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I picked up a set of plow lights in a yard sale for $5. They both work when I hook up the battery charger to them. They had some 12/4 electric cable that was hooked up to them, and then just cut off. I have some 12/3 laying around and was going to try wiring up the lights so that I could just flip a toggle or rocker switch to manually turn on the lights when I have the plow on the truck. Or, though it would be more involved, I could wire it so whenever the truck's lights are on, the plow lights are on. I'm thinking of tying into the lighting harness (for lights and turn signals) on each side and adding a connector, and then have the cable with a connector coming from each light. That way I could just run the one single cable from each light up through the grill and connect the lights under the hood. Two lights, two cables, two connections. Does this sound rational, or am I not thinking of something? Truck is a '00 Chevy.
 

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Exactly what I did on my Jeep. It did not have plow lights when I bought it so I found a pair of lights and just hard wired them myself. I even have a toggle switch to select between hi and low beam. The turn signals I just tapped off of the vehicle turn signals.
 

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wi-cj5 said:
Exactly what I did on my Jeep. It did not have plow lights when I bought it so I found a pair of lights and just hard wired them myself. I even have a toggle switch to select between hi and low beam. The turn signals I just tapped off of the vehicle turn signals.
So how did you connect the headlights themselves? Did you run battery power to the toggle, then to the lights? Or did you go into the harness?
 

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Due to the complexity of your trucks headlamp circuit,adding a simple toggle switch is no longer feasable.

Either you need to do it with multiple relays (like the plow mfg's do with their systems),or keep it simple and wire them separate.

If your going to wire them separately,then you can do it easily with just a switch to supply power to the lights.If you want high beams,you'll have to wire those up too.You will need to leave the truck lamps off,but keep the running lamps on.The plow markers\signals can be wired into the truck wiring so that they work in sync with the truck markers\signals.

They way I usually do it,is a little more complex.I use a relay to control the plow lights.The control side of the relay is powered from the running lights (as they will be turned on when plowing at night),and it is grounded via the plow grille connector.This way,the plow lights only come on when the plow is plugged in,and the running lights are on.It's a great way to retrofit a plow to a truck without having to buy the correct truckside wiring harness,associated relays,or a isolation module.The only drawback is no high beams,but nobody ever really uses them when plowing.if you want high beams,you will need to add a switch,and one more relay.
 

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OK, I think that I can there from here. The plow is old style, in that the pump stays on the truck full time and does not stay with the plow - but I can work around that. And the high beam thing doesn't bother me. Just a couple of more ?'s and I think I'll be able to get her done. Where do you tie into the running lights at, and exactly where might I go to find one of these relays? Are they all the same, or do I need a specific part #? Thanks, MO.
 

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Pop out the front signal\marker lights and do your wiring there.Connect to the ruuning lights on one side,and signals on both sides.Solder and heatshrink these connections,or you'll be doing it all over again real soon.
 

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Alright, thanks guys. I think that I can figure out the rest and get it from here. Thanks again for the help - much appreciated!

MO
 

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I got my lights used too.

For connectors, I just picked up two 4-wire trailer connector sets for a few bucks each at Tractor Supply, and wired one end to the lights and one end into the car. Then if I ever needed to remove the lights, it would be easy.

One of the lights was missing the spherical washer set for tilt adjustment. So what I did was on both lights, was put in new bolts, along with two galvanized wedge washers (for bolting to structural steel channel). That gives them tilt adjustment in any direction, making it easy to aim the lights.

Definitely solder and seal all connections. Ive used splice taps and twist connections in the past, and neither is much good in the long run. Especially splice taps externally, salt gets in the wire and it rots out after one season.
 

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wyldman said:
They way I usually do it,is a little more complex.I use a relay to control the plow lights.The control side of the relay is powered from the running lights (as they will be turned on when plowing at night),and it is grounded via the plow grille connector.This way,the plow lights only come on when the plow is plugged in,and the running lights are on.It's a great way to retrofit a plow to a truck without having to buy the correct truckside wiring harness,associated relays,or a isolation module.The only drawback is no high beams,but nobody ever really uses them when plowing.if you want high beams,you will need to add a switch,and one more relay.
Alright, this is the way that I'm going to do it. I have just one more quick question, though. When you use the relay, does it disable the truck lights when the plow lights are powered on? I was told that you don't want the truck lights on because of 1) the glare off the backside of the plow and 2) the chance of blowing a light or dimmer switch and a possible fire. Is this true or needless worry?

Thanks, MO
 

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You will not be disconnecting or bypassing the truck lights at all.It's way to complex on the newer trucks.Just don't turn the lights on,use the running light position on the switch,so you have running\parking lights,but no headlamps.


Even if the truck headlamps are on when plowing,it will not hurt anything,unless you tie your plow lamps into them,and they are all on at the same time.

Your plow lights will be powered seperately,fed from the battery,and only triggered by the running lights,or a switch.
 

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Wyldman,

I am going to wire the plow lights how you described, I like tapping into the truck running lights to switch the relay, I was gonna run another seperate powered switch in the dash.

One question though, Do you wire the plow running lights directly to the truck running lights? or do you use more relays? I have a '88 Chevy(new style) and those headlight switches burn out real easy.

Thanks
tbalz
 

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tbalz said:
Wyldman,

I am going to wire the plow lights how you described, I like tapping into the truck running lights to switch the relay, I was gonna run another seperate powered switch in the dash.

One question though, Do you wire the plow running lights directly to the truck running lights? or do you use more relays? I have a '88 Chevy(new style) and those headlight switches burn out real easy.

Thanks
tbalz
The plow lights get their power thru the relay,which pulls it power from the battery.The relay is triggered by the running lamps,and a ground (your switch).
 

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With your 88 its' dead easy to wire the plow lights to work in conjunction with your regular headlights by simply putting a double pole double throw switch in the circuit. There is nothing fancy about the system and, in this case, I think a switch is simpler and more reliable than a relay. In addition you keep your high/low beam capability on the plow lights. Don't have time to go into details right now but I could do a step by step on how to do it tonight.
 

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Actually,Alan is right,it's real easy as you have access to the headlight wires right under the column at the dimmer switch.i just desribed how to do it in another thread on installing a meyer.Do a search.

The only drawback to this is it does not take the load off the headlamps switch.
 

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wyldman said:
The only drawback to this is it does not take the load off the headlamps switch.
But it also does not increase the load as you are still only running two bulbs at a time.
 

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I decided to go with the relay. I picked up a NAPA AR272. The only problem is I do not have a schematic. The one that is printed on the relay has a lot to be desired. Can you guys help me out?

Thanks,
tbalz
 

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Pin 30 runs to a fused positive battery connection
Pin 86 runs to a ground
Pin 85 runs to the trigger (ie factory low beam wire or switch on dash for plow lights)
Pin 87 runs to the accessory you want (ie plow lights) and is normally open
Pin 87a runs to another accessory (ie headlights) and is normally closes

Pins 87 and 87a simplified: Pin 87 will have power when the plow light switch is on 87a will have power when it is off.

I have a diagram here somewhere if you want to do a headlight wiring upgrade too that will take pretty much all the load off of the factory headlight switch.
 
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