European Lights Installation Guide

Here's what you need to wire the lights in!
Whatcha Need:
Here's a rough idea of what you'll need to wire in the lights:
  • Relays. I used four Bosch 40A relays. Probably overkill, but better than too little.
  • Lots of wire. I used 10 AWG wire; about 40 feet or so. Get some in red and some in black if possible. I also used some 12 AWG wire for the lighter-load leads.
  • Inline fuse holders. I used two, one for the lights on the left; one for the right. 30A Fuses are enough.
  • Lots of Quick Disconnects. You'll need around 20, so buy extra 'cause you'll probably ruin a few!
  • A couple of 1/4" Stud Ring Terminals Used to tap the battery. I used 4.
  • Soldering Gear: An Iron, Solder, and Shrink Tubing (Optional; I got fed up and used electrical tape)
  • Wire cutters, screw drivers, and a crimping tool.
  • A Dremel tool or hacksaw Needed to make the headlight mounting plate smaller if you're using US bumpers.
  • Dielectric Grease.
  • A little tiny screwdriver Used to remove the old connectors from the eadlight connectors.
  • Pretty Things. Like wire ties and tubing to hide all the wiring.
  • Advil, Tylenol, Aleve, Sudafed, etc... to get rid of sinus and stress headaches from soldering for 10 consecutive years. These are optional but highly recommended. Generics are acceptable.

Keep in mind that this is just the way I did this installation, which in absolutely no way makes it the only way... or even the right way!

  1. Okay, first you need to make sure the lights fit. If you're going to be using your US bumpers with the Euro lights, you have to do some easy modifications. The problem is that the US bumper cover sticks up a bit too high, and doesn't allow the light to fit in properly. All you have to do is cut between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch off of the bottom of the mounting plate. Here's mine after I cut it. They're not good pictures, but you can see how little I really had to take off.

  2. Once that's done, yank out your old US lights.
    • Things are easier if you take the grille out, too. Remove the 3 clips on top of the grille, and reach your hand down behind the grille and pop the 2 clips out. The grille will slide forward and out. Be careful not to break the pastic, though, it's probably a bit brittle after all these years...
    • Take out the 2 Phillips screws holding in the molding below the lights. Remove the molding.
    • Take out the screws holding in the light assembly. They're all in plain view.
    • Yank the wires from the back of the sealed beam units.
    • Remove the wires from the side markers, and take note of where each one went.

  3. Before we start... First of all, whenever I say "crimp" anything, I really mean "crimp and then solder". I did both to make sure that nothing comes loose. (I'm anal.) And, I used dielectric grease on all contacts that are exposed to weather. It will stop corrosion and ensure a good connection.

  4. Now it's time for the wiring. I simply measured how much wire I needed, and did all of the soldering and crimping in my warm (well, relative to outside, anyways) basement. Figure how much distance you need from the battery to each light, and then add about a foot to each. Cut your wires to those lengths.

  5. Tap the battery's positive terminal. You need to make two of these, one for left and one for right, and each will serve 2 relays. Crimp (and solder) a 1/4" stud ring terminal to an inline 30A fuse holder. On the other side of the fuse, split the line in two (one for high beam and one for low beam) and crimp each end with a female disconnects. These ends will eventually be attached to the relays at TERMINAL 30.

  6. Now we need to do the same for ground. Crimp another 1/4" stud ring terminal to some black wire (here's where I used the 12 AWG black). Split this lead 4 ways, and crimp a female disconnect on each end. This lead will supply the relays with their grounds, at TERMINAL 85.

  7. Connect the trigger wires.You need to cut the wiring to the stock lights. Using any method you want, (I used a little voltage tester), determine which wire is live when the low beams are on; and which wire is live when the high beams are on. Since we only need one set, we can cut (and seal off) the wires on the passenger side, and just use the driver's side wires. Since each of the leads (low and high) need to go to two relays (right and left), make TWO wires for this. Take a wire, and split it into 2 leads; each with a female disconnect on the end. Leave the other side free, as it will be soldered (or crimped, I guess) to the stock wiring. They will all be hooked up eventually to TERMINAL 86.

  8. Now we have to ground the lights themselves. You could theoretically ground each light to the 'nearest piece of metal', but I figure if you're going to do it, you might as well do it right. It may make the difference between bright lights and none at all. I used a 1/4" stud ring terminal to tap the battery's negative terminal. Then, I split the wire in two; one each for the left and right sides. At each light, I split the wire into THREE: One ground for the H4 bulb, one ground for the H3 (or H1) bulb, and one ground for the city light. I used red wire because I didn't have enough black, and all the electrical tape you see is there to remind me that it was a ground wire.

  9. Wiring the Low Beams We need to make 2 of these wires, one for the left and one for the right low beam. Crimp a female disconnect to the end of the wire that will go to the relay. It will attach at TERMINAL 87.

  10. Wiring the high beams We also need to make 2 of these, again one for left, one for right. Again, attach a female disconnect to the relay end. At the other end, split the wire into two leads, one going to the H4 bulb, one going to the H3 (or H1) bulb.

  11. Don't be scared of Relays I'd never used them before, but they're really simple to hook up. All you need to know is what each of the little terminals does, and you're set to go! Like I said before, I used 4 relays. I did this so that if one of them has a problem, my lighting is relatively unaffected... What you have to do now is pick a job for each relay. I did this by mounting them on a wood board and labelling "Driver's Low Beam, Driver's High Beam, Passenger Low Beam, and Passenger High Beam". It's cheezy, but it works.

    Each relay has a few terminals (either 4 or 5), and each of them is labelled with a number.
    Here's what the numbers mean:

    This connects directly to the POSITIVE terminal of the battery.
    This connects directly to the NEGATIVE terminal of the battery.
    This connects to the factory wiring. It is the "input" for the relay- and tells it when to switch on and off.
    My relays have 2 of these. These are the "switched outputs" of the relay. They connect directly to the light bulb.

  12. Attaching the wires to the bulbsThe stock US sealed beam connectors can be used on the H4 bulbs. I was lucky enough to have the H3 connectors come attached to my lights, but I could have easily done without.

    The actual terminals inside the connectors are essentially female disconnects, but they have a little tab which holds them in place. With the connector facing you (so that the wires are going away from you), insert a little flat head screw driver in the little notch of each terminal. With a little wiggling, the disconnect should pull out from the back of the connector. With a few practice tries, this becomes easier.

    I removed the original wire from the connectors, soldered on the new wire, and then replaced the terminal in the connector.

  13. Wiring the H4. Don't be fooled! Just because the H4 bulb uses the same connector as the US bulb, doesn't mean the wires hook up to the same place. Holding the connector facting you, so that the wires are leading away from you, the wires should be hooked up as follows.

    The TOP wire is for the LOW BEAM. The LEFT wire is for the HIGH BEAM. The right wire is for the GROUND. If you have the left and right wires reversed, it's not a big deal; you'll know because when you turn on the low beams, the high beams will glow dimly.

  14. Wiring the H3. (Your lights may instead use H1 bulbs). You can use the H3 connector as I did; the procedure for replacing the terminals is the same as for the H4. The side of the connector with the little "tab" is the negative side. You can also make sure that it's negative by looking at which wire leads to the body of the light fixture itself. The negative will go to the body of the light.

  15. Here's a summary of all of the wiring you need to do for the low and high beams:
    • BATTERY POSITIVE to each relay at TERMINAL 30
    • BATTERY NEGATIVE to each relay at TERMINAL 85
    • BATTERY NEGATIVE to each light for the H4 (RIGHT on connector), H3 (terminal with TAB) and CITY LIGHT (also w/TAB)
    • TERMINAL 87 of each LOW BEAM RELAY to H4 Low (TOP of connector) on EACH SIDE
    • TERMINAL 87 of each HIGH BEAM RELAY to H4 High (LEFT on connector) AND to H3

  16. Wiring the City Light. All that's left to do is wire a positive lead to the city lights. I wanted mine to come on with my parking lights. Using a voltage tester, I figured out with lead to the side marker lights was for the turn signals and which was for the parking lights. I spliced in another wire to to the parking light and ran it to the city light.

  17. Where do the relays go? I put them right in front of the battery, mounted on that little wood piece. I liked the idea of putting them there, close to the battery, for a number of reasons. First, they're easy to get to if something does go wrong. Secondly, it's an area that generally doesn't get wet at all. And thirdly, by putting the inline fuses close to the battery, you minimize the chances of an unfused short circuit.

  18. Where does all the wiring go? I put all of the wiring in flexible tubing so it looks much better. You can see some of the tubing in this (albeit, bad) picture. (Ignore the red wires, I wasn't done with all the connections yet!!!)

    Using this tubing, I ran the wiring for the passenger side behind the grille but in front of the radiator. It rests neatly against the top of the spoiler in there, and even if you could see it (which you can't), it would look neat.

That's all!