Well, thanks for the help. I finally ordered the OEM Canadian part from my
Ford dealer, took it home and read the instructions. It's a sealed, cast
box with lots of wires coming out of it and instructions for which wires to
cut and where to attach the wires. It came with insulated crimp connectors.
The part is by no means a plugin.
After some consideration, I decided to ask my dealer if they would put it in
and how much. "Two hours at $110 an hour." Thank you very much. I'll do
it myself. "Wait, let us get back to you. We can do it for $75 and hour and
will guarantee it won't go over 1.5 hours." Let's do it!
I brought the car in and waited for it, doing a little shopping in the
nearby mall. 4 HOURS LATER the car was ready. I was told it didn't really
take the full 4 hours, but the fact that there was a 15 second delay when
you start the car drove the mechanic nuts thinking the device wasn't working
properly. I assume the box has a lot to do with the delay, because all it
does is turn the low beams on with the key and disengages when you turn the
lights on with the switch. However, it seems to be wired to everything but
the windshield wipers. :-)
Anyway, I got a real bargain in terms of service, and we all lived happily
ever after. I've had nothing but excellent service from this dealer, and
I'm here to say all dealers are not going to rip you off and overcharge you.
My independent mechanic, who I've had for years with other cars, took me to
the cleaners the last time he worked on the Escape.
Again, thanks for the help and advice. I thought it would run the lights at
about 50%-75% but they are full on. If I had to do it again, I might go for
the DRL box that uses your turn signals as running lights -- about the same
price, but looks a lot cooler. With this new setup, I guess I should carry
a spare headlamp bulb.