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Headlights/Parking Lights not working


JerryinTx
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Today's job was to find out why my headlights and parking lights are not working.  I cleaned the terminal block at the radiator and that didn't help.

 

Thought it might be the 30 amp fuse at the headlight switch, and that turned out to be OK, but while the switch was out of the dash, I discovered the 12 ga wire that goes to the dimmer switch halfway torn loose from the bullet terminal. I ordered some bullets connectors and will re-attach to see if that makes a difference.  Opinions?

Headlight switch.JPG

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13 hours ago, joecoozie said:

sometimes the switch can become oxidized inside and not make good connection(s)

Thats a good point also.

While I had mine out I took it apart & cleaned it good & applied some light grease to all the moving parts.

Did the same with my panel light switch while at it.

 

And another thanks to @ggdad1951for sending me a old broken switch to replace the part I screwed up  :)

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Do you have power to the light sockets, do you have power at the distribution  block on the inner fender or radiator support? Will lights illuminate if powered through a jumper wire from the battery?  

 

Do you have a lighted circuit tester?  

 

Cycle your stomp switch about 20 times to clear the contact points, also test the fuse for continuity.   May look OK but be bad.

 

Another thing to consider is to rower your brake light switch from thr battery side of the solenoid through an inline fuse to the brake light switch.  This takes the brake light load away from the main light circuits,  This can keep a lot of heat off the 30 amp fuse especially at long stop lights on up or down hill intersections. 

Edited by greg g
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys.  I tested the fuse for continuity and it is good.  Got out the circuit tester  and found no power at the terminal block by radiator, then jacked the car up and rode the creeper underneath.  First thing I found is pictured below.  Wire disconnected at the dimmer switch. Not sure how that happened, but once it was reconnected I have headlights.  Low beam is out on the right side, but high beam works.  Guess I need a new bulb there.  Then I tried the parking lights and they did not work. No power at the sockets.  Got out the old RI Wiring diagrams - no help.  

 

Got frustrated and decided to go get a sandwich to give my non-electrical minded brain a rest.  That's when it hit me.  When I added turn signals years ago, I opted to stay with single filament park light bulbs so I didn't have to change the sockets.  (Parking lights do not function). When I got back home I turned on the ignition, hit the turn signals and they blinked!

 

I'm fixing one thing at a time on this car which has mostly sat for the last 10 years.  Appreciate all the patient advice, and I'm sure I'll be back for more.  One of these days I hope to know SOMETHING to help somebody who has a problem.

 

 

Dimmer switch wire loose.JPG

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Every one of us here knew nothing at some point. We just put in the time doing, reading, and thinking about our car problems. You're doing just fine. Even though you found the disconnected wire at the hi/low beam switch, you definitely need to fix up that yellow cloth covered wire at the head light switch. It will get worse, corrode, get hot and eventually cook the phenolic board in the the light switch. As seen in my example:

 

https://youtu.be/w79Khf2f0eM

Edited by keithb7
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Keith, I will definitely be fixing the frayed wire at the headlight switch. The new bullet connectors came in the mail yesterday.  Not looking forward to contorting my old body behind the steering wheel while working under the dash!  Nice video BTW!

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6 hours ago, JerryinTx said:

Keith, I will definitely be fixing the frayed wire at the headlight switch. The new bullet connectors came in the mail yesterday.  Not looking forward to contorting my old body behind the steering wheel while working under the dash!  Nice video BTW!

An under dash creeper will change your life. 👍

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6 hours ago, JerryinTx said:

Don't tell me there is such a thing!  BTW, the job is done.

They do exist. Mine is home made but here's a picture of a commercially made one.

 

 

Screenshot_20221114-043113_Chrome.jpg

Edited by LeRoy
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I used a scrap of 1" plywood and the adjustable legs off of a small plastic table. I think a weight bench would be much better. Just need to retrofit so the legs are adjustable to make it a Town and Country model. 😉

Edited by LeRoy
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13 hours ago, greg g said:

Pu)I g the seat bottom frees up a lot of room.  Look,s like a modified weight lifting bench might be  good candidate for conversion.

Maybe one of those walking exercisers, so you could "propel" yourself into position w/o needing to scoot in.....  :lol:  (But you would also need a reverse gear.....)

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10 minutes ago, Kilgore47 said:

Getting under the dash is not a big problem.  Just kind of fall into place.  Getting back out is the hard part.  I make sure my phone is where I can get to it in case I need to call someone to grab my feet and pull me out.

For me, as one who has to have my trifocals on in order to see anything at all, that is my biggest issue.  I just cannot turn my head in the correct angle so that i can see anything under the dash.  (My father-in-law, who was a general contractor, had a pair of glasses with the bifocals at the top of the lens, so that he could see above him while soldering copper tubing in the floor, from in the basement.)

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