Author Topic: Headlights go on and off  (Read 5625 times)

Bruce Sevier

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Headlights go on and off
« on: February 28, 2024, 03:26:43 AM »
The headlights go on and off on our 1999 Beaver Marquis. The running lights and fog lights stay on when this occurs. I have up-graded to the brighter headlights by adding the two relays as Roy Mueller explained in his Youtube video.  There is voltage to the terminals on the dimmer switch on the floor, but no voltage to the headlights.  I pushed and pulled on the headlight switch knob several times and the lights seem to be working, but I suspect the headlight switch needs to be replaced.  The problem I have is removing the old switch so that I can find the correct replacement.  Searching online I have found several descriptions that describe pushing a button down on the switch so that the knob can be pulled out, try as I might I have not been successful in getting the knob and triangular shaft out.

Would any of you know the make and model of this headlight switch?  I did find on a earlier post that the NAPA HL6554 is the same one, but I am not sure about this.  Also are there any tricks to getting the knob and shaft out?

In a previous post I wrote about rear suspension air bags, I did have them replaced and kept the old ones with the part numbers  if any of you need that information.

Thanks so much as always

Bruce

Bruce Sevier
99 Marquis

Eric Maclean

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2024, 12:50:00 PM »
Bruce
With your headlight relay conversion the majority of the load should be passing through the relays not the light switch , the spot to look for your trouble is the circuit breaker which feeds those relays they are recycling circuit breakers and will shut down till they cool off and then reset on their own as they get old they get weak and will trip too easily.
With that said if your head lights and or relays are still being feed directly through the headlight switch it to has a circuit breaker built into it internally and can have exactly the same problem this was a very common problem in the 70s and 80s Ford vehicles.

Before replacing your headlight switch connect a jumper across the circuit breaker in the run bay to see if your problem still exists.
You say you've replaced the headlights with brighter ones is it possible they draw that much more current or do you possibly have a short to ground somewhere in the wiring to the headlights.( It might be worth seeing what the amperage draw is on that circuit)
If you do decide to replace the headlight switch you will find it is originally from a 1988 or there about Ford F150 as in the link below.

Also before ordering a headlight switch pull it out and check the wiring plug at the switch they had a habit of getting burnt at the connections to the switch.

https://www.amazon.com/Terminal-Headlight-Switch-E7TZ-11654A-Ranger/dp/B086KYSJ7G/ref=asc_df_B086KYSJ7G/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=634459852744&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=3724860155299128203&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012400&hvtargid=pla-1890244841265&psc=1&mcid=901b8d1a647b314f8626909d7adf5674&gclid=CjwKCAiA0PuuBhBsEiwAS7fsNaxDn9eKtc0uNbmJF1RZ4WtBUsHVzYGGSoZRkecPTSBUOBuCX24GKxoCi2cQAvD_BwE


Hope this helps
Eric
« Last Edit: February 28, 2024, 01:24:32 PM by Eric Maclean »
1997 Patriot Yorktown
3126-B
2009 Chevy HHR
Roadmaster falcon tow bar
Demco Air Force one tow brake.

Fred Brooks

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2024, 02:58:51 PM »
    Bruce,
  After trying Eric's suggestions and you still have the issue, does your coach have a VIP smart steering wheel? The reason I ask is because the headlight circuit goes thru that controller. Example would be if it starts to rain and you turn on the windshield wipers, the controller also turns on your headlights. You can also "flash" your headlights by tapping the headlight icon on the smart wheel pad. Please advise how things work out. Fred
Fred & Cindy Brooks
2000 Marquis, Jasper
C-12 Wild Cat (U of A)
2014 Honda CRV
Proverbs 3: 5 & 6
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Joel Ashley

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2024, 11:29:00 PM »
In our early Pace Arrow years I tried replacing dim 1984 factory headlights with the then “improved” technology halogen ones.  My 12 volt electrical knowledge was not advanced much past 1950’s-60’s cars and farm vehicles.  The new halogens soon fried/melted the common Chevy van headlight switch, and I had a lesson in electrical current and wire size, etc.  A trip to the salvage yard for another switch, and reinstallation of the old lamps solved that issue, but not the dimness one.  We just tried driving less at night.

Eric’s note regarding new headlights brought that old experience quickly to mind.  Today a circuit breaker would respond to my halogen refit before the switch plastic gave up… even a fuse in the proper part of the circuit back then would’ve protected things.  So be sure your new headlamp amp rating/draw doesn’t exceed existing wiring or circuit breaker limits… it would react by opening, cooling, closing, overheating, and opening the circuit repeatedly.

Joel
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat

Bruce Sevier

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2024, 12:14:03 PM »
Thanks Eric, Fred and Joel for your responses.

There are no controls in the steering wheel just the headlight switch on the left dashboard panel. I purchased a HL6554 switch and it looks the same as the one in the coach. Will confirm that tomorrow.

When I drove the coach last it had been sitting for over a month and it was a cool night. I pulled the switch to turn on the lights and the headlights would not come on, I pushed the dimmer switch button on the floor and it made no difference, but the running and dash lights were on. After about 3 to 5 minutes the headlights came on and stayed on when I moved the coach to a different location on our property. So I don't think the circuit breaker is the problem, but I did not think to connect a jumper wire across the two terminals in the left front bay compartment, thanks for the suggestion. Is there a part number for a new one? Maybe I should replace it.
Three of the headlights are Halogen and have been working for several years, but I will check to feel if the wires are getting hot. I sometimes think the problem could be the ground circuit but not sure how to check it.

Could there be any other relays or something I'm missing in the circuit? Not sure how to check the amperage draw in the circuit but will attempt to do that and try to replace the switch in the next couple of days.

Thanks again for your help and I will let you know what I find when I get back to working on this.

Bruce
Bruce Sevier
99 Marquis

Eric Maclean

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2024, 01:43:07 PM »
Bruce
To check amperage draw with a regular amp meter ( pass though type )disconnect the circuit breaker and place your amp meter in line between the breaker and the headlight feed wire.

For an inductive type amp. meter just clamp the amp clamp over that same wire no need to disconnect.

If you suspect a bad ground use a volt meter and connect one lead to the ground connector at the rear of a head light and the other lead to the ground buss bar in the electrical bay. There should be less than one volt showing with the headlights on if it's a full 12 volts the ground is bad.
Usually a bad ground will cause other lights to glow dimly as the current seeks a ground back through the ground wire and other devices connected to that ground source.
 

In your coach are you sure the dimmer switch is on the floor as most of these coaches have a column mounted dimmer switch.  I suppose it's possible that some time in the life of the coach someone has had issues with the column mounted switch and by passed it rather than replacing the one in the steering column if so I'd check their wiring carefully.
If you do have a floor mounted dimmer switch they have been known to create the same type of problems. (Look for green wire connections at the dimmer switch )

Hope this helps
Eric
« Last Edit: February 29, 2024, 02:05:06 PM by Eric Maclean »
1997 Patriot Yorktown
3126-B
2009 Chevy HHR
Roadmaster falcon tow bar
Demco Air Force one tow brake.

Eric Maclean

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2024, 01:52:47 PM »
Bruce
Sorry I didn't address your original question.
To remove the head light switch you must reach under the dash unplug the plug which often have clips which run down the sides of the switch .
Once the plug is unplugged on the opposite side of the switch to the plug terminals you will find a small spring loaded button, pull the switch to the on position all the way out then push the button and the knob and shaft will pull out of the switch . once the knob is out you can unscrew the dash retainer and remove the switch.
The hardest part is unplugging the wiring especially if it's been hot and melted the connector.

Good luck
Eric
1997 Patriot Yorktown
3126-B
2009 Chevy HHR
Roadmaster falcon tow bar
Demco Air Force one tow brake.

Bruce Sevier

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2024, 02:16:26 AM »
Problem found, but I need more advice.

 When checking for voltage at the headlights I figured out which was ground and have 10.9 volts. I then checked voltage between the lower beam connector and the frame of the coach and read 11.9 volts. Then the headlights went out. At Eric's suggestion I checked voltage at the thermal circuit breaker and had 12.5 volts so it is okay. I then connected a jumper wire from the coach frame and the ground terminal on the low beam headlight and all the headlights came on.

So now I need to find where the ground wires for the headlights connect to the chassis. I have not yet tried to follow the wires under the coach, but since and four headlights come on and off by jumping a ground wire to one ground connector at the right front low beam headlight I suspect there's a ground connection somewhere on the coach. I might add that the running lights, tail lights and dashboard lights all work. Or is there a ground circuit in the headlight switch.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again

Bruce
Bruce Sevier
99 Marquis

Eric Maclean

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2024, 01:24:02 PM »
Bruce
The headlight grounds is provided from the ground buss bar in the electrical bay the schematics don't specify which stud it is connected to but each wire should be in printed with its destination even if it is almost too small to read.
The headlight grounds also runs through a large connector at the rear of the electrical bay a poor connection there could be your problem


If you check out the wiring diagrams for a 1996 Patriot it should be very close to your setup ( page #54 gives the head light wiring )

Eric
1997 Patriot Yorktown
3126-B
2009 Chevy HHR
Roadmaster falcon tow bar
Demco Air Force one tow brake.

Bruce Sevier

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2024, 12:05:52 AM »
Thanks Rick

At your suggestion if I grab and move the wiring harnesses at the front of the electrical bay the headlights come on and off. There's 6 connection plugs 3 large black, 1 large gray and 2 smaller ones. I've found wires with ground and a number printed on them, problem is I think I need a wiring diagram to find the correct wire. I've tried to find manuals and wiring diagrams on this website. I think they are available but don't know how to access them. Any help would be appreciated.

Bruce
Bruce Sevier
99 Marquis

Eric Maclean

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2024, 12:25:08 AM »
Bruce
The information in coach assist is one of the best resources of the BAC club forum and worth spending so time studying.
Go to the blue link at the top of this forum page . Click the link then click on the technical drop down in coach assist then follow down the index to the wiring diagram section and click on the appropriate year model coach for your wiring diagrams

We don't have a true 1999 Marquis wiring diagram but For your coach the 1996 patriot wiring diagrams should be as close as any.but you may have to look through the 2000 Marquis diagrams and others to piece together what you need
« Last Edit: March 04, 2024, 12:59:14 AM by Eric Maclean »
1997 Patriot Yorktown
3126-B
2009 Chevy HHR
Roadmaster falcon tow bar
Demco Air Force one tow brake.

Eric Maclean

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2024, 01:20:31 AM »
Bruce
In the 96 Patriot wiring diagrams page 33 shows the headlight grounds as terminal #3 in the C9 connector .
The C9 connector should be a 19 pin connector with all but two pins used.
The circuit # is 86G

Look for a discolored connection or loose pin in the plug if the pin has been arking you may have to repair the connector pin  or simply bypass it by adding a wire around the connector.
Sometimes the front cap or windshield will leak water into the electrical bay causing problems with these connections try unplugging inspect clean with brake clean or electrical cleaner before reconnecting the plug
« Last Edit: March 04, 2024, 12:55:41 PM by Eric Maclean »
1997 Patriot Yorktown
3126-B
2009 Chevy HHR
Roadmaster falcon tow bar
Demco Air Force one tow brake.

Bruce Sevier

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2024, 07:25:41 AM »
Problem solved, I hope. I apologize for taking so long to reply to Eric's last technical advise and suggestions which helped me solve the problem. In my last post I found that the headlights were going on and off due to a poor ground. At Eric's suggestion I narrowed the ground problem was in the C9 20 pin connector in the electrical bay. If I moved the connector by hand the headlights would go on and off. In the pin (male) side of the plug I found continuity between wire marked Ground S 13 to the ground plug on the low beam headlight. This side of the plug and wires go into the chassis, the plug (female) side of the plug and wires go to the various connections on the electrical bay wall. I've not been able to find what the pin numbers are for the plug, but I was able to read the labels of each wire and drew a diagram identifying each pin.  If anyone can share with me the sequence of pin numbers on the plug I can create a diagram for this plug. Thanks to Eric's help I was able find a wiring diagrams on Coach Assist and the 2000 Marquis is closest.

I've cleaned the pin and plug which were slightly discolored, any suggestions on how to properly clean them would be appreciated. I now have 12 volts at the headlights and moving the C9 connector around no longer affects the headlights. If I encounter the problem again I will probably run a jumper wire across the connector as Eric suggested. I have not checked the amperage in the circuit yet and will try to do that in the future.

Moral of the story for me is when something electrical doesn't work as it should check the ground circuit first.

Thanks again for all the advise from each of you, as has been said before this Forum helps us keep these coaches on the road.


Cheers

Bruce
Bruce Sevier
99 Marquis

Carl Boger

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2024, 12:16:33 AM »
Bruce,

When I clean those connectors I usually use a mig welding tip cleaner that is the same size and the connectors female half, and a soft brush for the Male halves.  I get a can of electrical contact cleaner and spray everything real good and clean up each side until it doesn't have any signs of corrosion.  I also use a zip tie to keep the two sides together once everything is clean.   

Hopefully this will work for you also.
Carl

98 Beaver Patriot Savannah
330 hp Cat 3126

Joel Ashley

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Re: Headlights go on and off
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2024, 09:06:02 AM »
I recall seeing online kits/tools specifically for removing, and cleaning/replacing pins and sockets.  I have a kit for cleaning corrosion off towing connectors, but don’t think they’re sized right for the large barrel/small pin & socket type in our bays.  Careful use of plastic-friendly electronics cleaner will help along with small “scrubbing” swabs or mini-brushes.  A carb cleaning brush kit might do fine too.

I like DeOxit for both dissolving and protecting against corrosion.  I’ve gone to using it on nearly all non-AC devices with contacts, circuit boards, batteries, and lamps.  My iPad was not consistently charging and its charge port turned out to have some contaminated contacts, rather than a bad charging cord.  I used DeOxit with small swabs and Kemwipes wrapped around blunt toothpick ends to “scrub” inside the port until they came out clean instead of black. Use DeOxit sparingly and wipe off excess.  Once the DeOxit inside the port dried in a few hours the iPad charged like new.  For much larger corroded areas, like screws and metals inside a battery or electrical bay, I’d use a spray can of regular plastics-safe electronic cleaner, and in exposed circumstances I’d follow that with Corrosion-X.

https://caig.com/product/deoxit-d100l-2db/

Yes, it’s spendy for such a small bottle, but you use it sparingly enough that it should last many years.  It comes in other forms, and I first had a small kit of its various formats, but the 7.4ml bottle linked above is most useful.

https://ipatools.com/product/8043-micro-male-diamond-coated-electrical-pin-cleaners/

https://ipatools.com/product/8042-diamond-micro-round-files/

This one looks promising:
https://www.mactools.com/products/et8043?variant=39814823215287&currency=USD&utm_medium=product_sync&utm_source=google&utm_content=sag_organic&utm_campaign=sag_organic&srsltid=AfmBOopOJSkXOBsAdxe5zopWV9CI8-gMKr_6JJBtjV6obHvRJSE9uWMvmc4&com_cvv=8fb3d522dc163aeadb66e08cd7450cbbdddc64c6cf2e8891f6d48747c6d56d2c

But none are cheap, and I’m not nuts about using things like files that can scrape off the plating on some surfaces, exposing them to worse corrosion.  Dissolve, brush/wipe off with non-scratch tools, then protect seems the best procedure.

I just bought and like these pointed foam swabs for getting in tight spots and scrubbing off contacts, etc., and they don’t leave cotton lint hanging around and don’t disintegrate.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BVLX6X89/ref=dp_iou_view_item?ie=UTF8&th=1

Joel

« Last Edit: March 11, 2024, 09:16:20 AM by Joel Ashley »
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat