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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Edit 9/10/2021 - some format, gif, fixed a few grammer
Article is also on Reddit
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Hello everyone!

I spent many hours looking for a guide on how to make the adorable headlight wink. I found nothing but the sleepy-eye mod, so I decide to dive into this myself.
Long story short, I did it successfully and feel the need to actually write everything down as a guide for the community.
This is a very simple mod with just a few wires, no chips, no programing, nothing fancy, just like our beloved old school AW11.

What you expect after installing this mod:
One (or two) switch that controls the one (or two) headlight up and down as you toggle it when the headlight bulbs and motors are both turned on first

You can't turn one up when both are in off position, simply because there is no power to motors when headlight bulb is turned off, unless you modify further based on mine

Suitable Models:
AW10/AW11 - all model (Note: models with electric controlled side mirrors, you need to find a different location for the wink switch)
SW20 - it should work
Other Toyota cars with pop-up headlights - it should work as well!
SW30 - hahaha you don't have one

Tools and Parts List - Qty for one side wink, if you want to wink both sides, double the Qty
6-pin DPDT switch ( Non-momentary)
- Qty 1, rated at least 10A @ 12Vdc, spend your money on decent ones, make sure it is not momentary, means it stays in position and does not automatically jump back to neutral, also make sure the switch is not too stiff to toggle, otherwise it just doesn't feel right for a gentle wink. This switch is also sometimes called motor reverse switch. Google DPDT to understand how this switch functions.
18~22 AWG wires - Qty 4, preferably 4 different colors, each is10ft for right side or 14ft for left, depending on which headlight you want to wink with
Wire Connectors for 18~22 AWG wire - Qty 12 of male and 12 of female, preferably spade connectors for possible removal or convert back in the future
Wire Striper
Wire Crimper
Wire Snake
Philips screwdriver
- #1 size is the best for removing interior screws
Electrical Tape

Expected Labor Time: 3 hrs

How does this mod work?
Let me firstly explain the controlling logic of the headlight motor, which took me quit a while to actually understand what is going on when you flip the headlight switch
Be aware this has nothing to do with the headlight bulb (off / low beam / high beam) circuit. We are talking about the motors here.
Here is the wiring diagram from BGB, we all have that.

Rectangle Schematic Slope Font Parallel

Oh **** it does not explain the internal logic inside the retract control relay! So I spent more time searching for the electrical diagram manual (which is not available in PDF, and cost 60$ on ebay)
As a result, I found this, Credit to GraysGarage and his video Lazy eye headlight modification, around 1:00 showing the internal circuits of the Retract Control Relay
and I flat it out on paper into this diagram

Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Symmetry

Most importantly, there is no "signal" or "power" line engaged at all time when headlight is in "On" position, meaning that we can't simply intercept a wire with a on/off switch to wink.

So what is happening here? Well, when you turn your headlight switch to on position, a signal is sent to the relay at either Signal 1 or 2. I don't really know which is which so let's assume it is the Signal 2. Signal 2 will energize T2, which is a transistor. For those who are not familiar, I simplify how transistor works here: if there is power on the top energizing it, a gate will open to allow power flow through 2nd pin to the 3rd pin, in the direction of the arrow. In short, it is a tiny small relay! When T2 turns on, yellow wire is allowed to keep going to the ground, turned into a complete circuit, making C1 and C2 coils energized. Energized C1 and C2 will engage RSW1 and RSW2, as part of the relay. As a result, power is sent to the motor in a complete circuit, motor spins and your headlight pop up.

Here is the interesting part. When motor raises your headlight all the way up, there is an internal mechanism changing the state of SW1 and SW2, making them go to the other side. Once they finish changing. our T2 circuit is broken, C1/C2 are no longer energized, and the power to motor is cut. Amazing design really, it is a motor that turns itself off once finished spinning.

To turn off the headlight, T1 is energized. And remember that SW1 and SW2 just changed position? Guess what? The red line is now completed, and C1 and C2 are again energized, engaging RSW1 and RSW2 again to turn the motor on. Motor must have some design inside so this time it goes backward and retracts your headlight. As motor finish spinning, SW1 and SW2 are repositioned again, breaking the circuit and waiting for T2 to be turned on again.

TLDR: every time you flip your headlight switch, relay engages and motor spins. Once motor finishes spinning, it will automatically drop all the power in the system so everything stays as is and nothing is consistently energized.

what a genius design.

What is the solution?
We have just figured out that regarding on/off state of the headlight, one of the transistors, either T1 or T2, is energized to allow grounding, and either pin 3 or 5 on SW1 and SW2 are always looking for a ground. All we need to do is to find a way to complete the signal circuit somehow, by shorting red to yellow (which is grounded at the time) when headlight up, and shorting yellow to red (which is grounded at the time) when headlight down. That way we have control over each individual light, by deceiving the control logic.

  1. Prepare your switch, wire them in a way that depending on the position of the switch, each inlet with alternatively connect to one of the outlets.
    Electrical wiring Cable Technology Electronic device Wire

  2. Take out your spare tires and covers in your frunk

  3. Find the two motor ground wire (the red and yellow mentioned above) from the motor that you want to control with. In reality, they are blue and yellow, please refer to BGB for the exact color of your model.

  4. Cut the wires, put male and female connectors on, so that if you decide to remove this mod, you can simply connect them back together. Note: if you do this in the open please pick up wire debris after striping, as they are small rubber or plastic piece and can be swallow by small animals.
    Bicycle handlebar White Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Automotive tire
  5. Connect these four leads to your switch, verify that you can now wink. The two wires coming from relay (aka signal coming in) should go to the 2 middle pins on the switch. The wires run into the motor goes to the top pins. Connect them the other way around is fine, too. Just make sure each set of 2 wires are together on top or middle. To test it, turn headlights to on, motor should now go back and forth as you toggle the switch. After testing, unplug your switch.

  6. Take out your passenger side glove box, by unscrewing 4 screws around the box and 2 on the pop bar. Be aware the glove box is made out of cardboard and the pop bar is in a very weird position to take out, don't force anything, take your time to find the correct angle.

  7. Use your wire snake to find the route for wire to go from frunk to inside. I used the existing port that was used for fuse box cable. This step is actually the hardest for me as I spent hours poking around trying to find a way to go through the wall. On the internet I did not find not much info other than drill a new hole for battery relocation.
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  8. Put on the connectors and hook them up with motor wires.
    Electrical wiring Cable Auto part Electrical supply Wire
  9. Carefully route the wires in the front underneath your radio toward steering axial. Make sure it stays far away from the steering. There are a few sharp edges on the frame, make sure you tape the edge over with electric tape to prevent it from grind on the wire causing a failure. The space is extremely tight, so please don't mind bad photos


5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

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10. Eventually it goes out on your left side, hook up your switch for one more round of test, making sure everything is still good.
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11. I used the block plate, on the left lower side of your steering wheel, where the electric side mirror switch will be if equipped with, for housing the switch. This plate needs some skills to pop off. I drilled a hole in it to mount the switch and then pop everything back in.
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12. If you want the other headlight to wink, repeat the process.

13. Connect everything, dress the wire, put everything back together, clean up. You are all set to wink!
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Feel free to ask questions, feel free to repost this on and mr2 reddit for me as well. Thank you.
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