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headlights and taillights flickering

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bigshawn, May 6, 2013.

  1. So guys I had a weird thing happen today. Drove car all day [52 ford customline 6 volt] tail lights worked turn signals worked no problems. When I got in car to leave at night turned on head lights and heard a clicking sound. Lights would work fine a click sound then they would dim and repeat. Also when I heard the click sound my brake lights would go out and no taillights either . Oh and the voltmeter would read normal then the click sound and it would kick the needle over to dead the go back to normal. Im hoping it is just the switch because everything works as it should until I turn on my lights. Any help would be great thanks guys
  2. Voltage regulator? HRP
  3. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,154

    Atwater Mike

    Put a stethascope on the headlamp switch. It's got an intermittent open inside, and is acting like a relay...(opening and closing the circuit) You'll hear it.

    May just be loose screw connections at the switch. (or wire terminals loosened up over years of 6 volt high resistance)

    Yes, as HRP offered...Also listen to the regulator. Follow your ear, the problem is talking to you. That '52 had a built-in 'scanner'...
  4. rld14
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,609


    Headlamp switch?

    Wrong headlamp bulbs sucking too much power and overheating the headlamp switch?
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  5. stakebed
    Joined: Mar 10, 2010
    Posts: 31

    from White, SD

    Some cars had a circuit breaker built into the headlight switch. This would give you intermittent headlights to get you in off the road if you had a short in the wiring. If you haven't added a different headlight system that draws more amps I would look for a short in the headlight wiring, especially if the problem doesn't happen in the park light position. It's also possible the circuit breaker part is tired, and tripping at a lower amp draw than it was designed for. But I would first check the wiring for a short or bad grounding on the headlights. Jim
  6. Thanks guys Ive never had problem with lights had the car about 5 years now. Didnt check voltage regulator. But one headlamp was always brighter than the other
  7. It still clicks in the parking light position too. also high beam and low beam. I always had to kinda play with dimmer a little so maybe its in the switch
  8. It could be an internal built in circuit breaker in the headlight switch. I don't think Ford had that type of switch until around 1956 but if your switch has been replaced it might be that style. If it is then the switch is just doing it's job of protecting the headlight circuit from excessive load. You might have a short to ground somewhere in the circuit that causing the breaker to trip and then reset when the breaker cools off.
  9. its original I know its tripping the circuit breaker I hear it clicking
  10. If your car has its original wiring, and you don't find a fuse specifically for the headlamp circuit, I'd suspect that the headlamp switch has a circuit breaker. As already mentioned it may be working as designed so it might be worth looking for a short in the circuit before just replacing the switch and still having the same problem. :D
  11. Yes original wiring. and switch looks original too. So Im leaning more to a short or ground issue somewhere. Oh the joy of old wiring
  12. justinsr
    Joined: May 16, 2009
    Posts: 88

    from Salem MI

    just had the same issue with my 57 Buick. I too had one headlight dimmer than the other. fixed a poor headlight ground and no more issue.

    Sounds like a bad ground to me!
  13. hobiehunter
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 32


    At least there isn't a lot of wiring to check.
  14. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    from MN

    Maybe a headlight is better then the other, but will agree with a short somewhere. Rewire time, good luck.
  15. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,779

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Again, check for a bad ground on the dim one. This will cause more amperage to flow thorugh the wires, tripping the circuit breaker in the light switch.
  16. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,832


    I'd say you've got an intermittant short circuit that's tripping the breaker. Original frayed wires? It doesn't take much to have one touch ground.

    The only solution is to trace all the lines on the breaker circuit looking for defects.
  17. Thanks for all the input it is really helpful. I am going to dig into the wiring this weekend and find that bad wire
  18. Well tracked down the problem. Bad old frayed wiring on my driver side taillight shorting out against the inside of the trunk. Got it all cleaned up and working. Thanks for all the input and tips
  19. BoB Beeman
    Joined: Feb 20, 2012
    Posts: 22

    BoB Beeman

    Ya, sounds like a bad ground to me too.
  20. BoB Beeman
    Joined: Feb 20, 2012
    Posts: 22

    BoB Beeman

    Getting hot and kicking the breaker .
  21. Cruiser
    Joined: May 29, 2006
    Posts: 2,240


    If, your going to keep the car for a long time, I would put all new wiring in and get the old wiring out of there. :D

    CRUISER :cool:

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