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tomnoller
09-02-2008, 10:04 AM
After about 150 shake-down (daytime) miles I decided to finally drive my 'new' 63 Lark OHV-6 to work this morning and had a thrill about 8 miles from home when the headlights, dash lights and tails all went dark. That got my attention. I tried the rocker switch a few times and hit the dimmer but nothing, so I flipped on a turn signal to see the fog line and be seen. At the first side road I did a U-turn to limp home and the lights came back on! Another 1/2 mile and they briefly went off again. I'm thinking my gunboat shoes might have tugged on a connector while using the dimmer switch.
Made it home grateful nothing worse happened...but the mouth sure went dry! [xx(]

Western Washington, USA

Transtar60
09-02-2008, 10:17 AM
Sounds like the circuit breaker is kicking off.
Maybe time to add some relays to take the strain off the switch or get a new CB.
http://www.madelectrical.com/electricaltech/brighter-headlights.shtml

http://www.madelectrical.com/catalog/rly-1.shtml


Check the dimmer switch too, as a bad one with corrosion or bad connections can cause similar trouble.

My 7E7 had some lights out problems when I hit a bump. Found out the bakelite portion of the switch was cracked and moving around. Previous owner had used bailing wire to hold the switch together.

http://racingstudebakers.com/coppermine/albums/userpics/10056/5E13%20Pic%203.JPG
3E38
4E2
4E28
5E13
7E7
8E7
8E12
8E28

59 Lark
etc

tomnoller
09-02-2008, 10:30 AM
Thanks Charlie! I did replace the dimmer but not the CB and will today!
That link looks like good stuff, thanks again.

Western Washington, USA

52-fan
09-02-2008, 10:40 AM
I had a 62 Scout years ago that had the lights go out on a dark stretch of road when I hit the dimmer switch. Very exciting! Not only did the switch fail to turn on the brights as I was attempting to do, but the switch hung and at first refused to go back to low beam. Lucky for me the road was straight for a few hundred yards. I finally got the switch to work on low beam and drove home.

http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s186/52-fan/StudebakersofArkansas2-1.jpg
1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, both w/overdrive.Searcy,Arkansas
"I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."

BRUCESTUDE
09-02-2008, 11:13 AM
I had a '54 Hudson Wasp a few years ago with the same on/off problem with the headlights. I found an NOS 6v headlight relay on EBay, installed it, and never had a problem again. After installing it, I wondered why they weren't more common on cars back then.......[?]

r1lark
09-02-2008, 11:19 AM
quote:Originally posted by tomnoller

After about 150 shake-down (daytime) miles I decided to finally drive my 'new' 63 Lark OHV-6 to work this morning and had a thrill about 8 miles from home when the headlights, dash lights and tails all went dark. That got my attention. I tried the rocker switch a few times and hit the dimmer but nothing, so I flipped on a turn signal to see the fog line and be seen. At the first side road I did a U-turn to limp home and the lights came back on! Another 1/2 mile and they briefly went off again. I'm thinking my gunboat shoes might have tugged on a connector while using the dimmer switch.
Made it home grateful nothing worse happened...but the mouth sure went dry! [xx(]

Western Washington, USA


Tom,

Had that happen to me in my '64 Commander. The lights would go out, and then after a short period 'CLICK' and the lights would come back on. Finally discovered that a bullet-style connector in the trunk just in front of the rear deck panel (IIRC, it went to the license plate lights) was intermittently grounding out (can't remember if the insulation got skinned off, or if the male part of the connector pulled out and was 'hot', or what. (Old age.....<G>)

Anyway, check this as a possibility.

Paul
Winston-Salem, NC
Visit The NEW Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

Guido
09-02-2008, 04:09 PM
I had a about 30 years ago I had a '62 Willys 4x4 wagon that had the same problem. The lights would shut off and then come back on after things cooled off a bit. Replaced the headlight switch and the problem was solved.

http://thumb14.webshots.net/t/63/663/9/36/86/2567936860097493054TXiheL_th.jpgGuido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful" and real Studebaker horsepower lives

See pictures here: http://community.webshots.com/user/GuidoSalvage

Hiding and preserving Studebakers in Richmond, Goochland & Louisa, Va.

tomnoller
09-02-2008, 07:33 PM
I replaced the switches with NOS when I had the dash out and apart and today went over the wiring. I examined it carefully when the harness was out of the car, looking for skinned or questionable spots, but it all looked good and was pliable enough to be reused. I did get a new 20A circuit breaker for the headlights and installed it.
Now, do I try it again at night?

Western Washington, USA

bams50
09-02-2008, 08:33 PM
No guts, no glory!:D

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

barnlark
09-03-2008, 11:24 PM
Do you have halogens installed?

bams50
09-04-2008, 05:46 AM
That's a good question. In the Lincoln world this same issue has come up. Plenty of reports of halogens tripping the breaker and cures for same. I have them in my 65 and have never had that problem personally.

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

tomnoller
09-04-2008, 09:41 AM
No, not using halogens.
Your line about guts/glory made me LOL, Bob. How true! Phantom electrical problems are the bain of my existance...along with home plumbing. AAARRGH!!

Western Washington, USA

bams50
09-07-2008, 07:34 AM
Meant to add: For those who have problems with halogen headlights tripping the breaker, here's a relay kit; and a good primer on relays:


http://www.madelectrical.com/catalog/rly-1.shtml

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

nels
09-07-2008, 07:54 AM
I've had that happen more than once to me and it is always with a Lark, maybe because that is what I usually drove. The problem was usually with the connection at the dimmer switch although one time I traced it to the headlight wiring on the pass side that was pinched between the headlight pod and the fender. I think that was a problem that I could blame the factory for.

tomnoller
10-24-2008, 07:23 AM
Must have been the circuit breaker. Drove the '63 into work today at 3am and never lost the lights for the 27 miles! Once again, thank you thank you for helping this amateur.

Western Washington, USA

barnlark
10-24-2008, 08:01 AM
I know you said you had replaced the switches with nos, but they aren't always good. I've purchased, from quality vendors, what looked like clean, nos switches and found them to have been used, or just old. I went with a newer model nos headlight switch with (I think) a built in 30 amp breaker/built in dash dimmer and have not had a problem with the lights going out since that swap. On occasion my lights dim/flicker a bit as if they aren't getting a full charge from the generator, but then it rejuvenates the longer that I drive it. Still not sure if my battery may have just been a little low when that happens.
Did your original problem happen while the lights were in the bright position? Mine would have intermittent failure on low, but would go out instantly on the high beams. It wasn't the floor dimmer switch, it was just that bad headlight switch as Guido suggested.
Good luck and may you always have lights when you're supposed to, Tom. [^]

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN1253_2.jpg

tomnoller
10-24-2008, 09:12 AM
Dave - Did you use a newer rocker switch in a 63? Bought mine from Chuck Collins and they were brand spankin' new.

Western Washington, USA