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One Bright One Dim Headlight

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46CJ2A View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 Feb. 2010 at 9:27am
I'm finishing up the wiring harness coupling and installation on my Jeep and have a problem with the headlights which I hope someone can help me trouble shoot.

I'm using a new Walck's 12V harness with a new dimmer switch and a new light switch.  I temporarily put this harness and the switches on another Jeep a couple months ago before I decided to sell it and everything worked fine at that time..

Now however, the problem is that while I have working turn signals, parking lights, emergency flashers, and brake lights, when I pull the headlight switch all the way out I get one bright headlight and one dim.  Then when I click the dimmer switch I have no headlights at all. If I click it back I have the same one dim/one bright scenario. I've tested the headlight bulbs and both have working high and low beams.

I've also checked and rechecked the connections on the light switch, dimmer switch, turn signal controller, and amp meter and all are as called for in the Walck's harness instructions.

Anything come to mind by way of a solution? 

Jack
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bkreutz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb. 2010 at 10:04am
Sounds like a ground problem to me, make up a jumper wire and run it from the negative battery cable to the headlight bucket and see if that cures the "dim" condition. I'm thinking the dimmer switch problem is separate from the dim condition. (probably a bad switch or incorrect connection). 
Gale

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb. 2010 at 12:26pm
It may be a short-circuit in one of the headlight wires.

What does the ammeter tell you (engine off) in both positions?

In the "dim/bright" position you should have on the order of 10-15 amps discharge (depends on headlamp wattage).  Then hit the dimmer switch:
  • if ammeter goes back to "zero" - bad dimmer switch
  • if amp discharge gets larger - short circuit
If you get a short circuit indication, first remove one wire at a time between junction block and dimmer switch.  If that cures the "dim/bright" condition, that wire has a short.

If that doesn't cure the "dim/bright" condition, remove one wire at a time between junction block and headlights.  4 possible combinations, you should find one combination where the dimmer position gives you 2 beams "on", and the other dimmer position will have one beam "off".  That's the shorted wire.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scoutpilot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb. 2010 at 1:06pm
Are these headlights new or old? Are they the same model number? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocketeer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb. 2010 at 1:43pm
Also double check the wiring at the dimmer switch.



Larry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 46CJ2A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb. 2010 at 2:01pm
Thanks guys. With your suggestions I solved the problems. Dim headlight problem = poor ground. No low beam lights problem = bad terminal on a brand new dimmer switch. VO meter showed I had 12 volts to "power" terminal, 12 volts to high beam terminal when selected and 0 volts to low beam terminal whether selected or not. I checked my wiring/connections with dimmer switch I had previously taken out of another 50+ year old Jeep (I rarely through anything away :) ) and brights and dims both worked. Great advise. Chalk up another "save" for the forum. Jack

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb. 2010 at 5:56pm
Sounds like lack of education to me.  Some of us are dimmer than others.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hillbilly21 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb. 2010 at 6:20pm


I DISAGREE   RALF....AngryAngry

  THATS WHAT THIS SITE IS ALL ABOUT...HELPING OUT A FELLOW CJ2A OWNER WHO IS DOING A RESTO.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb. 2010 at 7:02pm
Sorry, I forgot to use the smiley faces.  It was a pun, on one is "bright" and one is "dim", ie one light was Winksmarter (brighter) than the other.LOLLOLSmileWink The internet has no emotion, no inflection, had I said that in your presence you would have known I was joking.  My bad for not loading up on the Emoticons.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3ferris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb. 2010 at 7:50pm
I got it right off of the get go.  He was talking about the headlights in a joking manner
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 46CJ2A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb. 2010 at 9:14pm
As a life time journalist and university journalism professor, I love a good pun.  But I have to also admit to "lacking education" when it comes to AC or DC dealings.  I've always considered electricity a black art and I never hesitate to ask those who know about it to help me when I have to deal with it.

So, let me reiterate - thanks guys.  My Jeep is fixed and I'll be going to bed tonight pleased at the results.

I'll not let anyone dim my enthusiasm tonight.Wink

Jack
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3ferris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb. 2010 at 10:47pm
Close thy headlights and get some sleepBig smile
Ed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce W Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb. 2010 at 4:53pm
Originally posted by 46CJ2A 46CJ2A wrote:

 I've always considered electricity a black art 
 
  In England, under the Lucas system, it isBig smile!  BW
 
Happy Trails! Good-bye, Good Luck, and May the Good Lord Take a Likin' to You!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CJTWOA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug. 2016 at 6:05pm
Hello.

What are "tracers"? 
As always: thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lee (MN) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug. 2016 at 6:22pm
Tracer!, if you have a red wire, wth a white stripe on it, the stripe is the tracer..... This way the engineers can use multiple red wires with different color "Tracers' in the same harness. Or purple/yellow or any other combo.

Lee
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CJTWOA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug. 2016 at 6:29pm
Thank you!

I'm considering using THHN and running the wiring myself - so I guess I wont have a tracer! 

I want to get the wiring harness but WOW .....$300!!!!!!!

Thank you very much. 
As always: thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SE Kansas 46 CJ-2A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug. 2016 at 6:34pm
Look at the wiring harness you have installed and the high beam wire leading to the terminal block should be red insulation with 3 white stripes or "tracers" on the insulation.  The low beam wire would have black color insulation with 2 white tracers. If you look at the horn wiring, there is one blue with 2 white tracers and one black wire with 2 red tracers. 
 
I have picked the left fender and an example because it is easy to locate and see those wires.
 
The color and tracer is a system that helps locate which wire goes to what...
 
Now you know...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SE Kansas 46 CJ-2A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug. 2016 at 6:49pm
Lee beat me to the subject at hand!  He explained the same thing with fewer words! 
 
If you wire it yourself, make sure you use the right gage wire for each circuit.  Too small a gage can cause overheating problems.  You will need to find a system for permanent labeling each end of each wire so that if you have a problem later, it can be traced down without sorting through every wire in a bundle of wiring.
 
The $300 for a wiring harness may seem like a lot, but it will come with all the terminations and proper lengths all bundled up neatly so the wires end up in their proper locations and all wire will have the proper gage and have standard original equipment colors and tracers. It will also come with a harness wiring diagram so that the right connections can be made with the proper wires.
 
If you get the wiring harness from Walck's or some other vendor be sure to specify what set up you have; that is, turn signals or not, right hand tail light or not. etc.
 
Either way, good luck with your wiring project...
 
 
46 CJ-2A #64462 "Ol' Red"



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