serious headlight issues - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


General Technical & Electrical General technical and electrical discussion for the Ford Ranger that does not fit in any other sub-forum.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 07-12-2009
JRacer's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Watson, Louisiana
Posts: 1,085
serious headlight issues

so a while back my drivers side headlight just lost power. power wasn't making it to the wire. well i wasn't about to rip the harness apart and try to find a short so i just did some redneck engineering and ran a jumper wire from the good headlamp to the bad one and it worked. Well now i'm screwed because the other headlamp now has the same problem. And once again instead of dropping hundreds at a shop i figured i'd make a temporary fix till i have the money to get it re-wired. so i unhooked the connectors from the stock wiring and made a switch of my own. i ran a wire from the batt to the switch, switch to passenger lamp, passenger lamp to driver lamp. both have their own sepertate ground cable. but the problem now is that the drivers side light is way brighter than the passenger. How can i get them to be equally bright? and hate all you want b/c i know it's redneck as hell. lol
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-12-2009
04blackedge's Avatar
RF Veteran
iTrader: (13)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 23,426
Try running 2 seperate wires from the switch to each headlight.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-12-2009
FireRanger's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 0
Umm. I hate to be the jackass, but have you looked at the fuses both in the cab and the box under the hood.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-12-2009
JRacer's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Watson, Louisiana
Posts: 1,085
Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger View Post
Umm. I hate to be the jackass, but have you looked at the fuses both in the cab and the box under the hood.
yea there good
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-12-2009
malydeen's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (12)
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 632
Quote:
Originally Posted by 04blackedge View Post
Try running 2 seperate wires from the switch to each headlight.
Everything this man says is true.

Think of it as a garden hose with multiple sprinklers attached in series. The first one gets the most pressure and the second one gets less. If you put a "Y" at the source both will get equal pressure.


Personally here's how I would run it:

Get yourself a DPST (double pole, single throw) switch. Essentially this is a switch that controls 2 circuits, but you only have to throw a single switch.

Run a wire from the battery through the switch on one pole, then out to the left headlamp. Then run another wire from the battery to the other pole and then to the right headlamp. This way each lamp has its own circuit. Looking back at the previous example this means each light will have even more power.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-12-2009
FireRanger's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 0
Totally unnecessary. The way he has it wired up is correct. There is no reason to run seperate wires to the headlights. It is a waste of wire and connectors. A DPST switch is also way more work than necessary for such a simple task.

You have it wired correctly. If one of them is dim, than you have a crappy connection on the ground or the power wire feeding the light. Check your connectors and make sure the ground is clean and tight. I guarantee you the problem will probably be obvious when you find it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-13-2009
malydeen's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (12)
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 632
Yeah now that I think about it a DPST swtich would be unnecessary. Im surprised you didn't b!tch about the fact that he isnt running a relay.

The problem comes from the fact that you have them wired in a series...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-13-2009
FireRanger's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 0
He doesn't have them in series either. They are in parallel because he said they each have their own ground. If he had them in series, there would only be one ground at the end. Also, in series, both light would be dimmer.

A relay would be nice but for 55 watt low beams, adequte wiring and a decent switch can easily handle the small load.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-13-2009
winks's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Jackson, New Jersey
Posts: 4,872
JR, while you have your other headlight on, connect the leads from your dull headlight to your battery. That should be a quick way to let you know if it's just a bad connection, or if the bulb is failing.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-13-2009
turbo's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 565
Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger
A relay would be nice but for 55 watt low beams, adequte wiring and a decent switch can easily handle the small load.
I would disagree.

With adequate wiring and a decent switch, you can control any circuit -- that doesn't mean that you should do it that way. If it were safe to wire up that circuit without a relay, then the automotive manufacturers would have eliminated the relays in a cost-cutting measure years ago.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-13-2009
V8 Level II's Avatar
RF Veteran
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,833
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo View Post
If it were safe to wire up that circuit without a relay, then the automotive manufacturers would have eliminated the relays in a cost-cutting measure years ago.
Already done. From the factory, Ranger headlamps (low and high) are controlled directly from the switches without relays.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-13-2009
"Monster Truck"'s Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cedar Rapids, Ia
Posts: 203
Or just get a test light and start testing! and FIX IT
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-13-2009
FireRanger's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo View Post
I would disagree.

With adequate wiring and a decent switch, you can control any circuit -- that doesn't mean that you should do it that way. If it were safe to wire up that circuit without a relay, then the automotive manufacturers would have eliminated the relays in a cost-cutting measure years ago.
It is safe with adequate wiring and switches. There is no more or less safety risk one way or another when you do it right. Wiring is unsafe when the circuit is not protected by a fuse or with a fuse that higher than the current capacity of the wire. An adequately sized wire with the proper fuse flowing 100 amps is just as safe as an adequately sized and fused wire flowing 1 amp.

Relays are used for convenience, not safety. It eliminates the need for running larger wire all over the truck and eliminates the need for large high current switches. You can use little wires and switches for control and leave the big ugly wires under the hood.

If he wires his headlights with wire, a switch, and a fuse that can handle the reletively light load of two 55 watt lamps, then then there is absolutely nothing wrong and it is perfectly safe.

And no, there are no relays on the stock low beam circuit. They are direct wire from the distro box to the headlight switch, through the multifunction switch, and out to both headlighs in parallel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing View Post
Already done. From the factory, Ranger headlamps (low and high) are controlled directly from the switches without relays.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-13-2009
98rangerxlt's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 725
Are you sure your headlight switch didn't crap out
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-13-2009
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 246
I had a similar issue with my truck. One side was getting less power to the headlamps no matter what i did. I then looked into fixing it and found out that it would cost about as much as switching to HIDs

So I abandoned the stock wiring and got an HID kit with its own wiring harness that hooks up to the battery directly using a relay then a signal wire to a switch in the cab.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
headlight issues ??? ejb General Technical & Electrical 2 04-05-2015 11:15 AM
headlight bulb issues 04RangerDave General Technical & Electrical 8 06-22-2011 12:30 AM
Serious Braking issues at low speeds PGHRangerEdge General Ford Ranger Discussion 10 10-22-2009 06:52 PM
Mazda headlight vs. 98-00 ranger headlight silverfox General Technical & Electrical 8 09-23-2009 03:20 PM
Need Serious advice on rear axle. Rand Drivetrain Tech 5 04-12-2006 12:52 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:33 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.