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How To: Sleepy headlights on a 3rd gen

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Old 09-23-04, 07:51 AM
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How To: Sleepy headlights on a 3rd gen

I was intrigued when I saw a couple pics of cars with 'sleepy' headlights and wanted to figure out how to do the same for my car. I really only found a couple posts on it that described how to get the headlights to only come up part way.

There was Bacon's post here: https://www.rx7club.com/showthread.p...512#post307595 - which described creating a mechanical slide for the headlight pushrod.

Then there was some info on Wael's headlight kit that he made and has been sold to a few different people since: https://www.rx7club.com/showthread.p...59#post2809948 - it describes modifying the headlight motor:
There is no mechanical modification of the arm or levers required, just an addition of some insulating material to the motors internals stops the current from conducting over the entire contact surface.
Before I go buy myself a HID kit I wanted to make sure that I could at the very least get my headlights into 'sleepy' mode. So this covers only that and not actually getting any different headlights onto the car, I plan on reversing what I've done tomorrow until I can get some new headlights in at which point I'll start fabricating a mount for them.

---------------------------------------------

First a little background:

The motor turns a wheel of sorts that has a pushrod on the end, this pushrod moves the headlights up/down, the 'wheel' only moves in one direction, counter-clockwise. In stock operation, it turns 180 degrees to bring the headlights up, and another 180 degrees to bring the headlights back down and in the same starting position. A couple pics to illustrate (this is with the motor detached from the headlight bracket and just sitting there plugged in for reference):

Stock headlights down



Stock headlights up



Taking apart the motor (actually it's not the motor, it's just a mechanism the motor uses to sense its location around the wheel) shows how it works:




You can see three tabs on the top disk, this connects to the lower assembly and depending on which two (or three) tabs are completing a circuit controls what the motor does. The larger circle indicates the dead spot at which the outside tab loses conductivity, at this point the motor stops and the headlights are in the up position. The smaller circle indicate the dead spot at which the inner tab loses conductivity, at this point the motor stops again and the headlights are in the down position.

In order to get our 'sleepy' look we just need to make sure that the outter tab hits the non conductive material sooner, since this was just a practice run for me I cleaned off some of the grease and put a small piece of electrical tape over the outter edge of the plate, this will cause the rotation to stop at roughly half of normal. I wouldn't recommend electrical tape for a permanent installation, although I'm not sure what I'm going to use - ideas?




After putting everything back together you can see a few pics of the motor and the change it had on the movement of the wheel. You can see that in the up position the wheel only rotates about 100 degrees from the down position, versus about 180 for stock:

Sleepy headlights down



Sleepy headlights up



Because of the method of modification you can adjust your insulating material to block off however much of the outter plate that you need in order to get the correct amount of raise. An interesting side effect is that because the wheel still has to complete a full revolution to get back to the down position, when you close the headlights they actually raise to the stock level and then go all the way down.

A few pics of it all back together and the headlights up on my car including some pics of the measured raise of the stock and sleepy headlight, obviously you wouldn't want to do this with the stock headlights still in:










Hope this helps someone out or at least was an interesting read. My end goal is to have sleepy headlights with a HID kit and some sort of custom fiberglass bezel.
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Old 09-23-04, 08:28 AM
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damn man this should be a sticky

nice job

mike
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Old 09-23-04, 08:31 AM
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instead or electrical tape how about liquid electrical tape???
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Old 09-23-04, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by rotoboy661
instead or electrical tape how about liquid electrical tape???
It'll need to be something that will resist wear. I think most liquid electrical tape is still rubbery and flexible and would wear through. Maybe painting over the copper with some fiberglass resin?
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Old 09-23-04, 09:12 AM
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Good write up. But you say it goes up then before they close, when do the lights shut off? I mean, if some one's in front do they get blinded when you close the lights? Or do the lights cut off before going up, then down? Also is there any possible way to prevent this?
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Old 09-23-04, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Zyon13B
Good write up. But you say it goes up then before they close, when do the lights shut off? I mean, if some one's in front do they get blinded when you close the lights? Or do the lights cut off before going up, then down? Also is there any possible way to prevent this?
I just went and checked and the lights turn off immediately when you turn the handle inside that car. That is to say the the headlights are off before the headlight unit rises and then closes.

Based on how the system works, with the pushrod lever I don't see any way to stop this from happening. The wheel has to complete a full revolution to come back to the starting point, and this includes the stock position half way through, I simply just changed the location at which it holds while the lights are on.
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Old 09-23-04, 03:46 PM
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Nice little write up.

Looks like your car has lazy eye instead of the sleepy look.
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Old 09-23-04, 05:49 PM
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93BlackFD noted that there's a little electrical box available here: http://www.3sxperformance.com/body.asp (near the bottom, 'Pop-up Headlight Variable Controller') that he said worked great. I might try that if I end up going through with my project - anyone else have experience with the above controllers?
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Old 09-23-04, 07:58 PM
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Without getting a really good look at the 'inards', it's hard to say, but you might be able to mix up a dab of epoxy resin to interupt the electrical contact.
I used to do something similar to my old style speed controllers in my RC car days.

Nice write up! Now just source me some HID lighting parts and I'll be on my way!

Regards,
Frank
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Old 09-26-04, 01:09 PM
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i've got the pivot controller, works great, but would like to fit it after the retractor relay so can run as dusk with the lights on+sleepy.
thanks to the guys on here I've got the full wiring schematic for a '93 FD but on my '95 FD... the relays somewhere else, anyone got info on the '95?

sorry such a newbie question! not found my way round the beast yet!
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Old 09-26-04, 02:17 PM
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very good write up...I might just use some kind of epoxy or jbweld...

this should be a sticky....
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Old 09-26-04, 02:23 PM
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If you were to add more tape or whatever you use to block the current after the 180 position..like parallel to the part you put tape on, would that stop the headlight from goin back up...just wondering...
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Old 09-26-04, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by KaiFD3S
If you were to add more tape or whatever you use to block the current after the 180 position..like parallel to the part you put tape on, would that stop the headlight from goin back up...just wondering...
Take a look at this picture:




The red box is where the inner contact gets interrupted to keep the headlights in the down position, I think you are talking about adding more insulating material where I have marked in blue.

I think this would do one of three things:

1) The inner and outter contacts are both interrupted so it might just not move at all.

2) It might just do a full rotation since it never hits where it thinks it needs to stop in the raised position.

3) It might move until the inner contact is just off of the red box and then stop there, where the headlights would be raised very little.

Hard to tell, not sure how any of the above situations would be helpful, if you didn't want the headlights to come up it'd be easier to unplog the motor
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Old 09-26-04, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by steve-z
Take a look at this picture:




The red box is where the inner contact gets interrupted to keep the headlights in the down position, I think you are talking about adding more insulating material where I have marked in blue.

I think this would do one of three things:

1) The inner and outter contacts are both interrupted so it might just not move at all.

2) It might just do a full rotation since it never hits where it thinks it needs to stop in the raised position.

3) It might move until the inner contact is just off of the red box and then stop there, where the headlights would be raised very little.

Hard to tell, not sure how any of the above situations would be helpful, if you didn't want the headlights to come up it'd be easier to unplog the motor
I meant that if you add more tape to the left of the tape that you placed, not to the right..
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Old 09-26-04, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by KaiFD3S
I meant that if you add more tape to the left of the tape that you placed, not to the right..
Ahh I see what you're saying - I don't think there's really any way you can stop the headlight from going back up. The 'arm' that rotates on the motor that is connected to the pushrod that pushes the headlight up/down has to complete a full rotation (the motor only goes one way, all we can adjust is where it stops), so regardless of where it stops it is always going to complete the full rotation which will include the fully raised position. The only way to get the headlight from going to the compelte raised position at any time would be to mechanically modify the pushrod mechanism.
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Old 09-27-04, 07:40 AM
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Not to say that it would be easy or that I'd want to wire it up but it's just a DC motor. If you switched polarity it would retract without going the rest of the way up..

Originally Posted by steve-z
Ahh I see what you're saying - I don't think there's really any way you can stop the headlight from going back up. The 'arm' that rotates on the motor that is connected to the pushrod that pushes the headlight up/down has to complete a full rotation (the motor only goes one way, all we can adjust is where it stops), so regardless of where it stops it is always going to complete the full rotation which will include the fully raised position. The only way to get the headlight from going to the compelte raised position at any time would be to mechanically modify the pushrod mechanism.
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Old 08-14-05, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by NewbernD
Not to say that it would be easy or that I'd want to wire it up but it's just a DC motor. If you switched polarity it would retract without going the rest of the way up..

I was about to say that it would be impossible to stop the lights from going all the way up before going down unless you actually switch the polarity of the current flow to the motor. The only problem with that may be the fact that the motor could be unidirectional having internal components or plastic gearing which are designed to rotate in only one direction. But then again it could just be a regular DC motor.
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Old 03-30-12, 12:56 AM
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Could we get the pictures back up? Noone else knows how to do this nowadays..
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Old 04-15-12, 09:39 PM
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bump, images are outdated
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Old 04-16-12, 12:07 AM
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No one seriously wants to do this nowadays and look like a ricer/drift poser! =)

I'd say the average age of people wanting to do sleepy eye is about 19.

There are plenty of write ups on the forum how to do this...go to the 3rd gen section and post sleepy eye. Don't ask for them, you will get flamed. Good luck.
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Old 04-16-12, 09:16 AM
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lol not that interested, just curious
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Old 04-16-12, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Gringo Grande View Post
No one seriously wants to do this nowadays and look like a ricer/drift poser! =)

I'd say the average age of people wanting to do sleepy eye is about 19.

There are plenty of write ups on the forum how to do this...go to the 3rd gen section and post sleepy eye. Don't ask for them, you will get flamed. Good luck.
Yeah. Follow the herd. If you're different you'll get flamed.
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