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I need help with electrical problem.


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I am reassembling my 65 Eldorado and the right side headlights, cornering lights, parking lights don't have enough voltage to light them properly. The low beam lights faintly and the high beam and cornering lights won't light at all. I have checked terminals with a tester and there is some voltage thier. My tester doesn't tell voltage just wether there is juice or not. I feel like it is a grounding problem but I don't know where to start looking. The left side headlights and cornering lights work fine. Electrical is not my strong point. Please help steer me in the right direction. Thank you.

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Get a volt meter and check at the light socket.if voltage is low,move the ground (negative)lead to another spot.continue to do this until your ground lead is all the way back to the batt.you should be able to soon figure out which sheet metal parts are not grounded.Then use star washers under bolts to fix.Good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The check for good ground connection is good advice, but the problem could also concievably be with the live wire.<BR>Basically you could have a loose connection somewhere:<BR>1.An obvious place is the lamp connector itself - check with a volt meter<BR>2.I've also had a problem in the past with a partly rusted terminal connector (located under the hood in a block next to the radiator on my Dodge)- check with a volt meter and/or remove rust from block<BR>3.Also, the wires can come adrift from their connectors - check with a volt meter (whilst waggling wires in case of intermittant connection) and gently tug at wires to see if they pull clear<BR>4.Finally, its possible to snap the wire within its sheave somewhere in a line of cable - eyeball the wire to see if it has any "corners" as opposed to smooth bends and check with volt meter.<P>All of the above are possible causes of the problem you discuss, and are likely to occur if the wires have been pulled at some point in the past (ie pulling something out by the wire, or snagging a mechanical component on a wire) or if the cables have started to rust.

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One of the things you may run into when checking: If you remove the bulb(s) (load) you may measure full voltage even with a bad connection. This will make it impossible to find the bad connection.<P>So, leave the bulb(s) in. Measure on the contact (or as near to them as possible) when you have power applied. If you measure 12v between the bulb and a GOOD ground (you may have to run a wire to the battery for ground) then the wires are okay and the chassis ground is giving problems.<P>If you measure less than 12v between the bulb and a good ground, then you have problems in the wiring (most likely connectors).<P>Assuming that you have the full 12v at the bulb, then you have a bad ground. The most likely cause of this on a older car is rust. The most likely cause of this on a restoration is paint. Measure between the bulb (with power on) and various grounding points starting where the light is grounded. When you find a place where the voltage changes, you have found a place that is not making good contact. On my car it turns out that the fenders were not making good electrical contact with frame and the passenger side headlight was nonfunctional. As mentioned earlier a "star" style lock washer can fix this. Or simply remove a bolt, clean the paint from under it, then reinstall the bolt.

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