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Old 01-06-2012, 08:33 AM
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Driving Lights to Turn Signal Conversion

I'm usually over in the interior forum so this is my 1st electical post. I'm about to finish a 5 yr resto/mod project on a 1975 Datsun 280Z. I have a set of "Optronics" driving lights (2 individual bulbs on each side) that I picked up from Walmart that I want to use as front park/signal lights in place of the original equipment. The driving lights have 1 black & 1 white wire for each bulb. The factory harness has 1 black wire, 1 green & 1 green/white wire on each side. I have tested the system with the factory lights and everything works fine so I know my fuse & flasher are working normally however I can't get the driving lights to blink when the signal lights are on. I have them wired thru relays on both sides since the driving lights are single filament bulbs as opposed to the normal double filament for signal lights. Here is how I have them wired:

(Plugs refer to the factory wiring.)

Fused Red power wire (15 amp fuse) from battery to the #30 terminals on both relays

Green/white wire from plug to 85 terminal. (Right side)
Green/white wire from plug to 85 terminal. (Left side)

Green wire from plug to 86 terminal (Right side)
Green wire from plug to 86 terminal (Left side)

Black wires from new lights to black wires on plugs (both sides)

White wire from new lights to terminal #87 (Right side)
White wire from new lights to terminal #87 (Left side)

I would be most grateful if anyone has an idea as to why the driving lights won't blink. If I have the park lights on and I turn on the signal then that side signal goes out but won't blink. If the park lights are not on and I turn on the signal the signal light will light up but won't blink.

Sorry for such a long post but this really has me baffled.

Thanks for any help.

Bryan

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Old 01-06-2012, 10:55 AM
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You don't need a relay. Just substitute the new lights for the old lights.
The new lights (driving lights) have black wires. These would be the grounds. Connect them together and ground them.
The new white wires are each park and turn signals. Select which you want to use for park or turn.
The existing turn signal flasher will require the load of the lamps to operate (flash).

vicrod
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:36 PM
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You will need a relay for each side. The driving lamps probably draw much more current that the turn signals originally on the car did. The amp draw of the driving lamps will quickly burn out the contacts inside the flasher, and the flasher will only stay "ON" for a very brief period of time, maybe even not long enough to even get any light out of the driving lamp.

Get the original turn lights working first. If the 1974 240Z is wired like my Datsun pickup, the park and turn lights are a dual filament bulb, one wire goes to the park filament, and the other wire goes to the turn filament, and both filaments ground through the base of the lamp, into the light housing, and the body of the car.

You need to figure out how the Wal*Mart lights are wired, Do they ground through the mounting?
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:54 PM
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Car won,t pass inspection unless all lights are DOT approved for the purpose.
Sometimes fog lights are called driving lights. A detailed description would be helpful.

vicrod
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:15 PM
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I agree with Vic in post 2, see no reason why the new single element would draw more amps/current than one side of the old dual filiment bulb.

My guess as to why it won't blink...... the flasher is only seeing the relay (turning it on) as the load and will never heat up the bi-metal contact in the flasher enough to make it disengage.... blink.

I'd remove the relays and see if it works, my guess is that it will, and if you just want the relays you'll need to get an electronic flaser, compatable with the 280Z's system. The ones that are made for LED conversion will prob work just fine.

Last edited by EOD Guy; 01-06-2012 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:54 PM
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How many relays are you useing per side?
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:07 AM
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Thanks for all the input,

I've already tried to wire without relays, doesn't work, thats why I went to relays. 1 Relay is wired into each side. I already wired the originals as factory and they work fine. Don't have to have an inspection sticker in Virginia for the car because of its age.

I was pretty much told by Daniel Stern Lighting that this was a bad idea for some reason..........

Oh well.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:22 AM
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I used to tow trailers with a 1971 Datsun pickup, "back in the day". The mechanical turn signals blinked at little different speed, when I had a trailer hooked up, the additional load of the trailer lights made the signal blink faster.
If a turn signal light burned out, on the Datsun, I know it because the turn signals blinked slower. The stock turn signal flasher is "balanced" to about the load two or three turn signal lamps.

You can use a relay to control additional lights. In fact, most modern trucks, and vans with trailer towing packages use a bank of relays to control the lights on the trailer. That way, if a trailer lights shorts out, it does not affect the functioning of the cars lights at all, it just blows the fuse in the trailer harness.

If you want to use the driving lights as turn signals, use a relay. But you must leave the electrical load of the original turn signal lights in the turn signal circuit. The coil of the relay is not enough of a load, to make a difference with the original number of lights on the circuit, and it is too small of a load to make up for a missing lamp in the circuit.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:27 PM
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Turn signal

First off, you just said you got optronics lights from Wally -mart, I have never been in a Wal-mart to buy car parts. and you never said, so I will ask are they LED lights.

With that said, I had the same problem on my 46 until I put a electronic flasher in it for both the signals and hazards. I did not run any relays, but if you are planning on using a single filament light for dual purpose, such as signal and running light I believe you would need one.

I have run mine 4 years now. also have a 3rd brake light.

Put in the electronic flasher .

Bob
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35terraplane
First off, you just said you got optronics lights from Wally -mart, I have never been in a Wal-mart to buy car parts. and you never said, so I will ask are they LED lights.

With that said, I had the same problem on my 46 until I put a electronic flasher in it for both the signals and hazards. I did not run any relays, but if you are planning on using a single filament light for dual purpose, such as signal and running light I believe you would need one.

I have run mine 4 years now. also have a 3rd brake light.

Put in the electronic flasher .

Bob
no, they are like fog lights

just put a lower watt bulb in them and call it a day!!
why do you need to have your turn signals seen 2 miles away?
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:54 PM
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Signals

Quote:
Originally Posted by matts37chev
no, they are like fog lights

just put a lower watt bulb in them and call it a day!!
why do you need to have your turn signals seen 2 miles away?
Thanks Matt. I didn't know what he had, he didn't say, EOD assumed they were.

and I'm with you why would anyone want fog lights, for turn signals.

Bob
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:25 PM
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You might try a 6 Ohm, 50 Watt resistor, like the ones used for LED taillights. I have tried to construct the circuit from the description you gave....... I'll attach it.....is this how you have it wired?
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35terraplane





Put in the electronic flasher .

Bob
This is the answer if everything else is wired properly. The electronic flashers are not load dependent.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:24 PM
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The wiring diagram is the way I have them wired. The lights are not LED's. They use an H3 type 55 watt bulb. The only other one I can find available is a 35 watt bulb. I believe the factory bulbs are 26 watt. I'm not trying to make my signal lights visible from miles away. Its just a custom modification that looks good in the front end of the car. I've been at this for about 5 yrs. I really appreciate you guys helping me out. Where would the resistor go? Thanks again for the help.

Bryan
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:49 PM
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here is a H3 replacement LED you would want the H3-AHP9 yellow one, if your lens is yellow
these would allow you to just hook them up to you regular wires, with out the extra b.s.
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