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Advice Needed: Before car burns to the ground

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  • #16
    Instead of buying an aftermarket headlight relay kit, check EBAY for a 6 volt headlight relay. They turn up regularly and that is where I go if I need a headlight relay. The original style headlight relay has 2 relays in it and the appropriate size fuse in it. It is also much easier to wire than that 2 relay setup for 90 bucks and will be a bunch cheaper too. You might want to check with your local NAPA store as they did sell headlight relays and might be a good place to look first. Bud

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    • #17
      Please use a relay with Halogens.

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      • #18

        (your headlight switch is the "On/Off Switch").

        Like most Studebakers, your headlight switch is hot from the battery 100% of the time, so ignore the ignition switch in this case.

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        • #19
          Dave's diagram is great. For maximum benefit put the relay as close to the headlights as you can. Most of these cars have a junction block on the fenders that is good for that. Then run a nice fat power lead to the relay and you should have no problems.

          This page shows how I installed a relay on my Jeepster's horn (Kaiser had HORRIBLE wiring, no horn relay from the factory). Same idea., notice how it is RIGHT next to the horn.
          https://jeepster.vonadatech.com/2016/09/14/beep-beep/

          I did the same thing on the convertible top switch and I will do the headlights too.
          Nathan
          _______________
          http://stude.vonadatech.com
          https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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          • #20
            Lark, Gary, Dave, Bud, Nathan, Corbin, et al

            Thank you all for lending out your experience... I confirm I have H4 sealed beam headlights...
            1. So far, I've gathered that using Dave's diagram as a template, and Lark's advice, I think a 20 amp fuse from battery would suffice, yes?
            2. What rating should the relay be? 40 amp N.O. (Normally Open)?
            3. I plan on matching to, and using existing gauge wires (14), except for the ones from the Battery. Would that be acceptable? Would a 10 or 8 gauge work from the Battery?
            4. Can I get opinions on number of/placement of the relays? I can (A.) set up two on the side of the junction block opposite the headlights -- or (B.) install 4 total (1 Low/1 High right next to each headlight) but this might be over-engineering it.
            Finally, pulled the switch today and took it apart. TBH, I expected worse... Seeing this, does it appear salvageable?

            So many questions -- thanks again!
            Jimbo
            Attached Files
            -James

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            • #21
              That switch does not look bad. IF it were me I would reassemble and try it! Modern relays almost all have both normally open and normally closed terminals. You need a 6V which will be a little harder to find. You also need a relay rated for continuous duty. Some horn relays were only designed to be energized for short periods of time. If you get a "vintage" relay it will be hard to determine the specs but again just try it and see. If it fails you can turn the headlights on just by moving a wire to a different terminal.

              This relay is intended for a cooling fan so should be able to handle headlights: https://www.speedwaymotors.com/6-Vol...lay,66474.html. There may be cheaper sources.

              If it were me I would be tempted to either use an old-style metal can relay or put the guts from a modern relay into an old can to make it look right. Or you could hide it somewhere and the judges would not even know it exists. But then servicing is trickier. Whatever makes you happy!

              Nathan
              _______________
              http://stude.vonadatech.com
              https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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              • #22
                Originally posted by nvonada View Post
                That switch does not look bad. IF it were me I would reassemble and try it! Modern relays almost all have both normally open and normally closed terminals. You need a 6V which will be a little harder to find. You also need a relay rated for continuous duty. Some horn relays were only designed to be energized for short periods of time. If you get a "vintage" relay it will be hard to determine the specs but again just try it and see. If it fails you can turn the headlights on just by moving a wire to a different terminal.

                This relay is intended for a cooling fan so should be able to handle headlights: https://www.speedwaymotors.com/6-Vol...lay,66474.html. There may be cheaper sources.

                If it were me I would be tempted to either use an old-style metal can relay or put the guts from a modern relay into an old can to make it look right. Or you could hide it somewhere and the judges would not even know it exists. But then servicing is trickier. Whatever makes you happy!

                Nathan
                I agree with all of this. I don't see enough damage to trash the switch outright, and packing a modern relay in an old-style can would look 'right' to those that did not know it was not supposed to be there.
                Ron Dame
                '63 Champ

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                • #23
                  Yeah. That switch doesn't look as bad as I'd have imagined. It should be plenty good enough to trigger relays .

                  I would go with two relays- one for the low beam circuit, and one for high beam. If you can find ones with two Normally Open (87) terminals, it makes it easier to run one wire to each headlamp. A lot of the relays will have one 87 and one 87a terminal; the 87a is Normally Closed, so not used. I would fuse the input wire (30) of each relay as close as possible to the power source you're tapping into- and yep, use a 20 amp fuse for each one. 12ga wire would be adequate and safe, given the fairly short length of the circuit... but stepping up to 10ga wouldn't be a bad thing, either. Also, don't forget to upsize the ground wire that runs from headlight to body while you're in there.

                  Punching "6 volt headlight relay" into your search engine of choice should bring up a decent selection of different relays... I found a number of NOS vintage ones that wouldn't look too out of place on your car. Anything rated 20 amps (120 watts) and up would be fine... I usually avoid no name parts if I'm buying new- Getting left in the dark because a $3.00 relay pooped itself is no fun.
                  Whirling dervish of misinformation.

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                  • #24
                    Hey Stude Lads!
                    Based on the messages/contributions in this thread, I've sketched up a schematic for review and "approval" -- the #10 gauge wire, fuses and relays are on the way, and would like to confirm how to put it together. I have two points to confirm:
                    1. Wires between relays and junction block -- use existing #16 Black and #14 Red? Or replace with #10?
                    2. Wires between junction block and headlights -- same question.

                    Thanks, All -- again!
                    Jimbo

                    Attached Files
                    -James

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                    • #25
                      Nicely drawn.

                      The master (dash) headlight switch will be ahead of the dimmer switch, correct? And this which is normally hot to the battery 24/7, so the take offs from batt to relays could be the same circuit that heads to the dash switch.

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                      • #26
                        You're very close! You just need to increase the wire size of terminal 87 on the relays to 10ga (or 12ga), to the terminal block and then to the headlights, as this is the path that current from terminal 30 will take once the relay is energized.
                        Whirling dervish of misinformation.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by NCDave51 View Post
                          Nicely drawn.

                          The master (dash) headlight switch will be ahead of the dimmer switch, correct? And this which is normally hot to the battery 24/7, so the take offs from batt to relays could be the same circuit that heads to the dash switch.
                          Yep. The main headlamp switch is upstream from the dimmer, and has battery voltage at all times. The dimmer switch doesn't have power to it until you turn the headlights on... then it sends power to whichever beam you have selected.
                          Whirling dervish of misinformation.

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                          • #28
                            Since you have H4 capsule bulbs why not replace with a good LED, then you will NOT need any further modification to the wiring at all. They draw less current than even stock bulbs.
                            Bez Auto Alchemy
                            573-318-8948
                            http://bezautoalchemy.com


                            "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by bezhawk View Post
                              Since you have H4 capsule bulbs why not replace with a good LED, then you will NOT need any further modification to the wiring at all. They draw less current than even stock bulbs.
                              This is a good idea.

                              However, if you are going to keep the halogen lights, I'd suggest that you just buy the $90 adapter kit and move on. The kit just connects between the old headlight socket and the headlights and requires one heavy wire to feed the circuit from the battery. You save a few bucks doing it yourself but not much when you add up the cost of wire etc. these days. If you are nervous about the wiring from the battery to the adapters you could add a fusible link or fuse to the system.

                              JMO, Bob

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                              • #30
                                Appreciate the answers to all the questions... I can't quite express the relief (and confidence) of knowing this will be done safely because of all the support in this thread.

                                I'll post pictures as the project unfolds to create a complete record; perhaps someone in the future will be able to use this thread and come away with the same clear direction!

                                Again, with many thanks,
                                Jimbo
                                -James

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