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Thread: left head light dim

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Little Compton RI
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    21

    Default left head light dim

    The left hand head light my on my 1973 series 3 has been dim for several years. I finally got around to replacing the bulb, but the problem persists. What should I consider doing next? The right head light works just fine.
    Last edited by dwmcompton; 07-17-2021 at 03:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    168

    Default

    check the ground

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dwmcompton View Post
    The left hand head light my on my 1973 series 3 has been them for several years. I finally got around to replacing the bulb, but the problem persists. What should I consider doing next? The right head light works just fine.
    Beaten to it Might be a bad ground, to that lamp, check that the black wire from the bulb connector hasn't a bad connection or broken wire. Are both beams dim?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Little Compton RI
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    Default

    just the left side. full beam on the right as well as high beam. Will check the ground wire on the left side, thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    SF Bay Area
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    112

    Default

    These folks are right, it's most likely a bad ground...or bad connection along the way.

    I just did this same thing a few weeks ago. In my case, I was messing with the pigtail/Headlight connector (upgraded to the NAS standard 3 prong plastic housing). Well, in yanking around the wires, it started to have all kinds of problems. Lights staying on, etc. It was like the car had electrical demons.

    I ended up making sure my battery ground was solid. Take off the rusty bolt and switch it with new stainless or chrome hardware, new fittings, etc. And take a wire wheel fitted to a cordless drill and just brush off 50 years of rust and road grime until the metal reflects daylight again before tightening up the ground connections.

    The other thing is the stupid bullet connectors. Land Rover makes their wire looms so you can take them apart in strategic places into smaller sub-looms. The one for the engine bay includes the headlights. But, also from the left Headlight to the right, there is a connection going in front of the radiator that has some of those bullet Plug connectors. They are awful, and rust inside. Also, they are fragile, so even if you splice fresh ones in, you might pull out the wire from the housing by trying to disconnect it. You could have what I had: plugs that were rusted shut, but not electrically conductive(great, right?).

    Do yourself a favor and spend an afternoon cleaning or replacing all the Plug connectors as well. These Series wiring looms are so simple. Just get some masking tape and a sharpie and identify each one from the wiring diagram and label them. Then disconnect the plugs and test continuity. Stick one end of the voltmeter in the Headlight socket and the other test the connections running in front of the radiator between the headlights. That way you find the right wire(if color is hard to see). Use a brass wire brush to shine up the plugs conductive surfaces.

    I ended up replacing the plugs with new ones. They are cheap. But, after repeated disconnecting, the plug connectors failed and the wire ripped out. I swear I crimped them correctly, but I just think they are bad design. We don't use them in the States(I see more blade type connectors). I think the idea of disconnectable connections that break after 2 disconnects is a stupid concept. It serves no purpose. So, I have been soldering connections and covering them in heatshrink for a bulletproof and watertight connection. Honestly, it takes 2 minutes with wire cutters and soldering iron and you get a connection that will last forever with no BS faults or shorts. Any concern about disconnecting "out in the field" is overblown, because you can use wire cutters in the field, too. A wire loom's one job is to be conductive. If it can't do that, who cares if it's disconnectable?

    I would check the length of wire from the working Headlight out to the failing one. And cut out and solder any torn/cracked wires or suspect plugs connectors, remembering to put heat shrink over the splice. And check the ground all the way through to the battery tray.

    Also, while you're at it...try swapping the headlights to make sure it's also not just a weak bulb(won't hurt to check). After all that, you'll known it's solid.

    Wiring can feel daunting, but it's really simple. Just 1 wire for power and 1 wire for ground(sometimes the casing is grounded so even simpler). It's just tedious. Be systematic and methodical and you'll find the issue. I often dread starting it and put it off for weeks, but then finally do it and am mad at myself for not doing it sooner. Just roll up your sleeves and get into it. Good luck!
    ...┌───────┬──,,
    ...|______OD__|__\\_____
    ...d ..__ ......... |... | ..__....p
    └/ | \────┴──┴/ | \─┘≡
    ..../..@........................@

    1973 Series 3, 109

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    killingworth CT
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    813

    Default

    After cleaning, bullets, use a silicone Di, electric goo to keep moisture out,

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    168

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    someone said (a while back) that Lucas was the "prince of darkness" !, i still find it funny but my one owner (me) series 3 has had very few electrical issues. coincidentally all i remember was a dim headlight.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    killingworth CT
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jimrr View Post
    someone said (a while back) that Lucas was the "prince of darkness" !, i still find it funny but my one owner (me) series 3 has had very few electrical issues. coincidentally all i remember was a dim headlight.
    Also be home before dark,,,

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