Headlights quit on me - fix with pics - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old October 22nd, 2017, 10:27 PM
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Paul B
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Headlights quit on me - fix with pics

I just received my imported South African Ď88 110 and my head lights recently went dim them quit working.
Found the fix after a few hours of poking and prodding.
Maybe this will help someone else down the road.
I checked from the head light on back to the steering column and sure enough it was a loose fitting connection on the low beam in the steering column. I pulled all of the headlight wires off and cleaned the connection and slightly crimped the casing to fit a bit tighter.
So far itís working.



Now Iím off to try and figure out why my rear break lights donít work when I depress the break pedal. Iíll take any advice you guys have on that. Figure thereís some relay switch on the break pedal?
The rear (red) lights work and are on constant when the front lights are on and the blinkers work.

Cheers,
Paul


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  #2  
Old October 22nd, 2017, 11:09 PM
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Check the Brake Switch. It sits right on top behind the brake booster. Cleaned mine by soaking it in a bottle of petrol over night. Did the trick.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunyan View Post
I just received my imported South African Ď88 110 and my head lights recently went dim them quit working.
Found the fix after a few hours of poking and prodding.
Maybe this will help someone else down the road.
I checked from the head light on back to the steering column and sure enough it was a loose fitting connection on the low beam in the steering column. I pulled all of the headlight wires off and cleaned the connection and slightly crimped the casing to fit a bit tighter.
So far itís working.



Now Iím off to try and figure out why my rear break lights donít work when I depress the break pedal. Iíll take any advice you guys have on that. Figure thereís some relay switch on the break pedal?
The rear (red) lights work and are on constant when the front lights are on and the blinkers work.

Cheers,
Paul


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  #3  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 06:41 AM
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Jeff B
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Your headlights will likely fail again until you fix them properly with a relay system.

All the current goes through the headlight switch, it gets hot, it gets loose, it burns out.

Get a relay kit or make one yourself and fix the problem for good.



.
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  #4  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomar View Post
Your headlights will likely fail again until you fix them properly with a relay system.

All the current goes through the headlight switch, it gets hot, it gets loose, it burns out.

Get a relay kit or make one yourself and fix the problem for good.



.

Plus a replacement switch. It failed cos its fried.
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  #5  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 08:10 AM
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Thanks for the advice guys! Iím not afraid to turn a crank and get dirty but Iím a novice when it comes to engines and anything else electric on vehicles.
Is a relay kit something generic or specific to Defenders?
Whatís the difference on the relay kit and the switch?
Thx!



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  #6  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 08:14 AM
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Or install LED headlamps and avoid the relay hassle. The switches are notoriously failure-prone.
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  #7  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 08:28 AM
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I have LEDís on order. Was going to try and install them myself. Sorry for my ignorance but how does that fix the relay problem? Lower voltage draw running thru the switch?



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  #8  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 11:56 AM
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Yes lower AMPERAGE going thru switch. Much lower than stock. Stock draws roughly 5.4 amps on high and the LED draws about 3 amps per lamp. So with LEDs you are putting about 6 amps through the switch on high beam.

Using a relay take the electrical load off the switch and puts it on the relay. The switch then only uses a few milliamps to operate the relay. Relays are preferred for heavy duty use especially high amp loads. You can use heavier wire to reduce voltage drop over the wire run and to make a more robust circuit. Wiring in a relay isn't particularly complex or time consuming. You may need a bit more blue/white and blue/red wire since you'd use a relay for each circuit; high beam low beam.

Anyway, you're going LED so you're good.
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  #9  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunyan View Post
I have LED’s on order. Was going to try and install them myself. Sorry for my ignorance but how does that fix the relay problem? Lower voltage draw running thru the switch?
Well, LED’s will draw less current than the halogen headlamps, but hey will still draw significantly more current than the relays will. Truck-Lite’s LED headlamps, for example, draw 3-4 amps each, or about 6-8 total. Two 55 watt halogens are going to draw about 9 amps total (at 12V). SO while there is a savings, you can see there is still a fair amount of current draw through the Fragile Rover Switch.

You may also want to consider what voltage drop you see at the lights using the factory wiring. Even though your headlamp switch can probably shoulder the load of the LED headlamps, you still may see longevity/performance increases using the relays.

Kits are available from a number of places as plug and play harnesses. Essentially all they do is have your existing headlamp wiring plug into the new harness, then the new harness has new connectors for the headlamps themselves, and a heavier gauge wiring for the headlamps as well as the positive and ground leads that get hooked either directly to the battery (or to the Alternator Output in my case).

Now the only load the headlamp switch sees is about 100 mA or .1 Amp (generally a 12V coil base relay draws around 30-50 mA, so estimating on the high side here).

With halogen headlamps the now nearly unmeasurable voltage drop makes a big difference in the headlamps performance, but with LED’s I’m not sure if that would apply, or if there is enough voltage drop to make it worth it. But to me, ensuring the life of the fragile Stock Headlamp switch and wiring is worth the peace of mind, even with LEDs..

That was more than 2 cents worth, hope it was helpful..
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  #10  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 12:03 PM
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Yes, thank you all for the feedback. This is very helpful.
Much appreciated.


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  #11  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 02:00 PM
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I have the ARB relay kit but it looks like Rovers North sells an economy kit...

PERFORMANCE HEADLAMP HARNESS, RNA0330 - Rovers North - Classic Land Rover Parts


This is a must for those of us who despise LED headlamps.


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  #12  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomar View Post
I have the ARB relay kit but it looks like Rovers North sells an economy kit...

PERFORMANCE HEADLAMP HARNESS, RNA0330 - Rovers North - Classic Land Rover Parts


This is a must for those of us who despise LED headlamps.
Nice find, Half the cost of the ARB harness!

I don't know that I despise LED Headlamps, but I am more than happy with the performance of the Hella H4 housings, 80/100 H4 bulbs and the wiring harness..
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  #13  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 02:24 PM
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That is the red bison harness that exists in several iterations from a number of vendors.

I have it on my truck, easy to wire, quick install.
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  #14  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 02:39 PM
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I have an ARB relay harness on my 90, an IPF harness on my RR Hunter, and a homemade on my LWB.


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  #15  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 05:22 PM
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6 amps isn't much. Even 18 awg can handle that no problem. Relays on both high and low beam would be overkill. Heck it's overkill on regular halogen headlamps.
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  #16  
Old October 23rd, 2017, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
6 amps isn't much. Even 18 awg can handle that no problem. Relays on both high and low beam would be overkill. Heck it's overkill on regular halogen headlamps.
I'm not so sure 6 amps isn't too much for the Stock switch over time. Stock Halogens 'only' draw 9 amps..

I'd go for the harness anyway, LED headlamps or not. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, OP can take the info and make his own decision..
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  #17  
Old October 24th, 2017, 12:20 AM
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Well, seems like a split decision on this one. Just left my buddies house after watching the Skins get railed by the Eagles so I may string up a few run on sentences here after having a few soda pops and since I already ordered the LED lights (sorry for the die hards that believe in O.E.M. Lighting) I will give the stock switches a run for their money on whatever wires and relays are delivered with my LED lights. I guess thereís nothing holding me back on adding relays and new switches if/when it does implode on me.
Look at that, I was able to string a few sentences together.
All in all, Iím having a blast with this beast and am enjoying getting to know her better.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge.



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  #18  
Old October 24th, 2017, 10:02 AM
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Truck Looks Great! (I'd turn the white letters in, but otherwise awesome).. Enjoy..
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  #19  
Old October 24th, 2017, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Or install LED headlamps and avoid the relay hassle. The switches are notoriously failure-prone.
We do this on most every truck through the shop...
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  #20  
Old October 27th, 2017, 03:08 PM
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Paul B
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Need more advice??
I installed the new LED headlamps and on the bench test they worked great. After installing them they quit working again and Iím only getting 1.5V at the headlight plug.
Maybe Iím only supposed to get 1.5V after the LED relay transformer thing?
Maybe a bad switch on the steering column?
This is frustrating...
Every now and then theyíll work. Usually after it sits and I turn the high beams on.
But only for a short while.
Thx again for any insight!


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