98 Ranger 3.0 head light issue - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 03-27-2015
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98 Ranger 3.0 head light issue

Hi everyone

I have a 98 3.0 V6 Ranger and I'm having an issue with my passenger LOW BEAM head light. My high beam does work, but my low beam does not. Driver side lights and everything else works fine.

I tested the lamp plug with my volt meter. I used the plugs ground and the high beam hole to make sure I have a constant. High beams were not activated and I did not get a reading. I activated the high beams and I got a reading. OK good, the ground seems to work and I know I'm getting a proper reading. I go and test the low beam hole on the bulb connector and I also get a reading. I turn on the high beams and I no longer get a reading. Everything seems to work properly. What's going on here? If I'm getting a reading why is it not activating the bulb? I have 3 brand new bulbs that I'm trying this on.

To note, I tested the number 8 fuse slot and I COULD NOT get a reading. I don't know if it's my error or not. I tested the 4 slot (driver side low beam) and was able to get a reading with my volt meter after some time. How can I not get a reading in the fuse 8 housing while getting a reading from the low beam connector? Still, if I can get a reading at the low beam connector, why isn't it activating the bulb?

Thanks for any help!
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2015
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I'm having same problem, except mine is driver side low bean not working . Hope someone can help ..
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  #3  
Old 03-29-2015
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Old 03-29-2015
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when you click on high beams , the low beams lights are disabled , that is how they work

for legality reasons , you cannot have the low and high beam bulb filaments powered at the same time

the passenger side factory low beam connector has probably suffered heat damage and is no longer conducting electricity

this harness is what you need ( the headlight bulbs are now powered directly off of the alternator / when the engine is running ) battery connection

Buy Brite Box Smart Head Light Relay Harness Model H7.R1.9

simply connect the driver side headlight plug to this harness and then connect the ceramic headlight plugs to the bulbs

remove the fuses , then connect the battery connections , then replace the fuses and you are good to go
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Old 03-29-2015
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but if you just need new connectors

these are the best option ( ceramic )

BEST QUALITY 9004 / 9007 / HB1 / HB5 High Temperature Headlight Socket / Plug / Connector. We Welcome Custom Orders! All of our Head Light Sockets / Plugs / Connectors are made with USA Wire! - Innova Design & Dist. Inc. (909) 971-0000

choose the 12 gauge wire option with soldering ( the best electrical connection )
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2015
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personally i just cut off the fuse holders and solder eyelets to connect manual reset circuit breakers like these

20 Amp Manual Reset Circuit Breaker 12 or 24 Volt Right Angle Mount - WiringProducts

when fuse filaments heat up , they conduct less and less voltage and amperage

where as circuit breakers do not drop voltage and amperage over time
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Old 03-29-2015
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The thing that confuses me, however, is that I do get a reading from my volt meter when the low beams are activated. If it wasn't producing electricty, how am I getting a reading on my volt meter?
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Old 03-29-2015
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have you checked for continuity on the bulb pins themselves

your low beam filament may be blown but not look like it

long life head light bulbs do not produce the blue hue deposited on the inside glass like higher wattage bulbs do

what is the low beam voltage reading , your low beam relay may be failing ( possibility )
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Old 03-29-2015
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Both high and low read 10. I have 2 brand new bulbs that I'm testing.

I was under the impression that both the passenger and driver side low beams both use that same relay. Wouldn't both low beams be failing if it was the relay?
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Old 03-29-2015
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the relay could ( and i do mean could ) only be working enough to transfer enough voltage for 1 bulb

the bulb closest to the relay would receive power , the bulb further away would not receive power

i have seen this problem before on other vehicles , inserting a brand new relay solved the problems

again , what was the voltage reading from the passenger side low beam connector

relays do fail over time , they are not infalible
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  #11  
Old 03-30-2015
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The reading was 10 for passenger high and low beam. I have a 10 fuse in the fuse slots for both. Is that why it's reading 10 or should it be 12?

Still trying to get a grip on electricity.
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Old 03-30-2015
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the reading should be 12.8 volts with ignition off

14.27 volts with engine running ( provided your + and - battery and ground cables are in condition

take a engine running voltage readiing at the battery positive connection ( negative to body ground )

if your engine is running and the reading is less than 12.8 volts

it is time to replace all of your positve and battery ground cables including the ground strap to firewall
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2015
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Just put in a brand new connector and I'm still getting the same problem. As I mentioned before, I'm not getting a reading from the #8 fuse housing. I would think that would be it, no?
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Old 03-31-2015
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dis connect both battery terminals

then unbolt the fuse panel from the inner kick panel

you are looking for corroded connections ( sometimes a white powder is a dead give away )

use a pin to poke through various points along the wire to determine how far the corrosion has traveled

( you may need to solder in a new length of wire if the corrosion has traveled a good distance along the actual copper wiring )
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Old 04-01-2015
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The battery is testing fine. All the right voltage. I just retested fuse #33 with high beams off and on, tested #4 when low beams were off and on, and tested #8 the same way. 33 and 4 (high beams and passenger low beam) are working properly, while 8 isn't doing anything.

After unbolting the inside fuse box, I'm having a hard time getting out, the wires through the firewall are not long enough for me to pull the whole thing out.
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Old 04-01-2015
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look at what color the # 4 low beam fuse wire is

pull out the headlight switch and test voltage the # 4 wire to the driver side low beam relay

relay is activated by the headlight switch , power then flows from the relay to the # 4 fuse , then to the headlight bulb

you will need to check the owners manual as to where the low beam relay is located
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  #17  
Old 04-01-2015
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No voltage on fuse 8. #4 reads about 12 when low beams are activated.

As far as I'm aware, there is no relay for lowbeams

I'm still unable to remove the fuse box. The wires aren't long enough for me to pull it fully out

Last edited by grens404; 04-01-2015 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 04-01-2015
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can you see what colour of wire is connected to fuse # 8

do you have an engine bay fuse panel / box ( if you do try that panel 1st ) for corroded connections

headlight switches are not directly connected to headlights , they are run through a relay then to the fuse then to the headlight bulb socket

basically when you turn on the headlights , the trigger wire flows voltage to the relay that engages contacts inside the relay , the relay then flows battery voltage to the numbered fuse and then on the headlight bulbs

if there is no low beam / high beam relays installed , then the passenger side contact inside the headlight switch has failed
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Old 04-01-2015
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i would recommend that you order and install that after market headlight wiring harness i linked

it will save a lot of grief in the long run ( since your driver side headlight bulb still receives power

the harness uses the driver side headlight bulb connector to trigger the relays that power the headlight bulbs

it is the relays that transmit power directly from the alternator ( when engine is running ) straight to the headlight bulbs

plus with that harness , you can now use higher wattage bulbs safely without burning up the harness because the bulb connector housings are ceramic and not plastic

i use 2 of them , 1 for each headlight and they work great

Last edited by cheese_man; 04-01-2015 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 04-01-2015
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Figured it out on mine , it was #4 fuse. It tested good in the panel but pulled it out and it was shorted not blown !! Cheap *** fuses , worth the money to buy good ones !!! Thanks for all the input guys , I would not have figured it out without yalls Knowledge !!
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  #21  
Old 04-02-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty H View Post
Figured it out on mine , it was #4 fuse. It tested good in the panel but pulled it out and it was shorted not blown !! Cheap *** fuses , worth the money to buy good ones !!! Thanks for all the input guys , I would not have figured it out without yalls Knowledge !!
a good investment in fuses are the 1 `s that illuminate when they are blown

more expensive but well worth the cost
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  #22  
Old 04-02-2015
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I didn't think my Ranger had a relay for the headlights. Where is it located?
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  #23  
Old 04-02-2015
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if you still have the original owners manual

the wiring schematic should show where the relays are located

should be located in fuse box / panel probably in the engine bay along side the drivers side inner fender well
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Old 04-02-2015
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this is a picture of the engine bay fuse panel that also houses relays

the passenger side kick panel fuse panel should also house some relays

those small square black boxes are the factory relays

https://www.google.ca/search?q=1998+...ml%3B520%3B390
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  #25  
Old 04-02-2015
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if you do locate the low beam relay

swap the low and high beam relays between each bank and see if that solves the problem

if it does not , then you have a wiring problem , which usually happens with the bulb connector itself

sometimes the connector is not water tight and can moisture get under the wire insulation and travel along the copper wiring and corrode it
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