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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is maybe a little premature because I haven't completed the wiring yet, but I wanted to share... Like many, I struggled with the ancient VW/Bosch latching relay for the high beams on my Mk3 build. After trying a couple replacement relays, it works but is pretty marginal. I never did try to set up a "flash to pass" option or isolate the headlights from the switch with relays, like others have done to improve the overall setup.

For my Mk4 build, just starting, I came across what appears to be a perfect and easy solution. American Autowire makes a module that you wire into the headlight circuit. The headlight switch only ever sees low current, as the high current is handled by the relays in the module. Additionally, it provides "flash to pass" when the headlights are off, and normal high/low beam when the headlights are on. Requires a momentary switch, which I will provide via the push button switch in the Russ Thompson turn signal assembly. When the power is off, it switches back to low beam automatically. Like I said, haven't wired it in yet (some weeks away) but it's very straightforward and should work perfectly. They are available direct from the mfg for $89 plus other places. I found a hot rod store on eBay that sells them for a bit less. Received it yesterday. Looks perfect. Link has more details, instruction sheet with schematic, and a demo video.

MODUBLOX Low/High Beam Headlight Module
 

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Good find Ed. That will really simpify the wiring under the dash not to mention easing the hit and miss experience some have had with the latching relay.
Frank
 

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I really like this.

Will be ordering one when I get to that point.

Thanks for post.

Nick
 

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Headlight module

Frank (not wanting to Hi-Jack the thread),

I'm working on a Triac powered module that will replace the VW (POS) latching relay as we type.

If all goes as planned, future builders will have another option for the VW relay for a cheap price . . . I just need it to interface into the drawings that everyone seems to go to, for VW / Russ Thompson Turn signals.

I know I can do this with relays, but it takes a S*&T load . . . Triac's are sooo much more compact.

Doc :beerchug:
 

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I may have missed it in the video, but with the floor mounted high/low beam switch removed, and the module wired in its place, but how does the driver select the high beams? I get the idea of the momentary switch, but what if you wanted to use the high beams for an extended length of time? It would be a PITA to have to hold down the momentary switch for the high beams to function.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I may have missed it in the video, but with the floor mounted high/low beam switch removed, and the module wired in its place, but how does the driver select the high beams? I get the idea of the momentary switch, but what if you wanted to use the high beams for an extended length of time? It would be a PITA to have to hold down the momentary switch for the high beams to function.
You're right, that wouldn't be good. It is explained in the video and the instructions:

- With lights off, momentary button pushed causes high beams to light, but only as long as the button is pushed. This is the "flash to pass" option.

- With lights on, momentary button pushed and released causes headlights to toggle between low and high beam. Not necessary to hold the button down.

The yellow voltage "sense" wire from the module to the headlight switch determines whether the headlights are on or off.

I'm going to use the button in the end of the Russ Thompson turn signal stalk.
 

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Edward hit the nail on the head, I use Russ's turn signal stalk on my builds and love the functionality of the unit. It looks like this module will make like in the wiring side a little easier and cleaner.
Don
 

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I am bringing this old thread back up. I installed this Module when I build my car and it failed already. I have 2800 miles on the car. I parked the car after a day cruise and everything was great went back out the next day and the lights would not come on. Got a new module from summit took off the dash and replaced it turns out it also burnt out both headlights when it failed. Working good now but I am wondering if any body else has had these fail. Over the winter I will replace with something else if I need too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am bringing this old thread back up. I installed this Module when I build my car and it failed already. I have 2800 miles on the car. I parked the car after a day cruise and everything was great went back out the next day and the lights would not come on. Got a new module from summit took off the dash and replaced it turns out it also burnt out both headlights when it failed. Working good now but I am wondering if any body else has had these fail. Over the winter I will replace with something else if I need too.
Interesting timing. I started this thread and was planning to (finally) have mine wired and report the results. I'm still a few weeks away. Sorry to hear about your experience. Please provide more details including harness used, how it's wired etc. Electronic stuff does fail. But the fact that the failure also took out the headlights themselves is concerning. This would suggest some type of power surge which may or may not be from the module. Might not be easy to know for sure.
 

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I do not want to worry anyone I just want to see if there are more failures to let me know if I want to replace the system. I wired mine using the harness that comes with the complete kit and the Russ Thompson turn signal. I used the button on the blinker to go from high beam to low. What worries me with this system is you add a 12 volt hot from the battery. Its always has power even if the motor switch is off. I think they did it that way so you have flash to pass even if the lights are off. I like the way it works but thinking it may come out. The Russ Thompson parts are great and will never come out.
 

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Autowire make it anymore?

Interesting timing. I'm laying out my wiring and also got this module last year. I was curious about the wiring and too lazy to go to the garage to look at the schematic. Searched online and Autowire doesn't sell that module anymore. Schematic's still there, but they don't sell it. Kind of hoping that they just didn't get enough interest and not a high failure rate. Still planning to go with the install, unless more failures pop up :001_unsure:
 

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Interesting timing. I'm laying out my wiring and also got this module last year. I was curious about the wiring and too lazy to go to the garage to look at the schematic. Searched online and Autowire doesn't sell that module anymore. Schematic's still there, but they don't sell it. Kind of hoping that they just didn't get enough interest and not a high failure rate. Still planning to go with the install, unless more failures pop up :001_unsure:
I was interested also and saw that they are no longer on the Autowire website. However I checked and Summit still has them for sale. Maybe you could grab a spare if you want to take a chance.
 

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I talked to the tecks at auto wire today and seem very good and interested in getting to th bottom of the problem. He said they still sell them but notif they got to be a problem. He said its a very small part of there business and would not sell it and risk there reputation if it was not reliable. They had me send the bad one back and ar going to try to find out what happened. They said this was the first time they saw this problem and it wad really strange. Only 12 volts available and two head lights out with no fuses blown. I believe them and will leave the relay in place for now. Every one says the VW relay option is not reliable. I will pass it along when I here back.
 

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What am I missing here?

I used this circuit diagram and two 30 amp Bosh relays and I seem to to every thing that a module does. I don't understand why everyone is shying away from this. Please enlighten me. Thanks JJ

 

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I used this circuit diagram and two 30 amp Bosh relays and I seem to to every thing that a module does. I don't understand why everyone is shying away from this. Please enlighten me. Thanks JJ

I'm not familiar with the "module" but I see nothing wrong with this setup and its pretty much how I expect to wire mine up.

-Steve
 

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The module lets you use the button on the Russ Thompson blinker to control high beam and low bean. Russ sends you a wiring diagram that works and that's the big question is to use the module or the one Russ sends. I see a big advantage in the design Russ sends in that you can replace the relays if you Abe trouble.
 

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The module lets you use the button on the Russ Thompson blinker to control high beam and low bean. Russ sends you a wiring diagram that works and that's the big question is to use the module or the one Russ sends. I see a big advantage in the design Russ sends in that you can replace the relays if you Abe trouble.
Thanks, now I got it. I'd have to think about this some more but BigBlocker' use of Triac's certainly seems viable alternative if you want to use a momentary switch to toggle between high/low beams. Probably can incorporate the "flash to pass" option as well.

-Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
What worries me with this system is you add a 12 volt hot from the battery. Its always has power even if the motor switch is off. I think they did it that way so you have flash to pass even if the lights are off.
I don't think the battery power to the module is particularly concerning. Several lighting circuits (headlights, running lights, brake lights) are on battery power so they are available with/without the ignition switch on. When I wire mine I will check to make sure, but I'm betting it doesn't draw any current unless activated.

As I already stated, I'm still wondering what kind of power event could have taken out both the module and the headlights. That's why I asked about the wiring. I haven't seen a schematic of the module (don't know if one is available to the public) but seems that it would be pretty simple switching device, so in theory nothing in the module that would cause a power surge. That would maybe suggest something external (battery, alternator, jump start, etc.) but who knows. Glad to hear Autowire was responsive to the problem, and will be real interested to hear what they find out.

I have the Bosch VW style relay in my Mk3. It took several to get it to work sort of OK, and even then only does high/low beam. I will not duplicate that setup in my Mk4 build. If the Autowire setup doesn't work out, I will look at some of the other relay suggestions. I do want both the high/low beam plus the flash to pash. I was also planning to install it so that it was accessible for service without taking a bunch of stuff apart. Like any other service item, e.g. fuses, relays, etc.
 

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I agree with Edward, something else caused the surge. I'm guessing the regulator is bad or going bad as that is really the only thing that could push enough voltage/current to take out both headlights as well.
 
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