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headlights..intermittent power???

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so my headlights will occasionally turn off and on. i was going to just install a toggle switch and delete the dimmer but there are 4-5 wires coming out of the harness(im sure they have to do with dash lights etc.) . how can i wire them all to come on or off with a simple toggle?
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
im looking for easy. this is mostly an off road vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
heres what im working with. the orange black wires were just hanging not connected to anything. are these wires needed? will a new dimmer resolve my problem? seems like that may be the "easy" thing to do??

 

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The hi/low switch on the floor is my guess. Sometimes it is the plug and not the switch. Next time you have your lights on, wiggle the plug and see if they flicker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
can anyone tell me what the two wires are that were just hanging there? maybe this is my issue?
why would the dimmer switch be of concern? is it known to cause this symtem or are we just throwing parts at it?
 

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Sounds to me like you have a bad ground or a bad headlight switch. Happened in my '66 F100. the switch went bad, overheated, and shut down the lights. Once it cooled suficiently, they would come back on. Replaced my headlight switch and was good to go. Next time it does it, feel the switch, wiring, etc. BUT BE CAREFUL BECAUSE IT WILL BE VERY HOT... you WILL burn yourself if you just reach up and grab! Hope that is your problem...
 

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can anyone tell me what the two wires are that were just hanging there? maybe this is my issue?
why would the dimmer switch be of concern? is it known to cause this symtem or are we just throwing parts at it?
Almost everytime there is a problem like yours, it is the floor switch. I had the same problem but on mine it was the plug to the floor switch.

I can't help on the extra wires. They look like the wires to the dash lights

Don't but any parts till it's been diagnoised. Try to wiggle the plug and step on the floor switch and see if the lights do crazy things.(Like flicker or turn off)
 

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can anyone tell me what the two wires are that were just hanging there? maybe this is my issue?
why would the dimmer switch be of concern? is it known to cause this symtem or are we just throwing parts at it?
Not suggesting throwing parts at it, just giving you first hand knowledge from experience.

I have a 65 mustang that I have probably put 3 floor mounted dimmer switches on, and at least 4 or 5 on older Mack trucks with the floor mounted dimmer.

Every time, the symptom was the same. The headlights would go out and come back on intermittently. Most of the time it was from water, and/or mud and dirt making the switch go bad.
 

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can anyone tell me what the two wires are that were just hanging there? maybe this is my issue?
The orange is a power feed for the dome light and the black is the ground for the dome light. Not being used will not effect your concern.

As stated, wiggle the connector and switch on the floor to determine if it is that or the actual headlight switch on the dash. Also, checking and cleaning grounds on a CJ is never a bad thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The orange is a power feed for the dome light and the black is the ground for the dome light. Not being used will not effect your concern.

As stated, wiggle the connector and switch on the floor to determine if it is that or the actual headlight switch on the dash. Also, checking and cleaning grounds on a CJ is never a bad thing.
thanks for the insight on the unused wires!
my engine bay has dedicated grounds for everything follwing procedure found on this site.
i have gone through all of the grounds (i can see) and greased them with dilectric grease since i do go off road quite a bit and often encounter DEEP water.
 

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I checked my dimmer and the wiring behind the light switch. Everything seems ok. I checked the wiring behind the headlight assemblies and found a problem when I had my lights on. Not sure is that is the issue as it seemed to affect only one headlight, while both were turning off intermittently on the road. I am replacing both sides to see how that works.
 

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One more point. The power comes in from the driver's side where the light switch is. If the driver side headlight shorts, it turns off both headlights. So, by replacing the connector to the bulb, I was able to solve the intermittent power issue to the headlights.
 

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Sounds like you may have found the intermittent short that was causing it. As wired, one wire feeds both headlights.

The momentary circuit breaker is a safety feature, no fuses in the headlights. Any flashing at the headlight indicates a short.

They work better with relays but you also should be putting in momentary circuit breakers on those new power circuits. Some put fuses in, but then you should have 2 relays so your 5c fuse is not going to cause a crash.
 

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Sounds like you may have found the intermittent short that was causing it. As wired, one wire feeds both headlights.

The momentary circuit breaker is a safety feature, no fuses in the headlights. Any flashing at the headlight indicates a short.

They work better with relays but you also should be putting in momentary circuit breakers on those new power circuits. Some put fuses in, but then you should have 2 relays so your 5c fuse is not going to cause a crash.
Nope, didn't find the short, or more specifically, I found one short. It is still going off intermittently, but not as often.
1. Can you recommend a relay to put in and where to put it?
2. Should I replace the light switch? Could that be the issue?

Maybe the short at the headlight caused a failure somewhere else?
 
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