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Unread 05-24-2011, 07:06 PM   #1
sheltc
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: bybee, tn
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lights and wiring HELP!

Just bought my 79 cj5. It is in reasonably good condition, but I was driving it last night and the lights were cutting off and on! A guy I work with said that the floor dimmer switch was bad for going out and causing this. Any truth to that? I hate tracing wiring!

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Unread 05-24-2011, 07:10 PM   #2
benullman
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1981 CJ7 
 
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Location: mechanicsville, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheltc View Post
Just bought my 79 cj5. It is in reasonably good condition, but I was driving it last night and the lights were cutting off and on! A guy I work with said that the floor dimmer switch was bad for going out and causing this. Any truth to that? I hate tracing wiring!
I would replace it. For $6-7 it usually wears out with all that voltage passing through it

Ben
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Unread 05-24-2011, 08:48 PM   #3
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benullman View Post
I would replace it. For $6-7 it usually wears out with all that voltage passing through it

Ben
Right Idea, Wrong Reason.

Somewhere between 12 and 14 volts are all that passes through a dimmer switch,
What kills them is the AMPERAGE they have to deal with when the connections are made and broken internally.
The AMPERAGE is what kills the contacts.

You were VERY close!
Most people think they die because people yank or stomp on them too hard!

The last one I changed must have had an ounce or more of mud in it when I took it apart!
No wonder they only last about a year for me...

---------------

The dimmer switch usually goes out because it's on the floor board and gets a TON of abuse from dirt, moisture, ect.

The switches in the GM columns are too small to do the job correctly, too small of contacts for the current they have to deal with,
And the contacts are made from the wrong stuff to live...
Along with all the dirt, dust, moisture, mouse poop, ect that gets into them.

Consider putting your head lights on Relays so a lot of current doesn't have to go through those already overworked switches?
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Unread 05-24-2011, 11:06 PM   #4
lucdog
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Don't cheap out on the dimmer switch. Get a good one. I have used the BWD with good results. While your at it, run a ground from the battery to the lights.

Bill
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Unread 06-06-2011, 09:59 AM   #5
sheltc
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Thanks for the advice. I figured it out. It was the actual headlight switch. Now does anyone know what a good website to order parts from would be
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Unread 06-06-2011, 10:21 AM   #6
benullman
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1981 CJ7 
 
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Location: mechanicsville, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
Right Idea, Wrong Reason.

Somewhere between 12 and 14 volts are all that passes through a dimmer switch,
What kills them is the AMPERAGE they have to deal with when the connections are made and broken internally.
The AMPERAGE is what kills the contacts.

You were VERY close!
Most people think they die because people yank or stomp on them too hard!

The last one I changed must have had an ounce or more of mud in it when I took it apart!
No wonder they only last about a year for me...

---------------

The dimmer switch usually goes out because it's on the floor board and gets a TON of abuse from dirt, moisture, ect.

The switches in the GM columns are too small to do the job correctly, too small of contacts for the current they have to deal with,
And the contacts are made from the wrong stuff to live...
Along with all the dirt, dust, moisture, mouse poop, ect that gets into them.

Consider putting your head lights on Relays so a lot of current doesn't have to go through those already overworked switches?
paraphrasing gets me in trouble

I knew it was amperage I just wanted to get that in before I left.

I dont know why they made them the way they did. they could have easily hooked them up to a relay

Ben
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