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  1. #1
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    Default Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    Greetings all,

    Last night my headlight switch said goodnight. A quick fiddle with the switch revealed that the contacts are no longer making contact. Apparently very common issue I found out last night after my google search for a new switch.

    I see the solution to prevent the switch from burning out again is to fit relays to the headlights. Can I use the following from 4x4 direct? https://4x4direct.co.za/headspot-lig...RoCLJsQAvD_BwE

    I've ordered a new switch and should have it this afternoon but to prevent another replacement I would like to know more about this relay mod. Lots of posts saying to do it, not many saying how and where.

    Anyone done it to their Defender that would like to share some knowledge and experience?
    2018 Suzuki Jimny - Expedition vehicle
    2002 Land Rover Defender - Daily Drive

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    my 130 was fitted with this (me not knowing). not sure if it was faulty or what, but I used to sit with a drained battery every time it stood for a weekend.

    one day I leaned over the side to check coolant and my hand touched something hot.. it was the relay that stayed closed.. disconnected it an issue was solved..
    D90
    D130

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    A relay lets the relay contacts do the heavy lifting of carrying the full headlight current. This means the stalk or dash switch only has to carry the relay coil current, which is really small. In most vehicles it is a simple job, as you only need access to the wiring at the headlight end. To do both dim and bright, you will need two relays. The kit from 4x4Direct looks ideal (2 relays).

    If the internal switch on the dash or column is buggered, you will still need a new one, relay(s) or not.
    Last edited by An3s; 2021/05/12 at 12:22 PM.
    ZS6VL


  5. #4
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    You will need 2 relays, one for the brights and one the dims. The Britpart light switches does not seem to last without the relays.

    The relay should not draw any power if not activated.

    I used cheap ass Midas relays with no adverse effects.

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    Bought the same harness for my one Defender but binned it quickly. Also had the issue of harness relays getting hot. Easily resolved by swopping wires (cannot remember which ones), but that is not the point. Out the box, mine too didn't work as it should and that is why I just built another one from scratch using better materials.

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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    Quote Originally Posted by An3s View Post
    A relay lets the relay contacts do the heavy lifting of carrying the full headlight current. This means the stalk or dash switch only has to carry the relay coil current, which is really small. In most vehicles it is a simple job, as you only need access to the wiring at the headlight end. To do both dim and bright, you will need two relays. The kit from 4x4Direct looks ideal (2 relays).

    If the internal switch on the dash or column is buggered, you will still need a new one, relay(s) or not.
    New switch is ordered and I should have it this afternoon. Will install tomorrow. Relay system I wanted to get some info on first and to do it the best way so as not to cause any faults.
    2018 Suzuki Jimny - Expedition vehicle
    2002 Land Rover Defender - Daily Drive

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moeilikheid View Post
    Bought the same harness for my one Defender but binned it quickly. Also had the issue of harness relays getting hot. Easily resolved by swopping wires (cannot remember which ones), but that is not the point. Out the box, mine too didn't work as it should and that is why I just built another one from scratch using better materials.
    Do you have a wiring diagram and materials list perhaps please?
    2018 Suzuki Jimny - Expedition vehicle
    2002 Land Rover Defender - Daily Drive

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Serious? View Post
    You will need 2 relays, one for the brights and one the dims. The Britpart light switches does not seem to last without the relays.

    The relay should not draw any power if not activated.

    I used cheap ass Midas relays with no adverse effects.
    Ah great, the new switch I have incoming is britpart hopefully it can hang on until I get the relays sorted. The other option was Lucas but they are not exactly much better in reliability so didn't want to pay double for same quality.

    Do you have a diagram of how you did your relay setup?
    2018 Suzuki Jimny - Expedition vehicle
    2002 Land Rover Defender - Daily Drive

  12. #9
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon93 View Post
    Do you have a wiring diagram and materials list perhaps please?
    Here is a close representation of the diagram I used. Only difference to mine is that I took the earth connections from the bulbs straight to the battery and not the chassis.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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  14. #10
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    https://za.rs-online.com/web/p/non-l...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

    No, but essentially the wire from the switch going to the lights go to no 86, 85 to earth. this power the relay.

    A fused live to no 87, 30 then go to the bulb (the original wire).

    Thus if if the relay is triggered the fused live will connect to 30 and power the lights. The fuse will need to be the same size as the one in the fuse box, or you could get the live from there too.

    Hope this helps.

    Edit: I see I have been beaten with a nice diagram.
    Last edited by Serious?; 2021/05/12 at 01:07 PM.

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  16. #11
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    Hi

    I posted this in another thread on here.

    I ordered the Landreiziger loom, it cost around R1000 landed from the Netherlands. I bought it for the same reason, two light switches down, and I wanted slightly brighter lights.

    Pretty much an install by numbers, with each part of the loom clearly marked as to where it goes.

    Tom
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  18. #12
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tatt View Post
    Hi

    I posted this in another thread on here.

    I ordered the Landreiziger loom, it cost around R1000 landed from the Netherlands. I bought it for the same reason, two light switches down, and I wanted slightly brighter lights.

    Pretty much an install by numbers, with each part of the loom clearly marked as to where it goes.

    Tom

    That looks pretty neat. Thanks!
    2018 Suzuki Jimny - Expedition vehicle
    2002 Land Rover Defender - Daily Drive

  19. #13
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    It's pretty well put together, and connects directly to the alternator or you can extend it to connect to the battery.

    I chose the ceramic connector option.

    Only arrived on Tuesday, so will probably install this weekend.

    Tom
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  20. #14
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    I can put a wiring loom together for far less than what you paid. 2 relays 2 in line fuses and a couple of pieces of will never cost R1000

  21. #15
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    I made my own. I wanted it to be easy to reverse if it broke.

    So my version is a "plug and play" sort of thing.

    You plug out the light switch connector and plug the little loom in line.
    Mine only remove the load from the switch where others focus more on increasing the voltage to the lights.
    Last edited by jfh; 2021/05/27 at 08:39 PM.
    '07 Land Rover Defender 110 TDI 300 Kalahari (Meisiekind˛)
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  22. #16
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon93 View Post
    Ah great, the new switch I have incoming is britpart hopefully it can hang on until I get the relays sorted. The other option was Lucas but they are not exactly much better in reliability so didn't want to pay double for same quality.

    Do you have a diagram of how you did your relay setup?
    Confucius he say: "Never order something that comes in a blue box".


    On a serious note: Do you have spotlights on the Defender? In al my years of driving Defs I never had a light switch give problems - unless I fitted spots without a relay.
    Ettienne de Kock

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  23. #17
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    Default Re: Headlight switch toast - add relay?

    Quote Originally Posted by EttiennedK View Post
    Confucius he say: "Never order something that comes in a blue box".


    On a serious note: Do you have spotlights on the Defender? In al my years of driving Defs I never had a light switch give problems - unless I fitted spots without a relay.
    Unfortunately you take what you need in a fix But if/when it goes again I will look around for a different brand. Must say though my only 'bad' britpart part I've had was the vent seals that lasted six months and then separated.


    Yes I do have a set of spots. Nothing great just Hella 500 and they are on a relay but connected to the brights without a separate switch so every time I flash or put brights the spots come with it. It came like that from previous owner and I haven't added a separate switch for them yet. I do believe this accelerated the wear on the switch. But it is also 19 years old so could also just be time.

    Moelikheid said he was going to send me a list of parts for a DIY relay loom for the headlights so I will wait on that then build one myself DIY. Just want the right wire gauge etc.
    2018 Suzuki Jimny - Expedition vehicle
    2002 Land Rover Defender - Daily Drive

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