I think I killed my headlight switch!

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Jul 13, 2003
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You guys are going to think I am a moron ;p My new autometer guages were working fine, but the blinkers were really slow. So I bought a new electronic blinker relay, a FL12 at Autozone. But in the process of installing the switch I managed to blow the headlight fuse. Yes, I didn't bother to disconnect the battery, flog me, please! :crybaby: Anyway, everything works great until I turn on the lights, then the guages peg out. It most definetly is a ground problem, because I can disconnect the negative ground on the battery and the cruiser will still start and run. I haven't called about getting a replacment switch yet, I will do that today. It just burns me when I do stupid things like that. :eek:

I just checked locally and no parts stores have that switch. SOR is it?
 
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Which gauges are "pegged"? If it is the amp meter, it would suggest that your headlight circuit is shorted.

Quit talking smack. If you remove the ground cable at the battery - post, nothing will start and nothing electical will work. It is the same as removing the battery. If you are talking about removing the ground after it has been started, the engine can keep running because your alternator is supplying the juice and not the battery. This is a bad idea as it may not be good for your alternator as it can put out a high voltage spike when you disconnect it.
 
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I am not talking smack. Heck, I don't even know what smack is. If I remove the ground on the battery, the engine will start and run without the ground hooked to the battery. Something I have never seen before. I think the engine is grounding through the headlight switch?
On the autometer gauges, all the guages work fine with the headlight switch turned off. When the headlight switch is turned on, the amp, oil, and water temp guages peg out to the postive side of the guage. If I turn on the headlight switch with engine off, the same guages will peg out to the negative side of the guage. All the fuses are good. I tried disconnecting all the headlights at the lamps, same problem. I disconnected the headlight fuse, same problem. I did notice that the third fuse up on the 73 fuse block, the turn signal fuse gets very hot, but does not blow. I tried reinstalling the old turn signal switch, does not help the probem. I do notice though that the old turn signal switch is metal and grounds to the frame, but the new electronic switch is plastic, two post, that does not ground to the frame, or anything else. The only other solution I see is to replace the headlight switch.
 
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I would bet your switch is fine, and blinkers start slowing down with low voltage (low batt, resistance etc).

I would retrace what changes you made to your wiring and double check the install.

You are absolutely sure no cables/wires are connected to the battery ground and do you have any other terminals besides the posts like the smaller side ones on Optima type batterys?
 
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You got more than 1 battery in there? If not, then you must have more than 1 ground wire running to the - post that is still connected. Removing the ground cable at the battery - post is the same as removing the battery.

If none of these situations is the case, then you cruiser is possessed by demons.
 
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OK, :eek: the ground was through the winch!. Forgot about it being hooked up to the side post. Solved that starting problem with ground off. Thanks Planet_X. Other problem is still there though
Does that blinker switch have to be grounded? My approach will be
1. Pull new guages and check for shorts.
2. Reinstall the stock blinker switch. If problem persists
3. Remove light swtich and test, reinstall. If problem persists
4. Run entire headlight circut per stock wiring diagram.
5.??
 
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cardinal fang said:
I When the headlight switch is turned on, the amp, oil, and water temp guages peg out to the postive side of the guage. If I turn on the headlight switch with engine off, the same guages will peg out to the negative side of the guage.
This is very peculiar, since the amp meter is very different than the oil and temp gauges. With the engine off, the amp meter can only read discharge or to the left. How it could be pegged both ways is hard to imagine. Are you sure that you aren't talking about a volt meter?

The oil and temp gauges are grounded to the engine. The only way I can imagine that the head lights could influence their operation is if the headlights are grounded to the engine and the engine to frame ground is missing or bad so that you have a floating ground with the current flowing backwards through the gauges. Try running a jumper cable from the engine to the - post of the battery and see if the problem goes away. If so, your engine is not grounded properly.
 
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I had to work this afternoon and couldn't get back to this problem until a while ago. Problem solved. Another bad ground wire on the headlight circut. I disconnected the gauges swapped out the light switch with another I got from John Pardi. That did not solve the problem, so it wasn't the headlight switch. Started running the grounds again testing with bulb and wire. All seemed well. So started running a separate single wire for ground to the headlight circut and found the bad ground in the engine going to the headlights. Connected two of the W/B ground wires together and grounded that to the body. All works well now. I hope that is the last I see of the ground issues.
 
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