Jump to content

headlight switch hell


Madkaw

Recommended Posts

1983 4wd with tilt wheel. I am so over this headlight switch. New switches are NLA for tilt wheel trucks this year. I actually took the guts out of a non tilt wheel and installed in my housing to try and rebuild my switch , but still doesn't work right all the time. 

Left headlight is dim when right is bright. I can remove the the switch off the column and operate the switch and get the left headlight to be bright by manually pushing on the contact. Its touching but not enough to hold full voltage at the headlight. headlight voltage is actually 11 volts while right side sees full voltage. Again, these are a new set of contacts . Bending them is about useless and about impossible to get right.

Do others have issues with these NEW switches ? Are they all junk?

I'm ready too install a non-tilt column so I can in stall a completely new switch since they are available .

Also considering some toggle switches on the dash and completely deleting this archaic system. Its truly frustrating that this BS makes the truck useless at night . 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
  • Replies 57
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

15 minutes ago, banzai510(hainz) said:

Crash  Slowdat means:

He means if he used a newer say common  BLACK BOX the relay triggers at a lower voltage at like 6 volts then it would most likely work.  Have to read the specs but some can trigger down at 3 VOLTS

I was just looking to see if something like that existed but I wasn't sure if a relay triggered at 6volts would be able to carry the load of the headlights..... so I didnt want to suggest and add to his problems.....

 

  • Like 1
Link to post

Madkaw where are you getting the 11v reading?

At the actual headlamp or coming off the switch directly?

 

Reason I ask is because I'm thinking a possible ground issue.... 

 

Maybe turn them on and temporarily add an extra ground to the headlight and see if that helps or not...

 

  • Like 1
Link to post

Here’s the deal guys . I can drop the headlight switch off the column and actually push on the contact and the left headlight gets bright again . It’s near impossible to bend that tang so the contact works better . It makes contact , but not good enough- so I only get 11v at the headlight 

  • Like 2
Link to post
1 hour ago, Madkaw said:

Here’s the deal guys . I can drop the headlight switch off the column and actually push on the contact and the left headlight gets bright again . It’s near impossible to bend that tang so the contact works better . It makes contact , but not good enough- so I only get 11v at the headlight 

And if you just done messing with the switch then the relay might be your best option...

Try a standard 12v automotive relay.... 11v might be enough to trigger it.... 

Cant hurt to try at this point.. .

  • Like 1
Link to post
4 hours ago, Crashtd420 said:

And I just tried a relay with a 9volt battery and it triggered so 11v will work.  

So your saying just use the power from the switch to run a relay to the headlights which would mean re-wiring the headlights 

  • Like 1
Link to post
30 minutes ago, Madkaw said:

So your saying just use the power from the switch to run a relay to the headlights which would mean re-wiring the headlights 

In a sense yes.....

Switch would trigger the relay instead of outputting directly to the headlight....

 

I'm not 100% familiar with the way your headlights are setup but I would think it could be done just off the switch.....

You have power, the trigger and the outputs right there.... 

 

I can advise more if needed, I'd have to look at the wiring and draw it up....

 

Link to post

Your decent options all include wiring.  If your 83 doesnt already have a headlight relay, the only downside is the work itself.

 

Otherwise i would suggest swapping to a more available column and rewiring to use those switches.

 

Otherwise haunt ebay for good used or NOS parts that fit.

 

Or find that one guy on earth who refurbishes vintage car switch assemblies and pay whatever ransom he asks.

  • Like 1
Link to post
3 hours ago, Madkaw said:

So your saying just use the power from the switch to run a relay to the headlights which would mean re-wiring the headlights 

 

 This is what I would do with just that one 11 volt wire...... 

 

Screenshot_20200814-131805_Chrome.jpg

 

Get a relay.... cut the 11v wire.... 

You'll also need a ground wire ,

And you should be able to get power from the switch input wire.... 

 

#85-  ground

#86- 11volt signal from switch 

#30-  tap into the main power going.     to switch ..

#87-  would go to the other half of the  11volt wire feeding power to the  headlight....

Everything else should work as normal , this will simply amplify the weak 11v signal.... 

Edited by Crashtd420
Link to post

Well I have been dealing with the 720 wiring harness for years, unless you want to make a completely new headlight wiring harness separate from the 720 wiring, you have to keep the stock headlight circuit stock, you cannot touch it in any way otherwise it screws stuff up.

You cannot even put a aftermarket gauge in and wire it so the light comes on when you turn the headlights on unless you do it the way Nissan did it which has no ground wire to make it work, it is this complicated setup that has no ground until it gets to the headlight/headlamp relay, if any ground is added other than what Nissan did your introducing a ground where there is not supposed to be one.

Madkaw, have you wired in any fog lights or aftermarket stereo lights?

Have you used rubbing alcohol or the like to clean the contacts?

Can you post a photo of the back of your column assembly, I have several in a container in my parts shed, maybe I have the one you need.

Link to post

From what I’ve read over the years , this seems to be an inherit problem with these switches . The solution is usually ratcheting the switch off and on quickly to get he contacts to seat properly and work correctly . I put all new contacts in an older housing and it still acts up. I think a better solution might be putting in a rocker switch for the headlights . Maybe wiring it a foot switch for the high beam switch. Of course I would use all the existing wires . 
Relays and heavier wires would be the ticket for better lighting for sure . All the power running thru that factory switch is just a bad design . Being able to do this would be a challenge to not screw up the original wiring . I think a separate circuit outside the OEM harness could be done as long as the coil side of the relays are in the circuit and nothing else 

Link to post

Like I said, I have a few of these combination switches for tilt columns, the later stuff(after 1982) has a different plug going into it for the headlight part of the combination switch that I don't use, if you could post a photo.

 

Here are a couple switches, is yours like either of these?

001.JPG

  • Like 1
Link to post
7 hours ago, Charlie69 said:

I purchased a new aftermarket combination switch years ago from Rock Auto and used the new headlight switch parts out of it to fix my factory switch.

That what I did also, but one of the contacts does not operate correctly .i bought a non tilt wheel switch and transferred all the guts . 
 Actually when moving the connector around( bending the plastic housing ) changes the headlight performance . It’s the bottom contact that is moving or not contacting properly . 

  • Like 1
Link to post
7 hours ago, wayno said:

Like I said, I have a few of these combination switches for tilt columns, the later stuff(after 1982) has a different plug going into it for the headlight part of the combination switch that I don't use, if you could post a photo.

 

Here are a couple switches, is yours like either of these?

001.JPG

I’ll post a pic tomorrow . I got tired of screwing and put it back on . The truck goes for paint this week hopefully . 

  • Like 1
Link to post

Did you look at Autozone?

 

Napa has one type and Autozone the other (tilt and non-tilt)...assuming that the year is right (I was looking for an 86).

 

https://www.autozone.com/electrical-and-lighting/turn-signal-switch/duralast-turn-signal-switch-sw1687/293069_0_0

 

SW1687 is the PN...the only thing that I am using to identify it is the intermitant wiper lever.

 

Edited by Stinky
  • Like 1
Link to post

I’m afraid to order anything else for 150$ and it not fit. I about get confused on what switch is correct for my truck . An 83 with tilt wheel seems thought to find . Many vendors describe choices as collapsible and not tilt. So is collapsible the same as tilt ? I don’t even care about tilt wheel , because for a tall guy I don’t even use it . In fact I wonder if the non-tilt is slimmer and gives more knee room under the claim shells ? I don’t want to swap out a complete column to get an available switch , but I might . I’m considering going with electric power steering and the non-tilt might make that easier to pull off

  • Like 1
Link to post

If you want to see more on putting in a foot switch for high beams, see my 510 thread "half pint".  I rewired the entire car with a modified 1982 720 wiring harness.  I installed a foot high beam switch because my column switch doesn't work at and I'm too cheap to replace it when this works just as well.

 

Collapsible means the column has a slip shaft in the middle so it collapses in an accident instead of being a spear aimed at your chest.

  • Like 1
Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.