Headlamp switch repair - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 18th, 2009, 06:10 PM
flynn23
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Scott Kozicki
97 NAS D90 SW
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Headlamp switch repair

My headlights went out about a week ago. Oddest thing really. If I throw the switch into the mid position, my parking lights and interior dash lights come on, but if I throw it in the third (all on) position, I get nothing.

I disassembled it and it appears the switch is bad, although I'm not sure why. If you look at the pictures, there appears to be that the head for the contact for the third (all on) position is missing. But not having ever seen one of these before, I can't tell if it's supposed to be like that or not. If I put a multimeter on the switch, it works fine, but apparently it's not getting enough contact in this position and I'm thinking the contact head missing is the reason. If I jumper the pigtail that's on the harness side, the lamps function as desired.

Before I order a replacement ($100!) I want to verify that this switch might be damaged and if anyone thinks it might be a bad idea to just drop a bead of solder on the contact to reform a head that will hopefully provide better connectivity to the switch internals.
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  #2  
Old January 18th, 2009, 07:44 PM
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nate
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the switches do burn out. you will need another, and it will probably happen again down the line, although you can prevent that by purchasing this:

https://www.expeditionexchange.com/arb/wiringloom.htm
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  #3  
Old January 18th, 2009, 09:59 PM
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Neil Steinhagen
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Scott, had the same thing happen to me, at night, in the cold of winter. Jumpered the switch and went home. Took out the switch and put a bead of solder on it. Replaced it and all was fine for another 2 weeks. Then went out again.

Bottom line, spend the dough and take the switch out once and replace with new.

-Neil
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  #4  
Old January 18th, 2009, 11:39 PM
flynn23
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Scott Kozicki
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That's a great resource Nathanial. I'll probably be spending way too much money with the guys at Expedition Exchange! Thanks for the confirmation that I just need to replace it.
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  #5  
Old January 21st, 2009, 08:17 AM
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Arbi Karapetian
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This just happened to me 2 weeks ago.
I was coming back from Mammoth, and had just finished pulling 2 Chevy Tahoe 4x4s and a Mercedes 4x4 stuck in the snow.
I got on the hwy, and no lights. Pulled into the Chevron station and pulled the switch, and it looks exactly like yours. I jumped the wire and drove home. Now, I'm thinking of installing a relay box inside the hood, for the headlights, as well as the 7 auxilary lights I have (half wired, half not yet) and the Winch.

I figure, a nice water proof relay box under the hood will serve all purposes, with maybe a couple of spare slots in it, in case I need power for something else.

The ARB loom is nice, but if you intend to put aux lights on your truck, the setup is the same, and you will need more relays.

I wouldn't risk repairing the switch though, as they always go out in the worst time possible.

-arbi
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  #6  
Old January 21st, 2009, 01:59 PM
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evilfij
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Take your $100 and spend $89 on the relay kit to upgrade the wiring and then do your bead of solder. There is a DIY thread in the small projects section in which I link to the kit.

Ron
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  #7  
Old January 21st, 2009, 02:20 PM
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Scott, if your switch tests okay on your meter, my guess would be that your problem lies with your dimmer switch (built into you turn signal switch). The contact points there are pretty lame. It doesn't take much heat to melt the plastic around one of the points. You may be able to get that switch to function again without replacing it. The relay kit is really a matter of when, not if... There is a diagram of the necessary wiring for relays at ralleylights.com if you just want to build the harness yourself. There's not much to it and they sell all the components.
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  #8  
Old January 21st, 2009, 02:57 PM
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Jim Cheney
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Yeah, your contact isn't missing, it has simply overheated and sunk into the plastic. I've never experimented, but I always wondered if you could get a wafer board from radio shack, drill the right holes, re-attach your contacts and then wire up the system with relays.
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  #9  
Old January 21st, 2009, 03:51 PM
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John Crouse
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Genuine switch is less than $45 from LRSeries.com and a Britpart replacement is less than $20. Shipping on little stuff is fast and cheap.
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  #10  
Old January 21st, 2009, 04:07 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Another one bites the dust. What kit are you guys referring to? I found this article

http://www.defendersource.com/faq/Li...ad.html#Wiring

And links there are bad. Is this the kind of thing you suggest? It's $168!

http://www.painlessperformance.com/w...rchField=30815

Surely I can just pick the appropriate rated relay and add them to the existing circuit? The existing wire isn't the issue, just that the current goes through the switch.

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 61rover
Genuine switch is less than $45 from LRSeries.com and a Britpart replacement is less than $20. Shipping on little stuff is fast and cheap.
Ooh, didn't see this before I posted. Makes you wonder how bad the britpart replacement could be...
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  #11  
Old January 21st, 2009, 04:15 PM
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Andrew Najarian
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I would just make your own (in fact I did). You can buy the relay mounts and terminals from waytek and put it together however you want. In fact, I could probably put some together for you guys from what I still have around. You can buy relays pretty cheap, I think I bought 10 hella relays off ebay for about $10. I think waytek carries them too, but I don't know what the price is like.
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  #12  
Old January 21st, 2009, 04:28 PM
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Tyler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin
Another one bites the dust. What kit are you guys referring to? I found this article

http://www.defendersource.com/faq/Li...ad.html#Wiring

And links there are bad. Is this the kind of thing you suggest? It's $168!

http://www.painlessperformance.com/w...rchField=30815

Surely I can just pick the appropriate rated relay and add them to the existing circuit? The existing wire isn't the issue, just that the current goes through the switch.

Follow-up Post:


Ooh, didn't see this before I posted. Makes you wonder how bad the britpart replacement could be...
I'm assuming that you could use the wiring kit that hella offers? Think I have one or two laying around in the garage for when ever my switch fails.
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  #13  
Old January 21st, 2009, 05:01 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Yeah, I'll just add relays myself.

Thanks,
charles
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  #14  
Old January 24th, 2009, 04:13 PM
flynn23
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Scott Kozicki
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I replaced the switch. The replacement from RN looked a bit beefier on the points and the mechanism itself than the OEM switch, although they are "identical" every other way. I like the idea of upgrading it to a relay based circuit, since I have 6 additional lights on the front and I'm getting ready to install two work lamps out back. Is the ARB harness that Arbi mentions the same as the one Expedition Exchange is offering? I looked around the forum for kits or other experiences, but didn't see anything in the last 2 years. I've got a ton of electrics in this rig (compressor, remote start, GPS, hd based sound system, cameras, alarm, computer, etc), so losing headlamps is a bit embarrassing.
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