Turn signals and Brake lights dimming Headlights - Impala Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: May 2014
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Turn signals and Brake lights dimming Headlights

Hello, Ive had this problem with my 62 Impala for a while now. Recently bought a new 120 amp one wire alternator. Still having same problem. Everything works fine except that when I brake or use a turn signal I can see my headlights dimming along with my dash lights. Bad ground im guessing. I took a long wire and "double" grounded my head light and brake light ground wires directly to the neg on the battery. No change. Should I try grounding somewhere else? Could the problem be a bad headlight switch? In order for my dash lights to work I have twist the nob just right and keep in a certain position. Other than that the headlight switch is working. If I change over to the led bulbs will they draw less power and maybe eliminate the dimming headlights and dash lights? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 08:56 AM
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Welcome to the Team Eric!

Dimming lights indicates a voltage drop which with both your battery (what your car was designed to run off of all the time) and a 120 amp alternator pumping out 12.7 to 14.3 volts while the motor is running makes me think your car is one long train or brain dead person texting so he misses a turn light at the stop light away from a car fire. I suspect your wires are shorting out, not having a bad ground.

It could be inside the light switch (you have two, one in the dash and the high beam selector switch on the toe board where it belongs). It could also be associated with your turn signal switch inside the steering column. You have a lot of power going to ground. Since you have about tripled the current capacity of your factory wiring and switches by way of the new alternator your wiring is suspect.

Wiring is always suspect in these cars as the PCV plastic insulation used to coat the wires is dried out and brittle. Any hard bends in the wiring results in the insulation cracking exposing the wires to the car chassis (ground). That is a fire hazard.

Considering the price of replacing your car compared to the price of the light and turn signal switches, I would replace the switches first. If that doesn't work I would then buy new wires from American Auto Wire as they sell OEM wiring that is plug and play (terminated, the correct length, and labeled as to where it goes).

Big Dave
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thanks for the reply Big Dave. I think I'll order a new headlight switch and start there.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 05:23 PM
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For what it is worth, installing new wiring is not as hard as you might think. I was surprised how easy it was when I did my 64. With everything made to tailor fit the car, it is pretty obvious what goes where. So don't be intimidated by the thought of replacing your wiring.



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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: May 2014
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thanks dcairns. With everything else ive done to the car it only seems right that i do the wiring too. but i don't use a lot of the original wiring. Aftemarket AC from Vintage and aftermarket alternator and radio has me wondering if i can buy wiring for only certain stuff. Nice car by the way. Saw your bloggy thing.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 08:53 PM
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Painless sells wiring by the number and size of the circuits you want (bigger fuse gets a bigger wire). Painless has the wires coming out of the fuse box like a regular car wiring but that is about as far as it goes. You cut the wire to length (routing where you want) and terminate it with a set of dies (you either use a special ratcheting or hydraulic crimper; or a bench vise to get profession crimped wires that will not pull out).

I have the ratcheting kind because I don't wire cars professionally just annoyingly frequently. If I were doing this all day long I would get the hydraulic crimper as they are easier on the hands.

Painless sells replacement wiring as well as for race cars, but I ordered their race car package with a lot of solenoids as well as regular automotive circuits for the Fuel Pump, and other heavy loads. Since my battery is in the trunk along with two fifteen pound bottles of nitrous oxide, and an electric NOS bottle opener and an electric heater for the bottles, as well as the fuel pump and two ten gallon Jazz fuel cells I need three solenoids and a hefty 4 gauge wire feeding a power bus: but everything has to still go through the 200 Amp safety shut off, so I wasn't exactly concours white glove correct. As such an AAW OEM restoration wiring harness was out of the question for my needs.

Big Dave
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 09:54 AM
 
 
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Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
Since my battery is in the trunk along with two fifteen pound bottles of nitrous oxide, and an electric NOS bottle opener and an electric heater for the bottles, as well as the fuel pump and two ten gallon Jazz fuel cells

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 11:12 AM
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My car was 1985 Impala 4dr sdn with a standard deck height Dart block (looks like a stock 396-402 BBC with orange paint covering the aluminum parts and decals that belie what it really is) 582 BBC under the hood.



as you can imagine I built this monster to fool those who though their Honda or Mustang was the baddest car on the road.

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