PIAA Light Wiring TRAUMA -- FIRE, FIRE!!! - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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PIAA Light Wiring TRAUMA -- FIRE, FIRE!!!

I bought a PIAA 540 Extreme White Driving Light Kit. The kit is nice, as it comes with seemingly everything you would need to install it. I also bought the KC HiLites windsheild brackets.

I'm having electrical trouble, so here is a snapshot at how the install went:

I completed my install, and took my time to run wires (that were electrical taped) behind the factory wire loom along the back of the firewall to the switch in the dash. The wiring to the battery has a large inline fuse, the huge ground is self-explanatory, and the two pre-terminated, plugged, cables to the lights, were simply run, zip-tied, and plugged into the lights.

I am having trouble with connection between the relay (where everything comes from), and the switch...

As far as the wiring options, I elected to use #2, where the trigger/switched power wire is connected to the battery, rather than a "switched power source." (I prefer to have my lights to be able to work without the key in or on.)

The only modification that I made to the whole setup, was to use a different switch than the wired in PIAA switch that came with the kit. I went to Napa Auto Parts, and bought a 12V rocker switch (with an led indicator), so it would mount and look nicer, and more permanent that the stick-on switch, which PIAA provides.

Everything looked great, my wiring was careful, neat, eletrical taped, and wire loomed...

THEN DISASTER STRUCK...

I connected the positive battery post, and the trigger/switch wire burned me. I looked up, and there was a cloud of smoke coming out of my dash panel where the swtich was! Everything between the PIAA connector, and the back of the switch was fried! I am uncertain if I wired the swtich wrong, or if there is another problem.

Let me run this by you...

I connected the black wire to the "Earth" (or ground) post on the switch; the white to the "Supply" post; and the red in the middle to the "Load" post.

On the battery side, the red wire was connected to the battery as well. So, I'm wondering if I wired the switch wrong, shouldn't have run the red to the battery, or if there was a short while trying to cram in my wired switch through the dash. I just don't know, and am frustrated.

Any thoughts?

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post #2 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzcode View Post
Any thoughts?
get an sPOD.

i love mine and have been fire free!

the above is most likely irrelevant.
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 11:17 AM
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Same thing happened to me. Make sure the switch your using can carry the load. I initially didn't pay attention to that very thing and fried it.

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post #4 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 09:02 PM
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if you have that much power going to a switch then what the hell is the whole point of wiring up a relay? the switch, and both sides of the coil should not be carrying more than just a few amps, hell it takes maybe a 1 amp volt to activate your coil. 30 should be your fused 12v supply to the relay, 85 is the ground side of the coil, 86 is your 12v coil feed (from your switch) and 87 is you feed to your lights. I would test and make sure they didn't get something backwards on your harness they supplied. I usually tap my relay coil power supply off the cigarette lighter positive since it is fused and then I run my switches as ground set ups so I don't have a ton of hot wires floating around. its harder to short a ground, and if it does it just turns the device on. if you need more help thy the 12 volt . com. but I would remove the relay from the socket and test all the terminal sockets to verify the wiring is correct, then take the relay and hook up a wire to each side of the coil and test it on a battery, if you don't hear it click it is bad. my vote is wiring issue.
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 09:14 PM
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+1 with the above and the problem should have never gotten too bad had the circuit been fused properly. 30a (or whatever) fuse would pop FAST had you a short to ground (which you did). No smoke, no melted wires, just a blown fuse. Sounds like there is more to it...

I'm not familiar with their harness so I can't quite relate with information. I do all my own "harnesses".

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post #6 of 13 Old 11-18-2009, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Great info guys, I appreciate it.

Thank you for the suggestion. I spoke with PIAA today, to confirm their wiring, since all of the wires involved came out of the relay, and are not direct from the battery, etc. Black is obviously ground, and connects to the black on the other side of the plug. White is supply power, and connects to the white on the other side of the plug. Red is in the middle, and it is the switchable power, but connects to white wire on the other side of the plug, which is either connected to switched power, or run directly to the battery. Black, red, and white, are all run to a led switch. Since this is low voltage (post-relay), with exception of short, it shouldn't need a fuse, no?

I ordered a new switch and plug from PIAA, and will try this again. I'm planning on testing the setup with the PIAA switch (which maybe I should have done first), then installing the aftermarket Napa switch (that I have seen other Jeep owners use). Also, I believe there was potential for a short with my connectors on the aftermarket switch, so I'll need to reassess before installing again. This could be the main issue, but I wanted to confirm my wiring before stabbing at this again.

Thanks guys.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-18-2009, 04:57 AM
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No PIAA lights I've ever used have come with a fuse. Relay's yes but no fuse.

Prior to the sPOD I ran mine with the PIAA switches (as well as in other vehicles) and had no trouble. Ground on the body, power on the battery, switched power from the drivers side cigarette lighter and trouble free.

But like mikey said, invest in an sPOD. You'll be glad you did.

Good luck.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-18-2009, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverzendz View Post
No PIAA lights I've ever used have come with a fuse. Relay's yes but no fuse.

Prior to the sPOD I ran mine with the PIAA switches (as well as in other vehicles) and had no trouble. Ground on the body, power on the battery, switched power from the drivers side cigarette lighter and trouble free.

But like mikey said, invest in an sPOD. You'll be glad you did.

Good luck.
Sounds good, and thanks for the advice. I think I'll just run that wire over to the cigarette lighter, as you said for now, and then go with the sPOD. I've been noticing a trend on this sPOD thing, and I'm bound to get more accessories, so I'll need it anyway.

What is the cheapest you guys have found it for?

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post #9 of 13 Old 11-18-2009, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzcode View Post
Great info guys, I appreciate it.

Thank you for the suggestion. I spoke with PIAA today, to confirm their wiring, since all of the wires involved came out of the relay, and are not direct from the battery, etc. Black is obviously ground, and connects to the black on the other side of the plug. White is supply power, and connects to the white on the other side of the plug. Red is in the middle, and it is the switchable power, but connects to white wire on the other side of the plug, which is either connected to switched power, or run directly to the battery. Black, red, and white, are all run to a led switch. Since this is low voltage (post-relay), with exception of short, it shouldn't need a fuse, no?

You ALWAYS want to have a fuse for the relay coil. X2 to the other responders above who used the fused cig lighter power (already at your dash) to power the relay coil. However, there's one important issue to consider when doing this. The cig lighter is a fairly high amperage circuit; but I'm not sure exactly what the rating is. To feed your switch and then the relay; you should use the same guage wire the factory uses to feed the cig lighter. And both the switch and relay should be rated for the cig lighter load. If you use smaller guage wire; and the relay were to short out; there is the possibility your switch/relay wiring will burn before the fuse for the cig lighter blows. IE; wire rated below the rating of the fuse it is attached to can burn before the fuse will blow. That's why you never want to use a larger fuse than what is already provided in your fuse block.



I ordered a new switch and plug from PIAA, and will try this again. I'm planning on testing the setup with the PIAA switch (which maybe I should have done first), then installing the aftermarket Napa switch (that I have seen other Jeep owners use). Also, I believe there was potential for a short with my connectors on the aftermarket switch, so I'll need to reassess before installing again. This could be the main issue, but I wanted to confirm my wiring before stabbing at this again.

Dig into your switch to see if that is what happened. If your wiring is correct; and the switch failed and shorted out (and it's unfused) you'll get the result you got. You can use an inline, low amperage fuse ( say .25amp) off of your cig lighter power wire tap to feed your switch/relay coil. Then you can use 22guage wire to feed your switch and relay. Just remembered.... You said you wanted to be able to turn on lights without ign on. Just use the above procedure and tap off of the 12V power port instead of the cig. The power port is constant hot regardless of ing switch position.

Hope that helps!



Thanks guys.

I'm having problems transfering this reply from word to here; so disregard this sentence if it shows up.BK

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post #10 of 13 Old 11-18-2009, 10:05 AM
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SPod really is the way to go!!! It's wired properly so you'll have both easy setup of additional accessories as well as peace of mind regarding fire potential. Save your money and go for it! BK

6" FTLA w/HD TB & SS,
JKS spg rets., rr spg mnts.
37" BFG KM2, 17x9 MT clssc II, Blstn 5100,
Finishline West RB, LoD FB, SB XRC10
PP mod'fd boat sldrs, ARB rr DC's, TERA 44 frt xl hsg,
Sup'r CrMo xls, 5.13 R&P, Reel 1310 DS,
Kilby Evap, Bnchmrk KISS, B&M Trans culr,
sPOD; Aeroforce, FlashPac, Airaid CAI, Magnaflow relo,
Cobra 75, 4' Firestik, Woods Hood & TG holds
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post #11 of 13 Old 11-18-2009, 10:07 AM
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When I wired in my Delta auxiliary lights- the schematic showed only one fuse needed (from battery to #30 on relay)....but I ultimately chose to run an additional 5 amp fuse in between the battery and the switch. My schematic below shows the added fuse protection. I have had no issues with the LED switch burning up.
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post #12 of 13 Old 11-18-2009, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StubEXrube View Post
When I wired in my Delta auxiliary lights- the schematic showed only one fuse needed (from battery to #30 on relay)....but I ultimately chose to run an additional 5 amp fuse in between the battery and the switch. My schematic below shows the added fuse protection. I have had no issues with the LED switch burning up.
Well done StubEXrube! There is one more remaining issue that may be a potential problem with the wonderful CANBUS system. That is the issue of back feed high voltages caused by the collapsing magnetic field of the relay coil when it's turned off. There is an interesting article/writeup in another thread that I referred to in a post I made. See post #7 I wrote in the following link.

https://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18362

Most imporant is the addition of a diode across the coil wires to prevent the feedback. Valuable info for anyone doing their own wiring of relays connected to the CANBUS system.BK

6" FTLA w/HD TB & SS,
JKS spg rets., rr spg mnts.
37" BFG KM2, 17x9 MT clssc II, Blstn 5100,
Finishline West RB, LoD FB, SB XRC10
PP mod'fd boat sldrs, ARB rr DC's, TERA 44 frt xl hsg,
Sup'r CrMo xls, 5.13 R&P, Reel 1310 DS,
Kilby Evap, Bnchmrk KISS, B&M Trans culr,
sPOD; Aeroforce, FlashPac, Airaid CAI, Magnaflow relo,
Cobra 75, 4' Firestik, Woods Hood & TG holds
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post #13 of 13 Old 11-18-2009, 01:15 PM
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I learned about the diode/cap thing here:

https://www.jkowners.com/forum/showth...ight=dsy+diode
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