328 headlight twist

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by btemplin, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. btemplin

    btemplin Rookie

    Dec 17, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Templin
    I know there have been posts regarding this topic in the past, but I've not seen any with the strange twist I'm going to describe.

    The right (passenger) side headlight stopped raising recently on my '86 328. The light is on, just won't come up. That's about normal, and I've read the posts concerning checking the fuses (which I haven't done yet). Now for the interesting part.

    While driving one night (headlights on), I really got on it excellerating onto the freeway. As I got to about 105mph, the right headlight came up. After backing off the throttle and slowing down, the light went back down once my speed dropped below ~100 again.

    It gets wierder. A couple of days ago, during the day (headlights off, only foglights on), I got up to ~105mph again. And the right headlight came up! Dropped down below 100, and the light went down.

    Anyone care to venture a guess at explaining this?
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  3. zebra308

    zebra308 Formula 3

    Jan 14, 2004
    All Flimmits
    Full Name:
    Ruffis Leekin
    Ferrari optional Airbrake system?
  4. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    Total guess...but I am thinking bad relay. Running hard and fast (higher rpm) gets the alternator spinning faster and perhaps increasing the voltage slightly, kicking in the recalcitrant relay....

    Just a guess, but I would try swapping relays, and see if the problems switches sides.

    But the part about it going up with only fogs that is hard to explain.
  5. MJT328GTS

    MJT328GTS Formula Junior

    Mar 30, 2005
    St. Louis
    Full Name:
    Perhaps the car was winking at oncoming traffic.
  6. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 4, 2001
    Birmingham, AL
    Full Name:
    Mine usually just like to go off and shut back down for a moment when I switch from high to low.
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  8. wonkazoo

    wonkazoo Karting

    Aug 23, 2004
    Full Name:
    Food for thought; ~105 MPH translates to 154 feet per second. (Or 46MPS if you are so inclined.) I would be truly astonished if standard 328 headlights were capable of illuminating something ~150' ahead of the car. (I have a 328 and I upgraded to Xenon. Believe me I know.) Let's assume for a moment that your headlights can illuminate your next 150'. Let's also assume that there is a bias-ply tire tread in the road in front of you. (Or a dead animal, or a dead fish, or a dead human, or a freakin' cheapass stereo speaker.) If you hit it it will do $$$ of damage. If you swerve in the 1/8 second you have to react you may well lose control of the car. Instinct will cause you to swerve, while seat time (If present) will cause you to hit it and deal with the cost later. Because you have so little time to react you are forced to choose between damaging your car, or trying to miss the obstacle. Most likely you will overcontrol, thus insuring your doom. Least likely- you will do countless thousands of damage that didn't need to be inflicted upon your Italian steed. In short you are travelling at a speed which will not allow you to avoid obstacles in the road unless you or your car are superhuman. Forget about your headlights, think instead about that which would drive you to push your car and your own mortality so close to the limit. If you want to push the envelope, do it in a fashion that allows you to survive until the next time. Should you miscalculate- which we all do, testosterone notwithstanding. (This from the individual that drives his 328 repeatedly in excess of 140MPH. In daylight of course!!) Again- food for thought- that's all!! (Because I want us all to be here for another 100 years or so.) As to the actual problem?? I have not a clue. (Although I think the higher V explanation is the best answer I have seen so far. Either that or an alien possession, but I think that's in another thread somewhere.

  9. AaronB

    AaronB Karting

    Nov 6, 2003
    Fallbrook, CA
    Full Name:
    Aaron Marks
    I'm thinking maybe a little aerodynamics at work here..... maybe 105mph provides enough lift to open them, the blast of air keeps them open until you slip back down to 100 and then weight takes over and closes them again .....

    stranger things have been known to happen.
  10. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    WAY too many assumptions in your diatribe. You are assuming driving at night, on a completely dark freeway, with no other ambiant light, whether from street lights, moonlight or other headlights....since you don't know the true conditions.

    Granted any fast driving at night is dangerous, but I am aware of clear, well illuminated stretches that would be very safe at night to drive quickly, especially since there would be little to no traffic.
  11. walawdog

    walawdog Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2004
    Bluefield, WV
    Full Name:
    Isn't part of the 24hrs of Daytona run at night?
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  13. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 28, 2003
    Full Name:
    Check to see if the bolts have come out of the bracket. I had my drivers side light fall in one night while driving home. Although it didnt fall straight into the hole I duppose it is possible if everything is lined up just right.

    When you turn the headlights on and the other light comes up, have someone stand by the passenger light and see if the motor is runing or not. Just make sure they keep thier fingers out of the way just in case!!
  14. wolftalk

    wolftalk Formula Junior

    Jan 27, 2004
    san franciso area
    Full Name:
    #11 wolftalk, Jun 30, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I like the "blow it up" theory :)

    The lift motor drives a cam arm, and the arm connects to the lamp housing via an adjustable rod with plastic banjo-like fittings on each end.

    If the assembly is busted or fell off due to missing c-clip, you can lift the housing up with your fingers. However, if that's the problem, the front of the housing would not be level with the body.

    In any case, just open the hood and look at the side of the headlamp. You can see everything easily. Gratuitous picture attached.

    If that's not the problem, the only other thing wind could really effect is the wiring harness, so I'd pull the panel in the wheel well and see if the harness has gotten caught in the mechanism. Maybe the wires are getting cut into and shorting.
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  15. Ferrari 328 Euro

    Ferrari 328 Euro Formula Junior

    Jul 19, 2004
    Salem, MA
    Full Name:
    It's the aliens messing with your head. Ask Tom Cruise!
  16. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 4, 2001
    Birmingham, AL
    Full Name:
    What if you are driving faster then the speed of light and you turn on the headlights? Would anything happen?
  17. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    I'd say Lord Lucas was playing games if it's one of their wonderful components.


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