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Old 09-10-2011, 03:28 AM
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37 Chevy Headlight Dim issue

I recently aqcuired a 37 Chevy with a few electrical issues. With a mixture of different manufacture parts, it has been difficult in researching. The most important being the Headlights, Passenger side is always half as bright as the other. Ive changed the bulbs, tightened all connections, and have done a few voltage readings. At the dash, when headlights are on dim, the pass turn signal indicator is dimly lit along with the bright indicator


Voltage at Fuse Panel -Engine Off - 12.4V
Voltage at Buss Bar near Driver Headlight - 11.5 V - Engine Off
Voltage at Buss Bar near Pass Headlight - 11.4 V - Engine Off
-when I removed the driver side bulb, the pass bulb went out and 0 V at Pass headlight socket, reinserted Driver side bulb - 11.4 at pass bulb socket
-removed driver bulb to check Voltage there and arced out against housing for split second.
- headlights wont work now, though i do have gauges and tailights. Unable to find any fuse or fusible link for headlights.
-Also checked grounds at each location, all seemed ok

So I guess I have a second question, how do i get my headlights back? Could i have damaged something in the switch? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Dave

1937 Cheverolet Master Deluxe
Cheverolet 350 Crate HO Deluxe
MSD Ignition
Alternator-? - (No visible part number, chrome througout)
Fuse Block -?( No Part Number) A/C , Heater, Rear Airbag, Tailights, Cig Lighter, Hazard, Gauges, Dome Light
GM style headlight switch at dash
Floor mounted bright/dim
Ammeter instead of Voltmeter
Battery Located in Trunk
+ Alternator goes to + Starter
+ Starter to Back of Fuse Block and + Battery

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Old 09-10-2011, 06:19 AM
67Mustang Al.'s Avatar
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those dam electrics.

Having just finished a 67 Mustang with a total rewire, The main issues to be aware of with wiring is the age of the wires you currently have and the crimped connections. If the insulation is brittle on your wiring you may need to replace wiring given that you have checked earth connections. If you have a dim headlight and a bright one with the same voltage at the bulb, then it has to be the state of the copper wire. Check the ends of the earth tags/to ground where the terminals are connected to the wire. On the Mustang (only 40 yrs old) The earth lugs near the alternator had the green copper oxide into the copper which started where the earth lug is crimped on the end.
If you have one bright headlight, run an extra wire from the back of the bright one to the back of the dim one and see if they then are the same brightness to prove your wiring condition.
If you have a headlight out , trace the power back from the headlight by inserting a sharp dressmakers pin into the wire through the insulation and meter it out until you find the point where there is voltage.
Goodluck.
Al from downunda.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:33 AM
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headlamp fuse

check for fuse on back of headlamp fuse . for dim lite try jumper ground at headlamp socket
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:35 AM
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sorry should say fuse on back of switch.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:22 AM
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grounds

The headlights that are mounted on the grill shell have a long path to ground, I would run seperate ground wires all the way back and have a ground buss bar. like you have to do when building a Fiberglass car . aso try using a fine brissle wire brush and clean all the contact points ,, some times steel woll the connection points I put a new harness in a 36 pontiac a couple of years ago, after that many years there is a lot of corrosion - oxidation that causes problems. also whenyou get everything working use the electrical contact grease to coat the places to prevent more oxidation.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:11 AM
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You might want to consider changing the headlight wiring from series to parallel. If the one headlight goes out and you loose both doesn't sound to safe to me.
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:15 AM
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Dave,

What you have is a ground issue. On your headlite bulb socket take the black wire and ground it back to the rad support, making sure that you remove any paint that will insulate the wire from grounding properly.

If you want BRIGHT head lights , try here:http://www.danielsternlighting.com/t...ys/relays.html
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:19 PM
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thanks everyone

Thanks for all the great input. It sounds like a relay and a new wiring harness are in my future. The connections at the bus bar beneath the pass light did seem to be more corroded than the driver side. I'm going to wire up a direct ground like suggested, but have been unable to find the fuse or breaker. I checked behind the switch and found none. Im going to double check the fuse panel again, then systematically trace each wire. Thanks again.
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alittle1
Dave,

What you have is a ground issue. On your headlite bulb socket take the black wire and ground it back to the rad support, making sure that you remove any paint that will insulate the wire from grounding properly.

If you want BRIGHT head lights , try here:http://www.danielsternlighting.com/t...ys/relays.html
X2 on the bad ground
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:27 PM
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fuse panel ok

all fuses in panel are ok, though one is un-familiar. I'll include a pic along with unknown alternator, unknown fuse panel, and headlights themselves
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red37
Thanks for all the great input. It sounds like a relay and a new wiring harness are in my future......
Based on the pic of your fuse box I'd say sooner rather than later. Looks like a cobbled together mess that is just waiting for the right moment to start a fire.

A good aftermarket wiring harness isn't that expensive, and if I was you I'd invest in one with enough circuits to handle the electrical load your running. The hardest part about installing a new harness is the time it takes to do the work. Its not hard, just time consuming. Also using relays is a good way to get full voltage to your headlights. In the mean time I'd install a battery disconnect switch just as a safety precaution. It will allow you to disconnect the battery when you're not driving the car. Last thing you want is for it to start a fire in your garage. I install one of those in every car I build.

Good luck.

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"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves." - Albert Einstein

Last edited by Centerline; 09-10-2011 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:14 PM
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$$$$

I believe your absolutely correct. As I was hunting down headlamp fuse under the dash, I saw some wiring craziness. Multiple splices, wirenuts, and the like. and at each connection was electrical tape unraveling.

So... I'm going to leave the battery disconnected and start doing some research on wiring harnesses. I suppose a walk-around is in order to get all of my electrical devices.....

Vintage Air
Radio
Dome Light
Gauges
Rear Airbag Suspension
Headlights - which will be much easier to upgrade with proper voltage
Tail Lights
Turn Signal
The motor has an electric choke
Wipers are vacuum but suppose its a good time for upgrade
Ignition
Starter

I believe thats it.

Thanks all for your prompt and courteous feedback. I greatly appreciate it.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:03 PM
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Any wiring with peeling tape is a temp fix and like the others have said, ditch the lot. A friend of mine lost his classic Ducati when the wiring had a melt down overnight.
I used the EZ wiring loom with wires attached to the rear of the fuse panel. Each wire has its own micro writing on it such as " Headlight Right , Low Beam, " , "Headlight Left Low Beam" which makes the job easier and it took me about three weeks as an amateur. A freind of mine who is an auto spark said it would have taken him a week and $2000. I soldered all connections and ditched all factory plugs where possible with new narva sealed electrical plugs. It is not original but i dont have a numbers matching car. Using an electronic voltage regulator has given me steady , non-flickering headlights, as opposed to the old points type voltage regulator as well.
Cheers and good luck.
Al.
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Last edited by 67Mustang Al.; 09-10-2011 at 06:07 PM. Reason: xx
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:23 PM
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Your issue is one of three things, Are both bulb connector wired the same? ie... low beam wire connected to the hi bean slot....... or corroded connections or bad wires. As suggested above run some temp jumper wires from where the good headlight connects, hi beam, lo beam and ground.

I agree you need some cleaning up on your fuse box, I'm in the process of rewiring my 67 Camaro, I selected the Painless 18 circuit........ It's a pretty decent kit with the circuit and wire number printed on each wire....... Only bad thing there isn't a complete wire diagram for the system, I called painless and they will not let me have access to one. They thought someone might steal the idea.......too late. There are plenty of blank "pass thru" slot in the firewall main connector for special circuits...... another area that painless was un-aware of, when I asked the person said that all slots were being used...... not so.... at least 10 open ports.
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