Sound like dimmer switch to you? - Pontiac GTO Forum
User Tag List

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
Super Moderator
 
BearGFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Springtown, TX
Posts: 5,737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Garage
Headlight Issues

So yesterday after work I drove the Beast a couple hours down to where Mrs. Bear is spending the weekend dog-sitting for her step-mom. After it got dark I was having the devil of a time seeing (yeah, I'm olde and that's a factor, but....). I checked the headlights after I arrived and on low beam they looked dim to me even though both sides were on, and further when I put them on high beam it went into cyclops mode with the drivers side lights both on but only one passenger side bulb on but super dim. I've also noticed my high beam indicator is on vacation.

So before I start tearing into things --- does this sound like a bad dimmer switch (it's original), headlight wiring harness (it's new), maybe a bad ground? I don't have my wiring diagrams with me...

Update: Well, it aint the dimmer - doggone it. Guess it's time to get the meter out (luckily I brought it) and start chasing.

Bear

BearGFR
Springtown, TEXAS

Last edited by BearGFR; 07-28-2012 at 11:39 AM.
BearGFR is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
Super Moderator
 
BearGFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Springtown, TX
Posts: 5,737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Garage
Well duh!!! I just pulled all 4 headlights --- I'm only getting around 8 volts to each one. Joy - so I decided to check it with the engine running, which turned out to be a problem because it wouldn't start. Eek... so I jumped it off Mrs. Bear's car, then put the meter across the battery to test the voltage regulator. Sure enough, only 13.5 volts at charge. Dangit... this will make the 3rd regulator I've put on this thing since November.

I wonder if heat in the engine compartment is killing them? I've been using the solid state ones because I haven't been able to find a quality points-type regulator.

Bear

BearGFR
Springtown, TEXAS
BearGFR is offline  
post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 11:19 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 704
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
get a points one. Delco
pontiac is offline  
 
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
Super Moderator
 
BearGFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Springtown, TX
Posts: 5,737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Garage
I'd like to find a reliable points-type regulator, Pontiac. Who carries Delco around here?

Bear

BearGFR
Springtown, TEXAS
BearGFR is offline  
post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 07:31 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 4,702
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Garage
Bear, Did more volts cure the problem??? It sounds like the infamous ground issue to me...Although it is kiiiinnnnda the same thing...what goes out (+)...must come back(-)....Eric



Eric Animal is offline  
post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 10:26 PM
 
jetstang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Niceville, FL
Posts: 3,376
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Garage
Sounds like a ground issue to me also. I put 1 wire alternators on my cars, $50, autozone, and lifetime warranty. You can fake the spare wires up there if you want. Ditch the external alternator and call it good. 1 wire from Alt to battery is all you need.

Burning rubber since 1982!!
My photobucket, lots of dif car pics.
http://s411.photobucket.com/home/jetstang
jetstang is offline  
post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
Super Moderator
 
BearGFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Springtown, TX
Posts: 5,737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Garage
I replaced the regulator, had the alternator and battery tested and both tested good. However, driving the car home last night, running it for about 30 minutes with the headlights on was enough to drain the battery to the point where it wouldn't start and had to be jumped. I'm suspecting that even though the alternator tested good (at Autozone) it's not able to keep up with demand at full load, running the headlights.

Bear

BearGFR
Springtown, TEXAS
BearGFR is offline  
post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 10:56 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 4,702
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Garage
Bear, What "size' alternator are you running? And do you have a lot of extra electric accessories (electric fans, stereo amps, etc.) ??




Last edited by Eric Animal; 08-04-2012 at 10:57 AM. Reason: spelling
Eric Animal is offline  
post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
Super Moderator
 
BearGFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Springtown, TX
Posts: 5,737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Garage
Yeah, stuff that's "beyond stock" include twin Spal electric cooling fans and the HEI. According to Spal's web site, the fans alone can pull 40 amps, add 5 for the HEI, and I'm nearing the capacity of the alternator right there. I've been researching the past few days, and I'm leaning heavily towards replacing the factory alternator with a Delco CS144 style unit. That'll give me 140 amps, and I hear they also produce more output at low rpm. The wiring conversion to hook it up and eliminate the VR while retaining the charge warning light doesn't look too bad.

Bear

BearGFR
Springtown, TEXAS
BearGFR is offline  
post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 12:57 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 4,702
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Garage
I think the factory alt is around 50-60 amps.....me thinks you are suckin' harder than the ol' girl can put out!!



Eric Animal is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, LeMans & GTO Projects, Barn Finds & Restoration Discussions

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Pontiac GTO Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
66 top switch stevebrochu 1964-1974 Tempest, LeMans & GTO Technical and Electrical Wiring 2 07-04-2012 02:39 PM
What does the on/off switch do exactly? batmans 2004-2006 GTO General Discussion 11 11-15-2010 03:44 AM
posi switch- crustysack 1964-1974 Tempest, LeMans & GTO Technical and Electrical Wiring 7 02-08-2009 07:41 PM
Light dimmer lever Gregscalade Interior Discussions 2 12-08-2006 08:20 PM
Headllight switch Balew 2004-2006 GTO General Discussion 4 10-23-2006 12:41 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome