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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I installed the Factory Driving Lights on my Elise over the weekend.

First my car is one of the early non-prewired cars. This is a misnomer. The car is prewired for the driving lights, it does not have the wiring for the switch that goes under the regular head/parking light switches. The driving lights will come on whenever the high beams are on - which is exactly what I wanted anyway (it would be nice to have an off switch, but I really can't see a reason I'd ever use it.

One other difference between the early cars and the later cars is that the later cars are supposed to come with the mounting bracket installed on the crash structure - I had to install the brackets on mine.

The kit came with lots of parts, and many aren't used (but I think that sometime in the future, the switch may become useful as a "hidden" power switch if I ever install a concealed radar detector). The kit includes some nut inserts, but I made the mistake of attempting to install one - several hours later, I managed to finally get the spinning insert out of the hole. I used the nylock nut and washer instead.

The instructions that came with the kit was pretty useless - they pretty much say to attach the lights to the previous installed mounting bracket, then go into great detail about installing the switch in the light switch panel and installing the relay (which wasn't used/needed in my "non-prewired" car. There is no detail as to how to mount the brackets or the lights to the bracket.


Edit: adding a search term: searchdrivinglights - ignore this line.
The parts to install one side are shown below (forgive me, some of the photos didn't focus properly - my camera doesn't like close up shots):
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
First thing necessary was to remove the existing bracket on the fog light and replace it with the bracket necessary to mount it to the Elise mounting bracket.
Easily seen in this out of focus picture:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Then came the mounting of the bracket to the crash structure. You have to remove the grill to get to the "inside" mounting hole. The other one is under the turn signal assembly. Removing the turn signal assembly is both easy and difficult - if you push with the tool in the right place, it pops right out - feeling for and pushing at the right place can take a long time.


Once the assembly is out of the way, you can see the "outside" mounting hole, and you can reach in and find the connector for the driving lights (I had to pull one loose from the tape that was wrapped around the connector and harness to keep it from flopping around). The following photos show the opening, and a close up of the turn signal opening and finally, the opening in the upper corner of the grill (all photos are of the left side of the car):
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Mounting the bracket involved inserting the bracket from the grill. I slipped it in between the body and the crash structure until it was sticking up above the crash structure above the "outside" hole. Then the bolt was inserted into the hole on the bracket, and I lowered the bracket down until the bolt was lined up with the hole in the crash structure. Then the bolt was pushed into the hole. I applied some down force to the bracket to wedge the bolt in position so it wouldn't fall out (I had the under tray off for another reason so when I dropped the bolt/nuts/washer they would fall through and drop on the ground. However, one managed to fall into a rectangular "tube" in the structure and it took some finesse with a magnet tied to a string and a bent coat hanger to coax it back out - don't drop anything.


Once the bolt was in the hole, the washer and nylock nut could bet threaded onto the back side. The "inside" bolt was relativey easier - the bolt is easy to insert, and if you have small hands, you can reach into the hole and install the washer and nut. If you attempt to do this install, I highly recommend a set of GearWrenches - I'm not sure I could have fit even the smallest ratchet down inside to the rear of the "inside" hole, and the "swing arc" was way to small for tightening by hand.

Here's another bad picture of my wrench in on the "inside" nut (the other wrench was down in the grill area and easy to use):
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Once the mounting bracket was installed on the crash structure, the bracket that was installed on the driving light is connected to the newly installed bracket. The driving light bracket is placed behind the mounting bracket, and the two small screws are inserted through the mounting bracket and into the bracket attached to the driving light (the nuts are welded to the bracket on the driving lights). Tighten down the bolts and plug in the connectos (that hand down from above the crash structure, and finally, a completed, installed Driving Light:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The next step involved driving the car to a nearby underground parking garage to align everything. I removed the fender liners and head light covers (I had previously aligned the head light on my garage door, but it wasn't a very good job)


I pulled the car up very close to the wall, and marked the bright spots of the low beams with some tape on the wall. Then I pushed the car back quite a distance and to a level spot (the floor is "up and down" for water drainage). I aimed the low beam head lights according to the tape marks on the wall. Then came the high beams, and the driving lights. The lights that were not be adjusted at the time were covered with a towl taped tot he body (would have been nice to have the on/off switch for the driving lights for this step). Once everything was adjusted, I drove the 2 miles home and reinstalled the covers and the fender liners and installed the new grill that came as part of the kit. I actually forgot to take a photo of the completed project. I'll add that later...

It's later ;) ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
The before picture (I should have started with this one), and a front and side view of the front up on RhinoRamps to make things easier to work on (I use the cardboard as a disposable "pad" to insulate me from the hot blacktop, and to keep some of the dirt off of me):
 

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Lights!

Well, I installed my driving lights today and it took me about 2 hours to finish. I could do another one in about 30 minutes..the second time would be easy! But, without this forum and most importantly TimMullen's post I could not have done it in a week. The written instructions provided with the kit are indeed worthless, and one could just use help found here! The only "difficult" part that would make anyone non-athletic cry is getting under the dash to install the new Bosch switch...what was that all about?? Anyway, thanks very much and I think the lights look great and since I live and drive on farm roads, I should be a little safer at night!
 

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Hi Tim, I did see your artical on the driving lights on gglotus and I did email, but i'm not sure you have received it?

Nice to see someone has finally put up an artical on retro fitting driving lights as I'll be dammned if I could find the connectors?

Hello there. My name is Martin and I live in the UK. I have an Elise S2 Type 23 (white and green stripes). The owner before me fitted driving lights but didn't wire them up so I thought I'd do it. Trouble is I can't find the connector?? I think I'm looking in the wrong place?

I do want the driving lights to come on on main beam so the installation you did is the one I need.

My question is, do you need to remove the side indicators to locate the plug? are connectors located behind there on each side? Are they easy to find once you have removed the indicators? I've looked behind the wheel wells and I was going to have the front undertray off this weekkend but after seeing your artical I think I may be looking in the wrong place?

Any help/advice would be greatly received.

Thank you.

Kind regards,

Martin
 

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Since you seem to have a lot of experience installing and wiring these lights, perhaps you can tell me: how hard would it be to rewire the factory or dealer installation of these lights so that they're switched with the parking lights?
 

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****, it should be pretty easy to do. Pull the turn signal indicators (for room to pull wires up) and the headlights. With a 12v tester find the source of power when the parking lights are on and tap that wire. I would fuse this wire. There will also be a ground wire at the headlight so you can tap that and be done. The other way would be to run the wire into the car and tap at the switch but that could add at least 1 hour to the job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
martin said:
My question is, do you need to remove the side indicators to locate the plug? are connectors located behind there on each side? Are they easy to find once you have removed the indicators?
Yep. The connectors are taped to the wiring harness that you can reach inside of the turn signal indicator housings. You need to remove the housing using a rod inserted into the hole in the top sides of the grill opening. The indicators have a "catch" of the front that hooks onto the fiberglass to hold them in (the rears have a non-movable slot that holds them in on the rear). It was a pain in the neck to get them to release on my car - it doesn't take much force, but you have to push on just the right spot. The front of the opening in the clam has an extra bit of thickness on my car - I though that was the catch. The actual catch was just behind the "bump" that I was pushing on. Once I figured this out and moved the rod slightly past the bump I was able to place the rod on the catch, and the indicator housing just pops out.

Once you have the housing out of the way, the connectors are in the opening toward the center of the car. One was there with the connector exposed and the wiring taped to the harness. It pulled free and then was pushed over the inside edge of the clam/grill opening and plugged into the light's harness. The other side was harder to find as the connector was wrapped under the tape. I found it by feel and unwrapped the tape and it was free also.

MickOpalak said:
Since you seem to have a lot of experience installing and wiring these lights, perhaps you can tell me: how hard would it be to rewire the factory or dealer installation of these lights so that they're switched with the parking lights?
On my car, I didn't have to do any wiring - the wiring was already done, and I just plugged it in. Later cars have extra wiring that goes to the light switch panel and you add the driving light switch there. I'm sure that it is connected in that area to provide power to the circuits from the high beam circuit. I would imagine that this wiring could be changed to feed off the parking lights circuit to provide power to the relays instead of from the high beam circuit.

However, I would not advise wiring the lights to come on with the parking lights. The driving lights are Driving Lights, not fog lights. The are very bright high beam lights - brighter than the regular high beams. You would not want them on with low beam lights as you would be driving around with extra bright high beams on all the time. They do work great as high beams though - now when I flick on my high beams, everything in front of me turns to daylight...:cool:
 

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relay for driving lights

Instructions from Lotus speak about finding the socket for the relay that comes with the kit behind the passenger side "scuttle beam." I find relays there, but no empty sockets for an additional one. I'm looking directly above where the passengers feet would be. Anyone with experience? Advice would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This thread has a discussion about finding the relay location (especially post # 7). It might be helpful...:D
 

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To be clear.....
All US Elise cars have the harness that is ready for the driving lights. But cars prior to S/N 0389 will not have the additional wiring for the extra switch on the dashboard for independant control of the lights.

For those early cars, just plugging in the "driving lights" from Lotus, will mean that the lights are wired in parallel with the high beams and will come on when you turn on those high beams. There is no built in way to independantly handle the driving lights in those early cars.

If someone wanted to add an independant control, it could be done with a relay and some wiring to a switch (along with a fuse), but that information does not exist in a thread yet on Elisetalk?

I have not looked, but can someone tell me what they think would be the easiest way to run wires from the front clam compartments to the inside cockpit/under dash area?

Thanks!
 

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I have not looked, but can someone tell me what they think would be the easiest way to run wires from the front clam compartments to the inside cockpit/under dash area?
Just under the front fuse box under the passenger side bonnet piece (the one held to the car with the silver allen screw) there is a thick rubber grommet that protects the interior wiring you can snake wires through this and pull them into the passenger footwell. Be careful here. I accidentally disconnected my windshield wiper motor.
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This thread might be helpful. I have an early car and decided to do it my way. They have worked fine without any problems.

http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13199&highlight=driving+lights
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Randy Chase said:
If someone wanted to add an independent control, it could be done with a relay and some wiring to a switch (along with a fuse), but that information does not exist in a thread yet on Elisetalk?
Randy,

If you are wanting to run the lights with the high beams (as they should work now) and add a switch to turn them off, I would expect that there should be a relay to control the lights under the dash similar to the "pre-wired" cars. In that case, you could add a switch in-line to the relay to be able to turn the driving lights off. I've never checked for this relay, but I suspect that it's there.

If you want to control them independently of the high beams, then...:shrug:
 
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