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Headlight problem


Before I put the car away in storage last year I started having a weird problem with the headlights on the car.  I would turn on the headlight switch and the headlights would not come on.  However, if I pull the headlight switch to the "on" position and then push the floor mounted high beam headlight switch, both low and high beams come on.  As soon as I lift my foot off of the high beam switch, the lights turn off.  This made driving the car at night difficult as I still need to operate the clutch pedal lol.  Is this as simple as just replacing my dash mounted headlight switch or do y'all think there is a deeper issue?



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Kevin

1966 Pontiac Grande Parisienne 427/4spd

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible

1968 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2

2000 Jaguar VDP Super V8

2003 Acura 1.7 EL



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Check all grounds!!! They do funny and stupid things to lights

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Its most likely the floor mounted switch. To verify just pull the plug off the switch and with a multi-meter check for continuity between the spade terminals . there should be 3 and if I remember right the center one is the common and when the switch is depressed it puts continuity between either one or the other of the other spade terminals. ( one is for dim the other is for brights).

Jim



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Jim Pusiewich

1962 Pontiac Parisienne Conv.

1926 Ford Model T Coupe ( Sold )

1972 VW Super Beetle Conv.



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Yup, try a dimmer switch before anything else and I bet it will work. Just make sure the terminals in the plastic connector are in good shape, not corroded. Your symptoms point to it being the switch though.

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


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I'd probably get out the contact cleaner and some emery cloth and clean the contact points on both switches. 



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

Tweet me @BigRaySays






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are you running halogen headlights? They draw a higher current than stock and have been known to take out the headlight switch. Ask me how I know, ha ha

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1963 Parisienne 2DRHT
2004 Lincoln LSE



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Don't drive at night     cheapest fix...



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Put in some relays..... after you replace the dimmer switch.

You will get brighter lights and you wont fry the headlight switch.

The power goes through the relay and not the switch.

I put in relays for each of the headlights as I was running 100 watt halogen on the high beam.

You will notice a difference.

Cliff

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Cliff

 

 



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oshawacliff wrote:

Put in some relays..... after you replace the dimmer switch.

You will get brighter lights and you wont fry the headlight switch.

The power goes through the relay and not the switch.

I put in relays for each of the headlights as I was running 100 watt halogen on the high beam.

You will notice a difference.

Cliff


 you are absolutely right.....older wiring and switches are unable to handle the higher amperages of newer headlamps take the load off and use relays

 

 

 



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bob lewis


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beaucarlo wrote:
oshawacliff wrote:

Put in some relays..... after you replace the dimmer switch.

You will get brighter lights and you wont fry the headlight switch.

The power goes through the relay and not the switch.

I put in relays for each of the headlights as I was running 100 watt halogen on the high beam.

You will notice a difference.

Cliff


 you are absolutely right.....older wiring and switches are unable to handle the higher amperages of newer headlamps take the load off and use relays

 

 

 


 If not going for Concours judgingwink put in the relays and save yourself a lot of headaches down the road. Reminds me I still have to do mine!hmm



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Kevin, here's some info on making the wiring safer and more efficient. It just happens to have a some data on doing it to a 66 Grande Parisienne too wink

http://canadianponcho.activeboard.com/t59579765/wiring-headlight-relays-into-our-old-cars/?page=1

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


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Exactly the same problem as mine right now down to the fried dimmer switch and I'm running halogens.  Needless to say I won't be doing any night driving until I get the relays in.



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ken from northern Alberta

38 Willys pickup electric powered project

39 Buick (327 with 700 r4)

66 Grande Parisienne 396 with AC (built October 26 1965)

69 Chevy CST pickup

1976 GMC 23'  motorhome



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I've talked about relaying my halogens too but still haven't gotten around to it. Quite a few night miles and have gotten away with it.

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Jerel


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Its probably because your car is so much smaller and has much less wiring than my expensive car, heh heh



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ken from northern Alberta

38 Willys pickup electric powered project

39 Buick (327 with 700 r4)

66 Grande Parisienne 396 with AC (built October 26 1965)

69 Chevy CST pickup

1976 GMC 23'  motorhome



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That's all very good advice. I haven't gone the halogen route, but it would be so much better at night. The car is just so pleasant to drive with all the windows down on a summer evening, especially after a hard evening at work. I would love to get more use out of the car than I have for the last few years.

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Kevin

1966 Pontiac Grande Parisienne 427/4spd

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible

1968 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2

2000 Jaguar VDP Super V8

2003 Acura 1.7 EL



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I see you are in Ottawa.... Check with the local dealer and see if they have an outside source that does custom installations of electrical stuff.

We have a chap here in Oshawa that is relied upon heavily to do there diagnostic and repair stuff. AV Electronics

He does the dealership work in the morning solving their problelms etc and then goes to his shop after 1.00 pm
Would take him less that an hour to put you back on the road and a brighter night life.

A sample review I found. It is dead on...

May. 22, 2015
Phil was performing some warranty work on my 2008 G6 for a company that sold me the vehicle. He is an ace when it comes to electronics. I also required another key fob and key. He has stock and was able to produce both in minutes. He's crazy busy but there is a reason.




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Cliff

 

 



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Well......finally got around to solving this problem.  The clutch on the day to day little Acura is failing so I have no choice but to put the Pontiac on the road for a few days.  Many thanks to Carl and Jim P.  The problem was indeed the floor mounted dimmer switch.  Carl gave me the part number and one of my dealers ordered me one and even delivered it free of charge to the house in 48 hours.  Installed it on Saturday evening and the lights are working again.  What a relief.  Thanks to both Jim and Carl. 



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Kevin

1966 Pontiac Grande Parisienne 427/4spd

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible

1968 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2

2000 Jaguar VDP Super V8

2003 Acura 1.7 EL



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Glad it worked for you and good to hear from you again Kevin.

We have a rule here, you have to post more than once every 2 years!!! Kidding of course, but I for one would like to see more of you (as well as your car) on here...

How about letting Todd feature it one of these months?

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


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Kevin, I just sent you a private message.

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"
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