Jeep CJ Under Dash Smoke and Burning Smell - JeepForum.com

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-03-2012, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
ball0616
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Jeep CJ Under Dash Smoke and Burning Smell

Hello,

My 81 CJ has a burning smell and smoke coming from under the dash with the headlights on. I have read a few posts on here but need some clarification or assistance (or just some more beer). I understand that the jeeps came with faulty wiring but I have checked all the wiring and it seems to be okay. Could this short be coming from the headlight switch? If so, is there a way to check. Dont really want to spend the money on a painless system if its just the switch. Also, dont want to do is see this thing burn to the ground when I just got it a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks,

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post #2 of 8 Old 02-03-2012, 09:49 PM
jksull
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Mine smoked the head light switch.
It was the dimmer part that went to china
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-03-2012, 10:06 PM
only in a jeep cj
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No, they didn't come with faulty wiring, its that with age, the wires and the contacts get a thin layer of corrosion on them. The contact point at a connection is decreased and the amperage going through the smaller connection builds resistance which turns into heat.
Pull the plug on the light switch and view both side of the larger red wire going into it. Check the black plastic around that wire to see if its melted or burnt. If not, pull the switch and inspect the dimmer ring and contacts. If nothing else, take some sandpaper and scuff the contacts of the switch and use some grease to protect them from moisture.



Oh, and carry a fire extinguisher if you don't have one.

Ed
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-04-2012, 03:38 AM
John Strenk
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Probably the switch,
I've pulled a couple apart were the power lead into the switch has overheated so bad and melted the plug. Like only-in-a-Jeep says, old age and corrosion leads to poor contacts and over heating.

This would be a good time to convert to relays for the headlights and take the load off the switch.


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post #5 of 8 Old 02-04-2012, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Strenk
Probably the switch,
This would be a good time to convert to relays for the headlights and take the load off the switch.
That's the best advice anyone can give you.
With the relays in place, your are only energizing the coils for the relays and taking the load off the switch. The relays will allow you to upgrade your headlights to Halogen type or H4's because now the voltage will come directly from the battery and not through the headlight switch.

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post #6 of 8 Old 02-04-2012, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
ball0616
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Thanks for the responses. I pulled and inspected the switch today and that seems to be the problem. There were some burnt spots on the dimmer ring (white rotary part) of the switch and it had the smell. Based on your advice, I am going to convert to relays as well. Is there a good link on here to show me how to do this?
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-04-2012, 09:44 AM
WindKnot
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I can't speak for an '84, but in 1977 the headlight switdh had a 25 amp circuit breaker in it. That's still a lot of amps tp ull through a switch IMO, but it's not as delicate as some would think. the relays are still a good idea though.

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post #8 of 8 Old 02-04-2012, 11:34 AM
keith460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ball0616 View Post
Based on your advice, I am going to convert to relays as well. Is there a good link on here to show me how to do this?
Here's a good start for reading about the relays: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/he...9/#post6502039




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