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Old 03-19-2015, 07:52 AM   #1
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Making it Mine - Turning off Daytime Running Lights

Daytime running lights (DRL) are a good idea, they make the vehicle easier to see, especially if your blind and failed to see this oversize house coming at you down the road.

Sarcasm aside, I drive with the DRLs on, but I don’t want them on when I’m parked and the engine is idling, i.e. truck stop, road side rest, campground, driveway, etc.

Unfortunately, there is no way to turn them off, UNTIL NOW.

On the Ford F53 chassis, the DRLs are not a separate light, they use the regular headlights as the DRLs. When the headlights are not turned on, voltage for the lights is sent thru a resistor to reduce it making the headlights shine a little dimmer. Power to the headlights/DRL circuit is on anytime the ignition is on.

After studying the Ford circuit diagrams, I elected to tap into the headlight circuit so I could enable / disable power to the headlight circuit.

OPERATION



If my HEADLIGHT switch is OFF, the trucks headlights or DRLs will be off.

If my HEADLIGHT switch is ON, then the trucks headlights / DRL will operate normally depending on the trucks regular headlight switch.


CIRCUIT DESCRIPTION

"

The HEADLIGHT switch operates a standard 12 volt cube relay. I decided to not hook up the light that’s inside the switch as I find these distracting, especially at night. If you want to hook it up, you might tie it into the instrument panel lights so it can be dimmed.

Normal headlight power comes from a relay located in the engine compartment, it then comes into the vehicle and goes to the Central Junction Box (CJB) . This fuse panel is mounted on the inside of the firewall If you remove the headlight switch panel on the left side, and look in there, you should be staring right at this fuse panel. You can also reach it from underneath, but you’ll need to get at it from the front, as you’ll see in a moment.

The power wire we are looking for is black and has a pink stripe (BK/PK). Its located in the wire bundle that goes into the top of the CJB.

I used a small sharp pocket knife to cut the wrapping off of the wire bundle, then carefully separated the wires until I found the correct wire. After double/triple checking the color (black / pink) I started the truck, had my wife watch the DRLs, then cut the wire. The lights went out, (phew, got the correct wire)

I then spliced the cut wire into the relays normally open contacts (#30 and # 87)
We tested to ensure the my HEADLIGHT switch worked correctly, when it was OFF, the DRLs and headlight did not come on. When the my HEADLIGHT switch was ON, the relay energized and the DRLs and headlights worked normally.

I mounted the relay to the inside of the firewall with a short screw, then re-wrapped the wire bundle and tied the wires up with wire ties.

You can see this entire article on my web site.
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:31 AM   #2
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Too bad you don't have a Workhorse chassis. Those DRLs can be turned off by simply applying the parking brake.
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:53 PM   #3
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Yep Ed, didn't think it was a problem, this may be carry over from GM technology, as our '06 Saturn VUE works the same.


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Old 03-19-2015, 02:05 PM   #4
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I don't understand! If your headlight sw is on then your headlights are on, what do the DRLs do? Are there 2 headlight sws ?


You could use the trigger to the neutral starting relay, then they would only work when in gear.
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:36 PM   #5
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My DRL's also go out when I put on parking brake. 2008 F53 chassis.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgvtexan View Post
I don't understand! If your headlight sw is on then your headlights are on, what do the DRLs do? Are there 2 headlight sws ?


You could use the trigger to the neutral starting relay, then they would only work when in gear.
DAYTIME running lights is a feature that turns on front lights when the "headlights" switch is OFF. There isn't a DRL switch, AFAIK.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:47 PM   #7
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Fred,

The switch I installed probably should be more correctly labeled "Headlight/DRL" but there isn't enough room.

My switch disables (forces them OFF) the headlights and DRLs when it is OFF.

It enables the Headlights and DRLs when it is on. (allows them to be turned on)

On my 2001 F53 chassis, It doesn't make a difference with the park brake on or off. I wonder if they may have added a relay in the circuit later. There is nothing in the 2001 chassis diagrams either.

I also notice some cars the DRLs don't come on unless the car is in "D"

Regardless, I like to be able to turn them on/off at my will.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:49 PM   #8
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I would like to be able to control mine as well, mine turns on as soon as I release my parking valve. (Air brakes) I have installed BMW projector headlights with "Angle Eye LED's" but they can,t be seen with DRLs on.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:58 PM   #9
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On a GM turning the DRL's off when parked is easy.

Transmission in park
Set parking brake
DRL's turn off.

I mean it does not get easier than that.
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Old 03-19-2015, 05:34 PM   #10
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336 muffin, you'd need to look thru the diagrams and see where your DRLs get their power from.

On the Ford, they use the headlights as the DRLs and use a resistor to reduce the voltage a little.


If you have a Ford and yours is similar, another option is to disconnect / remove that DRL resistor, The headlights then won't get the reduced power from the DRL circuit when the headlight switch is off.

A lot of people over on the Ford Enthusiast site do that when they hook up their own lights
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
On a GM turning the DRL's off when parked is easy.

Transmission in park
Set parking brake
DRL's turn off.

I mean it does not get easier than that.

Nothing new there, my Fords do the same thing.
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Old 03-20-2015, 03:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
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My DRL's also go out when I put on parking brake. 2008 F53 chassis.
Same with me. Coach is built on a 2006 F53 chassis.
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:51 PM   #13
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Mine stay on anytime the ignition switch is on. I was on the Ford Enthusiast site, I think on the 2006 and above, the DRLs are controlled by the body computer and do not come on until the parking brake is released. The always On DRLs seem to be on the 1999 - 2005 chassis.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:06 PM   #14
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I found a fuse and pulled it. No more DRL, ever.
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