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All about my 1303 super beetle with Alfa Romeo engine

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LED Daylight Driving Lights

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LED Daylight running lights

Normally I drive with my headlights on all the time. Also during the daytime. It is proven that this improves your visibility on the road. But if you turn on the headlights you also turn on the city lights (Europe only?), dashboard lights, license plate light and the rear lights. This all adds up to 143 watts! This energy must be created by the engine which uses fuel for doing that. The automotive industry has came up with a solution to this problem. They have LED lights specially designed for being seen during the daytime (all the new cars have it standard from factory). LED lights use very very little energy compared to conventional bulbs. These lights are always on when the ignition of the car is switchted to on. They are called daylight driving lights. But, due to europe legislation, the daylight driving lights must be switched of when you switch on the normal headlights.

At first I bought some aftermaket LED daylight driving lights at Halfords, but these lasted 3 years, and they were a little too modern for the beetle. When they stopped working I wanted to create something more retro. So I bought some cheap seventees fog light and put the daytime running lights in those.

This is the result:



AThe lights came with a module that switches the lights on as soon as the voltage is over 13 volts. Thats when the alternator is generating power, which means the engine is on. This module could also switch the DRL's off when the lights are turned on. But that didn't work so good, it didn't switch the DRL's back on when you turn the lights off. So I also used a relay, which shuts down the power to the module when the lights are turned on.

I could not do without the module, as it also boosted the voltage from 13 to 17 volts. Anyway, see the next page for wiring.


This is how I wired them:

The wire to the horn and the wire to the city lights can be found at the left hand (drivers) side in the trunk. There is a bundle of wires that runs through the inner wheel wheel to the headlight and the horn.

Don't pay attention to the thick blue, gray and black wires that are attached to it. You'll not find those in your 1303 beetle. These run to the radiator fans.

I cut open the mantle of the bundle so I can get at the wires:

Then I soldered the wires that will run to the relay to the black/yellow and lightgray wires, as mentioned in the wiring diagram.

After that I had to mount the daylight driving lights under the bumper, and run the rest of the wiring to the relay and grounds. See the wiring diagram for more details.



If I ignore the LED light I allready put in the taillights, dashboards light etc, the savings to a normal "bulbed" car would be:

Original Bulb LED Saving
Rear Lights 2x5 = 10 W 2x0 = 0 W 10 W
License Plate light 5 W 0 W 5 W
Dashboard Lights 5x2 = 10 W 5x0 = 0 W 10 W
City Lights 2x4 = 8 W 2x0 = 0 W 8 W
Low Beam 2x 55 = 110 W 2x0.9 = 1.8 W 108.2 W
Total 143 W 1.8 W 141.2 W
Ampere: 11 A 0.15 A 10.85 A


I am very happy with a 10.85 ampere saving!



I bought these fog-lights on a local advertising site:

Fog lights

The nice thing about these, is that they have these guards in front of them. Those will nicely "hide" the DRL's.

Then I bought these DRL's through the german ebay:

Daytime Running Lights

This DRL kit consists of 2 x 10 small round LED's with a 2 cm diameter. The kit came with a drill for drilling the holes. Sadly the holes where just a little to small, so I had to file the 20 holes a bit to make the ligths fit.

The kit also came with the before mentioned module, but that's not in the picture. It's a little black box with wires coming out of it.. you get the picture... :-)

The glass of the fog lights were attached with sealant. I carefully cut away the sealant and then I could gently pry the glass from the housing. Then I used the glass as a mold for the plastic inserts that will hold the DRL's and will fit in the place where first the glass was.

plastic insert for DRL's

I used the guard to draw the grid on it, and precisely determine where the holes for the DRL's had to be drilled. I screwed the piece of plastic to a left-over piece of chipboard to make sawing the thin plastic easier. I then first drilled the holes, and afterward sawed out the insert with a jigsaw:

sawed out with jigsaw

Then I made some support tabs inside the fog light housing. The insert will be screwed to these tabs.

Fog lights with tabs

And I put the DRL's lights in and glued them to the insert with a hot glue gun:

DRL ligths glued in

Because there wasn't enough room inside the fog light housing for all the connectors, I cut them off and soledered the wires together:

DRL lights wires soldered

I've now got 40 waterproof connectors in surplus.. :-)

And done!:

Fog lights with DRL's in



Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 September 2013 18:04