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Plow lights make switch hot!!!

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by LJC Lawncare, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. LJC Lawncare

    LJC Lawncare Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    I have a 97 dodge and a uni-mount western. One day when I was plowing I keep smelling a burning smell. I thought it was my brakes, but I stopped to get gas and got back in the truck and there was smoke comming from my headlight switch. So I had to get a new headlight switch and then I took the headlight wire and tail/aux light wire and put them on a toggle switch w/ 40amp relay. But when my plow is on, the relay seems to get hot and smell a hot switch smell. I don't know what else to do.:dizzy::dizzy:
     
  2. jhook

    jhook Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Check wires for a small short. Must be drawing too much somewhere. Start by unplugging the headlights and see if it is still drawing power (getting warm)
     
  3. Crash935

    Crash935 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    More than likely the relay is wired wrong.
     
  4. timmy1

    timmy1 Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 470

    The OEM headlight switches and harnesses are junk.

    Here is what I did.


    First of all, you have to use 2 toggles, 1 for green wire headlights and one for black/yellow tail lights.
    On your headlight switch, use a 50 Amp toggle. Park lights,25 amp.

    As far as the relay heating up, you're probably overdoing it at 40A. Isolate the two and problem solved.
     
  5. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    Check your trailer light plug for corrosion and broke/corroded wires at the plug in behind it.
     
  6. LJC Lawncare

    LJC Lawncare Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    what if I put the parklamps back on the factory switch, and keep the headlights on the toggle?
     
  7. timmy1

    timmy1 Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 470

    Yes, that would isolate the two, I think you will like having the two toggles though.

    I left the dash dimmer and the interior light function on the original switch
     
  8. LJC Lawncare

    LJC Lawncare Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Well, tonight I though I could just quickly connect the yellow/black wire back to the stock switch, and leave the green wire hooked to my toggle switch. But the problem is that my plow lights are wired into my park lights. I had to put everything back the way it was b/c we have a snow storm comming and I have to be out early, but I will run the second toggle for the park lamps this weekend. Also, does anybody know how to keep the plowlights off, and just run with the truck lights, b/c my plow lights suck and they are pointing at the ground & I tried to adjust them but they are to rusty. I can see much better with my truck lights.
     
  9. ogdenflooring

    ogdenflooring Member
    Messages: 92

    Crash-

    I love the plow!! thanx for all of your help!!!! Just today I noticed this same thing in my truck. I thought it was a belt or something!?!!! Everything has worked fine, and still does..........green label iso??? Should I get a white?
    thanx again

    Matt

    2006 F-150- 5.4 71/2' western midweight poly
     
  10. timmy1

    timmy1 Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 470

    You can eliminate the relay and have a toggle for each if you want.

    Try some new halogen bulbs in you're plow lights, bet they are old and cloudy.
    And try turning the bulbs upside down. sometimes there is built in angle offset that is reverse when you flip them over.wesport
     
  11. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  12. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    hmmm, iv had two swtiches burn out on me

    but the most recent was a short in the back of the truck

    Iv had countless problems with trailer plugs and liecense plate lights shorting due to salt

    i had to replace most of the wiring in the trucks head light system
     
  13. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    Well go into dealer with this recall number 99V024000 Maybe they still do them free. If not they can order the kit for you
     
  14. shott8283

    shott8283 Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    they have been known to get hot and blow, it doesnt mean its your plow lights, it may be just coincidental (spellin?)

    my old dodge i had two go and i had no plow on it. my 01 never had a problem on it ,, different style.

    something to do with the smaller or lack of the heat sink on the back of them

    or it could be the plow lights drawing too much through the switch
     
  15. ogdenflooring

    ogdenflooring Member
    Messages: 92

    Thanx for the info. I would have never started at the back of the truck, since the burning smell was in the cab!!!
     
  16. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228



    Mine got so hot it started a small wire fire and melted the switch completely. The problem was the trailer plug wires were so corroded at the back of the pigtail it molded wires together.
     
  17. Yup its a known Dodge issue. The headlight switch isn't strong enough for so much draw. I have heard of guys actually have a fire start under the dash and burning their wiring harness completely. This end up in big $$$$$$
     
  18. Crash935

    Crash935 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Matt, I would get the right ISO still, I would lean towards that as being your problem.
     
  19. ogdenflooring

    ogdenflooring Member
    Messages: 92

    Wrong iso

    I wondered if that may have anything to do with it. One on CL for $100, Ill have to give him a call. Thanx again!