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Headlights don't work now...WTF?

Old 05-21-2014, 06:33 PM
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RallyDogRacing's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 372

I have diagnosed my issue down to be the column switch. In my case:

Failure Mode: turn headlamp rocker switch on, headlamps raise but no low beams. Pulling back on turn-signal stalk to trigger hi-beams and they work; HOWEVER they do not stay on. I can flash all day long, but it appeared like the detent in the switch was broken.

Work-Around 85% successful 1st try, 100% success by 3rd try: BEFORE turning on the headlight rocker switch, I pull back and hold the turn signal stalk (triggering the hi beam on). The lights pop up just as before, but now we're running hi-beam. Let go of turn-signal stalk, and then cycle Hi to Low. Now the selection detent seems to work just fine.

It would appear I need to buy a known-good early style, non-cruse turn-signal stalk and switch assembly at some point. The sneak & pray method of pulling the steering wheel and shooting contact cleaner all over followed by some lubricant for the moving bits - didn't change the % performance pattern.

Perhaps this work-around can help others diagnose... Certainly when i do the new switch, I wil change over to H4's anyway with relays. US-DOT Sealed Beams are suck'a-rific!
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:18 AM
tj90's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: oceanside, ca
Posts: 1,635

Originally Posted by SoCal Driver View Post
I stand corrected. The high beam relay on the diagram is for aux high beams. The arm and switch on the steering column does all of the high/low beam swtiching. You will need to take your headlight switch out and drop it down below the dash with the connector on to do an active test. Pin #56 should be hot with the switch on (in head light possition -- last). Power comes in on pin X. (with the key on). If your running lights come on there is power at pin X.

Only one of the two elements is driven at any time. There are four fuses; one for each of the two elements in each of the two head light -- #20, 21, 22 and 23.
SOCAL driver you are a life saver! I too had the problem of the low beams not working but high beams working temporarily as I pull on the stalk. I checked pin 56 when the HL switch was on and there was nothing. I checked pin X and it was hot. I decided to jumper across with my DMM lead pin X to #56 and the low beams came on!! Looks like my headlight switch is out.

FYI - I also measured the resistance from #56 to the headlight fuses to verify there wasn't more than a couple ohms. I also measured across the fuses and they were virtually no resistance as well. That is a way for someone to check the wiring between the headlight switch and fuse box.
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