No Headlamps!! - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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  #1  
Old 12-15-2007, 01:29 PM
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No Headlamps!!

Last night, I noticed the headlights on my 1990 F-250 wouldn't turn on. Everything else in the electrical system is fully functional (Blinkers, Parking Lights, Cabin Light, Gauges, Starter, Etc.) so I reasoned I had merely blown a fuse. Nothing is what it seems though.

I checked the fuse continuity, tested good.
Pulled out fuse #4 to check voltage - read 12 V across terminals

used Haynes manual to determine the TAN/WHT was the headlight output of the fuse box into the MAIN LIGHT SWITCH. The manual says that the RED/YEL wire is the output of the MAIN LIGHT SWITCH into the DIMMER SWITCH. This isn't the case in my truck, and it is my belief that this isn't the case in any 1987-91 ford F-Series or Bronco. The dimmer is probably just a rheostat or pot inside the switch itself. What the manual should show, at least in my case, is the RED/YEL wire going out of the cab via that large, white, circular feed-through plug-thing. After that, I can't really make out what is going on in that rat's nest of a wiring harness without doing some serious dismantling to find out where the RED/BLK and the LT GRN/ BLK wires of the headlamp assemblies actually are connected to the RED/YEL wire from the switch.

Anyways, I ended up checking voltages between the TAN/WHT wire and the RED/YEL wire to check the functionality of the MAIN LAMP SWITCH. These are the results:

OFF position: 12V
PARKING AND INSTRUMENT LIGHTS position: 12V
HEADLAMP position: 0V

This is telling me the switch is working the way it should be. This also tells me that the RED/YEL wire is the switch output to the headlamps

I also checked the filaments on the headlamps, the headlamp ground to neg battery terminal for continuity, and voltage across headlamps with the MAIN LAMP SWITCH in the HEADLAMP position, which read 0v. My reasoning is that a connector must've gotten wet when I was flushing the radiator yesterday, and is shorted out (although I am pretty sure a shorted connection would've blown the fuse). The only other connections I haven't checked (correct me if I am wrong) are where the RED/YEL wire meets with the RED/BLK and LT GRN/BLK wires for the headlamps, and where the two sets of RED/BLK and LT GRN/BLK wires split up to go to their respective headlamps. To check those, I would have to find them first, which would require tearing the wiring harness apart. Talk about a pain in the ***..

I didn't think of fusible links as the culprit, because all the other electrical systems on the truck are fully functional. Wouldn't a blown link take out other systems as well?

P.S. I also did some continuity checks with the headlamp sockets, and the ground had continuity with the hot battery lead. Does this mean it's shorted? (the lamp was pulled out at the time)

Please help,

Jack

Last edited by EarthPig; 12-15-2007 at 01:47 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2007, 01:39 PM
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See if the lights come on when you pull the Multifunction switch.
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2007, 01:41 PM
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Wait, I don't think you have one. It may be the high beam switch, It's been a few years since I had a '90. Let me think a few minutes
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:58 PM
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I have the MUlti-function switch, and no high beams. the parking lights come on when the switch is in the middle and final position, but the headlamps (which are supposed to come on in the final position) won't tun on
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2007, 02:08 PM
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I'm still thinking it's the beam selector. See if you have power to the switch, should be a red/yellow wire.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2007, 02:14 PM
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"P.S. I also did some continuity checks with the headlamp sockets, and the ground had continuity with the hot battery lead. Does this mean it's shorted? (the lamp was pulled out at the time)"

This may not be the case, if the other headlamp was not removed also. I have been all the way through the lighting circuit on a '90 model, but it was about 8 years a go, and I'm having trouble remembering everything. I don't remember what the problem was, but the cause was a melted wire in the connector going to the headlamp switch. These wires tend to get hot, especially if you have added axillary lights. I do remember having to remove the entire dash, but you may be able to get to it without. Try cutting some of the tape back and see if you have any melted wires.

Last edited by pipelayerjdh; 12-15-2007 at 02:18 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2007, 02:26 PM
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That sort of sounds similar to what I did today. I pulled out the large grey connector from the switch, and the RED/YEL wire's molex-type female pin wasn't sitting all the way in quite right. Upon further inspection, the actual plastic plug part looked a little melted, and the female pin was loose, so i took an insulated screwdriver and made sure it caught the male pin of the switch. The lights still didn't work I'll try it again tomorrow, I try anything if it means I don't have to tear out that wiring harness!
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2007, 02:28 PM
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Good luck, Does it have the beam selector in the floor?
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2007, 02:30 PM
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is that what that what that little silver cylinder is?!
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2007, 02:32 PM
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Yep, just under the parking brake pedal.
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