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Re-wiring the Headlights... ...on a 1997 Defender Ninety.


Sorry about the photo - but it proves there was sun! What would we do without the front wings to hold all the tools and stuff? I ran new cable to the two headlights, and the front spotlights. I didn't (I'm afraid) use wires the same colour code as the existing headlights due to funding issues, instead I used Blue for high beam, Brown for dipped beam, and Black for the earths. For the spots, I used Red and Black. I used some more conduit for the O/S headlight (the furthest from the relays) routing it down under the radiator and fan, fixed to the front crossmember with rubber sheathed stainless steel P clips.


To switch the relays, I decided to go back to the main light switch and flash / indicator / high beam switch on the steering column, rather than taking the feed from the existing wiring. I regretted this... I did this because my Ninety (1997 vintage) has dim / dip headlights - where the low- beam headlights come on at reduced power with the sidelights, if the ignition is on. I didn't want to get involved in figuring out how to disable this bit, but still get low-beam to come on as normal, so I took the easy way out and ignored it all together. So, I had to take the dashboard to bits, and remove the cowlings around the steering column. Me and the instrument panel are old acquaintances, we have battled together on many occasions, but the column shroud was a new enemy. I undid every screw I could see but it didn't want to give up that easily. I had to detach the lower shell from the steering column and twist it around the ignition lock to free it. Note to self: remove keys from ignition before attempting this... I undid the instrument panel and wrestled it into submission, moving it up and out of the way so I could put my hands in the writhing mass of wires that it was hiding. Then I identified the correct wires from the two switches, and cut them and rejoined them with bullet connectors so I could run the new low beam / high beam wires to the low current connections on the relays. I lost a lot of skin from fingers and hands, but eventually it was all connected, and back together again.


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