Lost High Beams 1967 1600 Duetto - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Lost High Beams 1967 1600 Duetto

1967 1600 Duetto

Yesterday while on a wonderful drive through Napa, CA. The following happens.

1. I see a very brief puff of smoke from under, or near my dash board, to my left.

2. I pull over immediately and turn off everything.

3. I examine under the dash, looking for burnt or hot wires. To my surprise I find nothing. Not even a linger hint of smokey/burnt odor.

4. As I check out what works, and what does not work, I find that I have lost my high beams (these were on when it happened, though it was not even dusk yet). I have also lost my dash/gauge lights.

5. Everything else, including the low beams work fine. We drive home, leaving the lights off and now I'm trying to find the cause. All fuses are good, I cleaned the contacts at the fuse box on all four sets of fuses, 2 for high beams, 2 for low beams, even replaced the fuses with new ones just in case.

My questions

My hunch is that perhaps the high beam postion in the steering column switch is bad, and might that be the puff of smoke I saw since nothing else appears to be hot, burnt melted etc.???

Is there a fuse or fuse link under the dash related to headlights that I'm missing?

I have a voltage/amp meter, how can I test the circuit for the high beams, and insure that the steering column switch high beam is or is not working? I'd like to test it before removing it if I can.

Is the fact that I also lost the dash/gauge light a clue? Why are these in the mix, but the low beams are still working??

Any help greatly appreciated. I also requested the wire diagram from Papa Jam. I'll check that out, hoping I can make heads or tails out if it. I've replaced the clutch, pulled the engine, etc. in the past, but wiring is a weak area for me. Circuits can get confusing, but I do get the basics, at least I think...

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
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My hunch is that perhaps the high beam postion in the steering column switch is bad, and might that be the puff of smoke I saw since nothing else appears to be hot, burnt melted etc.???
Yes, I think that's a good hunch. Now that you have verified that the fuses are OK, there isn't much else in the circuit.

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Is there a fuse or fuse link under the dash related to headlights that I'm missing?
Nope

Quote:
I have a voltage/amp meter, how can I test the circuit for the high beams, and insure that the steering column switch high beam is or is not working? I'd like to test it before removing it if I can.
You know that power is getting to the switch, since the low beams still work, so no need to check power to the switch. You could verify that power is not coming out of the switch to the two high beam fuses, while it is getting to the low beam fuses.

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Is the fact that I also lost the dash/gauge light a clue? Why are these in the mix, but the low beams are still working??
Can't answer that one in detail. How about your parking lights - do those still work? I would have thought that the dash/gauge and the parking lights were controlled by the same contacts in the column switch.

OK, here's where someone gives you the lecture about relays....

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'63 Guilia spider
'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

Last edited by Alfajay; 04-28-2019 at 11:24 AM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response, yes parking lights still work. I've also discovered that it is the dash lights on the speedo and the tach that are out, (as well as the high beams) at least I think, pretty bright out, I'll pull those and check to make sure, either way. But the other gauges are lit.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 12:45 PM
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Thanks for the response, yes parking lights still work. I've also discovered that it is the dash lights on the speedo and the tach that are out, (as well as the high beams) at least I think, pretty bright out, I'll pull those and check to make sure, either way. But the other gauges are lit.
OK, that makes a bit more sense. I'm 99% certain that the failure of the dash lights on the speedo and the tach are a separate problem from the high beams. Check the dash lights for a bad ground, broken wiring, burned-out bulbs, etc. Your voltage meter will help diagnose this one.

My guess is still that your high beam failure is internal to the switch behind the steering wheel. Once you have confirmed that, there is no inexpensive or simple solution - you have to replace the switch. Yea, you can try spraying contact cleaner in there, or chanting over it, but honestly, the fact that it smoked suggests that it's, well, toast.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'63 Guilia spider
'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

Last edited by Alfajay; 04-29-2019 at 07:13 AM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 07:38 PM
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Yes, I think that's a good hunch. Now that you have verified that the fuses are OK, there isn't much else in the circuit.



Nope



You know that power is getting to the switch, since the low beams still work, so no need to check power to the switch. You could verify that power is not coming out of the switch to the two high beam fuses, while it is getting to the low beam fuses.



Can't answer that one in detail. How about your parking lights - do those still work? I would have thought that the dash/gauge and the parking lights were controlled by the same contacts in the column switch.

OK, here's where someone gives you the lecture about relays....
Who is gonna give the necessary lecture? It's super important.

It's Giuseppe's giubos, not Guido's guibos, on my 78 Alfas
REFRESH CONNECTIONS BEFORE REPLACING COMPONENTS
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 06:55 AM
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The poof of smoke could be grease that got between the contacts or, it could be that the contacts failed. There are a few pictures in the thread below that show the contacts inside the switch.

https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/705501-post18.html

You should be able to see the contacts through the holes on each side. Let us know what you see or don't see. If the contacts are all in place, some contact cleaner will help. You can also insert a small strip of emory cloth to really clean up the contacts.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ossodiseppia View Post
The poof of smoke could be grease that got between the contacts or, it could be that the contacts failed. There are a few pictures in the thread below that show the contacts inside the switch.

https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/705501-post18.html

You should be able to see the contacts through the holes on each side. Let us know what you see or don't see. If the contacts are all in place, some contact cleaner will help. You can also insert a small strip of emory cloth to really clean up the contacts.
And, remove the negative battery cable to do the emery cloth.

It's Giuseppe's giubos, not Guido's guibos, on my 78 Alfas
REFRESH CONNECTIONS BEFORE REPLACING COMPONENTS
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the help. Now I have a direction to pursue.

I had requested a wire diagram from PapaJam, before I learned that he passed away. He was such a great help to so many of us. He even called me once to help me sort through a problem.

Any idea where I can get a wire diagram?

And I assume I pull the wheel, and remove the turn signal switch to get to the light switch, correct? (after I disconnect the battery!)

Any tips I need to know before I dive into that?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 08:32 AM
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Any idea where I can get a wire diagram?
See: https://www.centerlinealfa.com/catal...diagram-duetto

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And I assume I pull the wheel, and remove the turn signal switch to get to the light switch, correct? (after I disconnect the battery!) Any tips I need to know before I dive into that?
The headlight switch and turn signal switch are both in the same unit. So a lot of wires to disconnect & reconnect when you remove & replace it. Removing the steering wheel can be difficult - you will definitely need a puller.




Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'63 Guilia spider
'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alfajay View Post
See: https://www.centerlinealfa.com/catal...diagram-duetto



The headlight switch and turn signal switch are both in the same unit. So a lot of wires to disconnect & reconnect when you remove & replace it. Removing the steering wheel can be difficult - you will definitely need a puller.



Thanks for the info. I received the wiring diagram today. This weekend I'll start tracing out the circuit and see what I find. The hunt begins.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 08:28 AM
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I also have the Duetto wiring diagram pdf from Pappajam and a source to print it any size. My copy is 20 x 26 and coated for dry erase markers. Quite handy. The printer is a friend, so I don't want to publish his info but I can anyone in touch if interested.
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