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Old 11-20-2004, 10:55 AM
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Angry Intermittent headlight problem

I have an 82 s10 pickup (no frills base model) with a chevy 350 swap (carbed). Over the past few weeks the headlights (and dash lights and radio) will occaisonally cut out. When this happens (typically after starting the car) I will still have brake lights and turn signals. It usually lasts for a few seconds and then the headlights will come back on. I have redone a few suspicious looking grounds and checked the wires to the starter. I thought I had it fixed, but last night it happened again. After skimming through a few posts I think I need to check the firewall plugs. Anybody have an idea what is happening? I am a total novice when it comes to electrical troubleshooting and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Rob

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Old 11-20-2004, 05:59 PM
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On full sized Chevy/GMC pickups...........the firewall plug works loose and will create the problems you mention.

One would figure that the S10/S15's carry the same type of plug....

I would look there first.......

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Old 11-20-2004, 06:45 PM
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Check..

Doc here

After you check the firewall plug, If that does not Cure the problem, Unhook the battery, and check the Main terminal on the starter Solenoid, be sure it's tight and the terminal does not wiggle in the plastic face.

One or more fusible links may be loose.

We sometimes get in a hurry to hook things up after a swap, so it's easy to do!

If you have a DMM, Set it to Rx1 Scale and put one probe on the battery ground, the other on any bare spot on the body. If it reads higher than 0.00 ... get a 10 gauge or better, wire from the battery ground to the body.

Doc
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Old 11-22-2004, 06:55 AM
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Thanks for the help. I'll post back after I get a chance to dig into it.
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Old 01-28-2005, 02:08 PM
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It took me long enough, but I have done some more checking (I don't have a multimeter BTW) and found a wire (taillights) that was shorting out. I also checked the firewall plug (which was ok) but my problem persists. I am thinking that the power wire to the rear (said taillight wire) may still be the culprit even though I fixed the visible short.
Is it possible for the wire to degrade enough and create resistance to cause this problem?
ALSO - I added a ground as suggested (easy insurance) and tore apart the dash and doors to check all the wiring for the radio/speakers - which were all good.
Thanks
Rob
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Old 01-28-2005, 04:27 PM
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I don't know if this would help you out but a buddy of mine just told me this morning that he had to replace the headlight switch in his Silverado. He lost some lights but not all and then said he was having intermitten problems with the lights. He had the switch replaced and all is fine. I imagine it was cutting out inside of the old switch not allowing things to make contact
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Old 01-28-2005, 04:53 PM
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headlight switch

The headlight switch would not interfere with the radio. The radio is on a switched circuit and the lights are on an unswitched circuit. Unless you installed an aftermarket stereo system and spliced into unswitched power.

The only factory connection these two have in common is at the solenoid. Wiggle the wires around the solenoid with lights and radio on. See if you can get them to cut out. I have seen wires short out on the exhaust manifold.

They both run through the fuse panel plug but on separate wires. Pull the fuse panel plug and check for corroded pins. Concentrate on the three larger red wires. One is distributor, one is switched power, and the other is unswitched power. One may not be red, it may be pink instead.
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Old 01-28-2005, 05:11 PM
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Maybe Rhansen could post back as to whether or not it was the radio itself not working or just the lights on the radio going out. That will make a difference in trying to figure it out.



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Old 01-31-2005, 08:16 AM
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The reason the radio cuts out is because the constant (memory/clock) power is on the same circuit as the lights. For some reason this radio will not work without it, even though the power wire is still hot. It could possibly be the headlight switch since the problem lies in the accessory circuit - same one the constant power is on. BTW it is wired to the factory plug with an adaptor - no cut and splice job.
Hope this helps
Rob
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