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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
63 Futura, with an "electrical Gremlin" on board. The car has been running fine but last week at dusk I turned on the lights and the car shut down. Turned the lights off and tried to start car and got nothing would not even a crank. About three to five minutes later the car would start and ran fine but if I turned on the lights same thing would occur. Car can be driven all day long but must be home before dark. What to look for, short in light switch?
Thanks.
Ras Daniel
 

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I think your first idea is spot on. Theres a circuit breaker in the headlight switch - if theres a short, you'll pop the breaker in the switch, which shouldn't kill the rest of the electrical system, but could possibly be shorting regardless, and finally getting the breaker in the switch to pop after a few minutes.

I'd try pulling the switch and checking it for continuity with a multimeter. They're pretty cheap, at least I've gotten a '67 ford switch at the parts houses, I bet you can get one locally.
 

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Possibly no or very little alt output. When the headlight are turned on there is a large enough load ands could be just enough to eat up minimal alt output and kill car.Good Idea to check battery and alt output.
and see where your at.
 

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To add to Lupins post, check your battery cables; engine and body/frame grounds; and if the battery clamps are tight see if you can turn them. Sometimes the posts can break away from the plates.
 

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You might have a thermal 'breaker' on your main power wire coming off the battery/alternator, that when you turn on the lights it's too much for the breaker (either a short in the lights or just too much load overall) and it trips... then they usually take a minute or two to reset. It will look like a little 1" x 1/2" metal box with two screw posts on it where the power wire hooks up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the great input. I will log them all and take them all into consideration if the problem arises again. Pulling that switch from under the dash was the last thing I wanted to hear. I had another lead to check the all of the connections at the battery side of the starter relay. I pulled all the wires, cleaned all their contact surfaces with emery paper and reinstalled them. The problem seems to have gone away.
If it re occurs I will go over the list of items you guys pointed out.
Thanks,
Ras Daniel
 
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