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How to Connect Wires Together: Without Soldering

Connecting electrical wires: End-to-End

Together we will learn to connect two wires end-to-end, and end-to-middle. I need to first point out that soldering wires together and properly sealing them from the elements is the preferred method. With that said, we begin with what I think is a very close second to the soldering method.

I have included some pictures of wires with a number above each wire to help in the explanation of this process.

IMG_0298

Connection of Two Wires End-to-End #1

This wire-to-wire attachment illustration will help when wiring in all of your upgraded lighting and other accessories like stereos, horns (big item on ATVs/UTVs), remote starts, etc.

  • Number 1 wire illustrates the two wires we are going to connect to each other. Remove insulation from the end of both wires, exposing about 3/4 of an inch of bare wire.
  • Number 2 wire illustrates how we will separate the end of each bare wire into two equal parts. We now have four bare ends on two wires.
  • Number 3 wire illustrates how we will take one bare end of each wire and twist them together. Clockwise or counter clockwise, it does not make a difference.
  • Number 4 wire illustrates how we take the other bare end of the wires and twist them together. Clockwise or counter clockwise, it does not make a difference.
  • Number 5 wire illustrates how we twist the remaining two bare ends together to make one wire.
  • Use liquid tape, RTV sealant, or a good vinyl tape to seal the one bare wire you have left.
  • Congratulations! You have now properly connected two wires end-to-end.

Connecting electrical wires: End-to-Middle

We will now learn to connect two wires, end-to-middle. Middle refers to a wire that you do not cut into, but still need to attach another wire to it. (Splice one wire into another wire.)

Middle to End

Connection of Two Wires End-to-Middle #2

  • Number 1 wire illustrates the wire we need to splice into. We will remove some insulation from the middle area of this wire, 3/4 of an inch. I know what you are thinking. How do I remove the insulation from this wire without cutting the wire into? I thought the same thing the first time I did this. However, gently cut the insulation only in two different places about 3/4 of an inch apart. (Do not cut into the copper part of the wire.) Then peel away the insulation.
  • Number 2 wire illustrates how we separate the bare wire into two equal parts to form an eyelet.
  • Number 3 wire illustrates how we separate the bare end wire into two separate wires, ready to attach to the eyelet wire.
  • Number 4 wire illustrates how we attach one of the bare end wires to one side of the eyelet. Twist bare end of wire in and out of eyelet tightly.
  • Number 5 wire illustrates how we attach the second bare end wire to the eyelet.
  • Number 6 wire illustrates how we then pull the eyelet wire back together and twist to form a single bare wire area.
  • Use liquid tape, RTV sealant, or a good vinyl tape to seal the one bare wire you have left.
  • Congratulations! You have now properly connected two wires end-to-middle.

Drive safe.
Andy

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The Future of Headlights

New headlight technology

There is a new headlight technology and from what I can discover about this new headlight system, it is awesome. There is a problem, adaptive lightingthough, with this new headlight technology for those of us living in the United States. They are illegal here and this new technology is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Yes, you read that correctly. They are illegal in the United States. How could that be? Our laws at this time make it mandatory for automakers to have high and low beam headlights. This new headlight system, commonly referred to as Adaptive High Beam technology, does not have high or low beam.

No high to low beam switching

Since Adaptive High Beams do not have a high or low beam, there is no more switching between high and low beam or blinding an oncoming driver with your high beams. While some manufacturers’ headlights use shutters to mask a portion of the high beam, other manufacturers’ headlights have no shutter — just a matrix of LED bulbs, with each one shining in a specific direction. When a built-in camera detects an approaching car, some of the bulbs turn off independently to dim portions of the beam.

Less distraction

Is that not awesome? We no longer have to be concerned about switching between high and low beam. We can concentrate more on our driving.

Adaptive High Beams are available on cars sold in other countries but for us folks here in the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would have to make changes in head light regulations for this lighting system to be used on cars here. Be patient. They’re coming.

Can you imagine a head light system like this on your 1969 Chevy Camaro? What a Headlight Upgrade!

Toyota statements

Toyota says its system, which is used in Europe, prevents accidents by allowing drivers to use high beams more consistently. When a camera spots an oncoming car, a mechanical shade lowers to keep the light out of the other driver’s eyes.

Toyota estimates its system could prevent nine pedestrian deaths a year. When a shade lowers to keep the beams from blinding oncoming drivers, the sides of the road remain illuminated.

Drive safe.
Andy
$15 OFF on orders worth $150

 

Direct Posts

 

Direct post from Hella’s website

HELLA’S LED MATRIX LIGHTING WINS AUTOMOTIVE NEWS PACE AWARD
Article of 09.04.2014
PLYMOUTH, Mich., April 8 – HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co., a global supplier of automotive lighting and electronic products, has won the prestigious 2014 Automotive News PACE award for its industry-first adaptive LED Matrix Beam technology.

A leader in automotive lighting and electronics, HELLA’s “glare-free high-beam” headlights use individually controlled LEDs that adjust automatically to real-time traffic conditions to reduce glare for other drivers.

The new Matrix Beam system combines a front camera, high-performance software and “intelligent lighting” technology to recognize cars that are being followed as well as oncoming traffic.
The system automatically adjusts a car’s headlamps to deliver ”glare free” illumination, dimming or switching on and off light sources based on traffic conditions. Individually controlled LEDs also provide up to 8 dark zones with “light in-between,” allowing continuous use of a vehicle’s high-beams to maximize visibility and provide a safer driving experience.

An industry first, HELLA’s system utilizes 25 individually controlled LEDs arranged in a matrix format to provide car owners with an almost unlimited variety of lighting patterns.

LEDs are widely accepted in the industry as alternative light sources, supplying a variety of advantages when compared to traditional technologies such as halogen or xenon lighting. LED lighting imitates natural sunlight better than other light sources and can help reduce driver fatigue. It also can provide more “robust” solutions that don’t depend on mechanical parts and are more durable than conventional lighting systems.
HELLA has participated in a number of previous PACE Award programs. In 2012, the company was recognized as a finalist for its Multi-Chip Module (MCM) oil sensing technology. Earlier nominations included full light-emitting diode (LED) headlamps in 2009 and an honorable mention in for its lane-change-assist technology in 2008.

Matrix Headlamp

LED Matrix Headlamp

For further information contact:

Led Matrix Pattern

Pattern of LED Matrix Headlamp

Hella KGaA Hueck & Co.
Dr. Markus Richter
Company Spokesperson
Rixbecker Strasse 75
D-59552 Lippstadt
Phone: +49 (0)2941 38-7545
Fax: +49 (0)2941 38-477545
Markus.Richter@hella.com
www.hella.com

 

 

 

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How to Check Your Cars Lights without the Help of a Friend

turn lights onIt is very important to check that all of your lights are functioning properly

Our car’s warning lights on the instrument panel is how our car communicates with us. But our car’s headlights, park lights, brake lights, tail lights and turn signals are how we, as drivers, communicate the movement of our car with other drivers. When our lights are not working properly, other drivers do not know our intended movement with our car. Have you  ever experienced how difficult it is to judge where an oncoming car is in its lane when it only has one headlight? Is it a motorcycle or a car partially in your lane? What about the car that stopped in front of you that had no brake lights and you almost hit it? What about the car that turned off the road  in front of you with no signal light? Frustrating, right? All of our lights need to be checked periodically. For your safety and the safety of other motorist.

A simple process

Do yourself, your siginificant other, children and grandchildren a favor. Check their car and your car’s lights once a month. This is a simple process you can do without the help of a friend. (Where are your friends when you need them?) Use your house, garage or building that you can park close to. With the front of your car facing the building, turn your park lights on, then turn the signals on, then turn the headlights on (low and high beams), and turn your fog lights on if you have them. You should see the reflection of each light as you turn them on. If you have a light not functioning, you will know which one it is. Turn your car around and do the same for your rear lights. The preferred time of day for this procedure would be late afternoon or night.

Checking your car’s warning lights (instrument panel lights)

The instrument panel warning lights can be checked without the help of a friend as well. We are very fortunate that most car manufacturers built a bulb check into the system. This is how the bulb check works, when you first turn your ignition on (with the key or push button). All of your warning bulbs light up for a short period of time. Then you can physically see if the check engine light, ABS light, oil level light, park brake light, etc.are coming on to warn you of a potential problem. You can cycle your ignition on and off multiple times to give yourself time to check each bulb.

A good do-it-yourself project

After checking your lights and discovering the one that is not functioning, it is time to replace the lamp or bulb with a new one (detailed instruction on this site). You can do this yourself! This is a good do-it-yourself project. Go for it. Oh yes, I almost forgot, please consider replacing your lamps and bulbs in pairs. Example: If one headlamp burned out, the others have the same amount of “on” time and could also fail soon.

Upgrade your headlights

This is a good time to consider upgrading your headlights to HID and or LED kits, a good do-it-yourself project.

Drive safe.
Andy
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Relays and Their Importance in Headlight Upgrades

Relays are our friends
Relay

In the automotive wiring world a 12-volt, heavy-duty car relay is your best friend (explanation coming). I would have to say the same thing is true for the Headlight Upgrade world as well. Our relay friends protect and extend the lifespan of the electrical switches we use to turn the accessories like lighting on and off. Small switches cannot handle the high current draw or load that high output lighting or other accessories place on them, but relays can.

Relays do the heavy lifting

Here is the explanation I promised earlier: strong-person, weak-person story. Lets say I (weak person Andy) can only lift 100 pounds. Now, let us put you to work. You (strong person) can lift 500 pounds. I will now be lifting 100 pounds consistently for one hour with no problems. The Boss comes in (the wife) tells me I now have to lift 500 pounds consistently for one hour, which I cannot do. My best friend comes in (you, the 500-pound strong person) and I ask you to help me with some lifting and you agree. Our plan–each time I touch you on the shoulder, you will lift the 500 pounds. Get it? Every time I (weak person Andy) touch you (strong person), you lift the 500-pounds consistently for one hour. I am now controlling the 500 pound lift by touching you on the shoulder.

Relays work exactly the same way. When a switch (weak person) that can only handle low-current loads is turned on, that causes the contacts in the relay (strong person) to close, controlling high-current loads for our lighting and accessories. So our weak-person switch is protected by our strong- person relay. It really is that simple.relay circuit

Please use relays when wiring in all of your accessories (upgraded high output lighting, horns, remote start kits, etc.). Relays will help protect your switches and wiring.

Drive safe.
Andy

 

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DRL: Daytime Running Lights

Daytime Running Lights (DRL) Are Upgradable

Daytime running lights were first introduced in the United States by General Motors in 1995. They are manufactured in many different variations and have improved dramatically over the years.

Daytime running lights offer many advantages: They dramatically improve visibility during the day and some studies have concluded that DRLs use less power than the low beams, thanks to their significantly lower power requirements. With daytime running lights vehicles are seen sooner by others on the road, which improves reaction time. Daytime running lights switch on automatically when the ignition is turned on through an integrated relay. When the driver turns the headlights on, the daytime running lights turn off automatically.

A wide range of upgrades are available for Daytime Running Lights.

Drive safe.
Andy

DRL Lowbeam

Typical Low Beam ——————————————- Low Voltage Low Beam DRL

LED-DRL

LED – Daytime Running Light

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Cleaning Headlight Lenses

Just How Difficult Is It to Clean Headlight Lenses?

With some simple, readily available household items it is not difficult at all.

clean headlights

Use a soft towel.

Glass Headlight Assemblies or Sealed Beams

These types of headlight assemblies require very little maintenance. Typical car wash soaps or any good glass cleaner is all that is needed to properly clean them. Please never clean glass or plastic headlight lenses with just a dry cloth or paper towel. This will scratch the lens surface and distort the light beam as it travels through the lens.

Polycarbonate Plastic Headlight Assemblie

These are commonly referred to as plastic headlights. When comparing glass to plastic headlight lenses, glass is heaver and more difficult to shape.  So automakers began using polycarbonate plastic headlight lenses because they are cheaper, lighter and can be shaped to match the styling of modern cars. Most headlight lenses are now made of this hard, shatter-resistant polycarbonate plastic. Cleaning plastic headlight lenses is the same as cleaning glass, and it is a good idea to wax plastic lenses periodically. This will protect and extend the life of the plastic.

Yellowing or Hazing of Plastic Headlight Assemblies

Cleaning, typically, will not help yellowed or hazed lenses. Although polycarbonate is a very hard plastic, it is very porous. While there are many advantages to using polycarbonate, one major drawback is that over time oxidation can change the physical properties of the headlight lens surface. The yellowing and hazing that result must be chemically or mechanically removed to restore clarity to the lens.

Headlight Lens RestorationBefore and After

Lenses that are oxidized ( yellowed or hazed ) will require more attention. That means work for us regular folks. This can be done using headlight restore chemicals. Most of the headlight restore in a bottle products are for lightly oxidized lenses. Most of these products will inform you in their instructions that multiple applications may be necessary if severe hazing or yellowing are present. In cases of severe yellowing, you may try one of the products that require cleaning, sanding and then polishing. In most cases, this can be done with a drill and a little time. This is a good do-it-yourself project.

buff headlight

Sand and Polish Method

Reviews coming soon for Headlight Restore Products.

Drive safe.
Andy

 

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Headlight Issues

Difficulty in Seeing the Road at Night                               

Yellowed Lens

Hazed Headlight

Why is it so difficult to see clearly when driving at night? Is there a problem with my windshield? Is there a problem with my headlights? Is there a problem with my windshield wipers? Is there a problem with my eyeglasses, or lack thereof? Is there a problem with my car’s electrical system? Hopefully as we do some research together, we will discover some answers to these questions. So let’s begin to address some of these issues.

Headlamp Replacement and Restoration

Way too many accidents happen at night on our roads. There are a lot of factors, but a big one is simply visibility: if you can’t see something, it’s hard to avoid hitting it.

There are some things that we as car owners can do to make sure we can see as much as possible when  driving in the dark. First of all, keep our windshield clean. Glare from oncoming headlights can obscure obstacles in the road. Also clean off that film that builds up on the inside of your windshield. And make sure you have good wiper blades and plenty of washer fluid.

Another issue could be that our headlights aren’t as bright as they used to be–it happens.  The bulbs just dim over time. If it’s been a couple of years since you replaced your headlamps and they aren’t lighting up the road like they used to, get some new ones. Manufacturers make upgraded headlamps  that give you a brighter light and a larger field of vision so you can see better and farther down the road.

Also a very common headlamp problem is cloudy or yellowed lenses. Nowadays lenses are plastic and, remember, they oxidize and discolor over time. Just look at the cars in parking lots – chances are you’ll see several with cloudy lenses. This is a huge problem because some of the light coming from your headlamps gets trapped before it can even get out and shine down the road.

Replacing a set of headlight assemblies can run hundreds or even thousands of dollars. However, there is an alternative that can save you money: Headlight Restoration. You can remove the oxidized layer from your lenses. Then polish the lenses until they’re bright and smooth. We will cover this process in Installation Tips later.

buff headlight

Sand and Polish Method

Just remember, there is always a way to improve your night driving experience.

Drive safe.
Andy

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Wiper Blades

Wiper Scratched Glass

Glare and Wiper Scratched Glass

Can You See Well?It has been said that 90 percent of our driving decisions are based on how well we can see around us. Our wiper blades play an important role in this. Most people know that a dirty or streaked windshield can catch the glare of the sun or on-coming headlights and make it nearly impossible to see.

Are Your Wiper Blades Failing?

Most of us deal with our wiper blades from a failure perspective. We typically replace them when they no longer function, such as when the rubber is torn or missing and the metal part of the wiper is rubbing the glass. Instead, we should think about wipers blades as an important safety system that we need to maintain, rather than repair.

snow on wipers

Special Winter Blades

And don’t think that your wiper blades will last longer because you don’t use them. They live outside in the harsh sun and freezing cold, ice and wind. Over time they dry out and crack.

Recommendations

I recommend that you change your wiper blades twice a year, in the spring and fall. That way you have good, functional wiper blades for those spring rains and winter storms. And consider a windshield treatment to help repel water and make it easier to clean off bugs and grime. We will cover windshield treatments in Installation Tips later.

Like everything else, you can upgrade your wiper blades both in terms of the design and the materials from which the blades are made. Oh, I almost forgot. Manufacturers make special winter blades as well.

Wiper Issues

Wiper Problems To Look For

Drive safe.
Andy