Page 1 of 23

HOW TO: Daytime Running Lights (DRL) installed for $35

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:27 pm
by GeekEV
There have been a couple of threads discussing adding Daytime Running Lights (DRL) to the LEAF. Some people have done it, but I haven't seen any clear documentation on how. So here's how you do it. Total cost was about $35.

STEP 1:
Get some 12V LED DRLs of your choice. I used the DTL-CW8HF from Super Bright LEDs:
http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/ ... _specs.htm

STEP 2:
Get some wire tap connectors, I used these from Radio Shack:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... Id=2104093

STEP 3:
Tighten the screws on the DRLs to lock the mounting plate in a flat horizontal position and use the included double stick tape to install them in the corners under the front lip of the car.
Image

STEP 4:
Use a 10mm socket wrench and remove the 5 bolts holding the black plastic undercarriage protector. You'll need to pull it down and slide your head and shoulders up in there to get some work done. I didn't have to remove the two clips that hold it in further back, but you may want to.

STEP 5:
Pop the hood and locate the Power Distribution Module (PDM). As you face the motor compartment, it's on the right hand side between the 12V battery and the headlight.
Image

STEP 6:
Release the four clips (two on each side) and carefully pull the PDM up a little bit and rotate/twist it so it's sitting vertical in the PDM well and the beveled corner is on the top facing the car.
Image

STEP 7:
Locate the red wire #57 and the black & white wire #18. Use the wire taps you got and splice both DRL red wires to #57 and both DRL black wires to #18 as pictures above. It's a little tight in there, so I recommend a small set of pliers. Be sure the DRL wires are inserted as far as possible into the taps and that the car's wiring is properly snapped into the tap before you crimp it down. If you don't it won't make a good connection and the lights will flicker. Try to position the taps to one side of the car wires and not in the middle such that you have room to place another one if you mess it up the first time. Do not try to remove the tap if you mess up or you risk damaging the car wires - you do not want that! Just carefully clip the DRL wires off the tap and place a new tap next to it.
Image

STEP 8:
Use a file (or other tool) and cut a notch in the left side of the PDM well, run the wires through it and snap the PDM back into place. Route the wires as shown and tuck them through to the underside of the car along side the radiator. There's an opening underneath the coolant bottle that leads through along side the radiator. Of course, you can choose your own path, but here's how I did it. I found it helpful to tie the loose ends of the wires together so you can easily fish them through all together.
Image
Image

STEP 9:
Now crawl down underneath the car an insert yourself between the bumper and the pastic piece you removed in step 3. If you managed to run the wires through the same opening I did, reach up between the side of the car and the large black plastic cowling you'll find there. Grab the wires and run them over the top of the black plastic cowling. Then run them through to the center of the car.
Image
Image

STEP 10:
Connect the DRL wires to the DRLs and tie the wires to the wiring harness you see in the middle of the car using zip ties or the twist ties that originally held the wires together. Pull up any slack as you do it so the wires are secure and don't flap around.
Image

That's it - you're done!

Image
Image
Image

Any questions?

Re: HOWTO: Daytime Running Lights Installed for $35

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:35 pm
by LEAFfan
Awesome Geek! Thanks for the detailed instructions!

Re: HOWTO: Daytime Running Lights Installed for $35

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:11 am
by palmermd
very nice. Thats how to publish a "how to". Thanks.

Re: HOWTO: Daytime Running Lights Installed for $35

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:23 am
by TomT
I haven't looked in the service manual to check the schematic yet but under what conditions are the lights on? Just when the car is fully powered up and in Run mode?
When it is powered up in any mode? Do they also come on when charging? Etc.

Thanks!

GeekEV wrote:There have been a couple of threads discussing adding Daytime Running Lights (DRL) to the LEAF. Some people have done it, but I haven't seen any clear documentation on how. So here's how you do it. Total cost was about $35.

Re: HOWTO: Daytime Running Lights Installed for $35

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:40 am
by mwalsh
Nice mod! And a great writeup too.

Re: HOWTO: Daytime Running Lights Installed for $35

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:18 am
by GeekEV
The lights work just as you'd expect. They come on only when the ignition is on, whether that's ready mode (one start push with foot on the brake) or on but not ready (two start pushes with no foot on the brake). They do not come on when charging or when in accessory mode. They come on regardless of the light switch setting.

Re: HOWTO: Daytime Running Lights Installed for $35

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:41 am
by 91040
Fabulous!

Looks like it would be efficient to do the horn mod at the same time.

Re: HOWTO: Daytime Running Lights Installed for $35

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:16 am
by GeekEV
91040 wrote:Looks like it would be efficient to do the horn mod at the same time.

Definitely. Although you can't really see it in the pictures, the horn is right there in the center beneath the wiring harness I secured the wires to.

Re: HOWTO: Daytime Running Lights Installed for $35

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:11 pm
by aqn
GeekEV wrote:There have been a couple of threads discussing adding Daytime Running Lights (DRL) to the LEAF. Some people have done it, but I haven't seen any clear documentation on how. So here's how you do it. [...]
Great job! Thanks for sharing.

For future reference, people should consider writing stuff up in the wiki, say under the Electrical/Electronics: CARWINGS, audio, navigation, etc. section, under Lighting, then pointing to it from here.That way, it'd be in an easy-to-find place, and others can update it with more info as they themselves do the mod. Also, by uploading any pics to the wiki, they'd always be available. It's highly frustrating to search and find the exact DIY article that one needs only to find that its pics are AWOL.

A quick lesson in MediaWiki formatting:

Link to an page external to the wiki: [url text under the link]
Link to another wiki page: [[title of page in the wiki|text under the link]]
''Italic text'' (text surrounded by two single quotes)
'''Bold text''' (text surrounded by three single quotes)
'''''Bold italic text''''' (text surrounded by five single quotes)

Click on the "Show preview" button at the bottom of the text edit window to see your changes, prior to saving them.

More info on how to edit a MediaWiki page here.

Re: HOWTO: Daytime Running Lights Installed for $35

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:48 am
by TomT
I've always liked the Audi-style LED DRLs and these look very much like them. I ordered up a pair and will be installing them as soon as they arrive. At that point I will likely convert over my Fog Lights to Amber bulbs (anyone want a pair of H11 LEDs?), which is the correct color for fogs, since I will no longer need them for accent or DRL purposes. I will pull my switched 12V from a different buss however, as I don't want to tap in to the PDM...