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Old 07-01-2011, 03:01 AM   #1
Tony407
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Philips DRL Install

A lot of you have been asking and patiently waiting for this write up. Hope it helps.

I removed the splash panel under the car:


By removing these 10 screws (torx bit) and 6 plastic push pins:


I also removed these 4 push pins on the cover that sits over the radiator. It doesn't have to be removed, but it allowed me to lift the rear edge up so I could run the wires from the passenger side DRL underneath it to the driver's side:



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Old 07-01-2011, 03:12 AM   #2
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I also removed both headlights to make it easier to run the wires. There's 2 torx bit screws that hold the housings in place. The one with the red arrow is at the front and there is another identical one at the rear of the housing (not pictured):


I then unplugged this connector and placed the headlights out of the way until I reinstalled them later (driver's side shown):


Before I get too much further I wanted to show you this picture, which shows the easiest place (as far as I could tell) to mount the DRLs. The lights seem like they were made for this location and literally fit in the gap like a glove. With a little double-sided 3M tape all you'd have to do is finish the wiring and you'd be done. I estimate that this route would reduce the install time by a factor of 10. I guess it's just a matter of how much work I wanted to do, and how badly I wanted them mounted where I ultimately put them:
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:22 AM   #3
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This is what I saw when looking from underneath the car. I carefully pried these clips until the grille panel could be removed. I guess I should mention that I had the car up on jack stands for this project:


This is what you're looking at in the first photo, from the front of the car:


Here's the panel removed from the car. I used a Sharpie pen to trace the outline of the front of the grille so I had a rough idea how large I needed to cut the rectangular-shaped hole (the DRL housing is roughly the same height of the opening, as you will see later):


Here's the front grill with the rear panel removed:


Here's the hole I cut, using the DRL itself as a guide as to how large it needed to be. I ended up having to continue to trim it to make it longer so the housing fit properly (final hole size is NOT shown):
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:39 AM   #4
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Great stuff. What worked best to do the cutting?
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:48 AM   #5
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This is the mounting bracket that came with the kit. I eventually ended up not using them altogether. The DRL lights actually fit perfectly between the horizontal grills without the bracket (imagine the DRL itself installed exactly where the bracket is now). Notice the rear panel has been reinstalled. I should mention that I originally wanted to mount the lights in the grille opening directly above the one shown here. Problem is that the uppermost section of the grille gets smaller on the left side, making this impossible without some serious cutting:


Here is a closeup of the light installed in the driver's side grille from above. I used double-sided 3M tape on the top and bottom of the light to keep it in place. This required a LOT of patience as there wasn't much room to work with to position the light properly without the tape sticking to everything it touched. Ultimately, I put the light in place with the tape stuck to the housing but with the red linings intact where it made contact with the grille so I could still slide it in. Then I removed the tape. This was NOT easy and very time consuming. Note that the light is angled slightly toward the center of the car. This is because the the grilles are at an angle and I wanted to get the lights pointed as parallel to the car and the road ahead as possible. It's not perfect, but pointing them any further inward looked bad. As it is, the lights are brightest at a slight angle to the front of the car (as you will see in future pictures):


Here's the driver's side:


And the passenger side:
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:03 AM   #6
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Here's the mounted light from behind the passenger grille. I zip tied the wires to the mounting stud on the housing to act as a strain relief. Notice the path of the wires to the topside of the car:


To get the wires from the bottom of the car to the top where I could route them to the battery, I used a straightened coat hanger and poked it down toward the ground (passenger side shown):


Here's the coat hanger from the bottom of the car. I duct-taped the wires to the coat hanger and then pulled it up from the top:


I then carefully routed the wires using zip ties along the way, eventually ending up next to the battery where I mounted the DRL control unit:


I cut a hole into the side of the battery compartment using a unibit so I could route the power wire to the battery. I did not connect the ground wire directly to the battery, but to a grounding point next to it (not shown):


I used a grommet to make it look like it belongs there:
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:15 AM   #7
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Here's the finished product:


Notice how the lights are the brightest from a slight angle. They're still plenty bright from dead ahead, but definitely brighter when viewed at a right angle to the light itself. Although it wasn't my intention, I suppose this isn't necessarily a bad thing because it gets the attention of other driver's that may be stopped on a side road ahead, or at an intersection.



Since this mod was all about visibility (okay, I admit they look pretty cool too) I think it does a pretty good job. And I don't have to remember to turn my headlights on all the time, and I can just leave the headlight switch on AUTO and leave it alone.

Here's a picture of the car at a distance with the DRLs off:


And with them on:
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:20 AM   #8
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The way the lights work is they sense the voltage increase when you have the engine running and they come on automatically. They shut off a few seconds after you shut the engine off.

The kit also has a wire you can optionally hook up to the low beams or parking lights (I'm not sure which works, either might work just fine) so when you turn your lights on the DRLs will shut off. Right now I have them on all the time but I plan on hooking the wire up to my low beams so when my headlights turn on they will shut off.

The pictures don't do the lights justice. In person, they're a very crisp, white light. I'd say they look no different than the DRLs that Audi uses.

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Old 07-01-2011, 04:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STL 314 View Post
Great stuff. What worked best to do the cutting?
I used a carpenter's knife with a thick blade and a smaller pen-sized type safety knife with the ribbed blades that you can break off as that particular section gets dull (I'm not sure what this knife is called).

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Old 07-01-2011, 08:51 AM   #10
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Thanks for the write-up Tony. This will probably be my next project.
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