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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, got a Tailight issue all of a sudden with this Truck. Initially had an issue where the Headlights would briefly turn off and then back on. So I figured the headlight switch was bad, and put a new one in, Headlights are fine, now no Tailights?? They both have new Bulbs, the Stoplights and directionals both work front and rear, and tailight fuse #8 checks out fine. Any thoughts??
 

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Do you have instrument panel lights?  They are one the same circuit, so if they are on you should be getting power to the tail lamp circuit.  If not, then you need to check for power at the switch and start tracing wires.  If you do have instrument panel lights, I would first check the ground coming out of the harness at the rear and make sure it's making a good connection.  If that doesn't fix it, verify you have power at the bulb sockets and if you don't, then I would start tracing wires looking for a break.
 

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so you have all lights operational except for running lights? Since the problem is sudden i would first suspect the switch you replaced and the bulbs but if it were me I would start with a test light on the rear bulb sockets with the lights in both the "running lights" position and "headlights on" position to see if you are getting power back there. Next i would get a small wire brush to clean the sockets. Removing an old bulb can leave the corrosion left behind that once surrounded it and get in the way of contacts with you new bulbs. Not sure on a 82, but on my 78 there is a ground wire that goes between the headlight switch and the dash. Make sure that is connected to a good ground. Mine connects to the metal dash near the far left drivers vent. Last, double check your placement of the bulb in the socket. Since both running lights are not working it seems it might be something toward the switch but these are quick test to start elimination. Are the replacement bulbs two filments? one for running lights the other for brake lights?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Even the instrument cluster lights work.... I tested all the bulbs individually to before I put them in. Guess my next step is to try another switch, then search wiring under the dash. On the switch there is what looks to be an electrical connection point, I dont remember anything connected here to the old one? What is it for...?
 

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Looks like an extra ground, I wouldn't worry about it.  That style switch is used in everything from trucks to old A-bodies, so some of them have a few different connections to make one part work for many.
 

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I’m going through the same issue.  I’ve got power at the fuse panel but nothing to the tail lights.  Brake lights work fine.  No instrument cluster lights.
 

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What is the name of the file?
 

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Never mind, I found it :D
 

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AF, mine turned out to be the headlight switch.  I unplugged it and jumped from the 12 volt souse at the plug to the other terminals and could get everything to work.
 

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Just a little update to my no tail light issue:

I narrowed the issue down to my headlight switch.  I disconnected the plug and using a Fluke meter ran a continuity test across all the terminals on the switch.  I was able to determine there was no continuity between the voltage in and the tail light terminal with the switch in either the park or headlight position.  I then jumped 12 volts on the plug to the tail light circuit and they worked fine. 

So, I replaced the headlight switch and wouldn’t you know it, no tail lights!  After working the switch knob in and out a number of times I was able to get the tail lights to work however only if I pulled the knob out maybe an 1/8”, far short of the first position or park light position and nothing in the headlight position except headlights.

The most aggravating part of this is I live 30 miles out of town and of course they are closed today! 

Folks, take a volt/continuity tester with you when you buy a new headlight switch.  I was told by a member of one of the Ramcharger Facebook pages that he has purchased several and none have worked!  One could surmise he, or I purchased the cheapest brand available however I went with the most expensive Standard brand. 

I’ll update sometime tomorrow.
 

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Thanks for the info! I'll keep that in mind.
Reminds me of when I bought new wiring pigtails for my front turn signals...I was caught up in the thought of "well these are new so it can't be the problem" but sure enough it was causing all my lights to act erratic and slow blinkers. I was about ready to throw in the towel when I decided to put my old ones back in and everything worked. New does not always equal good.

Broncowilly said:
Just a little update to my no tail light issue:

I narrowed the issue down to my headlight switch. I disconnected the plug and using a Fluke meter ran a continuity test across all the terminals on the switch. I was able to determine there was no continuity between the voltage in and the tail light terminal with the switch in either the park or headlight position. I then jumped 12 volts on the plug to the tail light circuit and they worked fine.

So, I replaced the headlight switch and wouldn't you know it, no tail lights! After working the switch knob in and out a number of times I was able to get the tail lights to work however only if I pulled the knob out maybe an 1/8", far short of the first position or park light position and nothing in the headlight position except headlights.

The most aggravating part of this is I live 30 miles out of town and of course they are closed today!

Folks, take a volt/continuity tester with you when you buy a new headlight switch. I was told by a member of one of the Ramcharger Facebook pages that he has purchased several and none have worked! One could surmise he, or I purchased the cheapest brand available however I went with the most expensive Standard brand.

I'll update sometime tomorrow.
 

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It's sad but the quality of "new" or reman parts for our older vehicles is not to be trusted.  In the past it was just a couple common items and a few retailers that you knew to steer clear of, now it seems the majority are hit or miss at best or complete garbage at worst.  Buyer beware.
 

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I got sick of going through headlight switches today at all the parts houses and decided I’d fix my original factory one.  I knocked the three long brad rivers out, sanded all the contacts, stretched a couple of tiny springs, lubed it with dielectric grease reinstalled the three brad rivets and reinstalled the switch.  I have everything now!!!
 
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