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Finally decided how to add DRLs

Discussion in 'Audi S4/A4/A4 Cab (B7 Chassis)' started by jdp1962, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 8, 2013]
    I've spent ages agonising over how to update my front lighting. I looked at loads of different headlight replacements but none were quite what I wanted. I ruled out OEM xenons on grounds of cost (sorry Nigel!), so in the end decided I was going to leave the OEM halogens in place.

    I've ordered a set of Dectane Modulite DRLs (real DRLs, that is, that come on with the ignition and dim when the headlights come on). They take the form of a grill fitting that sits behind the gap in the bumper, and wires straight into the existing looms. Here are some pics to give an idea of the effect.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Obviously the bumper will need to come off to install them, so while it's off, I'll take the opportunity to change all the bulbs in the headlights and foglights. Osram Nightbreaker Plus white xenon-look for the dip, main and fogs, plus LEDs with error cancellers for the sidelights and indicator.

    I should have everything here to do the install in about ten days, and Amason007 has kindly agreed to help me (I've never attempted to remove the bumper before). Real pics will follow in due course.
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  3. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 8, 2013]
    I'm due at andy's place anyday now, shame you wont get for 10 days as I could have a birdseye view :)
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  4. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 8, 2013]
    What day are you at Andy's? I might have a look over. He's only five minutes away.
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  5. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 8, 2013]
    I'll keep you in the loop Jeff :)
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  6. bez101
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    bez101 Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 8, 2013]
    i saw some fitted last week
    was nice and bright and didnt look ot off place at all
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  7. Tolak
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    Tolak Member

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    [Sep 9, 2013]
    Please excuse a newbie question, but your bumper around the fog-light appears to be one-piece, and so may be similar to my Sport bumper. Do you know if that is correct?
    Also, I thought the Dectane module were extinguished when the sidelights signal is powered, rather than dimmed. You can get dimming modules, but that another item that doesn't "plug and play"
    I have seen the Dectane DRLs (even with the tinted versions) and like the way they fill both sides, removing the "one side solid, one side no grille" asymmetry. But since they say they are not suitable for the Sport, I have my doubts, and am not sure how to get the info (short of buy and try)
    Thanks,
    Tom
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
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  8. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 9, 2013]
    You may be right about them extinguishing rather than dimming. I'll find out for sure when I install them.

    When you say you have a "Sport", do you mean S-Line? As far as I know, there's only two types of bumper on the B7, the SE and S-Line, and Dectane do Modulite DRL assemblies for both.
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  9. bez101
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    bez101 Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 9, 2013]
    yes 2 kinds the black bumper above is the SE
    and the s-line bumper the grills are removable
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  10. bez101
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    bez101 Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 9, 2013]
    ahh reading your welcome post you have a cabby ?

    well most B7 cabs that are s-line do come with the SE bumper just a stupid audi thing so if you have non removable grills you have the se bumper
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  11. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 9, 2013]
    In which case, the lights I've pictured in my opening post should fit your car.
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  12. Tolak
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    Tolak Member

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    [Sep 11, 2013]
    Guys,
    Thanks for the combined information.
    This "Sport" designation has confused me, and means that most descriptions for parts list my car as "not applicable". Does this mean that my Sport is effectively S-line? It has the five-spoke wheels, so I'd been thinking not, but I can't find out what the "Sport" actually means. Would it be safest to assume I need SE parts?
    Seems most aftermarket guys don't want to know about the cabrio, and it is often explicitly excluded from applicability listings.

    So now I'm back to the basic "Devils eyes" or "lower grille" decision, but at least I can make the decision.
    And apologies for hijacking your thread. I shall be interested in seeing how the Dectane installation goes.
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  13. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 11, 2013]
    No need to apologise; these threads can go anywhere, that's the beauty of them. As Bez said earlier, a lot of S-Line cabriolets were fitted with SE front bumpers (I think it was a supply shortage at the factory). So, if you do have an S-Line (if you do, there should be logos and emblems all over the car saying so), you will be buying S-Lines parts for everything except at the front. Confused? Of course you are, but Audi is like that at times.
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  14. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 11, 2013]
    My lights have arrived; almost a week sooner than promised -great service from Dectane. I've check them out; they look great, and even though the instructions are in German, they look pretty straightforward. only have one concern. Here's a pic of the wiring loom

    [​IMG]

    The two feeds are the top of the pic are the connectors to the DRLs themselves. The two connectors in the middle ground connect in line to the existing headlight plugs, the two thin cables at the bottom of the picture are the fuse and the earth. They are meant to be routed to the fuse box at the side of the dash. My question is; how do I get them there?

    Do I have to find a hole in the bulkhead somewhere?
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  15. Paranoid69
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    Paranoid69 Member

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    [Sep 11, 2013]
    Coincidentally I've just bought a set of these for my S-Line Avant. Opened them up and all looks nicely put together, but no notes on installation, in German or not. I'll be giving this a go on Saturday so will be interested to hear your progress and share mine.
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  16. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 11, 2013]
    PM me an email address, and I'll send you scanned copies if you like
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  17. Amason007
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    [Sep 11, 2013]

    Jeff,

    Maybe we should try this route?

    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/car-entertainment/103121-running-power-cable-sub-amp.html

    Andy
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  18. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 11, 2013]
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  19. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 11, 2013]
    A thought occurs to me. Reading this thread, it seems there's a bank of fuses in the ECU box itself. I wonder if that's where I'm meant to attach it.
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  20. Paranoid69
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    Paranoid69 Member

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    [Sep 11, 2013]
    There's a YouTube video of someone fitting a set to an A3 they use the under bonnet box.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG2sMK56bvk

    In case you do need to get inside I couldn't work out how to get into the ECU box and gave up when I ran my amp power (do the wipers have to come off to get at all the screws and the cover off?).
    There's a grommet to the right of the battery that comes through behind the glovebox.

    A picture below with the pollen filter cover removed, you can see the heater pipes running through to the right of the gromet, they're a good way to locate the inside of it.

    [​IMG]

    It emerges inside the car just above some of the blower ducting behind the glovebox (I had to remove the glovebox).
    Pull the gromet from the engine bay side, push something in through the hole in the firewall and an assistant should see the insulation just above the ducting inside the car move, they can then push a screwdriver through to make a hole in the insulation and push the cable through. A small hole in the gromet and a little petroleum jelly or similar and thread the gromet onto the cable and replace it in the firewall.

    Of course any pointers on actually getting into the ecu box gratefully received.
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  21. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 11, 2013]
    Just rechecked the instructions. They specify that it connects into slot 43 of the dashboard fuse box on the driver's side. I think I will need to go through the ECU, as the cable won't be long enough to come back across from the passenger side.

    I'm thinking maybe a wire coat hanger will be needed.
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  22. Paranoid69
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  23. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 12, 2013]
    That looks scary on first viewing but thinking about it, I should only need to do the first bit, the removing of the plastic cover.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
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  24. Tolak
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    Tolak Member

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    [Sep 12, 2013]
    Instructions in German; need any help, or is it mostly diagrammatic?
    Might also check the Dectane website, they may have installation instructions in other languages (even if for other similar (generic) DRLs) so you can understand how they work.

    The wiring harness they show in the website doesn't have that power wire, and I was going to ask how the existing headlights (which are not on a power bus) would power these lights, which are (typically) active when the headlights are not. So, logical problem solved, even if the physical one you note is not.
    What is the fuse that the factory DRLs would be fitted to? Perchance, is this the same one as Dectane are using?

    And it isn't apparent from this picture, but is there a control box somewhere in the harness, to either turn off or dim the DRLs when the sidelights are on?
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  25. Tolak
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    Tolak Member

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    [Sep 12, 2013]
    Looking at your picture, it looks like the end of the wire has an "add a fuse" adapter, so you plug it into the fuse position, and then put the fuse back in (piggy-back style) and then the DRLs are fused from that same fuse. (Make sure you put it so the wire is coming from the fused, not the unfused side)

    Only disadvantage is that the wire is a bit large to push through grommets and bulkheads.
    If you will have enough, you might chose to cut it off (say 6" away from the add-a-fuse) so you just have to thread a wire through, and can then splice/crimp/"solder and heatshrink" the connector onto the end. The 6" should keep the fusebox tidy, without requiring too much pull-through. Do this fitting before fitting the harness to the rest of the car, so the hareness can be pulled through to provide slack to make the joint, before you then tidy the cable all around the engine bay.

    HTH,
    Tom
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  26. Tolak
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    Tolak Member

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    [Sep 12, 2013]
    Thanks for clarifying; no, I don't have S-line logos everywhere, so mine may be effectively an SE. I was concerned about the "Sport" description, and what that might affect, but I now have a base position, and as I note the differences, so I can try to record them. (New thread, perhaps?) But since it is an SE bumper, and SE wheels, I shall have to look to find the actual differences that make it Sport.
    Trouble is, all the vendors who exclude the cabriolet from their listings; seems they take the easy option, and hence don't have trouble from the (small) number who do have cabbies, but cannot buy from them.
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  27. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 12, 2013]
    You're right about the fuse cable being terminated with an add-a-fuse adapter. Not sure what you mean about the fused-unfused side. Please explain.

    The control box might be in the DRLs themselves; the back of the light assembly, where the wires go in, has a black box, so the control system might be in there.
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  28. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 12, 2013]
    Excellent pics, so translation not needed, plus I have a vague memory of the German I learned to A-level. Combine that with the pics and German's love of compound nouns, and most of makes good sense.
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  29. Tolak
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    Tolak Member

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    [Sep 12, 2013]
    A fuse has two sides; the upstream side (connected to the battery) is the unfused side, and the downstream side (connected to the protected load) is the fused side. Since the "Add-a-fuse" wire is only connected to one of the two blades, you could connect it to the battery side or the load side. Obviously, in this configuration, you want it on the load side, ie the fused side, so it shares the fuse. But it is not obvious which side of the fuse is which, since for the normal installation, the fuse is the important thing. This add-a-fuse piggy-back needs the extra information.

    Strange to have the control box in the back of both lights, since this would double the cost of that (albeit trivial) circuitry. You can tell by counting the wires; if there are only two wires, then the lamp is dumb, and if there are three wires, then the lamp has the control box included. It is also possible to have one controller + lamp combined (needs four wires) and one dumb (two wires), but that changes the basic stock item and hence increases overheads.
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  30. Tolak
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    Tolak Member

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    [Sep 12, 2013]
    Sometimes I go to the native version (in this case, German) since that is the original, and may have more information, better diagrams, etc, and compliment this against the translated version.
    Glad that you're comfortable with the info, as provided. (A-level German? Much higher than I can offer, anyway! ;) )
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  31. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 12, 2013]
    I've had a bit of a tinker, and made a bit of progress, but not as much as I'd hoped.

    I got the wiper blade off - eventually - and the ECU cover. I thought I'd cracked the case when I was immediately found a hole I could pass the cable through (I think it's used for the clutch cable in a manual - mine's an automatic). Trouble was, by the time I'd run it to the fusebox and connected it, it had pulled the rest of the DRL loom too far up the engine bay, so it wouldn't reach the headlight loom.

    There is a blue 15 amp fuse (same rating as fuse 43, the one that the instructions say to use in the fusebox) tucked down the right-hand side of the ECU box (looking from the front of the car). Anyone know if that is an ignition live that could be used instead of fuse 43 in the dashboard fuse box?

    Here's a pic, showing the grommet covering the hole I thought I could use, plus you can just see the blue 15A fuse by the ECU.

    [​IMG]
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  32. Tolak
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    Tolak Member

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    [Sep 13, 2013]
    The rating of the fuse is not an indication of its function; the spare capacity on any fuse should be able to support the tiny current required to drive the DRLs.
    The fuse you need will be switched at the right time, and will not switch off at strange times (eg like when the glow-plugs are no longer needed). So picking a fuse by testing the power is no guarantee of suitability; should be done the other way around, but checking where the fuse gets *its* power from.
    But if I remember the Dectane documentation, they are self-switching. Connect to battery line directly (which is about 12V when not charging, and 14.4V when charging) and the DRLs detect the higher voltage, and hence power when the engine is running. Then the sidelight signal turns off the bright DRLs at night, to avoid glare. Makes the installation quite easy! (Well, the power selection , anyway;))
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  33. Tolak
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    Tolak Member

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    [Sep 13, 2013]
    The tool to take off wiper arms is a battery terminal puller. Really cheap off eBay, and makes light work of pulling the wiper blade arm.
    It can also be used for stubborn battery terminals!
    FYI
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  34. Tolak
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    Tolak Member

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    [Sep 18, 2013]
    Watch out leaving the top off this ECU case (and the scuttle cover removed): an incidental warning story is here
    And the resolution of this story is here
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  35. Tolak
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    Tolak Member

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    [Sep 18, 2013]
    As an aside, what was the state of your lower grille slots before you fitted these? Open/mesh/blanked? And what is behind them? So is there any consideration about decreasing the flow through the vents, or allowing more water off the road?
    Thanks,
    Tom

    PS Having seen pictures here (http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/audi-s4-a4-a4-cab-b7-chassis/198694-can-you-remove-oil-pump-without-engine-lift.html#post1967774), it would seem both these flows might have intercoolers; mine has one on nearside (so no mesh) and one offside blanked.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
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