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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just last night, on my way home, my headlights on the TD started flickering and then turned off. My dash lights were working just fine and the switch was on. Then I hit another bump and the headlights came on. Hit another bump and they started flickering again.

This was down a unmaintained private road, which is really bumpy.

Can anybody tell me where the problem may be? I'm not sure where the connection would be, as there are TONS of wires in the bay.

The truck is a '79 Trail Duster Sport.

Thanks!
 

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I would check the the plug going into the head light buckets or right where it comes out of the fire wall follow the wiring and uwill find the problem .. Also it could be the switch too if you find no short .
 

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Try to make the lights flicker with other accessories on. This might help pinpoint what wires are bad or shorting.
Play with the switch to see if there is a short in that as well. Pull it just enough until the lights go on and maybe wiggle it a little, do the same with the switch pulled all the way out. Not the best way to check continuity, but easy.
If you think it's a short in the engine compartment, wiggle some wires at night. Look for a flash and make sure you don't have a gas leak or flammable substances in there.
 

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check the grounds, the head light ground might be up by the radiator support on the right side
maybe but find and check the groundssssssssss
 

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i agree with mike.... i had the same problem with my 77 PW and it turned out to be the ground for the lights on the core support... pulled it off, cleaned it up and put a bigger screw in to hold it after finding a different hole to secure it into....... havent had a problem since
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm going to play with it after work, while I still have sunlight.

Fortunately, my spotlight on top worked. Otherwise, I would have been blind.

I'm also going to get wiring harness and get those fog lights up front working. There ain't no way I'm gonna get caught blind at night, especially on my dark road!
 

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Hi/Low dimmer switch on the floor.

-SM
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Slanted_Mind said:
Hi/Low dimmer switch on the floor.
I was actually thinking that when the lights were acting up. I jiggled it some while rolling and there weren't any changes as a result. The switch is also free and does not get stuck like my old PW did. I'll double check it tonight while I'm looking at everything else.
 

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were the high beams on when they flickered ?? if so, did you switch to low beams ??? I would say replace the high beam switch..it is like 7 bucks at NAPA. Then if you still have the problem, start chasing wires.

When the high beam switch goes bad, it will still switch and not stickm but the connectons inside it go bad, and dash lights and all will still work, just the headlights wil go out. Every time mine has gone bad, I lose all headlights in high beam position, but low beams still work if in low beam postion. I have also never been able to duplicate it in the shop...it has always happened when road vibrations were present..

You can make sure the wires to the headlights are good easy enough, and just follow them back to find the ground and other connections.

It is also possible that
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
TheRamChargerMan said:
were the high beams on when they flickered ?? if so, did you switch to low beams ???
Interesting question. I don't know actually. Maybe they were. I know I switched to high beams a few miles from home and it was on low when I was in my driveway. Very interesting.
 

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TheRamChargerMan said:
were the high beams on when they flickered ?? if so, did you switch to low beams ??? I would say replace the high beam switch..it is like 7 bucks at NAPA. Then if you still have the problem, start chasing wires.

When the high beam switch goes bad, it will still switch and not stickm but the connectons inside it go bad, and dash lights and all will still work, just the headlights wil go out. Every time mine has gone bad, I lose all headlights in high beam position, but low beams still work if in low beam postion. I have also never been able to duplicate it in the shop...it has always happened when road vibrations were present..

You can make sure the wires to the headlights are good easy enough, and just follow them back to find the ground and other connections.

It is also possible that
Mine did the exact opposite, turn on the headlights to find no lights (other than marker, tail, and dash lights), switch to Hi and they come on, back to low and they would stay on for a minute or two, then go off again. Either way, if that switch goes bad internally it creates odd electrical gremlins with the headlights. And sitting on the floor next to 15+ years of wet/muddy/snowy shoes, its bound to go out sooner or later.

-SM
 

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oopss..was gonna say it's also possible that you have a loose connection on the headlight switch in the dash.


I do know this..since I rewired my headlights using relays, I have not had any problmes, since the voltage going rtur these switches isn't as high now.

I have also had people swear I had on my high beams when the low beams were all that ws on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all for the insight. :)

It must be gremlins in the connections because the lights aren't flickering anymore. I checked all the connections I could see and they were pretty secure. My old PW used to do it once in a great while also. Just one of those things, I guess. :-\
 

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check the grounds, turn the lights on and watch em wiggle the grounds, mine did some really weird stuff and i could not find a bad ground even checked them with a meter. i whent ahead and cut and put a new end on the radiator support and it has not done it since(and it did it alot) now my lights are even brighter so if it does it again that is a place to look food for thought
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Last night, I fired up the ole girl and turned on the headlights. They were flickering and dimming some, but immediately got really bright. Then they just dimmed back to normal (which probably isn't normal). I'm going to find that grounding wire today.
 
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I would check the wires leading into the headlight switch, might have one loose connection in there happened to me once
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I checked the ground, located on the driver side of the radiator core support. Unbolted it and cleaned up all the surfaces. No apparent change. So, I checked the high/low beam floor switch. It's clean and looks pretty new, so I don't think that's at fault. So, next I'm going to go in and look at the headlight switch itself (not something I look forward to). :p

While I'm in there, I may rewire my idle switch (this bad boy raises the rpm of the engine while idling...probably for a pto, but I could see it come in handy for keeping the engine running on a cold day or in off camber situations). I'll keep you posted.
 

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Well, I've had dimmer switches that looked fine stil act up..they're only like 7 bucks
 
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