Cheap High Beam Dimmer Switch Mod ...
This is a discussion on Cheap High Beam Dimmer Switch Mod ... within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Headlight High Beam Dimmer Switch Modification; Have you often wondered how you can keep both hands on your wheel at ...
10-23-2007, 12:01 AM #1
Cheap High Beam Dimmer Switch Mod ...
Headlight High Beam Dimmer Switch Modification;
Have you often wondered how you can keep both hands on your wheel at night and toggle the high beams from low to high as you blast through the mountains?
Have you wondered how long it would be before your cheap high/low beam stalk would give out from you pulling on it for this transition.
I have a $10 fix for you. Install a dimmer switch on the floor like the one above. It's easy and quick to do and you will have better control turning on and off the high beams around corners and such. This mod will only take you about an hour if you have done this before or two if this is your first time.
Read complete instructions before you attempt to install. You do this install at your own risk. There are safety considerations you must make before you do this mod. See important note below. If you use the optional wiring this will make the mod a little safer. I wired mine as such so I could use stalk or floor switch as I wished.
1) Buy dimmer switch $10 at auto parts store/GM along with 18awg for hook up and 30AMP Fuse and holder. Or you can buy the switch at the junkyard for $2 as they never wear out. You'll want a crimp style connector for splicing. Or ,do like I did and solder to the power lead of the headlight and wrap with electrical tape.
2) Pull back carpet - Identify location for switch. I place mine so that while I'm on foot rest I can activate with my heel vs. ball of my foot. This allows me to be hammering around the corner while I activate or deactivate. Then, drill two holes to mount floor switch. Make sure there is nothing on th e backside to hit with your drill bit. Pretty clear in that are so you should be OK. Screw switch to the floor.
3) Drill a third hole for the two wires to go through.
4) Attach 10' of wire to the dimmer switch leads. I solder mine and then used shrink tubing to insulate. Some use crimp connectors. I find crimp connectors over time will corrode and fail.
5) On one lead add your fuse holder and fuse and then connect to battery, parking light etc... I chose Head light standard beam so I could have all beams on when I activate. Adjust length and route so that it doesn't get in the way of things or burned by engine temp etc...
6) The other lead will need to be spliced to the power lead of the headlight high beam.
7) Last step is trimming carpet to allow the switch button to come through. Cut an X at the point of the switch with utility knife ~ 3/4"x3/4". Push switch through. Trim around switch with the knife.
When you activate your blue high beam light will come on as well because it's in the circuit after the light you'll find. You can active high beam from either stock or floor dimmer switch.
IMPORTANT NOTE ----- You just need to remember which one you used to turn it on or you might have to hit both stock and floor switches to deactivate. This is important because you do not want to blind an oncoming driver by not deactivating this properly. I never use the stock high beam switch anymore so it's easy. However, the power is coming from two different sources now.
The option to this issue is to just to activate the power via the stock switch and use the floor switch as an interrupter in the mountains. In that case, you just have to break the high beam lead and put the dimmer switch in line. That is a very simple way to install this. But, it does mean you have to active the system with the stock switch before the floor switch will work. ;-) Safer ... and maybe better way to go.
As you can see there is a couple of ways to wire this. It depends on what you like.
You can also set up another switch if you like for your driving lights as well or wire those in parallel. Know your local laws because in Calif their is a limit on driving / fogs / beams that can be lit at the same time.
Did you know with fog lights on max is 4 lights on. Low beam and fogs. But, with driving lights it a max of 4 lights .... unless like our cars the high beam is in the second set.
That is one of the nice things about our cars. Driving lights can be on with high beam if rewired. That would be in lighting part 2 yet to come. Basically, it's just supplying power from parking light system/directly from battery fused again so driving light can be illuminated in any configuration.
I've done this mod for years on all of my cars and it's worth the time to do.
Now for those expert modders. Take this to the next level and put a three way switch in front of this and wire you high beam on one section, driving on the one section, and high beams plus driving beams on a third ...... my next mod.... but, that will be a little more wiring and not covered here. ;-)
Pontiac Excitement !!!
Last edited by Mecinoid; 10-23-2007 at 12:11 AM.
10-23-2007, 12:05 AM #2
10-23-2007, 12:14 AM #3
Thanks Orion - This one of my favorite all time cheap mods. I think a lot of members will love it !!!
I'll be glad to go into more detail and pictures as time goes along for those that might need it. Let me know peeps ..... enjoy the mod.
10-23-2007, 12:01 PM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- Westchester, NY
- 1996 Camaro Z28 vert
10-24-2007, 04:06 AM #5
very nice!! just like my 1st and 2nd gens!! i like it, might give it a try. by any chance do you know how to get all your lights on when the high beams are on? to keep from letting the fog and low beams going out?
10-24-2007, 03:14 PM #6
I just rewired from the parking light circuit to the fog lights. Now, you can turn them with only parking lights on. Or any combo of lighting. This was one of the first mods I did in '99. No problems at all. Wattage way below fuse threshold. I wouldn't drive around with fogs only at night. But, for illumination and safety during the day it's nice to have just the fog lights on. Also, in the fog you get less reflection from the fogs only on.
Last edited by Mecinoid; 10-27-2007 at 06:42 PM.
11-01-2007, 07:59 AM #7
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
- Caprice Cop Car
11-02-2007, 12:47 AM #8
Well, I'll have to say I like my placement better and it doesn't require any extra bracket.
I also think that at least the bracket should have been placed under the carpet to give it a more finished and factory look. jmho.
Thank you all for your responses.
12-07-2007, 08:35 AM #9
05-16-2009, 11:08 AM #10
Cool idea! It will bring back memories of stealing my Dad's 78 dodge diplomat late at night when I was 15. LOL.2002 Camaro Z28 Bolt ons, Flowmaster catback w/3" QTP electric cutout, Superchips tuned, Granatelli MAF, SLP cold air induction Lid & filter, ZEX powertune plugs, Taylor 10.4mm wires, 160 T-stat w/fan control, Eibach sportlines & BFG-KDW's on 17" SLP SS rims.
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