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Old 05-16-2013, 03:23 PM   #1
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Quick Angel Eye question (eye roll)

This is a dumb question that I hope can be answered in a few sentences by someone with 100% electrical knowledge as opposed to my 75% understanding.

I bought a used set of V2s. My wires are different from the instructions. I don't have browns or a relay. I've taken taken angel eyes apart/off twice and I guess I should've paid better attention because now I'm not 100% sure what goes where when I want to install them.

See photo below...

Not pictured is the on/off switch they came with, which has a black hot wire coming into it and then the red/white wires came out of it. I don't need or want a switch. On when the car is on, off otherwise. That's all I need.

My assumption is that red is hot and white is the return/not hot (whatever the heck it's called). That's how it is in every outlet or light switch I've ever wired, anyway...

What confuses me is that it's the white wire that carries all the way through to the headlights. Red continues along, passes through a fuse (why?), then terminates.

Coming from the other direction, the eyes have black/white, and the black, just before the fuse, also terminates.

So I'm confused. Thinking in terms of red/white/ground as I'm used to, I'm not sure what plugs into where. Red into the + Terminal, sure... but white Origin into what? Which one goes into ground? And the + Terminal is always on... where do I grab switched power?

To me this looks like I have enough wire simply to make one circuit... red connects to black and is the hot, white brings it all back to complete the circuit. So where's ground? Why are black and red not connected right now? In my head something's missing.

Thanks.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:29 PM   #2
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edited the photo just in case... or if it helps someone else in the future
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:38 PM   #3
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I went and messed around with it, using the theory that there was nothing I could destroy. The ?? Red went to the car power and the ?? Black to ground, and that lit the eyes, regardless of whether the black line from the switch was involved or not. If I yanked the switch from the equation altogether, touching red to white (labelled "source" above) completed the circuit. Which means now I just need to find:

- the best source of ACC/switched power to tap into
- another ground spot (or just more wire... there's not enough black to even go from passenger headlight to the ground over there in the big empty compartment.)

Does it follow, then, that rather than putting ?? Red to the main power, that I could tap both red and white Source to that, and then splice the ?? red to the ACC power? That keeps the circuit powered except when the key is out, right? The red wire isn't directional, is it?

There's still a big bundle of wire left from the CCFL eyes I removed from this car (they never worked and kept blowing a fuse in the ECU box so I assume that was a bad install) so extending the black to get to ground is probably not an issue. But I'm thinking I might want to find that over on the driver side if possible.

If my assumptions are correct, I just need to find a nice place to safely tuck all this stuff in... would love it if someone could confirm.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:01 AM   #4
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Everyone's sick of angel eye questions eh? Should've just worded it as an electrical question since the eyes themselves are installed and work.

OK so now I understand how the relay works and what it does. Obviously when you're manually switching it there's no need for a relay... but I don't want a manual switch.

I don't have a relay, though.

So I'm left to either recreate a relay or wire it without it. It doesn't seem like a stretch to assume that I ought to be able to just power it directly off of a switched source, right? Or are they powered from the main + terminal because they require more juice? (I suppose if I had a multimeter I would know the answer to this already... but I don't.)
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:53 AM   #5
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Not getting much help here, are you Dave.....

I know squat about angel eyes but I do know a lot about 12V..... my assumption would be that yes you should use a relay, switched from an appropriate circuit in the fuse box, and power the lights directly from one of the battery wires in the engine compartment.

There may be an ACC power source under the hood (or in the fuse box) that is high enough amp to get the job done...depends on how much current the AE pull....need to leave it to an E46 AE expert on that question.

Since you understand how a relay works just go get one, they on the shelf items at any auto parts place or electronics place. Basic Bosch style relays are super cheap (maybe $5 +/-) and you could use any circuit you want to switch the relay as they draw very little current.

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Old 05-17-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
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Actually I couldn't find a relay at the AAP nearby. Talked to an electrician (with a 1200hp Trar out front... weird) at Home Depot and he said to just tap into the existing wiring that was used from the old set. It appears to also have gone into the cabin for a switch, but it was powered from the acc red/yellow wire. I tested off of that and it worked perfectly, so I reduced the wire load and just ran it off of that with some butt clamps. It's enough juice and the worst that could happen is I'll blow a 5a fuse. Which seems unlikely. But whatever, then I can just go re-wire it. I've got plenty of wire.

The electrician wasn't able to answer this question in a way that I understood (or that I could relate to our cars): What's the purpose of the relay in the original wiring design? Just that we want to be sure we get a lot of power? (But if that's the case, isn't the fuse throttling it way down anyway?)
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:34 PM   #7
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Best source for ACC/switched power to tap into is a red wire with a white stripe and yellow tracers in your ECU box on the drivers side of your engine near the firewall. Tapping into this wire will power the AEs whenever your car is "on"

About the relay... what Jeff said... get one from any auto part store. They are ~$5 just be sure to get a 40A relay instead of the 30A one. To power the relay, use the battery +/- connections under the hood on the passenger side, near the drug bin area.

You can refer to this DIY of AEs if you have problems or get stuck. The DIY was made for Orion V2s but you can use this wiring method with any AE kit, the color of the wires may be different, but power wire will be power wire.
http://www.fastm.com/m3/angeleyes_orionv2.html
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:49 PM   #8
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A relay is an electrical "switch" if you will. It's a device that allows you to control a high-powered electrical load with a low-powered electrical signal. Basically, when you hook anything up to a car's electircal source or "tap into it" as many would say, the factory wires that you "tap into" are only designed to carry the load of only the factory installed components. For example, the ignition (IGN) circuit is designed to power the car's ignition system and nothing else. Hooking up a high-current device to this circuit can create a fire hazard. By using a relay, you can use the IGN circuit to control a high-current device without directly powering it from the IGN circuit itself.

Most relays have 4 connections on them... 30, 85, 86, and 87.
30 is constant power (usually connected to a car battery)
85 is the coil ground (wired to a ground in the car)
86 is the coil power (what you want to use to turn the relay on) or in your case the AEs This is what you would connect to that wire in your ECU
87 is switched positive (+) power output (basically what you want the relay to power) in your case the AEs themselves.

So basically, what happens is if you wire your AEs using this method, and my explaination of the relay, when you turn your ignition on, power will go to the relay via pin 86, and the relay will send power to the AEs via pin 87. Does that answer your question?
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:39 PM   #9
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No. That is actually backwards from what I understand, because typically the relay trigger is from the ECU ACC red/yellow strip and the power itself is from the battery + terminal. (Which makes sense to me because the battery direct surely has more amperage than the other one.)

What I don't get is that if it works just fine being powered directly from the 12v relay through a 5a fuse, what's the purpose of powering it from the battery and running a relay at all? What's the advantage to that?

I could see if the AEs were a really high draw, but they're not. And their fuse is little anyway.

I just went outside to put my top up and the damn things were running so bright that for a second I thought my xenons were on...
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:30 PM   #10
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The purpose of powering them from the battery via a relay is that the factory wiring for your 12V source is ONLY intended to support whatever factory components are wired to it. Factory wiring isn't intended to support any more of a load, regardless of how minimal the load is. It may work ok as soon as you wire it up. It may work fine for months even, but you run the risk of causing a fire from having too much draw on the load. The factory wires are tiny. Play it safe and relay power from the battery.

You are correct though, as the relay is triggered from the ECU and powered from the battery. That is the exact same thing I said above. The trigger wire is pin 86 on the relay (ECU) and the power wire is pin 30 (battery)
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:59 PM   #11
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OK, perfect. That is exactly the explanation I was looking for.

(Also great detail on what's what on the relay... which I know you wrote before the last response, but I must've only half read it.)
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:07 PM   #12
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Glad you got everything figured out.

Also, I think we were both posting or trying to post at the same time, so that might have been where you missed something.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:22 PM   #13
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No, I saw both. I was just drinking

I realized that there's another AAP right near me so I picked up a relay. Haven't re-wired it yet but I know how I want to route things. Seems odd to me to have the fuse be before the relay, though. Or I should say it seems odd to have a 5amp fuse before a 30 or 40 relay.

It's a 5 pin relay so there's something else I could trigger off it too. That's just going to make me try to think of something totally unnecessary to wire up to my car now...
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:43 PM   #14
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That was a fun read, good to know you were drinking since you were both saying the same thing, yet disagreeing...

The 30-40 amp rating on the relay is just the max current before it turns into a molten wad of plastic, doesn't really matter how little current your AE actually draw. Understand that the relay will only draw a VERY small amount of current (milliamps) for the "switched" part so it wont put any dangerous load on any of the cars existing circuitry. The couple amps of current to run the AE will come directly from the battery, through the 5amp fuse, and through the relay,

Yes you COULD probably just tap the AE wiring into an accessory circuit and you PROBABLY would be OK but..... you could also cook a stock wire or relay.....that would be

best to just use the $5 relay and not worry about it.

Oh....and yes there is an extra terminal on a 5 pin relay, you will not use it in your application. It is basically the opposite of the pin you will be using, it will be on(live) when the relay is off and off when the relay is on.

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Old 05-21-2013, 03:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffb325@DynavinSolutions View Post
Oh....and yes there is an extra terminal on a 5 pin relay, you will not use it in your application. It is basically the opposite of the pin you will be using, it will be on(live) when the relay is off and off when the relay is on.
This is true. (Just to reiterate) your 5 pin relay does have an extra pin, however you cannot use it as an extra trigger in the way you're thinking. If you notice, it will be pin 87A, basically what this does, as Jeff said, is it gives power to whatever is on pin 87A when the relay is in the "off" position. Think of the relay as a light switch, if you will. We'll use your current situation as the example. Your car is off, the relay is "off" and the AEs are "off". Then, you turn your car "on" the relay switches "on" and triggers your AE's to come "on" just like a light switch in your house. Now, with the 5th pin (87A) when your relay is "off" or on your case when your car is "off" is when that pin will receive power. So, instead of switching something "on or off" you're now switching between two different objects, like on the radio if you were to switch between the radio function or the CD player function. I hope this makes sense somewhat. If you were to hook something up to pin 87A, it would get power while your car was off and probably drain your battery. Now, you're safe to use the 5 pin relay the way you intend to wire it, as long as you don't plug anything into pin 87A.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:16 PM   #16
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Well that's no fun. I wanted to come up with another pointless toy.

I forgot to deal with this this week, but I've got some interior work to do so I'll have a car modding day and wire it up correctly. I also found the switch the previous owner had for the eyes, it's mounted down in the footwell out of sight. Surprised I never noticed it before. Maybe I'll buy one of those photoelectric plate covers and wire it to that or something as long as it's there.
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