Corvair DiagramCorvair Photo
Corvair Center
home forum corvairs calendar links Corvair Podcast
California Corvairs
Clarks Corvair
Clarks Corvair
“CORSA"



Chevy Corvair License Plate
Chevy Corvair Chrome Wheel
Corvair Center Forum :  Corvair Center Phorum The fastest message board... ever.
Corvair Center 
Pages: 12Next
Current Page: 1 of 2
LM headlights freak out
Posted by: tim l ()
Date: October 16, 2020 06:03AM

i haven't been able to find anything similar to this issue so far in all of my searches on a few forums. while driving to work at 4am my headlights just dropped dead. i pulled over into a parking lot and kicked on the high beams and noticed all four were now on but all four would go out after turning the high beams off. lovely. also, maybe, it seemed that the light was very very bright with all four on. i continued on to work but then the high beams went out so i was taking back roads to get on my way only to find the high beams coming back on and then going back off randomly. i replaced the switch in the dash and the floor switch with no luck. off topic, but i managed to knock the turn signal lever out with my head while trying to get in the remove the screws to the kick panel vent. i have a small grants steering wheel so it was the perfect storm. also, this comes on the heels of dying on the interstate last saturday believing my full pump gave up the ghost only to find out after the tow home that it had just rattled loose and wasn't pumping. been a great week!
anyone know what is going on with the headlights?
i am no electrician or follower of schematics and/or electrical speak. if anyone has some simple to follow instructions, that would be greatly appreciatedsmiling smiley

thanks!

tim

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: toms73novass ()
Date: October 16, 2020 06:07AM

I believe all headlight power goes through switch, that could be your issue. I will check schematic and report back.

-Tom


63' Monza Spyder Convertable (in process) MY Build Thread
65' Monza MY Build Thread
73' NovaSS 454 Big block (Sold)
86' BMW 325es
98' VW Jetta TDI, for daughter
01' Audi Allroad Stage 3 twin turbo
67' UltraVan 211 "Violet"
NFCC, UMCC
Grand Island, NY

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: toms73novass ()
Date: October 16, 2020 06:10AM

Just checked both HB and regular go through switch, that might be issue.

-Tom


63' Monza Spyder Convertable (in process) MY Build Thread
65' Monza MY Build Thread
73' NovaSS 454 Big block (Sold)
86' BMW 325es
98' VW Jetta TDI, for daughter
01' Audi Allroad Stage 3 twin turbo
67' UltraVan 211 "Violet"
NFCC, UMCC
Grand Island, NY

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: tim l ()
Date: October 16, 2020 06:17AM

i replaced both switches yesterday with the same results, the dash and the floor. last year while trying to figure out why i kept blowing out my low beams (turned out to be a loose main grounding strap) i checked all the ground wires in the trunk under the housing and even extra cleaned them up so i know all is well there.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/2020 06:20AM by tim l.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: toms73novass ()
Date: October 16, 2020 06:25AM

Sorry missed that in your post.
There is a thru wall connector in the trunk on drivers side were the inside dash wiring connects to the trunk wiring. It might have somewhat separated.

-Tom


63' Monza Spyder Convertable (in process) MY Build Thread
65' Monza MY Build Thread
73' NovaSS 454 Big block (Sold)
86' BMW 325es
98' VW Jetta TDI, for daughter
01' Audi Allroad Stage 3 twin turbo
67' UltraVan 211 "Violet"
NFCC, UMCC
Grand Island, NY



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/2020 06:25AM by toms73novass.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: October 16, 2020 06:27AM

Dirty connector terminals at trunk wall connector. Also check grounds inside headlight buckets. May be rusted up.

Al
Georgia

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: tim l ()
Date: October 16, 2020 06:30AM

thanks for the info! i will check and report back.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: October 16, 2020 07:38AM

What headlights are you using?

There is a 15 amp circuit breaker in the headlight switch.

If the headlights draw too much current, the circuit breaker will trip shutting off the headlights.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: tim l ()
Date: October 16, 2020 08:11AM

@RobertC,
I am not sure but they have fine for a long time until now but i will look into that as well.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: October 16, 2020 08:26AM

Check the red wire terminals in the engine connector. Maybe it can't handle the headlight amp load now. dirty or burnt contacts.

I am running a new 10 gauge wire in my Vairs to run a headlight relay system to get amp load off the one red wire coming to the front and the switches. It should prevent issues like you are having. I carry a extra relay with me that is common for the electric fuel pump relay, high speed fan circuit relay and now the headlight relays

Al
Georgia

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: October 16, 2020 08:57AM

The headlamp switch has an internal "thermal breaker" that supplies both LO and HI beams. If the amperage exceeds 15 Amps (that's the spec. but it can vary) a thermal breaker heats up and NO LIGHTS. Then it cools and the lights come back on. This was done so you didn't loose lighting completely, but even a half second of no lights on a dark road can be a disaster.

For years some cars (mostly European) fused the headlights on each side of the car so if one side failed and went dark you still had one side illuminated.

Today's after market relay harnesses are fused so the LO and HI are on separate fuses. So if one goes out you can use the other. I'm wondering if you have that type of relay harness in your car.

I prefer the one side fused separately from the other, but so far I've had to build my own harness to do that.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: Big Dave ()
Date: October 16, 2020 09:13AM

Check the connector on the hi lo switch on the floor. A lot of times there is corrosion and will give you intermitant power to the lights. Try wiggling the connetor with the lights on to see if they flicker or go on and off.

Dave A.

62 Greenbrier "Shaggy" Daily Driver
63 Greenbrier "Velma" (SOLD!)
63 Rampside Future Project
63 Monza Vert
64 Monza Vert, Son's Project / Daily Driver

Puyallup, WA

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: CoCoCo ()
Date: October 16, 2020 09:14AM

If it ever does it again while you're away from home (and assuming you have the normal complement of tools?) you can disconnect one side at the headlight so that the load on the switch and breaker are halved.
If it's really bad then this may not help, but it's worked in a pinch for a lot of people with other types of vehicles.
Especially easy when the headlights are exposed of course, as on many front engine cars. But not impossible to do in a pinch on a Corvair I would not think.

Good luck.

Paul

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: oldqmguy ()
Date: October 16, 2020 10:18AM

I had that problem many years ago!

Driving down a "country road" in Indiana late at night I stepped on the High Beam Switch and ALL the Headlights went out!! eye popping smiley

It was a cloudless night and I could see a turn-out into a farmers corn field so I pulled in there and looked at the floor mounted High Beam Switch (I always carry a flashlight or two). ALL THREE TERMINALS HAD BROKEN OFF! hot smiley

I spliced the wire from the Headlight Switch to the Low Beam wire and was able to complete my trip! This was in the 'pre-cell phone' days.

It was very rusty under that carpet (I had only owned the Corvair about a month) so I cleaned that up when I replaced the Switch. I also replace the connector as it was too rotten to reuse!

That may be 'why' High Beam Switches are not put 'on the floor' these days!? confused smiley

Always something FUN with these cars! eye rolling smiley

Dale cool smiley

Dale E. Smiley CPBE
Life Member The Society of Broadcast Engineers
RETIRED Broadcast Engineer
CERTIFIED CORVAIR NUT
CORSA/Circle City Corvairs/Corvair Performance Group
Avon, Indiana
WB9SFF
1967 4-Door Monza PG!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: TerribleTed ()
Date: October 16, 2020 11:51AM

What you describe is usually the high beam switch and or the 3 contact plug that plugs into it. The high beam switch and the plug and wires get corroded. New switch and new 3 slot connector with wire pigtail fixes them for good when this is the issue. Cleaning a crusty plug might get one by for a while. Replacing a crusty connector with separate wires and new female spade connectors will also work. Clark's sells a connector pigtail which is better than just wires and spade connectors.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avid Corvair hobbiest since 1984.
I have personally performed ground up restoration on over 20 Corvairs.
I currently work full time at restoring and repairing Corvairs.
Located in the Atlanta Georgia area.
[www.facebook.com]

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: tim l ()
Date: October 16, 2020 12:17PM

No luck so far. I unplugged the connector in the trunk but everything is tight and clean. Someone replaced all the harness wiring before I got the car. I replaced the floor switch yesterday with no luck and replaced the dash switch with no luck.the floor switch connector is nice and clean too.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: October 16, 2020 01:16PM

Did you check the red wire in the engine connector?

Al
Georgia

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: October 19, 2020 09:03PM

Al, If the red wire was a problem everything would quit including the engine.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 113 Corvairs and counting...

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: October 20, 2020 12:14AM

You have not stated what head lamps you are using?

Based on your description, the headlamps are drawing too much current and tripping the 15 amp circuit breaker in the headlight switch.

Whether it is because the head lamps are failing (lights too bright?) somehow and drawing too much current or you are using European head lamps with 55W or 100W bulbs; I have no clue.

Based on my feeble memory and experience, a 55W European style lamp draws 7 amps.

This is 28 amps with the high beams on (4 lamps). Does not trip the circuit breaker immediately, but will if the high beams are left on for a period of time.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2020 12:22AM by RobertC.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: LM headlights freak out
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: October 20, 2020 12:54AM

Bob, just what exactly are you referring to as European Headlamps?
Not the H-4 conversions by any chance?
I have run those in my cars for YEARS, and have not had any issues with leaving the high-beams on.
But I don't run 55/100 watt bulbs either.
Something like a 55/60, I think? And a 55 watt H-3 in the high-beam position.
The other car has the H.I.D.s, and I really love those! cool smiley

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
Have; '66 Monza Coupe - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 A/C Moredoor Monza
Have had; '61 Monza coupe, 80hp, PG
'62 Monza Wagon, 4spd.
'63 Spyder,
'65 Corsa
.
non-vair
'04 Dodge Cummins Quad Dually, approaching 400K
'03 Honda Del Sol
17'Terry

Options: ReplyQuote
Pages: 12Next
Current Page: 1 of 2


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.