Saving the DS light switch
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Thread: Saving the DS light switch

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    Default Saving the DS light switch

    ... and seeing in the dark!

    The old wiring and light switch of a 40 year old Citroen is possibly past its best. I have read that switch failure is common and the replacement is not inexpensive. The headlight wiring on my seventies DS for high beam, low and long range lights was also liable to suffer voltage drop resulting in dim lights. I have already replaced the old dual reflector lights which used two H1 globes with new H4 units.


    The answer is to rewire the headlights to supply power more directly from the battery by way of relays thereby reducing the current running through the dashboard to just a trickle. I have no problem putting together such a system but the cost of buying cable, relays, replay mounts and connection plugs and terminals adds up even from the discounts auto stores.
    An easy alternative, especially for someone not confident in wiring, is a kit I found on Ebay. Posted within days from Thailand was a “Headlight Booster” at less than A$30 incl.



    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Harness-Relay...item3cb41667e6


    It comprises two relays (high and low beam) , two H4 headlight globe female connectors and a clever H4 male connector. The latter is to take the voltage from the existing headlamp wiring as a switching signal. The joy of the system is that it is virtually “plug and play”. Both headlight connectors are removed and the male connector is plugged in to just one of them, providing switching for both high and low on both sides. The female plugs are pushed onto the back of each headlight. Relays can be mounted anywhere convenient (I hung a removable plate off the battery frame). A heavy black cable if connected directly to the (-) terminal and red to the (+).
    The system is well made and complete except for fuses. I prefer to have two inline fuses so the high and low beam are on separate circuits.


    For the long range lights Supercheap have a driving light wiring kit with relay on special presently at around $15. You could fit three of these kits to do the whole job but without the Plug and Play convenience. Maybe a good time to save your headlight switch and improve your lights if you have not yet done so.

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    forumnoreason likes this.
    Michael
    Member, Citroen Car Club NSW

    DS23 Pallas 5 sp. "Francoise" , BX19TRi Auto "Jacques Dutronc" , Teardrop Trailer "The Toad", BMW R65 "Rosamund"
    In the past: Renault 750, Dauphine, R4, R8, R10, Peugeot 504 Familiale, ID 19 (x2), Safari (x2)

  2. #2
    UFO
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    Citroën Tragic UFO's Avatar
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    Default

    Sounds like a good idea. My post re headlight conversions was lost in the GAFC, but I did similar with off the shelf bits and 400w of light is far better than the 2 candlepower that D lights put out.
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    Yes, I saw your installation Craig and very nice it is too. This kit certainly makes it easy though.

    I also learned a lot from you regarding the headlight conversion. I fitted the Narva semi sealed units from Repco and glued them into the cut down shells of my old Cibie lamps.
    Michael
    Member, Citroen Car Club NSW

    DS23 Pallas 5 sp. "Francoise" , BX19TRi Auto "Jacques Dutronc" , Teardrop Trailer "The Toad", BMW R65 "Rosamund"
    In the past: Renault 750, Dauphine, R4, R8, R10, Peugeot 504 Familiale, ID 19 (x2), Safari (x2)

  4. #4
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    High beam is pretty good on a DS .................. However you must have been really tempted to fit HID low beam conversions while you were tinkering in there

    That's quite cheap, by the time you buy a new headlight bulb connector, relay base connector, the spade terminals and a relay, your well over $30.00 I generally snip the unburnt housings from CX wrecks (that have dozens of relays).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/citro%EBn-forum/90325-best-project-car-you-have-ever-seen.html
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    Shout yourself some Extreme H4 Philips globes, they claim 80% over the standard H4. Same wattage so won't burn your reflectors. However if you are on a budget maybe not, they are about $80 for a pair. They do make a noticeable difference in the CX

    Greg
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  6. #6
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg C View Post
    Shout yourself some Extreme H4 Philips globes, they claim 80% over the standard H4. Same wattage so won't burn your reflectors. However if you are on a budget maybe not, they are about $80 for a pair. They do make a noticeable difference in the CX

    Greg
    All CX's need are good headlight reflectors and relays. The lights are very good from the factory. The problem with the later cars is there lights seriously suck, straight out of the box I remember driving the DS quite a bit of a night ( on my "L" plates ), when you switched from high beam to low beam... you'd swear you turned the damn lights off by accident ... brilliant white lights lighting up the scenery, to a yellow puddle of light just infront barely lighting the tarmac up ...

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    High beam is pretty good on a DS .................. However you must have been really tempted to fit HID low beam conversions while you were tinkering in there

    That's quite cheap, by the time you buy a new headlight bulb connector, relay base connector, the spade terminals and a relay, your well over $30.00 I generally snip the unburnt housings from CX wrecks (that have dozens of relays).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Yes cheap, bearing in mind the kit includes two relays etc plus the probably hard to find H4 male plug.

    The high beam on my DS certainly was not good as there was no silvering left on either reflector. I considered restoring the dual reflector units (for those who don't know the DS has a separate high beam unit built inside the main headlight reflector and two Hi globes) but decided against it. The original design was seriously flawed in that the shielding for the low bean H1 filament was external to the globe (unlike the H4) and so exposed to extreme heat and atmospheric moisture etc. The need for large heat sinks on the back of the units are indicative of the inefficiency.
    Michael
    Member, Citroen Car Club NSW

    DS23 Pallas 5 sp. "Francoise" , BX19TRi Auto "Jacques Dutronc" , Teardrop Trailer "The Toad", BMW R65 "Rosamund"
    In the past: Renault 750, Dauphine, R4, R8, R10, Peugeot 504 Familiale, ID 19 (x2), Safari (x2)

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