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Old 06-01-2005, 11:20 AM
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Reverse Lights and Headlights

I have a gm tilt column and would like to get some reverse lights working. I have located the reverse switch on the column. I found a diagram on the internet showing the side to hook the power up to and the side out to the lights. Do I have to use a relay to hook up 1 fog style lamp? Can the switch handle the load? Does a stock GM car use a relay or just the switch?

Another Question.

If I run my headlights through a relay the way many have suggested on this site would the original 16 ga. wire to the headlight be good enough? Or do I need all new wiring from the relay to the headlights? The headlights are the round sealed beam halogens.

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Old 06-01-2005, 05:20 PM
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Doc here,

If your adding a Fog light (to the reverse switch?) you must install a relay.

If it's an aftermarket style fog lamp it will draw many times more the amount of current than the switch can handle...(Light may draw 20 or 30 amps..where the switch will only handle 3 to 5 amps max before meltdown)

The Stock GM Does not use a relay for backup lights usually depending on vehicle, HOWEVER, they only use 2 small, low current bulbs for reverse lights, not a massive fog type lamp.

If you run a headlight relay, you need to upgrade your headlight DELIVERY wires. you can use the 18 gauge from the switch for the control (coil) Circuit...Two reasons for this,

1) If you are doing it just to "Brighten" the lights, your shooting yourself in the foot using under gauge wire...
(you can only "Push" so much water through a 1/2 pipe..)

2) If the upgrade included higher current lamps, you need the wire protection between the relay and Source current.

Scenario: 60 amp fuse link, 2-30 amp relays, 2- 30 amp lights..18 gauge wire...Find the weakest link...That's going to melt and burn first! Upgrade the wire to 10 gauge.

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