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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had an old idea I never got around to, and I wanted to start figuring out.

Using the factory remote to lock/unlock the E (03-08 DX/LX/EX), causes...

lock/unlock press: causes the exterior front running/turn signals (amber), the side markers (amber), and the tail/brake lights (red), to flash. There are additional functions that result (like physical unlocking, dome lights.. but I'm ignoring those for the moment.

I'd like to switch the rear flash behavior only, from the tail/brake (red), to the rear turn signals (amber), so it's an amber flash all the way around.

1. Have I missed any relevant threads?
2. Any suggestions how to get started?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I started looking at the wiring diagrams, and understand about 75% of what it shows, but that doesn't include lots of the "why".

Idea #1:
I use 2 of 5-pin relays (one per side), and literally just switch the power between the tail light and the rear turn signal. I think that also means 1 diode per side, on the opposite line of the relay, upstream from the connection point. In condition 1 (normal/original), the relay is connected to allow tail light and rear turn signal to operate normally. In condition 2 (modded), the power is switched between tail lights and rear turn signals, so lock/unlock via remote triggers the light response, but now it's ALL amber. Condition 2 is likely actived by "engine on". The side effect I foresee is that while the engine is off, if I turn on running lights (incl. tail lights) before starting the engine, the tail lights are going to be rear turn signals instead.

There is potential for backbleed in Condition 2, going up brake lines, but I think we've long ruled that issue out (somewhere in that thread), as being caused by low quality (older styles) of 7443 in the tail/brake socket.

Now I'm wondering maybe Condition 2 could simply be activated by "on with headlights"...

feel free to tell me better ideas or faults with this one
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Idea #2:
Essentially the same concept, but with only 1 relay, 1 diode, and way further upstream on the harnesses. My thought was to switch the response lighting from the 'night' light group, to the 'hazard' light group. Pardon my layfool terminology, but I would have the relay between the controlling lines, rather than the power lines, of each. The trick is to 1) find the two lines if this is doable, and 2) find the right locations on the lines. The connection would have to be downstream on the lock/unlock response paths from other things I don't want to affect, like triggering door locks, triggering interior lighting, triggering the re-lock functions (unlock +30s inactivity), or triggering the horn (double lock triggered). I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting. I'm also ignoring dash lights because those are tiny concerns, literally.

if you understand this post, please give me feedback.

feel free to tell me better ideas or faults with this one too.

I know enough to do Idea #1 myself, but not enough yet for Idea #2.
 

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I haven't looked at the wiring diagram, so I am making assumptions. I would guess that the flash response is controlled by a Body Control Module. So any change in the actual wiring is likely to cause problems/unwanted effects during normal signaling operations.

I wasn't really following your descriptions and maybe you are trying to account for this using the diodes to direct the current to issue specific events. But I think if there is an answer, it is likely to be solved via software or a logic box (like with some trailer hitch kits).

I have a Snap On Solus at work and I keep meaning to hook it up to my Element and see what I can change (like unlocking ALL doors with one remote click). I will try to remember to see if there are any settings regarding how the vehicle acts when locking/unlocking. I know these things (like the horn honking) are controllable on many cars. But I have no idea with respect to an early Element. Mine is a 2004, but it may apply to other years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would guess that the flash response is controlled by a Body Control Module. So any change in the actual wiring is likely to cause problems/unwanted effects during normal signaling operations.
Both of my ideas would take place downstream from module type hassles. That way I don't screw with the associated non-exterior-light functions. In both hazard and 'night' diagrams, the lights appear to be grouped on the downstream, which would simplify things.
-Idea 1 would be dealing with 4 individual bulbs' power lines.
-Idea 2 would be dealing with 2 full lighting groups, but I have yet to decipher if this is a single wire each, or more complicated.

I may have time soon to draw up at least Idea 1, and post it.

I wasn't really following your descriptions and maybe you are trying to account for this using the diodes to direct the current to issue specific events.
'Events' would be Idea 2, yes.

I have a Snap On Solus at work and I keep meaning to hook it up to my Element and see what I can change (like unlocking ALL doors with one remote click).
Funny you mention that one... Somebody already figured that out. I think it was a single jumper in the under-dash fuse box. I could dig it up if you had any interest.

Back to Wiring diagrams, I will post the relevant one shortly after this reply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Need technical feedback on Idea #1 diagram, please. The rest may be pointless if the main diagram has issues.


Idea #1

I think I mostly have it.
Since the the car/lights are all off when parked (exactly when I would be using the mod), the mod needs to already be enabled, which is why I have it set up on 87a. When headlights come on, running lights come on, and I need everything back to normal, hence the relay is triggered to switch back to 87 (all lights operate normally again.

The diodes on the Rear Turn Signal lines are to keep the mod-routed power (technically a running light flash being sent to a turn signal bulb) from backbleeding up the normal Rear Turn Signal path. Backbleed wouldn't cause any light behavior you aren't already seeing (same housings and interior indicators flashing already), but I wouldn't want to risk the other upstream electronics.

To emphasize, the mod harness, once installed, IS the mod. The harness installation alters the OEM light behavior without needing to be activated/powered. When the mod harness IS activated/powered, then it actually RESTORES normal OEM light behavior.

Rectangle Slope Line Parallel Font


zoomed detail:
After I finished the diagram, I realized the mod path would also need a diode to keep normal rear Turn Signal power from backbleeding up the Rear Running light pathway when mod is functional. Note, when mod turns off, the same pathway would be broken in the relay so any Turn Signal backbleed power would have nowhere to go. My alternate thought for the same issue was that I need to add a line (RED) for that exact scenario so the backbleed can go to a ground. One of the other. Hopefully somebody can educate me.
*
sleepy typing in "zoomed detail" edited to make sense.

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Other:
Since my mod is routing a flashing running light behavior, into a 7440 bulb, will the 7440 flash at full brighness (like the Turn Signal it was made to be), or will something else happen?
 

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I can't really help you on the diagram. At least, not yet. I may have to psyche myself up for that. But I am understanding your idea a bit more now, especially since your "event" will only be in play with the engine off. With that in mind, I wonder if you could just tie the signals to the brake lights with NC relays that will open on switched power, thereby separating the tailights and brakes. Of course, this means BOTH the brakes and turn signals would flash, but I don't think you would need to worry about backfeeding since the circuit would be open while power is on.

I can confirm that the Snap On Solus has very limited uses with my 2004 Honda. No configuration whatsoever. I need to see if I can get my hands on a HDS tool I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can't really help you on the diagram. At least, not yet. I may have to psyche myself up for that.
It looks bad, but I swear it's not. The hard part was me figuring it out and covering all on/off conditions of the lock/unlock and tail light vs. turn signal. I think it took me 4 diagram revisions to get it here.

But I am understanding your idea a bit more now, especially since your "event" will only be in play with the engine off. With that in mind, I wonder if you could just tie the signals to the brake lights with NC relays that will open on switched power, thereby separating the tailights and brakes. Of course, this means BOTH the brakes and turn signals would flash, but I don't think you would need to worry about backfeeding since the circuit would be open while power is on.
Oh no no no no, the whole point is my OCD wanting to ditch the red tail light flash triggered by remote, and make it a yellow rear turn flash instead, so it matches the front fixtures. 🤪🤦‍♂️
 

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I can't really help you on the diagram. At least, not yet. I may have to psyche myself up for that. …

I can confirm that the Snap On Solus has very limited uses with my 2004 Honda. No configuration whatsoever. I need to see if I can get my hands on a HDS tool I guess.
It is worth saying thay i, too, was intimidated by the idea of wiring diagrams until you posted one and it reminded me that they are circuit specific. After following a few of the OG mods (thanks for the documentation and dedication to thinking outloud, Legioss) i went an started playing around with vintage motorcycle wiring which is MUCH simpler. I do kind of wish i could see the whole system at once even if it would be information overload. Half the time in in the Element’s electrical manual i get a reference to a different circuit that i have to track down and by the time i find the page ive forgotten the thread of interactions i was checking.

i had a (slow)mobeous controller around to mod an old (01) audi and it was awesome: basically it allowed us to program the unlock to do all the doors, programmed the internal motion sensor to ALSO roll up all the windows when it triggered the alarm, and also holding the lock button on the remote would roll up all the windows… that being said, downstream relays with diodes are a fun way to mod even the smartest circuits.



i eventually tossed out the idea of a smartbox (motogadget) on my motorcycle and integrated all my controls and features with a pair of DPDT relays. And an inline LED fader. Cost me $100instead of $500 and i can poke and prod it.

now to get the eff on topic:

i dont THINK that red line is doing any work for you. Everything should play nice without it.

take it with a grain of salt though. Im the guy who goes and buys a contractors pack of fuses every time i work myself up to modding wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
(thanks for the documentation and dedication to thinking outloud, Legioss)
"It's funny 'cause it's true
-Homer J. Simpson"

i dont THINK that red line is doing any work for you. Everything should play nice without it.
You are correct sir. I think I dozed off while writing that. I have fixed it. It was more of a 'one or the other' solution.


New Diagram Update:
-revision
-also added license plate lights cutoff
(don't hit me, lol)

Rectangle Slope Parallel Font Pattern
 

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New Diagram Update:
-revision
-also added license plate lights cutoff
(don't hit me, lol)

View attachment 212595
Hahahaha. Im imagining you locking up yesterday while popping by relays R us, seeing your license plate flash and just “fuuuuuuuuuuuuuk”

“So what led you to the decision NOT to wire a secondary amber LED to augment your license plate light during lock/unlock?…”
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Hahahaha. Im imagining you locking up yesterday while popping by relays R us, seeing your license plate flash and just “fuuuuuuuuuuuuuk”

“So what led you to the decision NOT to wire a secondary amber LED to augment your license plate light during lock/unlock?…”
hahahahahaha, since most of the Radio Shacks are gone, I do have a specialty place, and my list is growing. They are far enough that I have to make special trips.

I was actually leaving the lic plate light portion off until the other stuff was resolved. I didn't want to intimidate anybody helping, or anybody learning. Speaking of which, is that line ok just being disconnected like that?

Amber lic plate lights... oh my god that WOULD be my thought process, but the lic plate isn't exactly something I WANT to highlight. Everything else is a housing lightning itself. The lic plate lights are more about lighting up the plate, purposely, and you can't see the housings. And, my plate is black with yellow lettering. I don't think my OCD will let me light yellow lettering with a yellow light. Even the black with yellow lighting is weird. And lastly, I don't want to draw tickets for using illegal color. I think it HAS TO BE clear/white here (CA).

If my diagram is all good, I'll be tracing those wires and trying to find a location to do this. I'd prefer front of car so I don't have to run my conditional line all the way to the back, but the OEM lines are all the same color, and I don't know where they split up. I can only figure it by testing (ugh), or just doing everything in the back of car near the fixtures, so it's obvious which is which. Maybe back there it will be easier to access, anyway.
 

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Hmm. Thats a conundrum isnt it. Too bad there isnt an easy place to just start disconnecting wires under the hood to see when the rear brake lights/ turn signals cut out.
Do those non invasive non contact multimeters work on low voltage/low draw loads? Ive never used one outside of the timing ligit which is low voltage high load.

as far as locating it in the rear; you could place it behind the hatch fender cargo panels. Then youd only meed to route a signal line back from the headlights (wait, is this right? That might leave your brakes tied to your blinkers unless the headlights are on… if you havent modified the rear outlet to be always hot, you could pull from that system to keep it all in the rear.)

then You just have to route 3 connector lines between thetail lights. Plenty of room/access under the tailgate dust cover/slide thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Too bad there isnt an easy place to just start disconnecting wires under the hood to see when the rear brake lights/ turn signals cut out. Do those non invasive non contact multimeters work on low voltage/low draw loads? Ive never used one outside of the timing ligit which is low voltage high load.
waaay over my head here

as far as locating it in the rear; you could place it behind the hatch fender cargo panels. Then youd only meed to route a signal line back from the headlights (wait, is this right? That might leave your brakes tied to your blinkers unless the headlights are on… if you havent modified the rear outlet to be always hot, you could pull from that system to keep it all in the rear.)
This is part of why I posted in steps, so as not to confuse MYSELF. It's sort of an inverted mod.
-Putting in the mod harness, with NO control power to relays, IS the mod.
-Appyling power to mod harness relays RESTORES the lighting to pre-mod behavior.
~the point wherein pre-mod behavior is needed, is only when the headlight switch is on (headlights and running lights triggered).

You just have to route 3 connector lines between the tail lights. Plenty of room/access under the tailgate dust cover/slide thing.
I had the "on with engine" as control source originally, but realized it should be "on with headlights", to keep all the lighting changes in the lighting system, so to speak, and nicely aligned function-wise (I will only have "A" and "B" scenarios, rather than "A", "B", and "C"). The difference between control from ("on with headlights" vs. "on with engine") isn't so bad. I think it's just activating the "go back to OEM" change before I actually need it, as "engine on", doesn't equal "headlights/running lights on". I want to consider taking that for ease of installation, but eventually I need to run some wires front to back again for some other upcoming projects. I might as well do it all at the same time. Of course for this mod, I can opt to STILL do it all in the back, except for a single control line from under-dash to rear of cabin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Is the 4-pin relay okay as-is? I want to figure out what parts I need before my electrical store run this week.
 
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