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Old 08-02-2005, 06:36 PM
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Car is Eating Headlights--Help!

Ok heres the deal, my 71 chevelle is burning out headlights about once/week.
Though it is only the low beam on the passenger side...
And when i replace the light, it just barely shines, real dim like.

Whats going on here?

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Old 08-02-2005, 06:47 PM
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Its a possibility that the socket is either worn out or corroded and not making a good connection. Check that and check all your grounds.
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Old 08-02-2005, 06:54 PM
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How would i go about cleaning the connector, knowing me I would go at it with water and get zapped or something.
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Old 08-02-2005, 07:01 PM
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I would just disconnect the battery cable, then spray the connector down good with WD-40 and take a small screwdriver ir a small knife blade or something and rub arond on the contacts untill they are brite and shiny and clean. Also look and see if they need to be re-tensioned a little, sometimes the spring like action that grips the pins or blades on the headlight will fatigue or collaspe a little and lose thier grip, if so just tweek them up a little. You could even put a little dialectric compound on them to help assure a good connection. You can buy it at most any parts store.
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:18 PM
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lamps

Doc here,

If cleaning and grounding won't correct the problem. another cause on Incandescent lamps is HEAVY vibration...

Nasty lopy, cam, Super Hard suspension on a strip car etc...this will vibrate the filaments into cracking in short order..you may have to mount them on shock mounts.

Doc
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:31 AM
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when you clean the connector i would use a dielecric cleaner. (im not sure if wd-40 is a dielectric or not) but most electrical cleaners work really really well. just spray and your good to go. no other cleaning needed. the stuff we use on the jets is like that and there is some nasty nasty stuff in the engine bays.
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:09 PM
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Cleaners

Doc here,

Good electrical cleaners are available at NAPA and RAT SHAK for about six Bucks.

Be sure it evaporates on or shortly after contact and leaves NO RESIDUE, or your shooting yourself in the foot.

A good quality Brass acid brush is always in order, (and don't forget to disconnect the battery while servicing the system.)

Are you sure they (the lamps) are burning out? Have you tried the high-beams when the lows fail, do they work? If not your losing power or (most likely, Ground) to the lamp system. Do they work with jumpers straight to the lamps (plugs removed) but not in circuit? All clues to wiring problems.

Doc
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:48 PM
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If you need to clean the corrosion off of the connector you can try a torch tip cleaner. It looks like a set of feeler guages except they are round instead of flat. They are like little files and will go into some real small spaces. Mine has about 15 sizes in the set.
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:27 PM
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Right now im thinking the prongs on the connector are bent down or lose wires in the connector or something because, sometimes the beam will be real low sometimes goes out completely. I tried tapping on the connector while the lights were on and the light was blinking out when so maybe i just have to re-do the connector or something.
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:00 PM
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All your symtoms sound like bad connections. Check the ground screw where the wire attaches from the headlight and clean or replace your Headlamp plugs.

Rich
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Old 08-10-2005, 03:32 PM
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Connectors

Doc here,

One of the Major offenders (2 nd only to bad grounds) on older electrical systems is the firewall Bulkhead to fuse buss Connector..

These have a tendency to fill with debris, corrode, Pins will heat and slightly melt the connector inserts, making them loose, and carbonizing up under heat transfer, loose and fray wires.

You will want to CLEAN and inspect this too.

Do the Following NEXT:

Run the Battery GROUND cable (If not already there) To the Starter and find a handy Bolt AT or NEAR it to attach to.

Next Get a Battery Cable with a-3/8 ring terminal on each end...Ground it with your main battery cable and run it to your Frame.

NEXT get some 10 gauge wire, run it from the firewall back to the main grounding bolt, and another from the the Alternator Ground lug, or mount bolt.Be sure to use Yellow ring terminals.

NEXT get some braided Ground strap, ground both Front fenders to the frame and radiator well. add a set at the door posts to doors, another from the hood to firewall, and one from the trunk lid to body.

BURNISH off all paint and grease from all grounding areas, use a proper star washer at each ground and be sure all screws and bolts are TIGHT.

This will give you a PROPER grounding system, that will operate flawlessly for many years to come..AND it will also suppress RFI into CD's and communications equipment.

If your Alternator is powdery White as well as the Mount it goes on, Remove both and the hardware...water or sand blast them back to Bare Metal. You have an electrolysis situation going on. (Aluminum to Steel dissimilar metals)

Reassemble using aluminum wire bonding paste on all the hardware, and every place the mounts touch steel.

You will find this condition will eat the impeller on the water pump, causing it to fail prematurely, so while your in there, you just may want to replace it too..

Let us know your progress..

Doc
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