Hella 3000 Issues

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Apr 10, 2007
In a forest, Northern NM
This afternoon, I wired up the 3000's that I've had for a while. I had a new Hella harness, the lights and a pair of new H1 100w bulbs.

Installation was a snap and went well, except when I had the switch wired backwards (oops).

Got the wiring taken care of and checked to make sure that before I put the bulbs in that I had enough power through the harness to light the world up. Multimeter said that I had 11.6 volts coming through the harness at the light wires, so I installed the bulbs and put everything together.

Imagine my fury when I proudly pulled into the garage, killed the overhead lights and flicked the Hellas on for the first time and all I got from these huge lights was a sick looking, brownish glow. :crybaby:

I took everything apart, double checked my wiring and couldn't find anything. Put it all back together and same result.

I'm not much of a wiring/electrical system guy, so I'm kind of at wits end here.

Hopefully, you guys will have some experience with this kind of stuff, because I sure don't. All I want is for my lights to work so I don't hit elk when I'm on my way home at night. :crybaby:

If your measuring 11.6 volts with no load on the system you will have no chance of having adequate power for your lights. The multimeter draws almost no current so it is giving you a good measure of the no load voltage. This should be the same as your battery voltage, which should be over 12 volts ~12.6. I'm assuming you measured with the engine off. If it as on you have bigger problems as the alternator should be closer to 14 volt, over 13 for sure.

There will be some voltage drop at the bulb socket which is load dependent. The higher load (more current drain), the larger the voltage drop will be. Or lookng at it another way, the higher the resitance of the path, the larger the voltage drop. Since you are making no-load measurements and the measured voltage is low you have a high resistance path. Poor connections or inadequate gauge wire.

Not being familiar with the particular harness you have (assuming the harness is premadeby a reputable source), I would focus on grounds. The path for the electricity is half in the harness and half in the ground system. Inadequate grounding can go un-noticed with low-power loads, but as soon as you start to demand more of your electrical system it will give you troubles.

Hope that helps,

2nd checking and cleaning a grounds and grounding connections. And that you're starting out with way too low a voltage.

If checking and fixing your grounds has no effect then start at the battery with your meter. Measure voltage there. The leaving the meter's ground wire on the (-) terminal check the next connection. Test on each side of each and every connection, working your way from the battery to the lights.
Ok, let me clarify. The voltage readings were done solely from the battery, not with the engine running. With everything cranking, everything is steady between 13.8 and 14.3 volts. The readings are the same at the relay and the voltage to each light is about 7-6.8 volts. Is that right? I imagine that is because the voltage is split between the two lights. I have some other suspicions now, so maybe you electrical wizards can help with some of my potential snafus.

I got the lights off of eBay and was told that they were the euro lights, so I purchased the 100w bulbs, being told that the 55w bulbs were for the pure fog variety. Is this right? My h1 100w bulbs only have 2 contacts with the housing, but the housing has 3 points on it. Do the 55w bulbs have 3 contacts? My 100w bulbs are a circle with a diagonal cutout, but there is another contact point below the bulb on the light housing. Do the 55w bulbs have a "thumb" ok them to hit that contact? Did this guy jack my money? I'm really confused an now that I'm pretty sure the harness is doing its thing, this is where my confusion lies.

To help clarify, I'll upload a pic or two in a moment.

Thanks for the harness help!

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Ok, with only one light connected, it works as it should, bright as hell. Is there a chance that man-a-fre screwed up and misled me and sent me the wrong harness? When I try to take a voltage reading on the disconnected light's wires, I'm only getting .02, so the one light is getting all the juice. Am I just stupid?
Don't confuse voltage and current. The current (meassured in amps) is split between the bulbs. Both bubs should see 12 volts, not 6. Sounds like you have a messed up harness, the hanress is not compatible with the bulbs, or you screwed up the connections. Three vs two prongs is usually for a bulb with both high and low beams (three prong) vs one that has just one filliment (two prong).

Your two bulbs should be in parallel after the relay, not in series. Maybe the relay is the wrong configuration also.

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