86 bertone head light switch

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by xman, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. xman

    xman 86 x 1/9

    Location:
    Greensburg PA
    HI im having an issue with my head light switch. the lamp will go up and down fine but the lights will not stay on. I have to press on the switch or wiggle it while im driving to get them to remain on. Can any one tell me if this is an easy fix? or which wires i need to jump to add a second switch just for the lights? thanks
    [​IMG]
     
  2. jvandyke

    jvandyke True Classic

    Location:
    West Michigan
    my '81's switch went bad, rather violently. Since direct wiggling of the switch effects it I would suggest pulling it out for examination, I'd bet you'd find some melting and shorting going on. Clean it up or replace it and put relays on the low beams (I think the high beams are already relayed on an '86?). Getting the switch out is a PITA, you have to reach up in there from behind and pinch the ears to release it, nearly impossible if you have big man hands. Don't try to pry it from the front, it will leave permanent marks on area around the switch. If you remove the ground cluster you can get a little more room for your hand to get up in there.
    The one on the right is my melted down one that almost burned down the car. The switches changed year by year almost so be sure to get the right year if you end up needing a new one.
    [​IMG]


    And the crispy wiring
    [​IMG]

    This is the inside of it, after I gutted it.
    [​IMG]

    Your '86 is a slider type switch?
     
  3. xman

    xman 86 x 1/9

    Location:
    Greensburg PA
    slider type

    yes mine is the slider type . i suspect i will find the same issue. i have felt the heat on several occasions. which is why i figured i would just pull the wires and ad an aux switch some were else under the dash.Where can i find more info about adding relays?
     
  4. jvandyke

    jvandyke True Classic

    Location:
    West Michigan
    It's not so easy just adding an auxiliary switch since this little dude controls a ton of stuff, most notably the operation of the headlight motors (to raise and lower them).
    It would ultimately be much easier to fix it (or most likely replace it).
    My '81's switch was pretty rare only made for 2 years I think, so good ones, if found are pricey little dudes. Yours should not be that bad I don't think.
    Adding relays is very common so you should find a ton of stuff here on that. I would NOT use your lights until you fix this, I had smoke pouring out of the dash and it was almost the end the line for my car.
     
  5. Pete Whitstone

    Pete Whitstone True Classic

    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    Just search X-web

    But the information is kind of scattered.

    If you are not that good with electricals, the simple way to do it is to buy Bob Browns kit, if he has any made up or if someone has one for sale.

    If you are good with electricals, then the mod is fairly simple:

    1. Place 2 SPST relays (one each for hi and lo beams) in the headlight motor area.
    2. Run a large (12 ga minimum) ground and hot wire to the relays, directly from the battery (fuse the hot side at the battery, of course).
    3. Use the hot and ground wires that currently go to the headlights to activate the relays.
    4. Use your new large gauge hot wire from the battery to power the relay, and wire the "output" side of the relay to the headlight input. Run the new ground wire directly to the headlight.
    5. Replace that crappy stock headlight plug-in with a quality ceramic one.
    6. (optional) upgrade to halogen or better headlights.

    Obviously, use quality components that are rated for the kind of amperage the circuit will draw.

    Now the entire stock headlight circuit in the car only carries the amount of power required to drive the relays, which is miniscule. This takes the heavy load off the fusebox, the ignition switch, the headlight switch and the lo/hi beam switch.

    Pete
     
  6. jvandyke

    jvandyke True Classic

    Location:
    West Michigan
    I searched the archives and there's a lot there that might help.
    http://www.network54.com/Forum/12159/search?searchterm=headlight+switch&sort=match

    I would suggest pulling the negative terminal off the battery (for safety sake) and teasing that switch out and examining it.
    I ended using one from a different year (looked exactly the same on the outside) and "rebuilding it" so it's pin out matched what my '81 wanted. Since I run relays (on a ton of things actually) there's virtually no amperage load on the switch anymore and all is well.

    You might be able to resurrect yours or find a good one.
     
  7. xman

    xman 86 x 1/9

    Location:
    Greensburg PA
    i followed you up untill ....

    replacing the crappy stock with quality ceramic one?
     
  8. Pete Whitstone

    Pete Whitstone True Classic

    Location:
    McKinney, TX
  9. xman

    xman 86 x 1/9

    Location:
    Greensburg PA
    I forgot to ask

    Does this mean I need 4 relays.4 in-line fusesand 2 ground wires all coming from the battery? Oh and what amp fuse?
     
  10. Pete Whitstone

    Pete Whitstone True Classic

    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    It can be done with either

    2 or 4 relays. If you use 2 then the relays, wires and connectors will need to be twice the capacity, of course. And if you run 4 wires then each can get smaller.

    However, remember that the high and low beams are not on at the same time, so you really don't need separate runs for each, the same wire can power both relays, since the load will not be doubled.

    Personally, if I was to wire this from scratch, I would use 1 large wire (well, 2 really, one for hot and one for ground), run it to 2 relays, then run the post-relay output to both headlights. It's just simpler and as long as you size everything correctly, there is not a problem with this.

    As far as sizing everything, there are charts on the internet that show what size wire can carry what kind of load. It's a triad between volts and watts and amps. As I recall, a high beam halogen headlight pulls 55 watts and a low beam something like 45. So 55 watts at 12 volts is 4.6 amps draw, x 2 for both headlights. A 12 gauge copper wire can handle around 20 amps, so that will be fine with plenty of spare capacity. And most automotive relays are in the 20 to 30 amp range, so that will be fine too.

    But resistance usually occurs at the connectors, not at the wires, so make sure you use quality connectors that are corrosion resistant and properly sized. As to whether to solder or not in automotive applications, that appears to be a subject of much debate - I'll leave that one to you.

    Pete
     
  11. DaveR

    DaveR True Classic

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    The Greek x1/9 club has a diagram on converting a Fiat Panda light switch for use in an x1/9.
     
  12. Franken

    Franken True Classic

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I picked up a couple of these Panda switches and (from the front) they are identical to a post 1986 switch (ie they have the little "globe" ideogram instead of the "headlights" one.) Cheap too.

    I do notice there seems to be 2X versions, one with the ideogram "sideways" - mine are the correct way - so they can be had.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    From what I can see they are only lacking the headlight raise/lower contacts so the Greek workaround would probably work well - although I will admit I found their wiring diagram a little confusing. Should sit down one day with a multimeter and actually do the install... If you had an X1/9 switch with good contacts (ha ha, I know) but a busted front you could swap the front onto an X1/9 rear for an easy fix.
     
  13. Rodger

    Rodger True Classic

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Diagram

    Here is a diagram to use four relays that I got from a UK vendor with the Panda switch that I bought. I was working on the connections to my wiring harness, hence the handwritten notations. I wouldn't necessarily rely on them for accuracy.
    Panda X19 headlight switch diagram.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  14. jvandyke

    jvandyke True Classic

    Location:
    West Michigan
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2016
  15. xman

    xman 86 x 1/9

    Location:
    Greensburg PA
    Waiting for parts work around for bad ( HOT )head light switch

    Thanks all for the advice. Now Im waiting for the ceramic head light connector up grade mainly because its been to cold and because I pulled to hard and yanked the green wire out of the connector. After I got done jumping up and down and cursing I came up with a work around till it gets here ( need to drive the car this week to visit family.) I decided to just hard wire the 12 gauge fused wire straight to the high beams. I removed the up down headlight motor fuses to keep the switch cool and I rolled the adjusters down a few times so the highs are pointed down slightly (dont want to get pulled over). I have a green plug installed on the battery so now i just turn the green knob, turn the key, turn on parking lights and Im off.
     
  16. AncientGeek

    AncientGeek Daily Driver

    Location:
    South Africa
    I see your diagram has been changed from the Greek one either by you (Rodger) or the vendor so the the headlights will pop up only on main, not park. That seems sensible. I also did the Panda4 mod but might change it like yours. I added a relay for low beam.
     
  17. ablewood

    ablewood Low Mileage

    Location:
    Long Beach, Ca
    I know it's a little late, however, I purchased this little upgrade off ebay.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ceramic-H4-...ket-Plugs-7-/331273872371?hash=item4d217623f3

    This will allow me to run brighter.
    Since my switch was bad, I suspect I'll be digging through my box of switches in the hopes of locating a good one. Otherwise, I'll upgrade to the Panda switch per previous posts.

    Now, somewhere around here, I seem to have come across a similar diagram which would make the power windows operate much faster with less draw on the switches. . . . Hmmmmm. . .
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  18. Rodger

    Rodger True Classic

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Here's some more information on the '85-88 Bertone headlight switch compared to the Panda switch. I picked up a used Bertone switch and decided to take it apart to see how it was inside because of the overheating issue. Here are some pictures of them both taken apart.
    IMG_2394_resize.JPG IMG_2398_resize.JPG IMG_2400_resize.JPG

    You can see the complicated contact rails in the Bertone switch on the left (top photo) compared to the simple ones in the Panda. The sliding piece that holds the spring loaded round contacts are almost identical in that they have 6 possible holes for the contacts. The contact rods in the Bertone switch are held in place by the way the ends engage the top of the holes so they stay attached to the slider when taken apart. The Panda ones come out and are only held together when the switch is assembled. The back part of the Bertone switch was good, but the sliding round contacts had grooves worn in the sides of them from the years of movement and the switch action was not very smooth. I decided to use the new Panda slider and contacts, but just changed the holes they were in to match the Bertone one. Since the ideogram of the Bertone switch was still pretty good, I hit it with some silicone treatment and used that, but took the slider handle from the Panda switch and used that as the Bertone one was kind of faded.

    I applied some dielectric grease on the contacts as that is what the Panda switch had in it, then assembled it back together. You just have to be sure to hole the slider down while putting the ideogram cover back on so that the round contact rods don't move out of position.
    IMG_2402_resize.JPG
    IMG_2405_resize.JPG
    Now I have a switch that looks almost like new and functions like one. So if the back of your Bertone switch good, you can use the rest of the Panda switch to recondition it and not have to do the four relay work around. Of course, the headlight relay mod is a must to avoid future melt downs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
    lookforjoe likes this.
  19. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Nice work! Do you have a source for the Panda switch? Since I don't have pop up lights, I don't care about the lack of contacts :)

    EDIT - I bought one off the Start245 vendor - I've bought from them before. Not in a hurry so a month lead time is fine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  20. Rodger

    Rodger True Classic

    Location:
    Olympia, WA

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