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Lights with mind of thier own

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  • Lights with mind of thier own

    Anyone have a theory why the headlights on my 63 cruiser turn on and off on thier own.I have replaced the switch in the dash and no change. Someone said it would be a "circuit breaker" and that they are just getting hot. All right folks let the knowledge rain forth.PLEASE! Stan

  • #2
    it probably is the circuit breaker, it's a little rectangular metal can thing with two studs on the back, clipped to the back of the instrument panel. should be a regular parts store part, if you have a good FLAPS. 1688932 from a Stude vendor. Should be a 20A unit. ISTR that in 63 or 64 some of the circuit breakers got mixed up and an incorrectly rated one was installed in some cars but I can't remember if it was the headlight one or not. In any case they sometimes do go bad after a while esp. after they've been tripped before.

    If a new CB doesn't cure your problem, the headlight circuit is drawing too much current. Are you running high-power headlight bulbs by any chance? Obviously check for chafed wires as well.

    good luck


    55 Commander Starlight
    62 Daytona hardtop
    55 Commander Starlight


    • #3
      I've had this problem. In my case it was the licence plate wire. It was chafed and shorting out. Check where your wires go into and out of the body. Along the front, in the trunk, and especially that infamous Lic. plate light.
      I've found wrapping the wires that pass through the body with electrical tape helps. the ones without the rubber grommets to protect them that is. I just wrap them where they pass through. That way the tape gets the brunt of the abrasion and not that fragile old wire.
      As for that old breaker? There could be nothing wrong with it. It seems to be doing it's job. Assuming that is, the problem is a short.

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


      • #4
        Nate is almost right....and so is the other guy. First off you need to check for ground outs but Studebaker goofed up with the headlight circuit breakers in the sixties and sent some out with 20 amp circuit breakers instead of 30 amp. with time the old breakers also get the tungston burnt off and trhey do not make contact so well. I bet that trhe light go out on highbeam and not low beam also. The 63s are harder to gehto but with my 64 and 65 I cna slide my hand under the dash and grab hold of the headlight switch and when I drive my 65 with dual lights to long on high bean that switch gets toasty and I just replaced it not so long ago.

        If it is the breaker it too will be real warm to the touch so once you make sure that you are not having extra grounds replace the breaker with a 30 amp one. Your local flaps will have one as it is nothing special. Just a breaker with two studs on the back of it.
        If you car is ugly then it better be fast.....

        65 2dr sedan
        64 2dr sedan (Pinkie)
        61 V8 Tcab
        63 Tcab 20R powered
        55 Commander Wagon
        54 Champion Wagon
        46 Gibson Model A
        50 JD MC
        45 Agricat
        67 Triumph T100
        66 Bultaco Matadore


        • #5
          Thanks gents, I will follow you all's info and let you know how it turns out. Local law inforcement has been rather understanding. " Sir, This is rather serious and I will ticket you, if I pull you over a third time. Good luck" I think they just like to get a good look at the car. Same guy got me twice. The first time the officer was alone and "inspected" inside the car with me standing ALONE behind the car. VERY non-s.o.p. The second time his new partner was looking at the car more than me.[8D] Stan


          • #6
            Replace the headlight dimmer switch. It's readily available at NAPA as well as other FLAP stores. Takes aabout 5 minutes.
            Dan Miller