Jet electrical problems

JFrommJFromm Posts: 339Senior Contributor
Recently my Jet has been experiencing some weird electrical problems. My headlights and directionals work sometimes but mostly not. The battery is new. The car cranks over great. I don't know where to start. HELP!!!


  • 54coupe54coupe Posts: 1,026Member
    In my mind, this is two different systems, and should be treated as such. I would start with the lighting circuit. To check it systematically, you need to start at one end or the other. I would start at the switch. Make sure you have power into the switch. You want to see power in, and when the switch is on, you have no lights.... This way you can track the power to the point that you don't see voltage. Power in, and the first click clockwise, should give you parking, tail and dash lights. The next click will give dash, tail, and headlights. If you don't have lights in any of these positions, check to see if you have power coming out of the switch. If you don't, the switch is bad. If you do, follow the wires to the next place that there is a connection, and test for voltage there ( into and out of the connection. Eventually you will find where your voltage loss is. 
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 4,605Senior Contributor
    There is a circuit breaker on  the lighting circuit.  if there is a  ground-shorted wire anywhere it will open circuit. 
    If you're stuck in a hole, stop digging.
  • ken1962ken1962 Posts: 334Member
    Ha, I feel for you. It's a nightmare ..the the past fortnight I've also had electricity problems with my 1936 terraplane. It's been on the road since 1982/3. First the indicators filtered out, then the interior light. I've found that all the connections are now too dirty. I've been progressing across the dash pulling cables, cleaning connections and slowly getting her back to normal. The interior light switch was dirty. I pulled the switch apart and cleaned had only 4 parts. I found the electric gas pump had a switch not working and also cable with intermittent power needing replacement. I'd say if you haven't cleaned your electricity connections in the past 40 years you're running on luck. It's a hassle but at the same time I'm sort of enjoying the experience of pulling these little switches apart. I originally thought I'd need new ones, but they pull apart so easy if you're careful and go back together with ease saving me alot of money trying to find 1930s nos parts. The headlight circuit is my second last to do, finally the engine bay and earth straps. I'd recommend you start somewhere and see where it goes. Have a good voltmeter and don't trust a cable till you've wiggled it around to confirm it's not intermittently working...same with a switch or fuse. Cheers ken 
  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 2,363Expert Adviser
    The Hudsons of the late 40s and through the Stepdown era are all victims of the aging of their wiring and switches.  I recently discussed this with a good friend whose headlights are not functioning on one of his Stepdowns.  I related a very scary story about driving one evening several years ago where without warning the headlights went from illuminating the roadway to OFF!!!!  Needless to say this got my attention as well as my wife! She does not trust the "OLD CARS" of my stable and this created a bigger distrust.  

    After a harrowing drive; without lights, we made it home and the next days daylight did NOT shine any light on the culprits in this story.

    The real source of the problem was the headlight dimmer switch. It failed and did not return to operation... later full examination of the switch found corrosion and dirt as well as just plain age.  The wiring on the switch is exposed to roadway debris and water and it showed. External bullet connectors were loose and the wire bullet connectors were corroded. R&R of the switch and quick tape-up of the wires got the lights burning again. BUT that was short lived as the bullet contacts in the main light switch were also corroded and loose... so the next bump in the road several weeks later caused the same result... no lights.  Out came the dash switch and it was disassembled, cleaned and reassembled and reinstalled... again loose spade connectors on the switch and wires.    After the cleaning the wiring was replaced and the each switch connector bullet receptacle and feed wire bullet were shrink wrap covered to keep the connections tight and protect from corrosion.  There were two other "FIXES" integrated into the headlight circuit.  As was previously stated, the wiring was replaced and a DUAL headlight relay was installed and all the headlight connectors were disassembled cleaned and reattached to the bulbs.  The grounds for the system were cleaned and the ground lug points burnished. 

    While the headlights burned much brighter... I have replaced the T-3s with Halogen bulbs which light the road like a European sports saloon.

    Back to the original question... check the dimmer switch with a good Meter.  I am confident a problem will be much more of these "fixes" you do are up to you...  lights are like brakes to me... they need to work better than expected EVERY TIME. 

    Good Luck

    Check my website for ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS tips...


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