Headlights Went Off - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 5th, 2011, 09:35 AM
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Craig
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Headlights Went Off

First, thanks to everyone on this forum. You are all unbelievably informative and very generous with your knowledge. Last night when I was driving home, my headlights and instrument lights turned off. If the hedlight switch is in the half position then the instrument lights come on but if it is in the full position, the headlights do not work nor do the instrument lights but I can put the brights on. When I put the headlight switch to full position, the headlights and instrument lights come on for a split second then go off. I have checked all of the fuses under the dash that would correspond to the headlights and all seem ok. That is the extent of my knowledge of where to turn. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, the blinkers, hazards, brake lights all function normally. Thanks!!
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  #2  
Old September 5th, 2011, 09:40 AM
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Chris Hinkle
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Probably the switch on the column - they go out at the most inconvient times.
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  #3  
Old September 5th, 2011, 09:44 AM
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Craig
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Thanks for the quick response. Is this an easy fix or something that I should bring to my mechanic? I am somewhat handy but also easily frusterated!! LOL Thanks again
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  #4  
Old September 5th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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kevin
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It's not difficult.
Do you have aux lights or halogens on your truck and if you do are they activated by that switch?
In any case you might want to consider installing a relay for the lights.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 12:42 PM
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Chris Hinkle
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To be certain the switch has failed, pull the plastic off the column and supply power directly to the wires (circumventing the switch) - also make sure power is getting to the switch. Changing switches is easy.
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  #6  
Old September 5th, 2011, 12:46 PM
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Neill Thornton
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Changing the switch is easy. You remove the cowl from around the steering column, 5 screws if I remember right... remove the switch, plug in the new one, test real quick before buttoning up, then put the cowl back on.

30 minutes tops, and most of that time will be trying to get the damn rubber boot into the slot on the cowl.
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  #7  
Old September 5th, 2011, 02:47 PM
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Trevor Griffiths
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I've been retrofitting my customer's Defenders (and RRC/DI/Early D2) with a pair of waterproof 30 amp hella realys that are triggered by the exisiting headlight wiring. One relay handles both low beams, the other both high beams with a master fuse for both relays.
I'll take power for the lamps from the back of the alternator for the Defender, thus eliminating the headlight load from the somewhat fragile Genuine headlight switch. Everything still works the same Off/Park/Side High and Low. Plus, the gives you the option to add non-sealed beam Hella headlights with higher wattage H4 bulbs.
(waytek has the relays, bases, and mounting tabs, rallylights has the lamps and bulbs)
My .02!
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  #8  
Old May 11th, 2012, 05:19 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Craig, did this turn out to be just the switch?

My headlight switch broke last night, first not working, then literally disintegrated while I tried to engage it repeatedly. So we bypassed it and just connected the three wires together. However the headlights don't come on. I can push the turn signal switch forward to engage high beams but not regular. I checked the fuses and they are fine, although I did initially blow the high beams by accidentally touching the wires to ground.

It's a very simple switch, so I'm worried there is some other problem as well, so it would be nice to know if just replacing the switch resolved it for you.
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  #9  
Old May 11th, 2012, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
Craig, did this turn out to be just the switch?

My headlight switch broke last night, first not working, then literally disintegrated while I tried to engage it repeatedly. So we bypassed it and just connected the three wires together. However the headlights don't come on. I can push the turn signal switch forward to engage high beams but not regular. I checked the fuses and they are fine, although I did initially blow the high beams by accidentally touching the wires to ground.

It's a very simple switch, so I'm worried there is some other problem as well, so it would be nice to know if just replacing the switch resolved it for you.
Same thing last Saturday, Lol. I was driving down the interstate at 75 mph when all my lights went out.
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  #10  
Old May 11th, 2012, 09:09 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Did you have the same issue of only the high beams working when you bypassed the switch?

Lucky for me mine went out right as I was about to drive home.
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  #11  
Old May 11th, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
Did you have the same issue of only the high beams working when you bypassed the switch?

Lucky for me mine went out right as I was about to drive home.
Charles:

I've been thinking about this...just to be safe, you should pull the headlight(s) and put a test light in the harness to see if there's power to the low beams up front. Just to be sure your low beam bulb on each side isn't out (I know it sounds crazy, but it's happened before).

Actually now that I type it dawned on me that you didn't have power to the fuse panel for the lows. Could the wire be fried between the switch and the fuse panel? Likewise I know it sounds crazy, but on the 110 I left my headlights on recently and it did fry the brown hot feed wire that runs into the switch. I had to run a new power feed to the switch to resolve it.
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  #12  
Old May 11th, 2012, 10:34 PM
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Charles Galpin
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I haven't looked any further but will troubleshoot tomorrow. But the brown wire to the switch is live, that I know for sure.
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  #13  
Old May 11th, 2012, 10:46 PM
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C. if you use the toggle type switch I think I have at least one possible two... gotta look for them.
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  #14  
Old May 11th, 2012, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
I haven't looked any further but will troubleshoot tomorrow. But the brown wire to the switch is live, that I know for sure.
I know that...but I was thinking the red wire (I think) that feeds the headlights (to the fuse box) could have crapped out.
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  #15  
Old May 14th, 2012, 09:01 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Carlos email me. I emailed you the other day at your cox addy, but maybe it's changed?
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  #16  
Old May 14th, 2012, 09:45 PM
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I sold 4 switches today must be something in the air lately.
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  #17  
Old May 14th, 2012, 10:47 PM
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Mine went out last weekend just got it and put it in on Friday.

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  #18  
Old May 14th, 2012, 11:00 PM
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I had the same problem on my 110...solved it by wiring in relays for the high and low beams...still need to replace the switch. Common problem from what I've read and hella inconvenient when it happens at 3am.
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  #19  
Old May 15th, 2012, 12:25 AM
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Michael Jekogian
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I don't run my hella 500s through the switch so I was able to use them to see
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  #20  
Old June 18th, 2012, 11:35 AM
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Russell
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‘Tis the season... My headlight switch just failed as well. I can wiggle it around to get the running lights and off, but no headlights. Where is the best place to source the switch?
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