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Discussion Starter #1
Hello BB. Got a tough problem i need some help with. in my 65 Giulia Spider Veloce, the headlights won't turn off. this first happened about 3 years ago. At that time i figured there must be a short in the headlight switch, so I was actually able to take the switch apart, clean some carbon buildup off the insulator, clean the contacts and solve the problem. Then last year the problem recurred. I tried to clean the switch again but broke it, so i got a replacement switch from Alfastop, i believe. This solved the problem again but only for a year. now it is the same thing again: stop the car, turn the headlights off, headlights stay on. I'm starting to think something else is going on. any ideas?

thnaks
 

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It appears that your headlight switches haven't been able handle the current. Are you running higher wattage headlight bulbs? Relays would be one approach to reducing the current through the HL switch.
 

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Doctor..nice to know you still have 390966.. my old car. I do think the load on the switch will continue and there are"loops" to alleviate the issue. Carl Davis is a good source to consult. I think he has written a dissertation on the subject. Relays are a good start and possibly the solution. I think I had the original type bulbs in the Carellos .. perhaps H4's are a contributor?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Doctor..nice to know you still have 390966.. my old car. I do think the load on the switch will continue and there are"loops" to alleviate the issue. Carl Davis is a good source to consult. I think he has written a dissertation on the subject. Relays are a good start and possibly the solution. I think I had the original type bulbs in the Carellos .. perhaps H4's are a contributor?
Yep. Still have 390966! She’s a beauty! She’s had a new paint job and chrome ( over 15 years ago), new shocks and springs, carbs rebuilt, new coil, new points, and a new clutch and LITERALLY nothing else! Amazing car. The headlights are the same ones you put in in 1989. I’ll get in there with my voltmeter and see what’s up. I’ll also look up Carl Davis. Jeez I hope I do t have that big a problem. He has over 400 posts!
 

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You need to update the Register.. You have owned the car far longer than anyone else.. Carl is very thorough..I'd PM him to drill down to the subject
 

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Discussion Starter #6
updated info: did some more diagnostics. when i connect the battery, low beams stay on. position of the light switch does not matter. floor mounted high beam switch also has no effect, marker lights are off. when i pull the light switch into first position, marker lights come on. when I pull it into second position, floor mounted high beam switch also works. I think this means the switch is OK and the short is elsewhere, no?
 

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mhunger said:
...when i connect the battery, low beams stay on. position of the light switch does not matter. floor mounted high beam switch also has no effect, marker lights are off. ..... when I pull it into second position, floor mounted high beam switch also works. I think this means the switch is OK and the short is elsewhere, no?
Yes, I agree: the problem doesn't seem to be the switch. Might it be something in the circuit that flashes the lights when you press the inner (or is it the outer?) button at the center of the steering wheel? Though I would expect that to flash the high beams - not the lows.
 

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Headlamp flash is low beam according to the wiring diagram, so you may well be right to suspect the flasher circuit.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #9
that's a good thought. can i get a wiring diagram? also, i forgot how that ring comes off. it just pry's off carefully doesn't it?
 

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I'd just disconnect the wire coming out of the steering box that goes to the headlight flash relay - or the wire at the relay - and see if that solves it.
 

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I think it is the switch....You can't physically get power to the headlights unless there is a circuit established in the switch. It is a closed circuit when it should be open when the switch is OFF.. I will bet all is well when you pull the switch out of the car . Everything light wise will be off. What are" marking lights".?. Do you mean parking lights?.. Marking lights to me are the outside teardrops for the directionals.
To test

Withe the switch out of the car Touch these wires from the switch together: (Ignore the red to the lighter) it too gets power from the switch post at red

Red to white= Parking lights in front
Red to pink-- Low beams should come on What you describe is a SHORT in the switch at OFF closing the circuit from RED to PINK

If you don't get this result start trading out your horn relay with the light relay. The light relay has the grey/black/red combination. Just flip them.. Forget about the flasher and floor switch . They never fail.nor the blinker canister. None of that is related. then if your horn stays on the relay is stuck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Got it baby!! you guys are good. it is the flasher ( outer ring on steering column) shorting out. I can press it and it turns off but then shorts out and turns on again. I figure it must be the switch and not the relay because the relay would either fail on or off right? next question: how do i fix that flasher switch? thanks again to everyone for their help.
 

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The flasher is not where to go. it is a contact switch that is spring loaded OPEN.. Don't go there.. The flashers flash HIGH beam
 

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The flashers flash HIGH beam because they work with low beams ON. or off. When you press it it closes a contact..and the HIGH beams come on when you release it the contact is lost.. I'll stick to my plan. It is the least likely place. Of course you need to sort out what is lo beam and hi beam when your lights are on . BTW it has zero to do with the parking lights. I say least likely because the only errant way to by pass the contacts is if a screw fell off inside the button assembly and in that case you would expect a lot of blinking and on and off.in my estimation.or a blown fuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It’s definitely that steering mounted flasher switch or the relay it attaches to. When I jiggle the switch the headlights go off [the main light switch is off the whole time]. Then if I just let it sit there, I can hear the relay click and the headlights go back on again. I’m a bit nervous to take it apart because I do t want to break the plastic ring so I may just detach the black wire from the relay and just disable it
 

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The warranty is over! The whole unit comes off with GENTLE prying on the outside ring all around it "nursing" without deforming the edge of the ring...Like taking off an old beer bottle cap with a church key and never bending the cap Like a surgeon....from Vanderbilt Big wide spatula and tool under it to pry. .. The shop manual covers it . Put a PA on it ..
 

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I'd just disconnect the wire coming out of the steering box that goes to the headlight flash relay - or the wire at the relay - and see if that solves it.
divotandtralee said:
The flasher is not where to go. it is a contact switch that is spring loaded OPEN.. Don't go there..
Obviously I'm not certain where mhunger's problem is. My guess is that it's in the steering wheel hub, but hey, I've never even seen this car; let along applied voltmeter to it. My point about breaking the connection at the steering box or flash relay was simply to suggest a quick diagnostic that would help sort out whether the issue is in the steering wheel hub or headlight switch. It would be quicker/easier/safer to just undo an electrical connector than to risk munging up the steering wheel center bits only to (possibly) determine that's not where the issue is.

If breaking the circuit that triggers the headlight flash relay solves the problem, mhunger can either leave that feature disabled or decide to go into the steering wheel hub to diagnose it further.
 

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I slept on it.. the ebony ring that flashes when pushed,, ... the inside hole of it rides on an aluminum cylinder flared on top to hold the ring in place and the horn button fits inside it.. The ebony on aluminum should be a smooth spring loaded operation with the flashers only on when the ebony is held down with a finger or thumb. When released the return spring cuts the connection. The alloy cylinder can get oxidized and hang up the ebony and create friction. I would hold the ebony down and spray a tiny bit of WD-40 on the surface of the inner alloy cylinder before I removed it.. The whole hub is one assembly and pops out of the steering wheel held in with friction to the hub .. Nothing is going to go BOOOOING.. when it comes out.

Another tid bit..according to the manual .. The Sprint version used the center button for the flasher and the ebony for the horn.. The Spider was as we have been talking and just the opposite. I'm sure I did it that way over 30 years ago on this car.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
good info. it is as you say, the ebony ring flashes the lights. the oxidation idea is also interesting. maybe i will do the WD 40 and work the switch a bit first. if it pushes back out to the proper position i won't have to disassemble it. I literally never use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
follow up: took horn and flasher button apart. cleaned some corrosion and lubricated the barrel the plastic flasher ring slides on. Don't think i have the assembly fully seated in the wheel, but I can't get it any better. electrical problem is solved! only bummer is that I broke my OE light switch for nothing, probably. oh well
 
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