50 super high beam difficulty

My 50 super lights won’t work with high beams on for mor than a few seconds. They’ll come on then my breaker trips and I loose everything . Went through the dimmer switch and reassembled it with dielectric grease , it helped but no cigar. 
Headlight grounds maybe?
Any help appreciated!


  • Is it still 6v? Have you measured voltage at the bulb with a good ground? Sounds like you may benefit from a headlight relay install.
  • Check for any wires grounding out. Bare wire from  wiring harnesses are likely the source.
  • You do know that di-electric grease does not conduct, it insulates.  It’s silicone.  
  • Geoff
    Geoff Senior Contributor
    As Lance says - a bare wire touching ground somewhere.
  • @superwasp Still 6v yes, not measured , good bright light though with just low beam and high ( when it works)
    @Lance & @Geoff im wondering but most of that has been chased, must be a more recent one. I have bad luck with headlight harnesses in Hudson’s 🤦🏼‍♂️
    @Toddh thats news , always been told it’s a conducting protector.

  • I use this for a number of Hudson applications. Main one is the starter face that meshes to the rear engine support to insure a good ground 

    MG Chemicals - 846-80G Carbon Conductive Grease, 80g Tube https://a.co/d/0hfcA04
  • 35 Terraplane
    35 Terraplane Senior Contributor
    Another good choice is NO OX ID by Sanchem.  It’s a conductive grease and anti corrosive
  • @Toddh & @35 Terraplane thanks for the info 
    the switch is already back together and afraid that If I where to take it part again I’d break it , pot metal housing . Chasing wires I guess is my next adventure, if it came to it what does a new headlight harness run? Anyone know? (Fabric covered of course)
  • Its the bare wires. The cloth insulation is decomposed and causing shorts anywhere and everywhere and in a random fashion. 

     You will need to rewire your lights. Yup, every wire (from the firewall at least) to EACH BULB needs to be cut and spliced and rewraped into a harness.  And EACH ground needs to be cleaned to bare metal and reattached. 

    PITA yes, but there is no way around it. The circuits are simple and the wiring diagrams are clear and easy. 

    I just did in on my 42. Two days of messing around. I would replace one wire (stupid  me just one wire) then hit the switch and POOF pop another fuse!!!  

    OK, I'll just replace the fuse and everything will be fine(?) Nope! pop another fuse. 
    18 blown fuses until I FINALLY had replaced all the headlight wires under the hood and to the dimmer switch. 

    I am just happy that the trouble started in my garage when I was fixing other things and NOT on the road somewhere.  Old cloth wires are a huge fire hazard. 

    In the end ALL the lights are now as bright and reliable as any 12 volt bulbs. 

    The really black one is (was?) a 30 amp fuse and it exploded when I thought I was done. Nope the hood lights suddenly developed a dead short to ground. I was testing it with an awl (temporary connection) and the awl began glowing red!!! 

    Be Careful replace your wires. 

  • I think these are the only guys who sell them in sections. You could make your own, although the catch there is if you want correct color codes on the fabric you'll have to buy a number of different spools. That will drive up your DIY cost. You can't really see a whole lot of the wire from the distribution blocks to the bulbs anyway.
  • charles4d
    charles4d Expert Adviser
    Could it be the headlight switch overheating 
    You could get one of those temperature guns and check the wires to see witch one is getting  hot and go from their my 2 cents
  • I converted my 46 Super 6 back to 6V so made up my own harness using supplies from Brillman here in Virginia.  For my headlight circuit, I only needed two colors, black and white but also two gauges; 12ga for the headlight switch to dimmer switch and then 12ga out to the fender distribution terminal block.  Then two 14ga wires to each headlight bucket for dim/bright.

    Brillman (probably others too) lets you purchase cloth covered wire by the foot.  The wires for the headlights and marker/running/turn-signal lights were originally in rubber tubing. Rhode Island Wiring sells the correct tubing by the foot. 
  • Besides a wire making contact with ground, it could be your dimmer switch, or how about a short to the high beam indicator light
  • @superwasp I feel like your right , from block to block it’s out of sight . It’s also a harness that gets the most wear from vibration ,wind, dirt,and rocks. I’ll make a new one from synthetic wire . 
    @charles4d To the touch it seems fine nothing abnormal . 
    @Toddh I’ll make it myself from modern wire and when I get to restoring the car illl get a proper harness 
    @D7fever I’ll have to chase that wire and see , never occurred to me . It’s still nice and bright
  • Geoff
    Geoff Senior Contributor
    Disconnect the wires from the  terminal block by the radiator where they go to the headlamps, and check the voltage when  turned on.   If still giving trouble the problem  is further back in the circuit.  
  • railknight
    railknight Expert Adviser
    Back in 2014 at the Fall Carlise swap meet there was an individual who was selling new cloth insulated wire of different colors and sizes for 1930s Fords.  I purchased from this person the correct size, lengths and colors to replace much of the headlight wiring on my '53 Super Wasp.  I still have a fair amount of it left over for any future needs on my car.  
  • @Geoff I need to get a power checker I guess a trip to good old hobo freight is due!
    @railknight I don’t make many swapmeets maybe 2 a year. But that’s a good idea!
  • You can buy wire from YNZ;s or Rhode Island Wireing. Both companies sell rolls of wire. It is plastic insulated and they cloth covered as original except plastic inside instead of rubber.