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Old 05-05-2022, 11:21 PM   #1
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My 1999 F 53 class A - All headlights shutting down.

About 74000 miles on my 99 F 53 chassis class A (Pinnacle by Mountain High) recently the headlights (high and low beams) shutting off while driving along.. side marker and ID lights, turn signals and brake lights all continued working as they should.. My first question is, have any of our F 53 owners experienced this same issue ? It seems the circuit breakers are shutting all the headlights down at once, so would this 99 vintage have a light control module in it ? Or would my headlight switch be the likely malfunction ? Any helpful input would be greatly appreciated, Thank You so much everybody !
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Old 05-06-2022, 12:10 AM   #2
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Not sure about your coach but my 99 has a C/B for headlight built into the headlight switch .
Switch is out of a 72 GMC pick up .

Can you get to the switch to see if it's hot when the lights go out ?

Have you installed hi watt headlight bulbs ?

Can you get a look at the switch to see if it looks like this picture?
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Old 05-06-2022, 08:32 AM   #3
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Historically the main cause of headlight switch circuit breakers cutting the headlight off and on has been a poor ground connection for the headlight system or other "bad" electrical connection. Bad connections make the switch heat up and that's what makes the breaker flip rather than an actual short circuit like you might think. "Voltage drop testing" is your friend here.
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Old 05-06-2022, 09:58 AM   #4
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You could have a headlights bulb shorting out too.. sometimes the bulbs just short out inside.. I pull bulbs out and look for blackened on inside.. while at same time checking wires.. also pull headlights switch and check wiring and see if any signs of burning..
Replace any relays or circuit breakers..
There are companies that make.. pre made up kits.. that take the load off the headlights switch and circuit breakers... just Google headlights relay kits.. I got Mine for 30.00 last yr.. all pre made took about 2hrs to plug and play..
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 05-07-2022, 04:30 AM   #5
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Gypsy is right.

It's either a bad ground, H/L switch, or dimmer switch.
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Old 05-07-2022, 01:15 PM   #6
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headlights shutting down 1999 Ford F-53 Chassis

I haven't removed the Headlight switch yet, but due the the age of the (99) vehicle, I think I should replace the dimmer switch (pretty easy to get at) and the headlight bulbs (one of the bulbs does look darker than the other) as preventative maintenance measures. Then If replacing those items makes no difference, might have to go into instrument panel (headlight switch probably my next move) Will begin with ordering the parts (I prefer to to stick with OEM rather than after market when possible.. So will search sources for Motorcraft parts for this Ford product (maybe amazon or rock auto)
Thanks for the input, everyone, will keep you posted as to what I find out.. might just be that the one bulb is burned out, causing breaker to open the connection..
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Old 05-08-2022, 12:01 AM   #7
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I like to begin with troubleshooting to find the actual cause of an issue rather just semi-randomly swapping out parts. Plus if you have an iffy ground connection (that you can find with a cheap multimeter and "voltage drop testing") you can replace every single component in the headlight system and still not have fixed it. Just sayin.
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Old 05-09-2022, 01:07 PM   #8
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Headlights shutting down 1999 F 53 Ford Chassis

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Originally Posted by GypsyR View Post
I like to begin with troubleshooting to find the actual cause of an issue rather just semi-randomly swapping out parts. Plus if you have an iffy ground connection (that you can find with a cheap multimeter and "voltage drop testing") you can replace every single component in the headlight system and still not have fixed it. Just sayin.
I couldn't agree with you more, GypsyR (excellent advice) But I have observed one of my headlights looking darker (gray or black) inside, and therefore I should start by replacing the bulbs even though they were still working.. That might take care of it, hopefully (I replace headlights both sides at once) If I do end up having to crawl in there below the instrument panel, then while I'm at it a new dimmer switch wouldn't be very expensive.. maybe save me some hassles later..
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Old 05-09-2022, 01:55 PM   #9
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One bad headlight bulb will not cause all of the headlights to go out. Don't expect that replacing it will fix anything.

Delayed shutting down of electrical systems is most likely an overheating issue in a switch/breaker. I have seen fuses go intermittent like that as well. Look for unexpected/excessive voltage drops.
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Old 05-10-2022, 12:05 AM   #10
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master mechanic

I ran a fleet of 34 snow plows. Your headlight switch died. Some of our plows ran 4 headlights and the original switches died right away. Stop tail and turn still work. Just headlights go out. Dimmer switch is much heavier the the headlight switch. On our 4 headlight trucks we used the light switch to power a heavy duty relay that then powered the lights.
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Old 05-16-2022, 11:23 AM   #11
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Headlights shutting down, 1999 F 53 Chassis

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I ran a fleet of 34 snow plows. Your headlight switch died. Some of our plows ran 4 headlights and the original switches died right away. Stop tail and turn still work. Just headlights go out. Dimmer switch is much heavier the the headlight switch. On our 4 headlight trucks we used the light switch to power a heavy duty relay that then powered the lights.
Thanks, Oldbeek, I wonder if I should seek out an OEM (Motorcraft ?) headlight switch, or would I be better off using an aftermarket replacement ? If the original Ford headlight switches (they used) were known to be inferior in some way.. Am also wondering about that one "black" looking headlight on my coach could be shorting out, maybe would that cause the breaker (in headlight switch) to open the circuit for all 4 headlights ? Also, this might be a great time to upgrade my headlights to LEDs, but does that lead to any issues, since this (1999) Ford was designed and intended to use the old halogen sealed beams ? I know the halogens draw a much larger load.. Or would I be better off leaving well enough alone, and sticking with exact headbulbs replacement as used by Ford ?
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:47 AM   #12
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I don't think the headlight switch on F53s are notorious for failure.
My 95 F53 headlight switch is still original.
If you elect to change the switch, just buy what the auto parts store has.

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Old 05-19-2022, 11:34 AM   #13
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Right. The headlight switches are pretty robust. Older RV's are infamous for bad grounds, loose wiring connections, electrical connection issues and such though. Doing what I can to lead the horse to water at least.
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Old 05-20-2022, 12:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I don't think the headlight switch on F53s are notorious for failure.
My 95 F53 headlight switch is still original.
If you elect to change the switch, just buy what the auto parts store has.

Richard
Did you have a fleet that used that headlight switch? Yes, I would also buy the aftermarket switch. I am partial to NAPA after market parts. 99% of the time they meet or exceed original equipment parts.
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