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Thread: School me on wiring, splicing, etc.

  1. #1
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
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    School me on wiring, splicing, etc.

    I'm working on some basic wiring for my car but thought I would do it properly and since it seems we have a resident expert(s) I thought the best thing to do was ask.

    What's the best way to splice a wire; inline, solder and heatshrink? Any special techniques?

    There are 2 small projects I am working on. First is putting in a switch for my angel eyes. I have the switch already placed inside the car and the wiring is in place but not connected to anything yet. The power will be coming from an existing wire in the car's harness that provides power when the ignition is turned on. The load terminal will be connected to the "trigger" wire comming from the angel eye harness. I have attached an image below. I know I will have to splice the trigger wire to the load wire but I'm not really sure how to tap into the power wire properly. I used those quick splice connectors before and know that is not a good idea. One reason I had used them was I figured they were somewhat reversable had I ever wanted to rermove the angel eyes, and would like to have that availability if possible. Also there is a ground on the switch for an LED, can I just tap into any ground wire like the footwell light for that to work?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Second project is wiring in the solenoids for my projectors into the factory light control module (LCM). Before I just used a quick splice connector to tap into the positive wire on the existing high beam and grounded the other wire to the chassis. I have one wire coming from the factory light control module as the trigger wire to activate the solenoids when I turn on the high beam. I was stupid and didn't get a second and now I can't get a 2nd one because they are NLA unless I order a pack of 10. My question for this one is can I take that one wire from the LCM and splice the 2 wires coming from the solenoids without any problems? I have seen one person run a relay but that seemed like a bit too much.

    Thanks
    "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster"

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  2. #2
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    Re: School me on wiring, splicing, etc.

    tagging onto wires is easy-peasy if you have the right tool. I'm off to the shop today to put some time in on my sq ram...I'll see if I can snap a pic of the tool (inline strippers) and demonstrate the correct way to tag a wire in-line. There's really nothing to it when you see it.

    As for your light control module - I'd love to know what you're trying to do - what is the output off the lca for? what are the solenoids for? (motorize the high beam?)

  3. #3
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
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    Re: School me on wiring, splicing, etc.

    The output off the lcm activates the projectors' high beam by motorizing the solenoids.
    "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster"

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    Re: School me on wiring, splicing, etc.

    how does it work? its a negative trigger when high beams are activated?

  5. #5
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
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    Re: School me on wiring, splicing, etc.

    Still slightly unsure about positive/negative triggers but I believe it is a positive trigger. Just for clarification, a positive trigger is when the solenoid is grounded and the swith is connected to the battery and turning on the switch supplies the power to the solenoid, right?

    The way it's connected is ground---solenoid(s)---lcm (switch)--battery
    Last edited by Nabs; 01-02-2013 at 12:00 PM.
    "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster"

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  6. #6
    Senior Member exist's Avatar
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    Re: School me on wiring, splicing, etc.

    the solenoid for the projector is a magnet, I believe.. It sits "up" by default and when power is applied the shield drops by being sucked down. In laymans terms.

  7. #7
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
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    Re: School me on wiring, splicing, etc.

    All solenoids are electromagnets when referring to an electrical system, correct me if I'm wrong.
    "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster"

    ///M3 Journal | E39 540i Journal | Turbo Install | Carbon Roof Time-Lapse Install

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  8. #8
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    Re: School me on wiring, splicing, etc.

    Nabs is correct. My only concern would be design. And interesting test would be to manually power the solenoid on the bench and clamp it - to measure the current actually being drawn to do this. I wouldn't be surprised if it were an amp or two of honest current. The reason this is hugely important is that the output driver from the light control module (which is a solid state, transistor based output) might only be 500ma at best). If you try and drive a 2 amp circuit with a 500ma trigger, guess what happens to those transistors? POP. Dead outputs. I would HIGHLY recommend using the lca output to drive a relay. The coil of a relay only takes 150ma of current to close properly, and can switch up to 40a of current properly. You see where I'm going, I'm sure.

  9. #9
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
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    Re: School me on wiring, splicing, etc.

    Originally I had planned on running a relay based on what someone else had sucess with, but when I started to do it it became a bit of a mess in the harness area so I wanted to see if it was possbile to run it off the one lead without the relay. I never touched it just incase it wasn't possible and I mess something up. I actually was thinking about it today and some of my basic knowledge from class came back and I realized that I would have to take into consideration the current and the voltage wouldn't be an issue, which was my original concern.

    It will be easy enough to pull out the headlight, just want to make sure I test it properly. I just power up the solenoid and run an ammeter in series right? Then do the same with the LCM lead? I'll try and see if I can get another lead from another source is possible and just do that, as long as I don't have to order 10 or 20
    "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster"

    ///M3 Journal | E39 540i Journal | Turbo Install | Carbon Roof Time-Lapse Install

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  10. #10
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    Re: School me on wiring, splicing, etc.

    ammeter borrow a clamp - totally non invasive (do some reading). I'm betting money that it draws a few amps. THATS the danger zone....if its anything more than a few hundred milimaps, use a relay. You'll thank me. Ohms law guarantees voltage and current are related - but its the current draw you need to worry about.

  11. #11
    Administrator MarcGSR's Avatar
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    Re: School me on wiring, splicing, etc.

    Thanks for providing correct insight on every electrical thread on this site. Rep'd.

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