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  #1  
Old 03-12-2011, 12:07 PM
dlwilson007 dlwilson007 is offline
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Default Adding LEDs via the fuse box - 2004 Ranger

Hi,

I have a 2004 ranger and I want to add internal LEDs and tie them to the headlights. I know which fuses belong to the headlights, but I don't know if the headlights use a floating ground or if they are ground to the chassis. I was hoping to find out quickly before heading to the store to buy a volt-meter.

Anyone? Also...if I am taking a bad approach, please let me know. I know enough about wiring to get in trouble, but relatively nothing about automobiles.

Thanks,
David
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:19 PM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: Adding LEDs via the fuse box - 2004 Ranger

Wrong way. The spot in the fuse box is not switched with the headlights. It is way before the switch. EVERYTHING is conventionally grounded to the chassis. That's why I like ford, none of this fancypants bullshit wiring.

You'll want to tap into the parking light or headlight wire behind the headlight switch. You can cut the wire and use a crimp connector or use one of those cheap little tap-in things with the blade. You can ground the LED's anywhere or tap them into the ground wire behind the headlight switch also.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:47 PM
zx6rrdan zx6rrdan is offline
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Default Re: Adding LEDs via the fuse box - 2004 Ranger

I try to avoid tapping into to critical systems like headlights, wipers ect... if something goes wrong and shorts them out it can leave you stuck on the road. I'd suggest tapping off something less important like dash lights or radio lights.
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:11 PM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: Adding LEDs via the fuse box - 2004 Ranger

He makes a good point. If you're dead set on the headlight circuit, make sure you put an inline fuse on it, maybe 2 amp, fast-acting.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:01 PM
dlwilson007 dlwilson007 is offline
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Default Re: Adding LEDs via the fuse box - 2004 Ranger

Getting to good logic sometimes takes me a while...so yes, tying into the dashboard lights makes a lot of sense.

My only question there is how to easily get to them. The headlight and dimmer switches are easy....there's a panel I can remove to access that wiring. However, I don't yet know how to access the dashboard light wiring. To be honest, I haven't searched online yet...but if there is any easy way to get to them, let me know.

Thanks for the suggestions...you guys have already saved me a lot of headaches, I can tell.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:36 PM
buggman buggman is offline
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Default Re: Adding LEDs via the fuse box - 2004 Ranger

So if I understand correctly, you want to install led's inside your headlight housing?

Do you want them to come on only with the low beams, only with the hi beams or only with the parking lights or do you want the led's to be controlled by themselves?

My suggestion would be to use the parking lights. Simply tap into the power wire of the parking lights under the hood. Have that trigger a relay (fused at the battery) that controls your led's... wherever you have them mounted.
This would keep the led's from drawing current from your lighting circuits & lessen the chance of a short or something causing you to be without lights.

A relay is probably overkill in this instance as far as current draw, especially if you're only using a few single led's or a small strip of led's, but it's cheap insurance against shorting out your critical lighting and possible causing an accident or catching something on fire.

A second option would be to use a 12v key switched power source to trigger a relay (fused at the battery) to run to a simple switch to control your led's. Using a 12v key switched power source to activate the relay will ensure you don't run your battery down if you forget to turn off the switch.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:50 AM
dlwilson007 dlwilson007 is offline
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Default Re: Adding LEDs via the fuse box - 2004 Ranger

No...sorry if I was misleading. Not inside the headlight housing, but inside the cabin. So now I just want to tie into the dashboard lights...or stereo, although I want the new lights to be active when the headlights/dashboard lights are on. So really they should be tied to the same switch, right?

I have to be honest...the first route was tying to the main headlight wire from the switch (red/yellow)...but I didn't realize that had constant voltage. Not sure which color wire is associated with the switch being on (parking or headlights...either one will work for me).

So it seems like I'm getting close...
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2011, 08:57 AM
GGlighting GGlighting is offline
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Default

You just have to find the hot wire/ positive wire that powers the dash lights and t-tap that and use that for the power for your LEDs
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  #9  
Old 03-14-2011, 09:32 AM
zx6rrdan zx6rrdan is offline
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Default Re: Adding LEDs via the fuse box - 2004 Ranger

I think there's a radio illumination wire that you could tap to power the LED's. Verify what color for your truck but most diagrams show it as light blue / red off the radio connector.

Verify with a meter or test light
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  #10  
Old 03-14-2011, 10:21 AM
BisketFx4 BisketFx4 is offline
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Default Re: Adding LEDs via the fuse box - 2004 Ranger

Go with hooking it to you radio
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  #11  
Old 03-14-2011, 07:31 PM
zx6rrdan zx6rrdan is offline
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Default Re: Adding LEDs via the fuse box - 2004 Ranger

Driving my truck tonight I flicked on an off my dome light and when I did I ended up dimming the dash lights INCLUDING the radio lights... that wire I suggested might not be a good idea as I'm not sure how LED's function on a dimmer switch? Anyone know the answer?
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