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Headlight Problems & Switch Shaft Removal

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  • #16
    Headlight Problems & Switch Shaft Removal

    Thanks, Martin! From the sounds of the problem I figure it might be in that foot switch. Hopefully, he will find the problem there and be able to fix it. Thanks, to the Bird Nest, I HAVE added that video clip to the TRL on taking apart the headlight switch. I looked at their listing for the Bulletbird and they did not have that video for it, nor for the Squarebird. But we have the latter covered. I also see according to their website, that they have two versions of the Squarebird headlight switch available! An import reproduction (China?) for $59.95, which tells me the Flairbird version is also an import, and a limited stock NOS version for $119.95 for the Squarebirds.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

    https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #17
      Originally posted by billy whizz View Post
      ...There is no low beam and when I press the foot switch to activate high beam both lights on the passenger side go out.

      I have remade fresh and good earth connections on both sides and checked the condition of the reb/black wire which i believe powers these lights...

      Should I also suspect the foot switch as it's use is when the high beam goes wrong?
      Let's examine your headlight operation BEFORE buying parts... TRL Wiring diagrams #14 & 15 tell the story...
      One wire from your headlight switch (red/yellow) feeds the High/Low beam foot switch. If you get any headlights at all, the headlight switch IS ok.

      The Foot Switch determines which beams turn on. One wire feeds the switch (red/yellow, as mentioned) and two wires exit, one for high beam (green/black) and the other for low beam (red/black). Both sets of headlights are connected in parallel which means, if the left side low beam works, the right is simply paralleled but more importantly, all wiring back to the foot switch must be good. Both headlights are 'jumpered' together within the plugs and receptacles.
      The exact same holds true for the upper (or high) beam.

      Time to break out the test light or volt meter. Turn on your low beams. Connect one prod to ground. (I like to start at the 'thing' that isn't working and work my way back to the source.) Poke the other prod into the LH headlight wire (red/black). You should see 12-volts. If you do, try the same red/black wire on the RH headlight. If you get 12-volts, your ground is bad. If you don't get 12-volts, examine the plug by the LH headlight. Pull it apart and look for green corrosion or burn marks. If you don't find power at the plug, head toward the foot switch and test the wire there.

      Next, ring out the high beam wire (green/black). It's in the same plug. Do not get sidetracked and do one circuit at a time. Let's hear what you found. - Dave
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca

      From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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      • #18
        Thanks for your prompt help Dave and Ray. The symptoms are this:
        1. I get no low beam at all when using the headlight switch in the first pull position.

        2. On second pull position I get the outer lights on.

        3. When i press the foot switch I get high beam on the outer headlight and inner headlight comes on, but only on the drivers side. Both lights are off on the passenger side.

        I looked at it with the MOT inspector who failed the car and he thought it was a bad earth on the passenger side. However, all the earths on that side have been cleaned and are sound. I have even tried double earthing it by taking another wire form the original front panel earth and making another ground on clean steel on the inner wheel arch.

        I did the same on the drivers side. My lights were earthed to a bolt on the regulator which I cleaned up, then I took another earth to clean steel on the inner wheel arch on that side of the car.

        I took the foot switch off yesterday, cleaned it up and cleaned up all the connector lugs. The switch LOOKED fine from the outside. the wiring plug was a little bit split, but the connectors were all cleaned up.

        I am OK on mechanicals and bodywork, but electrics has always been a mystery to me...like alchemy, only strange mystics seem to understand it properly!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by billy whizz View Post
          Thanks for your prompt help Dave and Ray. The symptoms are this:
          1. I get no low beam at all when using the headlight switch in the first pull position.
          That's the way it's supposed to work. The first position only turns on the parking lights.

          Originally posted by billy whizz View Post
          2. On second pull position I get the outer lights on.
          That is also correct. It appears that your headlight switch is good.

          Originally posted by billy whizz View Post
          I took the foot switch off yesterday, cleaned it up and cleaned up all the connector lugs. The switch LOOKED fine from the outside. the wiring plug was a little bit split, but the connectors were all cleaned up.
          To test whether your dimmer switch is good remove the plug from it. There are three wires; Red/Black, Green/Black and Red/Yellow. Put a jumper wire in the plug from the Red/Yellow to the
          Red/Black. Pull the headlight switch all the way out. Your outer lights should go on. Put the jumper wire from the Red/Yellow to the Green/Black. All four lights should be on. If everything now works your dimmer switch is bad.
          Since you say that only one side is not working then it appears that it is ok. It appears that the problem is with the high beam circuit on the passenger side (Green/Black). Disconnect the wire connector on that side and clean the connector.

          John
          Last edited by jopizz; July 5th, 2017, 10:34 AM.
          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

          Thunderbird Registry #36223
          jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

          https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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          • #20
            My dome light and gauge lights do not illuminate but headlights and parking lights do so Im assuming this is a malfunction (corrosion?) of the headlight switch assembly.
            I understand that there is a release button on the switch to release the shaft but how do I get to this release button?
            Do I disassemble the instrument panel?
            Remove the fuel & temp gauge assembly?
            Please help!

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            • #21
              You just have to reach underneath the switch and push it in. You don't have to remove anything.

              John
              66 headlight switch.jpg
              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

              Thunderbird Registry #36223
              jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

              https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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              • #22
                So I contort my hand and feel UNDER the switch assembly, releasing the shaft and then unscrew the bezel to free the entire unit?
                are the wires long enough to permit this?
                Thanks!
                (This website is a GREAT resource! Appreciate all the info I have gathered here!)

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                • #23
                  The wires are connected with a large plug. After you free the switch and pull it out from behind the dash it will hang down and you can pull the wire plug off. Make sure you disconnect the battery for safety.

                  John
                  John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                  Thunderbird Registry #36223
                  jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

                  https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                  • #24
                    The switch you posted looks different from what I have on my '60...
                    which is the same as posted previously in the tech guide...

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                    • #25
                      Why did you post in the 1964-66 Forum if you have a '60? I can only go by what forum you post in. If you have a '60 you should be posting your question in the Squarebirds forum and not the Flairbirds forum.

                      John
                      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                      Thunderbird Registry #36223
                      jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

                      https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                      • #26
                        my bad...I claim "newbie" status..

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                        • #27
                          On your '60 switch the button is in the middle of all the wires and not on the bottom. It still can be done without removing anything although it's a little more difficult.

                          John
                          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                          Thunderbird Registry #36223
                          jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

                          https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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