I had the same thing happen to my Duetto- it ended up being the column switch. I found a used one for about $100- new ones are available for about $300- ouch! To prevent frying another column switch, I installed two relays, one for high beams and one for low to keep the current to a minimum through the switch. Relays are a lot cheaper and easier to find! I think your year may have the same type combination turn signal/ headlight columm swith, so you may have a fried connection in the switch. Just guessing on my part, but the problem seems familiar! Good luck, and hopefully you'll get some more expert opinions from other members of the BB
I did replace the entire column switch assembly and wire loom. Still the same problem, that's why I suspect another relay somewhere. Unfortunately, my copy of the service manual with the wiring diagrams is missing the page with the headlight detail! Any other suggestions or wiring diagrams?
If you send me your email address in a private message, I'll send you a 79 Spider diagram.
I'd start by checking for power at fuses 7 & 8 with the highbeams on. If there's power, then the problem lies between the fusebox and the headlights. If there's no power, then I'd suspect the headlight switch or it's wiring to the fusebox. There are no factory installed headlight relays.
After you've checked power at the fuses...if both highbeams just quit all of a sudden, one possibility could be a PO-installed headlight relay that may have failed? Jim posted a schematic for that in another thread awhile back. If it's there, the relay may not be obvious because it could have been tucked up behind the rats nest near the fusebox/steering column.
I had the same problem on my Milano.. I know a Milano isn't a Spider, but maybe I'll be of help. We were about to replace the headlight switch, but we double checked the wiring at the fusebox, and that was the problem.
It goes without saying that if you haven't driven the car (or used the high beams) for awhile, your fuse terminals might just need cleaning with a piece of sandpaper. That fixed both of my high beams and one of my low beams, albeit after a several-year hiatus.
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