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#465532 01/14/22 12:14 PM
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Grease Monkey
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Just got my new 32 confederate. Trying to diagnose what is going on with a blown lighting fuse.

The repair manual says the fuse is a 15A fuse but I noticed the fuse in there is currently 20A and is blown. Is 20A fuse correct?

What I noticed after replacing the fuse it blows only when I press the dimmer switch on the floor for the lights. It blows immediately. This leads me to believe it’s a bad wire. I hooked up a short finder and seems like the wires are good, I get a tone.

I also noticed the repair manual shows 3 wires in the lights but my lights only have 2 going to them. Is this because of the cowl lights that I have? It looks like the 3rd wire was cut back from the headlights at some point as they are still present in the harness.

Any recommendations on tracking down the issue? Is the fuse 20A on the lighting switch? Thanks!!


Filling Station - Chevrolet & GMC Reproduction Parts


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Part16, the first thing I would recommend is to disconnect the battery when the car is unattended and you are not working on it. Look at the condition of all the other wires for deteriorating insulation. Bad wires cause fires. Correct the short and use the fuse called for in the service info.


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Agree, look in the manual and see what size fuse is called for.

typically 3 wires to the headlamps are 1 for low beam 1 for high beam 1 for parking light
...do you have parking lamps in the headlamps ?

where the wire is cut back, is it taped off/secured so that it can not ground out ?

you could test the dimmer switch
...turn on car switch
...turn on the headlamps make sure they are on & working
...turn off the car switch
...step on the dimmer switch to go from low to high or vice
...turn car switch
...do head light come on ?

if they do then step on switch and see if fuse blows, if so maybe a short in the switch

if not then i would say a short somewhere in the wire run between power at fuse and the bulb itself


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Thank you so much for the replies. I got it narrowed down the the one wire coming off the dimmer switch that’s causing the problem. My thought is to just replace the wire off the switch and going to the two lamps. Is that the best fix in this case?

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From your description it seems that replacing the wire that is grounding will solve your problem.


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i would agree, eliminate the problem. replace with a new one :)
do you know where in that line the short is ?? is it in a junction ? where it splits from 1 wire to 2 ? i would check that first. maybe a simple re splice . not sure how it is wired up on yours
also follow wire and see if there are any bare wire exposed from chaffing or rubbing.


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Thanks again for the replies, more investigation led me to the headlamp housing. The wires inside were deteriorating really bad and had exposed wires attached pic. Ordered replacement part for the headlamp. I’m new to this so it’s all a learning experience. Thanks for all the help and this forum has been a huge help so far, 1 week in to ownership. On to to fix the horns now.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/6Qrb1WTdy9r5PXav7

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I would highly recommend checking and repairing both sides. The previous repair? does not even look like it was done with electrical tape. I think the Filling Station www.fillingstation.com sells the jumper harness for inside the headlamp. Check out part # HL-10 or H-11 depending on parking lamp location.

Last edited by m006840; 01/15/22 07:45 PM.

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I ordered 2 to replace both headlamps for the filling station. The other headlamp is in better condition and works but not much better so going to just replace and get it done. Thanks for the reply!

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do you have parking lamps in your car ?? 2 bulbs in head lamp reflector ?
yes filling station was selling piggy backs that go inside the headlamps, replaced both of mine to be safe :)

glad you found the source :) you never know what you will find with these old cars, either by time or by previous owners... jsut read the postings on here of things we have found, fixed, repaired, replaced !


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What is the age and condition of the remaining wiring on the car compared to the portion that failed? There might be other portions that are in similar condition.


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I received the new headlamp bucket wires and I tried to install the one tonight and no matter what I do I can’t seem to get the contacts to line up with disconnect wires coming from the car to the head lamp. When I peer through to see how close they are they are close but I can’t turn the bayonet connection anymore. Any suggestions on getting the alignment right. I tried this on both headlamps as well. I got the new connectors off of filling station. I had to send one back because of a poor connection on the heat shrink. Poor quality control?

I’ve inspected some of the other wires in the car and look to be in good shape but still working my way through the car.

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Do you know if the harness has original style plug in ends. The harness coming out of the headlamp arm has a twist to lock metal end that plugs into the headlight bucket, The jumper harness inside the bucket also has twist lock style and plugs in to the connector on the bucket and the other end attaches to the socket in the reflector. Does this sound like how yours is set up? I found it helps to wear rubber grip gloves when trying to turn the socket ends.


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This is the harness I bought. I have 1 bulb and 2 wire. I’ll keep trying but had to step away. Learning I need more patience but thought this would have worked out of the box.


https://store.fillingstation.com/de...HEADLIGHT_BUCKET_WIRE_2_WIRE_1_CLIP.html

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1 bulb 2 wire
...1 wire - low beam
...1 wire - high beam

ground is achieved via metal to metal contact, bulb to bayonet, bayonet to metal housing, etc...

can you post pictures of the wires coming into the housing ?

looking at the parts from TFS bayonet end of that pigtail should connect seat in the headlamp housing (this end is the end that the wire harness plugs into with the socket and insulator), the other end (clip) should seat in the reflector which requires a headlamp socket , typically from the backside. then bulb gets seated in that socket opposite of the socket inside the reflector. looks like the same socket is used for the headlamp and parking lamp.

here is a link to my 1929 headlamp rebuild, i have parking lights so has a different pigtail, sure it is generally the same concept, but not sure.


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Thanks bearsfan. After some time I was able to get the wiring to work. I think we are in business now. It was a matter of making sure there was a tight connection which took adjusting. Appreciate all the help!

Good news I also got the radio working :-). Need to figure out this throttle and accelator linkage and wher to source some parts.

Last edited by Part16john; 01/21/22 12:42 AM.
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I’m a little late to the party but. Just rewire the car. I did mine in 3 days . I figured my wiring job could not be worse then all the bare and spliced wires. You will sleep better. I spent less then $100 bucks. Before and after at light switch. Good luck. All wires were bare in my headlight bucket’s

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Nice job on the rewire Kray. After spending a couple months with the car and doing various upgrades and maintenance on the car I saw lots of spliced wires and electrical tape. I broke down and got a wiring harness with built in turn signals. Hoping it will be here in the next few weeks. Appreciate comment!

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I took the cheap rout. Says your in Cincinnati?. I’m about 3 hrs west off of interstate 64 far westside of Indiana. If ever in the area give a call. I’m always looking to talk about ideas and what people have done and how they did things on there car. Mine has sometimes went from old original keep and fix only what to keep it drivable to hard to find expensive part or my way. So far my way has not taken away from its old I’ve been around look. Good luck and keep it fun.

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Hey Kray, thanks and great looking machine you go there! Having just acquired the 32 a few months ago I’m anxious to get out and talk to other owners and drive. I’ve learned a lot but know there much to learn yet. Having 3 younger kids time is a high commodity so getting a pre made harness made sense for me. This has been a project that my brother and I took on together.

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I completed the rewiring job in the car. That was a job! Lots of staring up in to the dash on my back or under the car. I added in turn signals with the cowl lights blinking, added led taillights as well and what a difference in brightness. Appreciate the help from the forums!

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In the future or for others the easiest way to hook up the dash wires is with the instrument panel not mounted in the dash. Hook up the wires to the instruments and then mount the panel. Install the control cables to hold the panel in place. The wires to the electrolock can be done before it is put in place as well. Once all wires are in place and panel installed the clips holding wires can be installed to make the job look professional.


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