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Headlights circuit breaker

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  • Headlights circuit breaker

    Last fall when driving my 63 Lark at night with the brights on, my headlights and IP lights went out, then came back on. I had been driving about 45 minutes. This happened a couple of times in a few minutes. I arrived at my destination, had the car off for about 5 minutes, then had a 10 minute drive home with no problems. I replaced standard headlamps with halogens last summer and was wondering if this could be the cause. I'm assuming the circuit breaker tripped. This spring I drove with the headlights on for about 10 minutes with no problem. Also, no sign of wire damage, etc.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated!
    Thanks.

  • #2
    well i dont know about studs to much in this area
    but i know i had a 68 ford ranchero that i chased a problem just like this for close to 6 mos and come to find out it was my headlight switch also if i remember correctly my 74 continental did the same thing

    dont know if its the problem in your case but id sure consider it a possibility if i was you

    what does everyone else think

    Comment


    • #3
      This a common problem. I've had at least two Studes with that symptom. The factory breaker (made by Littelfuse I think) is just a tad undersize to handle halogen lamps. In addition, over the years, they seem to "fail weak", and trip off at progressively lower current levels.

      Remove the existing breaker, and take it to a good auto parts dealer, NAPA for instance. They should be able to match it up, or get you one rated at 5 or 10 amps more.

      If you are using high wattage Euro-type halogen lamps, I'd strongly recommend that you install relays. The stock headlamp wiring is pretty light for high-power lamps.

      Also be CERTAIN that the breaker is securely installed in its retainer. There have been instances of them coming loose and starting a wiring fire by shorting the hot post to ground. BTW, install the breaker so that the SHORT post is on the hot side.

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

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      • #4
        A headlight relay might help also; instead of all the current going thru the switch, the switch activates the relay, which feeds the lights. I installed one in a 6volt Stude, and it solved a similar problem.

        Comment


        • #5
          Very likely the ford and lincoln headlight switch problem was really a circuit breaker as well. Had a '79 mustang that suddenly developed the very same problem. Lights would work about 20 min or so and then start going off and on by themselves. This got me noticed by the local cop and I got pulled over, grrr. Turned out there was a circuit breaker built into the switch and I had to replace the switch assy to fix it.

          '53 Champion Hardtop

          Jeff in ND

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree with all the respondants to this thread, replace the circuit breaker and then if you want to actually *see* at night use your stock wiring to trigger a relay harness something like this:

            http://danielsternlighting.com/tech/relays/relays.html

            and consider switching to e-code reflector and bulb assemblies for the ultimate in headlights (note: may not be legal in all states)

            good luck

            nate

            --
            55 Commander Starlight
            62 Daytona hardtop
            http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
            --
            55 Commander Starlight
            http://members.cox.net/njnagel

            Comment


            • #7
              Tired or underrated breaker (mounted to the rear of the HL switch) theory works for me!
              I WILL say that I recently experienced the same aggravating symptoms with my Transtar truck. In THIS case, it was a faulty, female blade connector on the wiring harness that plugs onto the headlight switch! It had gotten so hot that it ceased to make contact - until it cooled down a bit. Thankfully, I had a few electrical connectors in the truck's tool box. I replaced the connector under the floodlights of a shopping center parking lot and drove the remaining 200 miles on home!

              Miscreant at large.
              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

              Comment


              • #8
                I ran into the same problem with the blue witch. Check your licence plate light wiring. It was tripping the breaker on mine. I rewrapped it and the problem hasn't presented itself again. If you are in most of the western states (California, for example) those Halogen lights may not be entirely legal on your car.



                Lotsa Larks!
                Studeclunker
                A.K.A: out2lunch
                Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                Ron Smith
                Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                Comment


                • #9
                  They may not be legal, but I've got them on the Transtar. I've yet to hear of a case where anyone was stopped for lite bulb inspection!

                  Miscreant at large.
                  No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks to all for the suggestions. I'll be checking into it this weekend. (If the weather holds out. See next sentence.) I live in Wisconsin and don't think the halogens are illegal. Either way, I'll take my chances. Its hard to use standard bulbs after having halogens.
                    Terry

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                    • #11
                      http://www.madelectrical.com/catalog/rly-1.shtml

                      All about relays for headlights etc.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sealed beam halogens aren't illegal at all, but the e-code reflectors with H4/H1 bulbs are illegal in a lot of places. I'm running Cibie e-codes in my Porsche with a custom relay harness, the difference between that and halogen sealed beams is more pronounced than the difference between halogen sealed beams and the old Tung-Sols. If you do lots of high speed travel late at night on deserted 2-lanes, you can even get 90/100W H4s (now those REALLY aren't legal) for lighting that just flat out rocks. They don't glare on low beam, the e-codes have a real sharp horizontal cutoff, but be careful on high beam, they will melt the eyeballs of oncoming drivers! (the lenses get pretty hot too.)

                        I will DEFINITELY be pulling them and installing them in my '55 coupe when I sell the Porsche. Words cannot describe just how awesome the high beams are.

                        I actually have a friend who was just about to sell some Hella reflectors that would drop right in a '63 Lark if you are interested in ultimate lighting. I can inquire if he still has them if you are interested. If you're just interested in keeping your headlights *on* you've already gotten some good advice.

                        good luck,

                        nate

                        --
                        55 Commander Starlight
                        62 Daytona hardtop
                        http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
                        --
                        55 Commander Starlight
                        http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Words [u]can</u> describe the agony the new halogens are on comercial drivers like myself. If I had my way, all of the blessed things would be illegal. There are halogens that come in a configuration that just plugs into your stock wiring. Might take some looking but they are available, and they wont irritate the other drivers on the road.

                          By the way, any european imports of the sixties had halogens and were converted (required by law) when they were delivered stateside. Studebaker dealers used to do it on the Mercedes that they sold.

                          Lotsa Larks!
                          Studeclunker
                          A.K.A: out2lunch
                          Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                          K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                          Ron Smith
                          Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                          Comment

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