Headlights and turn signals not working

Home Forums General Discussion Headlights and turn signals not working

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  toller 1 week, 1 day ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #304970

    kms1
    Participant

    @kms1

    Hey Gang! Just got my ‘83 ’52 TDr off a truck from FL this week. Being that I bought it on the internet, I’m just going through it to see what I actually got. First question, if you can help a brother out, turn signals. There’s an arm on the tree but, it doesn’t matter if I go up or down, all four blink like hazzards. Then, headlights don’t work at all. Looks like a LOT of patching, crimping and splicing has gone on where the wires enter the bonnet. I replaced the lamps, no such luck. Switch next? Before I undo and redo all the original, albeit patched up, wiring? Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  pmossberg.
    #304971

    toller
    Participant

    @toller

    Check in the Technical section of the site for the wiring schematic for your make of vehicle. It is somewhere to start however as you have noted POs have made changes. As for the signal switch, suspect the contacts in the switch may be damaged or the spring that is activated by the signal stalk is malfunctioning. You can try to repair it but given the age you are probably better of replacing it

    David B Dixon
    Port Perry ON CA
    Sabine

    #304972

    toller
    Participant

    @toller

    As for the head lights, check the fuse first. If fuse is blown you can try replacing it but if there is a short in the circuitry then the fuse will just blow again. If fuse doesn’t blow after replacement then there has to be an open in the circuit to the head lights.

    As these cars have fibreglass bodies each electrical component has to have a ground/earth/negative wire as the body of the vehicle can not be used to conduct power. First check would be to run a wire from the negative post on the battery to the head light ground prong. Turn on the headlight switch and if it lights the problem has been isolated to a defective ground connection to the lights. Replace or repair the ground wire to each head light.

    If ground is not the problem verify head light switch for power when switch is off then check the other connections after turning on the switch. If there is power on all the contacts after turning on the switch and fuse does not blow then check to see if a relay was added to the circuit. You want to hear a single click sound in the relay when the switch is turned on or off. If no clicking is heard then replace the relay. If there is no relay then you have to check the wiring between the switch and the head light.

    When I was faced with multiple taped repairs in a power circuit I ran a replacement wire parallel to the original and cut out the patched cable. I then knew I had a good connection and only two potential points of failure in the future. Good luck and let us know how you make out

    If you know how to use a VOM then you can expedite the diagnostics. If not you can check YouTube for reading voltage and resistance on a VOM

    David B Dixon
    Port Perry ON CA
    Sabine

    #304973

    kall
    Participant

    @kall

    Tracing and fixing lights is great training for making the horn work. 😉

    #305049

    kms1
    Participant

    @kms1

    Thanks toller and kall! I replaced one lamp first. Nope. I cut out all that ridiculous looking , mismatched, multicolor, wiring under the bonnet and rewired the headlights directly to the loom with the connections as they had been, minus the whips and with matching crimps, looks great! No headlights. I ran a wire from the negative post on the (new) battery to the ground on each headlight, nope. The fuse, I should say, was the first thing I checked and appears to be fine, but I spun it around a few times just to make sure the contact was good. So, I figured its the switch right? Gotta be. Bought an identical switch from MG Magic, swapped it out and….nope. No fog light, no headlights. BUT, the brake lights and turn signals have always worked perfectly, front and back so, I’m at the end of my depth when it comes to electrical stuff, I have a very limited bag of tricks. I think I’ll take it to Midwest Hot Rods, I can walk home from there!

    #305054

    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Before you take it to Midwest, check the headlight (high beam) relay. I believe the headlight power goes through the hi beam relay  either before the headlights or before the switch. If that is not working or properly connected, neither headlight will work.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  newkitman.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #305056

    toller
    Participant

    @toller

    On my FibreFab TD there was an old style foot activated switch located to the left of the clutch pedal that allowed selection between high and low beam. The circuit ran from the dash mounted headlight switch to the hi/lo beam switch and then separate wires from the the hi/lo switch for the high beam element and another to the low beam element on the back of the headlight. I did not like the original design due to the amperage load put on the dash switch. I changed my wiring so that the dash switch was wired to a relay that closed the normally open contact in the relay allowed power to run from the fuse panel through the relay to the hi/lo beam switch on the floor. I suspect the relay that Allen is referring to is the hi/lo beam switch on the floor. In my Karmann Ghia they moved the floor switch to signal switch, and used a relay along the line of what I have described above to switch between high and low. The previous owner may have replaced the signal switch and wondered what to do with the spare wires that now come with replacement switches. If they were taped off or connected improperly to the hi/lo relay then that may be the source of the problem I realize trying to trouble shoot electrical problems can be a challenge for someone not familiar with electrical wiring. I spent a number of years before my IT career working in the machine tool industry wiring electrical panels and installing the electrics for lathes, milling machines, punch presses etc so dealing with electrical problems in cars from the 50/60/70s is not much of a challenge.

    David B Dixon
    Port Perry ON CA
    Sabine

    #305057

    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    I used the wiring diagram from a 71 Beetle as my TDR is on a 71 beetle chassis. These are the connections for my lights.

    Light Switch
    Terminal 1: one RED wire – Power in
    Terminal 2: one YELLOW wire – to instrument lights; one WHITE wire to Fuse 2 on fuse panel (input side)
    Terminal 3: Unused
    Terminal 4: One YELLOW wire – to Hi Beam Relay (terminal 56)

    Hi-beam Relay
    Terminal 56: YELLOW wire from headlight switch (terminal 4)
    Terminal 56a: YELLOW wire to Fuse 4 on fuse panel (input side)
    Terminal 56b: WHITE wire to fuse 6 on fuse panel (input side)
    Terminal s: BROWN wire to terminal s in steering column (this is the low/high beam switch in the column)

    But again…I made my wiring using the 71 beetle diagram. Hopefully it helps you out.

     

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #305058

    toller
    Participant

    @toller

    With Allen’s last note I now understand his reference to a relay. My TDR was using a 69 Bug chassis which apparently did not use relays. As my Ghia is a 71 and Allen’s donor chassis was a 71 they must have introduced the use of relays instead of relying solely on switches for powering loads on VWs between 69 and 71. Hence go with his directions if your donor was 70+

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  toller.

    David B Dixon
    Port Perry ON CA
    Sabine

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Skip to toolbar