Seafoam65

Easy five minute solution to 1965 Buick Riviera unobtanium auxiliary headlight motor relay

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I have been working on getting rid of the toggle switches on my hideaway lamps that were on the car when I bought it. They were on there because the original auxiliary headlamp relay had gone bad and they couldn't find a replacement anywhere. Just last month I witnessed one of these relays

along with the easily obtainable control relay sell as a pair on ebay after a bidding war for about $600.00!!!!! The control relay GM part number 1365166

AC/Delco part number 15-8172 can be ordered from your neighborhood GM dealer for about $15.00 each. It takes a few days but you can buy them right now from GM. I just ordered five of them for my stock and they will be here in about four days. These relays were used for the blower motors on some GM cars from 1965 to 1977, so they could be discontinued at any time. If you own

a 65 Riviera I would recommend buying a lifetime supply of them right now while you can still get them. The main point of this post is to tell you how in five minutes you can convert your wiring in order to use a control relay as your auxiliary relay, i.e. you will have two identical part no. 1365166 relays

mounted under your left fender lip . It is amazingly simple to do the conversion....the hard part was figuring out how to do it! First unplug your bad auxiliary relay and then remove it from your inner fender and toss it in the trash. Your auxiliary relay has three wires on the plug ....a black with white stripe, a black wire and a black with orange stripe wire. Taking a small

pick, poke the pick in the slot at the end of the plug next to the terminal at the end of the black/orange wire and flatten the latch tab and pull the orange /black wire out of the three wire connector. Next take your new 1365166 control relay out of the box and plug the black/orange stripe wire into the prong that is off by itself, (terminal no. 4) After it is plugged in, wrap the exposed terminal with electrical tape so that is fully insulated. Next take the three way

connector from which you removed the black/orange stripe wire and plug it into the three way terminals on the other end of the 1365166 relay. Now mount the new relay to the inner fender using the same hole and screw that held the auxiliary relay. That's it! You now have a setup that uses only one style relay for both relays. All you have to do now is stock up on the 1365166

relay and you are set for a lifetime! Please note that both of the relays

get their ground from the inner fender so the circuit won't work until

you have the relays bolted firmly to the inner fender. One other thing, to avoid

any confusion, the very early build cars were built with only the control relay

and no auxiliary relay. There was a recall to retrofit the early cars with the additional relay, but some cars may have slipped through the cracks and still have only one relay. The purpose of the auxiliary relay is to make the headlight

motor be able to close the clamshells only when the key is on. This prevents

a dead battery caused by the motor trying to close the clamshells after they are already closed due to out of adjustment linkage or out of adjustment limiter switches on the motor. On the early cars before the recall and conversion, you

could close the visors with the key off. My Dad's September built 65 Riviera was like this when we first got it, then it had to go back to the dealer for the conversion.

NOTE: AS OF SPRING 2017, YOU CAN BUY BOTH RELAYS AS A PAIR ON EBAY, AS THE AUXILIARY RELAY HAS NOW BEEN REPRODUCED . I STILL LIKE MY METHOD BETTER

AS YOU ONLY NEED TO STOCK UP ON ONE RELAY PART NUMBER, AND YOU CAN UTILIZE GENUINE GM HEAVY DUTY RELAYS. AND...................YOU CAN BUY FIVE 1365166

GM RELAYS FOR WHAT ONE REPRO PAIR COSTS ON EBAY.

UPDATE>>>>>>>>>>>>!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In 201`7 GM and Delco discontinued the main relay for our 65 Rivieras. Currently as I write this in June 2018, there are

three other sources that I am aware of. It is available as a STANDARD RY8, a BORG WARNER R3553, or a FOUR SEASONS 35760. I would stock up on one of these if I were you, because they probably won't be available forever.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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I just did something similar 2 weeks ago. Last yr when I bought my 65 GS it had a Ford bronco window motor in the originals place and it was wired to a toggle switch on the cover under the dash. What was different on mine was he unplugged the original motor and the cut the black wires going to that relay and ran new hot wires to the window motor unit. I bought a rebuilt unit on line from one of our venders for around $420 then reconnected the cut wires and found the relay was bad bought a new relay 1356166 at my local federated store for 10.15 and it came in the store in 4 hrs. I have seen some as high as 50 bucks for original GM and as low as 8 bucks for others. I have spent considerable time aligning it all up and replacing home made pivots and wrong bell cranks too now all is well. Plus it all now works like yours right from the factory light switch. Ain't life grand!

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I would recommend using GM relays due to the fact they are designed to handle the high

amp load of a blower motor or headlight motor. Over the years in my repair shop I've had hell with

aftermarket Chinese relays. Sometimes they are bad right out of the box and sometimes fail in just a few months.

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Thanks for this information. I just got my rebuilt motor back about a month ago but am having relay problems. i was dreading trying to track down the infamous unobtanium auxiliary headlight motor relay. Rock Auto has the AC Delco relay including shipping for under $12. Two ordered this morning.

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Thanks Seafoam65. Although I haven't started to work on the headlights, I just picked up 4 of the relays from my local GM dealer and will have them when ready. FYI--- cost a little over $19.00 Canadian each.

Keep up the great work!

Bill

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Bump......Since folks are still fighting with three prong relay problems on the forum, I'm bumping this back to the top so those who haven't read it can do so.

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How much amperage do you need? I looked at some late '80's relays I have that handle a ABS hydraulic pump, but they have no current rating, I did find one with a yellow case marked 40A not sure where it came from.

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                  Bump.......I'm bumping this back to the top for new forum members with 65 Rivieras that may not know how to solve their unobtanium three prong auxiliary headlamp motor relay problem.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)

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             Bump......moving this back to the top for new 65 Riv owners trying to solve their

unobtanium three prong auxiliary relay problem in order to get their clamshells moving again.

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Winston, Thanks for the bump.  

 

Can someone tell me if there's a way to "bookmark" certain threads on this forum.  There's some great info in this one and I'd like to be able to access it sometime down the road without looking at every thread that has the words 'clam shells' or 'relay' in it.

 

Thanks,

Ed

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6 hours ago, RivNut said:

Winston, Thanks for the bump.  

 

Can someone tell me if there's a way to "bookmark" certain threads on this forum.  There's some great info in this one and I'd like to be able to access it sometime down the road without looking at every thread that has the words 'clam shells' or 'relay' in it.

 

Thanks,

Ed

You can follow the thread.  Go to the upper right corner of the page.  There's a little gray box that says "Follow".  Click on it and set your notification preference.  If you just  want to keep it for easy reference, you can set it to no notifications.  It will still be accessible through your control panel: go to the top upper right of the page and click on your user name with the little down arrow beside it.  That will display a drop-down menu.  One of the menu items is is "Manage followed content".  Click on that.  It will bring up a new page ("Manage Followed Content").  If it doesn't say "Topics I Follow" in the dark gray title bar, look at the menu on the left of the page. Click on "Topics".  It will display a page with links to every thread you follow.

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, KongaMan said:

You can follow the thread.  Go to the upper right corner of the page.  There's a little gray box that says "Follow".  Click on it and set your notification preference.  If you just  want to keep it for easy reference, you can set it to no notifications.  It will still be accessible through your control panel: go to the top upper right of the page and click on your user name with the little down arrow beside it.  That will display a drop-down menu.  One of the menu items is is "Manage followed content".  Click on that.  It will bring up a new page ("Manage Followed Content").  If it doesn't say "Topics I Follow" in the dark gray title bar, look at the menu on the left of the page. Click on "Topics".  It will display a page with links to every thread you follow.

That was too easy.  Thanks.  Now I need to go back and find a couple of others and mark them as well.

 

Ed

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Bumping this back to the top for new members struggling with their 65 hideaway headlamps. One thing that has

changed since this post is that someone has reproduced the auxiliary relay and is selling both headlamp relays

as a pair on ebay. I still like my idea better as you can stock up on only one relay and you can use genuine GM relays.

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This is awesome info!! Thank you Winston!!

 

Why hasn’t this thread become a ‘sticky’ or whatever they call here. Can’t one of the moderators make this stay on top?

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I have asked for it to be added to the thread "Riviera Web Sites, Vendors and Services".

 

Pinning too many threads makes it pretty busy at the top so that was why that thread was started and pinned. Any posts that you feel need to be readily available, post in that thread and they can be added there so it stays at the top.

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I was happy I stumbled across this thread until I started trying to find these GM/AC DELCO relays. Then I realized that this thread is 3 years old ?. Did U guys buy them all? haha 

 

So I scrambled to find these relays online while at work & had no luck.  My plan was to stop at my local GM dealership parts department on my way home. 

 

Then my super computer savy coworker jumped on the net to help me & finds some in NY! I’m in Cali haha…whatever. So I order 4 of them at $8 each. 

 

They got here today & they look right. But the paperwork says nothing of the part number I order. No where does it say GM #1365166 or AC DELCO 15-8172. Lemme guess…is this one of those Chinese made repop’s?

 

Is this common? How can I ensure that this relay is correct?

 

78A7BC19-C955-43C2-BAE2-57E4F3F8F31D.jpeg.6c7348b0d927c339b79db06387725d25.jpeg 

 

02602592-2454-4D69-9BFD-C5AA42DB9608.jpeg.cd9dcd23d60f76de9d8feedf5d0d1dfc.jpeg

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Artex Wells part number 1R1216, or Standard part number RY8.

Both cross reference ACDelco 15-8172.  $6 from RockAuto

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, RockinRiviDad said:

I was happy I stumbled across this thread until I started trying to find these GM/AC DELCO relays. Then I realized that this thread is 3 years old ?. Did U guys buy them all? haha 

 

So I scrambled to find these relays online while at work & had no luck.  My plan was to stop at my local GM dealership parts department on my way home. 

 

Then my super computer savy coworker jumped on the net to help me & finds some in NY! I’m in Cali haha…whatever. So I order 4 of them at $8 each. 

 

They got here today & they look right. But the paperwork says nothing of the part number I order. No where does it say GM #1365166 or AC DELCO 15-8172. Lemme guess…is this one of those Chinese made repop’s?

 

Is this common? How can I ensure that this relay is correct?

 

78A7BC19-C955-43C2-BAE2-57E4F3F8F31D.jpeg.6c7348b0d927c339b79db06387725d25.jpeg 

 

02602592-2454-4D69-9BFD-C5AA42DB9608.jpeg.cd9dcd23d60f76de9d8feedf5d0d1dfc.jpeg

I can't say how heavy duty these relays you bought are, but the diagram on the side of your new relay indicates that is wired correctly internally

so it will work. I doubt the relay is as heavy duty as the GM relay but give it a whirl and see how it does. Also, if you want to get really fancy, you can buy a plastic rectangular single wire terminal on ebay that you can snap on the orange/black wire

before you plug it in , making it look completely like the factory did it.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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30 minutes ago, RivNut said:

Artex Wells part number 1R1216, or Standard part number RY8.

Both cross reference ACDelco 15-8172.  $6 from RockAuto

 

Thx for the reference numbers. But I don’t see those numbers on my box or on the relay…

 

2 minutes ago, Seafoam65 said:

I can't say how heavy duty these relays you bought are, but the diagram on the side of your new relay indicates that is wired correctly internally

so it will work. I doubt the relay is as heavy duty as the GM relay but give it a whirl and see how it does.

 

Thx. I will roll the dice. I’ve gotten good at that haha. 

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12 minutes ago, RockinRiviDad said:

 

Thx for the reference numbers. But I don’t see those numbers on my box 

I know that.  I'm just saying they're out there.  O'Reillys stocks the Standard brand on the shelf.

 

The cross reference that listed the ACDelco part number 15-8172 had probably 10 other OEM part numbers cross referenced as well.

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Posted (edited)

Ok…thx for the info

 

So the names to look for for a heavy duty relay are:

GM

AC DELCO

STANDARD

RY8

 

NOT 4 Seasons

 

are there any others? We may as well list them all to avoid buying crap like I just did. Unless I’m the only one that is good at taking “one step forward,  two steps backward” then please delete the post mods

 

EDIT: ok…cool…now I don’t feel as bad for buying the 4 Seasons brand. Thx Winston 

Edited by RockinRiviDad (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

UPDATE: Several suppliers have discontinued the main headlamp relay for the 65 Riviera, including General Motors and Delco. I did some

searching and found two companies that still make it for now but I wouldn't count on that to be the case for much longer, so you need to stock up on these remaining relays while you still can. The three brands I have found that you can still buy are the Four Seasons Part No. 35760, the Borg Warner R3553 and the Standard

Part No. RY-8. Get them now.....when they're gone they're gone. Rock Auto sells the Standard RY-8 for 8.26 each online.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)

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