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replacement headlight switch issue
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ccpalmer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:27 am    Post subject: replacement headlight switch issue Reply with quote

Just wondering if anyone else has had this issue. I installed a new late-Bay headlight switch on my '71. Worked great for a few years; now occasionally when I'm driving on dirt roads at night my headlights will shut off. Just the headlights, not the running lights. I can get them to turn back on my grabbing the headlight switch and pulling on it a bit.

I assume it is losing contact inside the switch on bumps. Not good!

It does only happen when I've been parked along a river in the evening until after dark. (but that's about the only time I drive the Bus at night...) And I know that the air gets very humid when I park near a river at night. I have had some other issues with regulators shorting out in the same situation... so I have to wonder if maybe moisture is getting inside the headlight switch?

No big deal - I'll just order a new one - but it is a peculiar problem and I wonder if anyone else has had issues with replacement headlight switches.


Thanks!
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ccpalmer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also - does anyone know if there is a difference between this:

http://www.wolfsburgwest.com/cart/DetailsList.cfm?ID=211941531E

(says OEM German)

and this?

http://www.busdepot.com/211941531e

(says it works better than other replacements for a '71)
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ccpalmer
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update:

I ordered a new headlight switch from WW. It came with a note saying that due to quality issues with Brazilian switches they have a new source for their switch. (website says OEM)

I just installed the new switch and it does appear to be of better quality than the old one just from looking/feeling. I'm 90% sure I ordered my last switch from WW about 4 years ago. That one (which failed) had a part number - 211941531E - stamped on it. This new switch does not. But WW included directions on how to make it work on 68-79 Buses.

So I'm certainly not surprised my old one failed! Just thought I'd give a heads up.

Disclaimer - I do drive on a lot of crap-ola roads and like I said my Bus gets very humid at times...
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, does it have terminal #57 and does it really only work when the parking lights only are on?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

busdaddy wrote:
Interesting, does it have terminal #57 and does it really only work when the parking lights only are on?


Nope. Directions say to plug that wire into #58 also.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ccpalmer wrote:
busdaddy wrote:
Interesting, does it have terminal #57 and does it really only work when the parking lights only are on?


Nope. Directions say to plug that wire into #58 also.

Dammit! Confused Keep hoping for a correct early bay switch..............someday........ Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:41 pm    Post subject: Headlight switch, no terminal 57, parking light in dash Reply with quote

Other than 'used', a correct headlight switch with a terminal 57 is hard to find.

You can emulate the missing pin with a Bosch cube relay, if you really want that indicator light to work. Wire the coil of the relay between the taillight circuit (58) and the headlight circuit (56). Wire one relay contact to power (30). Wire the other relay contact to the dash indicator light (was 57). Done!

When the switch is pulled out one click, taillight power will flow through the relay coil to ground via the non-illuminated headlights, activating it and lighting the dash indicator. Pull two clicks and the relay will have 12 volts on both relay coil ends; the relay deactivates, and the indicator light goes out.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, but just plugging the wire onto the correct terminal would be soooo much easier Razz
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telford dorr
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree also - that's why, because of dimmer failure, I bought a good used switch for mine . But if you just can't get one, then there is an alternative...
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ccpalmer
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd love to have an OG switch but for now I'm going to be happy just to be able to drive at night without worrying about losing my lights! Shocked First a regulator, then a switch... seems to be a recurring issue! Confused
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anything changed for us in the headlight switch replacement department?

I need a headlight switch for a 72 and I'm going to be really anal about the little things like my dash lights working. I'm willing to go new or used as long as it functions like the original.

The suppliers I have found so far don't appear to have the correct switch with the #57 terminal.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shahn wrote:
Has anything changed for us in the headlight switch replacement department?

I need a headlight switch for a 72 and I'm going to be really anal about the little things like my dash lights working. I'm willing to go new or used as long as it functions like the original.

The suppliers I have found so far don't appear to have the correct switch with the #57 terminal.



I just emailed WW asking about any switches that have #57. I just found out tonight that my green indicator light SHOULDN'T be on all the time, and that my instrument lights should actually dim! WOAH!


Telford- is there a specific Bosch cube relay we should use? Any tips for connections for us electrical newbies?
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telford dorr
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope. Generic, small single pole, single throw relay with a 12 volt coil will work. Use the connections described above, using good 1/4" female blade terminals.

----

Side note: know the difference between a good terminal and the crap terminals? Pull / pry the plastic insulating sleeve off of the terminal and look at the metal tube the wire fits into. Is it really thin and easily bent? Crap terminal. The good ones are heavy duty metal - hard to bend. The excellent terminals have the joint welded so that there's no way for the terminal to open up and release the wire.

This is another case of "Buy the best and cry once". Crap terminals are what give crimp-on terminals a bad reputation. If you ever use the excellent welded seam type terminals, you'll never go back to anything else.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:34 am    Post subject: Re: replacement headlight switch issue Reply with quote

Spent a lot of time messing around with this issue, ended up having to pic-up a used 1968 switch for my 1969 bus.

Here is what I learned:

For my year, 1969, and I believe 1968, 1969, 1970 all share the same switch (?) there must be the tab 57 on the switch! - this is to make the "running lights only" on position (half pull out on switch). The replacement/aftermarket switches are shaped very different, without a tab 57, using the same part number (311 941 531 A)? I was told one can "double up" the wire that is supposed to go on the 57 tab to an existing tab, but it may cause the switch to short out eventually.
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telford dorr
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:26 am    Post subject: Re: replacement headlight switch issue Reply with quote

No, it won't cause it to "short out" - the indicator lamp is an insignificant load. But you will probably get tired of seeing that green dash light on any time the headlights are on...
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:28 am    Post subject: Re: replacement headlight switch issue Reply with quote

telford dorr wrote:
…you will probably get tired of seeing that green dash light on any time the headlights are on...


I can confirm that over 37,000 miles.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: replacement headlight switch issue Reply with quote

So I should be glad that my green dash light comes on with parking lights and turns off when headlights are on?

Now if I could just get it to dim the dash lights.... Not talking
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: replacement headlight switch issue Reply with quote

Only a good headlight switch will do that...
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In theory, theory works in practice; in practice, it doesn't - William T. Harbaugh
When you're dead, you don't know you're dead. The pain is only felt by others.
Same thing happens when you're stupid. - Philippe Geluck
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