Electrical Headlights Turn On When I Press the Brakes - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-22-2020, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
brianscoob
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Electrical Headlights Turn On When I Press the Brakes

Tomorrow is hopefully the day I can get this electrical stuff on my 76 CJ7 fixed. 3-PO's ago installed a Painless Wiring Kit and there really isn't a whole lot of spliced wires going everywhere and are a couple things I need to get sorted out.

-Headlights come on when I press the break pedal
-None of the blinkers are working
-Both blinkers on the speedo light up when I press the brakes

I want to get this road worthy before the summer and I need these to work properly. I have replaced the blinker and hazard plug hoping that would be an easy fix (got that info from reading a bunch of threads). I think I will start with the break switch and start checking where the grounds are located. I have all the tools ready to go I just need my back to hang in there. I do have all MSD distributor and MSD TB AMC 401 and it all works fine. Does anyone else have any other suggestions on where to go? Everything works on the Jeep except the gas tank leaks and I have a 21 gallon tank showing up next week.

I'd appreciate any other things to check out. Thank You!

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post #2 of 12 Old 05-22-2020, 10:19 PM
Jon In Tucson
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Some times when there is a bad ground at the bulb it will feed back through the dash indicators. Make sure the stop light grounds are good. Good luck.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-23-2020, 01:42 PM
ECJ-7
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I agree with a ground issue. run a temporary ground from the tail light housings to the battery and see if that fixes it.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-23-2020, 07:07 PM
John Strenk
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Also ground the grill with a wire to the battery (-)


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post #5 of 12 Old 05-24-2020, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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I Messed around with a circuit test light and I slowly frustrated myself. Electrical isn't my thing but I'm learning at a slow rate. I will try grounding the rear tailight and grill, I was also thinking about grounding the grill. I'll checkin tomorrow. Thank you guys!
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-25-2020, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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I took your advice and grounded the Front Grill (right on top of radiator bracket.) and I ran a wire to the back lights and still my Headlights are coming on when I apply the brakes. Interesting is when I preform this without the engine running there is a noticeable sound behind the speedo like a switch is being made. The dash has to be ground correctly otherwise nothing on my dash would work. I do know the previous owner had been messing around with the wiper motor (someone replaced it for him) and he was surprised when he turned the switch and they didn't work. Other wise I don't know what to do next. Any more suggestions, as I could really use them?
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-25-2020, 09:25 PM
pedal2themetai
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HI sounds like you have the brakes and the tail light crossed when you did those switches maybe..
GOOD LUCK
TIM
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-26-2020, 08:17 AM
John Strenk
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I think there is more than one problem here.

1. Do the emergency flashers work? If not then the flasher may be bad you don't know if the emergency switch is pushed in.
....If the emergency switch is pushed in then the turn signal lights on the speedometer will come on.
....Check your emergency switch and see if it's pushed in.
.... If they do work, do they turn the headlights on also?

That by it's self would not turn the headlights on.

2. Short in the wiring harness.
....Normally the headlights are on a totally separate circuit and normally a problem with turn signal or parking lights would not effect the headlights.
....The only common connection is the ground.
....So if it's a short, then turning the headlights on would also turn on the brake lights.
....The wrong bulb installed in the tail light, that would cause a short acting like the emergency flasher in pushed in. But only on the turn signals

3. Bad ground.
.... If there is a bad ground on the tail light then it should only effect the turn signal lights.
.... With the headlight switch pushed in (OFF) there is no connection to anything on one side of the circuit so the headlights should not turn on.
....The current through the headlights would be limited by the other lights and would not come on very brightly if at all.

4. Miss wired.
.... There are so many opportunities to screw up I don't know where to begin.
.... I would start at the headlight switch. Make sure the right one is installed.
.... 1979 and earlier take a different switch than 1979-1/2 and later. This messes with the headlight and parking light circuit
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....The 76 should have the jumper on the switch.
....When the headlight switch is in the PARK position, do the headlights come on?

Summed up. It would take 2 or 3 things messed up at the same time to describe what you are seeing.
  1. Bad Emergency flasher
  2. Emergency flasher switch pushed in (ON)
  3. Wrong/miss-wired headlight switch installed.

A shorter possibility.
  • Wrong/miss-wired headlight switch installed.
  • Short in the tail light such as wrong bulb installed or terminals in tail light shorted

Don't laugh, I've heard too often a single contact bulb installed were there should be a dual contact bulb.

Just thought of something else.
See if that emergency flasher is making the buzzing noise.

I'm afraid you are going to have to start at the headlight switch and check backwards.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-26-2020, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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John StrenK- I never know what to say to someone when they go out their way to help out like this but for what ever the reason I really appreciate this advice. I did forget to add a piece of information that might be vital to getting this fixed. When I got the Jeep last August I couldn't drive it as I'm having a lot of problems with my knee and the Jeep had a T-18 3 speed with 33" tires and 4.56 gears. So when I did drive it 3 or 4 times I never noticed the brake lights coming on when the brake was pushed. The Jeep had everything I wanted, except it being a manual transmission, I found a expert on Jeeps about 400 miles and I had a 700R4 transmission put in. It was a game changer for the Jeep. Still recovering from multiple knee surgeries I wasn't able to drive it until the last couple of months, that's when I noticed the headlight issue. I'm not sure if there is a whole lot to do with the wiring when a mechanical transmission is installed, I wouldn't think much. No matter were I'm at as far as PDRD123 the Jeep will start and it will also still have the headlight issue. Could you also remind me where the emergency flasher switch is? I don't recall anything being labeled flashers on the dash. I have a lot of things to check and I'll start next weekend. Thank you so much John!
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-26-2020, 09:12 PM
pedal2themetai
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Hi I'm not sure where the hazard switch is for sure but it might be on the steering column Just a little tab mark Hazard I think.. anyway
For the start in gear is a safety hazard .. To fix you need to unhook the wire on the S terminal on the starter solenoid and run it to a connection under the shifter boot (there should be a switch in there) then from that switch back to the solenoid.. That switch well only let it start if its in Park or N. But that has nothing to do the your light problem sorry.
Good Luck and listen to John
tim
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post #11 of 12 Old Yesterday, 04:50 AM
John Strenk
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The hazard button is forward and below the ignition lock on the steering column.

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Try pushing it in and then pull it out to be sure it's off.


Did they replace the steering column with an automatic column with a PRNDL indicator or just put in a floor shift for the automatic.

Normally, I would not think that it is possible to screw something up just switching the trannys.

Do the backup lights work?
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post #12 of 12 Old Yesterday, 07:59 AM
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John mentioned it, but I too have seen the single element bulb used in the tail lights. If they are put is just "right", it will cause lights and signals to come on when you press the brake and the other normal light functions not to work.
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