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Old 01-19-2009, 06:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default One dim bulb

The left headlight doesn't light brightly, more of a dull orange. I guessed it could be defective and tried replacing with a new one. Same problem.

So it's gotta be in the wiring or switches (headlight and/or high-beam).

Anybody have any suggestions on where to go from here?

Phil
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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make sure you got a good ground
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87 tin top View Post
make sure you got a good ground
Where do the headlights ground? It seems that 12V is supplied to them at all times with the ground completing the circuit when switched.

I AM going to replace the engine to chassis ground this weekend as the existing one looks small and frayed.

Since one headlight is bright and only one dim I'm not sure it'll help tho.

Phil
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default you're grounded!!

Sound like a bad ground. to check use a volt meter. there are three terminals on a headlight,1. high beam 2. low beam 3. ground .
attach the black lead of volt meter directly to negative terminal of battery. making sure there is a very good connection. now with headlight hooked up and turned on , probe the terminals on light . there should be battery voltage at hi or low beam terminal ( depending on switch posion) and at the ground terminal there should be less than >.5 volts (one half a volt) . if the reading is greater than .5 volts ,you have a bad ground circuit
you will get the most accurate resaults if you probe the terminals on the light instead of back probing connector
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I put my voltmeter on the hi and lo lugs of the bulb and found 12V there when the lights were off. That being the case, the ground must be "made" when you flip a switch to turn them on.

So there aren't any ground lugs for the headlights, near the headlights. They've got to ground through the switches. So from the switches they should attach to the body somewhere.

THAT's the "somewhere" I'm hoping somebody knows the location of.

Again, I'm gonna replace the engine to chassis ground this weekend which MAY solve the problem but since one light is fine and the other is dim I'm not so sure.

Phil
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default ground side switching?

if your vehicle is using ground side switching. with the lights turned off there should be 12 volts at all three terminals of headlight. but when turned on , the ground terminal still need to be less than .5 volts.

it would be unsual for headlights to be groundside switched unless they are ecm computer controled. these seems like an interesting problem, let me know what you find.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yep, there IS 12V on the terminals. I will post back as I learn more. But looking at the wiring diagram, all of these Sammys have the ground side switching.

Phil
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