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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-07-2000, 08:10 PM
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Somebody Please Help!

I really need your guys help. I just installed a set of Hella 500's on the front of my 2000 XTerra. I followed the wiring diagram exactly, except instead of wiring the hot lead on the switch to the headlamps as Hella suggests, I wired it to my cigarette lighter for a constant hot. (Hella has the wiring set up this way because of DOT regulations - you're not supposed to have fog lamps, driving lamps, etc on unless your headlights are on) At first I tried wiring the negative and positive leads on the switch directly to the battery with no fuse, and it fried the switch because there was too much amperage. Then I tried connecting it to the cigarette lighter leads, and noe I'm blowing fuses. What I'm wondering is this: Am I blowing fuses because the switch is drawing too many amps, or because there is a short in the system? To make things even more confusing, I temporarily wired up the lamps a couple of weeks ago when I first got them, and they worked fine! The onloy thing I did between now and then differently was permanently run the wires for the switch. When I hooked them up the first time a few weeks ago, I had the ground to the switch connected to the body, and the positive on the battery post. When I fried the switch today, I had both connections directly on the battery posts - could the fact that the current was running throught the body of the car be enough to reduce the amperage? Anyone's thougths on my problem here would help

Thanks
-J

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-07-2000, 11:32 PM
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Re: Somebody Please Help!

IF you are indeed wiring the way you say you are you shouldn't be having problems. Your use of terms is also a little off so I could have misunderstood you.

Amps are the amount of power (current) drawn. Watts divided by volts equals amps. So let's say you have 100 watt lamps, it's a 12 volt system so the draw is 8.33 amps. Since you have 2 that's 16.66 amps. You would need wire, a switch and a fuse rated for 20 amps. Any wire you tap into should be rated for the 20 amps plus what it's for originally. The Cigarette lighter fuse probably blew because you were drawing too much current (amperage). I think your best bet is to run separate wires for the Hellas. It's a little more effort but you won't have to worry about burning your wiring harness. If you are still having problems you might want to consider paying somebody to wire it for you.

post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2000, 05:48 PM
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Re: Somebody Please Help!

From what you've stated JMikos I think you have a short somewhere after your switch that is causing your problems. If it was before the switch the wire would burn up as soon as you connected it to the battery. The switch itself should have zero resistance anyway (a dead short) when closed so no the switch itself can't draw too much current it only passes current the load (lights or a ground short!) is pulling. The car body should be at ground (negative battery terminal) and give no significant resistance to the neg. terminal unless there is a problem. You broke the first rule of wiring, NEVER wire a circuit without a fuse in it! BKinzey is right about the current carry rating of the wires. I would disconnect everything and wire to the battery directly like you first did with a FUSE and switch to check that all is OK. Good luck.

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