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My taillight fuse (15A) keeps getting blown whenever I try to install a pair of LED side markers (it's a 4LED bulb, rated at 12V). Interestingly enough, when I switch to my old ones (PIAA Extreme Whites), they work fine. Is this because the new light bulbs is drawing too much current? If so, is there anyone I can make this work (tap them into another source?). Is it safe to put a higher rated fuse (say, 30A) into the 15A fuse slot? I'm a newbie to this whole electrical thing so if you guys could provide some guidance (worded for a noob), that'd be great :) Thanks!
 

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Try upgrading the fuse. It is possible to put a higher rated fuse in a 15A slot. Just don't upgrade it too much...it might cause a short or a fire. Go with 20 first, then 25...if that doesn't work, try other avenues...I don't know that I'd go with 30 in a 15. I've used 30's in 20's and 25's but never 15's.

Someone more experienced in this might know more.
 

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One word - relays. Whenever you use a higher (volted, amped, etc) draw on a circuit, use a relay. What it does is allow you to use a higher draw on a circuit without risk of blowing the circuit. I can't really explain how a relay works so you'd understand it, or how to wire it correctly for your application. But, I'm pretty sure that's your solution. Relays can be found at the shack for under $5, and have usually four prongs. Ground, constant on, switched on and one other. My brain is fuzzy from my Jeep days (lots of relays).

Good luck.
 

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Ok, think I figured it out so you can DIY.

This is basically how it's going to work:
Required:
One (1) four-prong relay from the Shack
Some spare wire
Inline fuse holder and fuse
blade wire connectors (male?)

I'm going to assume the following: you have stock wiring, and the side markers (SM) are wired into the taillight (TM) circuit.

You'll need to wire to a constant power source (battery, other such always-on power source). Take that wire and splice in your inline fuse (if you use a blade-type inline fuse, it will match the vehicle fuses, making them more convienent-Shack #27-1213, or #27-1234, or mini-blade #27-1237).

Next, you wire that wire into your relay. The relay will have four prongs, and typically they will be labeled 30, 85, 86, 87. The wire you have been working with will go into 30. That is the end of that wire (power to fuse to relay 30).

Wire a new chassis ground to 85.

If my assumptions above are correct, here's what you do with the SM wires:

You'll have to cut the SM power wire (positive). The end that is still connected to the SM will connect to 87, the other one will connect to 86. And you're done if everything else is copasetic.

Here's an explanation of what you've just done:
A relay is a big safety for your power. Think of 86 connecting to 85. 86 is your stock power wire, and 85 is your ground. When you turn on your lights, that normally activates the SM. Now, what you've done is activate the relay. The link between 86 and 85 is a coil. When you turn on your lights, the power going into 86 (and grounding through 85) activates the coil. The activated coil electromagnetically attracts the link between 30 and 87, snapping the link shut, and completing the circuit. So, instead of your taillight circuit powering the side markers, you are letting the battery do the work.

In short, you are running the side markers off of the battery, that's what the inline fuse is for. And just like before, when you turn on your lights, you are powering the side marker by completing the circuit in the relay. You will probably need to follow my instructions for both sides, giving each of the markers a seperate 20a fuse from the battery.

I hope that wasn't too confusing. Email me if you need more help, I don't usually frequent the board too often.
 
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