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Passenger side headlight problem


Guest Richard D

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Guest Richard D

I recently replaced my headlamps with Sylvania SilverStars and am happy with them. Last night the low beam on the passenger side would not come on. I took one of my old bulbs and plugged it in and it did not work either. Looked at the schematic and I see that the drivers side is fed from the relay and there are jumper wires to feed the passenger side. There was a bad connection in the drivers side plug, I used a 3M wire tap and some insuating coating and made a new connection. If your passenger side lamp gets intermittent or quits working check the drivers side before buying a lamp.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL:)

Richard

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This is usually caused by the wiring that plugs into the back of the headlight being routed wrong. See picture below. The headlight cable should come up between the fender and the headlight casting and lay in the recess of the casting... then plug into the back of the lamp.

The wrong routing ..... the wire comes up behind the headlight and plugs into the bulb.

The movement of the headlights opening brakes the strands inside the wire cover (insulation)

The outside looks fine but inside the wires are broken. This cannot be fixed by just taping the wire in place.

post-30596-143138141634_thumb.jpg

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Guest Richard D

Thank's Barney, That is how my cable is run. The break is inside the plug itself. I did not tape the wire, but spliced it to the wire feeding the headlamp. I used a 3M Scotch-lok splice and coated it with insulating coating that will keep it dry.

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Richard..... you may not have a problem but see my sketch below.

When the cable flexes and breaks the copper strands..... it usually stresses both wires equally. Your solution fixed the passanger side, but the feed wire to the drivers side surely has broken strands and will probably fail also.

There are several solutions, the simplest and cheapest is to go to a salvage yard and get a headlight connector from almost any GM car ........you need the connector (probably drivers side) that has two wires going to both the high and low beam pin. I would get it from a car with non-opening lights so the wires have never been stressed. When you remove it, get about 8-10 inches of wire with the connector so you have plenty to work with.

Now cut off the old connector and splice the replacement in place. I like to solder the connection as it give me more confidence that it will always be a good connection.

You could just replace the terminal that failed by removing it from the connector housing and splicing the replacement in place, but my concern is that when one wire fails, all the other in that connector have seen the same flexing and any of the other could fail at a later date.

My sketch, for those not familiar with connectors is a cross section of a generic crimp. There are actually two crimps, the left crimp is on the insulation and acts as a strain relief so pulling on the wires does not disturb the wire crimp....which it the crimp to the right.

post-30596-143138142017_thumb.jpg

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Guest Richard D

Hello Barney, You may be correct, after my repair it appears that the passenger side lamp is slightly whiter than the drivers side. That would confirm your thought that the wire feeding the drivers side has some broken strands after my splice. I normally solder connections then use heat shrink tubing to insulate them, however my butane solder iron/heat gun has gone missing. Perhaps Santa will replace it.

Thank's Again,

Richard.

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Guest Mc_Reatta

With headlights on measure voltage between the hot prong on each headlight and body ground on both sides. Should be no significant difference from one side to the other.

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Steve, You need to measure the voltage at the terminal that connects to the headlight and again at a spot on the same wire (that connects to the terminal you just checked), ahead of (before) the suspected break in the wire. What really matters is the voltage difference in the two readings... not the maximum voltage. With a perfect connection and no breaks in the wire you should have a difference in the two voltage readings of zero "0".

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Guest Richard D

You could just check from the positive terminal of the battery to terminal of the headlamp while it is lit. There probably should not be more than a half volt reading on the meter. You checking the total loss of the system, wiring, relay, headlamp plug.

Ronnie, Can you reach the headlamp terminal when the lights are on? Or would you have to pull the fuse for the motors?

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