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Headlight pull out switch


jacwjames

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Well, this sucks.
My main problem was that the lights on the switches didn't work, making it hit and miss when I was driving in the dark.   Ordered an received a new headlight switch and installed it. 

All was good the individual switch lights worked, but I could smell the rheostat getting hot. Shut it off and did some other things. Couple hours later I tried it again and everything was working including the switch lights and then the switch lights went out.

My guess is that there is too much of a load on the switch with all the switch lights working, I think I've got about 20 total, side console, dash, center console and passenger console.

I'm going to check it again tomorrow but I'm not going to throw more money at this problem unless someone has a sure fire solution!!!


Any suggestions.

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Jim, I think the rheostat only comes into play when you dim the dash lights.   I leave mine turned all the way counter clockwise for full brightness, still not so bright to me.

Have you tried that?    I don't believe the switches available today are of very good quality, they are probably all made in China.

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I eliminated the switch. Replaced it with 2 1pole carling switches such as they match the existing switches. I don't dim the instrument lights. However if I did I would use a 12V/12V solid state controller available on Ebay for $5.00 or so and  which is compatible with LED lamps.

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All my switches are original.   Since we don't drive at night that often don't know the last time they worked prior to this last trip.  Either way disappointing that the light switch lasted less then 1/2 hour.

How hard is it to change the lights to LED???  Never done that before. 

 

1 minute ago, tmw188 said:

Hey Jim doesn’t that also turn on the drivers side overhead map light? 

Yes it does turn on the small overhead map light.  That part of it still works. 

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21 minutes ago, jacwjames said:

All my switches are original.   Since we don't drive at night that often don't know the last time they worked prior to this last trip.  Either way disappointing that the light switch lasted less then 1/2 hour.

How hard is it to change the lights to LED???  Never done that before. 

 

Yes it does turn on the small overhead map light.  That part of it still works. 

You know I tried to find a LED bulb for those map lights but none would fit or work properly. I had a bulb I’ve used in the past on similar lights but they just won’t work in that socket? 

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21 minutes ago, tmw188 said:

I’ve got all LED except that one just won’t quite fit

Not to debate this any further on this thread, but the two pin bayonet are just slightly different that you can’t even see it. Tried two different brand types. 

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So I spent some time this morning looking for information on how to swap out the rocker switch bulbs to LED.  Not much info out there.  In a lot of cases they just change out the switch. 

Has anyone does this, considering I have ~20 switches I don't want to change them all out with new. 

Is there another option.   Haven't looked at the wiring yet but would it be possible to just bypass the light switch and wire in another switch the would just turn on/off the led light in all the switches?  Anybody ever do this.

I guess I can just resolve to driving during daylight hours😁

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12 minutes ago, bobdinsmore said:

Jim J,

I didn't have the problem with the dash switch lights quitting but the stem on the headlight switch got super hot. I installed a relay to take the load off the switch and the stem no longer is hot. I don't know if this approach would help you.

That would probably work, just have to figure which wire is for the switch lights.  I guess by doing that you don't have a dimming function!

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2 hours ago, jacwjames said:

So I spent some time this morning looking for information on how to swap out the rocker switch bulbs to LED.  Not much info out there.  In a lot of cases they just change out the switch. 

Has anyone does this, considering I have ~20 switches I don't want to change them all out with new. 

Is there another option.   Haven't looked at the wiring yet but would it be possible to just bypass the light switch and wire in another switch the would just turn on/off the led light in all the switches?  Anybody ever do this.

I guess I can just resolve to driving during daylight hours😁

I have done one just last week so I did not have to look for a replacement. Very little space to work with but doable with a 12V LED. If I had to do 20 of them, I would definitely look for a different solution.

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A new switch should last a lot longer than 1/2 hr unless you have some heavy load on that rheostat, even then it should blow a fuse.

Could some other lights be inadvertently wired to that circuit?  Fog lights etc.

I have replaced bulbs in my rocker switches before, It's a tedious job but doable.   The tricky part is opening up the plastic sw without breaking it.  It's been quite awhile        since I did it.  It was when Radio Shack was still around, and they had the little incandescent bulbs.  I don't think I would want to tackle 20 switches.

 

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The Carlington switches typically have two lamps. One is part of the general instrumentation lighting circuit and the other indicates when the switch is on. As such the switch lighting load is insignificant whether it is incandescent or LED. I don't know however I would assume the newer switches would be LED. I don't know how installing a relay would affect the resistance heat generated by the light switch as the rheostat is a simple resistance variety and integral to the switch. I dumped the whole mess when my switch failed and installed 3 separate switches for the headlights, marker lights, and instrument panel lights. I like having things separated as one switch failure or short circuit doesn't take other systems down. The Carlington switches are $20.00 and the plug housings with crimp connectors are about $2.00 apiece. One can buy aluminum bezels which makes cutting the hole and installing the switches much easier.

Edited by Gary Cole
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As soon as I installed the switch and tried the switch lights I could smell the switching getting hot.  I shut it off and did some other things and came back later and tried it again.  The switch lights came on and then all went out. 

Up until that day I had not made any changes to the electrical system and that was not in the dash.  Not sure what is going on, I may just say good enough and leave it like it is. 

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Does anyone know how the switches are grounded and where the ground originates.  I have a grounding bar on the front firewall. 

The switch itself is grounded but I think I may run an extra ground.

I've checked the switch and I believe the rheostat is burned out, I cant get any ohm readings across it.  So I may try to just install a switch on the dash for the switch lights.   Just want to make sure the lights are working properly before going any further.

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OK, I am stumped. 

I checked the new headlight switch with dimmer, it seems to be working.  All functions except the switch lights are working.  When I test the rheostat it seems to be working but the switch lights do not work.

From my chassis wiring schematic there is a 10 amp fuse in the #2 Monaco box in the FRB.  The fuse is good.  I'm going to check to make sure I'm getting voltage there, the way I interpret the wiring diagram is that the voltage actually comes from the dimmer switch and then to the #2 box and then to the dash lights.  Not sure if there is another fuse or resistor somewhere or not?  I tried to check voltage at an individual switch for the light, anyone have a wiring diagram of how the switch light is powered??

Chasing wires is virtually impossible.  The wiring loom disappears into the dash, I have no doubt that if I start rummaging around in there I'll screw something else up. 

What are my options,   Can I just wire in a separate switch. 

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I went back to the drawing board this morning and started checking the switch and then voltages and found I didn't have voltage at the Dash Fuel sending fuse in the #2 Monaco box and then looking I found another fuse that provided power to the "Panel Lights" in the #1 Monaco box in the FRB. The 10 amp fuse looked OK but tested bad so I replaced and now I do have lights to the switches.

The problem is the Dimmer Switch gets really hot really fast. Here is a picture of it with the switch lights on for less then a minute. If you leave it on the switch itself gets to hot to handle. Needless to say it would only be a short while before either the dimmer failed or the fuse blew.

So what options to I have to be able to use these switch lights other then turning the dimmer off/on as needed for short burst of light???   Surely I'm not the only one with this problem? 

Hot Dimmer Switch.jpg

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Jim you have a short circuit somewhere. The rheostat is acting as a resistor in series is probably the reason the fuse does not blow immediately.  Does the fuse blow immediately when you rotate the switch bypassing the rheostat resistance winding? You can use the rheostat to locate the short. Turn the rheostat on low and check to see which lights are lighting. The lights between the rheostat and short will light however dimly. Any lights on the other side of the short circuit will not because the circuit has returned to ground at that point. Assuming that you do not have a low resistance ground causing the problem. Then it gets more complicated finding the problem.

Edited by Gary Cole
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8 minutes ago, Gary Cole said:

Jim you have a short circuit somewhere. The rheostat is acting as a resistor in series is probably the reason the fuse does not blow immediately.  Does the fuse blow immediately when you rotate the switch bypassing the rheostat resistance winding?

Nope fuse does not blow immediately, it didn't blow for the ~2 minutes total I had the dimmer on.  But the old dimmer switch failed where it had gotten hot.

If it is a short it could be anywhere, the way I read the schematic is that the power for the dimmer function goes to the #1 Monaco box 10 amp fuse and then to the panel lights.  This includes +20 switch lights all these combined are a pretty good load, not sure if it's 10 amps worth though!

What's the best way to find a short in a mess of wires from the drivers side console, dash, center console and passenger side consoles?  I guess the first place I'll check will be the drivers side console since I would assume this would be the first link in the chain.  

Does anyone have a wiring diagram as to how the switches are wired for the lights?   

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1 hour ago, Gary Cole said:

Jim you have a short circuit somewhere. The rheostat is acting as a resistor in series is probably the reason the fuse does not blow immediately.  Does the fuse blow immediately when you rotate the switch bypassing the rheostat resistance winding?

Nope fuse does not blow immediately, it didn't blow for the ~2 minutes total I had the dimmer on.  But the old dimmer switch failed where it had gotten hot.

If it is a short it could be anywhere, the way I read the schematic is that the power for the dimmer function goes to the #1 Monaco box 10 amp fuse and then to the panel lights.  This includes +20 switch lights all these combined are a pretty good load, not sure if it's 10 amps worth though!

What's the best way to find a short in a mess of wires from the drivers side console, dash, center console and passenger side consoles?  I guess the first place I'll check will be the drivers side console since I would assume this would be the first link in the chain.  

Does anyone have a wiring diagram as to how the switches are wired for the lights?   

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