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Author Topic: Light problems  (Read 2937 times)

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Offline marty

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Light problems
« on: April 29, 2015, 10:08:56 PM »
Headlights started intermittently flashing on and off.  Replaced the headlight switch (and the partially melted connector).  All was good for a day or so and then my instrument lights would go out after a few minutes.  After a few times the instrument lights would not even come on.  PITA but did not really bother me...then I noticed that my side markers were also out...checked and I had no park or tail lights either!  Headlights work, blinkers, hazard and stop lights work.  Checked the parking lights fuse and it's good (the headlights on buzzer is also not working but the keys in buzzer is (they are both on the same fuse).  Checked and cleaned the ground for the taillights, no change.  Added an additional ground from the headlight switch to the bolt on the praking brake handle bracket...no change.  Looking for ideas.  Thanks. 
Marty

Offline eaglefreek

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2015, 10:31:45 PM »
Was the replacement switch new or used? Sounds like a bad switch.
1986 AMC Eagle Wagon 4.2L/4.0L head, AW4,NP242, Chrysler 8.25" rear.
1981 AMC Eagle Wagon As Seen On TV  Lost In Transmission


 

"I know he'd be a poorer man, if he never saw an eagle fly,
Rocky mountain high"  John Denver
Click for Fayetteville,TN Forecast" border="0" height="100" width="150

Offline captspillane

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2015, 10:34:36 AM »
The switch going bad is a symptom  of a component or connection drawing too much amperage. Replacing it will just end with another melted switch often times. In your case it almost sounds like a partial short melted part of your wiring harness too.

I'm a big believer in putting the lights off a relay that is triggered by the switch. This is a very common problem and a dangerous one. I had one wagon go though four switches within as many months, each time they ended with the headlights turning off as I was driving. The last switch lasted about 6 months because I just learned to pretend the high beams are simply not an option. It could only sustain the high beams for about 5 min before melting. It is difficult to find the issue when everything works well just draws a little too much amperage through the switch for it to last. The relays may let the part burn up enough to find it conclusively and also offer a degree of separation that can make sure one part being bad doesn't take out all of the lights at once.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2015, 10:36:53 AM by captspillane »
Currently Inspected and Insured as of Jan 2013:
-1985 Eagle Station Wagon 258 T5 Stickshift
-1980 Eagle Station Wagon 258 Auto Fuel-injected with GM TBI

Minor Repairs Underway:
-1982 Eagle SX4 258 T5
-1981 Kammback 2.5L Iron Duke T5

Restoration Efforts Near Completion:
-1982 SX4- 401 NV3550
-1983 SX4- 4.5 MPI NSG370 (6 Speed)

Restoration Efforts Underway:
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-1982 SX4- 4.0 AW4
-1981 SX4- SD33T NV4500 (Turbodiesel 5 speed)

Future Rescue Efforts- '85 Maroon SW, '87 Limited SW, '84 Limited SW, '87 4 door Sedan, '81 2 door Sedan, '88 White SW, '77 4 door Hornet, '74 2 door Hornet, '79 Spirit AMX, '81 Kammback.

RIP- Red '81 SX4, '84 4dr Sedan, '84 SW, '81 SW, '80 Spirit, '83 SW, '83 4dr Sedan

Offline Nightpath

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2015, 11:43:37 AM »
If you're having these issues then you should consider the relay mod.

A common problem that AMC (and into the Jeep XJ for years) had is that their voltage for the lights went through the light switch. This should never had passed out of the design stage because when the switch starts having issues you get what you're seeing now.

The relay mod makes all the current go through a relay system, with the switch only affecting the relay in that it turns it on/off as needed. This, besides prolonging the life of the switch, also makes the headlights a tonne brighter as the wiring used is a heavier gauge.

Offline carnuck

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2015, 01:20:35 PM »
See if there is actually power at the fuse in the fuse box. I recall tapping my relay into that but it was a long time ago. Probably the plug at the switch is the problem again. If you have a trailer hitch, you may have a short in the wiring harness back there.
AMC/Jeep gauges are for amusement only. Any correlation between them and reality is purely coincidental!

Offline marty

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2015, 10:31:37 PM »
Latest update.  Called the Sw maker, Wells, and the tech rep, Dave, was unable to find any info on the pins...very disappointing.  Checked the park lps and instr fuses and both were good.  Pulled the fuses and had 12v at the park lps fuse, but nothing at the instr lts fuse.  Studying the wire diagram, it appears that the rheostat on the sw may control power to the instr lts fuse, but not sure.  Broke out the elec diagram and came up w the fol:
B2-2 red wires, 1 to turn signals and 1 to park lps fuse
D-2 blk wires, dome and door switches
H-brn to column dimmer sw
B1-red to starter sol and Stop/Haz fuse
R-2 blue park lts and side markers
I-orange instrument panel lts
Took the switch, grounded it w a jumper to the batt and ran another jumper from the batt to B1.  Checked all of the wires w the stalk completely in (off posn) and had no power at any wire (thought I should have pwr to the door and dome wires, D2).  Pulled the stalk out to the first stop, again, no power to any wires (thought I should have power to I for instr panel and R2 for the taillights and side markers).  Pulled the stalk to the full on posn and had power at H (column dimmer sw, which, I assume is hl control).  Anyone have a definitive pin diagram for the sw?  I will do the relay for the hl if instructions (pics, parts reqd, etc is given).  Thanks for any help.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 10:36:24 PM by marty »

Offline johnbendik

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2015, 12:14:37 AM »
Marty,

I posted a description of my upgrade-to-relays project last year http://forums.amceaglesden.com/index.php?topic=44023.0.  It's got the part numbers of the stuff I used and some other useful information from me and the other posters.  There's also a link to Daniel Stern's site, which has circuit diagrams, etc.   You might use it as a starting point.

JB
1984 Eagle Sportwagon
258 - 6 cyl
5-speed !

Offline carnuck

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2015, 12:11:04 PM »
This may sound crazy, but try a power wire to the terminals for the dash light fuse in the fuse box (after making sure there is no power or ground there with the switch on) and see if the lights come on. I had one switch in my Jeep that was wired wrong inside and it almost drove me crazy till I accidentally found out by putting power to the fuse terminal while checking for shorts. The rheostat of the switch was shorted.
AMC/Jeep gauges are for amusement only. Any correlation between them and reality is purely coincidental!

Offline marty

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2015, 06:46:16 PM »
Did the light upgrade over the weekend.  Went ahead and ordered the $59($70 w shipping) kit from Daniel.  Had all of the required parts.  Difference in the lights really is considerable, much brighter now (I used 12g for everything). I combined all of the grounds from the relays (3), headlights (4) and switches (2) to save some bulk.  Figured w all of the increased grounds from the original it would be ok.  I grounded and took power directly from the battery.  I used 3 relays, one for the high beams, one for high from the high/low and one for the low from the high/low.   

Offline SilverEagle

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2017, 07:08:52 PM »
Did the relay mod fix your problem? I am in the same position right now...intermittent loss of all dash power and headlights dimming.. sometimes when i hit the brakes sometimes when i flog the gas... sometimes turn signal..so a draw is tripping it somehow..new switch installed. Gunna go over grounds, put new bulbs in the taillights (i read the issue with them shorting internally 1156s).. i am wanting to do the relay modification but haven't got around to getting parts yet

86 Eagle Wagon, Daily driver and fly fishing expedition vehicle.

Offline amcfool1

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2017, 08:19:59 PM »
hi, sometimes, it is what it is. Eagles are simply getting old. there is fraying on the wires, internal corrosion, maybe some insulation rubbed off somehow, basically, something, somewhere is shorting out. As for the headlights, definitely, 100%, go for the relay setup. If you can't wire this yourself, check out www.danielsternlighting.com, he will build you a custom, top quality headlight harness. I have one on my 84 Eagle sedan, At this stage, ALL, and I mean ALL, Eagle headlight switch connectors are melted/warped to some degree, even if all is well, just from age/use. good luck, y'all, gz

Offline SilverEagle

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2017, 08:08:14 PM »
Will this harness work? i Know its for H4 bulbs but I was wondering if anyone has ordered it to see orkney for sure one way or the other. Otherwise ill make my own following this guys instructions. I did send danny an email, waiting for reply. This is my daily and need to resolve asap, getting darker in the mornings on way to work!
86 Eagle Wagon, Daily driver and fly fishing expedition vehicle.

Offline eaglefreek

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2017, 09:49:37 PM »
Yes it will work, but you will have to switch some terminals in the connectors if you don't use H4 bulbs. As I mentioned in another thread, I installed that one in my dad's Oldsmobile and had issues with the highbeams getting stuck on. It was a fairly simple fix, so if you have that problem, I can walk you through fixing the issue.
1986 AMC Eagle Wagon 4.2L/4.0L head, AW4,NP242, Chrysler 8.25" rear.
1981 AMC Eagle Wagon As Seen On TV  Lost In Transmission


 

"I know he'd be a poorer man, if he never saw an eagle fly,
Rocky mountain high"  John Denver
Click for Fayetteville,TN Forecast" border="0" height="100" width="150

Offline SilverEagle

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2017, 10:06:51 AM »
All four pigtails have the four terminals I assume? The picture quality kind of sucks. I don't have time to wait for Dan stern to make me a harness, and wanna try this before I make my own
86 Eagle Wagon, Daily driver and fly fishing expedition vehicle.

Offline eaglefreek

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2017, 10:16:53 AM »
The low beams will have 3 terminals and the high beams have 2.
1986 AMC Eagle Wagon 4.2L/4.0L head, AW4,NP242, Chrysler 8.25" rear.
1981 AMC Eagle Wagon As Seen On TV  Lost In Transmission


 

"I know he'd be a poorer man, if he never saw an eagle fly,
Rocky mountain high"  John Denver
Click for Fayetteville,TN Forecast" border="0" height="100" width="150

Online vangremlin

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2017, 01:19:58 PM »
I used this set on my Eagle also.  It worked fine, although like Eaglefreek said you might have some issues to work through.  I think the problem I have periodically is that the brights turn on when I turn on the fog lamps.  The only other issue I remember is locating the relays, because the power wire to run to the battery is kind of short.  Good luck!
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
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1964 TBird 390 - sold

Offline DAVE

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2017, 09:22:37 AM »
I have used one similar but was not as pricey as that one.
 one end plugs into one of your existing low beam sockets that is where the relays get there signal from.
 have had no problems

Offline SilverEagle

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2017, 04:55:50 PM »
EAGLEFREAK! got my harness, gunna install it tonight or tomorrow. what did you have to do to make it work correctly? i couldn't find your old thread. someone should be in charge of cleaning out old ones and posting known information or something. maybe do a write up in that eaglepedia and list what harnesses you can buy and what you need to modify seeming as a very common issue. i will not that my i won't lose the headlight or dash power on the warmer mornings, seems to be only on the cold mornings... maybe something to do with the quality of ground or make the circuit breaker more sensitive
86 Eagle Wagon, Daily driver and fly fishing expedition vehicle.

Offline eaglefreek

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Re: Light problems
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2017, 10:07:55 PM »
Here's when I did built my harness and installed H4 headlights. However, if you are not installing H4's you just have to move a couple terminals the opposite way mentioned in the post.
http://forums.amceaglesden.com/index.php?topic=36467.0


Here's where I fixed  my dad's high beam issue.  http://forums.amceaglesden.com/index.php?topic=44127.msg343415#msg343415
1986 AMC Eagle Wagon 4.2L/4.0L head, AW4,NP242, Chrysler 8.25" rear.
1981 AMC Eagle Wagon As Seen On TV  Lost In Transmission


 

"I know he'd be a poorer man, if he never saw an eagle fly,
Rocky mountain high"  John Denver
Click for Fayetteville,TN Forecast" border="0" height="100" width="150

 

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