Headlight switch | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Headlight switch

Discussion in 'Interior Modifications' started by TaylorThomasEscort1, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. TaylorThomasEscort1

    TaylorThomasEscort1 New Member

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    So, my low beam headlights don't work, but my high beams do. After much testing (Ground tests, resistance tests and so forth) I have come to the conclusion that my headlight switch is actually going bad.

    My idea was to hook my headlights up to two different toggle switches, instead. Seeing as how the headlight switch has been quoted to me for outrageous prices, I will go the somewhat cheaper route, leaving the mfs switch in for original looks, and for the parking lights.

    My question is, has anyone ever done this, or seen this done? I'm not sure I even know where to start, and would love some help doing this!
  2. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I havent seen it done, which doesnt mean it hasnt been. Each time I read about someone having problems with that all purpose "multi-function-switch" I tell myself I should install relays to actually turn the headlamps on, & therefore to take the current load off of the switch guts. I see the switch for prices starting at $152 plus shipping, and up to slightly over $300 at www.rockauto.com.
    There are severl different versions, for those cars with our without cruise control, or variable interval wipers, wagons have different switches than hatchbacks, etc.
    And the early cars (91-93) use a different switch assembly than the later cars for the various functions.

    I have been looking for an extra multifunction switch for each of my 3 Escorts (all 3 are different) in junkyards, but I seldom find any, and none of the kind I need so far. I see a lot of them that have the entire steering column missing, which makes me wonder; did they need the whole column, or were they just getting it all so they could disentangle that fancy switch using more care - in their home workshop?

    I dont see the switches much on ebay, though I see entire steering columns for 'opening' prices from $90 to $120 with shipping, from the online JY sellers. The switches are sort of delicate; I think its only a matter of time before mine break somehow.
  3. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    If you have a Pull-A-Part nearby they have the large light/turn signal switches for $9.96 each.
  4. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    If you have a Pull-A-Part nearby they have the large light/turn signal switches for $9.96 each.
  5. TaylorThomasEscort1

    TaylorThomasEscort1 New Member

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    Why does everyone bring up junkyards, online stores, and ebay. I said I wanted to put toggle switches in. It's not that I can't afford the multi-function switch, because I can. I've actually got a brand new one on it's way, but I posted this thread asking about how to do it with toggle switches. THAT's what I wanted to know. Not where I could get one cheaper.
  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Then I dont know. Obviously we arent any help to you. Bye.
  7. 88scortgt

    88scortgt FEOA Member

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    Before you try to re-wire your headlights, did you check the headlight relay located on a bracket behind the fuse box? I have had that relay fail on both of my GT's and had the same symptoms you are describing. In both cases, the relay and the plug were both melted.
  8. TaylorThomasEscort1

    TaylorThomasEscort1 New Member

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    Well, my relay box is actually melting that that relay connects to. My relay was bad, so I put a new one in, and still the same thing. I do know I need a new relay box for that reason, which is why I was going to try and wire the headlights with a toggle switch, and a aftermarket relay connected inbetween. Even though my test light shows the connections in the relay box are still good, could it still cause my low beams to not work, and my high beams to STILL work?
  9. 88scortgt

    88scortgt FEOA Member

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    If the wires are burnt, I would suggest cutting them back to where they are good and add new wires and connectors to get the length back. I replaced my first bad relay and left the burnt wires on it, and within two days it fried the new relay. I don't know if this will fix your problem, but it is worth a try. If I read it right, the Service Manual says there should be less than 5 ohms of resistance in the wire for the headlights, and any more than that the wire should be repaired.
  10. Blazed

    Blazed New Member

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    I'm having this same problem except the other way around. My low beams work fine, but my high beams don't.

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