Overview:The following tutorial will explain how to disable the daytime running lights in all R50 Pathfinders and QX4's. Only Canadian R50's come with daytime running lights and this is not necessary for any US spec R50's.
The daytime running lights can be disabled by engaging the parking brake before starting the vehicle. While the daytime running lights are disabled, the standard headlamps operate normally. This modification will trick the daytime running lights into thinking the parking brake is always on, thus disabling them permanently (at least until modification is reversed).
NOTE: Even though the daytime running light module will think the parking brake is engaged, the instrument cluster lamp will NOT illuminate. The instrument cluster lamp for the parking break will operate normally (turn on when parking brake is engaged, off when disengaged) if the following tutorial is completed properly.
Thanks to sc2nr for the detailed photos!
Disclaimer: I am posting this tutorial for educational purposes and cannot be held liable for any damage to your vehicle resulting from this tutorial. The following information is given to you at the best of my ability and if used correctly, will result in disabling the daytime running lights successfully. The following tutorial is based on the circuitry for a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder and may differ slightly for other vehicles.
I am also not responsible for any vehicular or bodily harm caused as a result of this tutorial. By continuing this tutorial you agree to this disclaimer and you agree to complete the modifications AT YOUR OWN RISK. Please consult all local and state laws before doing any modifications to your vehicle.
If you need help with any wire colors or wire/module locations, please post your question in this thread and hopefully someone will promptly help you.
Difficulty: 1 out of 4
Time: Approximately one hour, depending on your skill level
Materials:- Electrical tape- Patch Wire
Tools: - Flat head screwdriver- Wire snips- Wire strippers- Soldering iron (optional)- Socket wrench w/sockets
_________________________________________________________________________STEP 1 (Testing vehicle for compatibility)_________________________________________________________________________You want to start by testing your vehicle for compatibility with this modification. To do so, (with the vehicle off) engage the parking brake. Now turn the ignition to ON (without starting vehicle) and observe the daytime running lamps. If the the daytime running lamps are not on, then continue with this tutorial. If they are still on, then you have much bigger issues. Now turn the parking lamps on and ensure proper operation. Now turn on headlamps (low beam) to ensure proper operation. Now turn on your headlamps high beams to ensure proper operation. If everything operates as it should, great!
(Image 1) Parking break is engaged for testing
_________________________________________________________________________STEP 2 (Locate and prepare DRL module)_________________________________________________________________________The next step is to locate the DRL module and prepare it for the modification. The DRL module is located in the engine bay bolted to the passenger side quarter panel towards the very front of the vehicle (beside the battery). On 3.3L vehicles it will have two gray wiring harnesses connected to it, whereas the 3.5L models will have three gray wiring harnesses connected to it. To make access to the wiring harnesses easier, you will want to remove the battery from the vehicle (disconnecting negative terminal first) and then unbolt the DRL module from the quarter panel.
To make it easier to work on the harnesses, you can unplug all of the harnesses and move the DRL module out of the way if necessary. For this mod you will only really need access to the wires in the largest harness (for both 3.3L and 3.5L models). If you choose to ground the wire to a body chassis ground wire in one of the harnesses, then you will probably want to unplug the harness with the black chassis ground wire as well (in 3.3L models it is in the largest harness and in 3.5L models it is in the middle-sized harness).
(Image 2) You can see the DRL module (the brown box) next to the battery.
(Image 3) A better view of the DRL module with the battery shifted out of the way.
(Image 4) The battery has been removed and the DRL module has been unbolted from the quarter panel.
(Image 5) The largest harness has been disconnected for easier access to the wires.
_________________________________________________________________________STEP 3 (Cutting, patching and connecting)_________________________________________________________________________Now it is time to cut the parking break switch wire that goes into the DRL module. For all 3.3L models and 3.5L models the color is the same, the wire you will be cutting is the BLUE wire with the GREEN stripe.
The location of the wire is different for each model (but is in the largest harness on all models):3.5L Pathfinder - In between the empty space on the harness and the GREEN wire with the RED stripe. 3.5L QX4 - Between two empty spaces on the harness3.3L QX4 & Pathfinder - Next to WHITE wire with BLACK stripe
Cut the BLUE wire with the GREEN stripe a couple of inches from the harness so you have enough room to strip and patch the patch wire in. Now you need to cap or tape off the parking brake side of the wire (the side going into the vehicle). Make sure you cap or tape it off securely so it is air and moisture tight.
IMPORTANT:It is very important that you cap or tape off the parking brake side of the wire. The parking brake side of the wire will still be live and is still required to operate the instrument cluster lamp for the parking brake. If the wire touches any body metal or any other wire, it could cause erratic behavior of the instrument cluster parking brake lamp. You must isolate the wire properly.
Now you need to strip some of the sheathing from the harness-side of the wire, just enough to patch in the patch wire. I recommend soldering in a new patch wire (like in the picture below) but you can also use a butt-connector or a simple cap to join the wires permanently. Always wrap the wires in electrical tape to ensure a waterproof seal.
(Image 6) The harness-side of the wire has been stripped and is ready for the patch wire.
(Image 7) All exposed wire has been covered and sealed to prevent any corrosion.
_________________________________________________________________________STEP 4 (Grounding)_________________________________________________________________________Now you need to ground the patch cable. There are two choices here, you can either ground to a conveniently located chassis ground right next to the DRL modules mounting location, or you can ground to the black ground wire in one of the DRL modules wiring harnesses. I recommend that you ground using the body ground located next to the DRL module. You can see in the following image that the patch cable has been connected to the harness as well as the body ground.
If you choose to ground the patch wire to the existing ground wire, you will need to located the chassis ground wire in one of the DRL module harnesses (the wire will be solid black) and strip a small section of wire then patch the patch wire to the ground wire. This method is a little more permanent than the standard body ground as mentioned above.
(Image 8) The patch wire has been grounded to the body ground next to the DRL module mounting location.
_________________________________________________________________________STEP 5 (Reassembly)_________________________________________________________________________Now you can plug the harnesses back into the DRL module and re-mount the module to the quarter panel. Ensure the connections are tight and there are no exposed wires. You can also return the battery to the battery tray and reconnect the battery terminals (connect positive terminal first).
(Image 9) The DRL module has been mounted back onto the quarter panel.
(Image 10) The battery has been replaced and reconnected.
_________________________________________________________________________STEP 6 (Testing)_________________________________________________________________________Now you want to test your headlamps for proper functionality. With the parking brake disengaged, turn the ignition to ON (without starting vehicle) and ensure that daytime running lamps are off. Now test the parking lights and headlamps (both low and high beams) for proper operation.
(Image 11) SUCCESS!!!
Modified by Pwnin O'Brien at 2:58 AM 2/10/2010