North American Turbocoupe Organization

headlights cut out??
Gene Offline
Got another question,
My headlights are cutting out after being on a short time. When the brights are turned on, it happens even quicker.

Its my fault because I replaced my original fog lamps with highbeam headlights. The conversion was pulling to much current through the factory wiring harness. From what I've read out of my chilton manual, the factory fog lamps were 50W each and the lights I have there now are either 60W or 65W each.
But, the damage is done and I gotta figure out what will fix it. I know of two things to try but I'm wondering if there are any other components under the dash or in the engine compartment to check. The two I know of are the 1.high/low beam switch in the steering column or 2.on/off switch on the dash.
One thing that makes me lean towards the high/low beam switch is that one of the clips that plugs into it was getting hot and the plastic was deforming. I've smelled a faint burnt electronics smell in the car but I can pinpoint where its coming from.

One more thing, I was hoping to keep the highbeam lights and thought maybe I could splice some type of power step-up transformer into the fog lamp wiring harness. Anyone know how one could be built. I know they make them for voltage but I don't know if it would work for current.

Thanks for any help

Jeff K Offline
Are they cycling on and off at a pretty regular interval? If so, the circuit breaker in the headlight switch has gotten weak. Replace the headlight switch.

If they turn off / on randomly, the multifunction switch is the likely problem.

Once the problem is fixed, rewire the fog lights to operate via a relay, so the relay carries the high current to the lights, and not the OEM wiring / light switch.

Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 20 psi, forced air intercooler, water injection, bypass valve, Ranger roller cam, subframes, etc., etc.. // 86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP nitrous, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.... // 91 Escort: Bone stock winter car // 00 Windstar (wifes vehicle)
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized

Gene Offline
When I turn on the low beams, they will stay on a few minutes, start to flicker for a few moments and then nothing-no lights at all except for maybe the parking lights. Dash lights stay on.

Now if I try to put the brights on first, the lights will only last a few moments before just going out completely. Again except for the parking and dash lights.

Probably a stupid question but when you a relay, do you mean tap into the main power wire, go through the fuse box and run a direct wire to the fog lamps. Or is it something different.


Pete D Offline
He is talking about adding a seperate relay. It get wired so it gives power direct from the battery to the fog light, but is controled by the switch in the car. This takes the load off the circuit breaker in the headlight switch.

NATO Member. it's not a vice, it's an obsession
"The nice thing about each new day is nobody ever used it before" Barnaby Jones
88 TC X 2, 86 SVO, mods list at
Pete Dunham


BJL Offline
I did this when i put in my 150 watt fog light bulbs, it droped the current from beign inside the car and it really helps, my fog lights were actually brighter then before i did this, (i did this while i had the 50 watt bulbs in there)

I like your idea with the high beam lights as you fog lights, well now driving, is it a considerable amount of differnce in light?

Brian J Larkin AKA Turbo
1988 Turbo Coupe 5spd
Twilight Blue
so much rebiult or replaced i lost track!
Repaint in Jan 02 by me and my close friends
Brian Larkin
88TC 330,000 miles
Slightly Modified

Gene Offline
When getting power from the battery, should I run the line through the fuse box or have a seperate fuse system all together.

In fixing the factory lights, are there any other components besides the on/off switch and the high/low beam switch that I need to look at.
I tried looking at the wiring diagram in the manual but can't read some of the info. I can tell which ones are circuits but others look like pictures of the plastic connectors. Can't tell which ones are relays, if any.
How well do the high beam lights work? I basically put them on because my original headlight housings were stained and cloudy looking. They did help out tremendously, although they were pointed down quite a bit. When I replaced my housings with new ones, WOW. Big difference. You do get a cool light show when driving over puddles. Looks like light shining on a wall when reflected off of a pool.
Regular sealed beam headlights were to big to put in the fog light holes. When I looked at the lights in autozone, there were some slightly smaller lights that, I believe, fit an older late 80's early 90's oldsmobile toronado. I bought the lights, had a friend at a body shop order the oldsmobile headlights housings and beazels and dismantled my TC foglamp housings and put the mounts on the new headlight housings. After that, all that was left to do is disconnect the small wiring harness that plugs into the foglamps and engine bay wiring harness, cut the foglamp connectors of and soldered the new connectors on that plug into the headlights.
Lasted quite a while before my headlights started going out. Who knew.

I appreciate all the advice,

Liquid_force Offline
Senior Member
Seperate fuse.
What I did was remove my battery. All the headlight wires run right there. You just need to go to the headlight, there should be 3 wires, hi/lo/ground. Note the color of the wire, go back to where the battery was and clip the appropriate wire. Connect a 10 ga wire with a 30A fuse to the batt. and run it to the pwr input on the relay. Ground the relay to any convenient screw/bolt in the vicinity. Then you connect the headlight wire coming from the dash switch to the proper input on the relay, and do the same with ther wire going to the lights. Mount the relay somewhere handy and that should do it.

If your highs and lows are both causing problems I think you have to wire a relay for both.
88 TC -- Dark Blue 283k
RIP - 9/22/07
She was a great TC and went down swinging Smile
Now -- Me: A minivan, I'll spare you the details.
Her: '09 VW Tiguan AWD 2.0T 101k

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