69 headlight conundrum - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 13, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Jennifer
 
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69 headlight conundrum

Got the 69 on the road after sitting for many years and now we have an odd problem. When driving with the lights on after about 5 minutes both headlights will blink off and on. It is only the headlights, they do it at the same time, doesn't make a difference if brights are on or not and there is no pattern to the blinking. If we turn the lights off and then back on while driving they will stay steady for a minute or so. If we shut the car off then restart and resume driving they stay steady for a couple of minutes.

I have checked all the wires and grounds that I can get to without tearing into anything. We also replaced the circuit breaker on the firewall which didn't help. Any other suggestions?

Frosty 69- L65, TH350, original RS (and will be again some day), 59 59 frost green with D90 hockey stripe, power windows- back on the road after 20 long years!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 13, 08:10 PM
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

First thing that comes to mind after grounds is the headlight switch. It has a built-in circuit breaker that could be going bad, though I've never heard of it happening. Make sure the harness is securely plugged into the switch. Could also be a failing dimmer switch or a bad connection there.. Also make sure the bolt holding the harness bulkhead connector is tight (under master cyl).


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 13, 08:10 PM
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

Time to try a new headlight switch. The h.l.s. has a thermal breaker that can act like that when they get old.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 13, 09:17 PM
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by dyno jonn View Post
Time to try a new headlight switch. The h.l.s. has a thermal breaker that can act like that when they get old.
Bingo. Call AAW for an upgraded switch.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 13, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Jennifer
 
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

The headlight switch was just replaced during the refresh, hopefully it is not bad but I'll try for a closer lok at the wires there. Everything on the bulkhead connector is tight and looks original. So now I'm off to order a new dimmer switch and pray that works. Thanks for the quick input!

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 06:43 AM
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Darrell
 
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

I had the same problem with my 68 and had a new headlight switch from NAPA. I replaced it with a Delco and the problem is gone. I found if I pushed the switch up and held it the lights would stay illuminated.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 07:34 AM
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

The headlight switch has a circuit breaker built into it. This was done instead of running the headlights through a fuse so that in the event of an overload on the lighting circuit you would still have the lights working enough to get yourself home.

The circuit breaker was designed to work with the sealed beams that were used at the time. Now that many of us have upgraded to higher output lights the load on the light switch is higher which can cause the flickering effect.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

The new headlight switch was a basic one from a local auto parts store. Is it worth ordering a better quality one? I have to place an order with NPD this week anyway. Any suggestions on which one to get? Car was originally an RS and the wiring is basically all original. The RS parts were stripped from the car a long time ago and it was rebuilt as a non-RS.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 03:51 PM
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

I prefer the heavy duty headlight switch that have a porcelain ring for the dash light dimmer. Especially on an RS with console gauges where extra draw tends to heat up the rheostat. Back in the day these were standard or Bakelite insulated the rest of the switch but now it's plastic so there is no heat protection.

If you are using better quality bulbs you might consider building or buying a relay harness that uses the original switch as a trigger and powers the headlights direct from battery feed. There was a recent post showing how to build your own or hit eBay.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 13, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

Quick update in case it helps others. Tried replacing the dimmer switch and new negative battery cable and ground wires with no luck. Replaced the headlight switch with an AC Delco one from NPD and bingo, problem solved. Thanks again!

Frosty 69- L65, TH350, original RS (and will be again some day), 59 59 frost green with D90 hockey stripe, power windows- back on the road after 20 long years!
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 13, 05:31 AM
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

Your other option which you could still do and benefit from is to install a headlamp really kit, it will allow your headlamps to run brighter and transfer the electrical current load of the headlamps from the switch in the dash and the rather long wiring run into the car and back out to the relays instead. Didn't see the post/thread until now or I would have suggested it sooner.

If this is something you still want to consider doing, I have a thread on the kit I purchased and installed earlier this year and did a little review on as well at the following link; https://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=234681

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 13, 06:19 PM
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

I may get the relay kit also. My headlights flicker on high after I put H I's in so I've been only using the lows which is still brighter than the old high beams. I new switch may be a good thing to get also.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 13, 06:27 PM
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

An electrical problem that happens consistently after being on for a length of time is almost always heat related.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 13, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

Thanks for the info Scott. Added to the to do list (which seems to get longer the more often I tell myself the car is "done")

Now on to the chase the brake light issue...

Frosty 69- L65, TH350, original RS (and will be again some day), 59 59 frost green with D90 hockey stripe, power windows- back on the road after 20 long years!
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 13, 06:49 PM
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Re: 69 headlight conundrum

Jennifer, Your welcome, when I installed the kit in my 69 RS I ran the wiring in between the radiator support and the radiator tank. I took the power for the relay harness from the bus bar/horn relay and used the original drivers side headlamp connector to trigger the relays on and off. That leaves the relays over on the drivers side, I just tucked them in under the fender, they don't need to be bolted to anything, they can just lay/hang there and they are fine. Only takes around an hour to install. Good luck - Scott

Quote:
Originally Posted by nsaneblk View Post
Thanks for the info Scott. Added to the to do list (which seems to get longer the more often I tell myself the car is "done")

Now on to the chase the brake light issue...

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