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No Headlights/dash lights on hawk

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  • No Headlights/dash lights on hawk


    Most of the lights on my Hawk were not working when I
    bought it.. I have replaced the rear wiring harness so far... taillights, brake lights work. I also got the front
    fender mounted turn signals working properly.. Now I'm trying to get the headlights and instrument panel lights working... there is no current going to the headlights.. No current going to the floor mounted dimmer switch. so the problem would seem to be under the dash.. I replaced the fuses under the dash. (Now the interior light works!) But.. still no headlights or dash lights. Before I replace those expensive switches, what is the most likely culprit? What else can I check? there is mention in the manual of a "breaker switch? but I don't see one.....

  • #2
    There is a breaker on the side of the headlight switch. Mine was bad, the switch was bad also, so I purchased a new switch (with breaker attached) from one of the fine Vendors listed on the SDC site. Water sometimes drips from the windshield wiper stalk and lands on that switch, causing it to fail, also.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with what Chuck says save for one little problem. You say you HAVE taillights (not to be confused with "Brake lites"). If you HAVE taillights, that would indicate that the breaker on the H/L switch is good. The taillights get their power from the same breaker and the wire that feeds them is attached to the H/L switch also. That's not to say that the HEADLITE contacts INSIDE that switch (different from the contacts TL contacts) can't be bad.
      If you're good at taking bitty things apart an able to get them back together - even if there's stuff like spring-loaded contacts involved - you can usually take a balky switch apart and clean it up to where it'll serve for another 30 years.
      The wire that feeds power from the H/L switch to the dimmer switch is solid white in color. I'd check at that terminal on the H/L switch with it on and see if you've got 12volts there. (Note - I'm assuming you got this harness all in place correctly)
      The wire that feeds the taillites is solid black.

      Miscreant adrift in
      the BerStuda Triangle


      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
      1960 Larkvertible V8
      1958 Provincial wagon
      1953 Commander coupe

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

      Comment


      • #4
        valleyguy,

        If you need a wiring diagram for your Hawk go to:

        http://www.studebakerparts.com/stude...ediagrams.html

        Some day I'm going to learn how to post a URL in a message.
        The 1950 Champion Starlight
        Santa Barbara
        CA

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the tips; I'll check that H/L switch a little closer;
          I didn't actually check to see if the tail lights work since they
          are not yet installed but I did check for current in the wires
          an there was current;; BTW the new rear harness did not match the factory colors so it was somewhat of a hassle matching things up. Thankfully, there weren't that many wires involved for the rear.

          Starlightchamp, the wiring diagrams on the site do not mention the 1958 Silver Hawk specifically, so I assume it is the same
          as the other Hawks for that year...?

          Comment


          • #6
            While we are on the subject, I know that the headlight switch is rebuildable, what about the instrument light switch? I have not been able to find any, and mine is in bad shape. Can they be cleaned up?

            Comment


            • #7
              Before you take it apart in an effort to rebuild it, disconnect all leads to it (label everything first!) and check it for continuity with an ohm meter. Try the various positions on the switch, and for each position where the lights should be ON, there should be continuity (little resistance). For each position where the lights should be OFF, there whould be an open circuit (high/max resistance).

              Try this for each terminal set that feeds the lights that are not working.

              Las Vegas, NV
              '51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434

              Comment


              • #8
                The problem with the switch is that you have to wiggle the switch to get contact with the "bright", and than if you move it to the "dim" side, you have to wiggle the switch again to get it to work. I have replaced the wiring harness, yet the problem persists.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The contacts inside the switch are dirty.

                  Miscreant adrift in
                  the BerStuda Triangle


                  1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                  1960 Larkvertible V8
                  1958 Provincial wagon
                  1953 Commander coupe

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If your light switch binds up, try dripping some lubricant into the area where the lever goes in. I've found that sometimes they are broken internally though. If you take one apart, be very careful because there's little springs and balls that have a tendency to fly everywhere when you take it apart.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would expect the "1958 Studebaker and Goldenhawk and..." wiring diagramsto be close to
                      what you have on the Silver Hawk. Close enough to help you identify most of the wiring. Why not
                      print out both 58 diagrams-their free- and check against some of your car wiring? I did this for my
                      63 Hawk and pasted the tiles together into a 28 inch square diagram. Easy to read and a great help
                      in circuit tracing.
                      ...Dick
                      The 1950 Champion Starlight
                      Santa Barbara
                      CA

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [quote]Originally posted by Chucks Stude

                        While we are on the subject, I know that the headlight switch is rebuildable, what about the instrument light switch? I have not been able to find any, and mine is in bad shape. Can they be cleaned up?
                        [
                        /quote]
                        Chuck, You may want to try Steven Allen for the instrument light switch. I got one for my 56 Hawk from him.

                        John Ratliff

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I want to give everyone a big caution about lights when they rebuild switches.

                          Even though they may work initially, the circuit may still draw too many amps and the circuit breaker will trip, leaving you going down the road with suddenly no lights. (A little bit scary when it happened the first time.)

                          I have found many problems tend to originate at poor connections at the headlights and taillights within the connectors or sockets themselves - especially those little light sockets that light up the little clear fins on front fenders of a GT.

                          Paul R

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My 61 Hawk, had a slow drip from the winshield wiper stalk, and that dripped on the headlight switch, and it rusted a washer underneath the high tension lead going to the switch. It produced enough resistance that it would trip the breaker at the most inoportune times(ie: when driving up into the mountains of New Mexico, near Ruidoso). Took it all apart to find that one little item. It does not take much to trip the breaker.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Chuck's Stude writes: "It does not take much to trip the breaker."

                              And that's as it should be. That's it's assigned task - not to frustrate you when you least expect it (and who goes around looking to be frustrated???), but to act as a protection against having a harness meltdown. Heh - you think a functioning breaker gives you fits![xx(]

                              As you've found out, shoddy connetiveness AT THE BREAKER can cause it to trip. The demands of the circuit it guards wouldn't normally cause grief, but if that durrent demand tries to get thru a crappy connection, you have excessive heat at what little contact area there is in a dirty/rusty/corroded hookup point. This causes heat and that heat'll make the breaker open up until it then cools down. Then the cycle's repeated again. Breakers - Fuses - your friends Circumvent them at your peril![}]

                              Miscreant adrift in
                              the BerStuda Triangle


                              1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                              1960 Larkvertible V8
                              1958 Provincial wagon
                              1953 Commander coupe

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

                              Comment

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