Mazda 6 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So i recently bought a set of 4500k apexcones to install. I did a little looking around and it seems pretty straight forward. The one thing I am a little confused about is an after market wiring harness. Is this something I need, something I should do, or is it one of those do it if you want kind of deals. I can get all the stuff here and install it myself, I'm just really not sure if I need one.

Obviously I would like to make this project go nice and smooth, but I will take the extra time to make sure my car stays nice and I don't hurt anything. If anyone could shed a little light on this that would be great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
It is highly recommended to use an aftermarket harness because the factory wiring harness wasn't designed to handle the large current draw when you first turn on the HID's. At start up, the current draw can be up to 15 amps for each ballast and if they are tied into the same power wire, it can add up to 25 to 30 amps total. For 15 amps, the ballast wires need to be 14 AWG and for 30 amps, the wire needs to be 12 AWG. Once the HID capsules reach operating load, the current draw will drop down to 4 to 5 amps, which is less than halogen.

If you use the factory harness, the headlight fuses will blow because they are only 10 amp fuses. If you replace them with larger fuses, then you have to worry about drawing more current than what the factory wires can handle. If it draws too much, over time the wire's resistance will increase, thereby increasing heat in the wires and eventually melting it.

Remember, it is not just the (+) wires that need to be larger, the (-) wires / ground must also be larger.

Also, use an appropriate relay to trigger the power to the HID's (typically 5-pin Bosch type).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
It is highly recommended to use an aftermarket harness because the factory wiring harness wasn't designed to handle the large current draw when you first turn on the HID's. At start up, the current draw can be up to 15 amps for each ballast and if they are tied into the same power wire, it can add up to 25 to 30 amps total. For 15 amps, the ballast wires need to be 14 AWG and for 30 amps, the wire needs to be 12 AWG. Once the HID capsules reach operating load, the current draw will drop down to 4 to 5 amps, which is less than halogen.

If you use the factory harness, the headlight fuses will blow because they are only 10 amp fuses. If you replace them with larger fuses, then you have to worry about drawing more current than what the factory wires can handle. If it draws too much, over time the wire's resistance will increase, thereby increasing heat in the wires and eventually melting it.

Remember, it is not just the (+) wires that need to be larger, the (-) wires / ground must also be larger.

Also, use an appropriate relay to trigger the power to the HID's (typically 5-pin Bosch type).
[/b]

Good points, electrical engineer perhaps?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
thanks alot - i really needed this info as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,775 Posts
It is highly recommended to use an aftermarket harness because the factory wiring harness wasn't designed to handle the large current draw when you first turn on the HID's. At start up, the current draw can be up to 15 amps for each ballast and if they are tied into the same power wire, it can add up to 25 to 30 amps total. For 15 amps, the ballast wires need to be 14 AWG and for 30 amps, the wire needs to be 12 AWG. Once the HID capsules reach operating load, the current draw will drop down to 4 to 5 amps, which is less than halogen.

If you use the factory harness, the headlight fuses will blow because they are only 10 amp fuses. If you replace them with larger fuses, then you have to worry about drawing more current than what the factory wires can handle. If it draws too much, over time the wire's resistance will increase, thereby increasing heat in the wires and eventually melting it.

Remember, it is not just the (+) wires that need to be larger, the (-) wires / ground must also be larger.

Also, use an appropriate relay to trigger the power to the HID's (typically 5-pin Bosch type).
[/b]
That's great technical info, but then there is real-world info.

There are many people that have been running HID's for over 2 years (myself included; in fact, I have 2 sets of HIDs) without any problems. I personally would not spend the money for a harness, the car handles a 35w HID kit just fine with no issues. A harness helps them start up faster (by about 1-2 seconds) but other than that provides no value at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,115 Posts
Do we have any actual reported cases of stock wiring failing because of HID's? I don't remember ever reading about one, but IMO I'd probably spring the $40 for peace of mind...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
542 Posts
Im using a aftermarket harness from RPM.... Just for the reason that you never know down the road!!! For the extra 40 dollars you get piece of mind, and the harness wiring is alot bigger and more heavy duty then the stock wiring! Here is some pics of the aftermarket wiring on my install!
http://forum.mazda6club.com/index.php?showtopic=59928
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
i have the 8000K McCulloch HID's on my 6 with a stock harness and ive never had a problem. i had HID's on my last car as well with a stock harness and never once had a proble. i personally wouldnt spend the money on the harness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,932 Posts
hmmmm.. nobody really knows how our car will withstand the high amperage startup from the ballast, it might be the fact that Euro-spec 6 has stock xenon and thus PNP retrofit, and MAYBE they didnt change the wiring as well...

for that 40 bucks, i wouldnt risk melting the stock harness, and IIRC, it costs at least 10 times than buying a harness, if you want to risk it, go ahead, but i m not a risk taker myself, especially when it comes to my 6. just my 0.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Well I have all the parts together to assemble the harness, so I guess I will do it. Like I said before I will spend the money if it will protect the car.
Now comes the fun part of putting the harness together and installing everything. I plan to start this project tuesday after work. I will do my best to take some pics of what I got and how I connected everything together. I have to warn you though, I take terrible pictures.

If anyone has a picture of a harness they built that would be sweet, otherwise I will just figure it out as I go along.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,932 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Using a separate harness is just cheap insurance. It may take many years for problems to show up when overloading the stock wires, depending on the gauge used from the factory. Many owners may not see problems for the length of ownership of the car. After all, you are only overloading it for a short period of time (only during start up) and so the heat that is generated is also brief. It does not continuously overload the wires like high wattage halogen bulbs. But over time, the resistance of the wires can increase due to overload, which perpetuates the heat problem.

If you plan on keeping your car for many years, you may see the problems arise later on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the link, exactly what I was looking for.

Looking on there I have a good feeling. When I set everything out last night and went throught it in my head that is close to what I had come up with. I hope I can make mine turn out as clean as his. That stuff will blend right in to the stock wiring. Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
That's great technical info, but then there is real-world info.

There are many people that have been running HID's for over 2 years (myself included; in fact, I have 2 sets of HIDs) without any problems. I personally would not spend the money for a harness, the car handles a 35w HID kit just fine with no issues. A harness helps them start up faster (by about 1-2 seconds) but other than that provides no value at all.
[/b]

i have the 8000K McCulloch HID's on my 6 with a stock harness and ive never had a problem. i had HID's on my last car as well with a stock harness and never once had a proble. i personally wouldnt spend the money on the harness.
[/b]

Not only does it protect the factory headlight circuit, but it also helps to extend the life of the HID ballast. Ballast will last longer if they dont have to struggle on intial start up. <--- only time will tell.

HID should last the life time of the vehicle- depending on the quality of the parts. If it doesnt or prematurely fails, then you'll know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,932 Posts
1 more side note, aftermarket ballast fail prematurely than OEM ballast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Not only does it protect the factory headlight circuit, but it also helps to extend the life of the HID ballast. Ballast will last longer if they dont have to struggle on intial start up. <--- only time will tell.

HID should last the life time of the vehicle- depending on the quality of the parts. If it doesnt or prematurely fails, then you'll know.
[/b]

actually HID's are estimated to last 2000 - 3000 hours depending on the manufacturer. alot of people believe they are sapose to last the life of the car, but they dont. i see a fair amount of vehicles with stock HID's that have one burnt out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,932 Posts
actually HID's are estimated to last 2000 - 3000 hours depending on the manufacturer. alot of people believe they are sapose to last the life of the car, but they dont. i see a fair amount of vehicles with stock HID's that have one burnt out.
[/b]
good point, but that only for the bulbs only.... no bulbs will last forever... philips/osram D1/2R/S (or even D4R/S) bulbs have lifespan of 2000 hours... with colorshift at ~200hours.. aftermarket ones prob, we're looking at 1000-1500 hours of lifespan or less... OEM ballast (w or w/o ignitor) will last very long as long as you remember the 3 rules : never turn HIDs on 3 times/hour, never turn it off then on before the bulbs cool down, NO WATER !!! there are some other rules, but these are the more important ones IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
actually HID's are estimated to last 2000 - 3000 hours depending on the manufacturer. alot of people believe they are sapose to last the life of the car, but they dont. i see a fair amount of vehicles with stock HID's that have one burnt out.
[/b]

So your telling me you car is gonna last 3000+ hours of night driving? Thats a whole lotta miles.

Lets say the avearge car last 200,000 miles. How many mile of that driving was at night? How many hours coud that have been?

Oh and this is assuming you only use your low beam HID for night driving and not as DRL.


Lets say average highway speed at 65 miles per hour all at night with lights on. 2000 hours of night driving at 65 MPH is about 130,000 miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
690 Posts
i dont think miles is an accurate way of measuring the life span of HIDs.

for a 2000~ hours life

let's say u drive an avg of 1.5 hour during night time per day (and this is EVERYDAY we are talking about, and that's a lot), it would come to about 4years or so?

but that's assuming you drive that much each night every night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
Yeah true

but still a $40 harness isnt bad insurance. Or you can make your own for like $10.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top