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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: wal1809 on February 28, 2010, 06:46:18 PM

Title: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: wal1809 on February 28, 2010, 06:46:18 PM
Well fella bus nuts I got a headlight issue.  I thought I had the driver side lights burned out so I went to the auto store and got 2 new ones.  Plugged them in and no change.  My first thought was a ground issue.  I got home and opened up the front panels and got to the rear of the light panels and whether it was a ground issue or not I don't know. 

The lights have never been very bright at all.  I always had to drive with the brights on because I simply could not see.  I suspect I purchased the bus with this problem. 

Back to the issue.  I found the ground spot and cleaned the area with sandpaper until I got silver metal.  I greased it and replaced the grounds wire.  At the same time the wire to the light had been installed with butt connectors.  I am not a fan of butt connectors.  I cut them out and soldered the wires and  resealed them.

I cleaned the post where that wire receives power.  I checked in coming power at 12 volts.  Whatever I did in there got all four lights working.  I just don't think they are correct.  When I dim the lights it is really bright on one side of the bus.  When I turn on the brights then I get a reverse effect.  It is really bright on the other.  Also when I say the opposite side is dim, I don't mean the position of the dimmer switch I mean it looks robbed of power.

Any thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: luvrbus on February 28, 2010, 07:22:26 PM
That is a relay problem on your Eagle it lost the ground on the relay or the relay its self is bad under the drivers window in the panel .
I don't have the manual with me so maybe some other Eagle owner can tell you which relay if not I can Monday.
 When you find your problem check and make sure the regulator is set to 13.8V with lights on and they will be brighter

good luck

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: rv_safetyman on February 28, 2010, 08:12:12 PM
Wal1809, it is always good to tell us what bus you have.  Good practice to put that info in your signature.

Clifford says you have an Eagle.  Depending on the model the wiring could be different.  On my Eagle 10 each headlight goes through a fuse that has lots of potential for poor connection.  If you twist the fuse it sometimes makes the connection work.  However, you are much better off to run heavy wire to relays close to the headlights and then have the relays activated by the wires from the fuses.  That way the fuses only have to carry a small amount of current.


Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: Van on February 28, 2010, 08:23:12 PM
Jim, his is an 1984, I think that is a 10 also?

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: wal1809 on February 28, 2010, 08:44:39 PM
Thank you guys for jumping on the problem fellas.  Sorry for not throwing in the bus information.  It is a 1984 Silver Eagle 10.  I will check back tomorrow when I het into the office. 

Anybody headed to the rally in Franklin, Tx?  If I can talk my wife into it we are going to stop by for a bit.  We both want to go but the white bass run is in full swing at  Lake Somerville.  If I can get her away from the fish for a few hours we will head up there.  I is ou about an hour up the road.  I would think it would be great to see some you fellas.

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: desi arnaz on February 28, 2010, 10:45:07 PM
how did you find a woman that likes the bus and to fish? wow she must be a gem!!

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: wal1809 on March 01, 2010, 05:53:43 AM
how did you find a woman that likes the bus and to fish? wow she must be a gem!!

LOL I met her in a bar 10 years ago.  She blew me off for a while, but since I am irresistably charming she had to marry me.  She loves to fish, duck hunt, goose hunt dove hunt you name it.  The only thing that holds her back is the cold.  When it is very cold it hurts her upper jaw.  We were fishing down near Mexico in the Lower Laguna Madra and she got hurt really really bad.  While on the boat ( in motion) she got hung up in a kite boarder's rope.  To make a long story short it broke her upper jaw off from behind the k9 teeth all the way up to below the eye sockets.  She was in the hospital for 9 days in Harlengen, Tx.  We were lucky and a reconstruction surgeon (reported as the best in world) happened to be there.  She lost 2/3 of her upper lip and her cheeks were cut 5 times all the way through.  That doctor was absolutely amazing.  When you meet her you probably won't even be able to tell she was in an accident.  Here she is last year just outside of Yellowstone park on a fly fishing trip.

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: Dreamscape on March 01, 2010, 05:54:43 AM

Anybody headed to the rally in Franklin, Tx?  If I can talk my wife into it we are going to stop by for a bit.

We'll be there in the blue Eagle! Looking forward to meeting some new busnuts!


Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: wal1809 on March 01, 2010, 06:02:12 AM
Alright fellas back on track.  I got up early because when there is a bus problem I just don't sleep well knowing we are headed to the lake this weekend.  Here is a pic of the panel under the driver window.

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: wal1809 on March 01, 2010, 06:09:20 AM
If you can see int he pic they used butt connectors.  I will eventually cut everyone of them out and solder the joint.  I have fished salt water my whole life and trailer wires suffer the worst when it comes to salt water.  I have resorted to either replacing the trailer lights yearly or soldering each connection. covering the soldereed connection with lilquid tape and then slipping heat shrink tubing over the liquid taped joint and shrinking it until the liquid tape comes out of the ends.


Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: wal1809 on March 01, 2010, 06:14:09 AM
soory about the double post.  Thats  what happens when the boss man is trying to talk to me on Monday morning and I want to fix the bus. 

There are 5 little black boxes in the upper right hand corner of the picture, partially blocked by the shadow.  The middle black box has a tag on it that says headlight.  Would that be the animal I am looking for?

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: belfert on March 01, 2010, 07:46:23 AM
Butt splices aren't the end of the world if done properly and with the right parts.  I only use the heat shrink ones that have a sealant in them.  They are more expensive, but worth it in my mind.  You can buy them at Napa, but they are much less expensive at waytekwire.com or delcity.net.

It is best to try to avoid butt splices, but not always possible, or the previous owner already installed butt splices.  When I rebuilt the wiring harness for my rear lights I needed to split one wire into multiples.  Theymake heat shrink butt connectors that are specifically designed to take one wire on one side and two wires on the other side.  I choose to use those instead of other options.

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: wal1809 on March 01, 2010, 08:02:36 AM
That is good information right there.  I just had to deal with corrosion for so many years I had to figure out a better way to skin that cat.  I have no problems with salt water and corrosion on the connections now.  Instead of grounding to the trailer I run an independent ground wire back to the front of the trailer instead of trying to make a ground right there at the rear.

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: rv_safetyman on March 01, 2010, 08:13:31 AM
Sorry to hear about your wife's accident.

I blew your photo up and it looks like your bottom row of circuit protectors are breakers.  Mine are the terrible glass fuse type.  The attached JPG is from a CD manual for models 10/15.  The four breakers/fuses in the lower left hand corner are for the 4 high/low beam circuits.  I am not too sure how much you can blow up the JPG if you download it, but the wire numbers for those connections are 11-14.   Since you apparently have breakers, the likelihood of loose connections is less, but you may have some breakers that are getting old and crotchety.  

You can test the locations by applying voltage to the bottom connection of each breaker with a jumper wire and the headlight for that circuit should go on.


Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: luvrbus on March 01, 2010, 08:32:05 AM
Wayne, like the splices or not that PO did a first class job redoing the panel you won't find many in a 84 model Eagle that looks that good. 
I see a few things I would have done different but not many 

good luck

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: wal1809 on March 01, 2010, 10:53:49 AM
Thank you RV safety man.  I was unable to open the peg.  I can however see in my photo the numebers which you are talking about.  I will run a continuity test on all of them when I get home.  Thank you Luvrbus because I was actually a little worried about it's state.

I think I am either failing to understand or failing to explain what is happening.    The lights on the bus are strong on one side and not on the other, very bright.  The other side is very dim.  When I click the dimmer switch then the complete opposite happens.  The side that was very bright is now dim after clicking the dimmer switch.   The low beam and high beam are shining on one side and the other is just a above a glow.  You can actually look at the glowing wire in the bulb.  Hit the dimmer and it is the complete opposite, the other side low and high beam will then come on and what was the brighter side will then become a only a glow.

If the power source is at the panel what is next?  Panel to the wire and the wire to what I assume would be the dimmer switch, then to a quick connector and on to the light assemblies from there.  If I am right about this wouldn't the problem be in the dimmer switch, that is if the fuses all show continuity of course.  I suspect they are good because I am getting full power to every bulb depending on what position the floor dimmer switch is in.

Last thought for this reply.  The bulb assembly can be removed by way of 4 bolts on the front.  4 bolts and it will fall into your lap.  The wire from each assembly goes to a very small panel with quick connector pins (it looks what the wires are plugged into on the pic only smaller).  I am not sure if that is called a buss or not.  I had to reach in and unplug the wire from that quick connector.  When I went to put is back I figured green wire to the green wire and white to white.  If I have them backwards, meaning white to green and green to white, would this cause what I am experiencing?

This is not a hard problem I just can't seem to get my brain wrapped around it. 

Again I thank you all for the help.

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: Just Dallas on March 01, 2010, 11:18:37 AM

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: wal1809 on March 01, 2010, 12:25:37 PM
Hello NDJ  I am in the same line of thinking as you.  I know the headlight assemblies are not original and they look fairly new as in almost brand new.  I am thinking they put them in and got the lights to come on, then moved on without finishing the project IE tested them completely.  I am goign to tear the front off again tonight and leave it off until I get it fixed. 

Everything except the dimmer switch is easy to get to.  The dimmer switch might even be easier than I am imagining.  I thank you for the offer to help.  I might just see you Saturday. 

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: wal1809 on March 01, 2010, 12:28:04 PM
Oh and BTW.  On dim which lights should be working and on bright should all 4 be working?  The outside two are three prong and the inside two are two prong.  tHe two prong has jumper wires from the three prong so I am assuming they should all be shining while the high beam is on and only two wehn the lows are on.  I aint quite sure.

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: Jeremy on March 01, 2010, 02:56:30 PM
A solution?



Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: PCC on March 01, 2010, 03:09:57 PM
After regaining my vision from looking at Jeremy's post, if the ground is wrong, you will be feeding voltage through both filaments before going to ground, on the dim side, which ever side is dim when in low, or in high beam.

I think the grounds will be your issue, so check that before you tear the front end off the bus, or restrict yourself to daytime only driving.


Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: wal1809 on March 01, 2010, 03:23:22 PM
Alright now we are closing in.  The wire harness is:  From the panel to the quick disconnect-then a set of 2 wires to the headlight assembly-  From the assembly the ground goes straight to the frame.  It is about a 6 inch pigtail from the headlight assembly and it is screwed to the frame.  I cleaned that really good, grease it and put it back.  Should I be grounding somewhere else?

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: Just Dallas on March 01, 2010, 03:38:38 PM

Title: Re: Headlights issue!!!
Post by: wal1809 on March 01, 2010, 05:26:40 PM
I want to thank you all for trying to help me.  I know it is hard to take a typed description from a bus rookie and figure out a problem.  None the less you guys are great.  I wish some of yall were my neighbors.

Anyhow I got it figured out.  The white and green wires come to the front of the bus and go to a quick connector.  From there it is a short harness which goes to the headlight assembly.  From the headlight assembly is a short 6 inch pigtail for a ground, right to the frame.

Here is the problem.  I am convinced the ground was corroded and started all this to begin with.  When I fixed it and went to put the harness back in I put the green wire from the harness onto the quick connector that coupled with the green power coming into the connector.  It made sense to me, green to green and white to white.

The problem came in on the other end at the headlight assembly.  The new headlight assembly does not have green and white.  It has black and white.  The two wires should have been connected one to the other.  This made the quick disconnect end backwards.  Meaning I should have put the white wire to the green post on the quick disconnect and the green to the white post on the quick disconnect.

I knew it was a simple thing but it had me beat for a little while.  I checked the main fuse and it was good.  I checked all the breakers and they were good.  I knew something was up.  I had mentioned the reverse wire thing earlier in the post.  It wasn't until today when I was taking the headlight assembly out that I wondered exactly how old the assembly was because they look brand new.  Bingo in started to go down hill from there.  I took it apart and just reversed the wires and bling.

On the road again.