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Hi guys, just a question for those of you with good auto electric knowledge (not me).

I fancied putting some spotties on my roof, a la american pickup style, so bought a locking roof bar and some lights. I've fitted the lights to the bar and stuck them on the roof, and (blowing my own trumpet) they look the mutts nuts. However, I've wired them separate to the main lights (ie, on their own switch on the dash, not to come on with the main beam, just at the flick of a switch). They come on with the switch as intended but the wires get very hot, and it blows anything smaller than a 20 amp fuse. Also, they make a big drain on the alternator and the fan belt squeals like a good one. I havent wired them via a relay as like i say i didnt want them to be linked to the main beam. Legalities aside, is there anything i can do with the relay without tapping the main beam? Will the relay regulate how much juice they sup? There are four of them on the roof and they are 55w each. I've seen tons of jimny's with racks of lights on them so I just assumed that the alternator would handle them.

Cheers

Gary
 

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So I can just use the relay that came with the wiring kit and miss out the main beam headlights from the circuit? Will that stop the lights from draining the alternator and overheating the wires?
 

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no, the relay is only a switch... it's kind of a second switch that takes the load off the toggle switch in your dash. What it does is allow you to run normal gauge wire between the dash switch and the relay. and then you only have to use the heavy gauge stuff between the relay and the lights, and a heavy gauge power supply cable to the relay. Your alternator is very small and can barely power your vehicle, let alone a bunch of accessories. 4 extra lamps is a lot of power draw, especially if you are using 55watt lamps. Another option would be to run HID lights, they use half the power and put out twice the light of a halogen bulb. You could get more light from a 2 lamp xenon setup that's drawing 50 amps total than you could out of your 4 halogen bulb setup that's drawing over 200 amps.
 

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no, the relay is only a switch... it's kind of a second switch that takes the load off the toggle switch in your dash. What it does is allow you to run normal gauge wire between the dash switch and the relay. and then you only have to use the heavy gauge stuff between the relay and the lights, and a heavy gauge power supply cable to the relay. Your alternator is very small and can barely power your vehicle, let alone a bunch of accessories. 4 extra lamps is a lot of power draw, especially if you are using 55watt lamps. Another option would be to run HID lights, they use half the power and put out twice the light of a halogen bulb. You could get more light from a 2 lamp xenon setup that's drawing 50 amps total than you could out of your 4 halogen bulb setup that's drawing over 200 amps.


Great info and good point.

I think you probably need to replace your alternator. Get a SI10 or SI12, or whatever is available in your region. You can also try a HiLux alt, like I have done on my Samurai. Change the bulbs to lower current ones.
 

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I was just re-reading my post and noticed I said 50 amp light. A 50 watt light is not 50 amps. That's a typo. I can't believe no one corrected me on that yet. 4 bulbs at 50 watts is about 18 amps. Keep that in mind when shopping for relays or trying to figure out what gauge wire to use. If you tell the guy at the parts store that you need a headlight relay that can handle 120 amps, he's going to ask you to come back when you aren't on drugs.

Sorry about that and I hope I didn't cause too much confusion.
 

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I was just re-reading my post and noticed I said 50 amp light. A 50 watt light is not 50 amps. That's a typo. I can't believe no one corrected me on that yet. 4 bulbs at 50 watts is about 18 amps. Keep that in mind when shopping for relays or trying to figure out what gauge wire to use. If you tell the guy at the parts store that you need a headlight relay that can handle 120 amps, he's going to ask you to come back when you aren't on drugs.

Sorry about that and I hope I didn't cause too much confusion.
LOL

I fell for it too :)
 

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still need the relay and the heavier gauge wire. 18 amps is still a big drain on the little 45 amp alternator, so upgrading it is still recommended for running a light bar. Don't need more than 75 amps, but more is better... good for winches, compressors, etc. I think 2 HID lamps will draw 9 amps.
 

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probably a stupid question (and off topic sorry) but how many amps does the car use with all lights, aircon (or fan in most cases), stereo, etc off, just the engine running? as a rough figure...
 
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