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Headlight wiring issue

This is a discussion on Headlight wiring issue within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Hi all, Just bought my first 98 Trans AM and this is my first post. I have read all the ...

  1. #1
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    Red face Headlight wiring issue

    Hi all, Just bought my first 98 Trans AM and this is my first post.

    I have read all the prior posts about headlight issues with the motors and gears but this one has nothing to do with those issues.

    My issue is that the passenger side head lights are much dimmer than the driver side. I have replaced the headlights with factory 4701 and 4703 headlights. When I turn the brights on the passenger side goes completely out!? but the drivers side works as designed. I have checked voltage at all 4 and are all above 11.5v when the brights are turned on, but wont work with the lights plugged in. I have checked all fuses that I can see. All wiring looks to be original in good condition.

    I was thinking that there could be a ground problem but I am unable to find a wiring diagram for the headlights themselves.

    If anyone has any other suggestions or any help, PLEASE let me know.

  2. #2
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    Congrats on the purchase! Sounds like maybe a corroded connector or ground connection. Did you inspect the condition of the connectors?

  3. #3
    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    connector

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    Thanks on the congrats!

    There is some black in the connectors, i think its old dirty grease. I will clean them out, reapply some grease, and see how that works.

    If that doesnt work, does anyone know where to pick up a new harness for cheap? It doesnt go far before it hits another connector.

    Will keep posted on the outcome of the cleaning,

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Car Nut ICRAZY6's Avatar
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    gmpartsdirect.com

  6. #6
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    Ok, got it cleaned out, added new grease and fixed (for the most part).

    Thank god I did not have to replace the harness due to gmpartsdirect.com does not have it!

    Thanks for the link thou, they have alot of parts there for it!

    Thanks everyone, off to fix the next issues that come up!

  7. #7
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    Ok, so it was working great for about 2 weeks. Since then I have cleaned them all back out, reapplied new grease, and pulled out the rest of my hair. Luckily I do not drive too much at night, But when I do it looks like crap!

    I have noticed that there is a shared wire between the headlight and the bright. Is this wire for the ground? I was thinking the ground could possibly be bad on the passenger side and I could create my own.

    I have found that when I unplug the bright bulb the normal headlight shuts off as well. All connectors are running at 11.6v with using the provided grounds. For some reason or other the drivers side is bright as all hell.

    I am getting frustrated with it and dont want to be charged a butt load to have something simple fixed. ALL HELP IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!!

    I will post some pics tonight to help give a better idea of what I am dealing with.

  8. #8
    Junior Member rbws6's Avatar
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    wow

    Are you kidding me??? I was working on the exact same problem last night and this morning. The only difference was the passenger side was working and the driver was dead. I checked voltage on all connections and 11.8ish throughout, swapped the lights around, and took the pigtails apart to make sure I was getting a good connection. Luckly, the low beam now works (dont know what changed), however I still don't have a driver high. FSM will be in my near future. The Chilton for my car doesn't appear to be true for a 99. I'll update if I figure this one out.

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    So I went out there to work on it again! This time successful for the time. Hopefully a perm fix!

    I found that the connectors were alittle too far apart and was not connecting to the headlight correctly. When I would apply the die grease it would only help short out my problem. Seems that the connectors are old and just having a hard time connecting.

    My resolution was to clean with brake cleaner, bend the connectors and to NOT apply any grease. Once this was done the headlight worked as designed.

    If this turns out not to be a perm solution, I will either find a new harness with new connectors, or chop them off and create my own. I will update with progress if this happens again!

    Hope this helps anyone else that is having the same issue!

  10. #10
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    Ok, I lied, atleast the car did. Same issue all over again. Going tp build my own connectors, will let you know how it works out.

  11. #11
    Junior Member rbws6's Avatar
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    Mine was not that easy. The connections are good. We even removed slipped the wires from the black connector to get a 100% good connection and nothing changed. It reads 12 volts but acts like there is no current.

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    Sounds like a bad ground. I believe the ground wire is the one shared between the normal and brights. I would try adding a wire and running it to a bolt, giving it an additional ground. This might resolve your problem.

    How did you pull the connector apart? I couldn't no madder which way i pulled. With the clip removed from the top? Starting to feel like I am beating a dead horse.

  13. #13
    Member izzhemp's Avatar
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    I have same problem an tried everything you did even bought new motors an wiring harness spliced in new connector to harness then connector on motor had two bad ends that go into plug on harness so spliced those wires having 100 percent connection still no go i bought new driver side head light assembly Im goin To rebuild it all if still not work Im goin To shop

  14. #14
    Junior Member rbws6's Avatar
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    Here is something to try. Turn your lights on and touch the positive connection on the high beam socket with the positive lead on a meter. Ru n the negative llead to a negative ground. Try it with a light plugged into the low beam socket. Sounds crazy but it gave me light when these two were touched. I still don't have a driver high, and I can live with that for now. Good luck

  15. #15
    Junior Member rbws6's Avatar
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    I pulled out the white piece and made the smallest flathead that would allow me to free the barb on the wiring. It then pulled right through the back

  16. #16
    Member izzhemp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbws6 View Post
    I pulled out the white piece and made the smallest flathead that would allow me to free the barb on the wiring. It then pulled right through the back
    I've tested them to same outcome and ya two my barbs broke the ones that plug into the red an black wire on harness i believe that's the colors but it was them two that are next to each other an i also don't have a bright light we seem to have exact same problem and so far tried exact same things lol its done pissed me off a month ago Im running out ideas to try and i agree bout goin to shop paying 50-100 bucks for somethin stupid is gettin closer to happening but goin to push me over edge on this light situation, I've thought bout just buying completely different type of headlights that will fit and in bracket and just get matching plug to new head light an hook it up see if that works and would also resolve the annoying bulb connectors that frequently slide off and cause the bulb prongs to burn up cause of moisture

  17. #17
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    Fixed!!

    Well after playing with it for months and reading forum after forum I found a temp to perm fix. This is a ground issue but if you were like me all your connections looked good and grounds were find but still had the issue i have a solution.

    On the side that is dim, take the outer headlight bulb connector off and take about a foot of wire and plug it into the front side of the connector for the black wire and plug it back onto the bulb. Take the other end of the cable and connect it to where the other ground is on the radiator support. Only the 2 outside bulbs should be working now.

    Check your brights and all 4 should be working now. Hope this helps someone else that had this same issue.
    Last edited by CrazyLS1; 12-03-2011 at 02:06 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyLS1 View Post
    Well after playing with it for months and reading forum after forum I found a temp to perm fix. This is a ground issue but if you were like me all your connections looked good and grounds were find but still had the issue i have a solution.

    On the side that is dim, take the outer headlight bulb connector off and take about a foot of wire and plug it into the front side of the connector for the black wire and plug it back onto the bulb. Take the other end of the cable and connect it to where the other ground is on the radiator support. Only the 2 outside bulbs should be working now.

    Check your brights and all 4 should be working now. Hope this helps someone else that had this same issue.
    Are ur headlights still fixed ...was this permanent???


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