) for a few months now.. but just the other day the "parking light indicator" in my gauge cluster started dimly illuminating every time I applied the brakes.. I'm going to try some inline diodes first to see if that helps.. probably this weekend.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nice. I wonder what could have been causing those flashes.. Then again, I know that LEDs cause some weird stuff to happen elsewhere, so who knows. I've had LED brake lights (with brake light mod) for a few months now.. but just the other day the "parking light indicator" in my gauge cluster started dimly illuminating every time I applied the brakes.. I'm going to try some inline diodes first to see if that helps.. probably this weekend.
The transient flashes were caused by the voltage difference between my +12v source for the white LEDs (about 13.8v) vs the turn signal voltage from the BCM (only about 12v.) The LED switchbacks couldn't handle the voltage difference so they behaved erratically - that's why I added the voltage regulator to bring that 13.8v down to 12v. These switchbacks are very picky about voltage!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Nice. I wonder what could have been causing those flashes.. Then again, I know that LEDs cause some weird stuff to happen elsewhere, so who knows. I've had LED brake lights (with brake light mod) for a few months now.. but just the other day the "parking light indicator" in my gauge cluster started dimly illuminating every time I applied the brakes.. I'm going to try some inline diodes first to see if that helps.. probably this weekend.
I just realized you said the parking light indicator comes on when you apply the brakes - most likely, you are low on brake fluid (or the pads are worn enough that the fluid is low cause it's all in the calipers.)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hmm.. well I just changed rotors, pads, and fluid last month, so that's not it. I'll check fluid levels tomorrow though.

This is me at a stop light:


With lights on, that indicator is much brighter. In that picture it looks pretty bright but it really isn't..
Hmm - I thought you were talking about this light:



The indicator you are showing does look like a bulb out type of indicator (I don't think my car has that option.)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Oh! That's a fantastic idea! Nice work!

For my project, I actually swapped the contacts in the headlight housing, instead of messing with the bulb holder or re-wiring. Worked out really well.. seamless.
Then, when I had my drive side headlight assembly open for "other" reasons.. I fabricated a third contact for the directional stalk and wired to the 194 bulb's power.
Then I made this..





So far it works pretty well, though it is currently disconnected until I can do the passenger side.
whats the paper clip hooked up to? and how did you make the paper clip able to make contact in the housing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Just noticed images were broken - fixed the images.
i know this is an older post, but i have some questions. do i need a relay once i add a fuse? if so, what wires should i have going to it? also, do i have to have the ground from the resistor tapped into the turn signal ground, or can i make my own ground? i want them to be hooked up to just ignition, not handbrake btw if you have and suggestions/examples that i could use i would be :D cuz right now, i'm :confused: lol
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
i know this is an older post, but i have some questions. do i need a relay once i add a fuse? if so, what wires should i have going to it? also, do i have to have the ground from the resistor tapped into the turn signal ground, or can i make my own ground? i want them to be hooked up to just ignition, not handbrake btw if you have and suggestions/examples that i could use i would be :D cuz right now, i'm :confused: lol
There are only 2 reasons you'd need a relay:

1. If you want the white to turn off when you pull up the hand brake lever. (which you said you didn't want.)
2. If you want the white to turn off when the headlights are on. I recommend this, but it's really up to you.

If you choose neither 1 or 2 above then you really just need to wire the white lead to any ignition source in the fuse box in the engine compartment using a tap-a-fuse. You do not have to use the turn signal ground - any ground will do. My fuse box had a blank position (see pictures in first post) that happened to provide ignition power (plus 90 seconds of power after ignition off) which worked well for me, but you could probably put the tap-a-fuse on the radio/audio fuse if you don't have that.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top