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64 Daytona Headlight Problems

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  • 64 Daytona Headlight Problems

    Hello everyone. My recently acquired 64 Daytona sliding roof wagon has got some headlight issues. They'll stay on for about 5 minutes, then go off. Given about a minute's rest, they'll come back on. I'm acquainted with the weak/bad circuit breaker problems on the 64 Lark-types, so I installed a new 20 amp breaker. No help. Next I tried a new 25 amp breaker. No help. Installed a new foot dimmer switch. No help. The car has a newer (smooth faced) headlight rocker switch. I feel around under the dash, trying to find a wire whose temperature has risen to unacceptable levels. I feel the circuit breaker. Temperatures appear to be normal on everything I touch, so my fingers have told me nothing.
    Does anyone have any further troubleshooting advice? I thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Check all your other lights. Might be a short to ground in the tail light circuit. Or maybe the instrument lamp dimmer has a short to ground.

    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


    • #3
      I had this problem once on a '64 Daytona. After much hair pulling, I found that one of the license plate light sockets had a chafed wire that intermittently shorted and tripped the breaker. An old socket with a rusted or broken spring can also cause this problem.

      Jim Bradley
      Lewistown PA
      '64 Daytona HT "Rerun"
      Jim Bradley
      Lake Monticello, VA
      '78 Avanti II


      • #4
        Probably a long shot, but:
        Did a previous owner upgrade the headlights to non-sealed-beam "European" lights? They draw a lot more amps and require a separate relay and wiring.

        Skip Lackie
        Washington DC
        Skip Lackie


        • #5
          The circuit breaker is very prone to failure as it ages. Also, any water that has leaked under the dash will cause that circuit breaker to trip. I had one that failed all the time, and it was due to a rusty washer on the headlight switch. Look at all of that first, also check your grounds.


          • #6
            You probably should consider installing a relay system especially if you are using halogen headlight elements. They pull much more power than the original switches were intended to handle. This problem has been discussed several times before. Look at this thread for more info:
            Also, there is good info in this site (including schematics for a do-it-yourselfer:

            Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia
            '53 Commander Starliner (since 1966)
            '64 Daytona Wagonaire (original owner)
            '64 Daytona Convertible (2006)
            Museum R-4 engine
            1962 Gravely Model L (Studebaker-Packard serial plate)
            1972 Gravely Model 430 (Studebaker name plate, Studebaker Onan engine)
            Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
            '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine


            • #7
              Check the wiring connection at the left front fender just behind the headlight assy (2 black terminals that push together). Look for any possibile poor connection, clean the terminals as after all these years they become dirty. This corrected my headlight issues on my '64.