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Old 04-20-2016, 03:16 PM   #1
Gro Harlem
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OMGHi2U How-To: 2015+ WRX Limited / STI C-Light DRL Switchback Wiring

I've found it incredibly frustrating trying to find the exact wiring information for the 2015+ WRX Limited and STI LED (black housing) headlights so I'm posting this to help those who bought Diode Dynamics or Morimoto switchback DRL's and need help wiring them to work as DRL's.

Step 1:First step is removing the bumper. Best covered in this YouTube video by Subispeed:


Step 2: Remove the headlight housings from the car and separate the lenses and bezel with the C-light. This step is best covered in this Subispeed video:

http://youtu.be/-9_pUDO6kjo

Diode Dynamics also posted a video on how to separate the housings and wire the C-light's for the base/premium model located here:


Now for the WRX Limited / STI LED housing-specific info!

Step 3:Remove factory C-light LED & diffuser
Upon separating the bezel, you'll notice there is a light diffuser that comes in the factory housing. It uses a few tabs on the back of the bezel to pop out. I don't recall this being mentioned in any previous write-up's or videos but here is a picture of what it looks like:



Also the factory LED Diode board will get in the way of the new C-light harness so you have to unscrew it:





Picture of removed parts:



Step 4: Feeding the C-light Harness through Headlight Housing

Next, I discovered that the Diode Dynamics harness plug for the C-light does not fit through the factory bezel. Your options are 1: Drill the bezel hole bigger or 2: separate or splice the wiring harness so you can feed the wires through the smaller hole. I chose to cut & splice some disconnect terminals onto mine that could fit through the hole. I pulled back the heatshrink/mesh on the harness to expose more wiring for the splicing:

Hole too small for harness:


My solution:


NOTE: If you can figure out a way to pull the wire pins out of the plug then by all means do that. I couldn't get the pins to pop out of the plug so I went the splice route. Here is an awesome post by paulsen93 covering that:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...postcount=2622

The above post also covers putting a rubber grommet and feeding the harness through the C-light bulb hole plug on the Limited/STI headlight housings. I didn't see this post until I was done so I ended up removing my side-marker bulb and feeding the wire through that hole and using silicone to seal it.

Step 5: Wiring Information

Now for the WIRING of the 4-wire harness. The wires are as follows:

Diode Dynamics Harness:
White -> Parking Light feed
Black -> Ground
Yellow -> Turn signal feed
Red -> DRL feed

WHITE Parking Light and BLACK Ground wires:
On my 2015 WRX I tapped the white and black feeds into the sidemarker harness on the back of my headlight housing using Diode Dynamics included self-tapping terminals. It is entirely up to you how you tap these wires. You could use a bulb adapter in the bulb socket if you did not want to splice into your existing wiring.

Back of Headlight tapped wiring:


YELLOW Driver & Passenger Turn Signal Wire:
The plugs that plug into your bumper harness on each side have 3 wires. When looking at the BACK of the plug (wire side) you want to tap into the UPPER LEFT wire. On my 2015 the color of this wire was:

Factory White w/Red stripe wire
Factory Solid Gray wire

Driver-Side Turn Signal Tap:


Passenger-Side Turn Signal Tap:



RED DRL Wire:
Next is the DRL feed which I couldn't find much info about. What I did was tapped the Diode Dynamic harness Red wire directly to the Green wire on my DRL resistor plug. I had a pin that could slide directly into the plug and made a Y-harness that I plugged both C-light harness red wires to. I had to extend the harness on the drivers side and run a wire along the bottom of my radiator to this Y-harness I created.

DRL Y-Harness:


Wiring Cliffs Notes:
White -> Factory headlight housing RED sidemarker bulb wire
Black -> Factory headlight housing BLACK sidemarker bulb wire
LH Yellow -> Factory bumper harness plug WHITE/RED wire
RH Yellow -> Factory bumper harness plug SOLID GRAY wire
Red -> Factory DRL Resistor SOLID GREEN wire. Use Y-harness to tap both wires to single feed.

Step 6: Reinstall Headlights/Bumper Cover & DONE!
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Last edited by Gro Harlem; 08-16-2016 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:39 PM   #2
minx1225
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Wow impressed! Wish I had seen this before I did mine. I will try tapping the drl red wires today. Thanks for the informative write up!
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:17 AM   #3
Danny9447537
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Thanks a lot man! I notice that STI guys haven't been getting much love with how-to guides so I appreciate the time and effort you put into making one.

I feel more confident in doing a retrofit with the DD lights now.
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:25 PM   #4
Gro Harlem
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Didn't get a chance to post pics of the finished results!

This is the DRL:


and the way the amber blinker looks illuminated:


DRL is really bright...bright enough for me to pull into my driveway and garage at night without needing anything else. The turn signals are also ridiculously bright but a nice touch nonetheless.





One thing that doesn't quite act the way I'd expect is....when the headlights or parking lights are on, the DRL is still at full brightness. I would expect the signal going to the DRL would be cut when you turn the headlights on but that doesn't seem to be the case with the OEM wiring so there honestly isn't even a reason to wire the white wire to the parking lights unless you want to use the white wire to the factory DRL signal if you prefer them to be a little bit dimmer.

Also, another tip for those not aware. If you want to turn the DRL C-lights off entirely simply lift the handbrake a notch and they turn off instantly. If you lift the handbrake with the parking lights on the white wire takes over and they dim slightly but stay on.

Last edited by Gro Harlem; 08-16-2016 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gro Harlem View Post

One thing that doesn't quite act the way I'd expect is....when the headlights or parking lights are on, the DRL is still at full brightness. I would expect the signal going to the DRL would be cut when you turn the headlights on but that doesn't seem to be the case with the OEM wiring so there honestly isn't even a reason to wire the white wire to the parking lights unless you want to use the white wire to the factory DRL signal if you prefer them to be a little bit dimmer.

Also, another tip for those not aware. If you want to turn the DRL C-lights off entirely simply lift the handbrake a notch and they turn off instantly. If you lift the handbrake with the parking lights on the white wire takes over and they dim slightly but stay on.
I think the second paragraph explains why it doesn't act the way you expected it?
From my understanding (don't own the DD c light yet, still researching) it can dim if wired so.

Also, your pics aren't working on my end.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:15 AM   #6
Hyouka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gro Harlem View Post

RED DRL Wire:
Next is the DRL feed which I couldn't find much info about. What I did was tapped the Diode Dynamic harness Red wire directly to the Green wire on my DRL resistor plug. I had a pin that could slide directly into the plug and made a Y-harness that I plugged both C-light harness red wires to. I had to extend the harness on the drivers side and run a wire along the bottom of my radiator to this Y-harness I created.

DRL Y-Harness:

What kind of pin did you use to tap into the plug?
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:42 AM   #7
minx1225
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I used the extra clip from dd
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:38 PM   #8
Zombaru
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Just to add some more information to this thread, I just spoke with someone from DD on the issue of the C lights not really being bright enough during the day (expecially when sunny) According to the person I spoke with, the way Subaru runs the high beams at 50% brightness or whatever it is, as DRLs is achieved by rapidly turning the circuit on and off. So when you tap that green wire, you aren't getting a clean signal to the driver and thus you are not getting the full on brightness that the DRL function is supposed to have. The reason their harness has taken a lot of time to develop and perfect is because every car is slightly different (kinda like no two cars, even the same make and model, will never have turn signals that flash at the exact same rate) and they are trying to account for this variance between different cars. What they are attempting to do is use a capacitor to turn that oscillating signal from the DRL wire and transform it into a constant signal.

Now that I am thinking about it, I have an idea on how I can do this with the Subispeed harness I have installed and not needing to tap the DRL green wire. I shall test this out and report back.
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:12 PM   #9
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Ok finished testing it out. I can't compare the results to hooking into the green DRL wire but what I did was make a test wire. I could tap to the battery. My lights were originally wired with the white wire tapped into the subispeed harness which is jumping off of the low beam and high beam fuses in the underhood box. I would have liked to test this out by wiring them as originally intended but I'm too lazy lol. So I just simply attached the test wire to the red wire on the DD pig tail and tapped it to the battery. C light got a little brighter. So I disconnected the white wire and connected the red wire to the subispeed harness and I got the same brightness. So now I am just going to run with the red wires hooked up and the white ones disconnected. I am assuming if I were to tap the white wire to the factory wiring for the c light then that would enable to dimming feature.

For what its worth, IMHO the extra brightness doesn't seem to me like its going to make a difference unfortunately.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:25 AM   #10
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Anyone else run into an issue that the passenger side yellow wire doesn't seem to work? I have everything else hooked up and running properly, and if I plug the white wire into the turn signal it flashes, but the yellow wire doesn't do anything and I can't seem to get the amber flash to work no matter what I do. Passenger side only, driver side is perfect.

Where should I start to troubleshoot this?
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by never2low View Post
Anyone else run into an issue that the passenger side yellow wire doesn't seem to work? I have everything else hooked up and running properly, and if I plug the white wire into the turn signal it flashes, but the yellow wire doesn't do anything and I can't seem to get the amber flash to work no matter what I do. Passenger side only, driver side is perfect.

Where should I start to troubleshoot this?
Triple check your connection on that yellow wire. If you are using the provided t-taps and female spade connectors, the spade doesn't always slide perfectly into the slot of the t-tap. If this happens once it will bend it slightly and it will continue to not plug in correctly. If it is bent, just use a small flat head to push it back so the meal spade is centered in the plastic shroud and then carefully plug it in. You can see through the plastic while you do so that helps. So check that first. If its plugged in properly, then you may have a driver issue. I would contact DD about that. Then may have more troubleshooting tips before sending a replacement.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombaru View Post
Triple check your connection on that yellow wire. If you are using the provided t-taps and female spade connectors, the spade doesn't always slide perfectly into the slot of the t-tap. If this happens once it will bend it slightly and it will continue to not plug in correctly. If it is bent, just use a small flat head to push it back so the meal spade is centered in the plastic shroud and then carefully plug it in. You can see through the plastic while you do so that helps. So check that first. If its plugged in properly, then you may have a driver issue. I would contact DD about that. Then may have more troubleshooting tips before sending a replacement.
Thank you, the spade ended up not being connected properly, I used a different connector and it is good to go!
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:11 PM   #13
Zombaru
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Glad I could help.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:51 PM   #14
Shawn15wrx
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About to use this when I install my mirmoto drl clight I was going to use my subiebro harness clight as Drl thanks
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:40 AM   #15
Zeeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombaru View Post
Just to add some more information to this thread, I just spoke with someone from DD on the issue of the C lights not really being bright enough during the day (expecially when sunny) According to the person I spoke with, the way Subaru runs the high beams at 50% brightness or whatever it is, as DRLs is achieved by rapidly turning the circuit on and off. So when you tap that green wire, you aren't getting a clean signal to the driver and thus you are not getting the full on brightness that the DRL function is supposed to have. The reason their harness has taken a lot of time to develop and perfect is because every car is slightly different (kinda like no two cars, even the same make and model, will never have turn signals that flash at the exact same rate) and they are trying to account for this variance between different cars. What they are attempting to do is use a capacitor to turn that oscillating signal from the DRL wire and transform it into a constant signal.

Now that I am thinking about it, I have an idea on how I can do this with the Subispeed harness I have installed and not needing to tap the DRL green wire. I shall test this out and report back.
FWIW I tested side by side one Diode Dynamics C-Light powered off the Green DRL wire (with DRL resistor unplugged) and the other one I used the Green DRL wire feed to power a relay that sent power directly from battery to the other C-Light, and they were both the same brightness.

The DRL resistor probably has to be unplugged, or the voltage is likely reduced to that Green wire. Their wiring harness will cut the DRL signal to the high beam which is doing exactly what I did by unplugging the DRL resistor and tapping the Green wire directly.
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Old 08-16-2016, 02:31 PM   #16
Gro Harlem
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BUMP, I fixed all of the image links. Re-uploaded my pictures to imgur so they should all be working now.
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Old 08-16-2016, 02:50 PM   #17
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Couple of notes-
Since those connections are in the engine compartment and exposed to the elements, they must be sealed up to prevent water/dirt/salt/etc intrusion. Ideally you'd put heat shrink over the crimp connections and spade lugs then wrap the whole thing in 3M electrical tape, since you've already put everything together it's too late to heat shrink it but I'd go back and tape it all up.
Pulling up the handbrake to kill the DRL is a bad idea, because you're then driving around with the brake warning light on all the time. This means that if an actual problem with the brakes should develop you won't be alerted to it.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:35 AM   #18
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Awesome!
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Old 10-01-2016, 05:14 PM   #19
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I did this too!!! MAKES IT LOOK 100X BETTER! highly recommend doing!!!!!
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:29 PM   #20
Funyun
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Anyone with the halogen headlights what are you doing with the oem c light and connector that has this big bracket on it aswell? Do you just leave it hanging there with the connector taped off so it doesnt get wet?

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Old 10-03-2016, 08:34 PM   #21
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I taped off the socket, and tucked it into the empty space beneath the C-Light hole. A little more tape can be used to hold it in place there.
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:08 PM   #22
schkemy182
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So, I have a 2015 WRX Limited and I just installed the DD C-Lights with the DD DRL harness.

I have encountered a problem. With the DRL harness installed, the C-Light becomes the DRL instead of the high beam as expected. However, it is not at 100% brightness. It is the same brightness when the headlights are on. The issue is that when I engage the high beams, the C-Lights get brighter and the high beams do not come on. It is as if the DRL harness wired the C-Lights as the high beam.

I have quadruple checked the wiring and made sure all the connectors are connected the right way and have had 3 other people check it too.

I contacted DD about this and they said it sounded like I had a faulty DRL harness. I got a replacement DRL harness today, except that did not fix the problem.

Has anyone else with a Limited WRX or STI with the factory LED headlights experienced this? I find this to be odd and I am just trying to get some answers over the weekend while I wait to contact DD again on Monday.

Note: Everything works the same as it did from factory without the DRL harness installed.
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Old 11-01-2016, 03:59 PM   #23
Kryptonnyc
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is it confirmed that the LED is actually in full brightness by connecting the red wire to the drl resistor? or is it just that its such a difference from the stock that it seems full bright?


im installing next week and i didnt buy the DD harness, because i thought it was the same as the subispeed DRL harness that i have already.

i cant get a straight answer from DD. i asked if i connect the red wire from the C lights to a 12v source (subispeed harness) will it run at full brightness/DRL mode
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Old 11-04-2016, 06:29 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schkemy182 View Post
The issue is that when I engage the high beams, the C-Lights get brighter and the high beams do not come on. It is as if the DRL harness wired the C-Lights as the high beam.

I have quadruple checked the wiring and made sure all the connectors are connected the right way and have had 3 other people check it too.

I contacted DD about this and they said it sounded like I had a faulty DRL harness. I got a replacement DRL harness today, except that did not fix the problem.
Did you get any resolution to this problem?
My c-lights were working perfectly with the DD DRL harness, then one day my driver-side DRL went (but worked when the lights were on) and my passenger high beam also stopped working.

When I disconnected the harness, the c-lights worked as expected - on with the lights, flashing yellow turn signals.

I got another harness from DD, installed it tonight, now neither high beam comes on, and my passenger side c-light gets brighter when I turn on the high beams.
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Old 11-07-2016, 01:47 AM   #25
schkemy182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkv View Post
Did you get any resolution to this problem?
My c-lights were working perfectly with the DD DRL harness, then one day my driver-side DRL went (but worked when the lights were on) and my passenger high beam also stopped working.

When I disconnected the harness, the c-lights worked as expected - on with the lights, flashing yellow turn signals.

I got another harness from DD, installed it tonight, now neither high beam comes on, and my passenger side c-light gets brighter when I turn on the high beams.

I did not. I am still waiting to hear back from DD. Hopefully it will be sometime early this week.
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