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snow bear light mod plow lights please read

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by bradman0087, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. bradman0087

    bradman0087 Member
    Messages: 54

    I have a snow bear snow plow i do only a few drive but i added real plow lights through a relay and they worked great until i was out plowing yesterday, the relay makes a buzzing noise. I want to make sure i have every thing hooked up right i have the ground running back to the battery neg side is that ok or should i find some metal to ground it to? I have a 2002 s10 crewcab zr5. is my relay shot? am i running to much power to the lights?
     
  2. MBrooks420

    MBrooks420 Member
    from Erie PA
    Messages: 79

    The battery should be the best place to ground to. What is the amp rating on the relay? Is it just buzzing, and not running the lights? If so does jumping the posts turn the lights on?
     
  3. bradman0087

    bradman0087 Member
    Messages: 54

    30A relay i am running peterson plow lights from northerntool I dont know the watts or anything on them it doesnt say.. relay buzzes and the lights come on some times but very dim...
     
  4. MBrooks420

    MBrooks420 Member
    from Erie PA
    Messages: 79

    Did you try and hook the lights up direct to rule out a light problem? 30A should be way more than enough for a set of lights.
     
  5. bradman0087

    bradman0087 Member
    Messages: 54

    no how can i hook them up directly?
     
  6. MBrooks420

    MBrooks420 Member
    from Erie PA
    Messages: 79

    Run a jumper from the head lights to the battery. Where are you getting you positive power?
     
  7. bradman0087

    bradman0087 Member
    Messages: 54

    i am supplying power from battery to relay then to lights trigger by marker lights
     
  8. bradman0087

    bradman0087 Member
    Messages: 54

    this is how my relay hooked up

    86 parking lights

    85 ground

    30 plow lights

    87 battery


    They worked but now they don't i have checked all wiring and found nothing
     
  9. MBrooks420

    MBrooks420 Member
    from Erie PA
    Messages: 79

    You need to hook a light directly to the battery to confirm they still work. I would run a fused line to a switch, and then to the lights. I wouldn't bother with the relay.
     
  10. MrBigStuff

    MrBigStuff Senior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 140


    There are two halves to your relay circuit; control and load.
    I noticed from your wiring description that you have the load circuit wired backwards from convention. This will not affect the operation of the circuit but if someone else has to diagnose it down the road, it may be confusing at first. It's always best to follow conventions where possible. The supply side normally goes to the "common" pin of the load side contacts, which I believe is pin 30. The load (lights) are connected to the switched side of the relay contacts which is pin 87.

    Relays chatter when the control side has problems, typically insufficient voltage or current. Insufficient voltage can result from; too small of wire being used for the anticipated current, poor contact at junction points or just plain low supply voltage from the source.

    You mentioned you spliced into the marker lamp circuit to drive the relay's control side coil. What did you use to tap into that circuit, an insulation displacement crimp on splice? Although they can work well for years, sometimes they can be trouble if the wrong wire size is used or if they are done improperly. They can "look" fine but be intermittent.

    You should measure the coil voltage with a voltmeter right across the relay coil pins and verify you have a solid +12 volts whenever the marker lights are on.

    BTW- I hope you ran a FUSED wire on the load side from the battery supply connection that powers the lamps. You don't want to risk melting down a wire and maybe causing a fire if a short develops. You also want to run a sufficient wire gauge to handle the current demand of the lamps.
     
  11. bradman0087

    bradman0087 Member
    Messages: 54

    well today i will wire up lights straight i am sure they work, it must be in the wiring somewhere.. I actually tapped in to the marker lights off of my 4 way flat trailer harness on back of truck i ran a long 4 way up to engine bay i did not feel comfortable cutting any wires in truck.. i will fuse it when it is hook up for good but now i am just making it all work first. I am using 12 gauge wire?? is that sufficent?
     
  12. MBrooks420

    MBrooks420 Member
    from Erie PA
    Messages: 79

    12 gauge should be plenty. Tap into the battery +, add an inline fuse, and that to a switch. Then power the relay with the switch. Then you don't have to mess with the trucks wiring at all. Or you could grab the power from something inside the truck, like the cigarette lighter.