Headlight ground issue/discussion

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Headlight ground issue/discussion

Postby matthewh » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:52 pm

So I'm having an interesting issue with my 93 W350. This truck just seems to like headlights. Since I've owned it, typically I replace 2 sets of sealed beams a year, and only have 26-30k miles on it since I bought it.

One of the first things I did was the Jim Lane relay conversion, with the 3 relays for dual beam.when on high, which as discussed before, may be why I burn threw so many lights, cause the bulbs themselves cant take the heat, as well as a majority of my driving is at night, (whoo night shift)
Last Oct, I installed the best Sylvania bulbs I could get, they were the white white ones from Auto Zone, $25/piece. Welp, burned up the driver side Sunday night.

Installed a Wagner I had laying around, and notices it wouldn't light on low beam, but did on high, granted, was extremely dim and yellow, compared to the Sylvania still installed on the pass side. Messed with the wiring, and found when i turned off the lights, the headlights stayed on, and they only went out if I pulled the headlight plug off the drivers headlight.

So I'm thinking a backfeed issue, but why? I did notice the ground terminal on the plug was bulged, and had a burnt look to the plastic. Granted, I don't believe I used the heavy duty plugs, as they were unavailable at the time. I also didn't upgrade the ground wire either, as suggested by others here, ad I just followed Jims instructions.

I'm gonna try and locate some heavy duty plugs and swap em out, but any idea why, even with the relay setup I burned a ground side of the plug? Possibly the Sylvanias were too "hot" electrical and drew too much current for the plugs rating.

I do use die-electric grease on the plugs, possible I used too much and the current was jumping terminals. Lights have always been awesome bright, so its a recent issue with either the plug or the old bulb.

Ideas, comments, words of wisdom?
'93 W350 5spd Getrag, 4.10 gears, 83k miles and counting, Mods: LPPP AKA Ma Dually
'54 Dodge M37 6.2/700R4/205, 5.89 gears, WC rear axle
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Re: Headlight ground issue/discussion

Postby matthewh » Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:13 am

Got home from work and was able to really dig into the system and check things out.
What I thought was a burnt plug was actually just alot of dirt attached to the extra die- electric grease. What I did find was I wasn't getting power on the low.side to the headlight. Tore the harness apart back to the orig plug and found the wires you stick into the plug were alittle corroded and had signs of burnt insulation and melted plastic.

I know Jim has you plug wires into the orig plug using a spade terminal, but I see where that can lead to a loose connection, even when zip-tied and taped as instructed. I may search out the correct adaptor plug that I can use in place of the two wires, that way you could grease and zip tie together for a solid connection.

The one odd thing I did find was when I was using my DMM. With the meter set to check to ground, or ohms, or whatever the setting is that continuously beeps when you have a good connection, I could probe all three terminals and the meter would sound off. With the headlights on, had voltage where it was suppose to be , within .10 of a volt of the battery reading.
Wonder if the relays were giving me.a false reading, being there a grounding type relay.
'93 W350 5spd Getrag, 4.10 gears, 83k miles and counting, Mods: LPPP AKA Ma Dually
'54 Dodge M37 6.2/700R4/205, 5.89 gears, WC rear axle
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Re: Headlight ground issue/discussion

Postby PToombs » Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:41 pm

When I added relays to my truck I upgraded the ground to 12ga wire. I removed the terminal from the plug, cut the old wire off, and soldered the 12ga to the terminal. I did both sides and grounded them individually to the core support. No use tempting fate on these electrical nightmare trucks. I haven't had a problem yet, but I don't run at night as much as you do. The ground may not be large enough if you are running both beams at once, and resistance causes heat. It could be the reason your bulbs burn out.

As for the meter beeping, it may be because of the relays.
pete

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Re: Headlight ground issue/discussion

Postby matthewh » Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:02 pm

If I understand correct, take the ground terminal out from the relay headlight plug, size it up to 12ga, and run it straight to the core support, basically the wire comes off the buld and goes right to the core support?
That would clean up alot of extra wire in the relay harness, versus running it back to wherever Jim has it wired into
'93 W350 5spd Getrag, 4.10 gears, 83k miles and counting, Mods: LPPP AKA Ma Dually
'54 Dodge M37 6.2/700R4/205, 5.89 gears, WC rear axle
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Re: Headlight ground issue/discussion

Postby thrashingcows » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:40 pm

matthewh wrote:If I understand correct, take the ground terminal out from the relay headlight plug, size it up to 12ga, and run it straight to the core support, basically the wire comes off the buld and goes right to the core support?
That would clean up alot of extra wire in the relay harness, versus running it back to wherever Jim has it wired into


Yup that is how I did my headlight relay conversion. Each headlight has it's own separate ground to the core support.
1984/93 Dodge Crewcab, W350, 1 Ton SRW, long box, 330K Km's, M&H spacer, 366 spring, fuel pin to deep side, 14cm housing, Piston LP, PS IC, Isspro Boost, Pyro and tach, NV4500, 29 spline NP205, 3.54's.


Check out the build....http://www.dieseltruckresource.com/dev/ ... 05923.html
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Re: Headlight ground issue/discussion

Postby CumminsPower59 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:25 pm

I used 12 gauge wire throughout the headlight relay conversion and used ceramic headlight plugs. Been running the same headlights for three years now with no issues...
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91 W350 SRW, 3.07's, NV4500, 370's, THD LPPP, Super HX40, 2nd gen IC swap, BHAF, Isspro's, 2" lift, 285's on 3rd gen 17"'s.
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Re: Headlight ground issue/discussion

Postby PToombs » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:45 pm

matthewh wrote:If I understand correct, take the ground terminal out from the relay headlight plug, size it up to 12ga, and run it straight to the core support, basically the wire comes off the bulb and goes right to the core support?


Yes, that is correct. That way each headlight has it's own ground of a heavy gauge wire. Make sure the core support ground wire to the battery is good also.
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