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Old 03-03-2014, 10:03 AM   #1
Slowered318
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Help! Euro Headlight Wiring

Has anyone rewired the fuse box for European single filament bulbs (H1)?

Need the low beams to stay on when I turn on the high beams, that's about it. Independent fog lights would be cool but I want to keep the factory circuits as much as possible. I still want the lights turn off with the key and don't want to tie too many circuits together.

Found this guide - http://www.billswebspace.com/E30Ligh...mationXMon.pdf - My mechanic friend said I can do it with just a jumper wire so that's got me a little confused.

First hand experience would be appreciated before I tear into this.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:29 PM   #2
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To keep the high beams and low beams on at the same time, jump pin number 30 on the high beam relay to pin number 30 on the low beam relay. The pins are numbered on the relay itself.
FYI, I took a look underneath the fuse box to see where terminal #30 on both relays were going. I had planned on splicing them underneath the box for a cleaner approach but the #30 on the high beam is a huge piece of wire. Anyway, I found out that #30 on the low-beam relay goes directly to #87a on the high beam relay. So you actually don't have to bridge relays, you can just connect #30 to #87a on the high beam relay and this will work.

I soldered the terminals together (or rather, laid a thin line of solder between the two on the underside of the high-beam relay). Works like a charm. It also has the added benefit of keeping the fog lights on with the highs as well since the lows never turn off
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:28 PM   #3
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Thank you, that is the easiest solution to maintain low beams when the highs are turned on.

But is there any way to wire it so the fogs turn off when highs are on instead of the low beams turning off. Swap the circuits in some way. Just a thought
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:16 PM   #4
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I'm sure there is a way but I don't know. you'll have to live with that; turn them off manually when you decided to run both.
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2 325i 4 dr - sold
4 318is all white - sold and parts
1 87 325is red - parts
1 89 325i vert grey - parts
1 90 325is white - keepin
1 87 325i vert -red - keepin
latest addition 1 88-325is red - parts
latest addition 1 89-325i vert - white -fixin/sold
latest addition 1 92-318i vert - blue - parts
latest addition 1 87 325is blk - parts.

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Old 03-03-2014, 04:31 PM   #5
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Well if you read the "X Mon" guide (page 4-5) and look at the schematics, it seems the addition of K9 relay mimics the European fuse box wiring. I know I can shut them off manually but from what I understand it's illegal to have 6 headlights on at one time plus the DRL's.

I see the simple way around it but I'm wondering if anyone has done it the proper way.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:57 AM   #6
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On the road you are legally only allowed a max of 4 "headlights" on at any one time... the fog/driving lights would not necessarily be considered "headlights" look at many of the more modern cars that use the lower mounted fog/drive lights as DRLs... you have to make sure all the lights are properly aimed though... if you do get a hassle ever all you need to say is "opps, sorry sir/ma'am forgot they were on" and turn them off right away...
It would only be an issue ever if you failed to turn off the highs for oncoming traffic sometime or the cop wanted to talk to you about other matters as well...
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowered318 View Post
Thank you, that is the easiest solution to maintain low beams when the highs are turned on.

But is there any way to wire it so the fogs turn off when highs are on instead of the low beams turning off. Swap the circuits in some way. Just a thought
This is fairly easy to do... You need to splice in a 5-pin relay to the fog light circuit... locate the power wire feeding the fog lights and cut it and add enough wire to reach the location you have chosen to mount the relay connect the car side to pin 30 on the relay and the light side to pin 87a. Splice into one of the high beam power wires and connect this wire to pin 86. Connect pin 85 to ground [the vehicle body].
For extra added protection you could add a fuse inline to the pin 86 lead but it's really not necessary since that circuit is already protected by the high beam fuse.

How it works pin 87a is the "normally closed" circuit pin as long as the relay is "off" the current will flow through pins 30/87a and the fog lights will function normally... when you turn on the high beams they will "trigger" the relay through pin 86 and 85 and the circuit will open and the fogs will automatically turn off.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aviator View Post
On the road you are legally only allowed a max of 4 "headlights" on at any one time... the fog/driving lights would not necessarily be considered "headlights" look at many of the more modern cars that use the lower mounted fog/drive lights as DRLs... you have to make sure all the lights are properly aimed though... if you do get a hassle ever all you need to say is "opps, sorry sir/ma'am forgot they were on" and turn them off right away...
It would only be an issue ever if you failed to turn off the highs for oncoming traffic sometime or the cop wanted to talk to you about other matters as well...
My e30 isn't exactly a "modern car" lol. I see your point and it would be unlikely to get hassled, I rarely continuously run the high beams unless I'm on back roads. All my lights are aimed very well, it annoys me if they are off almost as much as others annoy me with poorly aimed lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviator View Post
This is fairly easy to do... You need to splice in a 5-pin relay to the fog light circuit... locate the power wire feeding the fog lights and cut it and add enough wire to reach the location you have chosen to mount the relay connect the car side to pin 30 on the relay and the light side to pin 87a. Splice into one of the high beam power wires and connect this wire to pin 86. Connect pin 85 to ground [the vehicle body].
For extra added protection you could add a fuse inline to the pin 86 lead but it's really not necessary since that circuit is already protected by the high beam fuse.

How it works pin 87a is the "normally closed" circuit pin as long as the relay is "off" the current will flow through pins 30/87a and the fog lights will function normally... when you turn on the high beams they will "trigger" the relay through pin 86 and 85 and the circuit will open and the fogs will automatically turn off.

Hope this helps.
I does, I printed this out to cross reference with the guide. In addition I'm installing a Yankee headlight switch so I no longer have the low beams as DRL. Just can afford to replace HID bulbs and the housing if it should melt any more.

I guess my only question now, with above wiring do the low beam lights stay on when I operate the high beams? That's my main goal and fog light flexibility is my secondary goal. My impression is that the added relay is to bypass the low beam unloader circuit.

Thanks a lot by the way!
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:04 AM   #9
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No this fix is only to create a fog light "unloader"... to power the low beam lights with the High beam lights what you would need to do is add a wire with a fuse from the positive 12v block on the firewall with a fuse of the rated size for the low beams [15A or 20A I think not sure off top of my head] and connect it to pin 30 and splice a wire onto the low beam + lead of each low beam lamp connected to pin 87. Splice a wire onto the High beam + lead and connect to pin 86 and the ground to pin 85 as before... this will make the lows come on when ever you turn on the highs...

You are connecting to pin 87 in this case because you only want the secondary low beam feed to energize when the highs are on which will bypass the low beam unloader.
Forgot to mention before make sure you use 14AWG min. wire size either of these mods the circuits will run cooler and the lights will be brighter with less danger of fire from overheated wires.

As always attempt these mods at your own risk folks.

Last edited by aviator; 03-10-2014 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:24 AM   #10
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I had the fuse box apart today and I finally get it.

So what If I just disconnect 87a on the High Beam Relay and connect it to C100 (constant power). That way the Low Beam Relay will be independent of the High Beam Relay. I could add an unloader relay for the fog lights (either on the light or switch side) but I agree it's not that important.

Essentially just a clean way of doing things and it's possible to revert to factory wiring. It would be ideal to run a wire from 85 on the Fog Light Relay to 87a on the High Beam Relay, but I'm not sure It's possible with the existing circuit board trace to 87 on the Low Beam Relay.

Thinking to run my "city lights" from the switched lead on the auxiliary fuse block. I just gotta find the right connector for the fuse block, it's not a standard spade.

What a world...

Last edited by Slowered318; 03-19-2014 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:07 AM   #11
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Can't comment on much of this I've never had a factory fuse box apart on my bench... my personal policy is to avoid as much as possible messing with the factory parts as it is easy to add something extra but hard to undo something if you mess with what was already there... to put it another way if you are adding something factory like say a map light mirror and have to add some wiring to connect it to the factory connection points all is well but if you are trying to make something work differently to how the factory intended [like the way you want your fog/high/lows to work] then you are better off adding something new.

To comment more knowledgeably on your factory fuse box ? above I'll need to research the schematics of the factory fuse box a bit more. I'll try to take a look at it in the next few days and get back to you over the weekend...
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:10 AM   #12
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Oh, I figured you had your hands inside the fuse box before judging by your detailed posts on what wires to change. I would rather do this from inside the box rather then jumper wires running under relays and in the side of fuses.

I've done considerable study of the schematics and I don't see any adverse effects of my proposed wiring. The low beam unloader is actually a safety issue when you change to ellipsoid lights, on a dark road you either can't see distance or you can't see the road directly in front of you. It's fine around town but on the back roads it would be hard to spot a deer or whatever nature throws at you.

The fuse box is already open and I've already been over the wiring on most of the car. Adding stereo/alarm/325 OBC, cleaning power blocks and grounds, took the motor out, took the dash out, removing A/C wires/components, 14 gauge for the electric fan, relocated some things. Not really worried as I don't plan to sell the car and I'm confident in my electrical work.

Gonna give this a shot today and see how it goes.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:03 AM   #13
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Well, good news guys, the lights are up and running properly, it was really easy to fix the wiring and didn't require much modification at all.

There is a 14 gauge brown jumper wire from 87a on K3 (High Beam Relay) to 30 on K4 (Low Beam Relay). All you have to do is open up the fuse box and disconnect the 87A connector and crimp on a eyelet to the jumper wire, this eyelet goes to C100 (constant power) on the bottom of the fuse circuit board. Put it back together and you're done. lows and fogs stay on when you operate the high beams.

Also did a pretty simple mod to the fog light relay to enable me to run only fogs with the switch on parking lights. I'll explain that one if anyone is interested.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:29 AM   #14
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Sounds good Slow... my suggested fixes were completely outside of the factory fuse box and based on general auto electrical knowledge not bmw specific practice...

so if I understand it correctly you are disconnecting the wire from 87a on K3 and reconnecting that lead to C100... basically you are eliminating the high beam unloader feature right?
I'm interested in the fog light mod please educate us...
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:22 AM   #15
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BTW there are 3 different headlight wiring throughout the E30 production. This is only for late model e30 that came with sealed beams.

Diagram is hard to read but if you look there is a wire connecting 87a (K3) to 30 (K4). You want to pull that from 87a, cut off the spade and crimp on an eyelet connector, then bolt it on to C100 (underside of the fuse board).

This is about the only way to bypass the unloader circuit, it's fairly easy and doesn't require any aftermarket parts or running wires. You can also now use a standard relay for K3. Only problem is that if you went back to sealed beams the high/low bulbs might burn out because both filaments would be running when you run the high beams.

I'm also installing a US spec headlight switch. This will eliminate the DRL's so my Low beam housing and bulbs last longer. It's essentially the same switch but has an off position for daytime driving. I'm going to wire up my 10watt city lights to the "hot in run" circuit so I have somewhat of a DRL that doesn't draw 110 watts. lol
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Last edited by Slowered318; 03-27-2014 at 11:52 AM.
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