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Re: 1954 Pacific / headlight out / headlight dimmer switch/ NAPA DS102/solved
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 16036
Glad it was a simple fix.

The bright indicator light is fed from the dimmer switch off the same terminal that goes to the headlight bulb hi beam. If the headlights work and that wire is still connected and there is no symptom of a breaker tripping due to a short, then probably the socket was pulled out so it has no ground or the bulb has burned out.

Posted on: 7/20 9:44:35
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Howard
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Re: Temperature sensor
Quite a regular
Joined:
2008/4/14 19:23
From Texas
Posts: 43
My 55 352 rarely gets far off the C. I suspect the sender switch but not sure. The engine seems warmer than that. My son has one of those guns you can aim and get a reading. GOing to borrow it. Thanks.

Posted on: 7/26 10:19:25
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Re: 1954 Pacific / headlight out again / dash lights out /headlight circuit breaker / dimmer switch
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Joined:
2019/10/8 12:10
From nj
Posts: 59
Hi Howard. I hope all is well. My headlights are out again in addition to the dash lights. The headlight wire harness is new as are the junction boxes. Initially I used 60 watt halogen H4 bulbs. After several hours of driving at night the headlights/dash cut out. Then came back on. I did smell something burning. Not pretty. I assume the headlight switch cannot handle the temp of the halogens? I replaced the halogens with 6V H4 LED bulbs, They were fine but the dimmer switch was wonkie (no hi/low). I have used 4 dimmer switches so far. Then out of blue yesterday the headlights and dash lights are out. Turn signals work. I easily unscrewed the headlight switch. When I pulled it down past the ash trash, sparks everywhere....unhooked the battery after that. Hence something was live on the headlight switch. I put a new breaker on the headlight switch as well to no avail. I did notice one of the short jumper's did not have a wire attached nor could I find any wire to attach to it under the dash. Any thoughts on what the issue could be? I did order a new headlight switch from AZ.

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Posted on: 10/18 15:36:48
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Re: 1954 Pacific / headlight out again / dash lights out /headlight circuit breaker / dimmer switch
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 16036
Check to see where the wire I have questioned is going. It would normally be a fairly small diameter short jumper wire to the side of the double terminal you have indicated in green. The tail light wire would be on the terminal next to it. If the wire for dash light power is the wire going to the double terminal then it is the tail light wire that is missing.

The headlight switch gets power all the time so no surprise you got sparks if the battery was still connected when you removed the switch. Not knowing the state of your overall wiring it is hard to guess where the problem might be but the old wire insulation could be brittle and cracked somewhere allowing a short. The old plastic and rubber insulations was not very stable and can dry or shrink. When that happens it can shrink back back and allow the bare wire to be exposed causing a short at a bulb socket or where it crosses metal. Under the hood the headlight wiring goes thru some narrow spots in fenders when reaching the headlight buckets so it could be cracked and able to short in several spots.

I have long been a fan of adding relays when installing halogen lights. Some of the halogens have low or the same current requirements as the original incandescents but other halogens do need more. With your breaker cutting off after a period of use it could be an aging breaker cutting off below its rating or it could be the lights are pulling current right at the threshold of what the breaker can carry. Even with the incandescents, all that current thru the old headlight and dimmer switches could cause problems if the switches are dirty or aged enough to not be making good contact.

An advantage of adding relays is you can usually get the brightest light possible because you eliminate headlight current going thru switches and a fairly long length of relatively small wiring. With relays you power the headlights with a larger wire and thru their own breaker directly from the battery connection at the starter solenoid. The original small wiring then only powers the relays on and off.

You can put together a couple of relays on a small chassis and mount the assy near the headlight terminal strip on the left fender like I did with my 47. The red and green colors shown in the factory loom coming from the dimmer switch are for the 47. 54 has light green and tan, 51-3 has green and brown for the headlight wires coming from the dimmer switch. The same setup can be used on a 12v car by changing the relays to a pair having 12v coils.

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Posted on: 10/18 17:06:24
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Howard
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54 Packard Pacific / headlight/dash lights out / relay
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2019/10/8 12:10
From nj
Posts: 59
Thanks Howard. Your help is greatly appreciated. Stay tuned. TC

Posted on: 10/19 4:29:33
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Re: 1954 Pacific / headlight out again / dash lights out /headlight circuit breaker / dimmer switch
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2019/10/8 12:10
From nj
Posts: 59
Regarding the red arrow, that wire is going to the tail light location (yellow). There is a split ( 2 wires ) coming out of the "tail" terminal. Tail lights were working but no back up lights.

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Posted on: 10/19 4:45:55
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Re: 1954 Pacific / headlight out again / dash lights out /headlight circuit breaker / dimmer switch
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 16036
If it looks like a factory split cable perhaps the car has or had fog lights. They would have needed to add another terminal to the headlight switch tail terminal. Removing the existing tail light wire and adding a split wire with the tail light wire plugged back into a short pigtail sharing the dash light power wire would have probably been the way it was done. They used the same approach on other switches where an accessory was added and needed a terminal.

The factory fog light switch was separate from the headlight switch but was normally powered from the same breaker or power source. When it was turned on the switch sent voltage in two directions. It powers the fog lights as well as another wire going back to the tail light terminal on the headlight switch to power the tail and dash lights if the headlights are off.

If that is the case and someone removed the fog light switch perhaps that bare piece had a wire yanked out during the process and the connector was left in the terminal. If fog lights and switch are still present perhaps there is a wire hanging somewhere close by the dash metal that will be powered and can short if the fog lights are on.

If no fog lights or at least not the official accessory fog lights then you have something a previous owner did and you will need to trace out all the odd looking wiring. I have no clue where or what you might look for other than check for bare wires and cracked insulation anywhere the wiring runs thru holes or gets close to metal.

I don't have a factory drawing of the 51-4 fog light circuit but maybe someone has an accessory install sheet they could share. If not, here is an older drawing showing the basic wiring as it was typically done. Switch styles are different in this illustration but the wiring should be essentially the same. In this drawing, power starts at the BAT input of the headlight circuit breaker, out from the breaker to the fog light switch input B. When the fog light switch is on, F and T both get power to go to the fog lights and tail lights respectivly. If you did not have a factory setup then it could have been wired in other ways which I can not begin to guess.

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Posted on: 10/19 6:47:49
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