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How to Connect 12V Accessories in Your UTV

Information:

Whether you are going to connect a set of HID lights, heated seats or a stereo in your UTV, there are a few things you should know before trying to hook them up.

How much can you connect to your UTV?

Each UTV can handle different amounts of 12V load. The charging system on UTVs is handled by a stator.  A stator's output varies by RPM of the engine.  Higher RPM will produce more charging output.

  • Yamaha Rhino 660 - 220 watts

  • Yamaha Rhino 700 EFI -

  • Polaris RZR - 500 watts @ 3000 RPM

  • Polaris Ranger - 250 watts

  • Arctic Cat Prowler -

  • Kawasaki Teryx - 24.2A X 14V = 338.8W

watts/amps=volts or volts x amps=watts

Can't I just tap into the factory wire for my headlights?

 

How much do typical accessories draw?

HID Lights - 35W is about 3 amps

Halogen Lights - 50W is about 4 amps and 100W is about 8 amps

Heated Seats - 3.7 amps each

Stereo -

GPS -

Do I need to use a relay?

Anytime you want to switch and accessory which draws more current than is provided by an output of a switch, your should use a relay.

How do relays work?

A relay allows a very low current signal to control a very high current device. A relay can be triggered with an electrical pulse as small as 150 milliamps. The switched output can be as high as 30 or 40 amps.

12V Relay
Typical 12V Relay

Pins:

  • 30 is the common or input voltage to be switched.
  • 87a is the normally closed connection. This terminal is hot when the relay isn't energized, it is unpowered the relay is energized.
  • 87 is the normally open connection. Powered only when the relay is energized.
  • 85 is connected to the ground of the triggering voltage.
  • 86 is connected to the positive 12V of the triggering voltage.

Pins 86 and 85 trigger the internal switch to the relay. Basically, if you put 12 volts on on pin and ground on the other you will "throw the switch" inside the relay. Once the switch is triggered, 12V is sent from pin 30 to pin 87.

Pin 85a is normally closed, and will see power from pin 30 when the switch is not triggered.  The accessories we'll be looking at don't need 85a, so we won't cover it anymore.

Products:

Painless Wiring does make a general purpose auxiliary light relay kit, but you have got to figure out how to make it all work right for your particular application. They also sell fuse blocks. But the best product I have found that is relatively inexpensive, and makes connecting lights to switches a breeze is made by Autotrend. In one simple package, I get two 2 relay controlled 30 amp outputs and 2 fused 12v outputs, along with two switches and pre-made wiring harness that makes it all super simple.

Example Autotrend Fuse/Relay Block Installations:

The Autotrend fuse/relay block comes with:

  • 2 relay controlled 30 amp outputs

  • 2 fused 12v outputs

  • A hot lead that connects directly to the battery.

  • Ground lead.

  • Ignition hot lead for triggering relays

  • Two leads that connect to accessory switches.

Polaris RZR

 

Installation:

 

Yamaha  Rhino


The fuse/relay block

Installation:


Fuse/Relay panel mounted under the hood on driver's side.  Self-tapping screws work nicely for attaching block to frame. Ground wire is set next to block with self-tapping screw.


Hot lead to battery


Shrink tube after butt connector


The two light switches mount nicely with the Todd's Custom Billet switch frame.

 
Testing - two switches control two sets of lights.

Kawasaki Teryx

Kawasaki Teryx fuse/relay block
Standard Autotrend fuse/relay block

Installation:

Kawasaki Teryx - Battery and fuses are located under the driver's seat.
I chose to mount the fuse block under the driver's seat near the battery.  Although this is not the ideal location for protecting the fuse block from the elements, it makes the installation easier.  And the CDI, fuses and relays for the Teryx are already in this area, and not very well protected, so I figured it wouldn't add any more problems that I don't already have.

Kawasaki Teryx Fuse Block
Fuse block is mounted to the panel with self tapping screws. Hot lead attaches directly to battery and I attached the chassis ground to a screw near the panel.

 
I tapped into a brown wire coming from one of the factory relays for my ignition hot trigger wire.


Contacts:

Autotrend
6642-D Merchandise Way
Diamond Springs, CA 95619

Telephone: (530) 642-0999

Website: www.autotrendefi.com

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