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Removing Automatic Headlights completely?

whisperer

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:) Which one?
The guys headlights are always on when the key turns, auto headlamps, controlled by the slider on the rear view mirror. Came on most Xs I've seen, Canadian or not. Mine was US made and had the mirror slider. So I'm guessing its a different thing you're talking about? Never even heard of a setting for high beams working at 1/4 intensity..? Just fix/clean the slider, or unplug it, the headlights will stay off unless you manually flip the switch beside the steering wheel. That was their issue, originally believed as the DRLs, which yes, are a completely different animal, but thats what the poster wanted, they wanted no headlights, just the DRLs to be running.

So yes, technically mainly about the headlights themselves, not so much the DRLs. They want only the DRLs to run sometimes but the slider prevents that, so they wanted to find a way around that.
Yeah I got the names wrong. Actually don’t want any DRL’s or Automatic Headlights at all. Just want to be able to turn the lights and off with the light switch like old school. Don’t need the truck to think for me…. 😛
 



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whisperer

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:) Which one?
Ok sweet! The answer here was disconnecting the plug from the back of the mirror, at least until I can get a mirror with a good controller I’m thinking. Thanks DM for that and everyone that jumped in on this with info. Much appreciated!

Sorry about confusing stuff with the wrong names….. 😛

JC - thanks for the diagram. If I can’t find a good mirror/ controller I will very likely pull that wht/ppl wire forever…..
 






CDW6212R

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You got it figured out, it's not a big problem. All five of my last Explorers had the automatic headlights. The switch on the mirror is the simple control, I didn't know it was there on my Mountaineer. The 93 Limited had it on the mirror, but those are an actual button which lights up when it's on. The 95+ models use the slider switch, and no light to tell you anything. My black Limited had a bad mirror, that switch was very loose(how the hell do you wear that out), plus the glass was stained slightly like old mirrors. I replaced that one with a used one from eBay for about $25, it works like new.

Some people are hard on fragile electrical switches or controls. I don't know, they are all expensive and difficult to locate and buy. My radios usually all have a ruined switch on them somewhere, one of more. My last one it's the bass button I think, it looks like a person pecked at it with a long fingernail, it's half white now from lack of paint.
 






Old Ford dave

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Is there a way to make my headlights just plain manual control? Is there a replacement “manual” DRL module or something? I’m tired of them coming on and blasting the house when I leave for work. Also when I start the engine they come on in the middle of cranking, sucking the battery power. I am not a fan.
Yea, that bugs me too, I'm thinking some kind of relay controlled kill switch. I have relays to give full power to the headlights on my 93 f-150, maybe something like that. I'd be careful, though, 2016 explorer Sport seems to have everything going through the computer.
 






J_C

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^ Oh I forgot to mention, except for this mirror feature, the headlights don't run through a relay when controlled from the dash switch (then through multi-function switch) so another option to disable autolamps is just pull the headlamp relay out.
 






CDW6212R

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^ Oh I forgot to mention, except for this mirror feature, the headlights don't run through a relay when controlled from the dash switch (then through multi-function switch) so another option to disable autolamps is just pull the headlamp relay out.
Do you mean the manual headlight switch powers the lights with full current? I don't recall those wires being very large, I thought both controls triggered a relay.
 






J_C

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^ Yes, that's what The Wiring Diagram shows...

Fuse 12 -> Headlamp Switch pin 6 -> Headlmap Switch pin 2 -> MFS -> Interior Fuse Panel #4 (low beams, w/o lamp out warning module) -> Headlights

Suppose high beams, 65W each divided by 12V x 2 bulbs = 10.8A

Chassis wiring, would only need 20ga (copper) to handle that, but not a good idea to push the limits in outdoor/automotive, I'd imagine Ford used closer to 16ga.


On the other hand, this is also a reason why you may end up with brighter headlights if you rewire them with a short run from battery to a relay to the bulb sockets, using lower gauge wire.

If the wiring diagram is wrong, pull the relay, see if it disables the mirror control but they still work from the dash switch. Plug the relay back in, back to where you started.
 






CDW6212R

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Thanks, for my keeper that will be another thing to do. My old Fords from the 70s', and my Mark VII's have common issues with headlight switches, and AC controls etc, high current wears those control parts out. Adding relays can extend the lifespan of those fragile parts for decades. Ford didn't care about that, the OEM's want you to buy more new cars.
 






DemonMudder

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That was always a ford thing: making things over complicated, easily broken, tight spaced, or required special tools. That way ya had to bring it back to them for work and repairs. For example needing a special O2 sensor tool to replace those on a 10th gen f150. Can't just use an O2 Sensor socket, have to get this stupid special angled thing. So yeah, relays weren't a big concern, if it worked, thats what they cared about, not if it was going to last. I still love the fords I've worked on, but I won't deny, they did complicate a lot of things that shouldn't have been, from the start and worse so these days.

Edit: picture of the exampled tool
1655854948534.png
 






CDW6212R

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I've used a crowfoot wrench for a couple of O2 sensors before, on my old Crown Vic i think it was. You end up with a lot of odd tools over the decades.
 






Fix4Dirt

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I've used a crowfoot wrench for a couple of O2 sensors before, on my old Crown Vic i think it was. You end up with a lot of odd tools over the decades.
tell me about it!!! :p had to get a few new tools that wont see daylight for another few years to do spark plugs on a boxer engine! could only fit 2 of my tiny fingers in, wanted to start a bonfire! and believe me, my fingers are TINY!!! heres some specs on the largest finger i have: L- 2 3/4 in, W 1/2 in
 






DemonMudder

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I will never complain about more tools, doesn't mean that it doesn't annoy me that I have to get a unique kind of a unique tool. A unique type or O2 sensor tool to remove the O2 sensor, rather than a standard specialized O2 sensor tool/socket 😂
 






RWAG

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Is there a way to make my headlights just plain manual control? Is there a replacement “manual” DRL module or something? I’m tired of them coming on and blasting the house when I leave for work. Also when I start the engine they come on in the middle of cranking, sucking the battery power. I am not a fan.
 






DemonMudder

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Did ya mean to send a message with that? Or just the quote?
 






Fix4Dirt

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I will never complain about more tools, doesn't mean that it doesn't annoy me that I have to get a unique kind of a unique tool. A unique type or O2 sensor tool to remove the O2 sensor, rather than a standard specialized O2 sensor tool/socket 😂
oh yeah more tools aint bad, its just more tools that ill never need again for a while for such a specific purpose... if the clearances werent so tight i couldve just gotten it out like any other vehicle but subaru had to put it right next to the surrounding metal, so could do that... genuinely considered pulling the motor just like 3 inches up to do it, as i was pulling out the airbox and battery and surrounding stuff just to even see the coil on the plug
 






J_C

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Thanks, for my keeper that will be another thing to do. My old Fords from the 70s', and my Mark VII's have common issues with headlight switches, and AC controls etc, high current wears those control parts out. Adding relays can extend the lifespan of those fragile parts for decades. Ford didn't care about that, the OEM's want you to buy more new cars.
Well... if you do use the autolamps feature, then you're not asking your dash knob to handle the current. Maybe the answer is a 2nd switch to control that wire from the mirror autolamps function to the relay, once it stops allowing to be turned off at the mirror and if cleaning it or just moving back and forth several times doesn't help.

The thing about rewiring for brighter headlights is, given the higher voltage, they don't last as long, similar to buying replacement bulbs with a higher lumen spec but lower rated lifespan to get there, so unless the wiring or connectors are compromised, I'd sooner just get the brighter bulbs, as long as they aren't deliberately (coated with) blue tint. I mean incan bulbs not the illegal LED retrofits.
 






davidmmm69

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That’s what I want too. When l’m just sitting here idling I might want markers or no lights instead of full headlights.
On my 2010 I went into the coding using forscan and changed some numbers so they come on as soon as it's in gear
 






DemonMudder

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On my 2010 I went into the coding using forscan and changed some numbers so they come on as soon as it's in gear
That's a neat idea, not sure how difficult it would be to rig something similar on a second gen. I'm good with my manuals, it's a cool trick though
 






CDW6212R

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That's a neat idea, not sure how difficult it would be to rig something similar on a second gen. I'm good with my manuals, it's a cool trick though

Use a relay with the neutral safety switch, which defines when the vehicle is in gear.

Caution though, running all of the lights so much, places a ton more wear and tear on the wiring, relays, as well as the light bulbs. I had my Mountaineer running headlights whenever the engine was on by covering the light sensor. I did that for work, but with the next truck I was having issues of tail lights going out, plus the flasher. That truck had a rough life before me, and my work usage pushed it over the edge, wiring connectors were a problem, the flasher(OEM Ford) died every 6-12 months etc.
 



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DemonMudder

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So, neat idea, but a lot more wear than worth, 10-4. 😅
Appreciate the heads up for everyone
 






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