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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Information on this topic is available in various threads in this forum, and the inverse procedure (enabling DRL* on non-Federal Evoras) can be found across the pond at thelotusforums.com, but I thought it might be helpful to put a simple how-to in a single thread for future reference.

This is also going to serve as a spur to yours truly to find a solution to a quirk created by the DRL defeat I outline below. Read on...

Disabling -- or, for that matter, enabling-- DRL in an Evora does not involve any permanent modification and can be undone at any time with minimal effort. To get started, you will need:

  • a small poking implement, an eyeglass screwdriver or similar
  • space enough to open the passenger door and lay yourself across the sill
  • a small mirror to help you see what you'll be poking (helpful but maybe not necessary)

The car should be off, but in my humble opinion you do not need to disconnect the battery as the circuit you will be working on will not be live. But it has to be said, you are working on the electrics, so if you are severely clumsy or incredibly unlucky, it may be prudent to disconnect the battery before carrying out the below procedure. Either way, I take no responsibility for whatever happens to your car: follow these instructions at your own risk, or don't follow them at all. You have been warned!

To disable DRL:

  1. In the passenger footwell, remove the forward panel and remove. The panel consists of a piece of carpet glued to an aluminum panel. Turn, by hand, the four quarter-turn knobs that fasten the panel to the chassis, and then pull up the velcro along the bottom of the carpet section and guide the assembly outward. Easier to do than describe.
  2. Now the fuses and relays are exposed. (You did read that section of your owner's manual, right?) It will look like the attached picture. Take a moment to contemplate how far English cars have come since the days of Lucas regulators and loop-and-screw fittings.
  3. Above the fuse and relay panels will be the thick trunk of the main wiring harness. At a point roughly above the gap between the fuse panel and the relay panel will be a pair of black plastic zip ties holding the harness to its anchoring point on the firewall. I have circled that location in the photo in red.
  4. More or less at that location, perhaps (as on my car) actually captured by the zip ties, will be two white plastic connectors. One of them will not be connected to anything, the other will be complete. The latter is the connector we want, and all we need to do is separate that connector to disable DRL.
  5. You cannot simply pull on the two halves to separate them, as they are held by a small tang. You will need to compress this tang before pulling the two halves apart. DO NOT USE FORCE as these are low-voltage wires and quite delicate.
  6. Carefully examine the connector, moving the zip ties slightly if necessary. Use the mirror if the tang is around the back of the connector, so that you don't stress the wire by twisting it.
  7. Once you've located the small square tang, carefully compress it with your small screwdriver. Apply a little bit of pulling pressure to the connector body, not the wires. If you are pressing on the right bit, the connector will slide apart easily. Leave the disconnected ends to hang; there is no way for them to short so taping is not necessary.
  8. Replace the carpeted panel and quarter-turn fasteners, et voila!

After you are finished, do an equipment check. You should find that your sidelight button is now fully functional: with the car running, pressing the sidelight button now turns the sidelights on, and pressing it again turns them off. This is a contrast to the car in factory Federal configuration, where the sidelight button does nothing at all. The headlight button also functions as one would expect: pressing it turns on the headlights, and pressing it again turns them off. Technology!

Now we come to the worm in the apple: the turn signals. I find that after performing the DRL defeat as above, my turn signals now flash at double time. This happens whether I have the sidelights/headlights on or not. It's not a real problem, more of a minor annoyance, but it is puzzling: the Evora parts book does not indicate that any other components (e.g. relays) differ between Federal and non-Federal models. So apparently there is a second part to this DRL defeat... unless Evoras elsewhere have 120bpm turn signals. I will continue to research this item and will report back if I find a solution-- if anyone comes up with something in the meantime, please report it here!

I hope that the above will be of use to somebody. It's quite a simple change and if, like me, you don't like having your lights on all the time, it is very worthwhile. If at some point you decide you want the DRL function back, just reconnect the circuit.

Happy driving!

PS- The eagle-eyed among you will notice that the attached photo is actually a flipped view of a RHD Evora's electrical panel. I'm grateful to the lads on the UK Lotus board for posting their photos and information on this issue, and you can find their notes as well as the original of this pic here.

*DRL = Daytime Running Lights
 

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Can you run the car without DRL but with the headlight LEDs on (the parking lights and side lights)?

I wish DRL were just the LEDs without the low beam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
update and thanks

Just a quick update for the people closely following this thread (both of you)...

First, a big THANK YOU to two parties. One, a fellow lister who helped me out with the non-US turn signal wiring diagram. Cheers!

The other is Lotus Cars USA: after not finding any Federal market wiring diagrams on the service manual access portal, I emailed to ask if the diagram might be available, and if so where I might find it. I had a reply within 3 hours, containing the complete PDF of all the wiring in Federal-spec cars. I am impressed and very grateful.

I said in my email above that the parts book does not show any component differences between the Federal and ROW* cars. Further research has shown this is not correct: the taillamp assembly differs.

Federal cars have an annulus (ring) of red LEDs in each taillight assembly. The ring lights at low intensity for sidelights-- that is, all the time, as the DRL function activates all the exterior lights on Federal cars as soon as you turn the key. The annulus lights at high intensity for brake lights, and blinks at high intensity for turn signal.

(As an aside, I have never understood why US-market cars so often have this primitive arrangement of, in effect, blinking brake lights. Does it make any sense that a 2011 Evora has the same taillight arrangement as a 1936 Dodge Bros pickup truck?)

On ROW cars, the red LED annulus lights at low intensity for sidelights and high intensity for brake lights. The turn signal, however, is a yellow (conventional) bulb in the center of the assembly-- which is just a blank spot on the Federal taillight units.

An additional difference is that Federal cars have a circuit in each taillight that in effect senses an LED outage and signals that back to the ICM* when turn signals are activated. An outage signal results in a rapid blink rate, which tells the driver that something is wrong.

When I disconnect the DRL signal wire as outlined in my first post above, the ICM believes it should now expect ROW-configuration lights. That doesn't just mean no DRL, it also means that the ICM is expecting the taillights to be wired differently. I believe this is why, even though the rear turn signals still blink (Federal style), the ICM is giving the rapid-blink error.

There are, I think, three approaches that I could take to get around the difference in taillight configuration. Disconnecting the error circuit from the taillight might work, though I have some doubts. Alternately, a resistor wired in parallel with each side's rear turn signal circuit might fool the ICM into thinking that there's a conventional bulb present, though there may be a possibility of difficulty with the brake light circuit in that case. Either of these approaches has the drawback of requiring permanent wiring changes, or at least rather inconvenient ones.

The third possibility is installation of the ROW taillight assemblies. I think that this, combined with disconnecting the DRL circuit as I outlined in my original message, would give me full Euro-spec lighting operation. (Except for the rear fog light, which is another project for another day.) So this is what I will try next.

I'll report back when I have parts in hand and/or some news. In the meantime, I would welcome any comments from others with more information or alternate suggestions.

Thanks and happy driving!


*ROW = Rest of World, this is a pretty common term I think
*ICM = Integrated Control Module, an electronic descendant of the old Lucas relay box, housed next to the fuses by your passenger's feet

PS to profsu: Yes.
 

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Ok.. I just took delivery of my 2011 Evora.. and did just as above.... and it worked.. but now the turn signals flash very fast... both left and right.... any ideas?....... ok I am stupid.... did not read your second email... where could we put in a resistor... I am up for trying that.... I am sure Radio Shack has something along those lines...
 

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Ok... Quick update. Went to my Lotus dealership today and got with the parts department. The question that I had is if we can purchase the euro spec harness for the car. Looking at the parts catalog.... It appears that lotus combined this into one harness. and if the diagrams are correct, back by the rear tail lights there should be a split in the harness with another connector. That connector might also have the actual socket for the amber turn signal. All we have to do is put a simple resistor back there to the power wire and presto... No more DRL and no fast blinkers. Lotus corporate is looking into this for us.... I have not had a chance to look back there.... When I do I will keep everyone posted.
 

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Another update... checked the back of my car... and the wires for the EU cars are not there.... so it looks like Lotus has separate wiring harnesses for US and EU..... so I will wait to hear from Lotus on Monday....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Falcon,

The harnesses for the Federal and ROW cars are the same. The difference is in the taillight assemblies.

As I mentioned above, a resistor in parallel with the turn signal light (or rather, array of lights) would correct the blink rate. However I'm not sure that this would not conflict with the brake light circuit.

Because I could not find an immediate solution to the "fast blink", I immediately put my lights back to Federal configuration, so I cannot test the following: with the "Federal lights" connector unplugged, and with a helper to operate the signals and brake pedal, go to the rear of the car and see if the turn signal continues to blink when the brake pedal is pressed.*

If the turn signals continue to blink (albeit at the fast rate), then wiring a resistor will fix the blink rate. But if the signal at the rear stops blinking when the brake pedal is pressed, and becomes a solid lamp, then switching to Euro light assemblies may be your only choice. Unless you're good with a soldering iron...

If you still get a blink, then wiring the resistor is fairly simple. One end of the resistor will go to ground, the other will be connected to the turn signal circuit at the rear lamp (one resistor per side). The effect is that, when the turn signals are activated, some current goes through the LED lights, and some (larger) current goes through the resistor. The latter fools the blinker relay into thinking that the Euro-spec conventional bulb is present, resulting in the correct blink rate.

Figuring out what size resistor you need is easy; I refer you to Google and suggest doing searches on "installing LED turn signals." No need to reinvent the wheel on this one, so to speak. Of course you will have to mount the resistor somehow, so that the wiring connections are not stressed by vibrations, and as resistors put out a certain amount of heat you have to be just a bit careful where the mounting goes. Oh, and it might happen that if you get the resistance wrong, you blow your brake light fuse each time you step on the pedal... but that won't happen if you're careful.

I'm about to order some Euro light assemblies from a British dealer, to go to full Euro taillights configuration. If Lotus USA has a way for us to order the Euro light assemblies at something less than the 67GBP that is UK dealer list, please let us know!

Happy driving!

*You might also check to see what happens when the car is put in reverse when the Federal lights connector is unplugged. Do you get only one reverse light? In ROW cars, there's only one reverse light, with the other one being a fog lamp.
 

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Ok... West... I tested it out on my car and the turn signals continue to blink at a very fast rate... but both the front and the rear. So my question is simple, where would we need to put in the resistor? In the rear since those are the two lights that should be non-LED lights... the fronts should be ok right since they are set up to be LED lights correct?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello Falcon,

You're correct that you should only need the resistors on the rear lights-- as far as I know, there are no differences in front turn signals between Federal and ROW cars.

Below is a detail from the signal light wiring diagram showing one side of the rear signals. The dotted box is the rear light assembly, and the bullet-and-parenthesis icon represents one prong in the connector block on the light assembly. The numbers tell you which prong is connected to that wire.

The red line represents where the resistor should go, in my opinion. In this configuration, the resistor bridges the taillight assembly wires that are connected to plug position #2 and plug position #4. The harness wire that goes forward from position #2 connects to the ICM, and the harness wire that goes forward from position #4 connects to ground, so this puts the resistor in parallel to the LED. Oughta work, but see the disclaimers above- I am no electrical engineer. ;)

Unfortunately, the wiring diagrams don't indicate the color of the individual wires on the taillight assembly, nor do they say exactly how you determine which place in the connector block (plug) is #1, #2, etc, but presumably this will be apparent once you have the part in your hand.

Let us know how it goes, or if you have any more questions. Good luck!
 

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Ok... quick update... took the wiring diagram that West provided to my sound guys... they installed the resistor with no problem... so if you disconnect the white quick disconnect... and put in two resistors ..... bingo... solved the problem... I now have full control of all of the lights, and the DRL's are now shut off!! Below are some pictures...





Below are the two wires that you are looking for....



Below is the final product with the bracket created to hold the resistor.



Total cost, $120 dollars in labor, $20 dollars in parts.

Thanks for everyone for their help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's excellent, Falcon, thanks for posting! :up:

I'm still waiting for word from my local dealer's parts desk on the Euro taillights; if I get impatient I might just go with the resistor option too. Glad to hear it worked out well for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just to bring this thread to a conclusion, I thought I'd add a final update about disabling DRL in Federal cars.

FalconFlyer's description of the resistor approach offers definitely the fastest and least expensive route to getting full functionality in your Evora's lighting. Just on personal preference, I wanted to stick with factory parts wherever possible, so I placed an order for the ROW taillight assemblies with my dealer. If you choose to do the same, be warned that they are not particularly cheap and that they will take some time to arrive as they are not normally stocked by Lotus USA for obvious reasons.

Installation was trivial. Not like changing your oil, more like changing your socks. You will need an 8mm deep socket for the fasteners holding the taillight assemblies in, two nuts per side, and things will be obvious from there. When the ROW taillights are installed and the wiring change is made at the electrical panel as described in my first post above, the Evora has conventional amber turn signals at the back that operate independently of the brake lights.

Whether you replace the taillights with ROW-spec items or install a resistor in the Federal-spec assemblies, the DRL defeat is fully and easily reversible.

Benefits of disconnecting DRL:
-- No more dead switches in your dash
-- Headlamp units will last longer
-- Won't blind the patrons at the cafe anymore when you pull up
-- Sidelights have these cool white LEDs in the headlamp units that you won't see in standard Federal configuration
-- ROW rear turn signals are more visible to other traffic (my opinion)

Only good reasons to leave DRL connected:
-- You are very cheap (I can respect that, but suggest you look into doing Falcon's resistor approach at home-- total spend would be less than a tank of fuel)
-- You are Canadian, and your highway regulations require you to have lights on at all times


Thanks to Falcon for his helpful posts, to Lotus USA and a gracious lister for help with wiring diagrams, and the lads in Hethel for building such a bloody marvellous little car.

Next in the series Messing With Your Evora's Electrics: how to add cruise control to an Evora lacking the Tech Pack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Falcon, I don't think I could improve on your photos of the install. The taillights themselves look the same as the Federal ones, except that the centers have an amber tint.

What is/are the Lotus Part #(s) for the ROW/Euro spec Tail Lights ? Are they the same for the Left and Right sides ?
Bobsy, so glad that someone else is reading this thread. Thought it might just be Falcon and West talking to each other. :D Rather than posting a part number-- they occasionally change or get updated-- I will point you to this UK dealer's online version of the Evora parts book. Click through "Parts Diagrams" to the Evora section, and you'll see the official parts book with illustrations and part numbers. Clicking on a part will show you the current UK price and also tell you if the part numbers have been updated. US dealer pricing, for the few parts I have ordered, seems to be pretty close to UK pricing at current exchange rates.

Same for left and right, yes.
 
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