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Hella 500 "dual use" as DRLs..

4263 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  John E Davies
I ran into a set of Hella 500 driving lights kicking around in my garage. They were intended to go on another car I have but I changed my mind and never installed them. Now, I feel that they are well suited to the OBW and so I decided to put them on.

Anyway, a quick trip to home depot and $12 later, I ended up with a couple of aluminum strips.

Two hours later, and after going through two drill bits on the dremel and being covered in aluminum shavings from the angle grinder, I ended up with this (see pic below).

In case anyone i wondering, the bracket is well supported from behind the grille. The bottom license plate bolts are there just to stop vibration but they are in no way supporting the weight of the lights.

Anywhoo, I live in a somewhat wooded area with plenty of shade and twisty roads. The twisty roads and trees last only for a couple of minutes until I make my way onto the main expressway. Though, in those couple of minutes I try to remember to turn mu headlights on as a safety measure.

Because I installed HIDs, I had to turn off my DRL feature and hence no DRLs. My Hella 500s are currently set up only when the high beams are on, but I wonder how difficult it would be for me to introduce a lower voltage from the DRL module (say... 5 volts? All I want is a very nominal illumination of the Hellas), so that (1) the Hellas would work as DRLs when the main lights are "off," and (2) have the Hellas turn off when the low beams are on, and (3) have the Hellas turn on when the main lights are set to high beam, as is the current setup.

Any smart electrical folk that can make me make sense of this virtual schematic and applying it to known existing wiring coming out of the DRL box? Any other ideas to achieve this?



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I can't help with the wiring, but might I suggest that you install a set of LED DRLs and just let them burn all the time the engine is running? These lights are decent quality, very bright, draw minimal current and are only US$35:

Since I too am running HIDs, I plan to mount a set on my OB under the bumper lip, on either side of the license plate. Here's how I mounted them on a Mazda6 I used to own - the wiring method would work fine on the OB:

BTW: the Hella lens is a very nice crystal glass, but it will shatter if it takes a rock strike. I recommend that you run with the covers on except when you actually need them, or install a piece of clear stongard film on each lens, or a set of clear covers: ... [ame][/ame].

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
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1. From my interpretation of the statutes, they are not legal in MA. Mass law allows for any light to be installed up front, as long as it is "halogen." Everything else, unless it is OEM, is illegal unless DOT/FMVSS or CSA, approved.
Do you have vehicle inspections where that would be a problem? In my 30 years years driving in Washington, where they don't check lights or anything else for that matter, except emissions in some cities, I've never been hassled by a LEO about illegal lighting. Those guys have much better things to do with their time than write up stupid infractions.

You have ALREADY broken the law big time by installing HIDs, why does the idea of LEDs upset you?

From that install link I posted:

"My beautiful Desert Sage Sport Wagon seems to fade into the background for other drivers - I have had two minor accidents where the other guys simply did not see my car, and I have lost count of the number of drivers that have pulled out in front of me from a driveway or side street... Rather than leave the parking or head lights on all the time, I elected to install some high intensity LED DRLs that I could leave on continually for some extra visibility to other drivers."

I will add that I noticed a _huge_ improvement in other driver's behavior after adding the LED DRLs. They really are very effective.

I can't say anything to alter your "doesn't look right" feeling. You could install a couple of the round LED lights they offer, but they won't be nearly as intense (or effective). Or you could install a set of tiny round spot lights and install LED replacement bulbs from the same source.

I don't think turning your Hellas into DRLs is the right approach. Tho I have to admit they would look cool.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
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Well, using the fogs as DRLs is certainly an easier project than the Hellas. My fogs are modified to be independent of the low beams and I just leave them turned on all the time during daylight hours. If I forget to turn them off when it gets dark, no harm done.

And yes this is another illegal mod.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
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