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Headlight Madness!


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Give me some thoughts on this little situation.

My headlights worked. I swear !I even passed inspection this time last year.

When I turn combination switch to first position park lights come on, o.k. so thats good.

Twist a notch further the park lights stay on, but no headlights .

thats odd!

Pull back on turn signal , no brights either. this is not good

Fuses looked o.k. replaced them anyway.

Still no headlights.

removed drivers side light check for power - nothing all three contacts register Zilch! .

Fuseable links have continuity to both sides?

Hazards work, and the turn signals work

HMMM..

Combination switch again?

or high low beam turn signal?

O.K. I'm baffled .

Help

Bloxman

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Combination switch. You might see if they will come on if you rapidly twist the switch on and off a few times.

I remember you repairing your turn signal switch but did you do the combination switch as well?

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Thanks for your reply MIKEW

Yes I did have the combination switch apart for a rebuild last year.

I thought I had this behind me.

Twist rapidly o.k. I'll try this.

Will this confirm or deny anything?- like the contacts are dirty again?

Thanks again

Bloxman

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Thanks for your reply MIKEW

Twist rapidly o.k. I'll try this.

Will this confirm or deny anything?- like the contacts are dirty again?

If twisting it on and off a few times eventually makes the lights work then it's certainly in the switch itself. If you didn't already you might try swapping the little rocker plates inside the switch. That's what I did when repairing mine and it seemed to make a lot of sense at the time; you're moving fresh metal to the spot that gets pitted due to arcing.

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Are those three replies identical or am I missing something?

I spun the switch about three or four times no change.

I removed the bottom of the column trim and checked for loose conections.

Just for kicks I put the ignition key forward a couple o spots and tried the wipers no problem there , they work but... now my park lights don't work AND there is a blown fuse in the box.

:sick:

Well its too hot in the garage , the car is up on jackstands I can just barely squeeze past the partially open passenger door to see which fuse is blown.

Tommorrow is another day

Thanks for your help MIKEW

I 'll let ya know what develops.

Bloxman

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O.K. so I'm worse off than I was last night.

because I have had it apart and can't find the problem!:disappoin

Came home early and took down the combination switches.

took apart and cleaned the contacts in the rotary switch

I can get continuity between the green wire and the green and white wire with the rotary light switch in the park light position and head lights position.

I cannot get continuity between any others ie the red , and the white with a red stripe in any position. Am I supposed to?

I also took apart the high low switch in the Turn signal unit and it appears to be functioning properly.

I don't mind tellin' ya'll I'm starting to get a little freaked out here.

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The last picture you posted is the key to the switch. Can you check the continuity again with it apart like that? It's those little rocker plates that do all of the work. I can't recall which wire does what; just looking at it should tell you which pairs get opened and closed.

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you're are absolutely correct!

I took it apart once again, and one pair of the contacters operates the park lights and one pair operates the headlights when I held them in place I was able to determine who was what.

So I reassembled the switch by screwing the metal body on first then installed the switch "guts" into that and bent the tabs over while applying downward pressure.

And checked for continuity again.

Funnily enough I dismissed this as the problem as I have a spare combination switch and it behaves the same way...no continuity. Must be why I got it for $10 bucks on Ebay.

Think I should fix it now, before I forget how!

Thanks again MIKEW

I will now go into my hot cramped garage and reinstall it and let you know the result.

Bloxman

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Update

dash lights are brighter than I have ever seen them, but the headlights still don't work!

I now have 12 volts between battery ground and the three terminals at the headlights, pass, drive, and ground what gives with that?!

I think this may be a ground problem. You would tend to think that the terminal marked ground in the headlight socket would show continuity between itself and any spot on the body and / or the negative batery terminal. NOPE!

The saga continues tommorrow

Bloxman

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Well done;

great pictures, concise and well thought out. Good Job

thanks for the link, I saved the pdf for future refernce.

Still no lights though, had enough for today, will try more tommorrow evening.

My brain can't take any more of the wiring diagram headache!

Might be time for reading glasses .

Bloxman out

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And MikeW said let there be light!

Yes!!

Here comes Success!!

The key to the whole problem was to reverse the positions of those contacters in the Park / headlight positions.

Woohoo you ar!e the man, Seriously Great little article ,you saved my @ss budddy.

Now I can pass my yearly Inspection. Right on!

ROFL

bloxman

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Good to hear you have it fixed. Yesterday was the first time I seen MikeW's tutorial. Very well done indeed! That's what I find amazing about this site. I learn or see something new everytime I sign on. Now, if I could only remember it all. :ermm:

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Cool - I'm glad that trick worked for you. That should give you another 10 years or so unless you put in headlight relays. The relays greatly reduce the current flow through the switch thereby reducing the arcing as well.

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Mike,

I was having the same problem with my headlight switch and saw this thread yesterday. I took it apart last night, cleaned and switched the rockers, and now it is working great. My lights are even a little brighter. Thanks for the great write up!

Steve

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  • 5 weeks later...

Had all my lights working except the headlights. Checked the grounds and they seemed ok. Searched this link and found the pdf. Worked like a charm and now I don't have to spend hours chasing ghosts. Took me a total of 15 minutes. The only thing I did differently was I flipped up the four tabs instead of unscrewing the box. Didn't think about the screws till after I already had it apart. MikeW, you have a PM.

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