HOW TO: Wiring new accessories through a RELAY - Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum
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post #1 of 231 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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HOW TO: Wiring new accessories through a RELAY

I came across quite a few fellas who were unsure how to wire new accessories on their bike. Those who are totally unfamiliar with electricity will be interested to know that if you add too much ballast (wattage-drawing devices) to your AUX plug in the headlight bucket, you are likely to draw more than 10 Amps, for which it is fused. The fuse rating is matched to the 18 AWG wire used by Suzuki, so the fuse protects the WIRE first (from overheating) and your devices second. Since we can't change the OEM wire from Suzuki running through the harnesses, we have to live with what they gave us: A 10 Amp circuit translating to a maximum of 120 Watts ballast.

Even if the fuse withholds higher Amps (and it usually will, which is quite contradictory to their purpose), your wires, now getting pretty warm in the IGNITION SWITCH, will slowly but surely damage the switch which may eventually fail. So you want to put add'l accessories on their own circuit with a relay.

A relay is an electric switch which, when energized, will close a second, totally independent circuit. Below is a drawing I made for a simple setup of wiring two add'l driving lights. Note that the rocker switch gets its energy from the IGNITION circuit and when turned on, will close an independent circuit (in the relay between poles 87 and 30) and safely run your lights (or anything you connect) on it's own, fused(!) circuit.

Why do we want a relay and not simply wire the lights directly to the battery? Well, of course you can do that, but if you do, the lights will come on whenever someone throws the switch, even if no key is in the ignition. Or, you walk away from the bike accidentally leaving your lights on. 3 hours before your battery is dead! A correctly wired relay will only allow the circuit to your aux. lights come on when the ignition is on.

Just for clarification on the drawing: This drawing assumes that you have a LIT switch where a little light comes on when it's in the "on" position. That is the only reason there is a third post on the green rocker switch - to energize the lit button. If you have just a simple, unlit toggle switch, it will only have two terminals, so you can forget the third one with the black ground wire coming from it (in my drawing I spliced it to negative in the circuit).

Also you will wonder why I just said that the AUX can handle 120 Watts but my lights in the drawing only add up to 110 Watts. You are correct, just that 120 Watts is the MAXIMUM load the wires can safely handle, but not continuously. So we're getting pretty darn close to their acceptable Ampacity, making it safer to go this route.

The wires coming TO the Aux plug in the headlight are orange with blue stripes (positive) and black with white stripes (negative).

There are wiring harnesses on the market that have this cicuit so you don't have to wire yourself if that's not your cup of tea, but they still usually need a little modification here and there. Check at autozone.com, Part# PL-HARN3

I used a 20 Amp fuse in my drawing, which is actually overkill for the driving lights. 15 Amps would do fine, even 10 in a pinch. Just make sure to match the fuse to the WIRE SIZE that it protects (see charts posted belows).

Hope this helps. Any questions, just PM me.


Carsten

2004 BMW R1150RT (sold)
2006 Yamaha Stratoliner S (sold)
2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 (sold)
2005 Suzuki C50 (sold)


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post #2 of 231 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 10:19 AM
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Moenko, Thanks so much . I will use the watts divided by volts to get amps. I understand better now.

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post #3 of 231 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 10:33 AM
 
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And when you finish the math here's a chart to select the wire gauge:
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post #4 of 231 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Jay, you're welcome. I just REVISED the drawing as follows:

1) Rocker switch: had a wrong diagram shown. The only reason the switch has a black (ground) wire is because it is a LIT switch. A simple unlit pole switch would not have a contact for ground

2) I routed the black (negative) from the lamps DIRECTLY to the NEG battery terminal, so it is clear that this is not mechanical ground, but must go back to battery.

ALSO REMEMBER: The battery is usually showing 13.1 or so Volts on your voltage meter ... that is the IDLE voltage. Once you draw from it, it will be in the 12 Volt range, so in your AMP calculations, always divide by 12, NOT 13 !!!

Carsten

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2006 Yamaha Stratoliner S (sold)
2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 (sold)
2005 Suzuki C50 (sold)


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post #5 of 231 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big ed
And when you finish the math here's a chart to select the wire gauge:
Yes, very helpful indeed, thanks Big Ed!!

Carsten

2004 BMW R1150RT (sold)
2006 Yamaha Stratoliner S (sold)
2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 (sold)
2005 Suzuki C50 (sold)


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post #6 of 231 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 05:22 PM
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Ok, here we go. I got everything taken apart (now that the sun is setting) and my wiring doesn't match your picture. Somehow, it seems as though the positive wires from both spotlights and the switch are all sliced together into one wire. The same with the negative wires. There is one red wire and one black wire plugged into the light accessory connection in the headlight bucket. Do I have to separate all these wires in order to connect them correctly to the relay?
My lightbar is the OEM one and the local dealer installed it. AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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post #7 of 231 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Air4ceOne
Ok, here we go. I got everything taken apart (now that the sun is setting) and my wiring doesn't match your picture. Somehow, it seems as though the positive wires from both spotlights and the switch are all sliced together into one wire. The same with the negative wires. There is one red wire and one black wire plugged into the light accessory connection in the headlight bucket. Do I have to separate all these wires in order to connect them correctly to the relay?
My lightbar is the OEM one and the local dealer installed it. AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LOL, oh John, very hard to diagnose without pics or actually seeing the setup. The pos (RED) wires from the lights would naturally be spliced together (that splice would be at the wire coming from terminal 87 - see how it goes to both lights ... that intersection is a splice.

All negatives can be spliced together because they all go to mechanical ground, EXCEPT the ones from the spotlights - those should go back to the battery somehow.

It is VERY hard to follow the wiring if someone else did it because you never know where their connections lead to. Do you have a wiring diagram for your bike?

Carsten

Carsten

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2006 Yamaha Stratoliner S (sold)
2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 (sold)
2005 Suzuki C50 (sold)


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post #8 of 231 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 05:39 PM
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I have the OEM and wired mine alittle different than the diagram shows. My switch is after the relay on the bar. My relay is in the bucket and controled by the headlight feeds. I wanted mine that way so the lightbar is off when headlight is off (ex. when starting bike less load).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Air4ceOne
Ok, here we go. I got everything taken apart (now that the sun is setting) and my wiring doesn't match your picture. Somehow, it seems as though the positive wires from both spotlights and the switch are all sliced together into one wire. The same with the negative wires. There is one red wire and one black wire plugged into the light accessory connection in the headlight bucket. Do I have to separate all these wires in order to connect them correctly to the relay?
My lightbar is the OEM one and the local dealer installed it. AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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post #9 of 231 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C50T2006
I have the OEM and wired mine alittle different than the diagram shows. My switch is after the relay on the bar. My relay is in the bucket and controled by the headlight feeds. I wanted mine that way so the lightbar is off when headlight is off (ex. when starting bike less load).
There is no one single correct setup, of course the switch can be before the relay or after, doesn't matter at what the circuit is interruped. I will wire mine the way you did, Dane, relay in the headlight bucket, switch on top of the head light. The lights won't come on unless I flip the switch. If you want your lights to come on when the bike starts, of course a switch isn't needed. Again, I tried to make a simple diagram how it CAN be wired and will correctly work. Those who know as much as you can, of course, alter to their needs

Carsten

2004 BMW R1150RT (sold)
2006 Yamaha Stratoliner S (sold)
2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 (sold)
2005 Suzuki C50 (sold)


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post #10 of 231 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 05:48 PM
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Well that didn't help me. I'm still totally confused!
I was actually hoping that the two positives from the lights would be spliced together, but I wasn't expecting them to be spliced into the positive from the light switch too (as well as the negatives). I'm guessing I'm gonna have to do some wire cutting and rewire things, which I REALLY HATE to do.

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