LXXV. Setting up front anti-fog lights

When I grew up, front anti-fog light were uncommon in France: you’d find them on rally/sports-looking or high-end car. They did not seem that useful to the average joe: how often do you cruise through real fog, you might wonder? In Poland, they were pretty standard on the Polonez, though. But, actually, in France, front fog light are allowed under the rain and on small curvy roads and experience tells me it makes a real difference. Beside from being more visible, you get a much better view of the road condition and surroundings.

So there no was thinking process about adding front anti-fog light to the Żuk: it was to be done, similarly to how it was done on the original Żuk that got some, namely the fire truck version.

Lamps installation

Installation of the H3 lamps as already been covered in the article about exterior lights upgrades: picked an Zelmot-style H3 housing (not chrome but black plastic to be consistent with the general style of the vehicule) and installed the lamps in a quite similar position, attached to the shell instead of the bumper to keep the bumber independant from cables.

Normally, you’d want your front anti-fog light to be around 25 to 60 centimeters above the ground, lower being better since fog start around 60 centimeters off the ground. In this case, center of the anti-fog light is around 76 centimeters. Placing the lights under the bumper would have been better for lighting purpose; though much more fragile, likely reason not to.

Initially I gave them some random LED H3 bulbs “whose design does not matter much, since the lamp glass is fuzzy”. Bad, idea, these H3 28 SMD 3528 DRL I bought use 2.8W (good) but produce only 200 lumens (terrible!), instead of around 1400 you could expect from regular 55W H3. No H3 LED would fit in the housing of the anti-fog light (they tend to be long, and this case is large, not long) so the sensible approach was to stick to regular H3 bulbs, cheaper in any case, for lights you are not expecting to use all day long anyway.

Electrical setup

I considered adopting the fire-fighting vehicle electrical installation diagram, which has front anti-fog lights, but that is a no-go: its fuseboxes  layout seems completely different from the regular van, and I obviously want to restrict changes to a minimum. One thing for sure, it has to work with a relay to separate the actual power circuit from the command circuit (we do not want the full intensity of the fog light passing within the switch and arc with the connector). And it will be one a single 10A fuse, instead of a 8A fuse per side like for the headlamps bulbs.

How did I come up with 10A? The fog lights are marked to be 55W each. So we have 55W / 12V = 4,5A (Watt’s Law) for each fog light. Applying the 135% rule, we would hit 12,15A. But as I initially planned using LED bulbs, so I went down to 10A; plus the company that provides the fuse I installed seems not to sell 12A, there is a gap between 10A to 15A from what is readily available.

Picking a fuse could also be based on the wires section: but using only 1.5mm or bigger there should not be any problem.

Actually, the dedicated single 10A fuse has already been added while upgrading the fuseboxes from torpedo to blade type. In any case, I’ll see how it goes, if problem occurs it’ll just be a matter to put another fuse.

On this diagram (only front lights are colored, command circuit being colored in dots, power circuit in plain lines), here is the idea: besides from the lights, we add only one switch and one relay.

I did not add extra dashboard control light because the dashboard only got two quite discrete lights (big “kontrolka” lights are for battery and such important/warning things) for the others beams and I do not want to change this. Unlike the rear fog light, it is not such a big deal if it is on by mistake and it should be noticeable by the driver anyway.

Also, notice that command circuit is chained to the position light circuit (which has a single circuit, with no relay – not enough power draw to be a problem I assume). So the fog light will be on only if at least position light is. For the record, french Code de la route article R416-7 states that front fog lights can be on (snow, fog, rain) along with or instead of dipped beam – and, outside town, in addition to main beam on curvy and narrow roads – hence not to enforcing anything but position light to put the fog light on.

I. – En cas de brouillard, de chute de neige ou de forte pluie, les feux avant de brouillard peuvent remplacer ou compléter les feux de croisement. Ils peuvent compléter les feux de route en dehors des agglomérations, sur les routes étroites et sinueuses, hormis les cas où, pour ne pas éblouir les autres usagers, les feux de croisement doivent remplacer les feux de route.

Regarding the relay itself, to get something consistent (same blade numbering, etc), I picked the Lublin antifog light relai PS561 associated with support of the exact same type as the ones currently installed. It’s plug-and-play.

Command circuit installation

  • install the front fog switch, next to the position light (could have been put next the rear fog light instead; but in my experience with modern cars, it is usually bad design to do so: you need to waste time looking at the buttons to get whether it is rear or front fog light they apply to, while if one is next to the dipped beam and the other alone somewhere, it is logical to assume the first is for the front);
  • bridge the chesnut wire from the position light switch (46) to the (input) top blade of the front fog switch;
  • wire the front fog switch exit blade (just under the input blade) to the blade 86 of the relay;
  • blade 85 must be connected to negative ground (vehicle body). The circuit is done.

Power circuit installation

  • add a wire from the ammeter (38) to the blade 30 of the relay (it differs from the diagram, but it is shorter and cleaner like this, and connects exactly the same way);
  • then, from the blade 87 of the relay, wire to the fusebox blade 14;
  • lamps were already installed earlier, with wires up the fuseboxes, connect them to fusebox P. The circuit is done.

You’ll notice that this implies actually 3 wires going from the dashboard to the engine bay. So even if power and command circuit were described separately for the sake of the explanation, they are to be bound and installed at the same time.

Total cost:

przekaźnik świateł przeciwmgielnych Lublin PS561 = PS561 fog light relay (15,15 zł)
podstawa przekaźnika goła kostka = proper relay support (4,60 zł)

kosztuje = 15,15 + 4,60 = 19,75 zł = 4.5 € ; Żukventure cost so far = 3675 + 5 = 3680 €

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