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  #11  
Old 08-17-2010, 11:49 AM
zx28 zx28 is offline
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well i just typed a book in the quick reply thing a few minutes ago and i guess it logged me out and so im going to try to remember what i wrote

I put in the new headlight switch and i now have dash lights but they begin to flicker on and off after a few seconds. the headlights stay on but the flicker too.

O yes sir Dave i was talking about the dimmer in the floor, sorry i wasn t more clear about that.

I still have no taillights when the other lights are on. I've been going over the diagrams and it looks like the tails run through the flasher motor. If something is wrong with my flashers can that keep the tails from coming on?
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  #12  
Old 08-17-2010, 01:38 PM
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Just about all of your wires have plugs and receptacles (even the headlight & ignition switches). That makes crossing wires nearly impossible. There are a few switches that have individual push-on connectors, like the Emergency Flasher Switch. Check the wire colors to be sure they are on the correct stabs.

Emergency Flashers should only control your stop/turn signals, not your parking lights. Is that what is clicking?

Two of your descriptions bother me. Dash lights and headlights should not flicker. You also indicated an audible, as the flicker was happening. That could be a self-resetting circuit breaker. Feel the breakers on your fuse box. If you find one that clicks, pull it out and look at the amperage written on it. If you can find another next to it with the same amp rating, swap them. If they both do the same thing, that indicates a short, so you need to troubleshoot. Warm or hot wires also indicate a short.

Don't buy any more parts until you prove a component is bad.

Continue using the test light with the electrical diagram. At some point in the wiring, the flicker will stop on one side of a component. I print out the schematic, and use colored pencils to trace wires. Then I cross them out as they prove them to be ok.

Use all your senses when troubleshooting: Look at the test light, feel and listen for the clicking noise, or warm wires. Plan your attack using the diagram and STICK TO YOUR PLAN. Don't get sidetracked until you prove a circuit all the way through. If you get sidetracked, you will be chasing all over. Start with something that is NOT working, and trace the wires from the light bulb to the power source. When you find that fault, you may also find the cause for other things that aren't working properly. Dont' be afraid to unplug receptacles; I have found corroded and shorted plugs.

A good test light indication is the truth. You may need to nick the insulation on a wire to test it. That's what they make electrical tape for.

If you get stuck, call me (248) 544-8834
- Dave Dare
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  #13  
Old 08-17-2010, 04:36 PM
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The clicking noise im hearing and feeling is coming from the headlight switch itself. I read on the diagrams that there is an 18 amp breaker in the headlight switch itself; does that mean there is a short in one of the wires coming into the switch?

I ve been kinda a.d.d i guess, brainstorming to see where to start. im about to head to head to work and when i get off im going to prepare for battle and start tracing wires.
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  #14  
Old 08-17-2010, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx28 View Post
...I read on the diagrams that there is an 18 amp breaker in the headlight switch itself; does that mean there is a short in one of the wires coming into the switch?...
It means the short is AFTER (downstream of) the switch.

I'm going to jump ahead of myself and ask you to take ALL your parking light bulbs out. Shoot for the Parking/Tail Light circuit (because it doesn't work). Then test the headlight switch. Sockets usually go bad before connectors. If you have 'extra' wiring from a trailer hookup, disconnect it. Headlight sw still clicking? Continue.

Disconnect the first plug after the headlight switch, and if it doesn't click, that's a good sign. Unplug the next one in the tail light circuit, and restore the first plug. Use this process of ellimination all the way to the end. That's the easiest way to find this problem.

If the switch starts clicking again, back up to the last plug. As you go, mark good plugs/receptacles in the diagram. You can number them on the print, while using masking tape and a marker on the plug/receptacle. - Dave
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  #15  
Old 08-17-2010, 11:18 PM
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I spoke with Eric tonight. He has nearly all of his plugs disconnected (headlights, tail lights, stop lights) and the headlight switch still flickers internally.

He's going to invest in a multimeter so he can chase grounds. I have a feeling one of his wires is pinched in a body panel or maybe a relay is grounded. We'll soon see.
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  #16  
Old 08-19-2010, 02:22 AM
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Well as dave posted we have spoken and spoken some more trying to track this little gremlin down. I have determined using the multimeter, and by using a hot wire, that two wires are giving me a ground in the headlight plug itself. One of them is a smaller maybe 16 ga black or very dark gray wire along the side of the plug, this wire of course i can t find on the schematics. The other wire giving the ground is the small blue and red... i think its got a red stripe.... anyhow its baby blue with a stripe and its the wire that powers the majority if not all of the dash lights. It will give me like .6 ohms on the meter, but it doesnt spark in the presence of a hot "jumper" wire into it; however the black wire makes a significant spark. So since dave informed me that there is not supposed to be a ground in the switch, i decided to try to trace the little black wire. It runs into another harness that heads up the dash to about where the speedo is and then i can t see it without taking out the gauges. If someone had a manual and could somehow let me know where it goes it would definately speed up the process. I am trying to order a manual as quick as my mother or girlfriend will pay with pay pal on ebay since i dont have an account.

Thanks again guys for you time...especially you dave for the step by step... i really appreciate it. Hopefully we ll get this straightened out pretty soon.

*p.s Ive been searching all over the internet looking for similar problems and one guy had toasted his ammeter and when he un hooked it nothing worked... my ammeter doesn t work i dont think; I never see it move the slightest bit. Any chance that could be screwing with it?

Last edited by zx28 : 08-19-2010 at 02:43 AM. Reason: random thought
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  #17  
Old 08-19-2010, 12:18 PM
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Red face progress?

Well to confirm Dave and mines suspicion the problem is with the black/dark gray wire...it looks more gray than black. I just rigged up a bunch of wires with female connectors to the light switch and didn t connnect the switch to the black wire and tada no flickering....however i still have no tails when headlights are on im assuming the the black wire has something to do with the tails. I dont want to have to take the dash apart to just to find out where that wire goes so i have ordered, as of last night, a shop manual in hopes it will have a more detailed schematic; NOT THAT THE ONES POSTED AREN'T GOOD, they are a tremendous help, but i think Dave would agree they dont show all the wires in a few places.
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  #18  
Old 08-19-2010, 02:36 PM
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Good work, Eric! There was no doubt in my mind you would find it.

The diagrams we have were donated by one of our '66 Thunderbird owners. Although there are many pages with lots of great info, they aren't complete. Murphy's Law says that the page Eric needs isn't in there. Sure enough...

So now, without a road map, Eric will do REAL troubleshooting, by tracing wires through plugs. He will find it. - Dave
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  #19  
Old 08-19-2010, 02:57 PM
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Talking Victory!!

Two words ladies and gentlemen. DAVE DARE= the man.Without his help and patience it would have taken me forever. Well Dave told me from the very beginning; he said "you'll find the problem and then be like, well i'll be dang" thats pretty much what happened. If you have been following this thread Dave and i narrowed the problems down to a short in the head light switch using a multimeter and getting 0 ohms. I then traced the wire using the schematics that Dave e mailed me for a 65 t bird. I would test either side of the plug for the short using the meter and would continue until i got to the back of the car. there the wire meets a splice and turns into four or five wires they then head to the bigger plugs on each side of the tails; to the two prong plug that goes to the center tails; and also to the license plate illumination bulb. This little bulb turned out to be my little gremlin i was searching for! Pretty crazy. so for the time being i cut the wire so i can make sure i have no other problems and when i recieve a new light i will rewire it. So i now have all exterior lights working properly with no flickering thanks to Mr Dave aka simplyconnected and the great guys here a squarebirds!

Thanks so much! -Eric
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  #20  
Old 08-19-2010, 07:02 PM
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Fellow Squarebirders, zx28 was born in 1989, which makes him 21. HE is a 'Future Restorer', talking to us right now.

Eric came to squarebirds.org looking for information, but HE fixed his problem (not me). It tickles me that zx28 methodically chased the problem using sound troubleshooting techniques. So, look for another 1966 Thunderbird on the road soon in Tennessee, thanks to Eric.

Some day, I would love to meet you (and your car), Eric. Good Job! Iím glad this repair didnít cost you much money. Even though you bought a Shop Manual, you will refer to it many times in the future. After awhile, you will regard it as an inexpensive (and necessary) investment.

I am impressed by your perseverance and I sense, restoring cars, is in your blood. Please continue learning and restoring cars. - Dave
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