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pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power
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Rmvr53
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:55 pm    Post subject: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

With the key on or with it running I have no power at pin 56 (white/black strip wire) which means I have no headlights. Brand new switch. Power at the front park light pin and rear running lights pin, just not on 56. Ideas?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:16 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

thanks but I have the wiring diagram and I am wired correctly. I did put in a new dimmer relay as well and its a 5 pin so was planning on installing the jumper to 30 for highbeam flash but that shouldn't be affecting headlight operation - No lead to 30 on the dimmer)...right?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:45 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

Rmvr53 wrote:
With the key on or with it running I have no power at pin 56 (white/black strip wire) which means I have no headlights. Brand new switch. Power at the front park light pin and rear running lights pin, just not on 56. Ideas?

What model year is your Beetle? What model year is the brand new headlight switch for?

The pre-'71 headlight switch used #30 to power BOTH the parking lights and the headlights. From '71-on VW used the "X" circuit to power the headlights. The parking lights are still powered by the #30 (constant 12v) circuit. So it is possible for your parking lights to work normally but your headlights not to work if you are using a later headlight switch and do not have 12v coming into the "X" terminal of the headlight switch.
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I believe some aftermarket switches expect you to jumper the #30 and #X terminals so their switch is used on earlier cars.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

68 with a 68 switch - no "X" circuit.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:15 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

Rmvr53 wrote:
68 with a 68 switch - no "X" circuit.

Here is the diagram that goes with the earlier style of switch:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


If you have 12v on the #30 terminal and no power on #56 with the switch pulled out to the 2nd ON position, your switch is bad.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:49 am    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

thanks Ashman - thats kinda what I figgered...
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:37 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

been drivin it this summer and avoiding late nights. Time to fix the switch. Should I stay with the 68 switch or is there another/better option to use?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

The '68-'70 headlight switch has three (3) #30 terminals since it is the jump off point for battery power behind the dash. Later headlights only had a single #30 terminal as the incoming power for the parking lights.

I have seen pics of headlight switches that can be used in either early or late Beetles. These can be a problem because they require terminal splitters to get enough #30 male terminals and you need to add a jumper wire between the #30 and X terminals when used on earlier cars. The extra connection to X means you actually need FOUR (4) #30 terminals and these switches only come w/ two.
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Stick w/ a dedicated switch meant for your '68, but try to find a good quality one. Check Wolfberg West or EIS Parts. I've had good luck w/ both in the past.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:23 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

Rmvr53 wrote:
With the key on or with it running I have no power at pin 56 (white/black strip wire) which means I have no headlights. Brand new switch. Power at the front park light pin and rear running lights pin, just not on 56. Ideas?


Double check the contact of the fuse at the fuse block. Rotate the fuse within the contacts to make sure it has good contact.
Mine pulled a stunt like this, turned out to be the contacts at the fuse block were not making good enough contact with the fuse.
It seems rediculous but it had me stumped for a while till I tried it. Bingo, headlights & right rear taillight came on.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

just thought I'd throw in an update (after a year). Been driving daylight hours and wife wants to do a a couple of cruise-ins coming up so I have to finally fix the headlights. Bought a new switch and put it in. Guess what - same problem - no power on terminal 56. Switched power and constant power on the two wires on 30, panel lights work and park lights but no power on 56. This switch DOES have an "X" lug and I ohm'd the switch and when the headlight switch is pulled all the way out (lights are full on) the x and 56 zero out (connection) so I ran a switched hot to the "X" lug and now I have power to the relay via 56. Just no headlights still.
So as I had said previously, the relay I installed is a 5 lug (has an add'l "30" lug) so am I right to assume if I jumper the white/black from 56 to the 30 I will now have lights? Just asking before I short something out...

thanks all
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:35 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

Rmvr53 wrote:
just thought I'd throw in an update (after a year). Been driving daylight hours and wife wants to do a a couple of cruise-ins coming up so I have to finally fix the headlights. Bought a new switch and put it in. Guess what - same problem - no power on terminal 56. Switched power and constant power on the two wires on 30, panel lights work and park lights but no power on 56. This switch DOES have an "X" lug and I ohm'd the switch and when the headlight switch is pulled all the way out (lights are full on) the x and 56 zero out (connection) so I ran a switched hot to the "X" lug and now I have power to the relay via 56. Just no headlights still.
So as I had said previously, the relay I installed is a 5 lug (has an add'l "30" lug) so am I right to assume if I jumper the white/black from 56 to the 30 I will now have lights? Just asking before I short something out...

thanks all


You would be fine. That is exactly what the headlight switch does.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:04 am    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

Rmvr53 wrote:
Bought a new switch and put it in. Guess what - same problem - no power on terminal 56. Switched power and constant power on the two wires on 30, panel lights work and park lights but no power on 56. This switch DOES have an "X" lug and I ohm'd the switch and when the headlight switch is pulled all the way out (lights are full on) the x and 56 zero out (connection)

This is normal for the later headlight switches. The headlights run off the X (INPUT) while the parking light and dash run off the #30 (INPUT).


Rmvr53 wrote:
so I ran a switched hot to the "X" lug and now I have power to the relay via 56.

While this will work, there is a possible issue... the headlights draw a fair amount of current. Whichever source is connected to the "X" terminal of the headlight switch will bear that load. The original load had the current coming DIRECTLY from the heavy gauge red #30 wire that comes from the VR/battery. This wire is meant to carry the load of pretty much EVERYTHING.
By connecting a "switched hot" to the "X" terminal the load now moves to that "switched hot" source. In '68 this would be the ignition switch. The ignition switch #15 circuit was NEVER designed to carry the load of the headlights! In '71 an additional "X" circuit was added into the ignition switch to carry this load separate from the #15 circuit.

I suggest you add a spliter to one of the #30 terminals on the headlight switch and run a short jumper from there to the "X" terminal. This will move the current load to the #30 circuit where it belongs.



Rmvr53 wrote:
Just no headlights still. So as I had said previously, the relay I installed is a 5 lug (has an add'l "30" lug) so am I right to assume if I jumper the white/black from 56 to the 30 I will now have lights?

Can you confirm the terminal numbers on the 5-lug headlight dimmer relay? The stock/replacement 5-prong dimmer relay had the following terminal numbers:
    #56 - 12v INPUT from headlight switch
    #56a - high beam OUTPUT
    #56b (F) - low beam OUTPUT
    S - trigger, toggles between outputs when this is grounded (-)
    #30 - (mandatory) constant 12v, allows "flashing" high beams even when headlight switch is OFF

Here's a pic of the common aftermarket replacement part:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I want to confirm the terminal numbers because a previous member thought they could use a common 5-prong SPDT relay as a plug-in replacement for the dimmer relay. They are NOT at all compatible. The SPDT relay has the following terminal #s: 30, 85, 86, 87, 87a.
If your relay has these numbers it is the wrong one and nothing we discuss here will make this relay work.

Back to the 5-prong dimmer relay...
The #30 terminal on the 5-prong dimmer relay is meant to be powered by a constant 12v source. You can run a (5th?) wire from the #30 terminals of the headlight switch to this terminal. Or, you could run it from the fuse box (trace the red #30 wire from the headlight switch to the fuse box and connect to the same spot).
This allows the dimmer relay to work even when the headlight switch and ignition are OFF. This allows you to "flash" your high beams by just pulling on the dimmer switch (turn signal lever). The headlight switch does NOT need to be ON.
In the US, VW Beetles only came with the 4-prong dimmer relay. This relay was powered by the #56 wire so only worked when the headlight switch was ON.

I have seen some conflicting information which could be due to different manufacturers of these 5-prong dimmer relays. In most cases the dimmer will only function properly/fully if the #30 terminal is powered. So leaving it unconnected results in NO HEADLIGHTS.
In some cases, the #30 terminal IS the source of power for the actual headlights. The #56 terminal is just a trigger which allows the current from #30 to flow out the OUTPUT terminals. This is the overall function of a relay... a small current switches a larger current ON/OFF.
But in the case of the DNI 0127 relay pictured above, the wiring diagram on the case of the relay specifically shows that the #56a and #56b OUTPUT terminals are powered by the #56 INPUT terminal and NOT the #30. The #30 only powers the toggle mechanism and a momentary power to the #56a terminal (to "flash"). Based on the above diagram, connecting a 12v source to the #56 terminal WILL power one or the other of the OUTPUT terminals, but without power to #30 you cannot SWITCH the OUTPUTS as #56 does NOT power the coil that switches the outputs.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:12 am    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

pictured relay is my relay (S,30,56,56a,56b)
I thought as well that the lows or highs should have worked with power to 56 (depending on where the relay was switched to) but I get no power on the output side of the relay (56a or 56b). Hence why I was wondering if "30" had to be powered.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

I should have mentioned... IIRC, the DNI relay DOES need #30 powered for the headlights to work. Sad
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:32 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

problem-
made up a harness today that split the wire coming from the constant hot side of the fuse box up to the headlight switch to also feed the "X" on the switch and the "30" on the relay.
Now I have headlights all the time when the headlight switch is off. When I turn the switch on I loose the right headlight but the left stays on. I am also not getting any action from the dimmer on the column to the relay.
Ideas??

thanks
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:46 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

Rmvr53 wrote:
problem-
made up a harness today that split the wire coming from the constant hot side of the fuse box up to the headlight switch to also feed the "X" on the switch and the "30" on the relay.

This is for a '68 Beetle, right? If so, the above underlined statement is incorrect. Unless you have modified the current flow the main #30 wire coming from the VR/battery first stops at the headlight switch BEFORE going to the fuse box. Refer to the wiring diagram above. One of the three (3) red wires that connected to the headlight switch (see F above) comes from the VR, one goes to the fuse box (the 3rd goes to the ignition switch). This wire between the headlight switch and fuse box does NOT power the headlight switch from the fuse box... it is the headlight switch that POWERS the fuse box (unless you have rearranged the wiring?)
With this in mind it makes more sense to tap into the #30 circuit AT the headlight switch. If you added your new wires at the fuse box end of the #30 wire the current is flowing thru the headlight connectors; flowing to the fuse box and then flowing BACK to the headlight switch "X" and dimmer relay #30. This basically adds unnecessary current load to the red wire running between the headlight switch and fuse box.


Rmvr53 wrote:
Now I have headlights all the time when the headlight switch is off. When I turn the switch on I loose the right headlight but the left stays on. I am also not getting any action from the dimmer on the column to the relay.

You need to check if this is a wiring problem or a switch/relay problem. First, double-check that all wires are connected to their correct terminals on the headlight switch, dimmer relay and fuse box.

Check the dimmer switch:
    Remove the brown/white "S" wire from the dimmer relay and check it for ground. While the turn signal arm is pulled this wire should be shorted to ground. When it is released the wire should be OPEN (not powered or grounded).
    I suspect the dimmer switch in the turn signal assembly is stuck CLOSED (common problem). This would result result in the high beam OUTPUT (56a) being powered ALL THE TIME (regardless of ignition or headlight switch position).
    If this is the case, use a small screw driver to separate the brass contacts at the base of the turn signal stalk.


Check the black/white #56 wire running between the headlight switch and the dimmer relay:
    Remove this wire from the dimmer relay and see if the headlights go out.
    Test that this wire should only be powered while the headlight switch is FULLY ON (2nd ON position). If you find voltage on this wire while the headlight switch is OFF or in the parking light position (1st ON position) the switch is bad.


Check that the OUTPUT of the dimmer relay is connected to the proper fuse box terminals:
    Looking at the above wiring diagram. Notice that the single white (#56a) wire connects to the INPUT side of #3 fuse. You can see that this one wire powers BOTH the #3 and #4 fuses using the bridge that connects the INPUT side of #3 and #4 fuses.
    You can also see that the OUTPUT side of these two fuses are the white wires that run to the left/right high beam filaments of the headlights.
    The single yellow wire from the #56b (F) terminal of the dimmer relay runs to the #5 fuse where it powers both of the low beam fuses. The OUTPUT of these two fuses are the yellow low beam wires.
    Test this but removing one fuse at a time and notice that the appropriate headlight filament goes OUT.
    I suspect that the dimmer relay OUTPUTS are connected to the wrong fuses in the fuse box.
    Also check the #58 parking light OUTPUT of the headlight switch. The grey wire from this terminal runs to the #8 fuse INPUT where it powers BOTH the #8 and #9 fuses. The grey wires running from the OUTPUT side of these fuses power the corner parking lights.


Oh, and check the ground connection at the headlight. If one of the headlights were grounding thru the parking light circuit while the lights were OFF that headlight would turn OFF when the parking lights were powered.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:58 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

will do some checkin over the next few days. This car got a complete re-wire last year with the kit from JBugs (that was bought a couple of years prior to that). So nothing is "68" at this point as the kit "converts" the car to a 69-70 schematic hence the newer "X" pin headlight switch and the 5 pin headlight relay. When you pull the 56 lead from the relay the lights are on as the "30" is still hot. Pull the "30" and no lights, replace the 56 (only) and no lights. Will check the T/S/ dimmer switch for ground function tomorrow.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:56 am    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

Rmvr53 wrote:
will do some checkin over the next few days. This car got a complete re-wire last year with the kit from JBugs (that was bought a couple of years prior to that). So nothing is "68" at this point as the kit "converts" the car to a 69-70 schematic hence the newer "X" pin headlight switch and the 5 pin headlight relay.

'70 model year would NOT yet have had an "X" circuit at the ignition switch or the headlight switch. The "X" circuit only showed up in the '71-later model years.
It is common to use a '71-later headlight switch as a replacement for the pre-'71 as long as you add a jumper wire between the #30 and "X" terminals at the headlight switch. At which point the headlight switch functions the same as a pre-'71 switch. Here is a pic of just this from Wolfsburg West:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



Rmvr53 wrote:
When you pull the 56 lead from the relay the lights are on as the "30" is still hot. Pull the "30" and no lights, replace the 56 (only) and no lights. Will check the T/S/ dimmer switch for ground function tomorrow.

This suggests that the 56 wire is not the reason the dimmer relay is ON while everything is OFF. Confirm by testing the 56 wire for 12v at the different headlight positions. It should only be powered in the fully ON position.
The above also suggests that the relay is energized even with the 56 wire disconnected. Try removing the brown/white "S" wire from the dimmer relay and see if the lights go OUT. This would confirm that the "S" wire is constantly grounded and activating the dimmer relay.
If the relay is still passing current from #30 to one of the OUTPUT terminals while 56 and "S" are disconnected... the relay is bad. It should only be energized by 12v coming into 56 or "S" being grounded.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: pin 56 on 68 headlight switch - no power Reply with quote

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Where can I buy these splitters for the #30 terminals? I'm trying to install a newer switch in my '69 but it didn't come with the jumper wire (which I can make easy enough) or the splitters. I can't find anywhere to buy the connectors that split each #30 to connect leads for battery, fusebox, starter switch, and X terminal.

Thanks for your help!
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