- My model of MX-5 is: NC PRHT 2.0
Quick write up on how I fitted DRLs that may help/inspire some others.
I decided to fit daytime running lights after three people pulled out in front of me in one day on a run in the country. Years ago when on a run on the bike with a few mates, it became obvious that if one biker was ‘lights out’ and the others were ‘lights on’ then car drivers became blind to the ‘lights out’ bike and would pull out in front of him/her even though (s)he was evenly spaced with other bikes in the same convoy. I think the same is now happening with cars – and the little grey MX5 does its best to blend in to the scenery in some of the country lanes around here.
So – some research on here and elsewhere led me to the conclusion I wanted something cheap and cheerful, and there was no simple plug and play solution for the NC (as there seems to be if you don’t have fog lights – there is a kit to install fog/DRL combo, but only if you don’t have foggies as standard). Thanks everyone for your input.
The cheap kit I bought was only about £11. 4 out of 5 reviews suggest they are great, the other reviews say one or more of the diodes dies after a few months. My thinking is that at £11, I can happily swap a failed unit in a few months if necessary - these units seem to be widely available on eBay and Amazon, so hopefully will still be available if/when I need to swap one.
Link to Amazon
These come as shown, two units, E marked lenses, 6 watts per side, with bullet connectors to about three feet of cable. That is it. To be legal, the lights have to go off, or dim if you have your headlights on – this is to stop excessive lighting dazzling other drivers in the dark, so to stay legal you have to get creative with a relay.
I had an old ‘change over’ relay from maplin I used, but new ones from Halfords are only about £4. This is a five pin relay that uses an input charge to throw a switch to connect a separate circuit to one of two output connectors.
To supply the current for the DRLs, I used a ‘Breakout Fuse’ that replaced the Wipers fuse in the fuse box. Connected with the breakout wire on the left side, if the wiper fuse blows, 12v will still be available to the DRL.
Similarly, I used a ‘Breakout Fuse’ (about £4 from Halfords) to replace one of the headlight fuses so that when the headlights are on, the relay receives 12v and this then changes the circuit to take the connectivity away from the DRLs and turn them off. I again have the breakout on the left, but may swap it round so that should the lighting fuse blow, the DRLs come on – which will help me see where I am going until I fix the fuse.
Between the Breakout fuse and the relay I have put in inline fuses – 5 amp on the DRL circuit and 1 amp on the the coil activation circuit.
I have connected the earth to one of the fuse box mounting bolts. This is connected to the chassis and seems to work quite well (at the second attempt – first time I simply took the nut off and trapped the connector between the fuse box and the nut, and this did not work. Second attempt I put a washer on top of the nut, then the connector then another nut. This worked perfectly).
And lastly, I put an unwired connector over the other output on the relay as this will be live when the headlights are on, and so this need insulation.
Also, taped a bag with a few spare fuses inside the cover - for emergency use.
I am happy with the results, and while the placement is probably too narrow to be strictly legal (I have not measured it), it is something I can easily live as I was keen not to drill any holes or make any irreversible changes. These unit simply mount through the grill.