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Unread 04-17-2012, 07:38 PM   #1
CBinDC
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Problem with headlight

Well my driver side headlight was putting out less power (it was very dim) than the passenger side. I thought it was time to change the original headlights (23 years old). So I got some rampage headlights with the H4 halogen bulbs. It looks real sharp.

After I installed them and turned them on, I saw that one would not turn on. I swapped the headlights and the same lamp wouldn't come on. That's when I realized that I must have touched the frickin bulb. I was pissed. Another trip to the auto store...

So I bought another halogen bulb, same one (9003 55/60 12V), but different brand. The Rampage headlights came with Philips and all NAPA had was Wagner.

So I hooked them up, reconnected the battery, and turned on the headlights. Looked great... equally bright. But then I realized I forgot to put on the rubber/ weather seal (if that's what you call it), that came with the kit, back on the rear on the housing (where the electrical connector hooks up.

So I did that, reconnected the battery, and now when I turn the headlights on, the passenger side turns on right away (bright as hell) and the driver side one comes on slowly and not that bright.

The drivers side is the Wagner bulb and the passenger side is the Phillips bulb, the one that I got with the Rampage kit.

So my question is, what's going on? Initially, when i turned on the headlights both lights were equally bright. I put the rubber seal on and now both lights are not equally bright. And the drivers side light slowly turns on. Is it because the brands are different or is there something else that is wrong? Thanks.

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Unread 04-17-2012, 08:49 PM   #2
CB10101
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Do you have a good clean ground? Sounds like the housing may have been providing the ground and the rubber seal isolated it leaving the poor ground through the connector
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Unread 04-17-2012, 09:18 PM   #3
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Should I take off the rubber seal?
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Unread 04-17-2012, 10:13 PM   #4
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Take off the seal and see if it works well again.
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Unread 04-17-2012, 11:53 PM   #5
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Your headlights have a substandard ground in the first place. Look at the small wire that grounds it to the back side of the grille. These grounds need to be removed and relocated. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to run a relay to your new headlights because your switch was designed to barely handle the juice from the stock dim lights let alone the lighthouses you've installed recently.

Wire smarter! You don't want to know what an electrical fire can do to a vehicle. I've seen one this week and it wasn't pretty.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 01:09 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. That seems to have done the trick.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 01:19 PM   #7
CBinDC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anticanman
Your headlights have a substandard ground in the first place. Look at the small wire that grounds it to the back side of the grille. These grounds need to be removed and relocated. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to run a relay to your new headlights because your switch was designed to barely handle the juice from the stock dim lights let alone the lighthouses you've installed recently.

Wire smarter! You don't want to know what an electrical fire can do to a vehicle. I've seen one this week and it wasn't pretty.
Where do I relocate the new connection? I don't know much about electrical matters. Therefore, I know nothing about relays. What kind of advice can you give me? Where do I hook it up? Do I need only one relay? And type of relay should I get? Thanks.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 01:42 PM   #8
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Also take a look at the plastic plug that goes onto the bulb. The spades inside there become corroded and filled with crud, weakening the connection. I replaced my plugs and they are mint now.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 04:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBinDC View Post
Where do I relocate the new connection? I don't know much about electrical matters. Therefore, I know nothing about relays. What kind of advice can you give me? Where do I hook it up? Do I need only one relay? And type of relay should I get? Thanks.
There's a great writeup by Fernando. Lemme find it.


Edit: I think this thread explains a lot. If not please excuse me, I've been working an all nighter since Monday.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/m...ation-1093148/

Feel free to ask any questions. Jsawduste has some great tips on wiring upgrades and beefing up your grounds for an overall healthy electrical system in the jeep. You don't want this:
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Unread 04-18-2012, 06:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBinDC View Post
Where do I relocate the new connection? I don't know much about electrical matters. Therefore, I know nothing about relays. What kind of advice can you give me? Where do I hook it up? Do I need only one relay? And type of relay should I get? Thanks.
Ideally, the best ground will be a bigger gauge wire than the power, and will be located on a bare piece of metal that has a direct and equally thick path to the negative terminal of the battery. As such, the frame, or engine block would be ideal locations.

Fuse EVERYTHING! I cannot stress that. I would rerun the wires like Anticanman said, with a relay. And put a fuse between the battery and the relay.

I will help you with the size of the fuse if necessary.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 06:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anticanman View Post
There's a great writeup by Fernando. Lemme find it.


Edit: I think this thread explains a lot. If not please excuse me, I've been working an all nighter since Monday.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/m...ation-1093148/

I skimmed (I admit it! I didn't read it all!) and I noticed he used a smaller gauge ground. As I said in my previous point, ideally, you want a bigger wire than your positive.

You'll thank me later. Same size or bigger. While you can carry more charge over a shorter piece of wire, it's a much better "flow" for your electrical system if you use same size or bigger wire.

My $.02

But I'm just an Electrical Engineering student. :x
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Unread 04-18-2012, 06:13 PM   #12
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Actually, if you want to have reliable grounds, make yourself a ground block under the hood. Hook a cable to the battery and connect it to a piece of clean bare steel with several threaded holes in it for bolts to tie down the connectors. Most folks want lots of power going to an accessory but you must remember that electricity travels in a circuit and restricting ground cable gauge is the same as having smaller gauge power wire.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 06:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anticanman View Post
Actually, if you want to have reliable grounds, make yourself a ground block under the hood. Hook a cable to the battery and connect it to a piece of clean bare steel with several threaded holes in it for bolts to tie down the connectors. Most folks want lots of power going to an accessory but you must remember that electricity travels in a circuit and restricting ground cable gauge is the same as having smaller gauge power wire.
Exactly!

Power circuits aren't difficult. But they are potentially dangerous.
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Unread 06-03-2012, 01:41 PM   #14
CBinDC
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Been out of town

I'm resurrecting this thread because I haven't had a chance to do anything about it. I've also been out of town for a while. I think this is an important thread for other people in my situation with limited knowledge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anticanman View Post
There's a great writeup by Fernando. Lemme find it.


Edit: I think this thread explains a lot. If not please excuse me, I've been working an all nighter since Monday.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/m...ation-1093148/

Feel free to ask any questions. Jsawduste has some great tips on wiring upgrades and beefing up your grounds for an overall healthy electrical system in the jeep.
I really want to do this upgrade. Obviously, my wiring is old and my headlights have exposed a problem. Unfortunately, I hate to say it (because you are trying to be helpful) but that write up was somewhat useless to me because there was only a couple pics and no real specifics. At least, it didn't answer any of my questions. It would have been more helpful if Fernando listed materials needed to do the install. For a guy that has no electrical experience this is a must. Would you happen to know what materials I need? Like, exactly what I need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by idskot View Post
Ideally, the best ground will be a bigger gauge wire than the power, and will be located on a bare piece of metal that has a direct and equally thick path to the negative terminal of the battery. As such, the frame, or engine block would be ideal locations.

Fuse EVERYTHING! I cannot stress that. I would rerun the wires like Anticanman said, with a relay. And put a fuse between the battery and the relay.

I will help you with the size of the fuse if necessary.
Do you know what gauge the original wire is? What fuse do I use? And relay? Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anticanman View Post
Actually, if you want to have reliable grounds, make yourself a ground block under the hood. Hook a cable to the battery and connect it to a piece of clean bare steel with several threaded holes in it for bolts to tie down the connectors. Most folks want lots of power going to an accessory but you must remember that electricity travels in a circuit and restricting ground cable gauge is the same as having smaller gauge power wire.
What does a ground block look like? And where under the hood should I place it? When you say "Hook a cable to the battery and connect it to a piece of clean bare steel...", you mean the ground block? Thanks.

Thanks everyone! Sorry I haven't finished this but at least I can try to complete this and close the thread, especially for those needing advice and info on this issue.
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Unread 06-03-2012, 05:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBinDC View Post
I'm resurrecting this thread because I haven't had a chance to do anything about it. I've also been out of town for a while. I think this is an important thread for other people in my situation with limited knowledge.



I really want to do this upgrade. Obviously, my wiring is old and my headlights have exposed a problem. Unfortunately, I hate to say it (because you are trying to be helpful) but that write up was somewhat useless to me because there was only a couple pics and no real specifics. At least, it didn't answer any of my questions. It would have been more helpful if Fernando listed materials needed to do the install. For a guy that has no electrical experience this is a must. Would you happen to know what materials I need? Like, exactly what I need?

You need a relay and lengths of wire. And obviously knowledge of how a relay works.

Do you know what gauge the original wire is? What fuse do I use? And relay? Thanks.



What does a ground block look like? And where under the hood should I place it? When you say "Hook a cable to the battery and connect it to a piece of clean bare steel...", you mean the ground block? Thanks

That's pretty much a ground block. A negative cable hooked to a bolt that other wires are hooked to to avoid overcrowding the connectors at the battery
.
Thanks everyone! Sorry I haven't finished this but at least I can try to complete this and close the thread, especially for those needing advice and info on this issue.
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