early 99 headlights blink "ON" - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-14-2013, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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early 99 headlights blink "ON"

I have done a search on my particular problem and have come up with nothing.

The problem: when I turn the headlight switch to the parking light position, all parking lights come on, but, about every 4 seconds the headlight bulb and gauge cluster lights flicker on for .1 of a second. You can stare right at the headlight bulb and see the filament flick on for that .1 second without it blinding you.

What I have done: checked all fuses and relays - good, replaced the headlight switch and multi function switch with known good ones, checked the harness for burnt terminals for the headlight switch.

It is not the alternator or regulator cause this happens with the engine running or not. Once you move the headlight switch to any other position, it works like it should.

I have run out of ideas. What are yours?

Early 99 F550 4x4, 6 Shift, 11 Foot Flat Bed Dump, 11000# Empty, Always Loaded or Pulling Something up to 26000# GCW

G2 Wicked Wheel - 34psi Boost On A Factory Turbo, TS 6 Chip, 4 in Turbo Aft, Terminator Pump, Diesel Innovations 99+ SS Up Pipes - Cut / Rewelded To Fit My Early 99, Donaldson Air Filter Setup, 75# Fuel Pressure Regulator Spring, Homemade Hutch Mod, Gauges, Newer Clear Headlights and Markers w/ Hella Bulbs, New Mirrors
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-15-2013, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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Just noticed something else with the head light switch. When I have the switch on the headlight run position first and move it back to the parking light position, the headlights dim to about have of their full on intensity for a few seconds then finally go out and start the blinking on again.

This is happening with two switches, the original F550 and a know good one I stole from my day driver F250.

Tail lights are not affected.

I am at wit's end.

Early 99 F550 4x4, 6 Shift, 11 Foot Flat Bed Dump, 11000# Empty, Always Loaded or Pulling Something up to 26000# GCW

G2 Wicked Wheel - 34psi Boost On A Factory Turbo, TS 6 Chip, 4 in Turbo Aft, Terminator Pump, Diesel Innovations 99+ SS Up Pipes - Cut / Rewelded To Fit My Early 99, Donaldson Air Filter Setup, 75# Fuel Pressure Regulator Spring, Homemade Hutch Mod, Gauges, Newer Clear Headlights and Markers w/ Hella Bulbs, New Mirrors
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-15-2013, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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anyone have any advise?

Early 99 F550 4x4, 6 Shift, 11 Foot Flat Bed Dump, 11000# Empty, Always Loaded or Pulling Something up to 26000# GCW

G2 Wicked Wheel - 34psi Boost On A Factory Turbo, TS 6 Chip, 4 in Turbo Aft, Terminator Pump, Diesel Innovations 99+ SS Up Pipes - Cut / Rewelded To Fit My Early 99, Donaldson Air Filter Setup, 75# Fuel Pressure Regulator Spring, Homemade Hutch Mod, Gauges, Newer Clear Headlights and Markers w/ Hella Bulbs, New Mirrors
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-16-2013, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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people are reading this post, please say something while you are here

Early 99 F550 4x4, 6 Shift, 11 Foot Flat Bed Dump, 11000# Empty, Always Loaded or Pulling Something up to 26000# GCW

G2 Wicked Wheel - 34psi Boost On A Factory Turbo, TS 6 Chip, 4 in Turbo Aft, Terminator Pump, Diesel Innovations 99+ SS Up Pipes - Cut / Rewelded To Fit My Early 99, Donaldson Air Filter Setup, 75# Fuel Pressure Regulator Spring, Homemade Hutch Mod, Gauges, Newer Clear Headlights and Markers w/ Hella Bulbs, New Mirrors
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-16-2013, 04:27 PM
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That's really weird. Your going to have to start tracing wires, I'm guessing something is shorting. A normal multimeter may not be fast enough to catch the temporary current so a test light may be better. Just start from one end and work to the other, isolating stuff as you go so you can pinpoint the section that is giving you issues.

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post #6 of 10 Old 02-16-2013, 07:31 PM
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^^^ I agree. Are there any other devices running from the "hot lead/fuse block" that might be causing the backfeed. Also, does it have or had daytime running lights maybe another area to check? Just a few thoughts.

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post #7 of 10 Old 02-17-2013, 06:55 AM
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Check to see if your truck is equipped with daytime running lights - and see if the connector at the header panel/core support is fully connected or completely disconnected (If you dont want them on). It may have nothing to do with it, but if the connector was occasionally making a connection it could cause the symptoms you're seeing?

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post #8 of 10 Old 12-31-2013, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Figured I bring this topic back up cause I have not found the problem yet. Attached is a video of the headlight/s flicker. When the light flickers on, so does the instrument cluster lights. Also, when they flicker, the cab clearance lights and lights on the dump bed dimmer ever so slightly from the quick power draw from the headlights. The truck does not have daytime running lights, or sensor on dash, etc.

If I pull a low beam fuse under the hood for the left light, the right one comes on then the flashing stops. Same thing happens when I replace the fuse and pull the other one.

When it is quiet enough outside to hear a pin drop, the truck doesn't make a sound when it is doing this. Not one relay is clicking anywhere. It acts like a transistorized module is going bad that controls the headlights. Is there a module to control the headlights?

Watch the video. The flicker is consistent at roughly 4 seconds always. What do you think?
Attached Files
File Type: mpg MOV08958.MPG (1.83 MB, 17 views)

Early 99 F550 4x4, 6 Shift, 11 Foot Flat Bed Dump, 11000# Empty, Always Loaded or Pulling Something up to 26000# GCW

G2 Wicked Wheel - 34psi Boost On A Factory Turbo, TS 6 Chip, 4 in Turbo Aft, Terminator Pump, Diesel Innovations 99+ SS Up Pipes - Cut / Rewelded To Fit My Early 99, Donaldson Air Filter Setup, 75# Fuel Pressure Regulator Spring, Homemade Hutch Mod, Gauges, Newer Clear Headlights and Markers w/ Hella Bulbs, New Mirrors

Last edited by 7.3early99F550; 12-31-2013 at 09:02 PM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-01-2014, 01:33 PM
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Just for kicks, wiggle the wires going in to the back of the headlights themselves. One of my headlights would randomly turn off and it also made some other lights in the truck flicker.

The headlight plugs on these trucks are known to literally start melting after a while and cause connection problems.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-02-2014, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
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The wiring and connectors are all fine. The truck came with those nasty glazed-over 99 - 03 opaque headlights. I put those clear 04 headlights in. The old headlights and new both flickered. It has been doing this since I got the truck in may 2012.

Early 99 F550 4x4, 6 Shift, 11 Foot Flat Bed Dump, 11000# Empty, Always Loaded or Pulling Something up to 26000# GCW

G2 Wicked Wheel - 34psi Boost On A Factory Turbo, TS 6 Chip, 4 in Turbo Aft, Terminator Pump, Diesel Innovations 99+ SS Up Pipes - Cut / Rewelded To Fit My Early 99, Donaldson Air Filter Setup, 75# Fuel Pressure Regulator Spring, Homemade Hutch Mod, Gauges, Newer Clear Headlights and Markers w/ Hella Bulbs, New Mirrors
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