JAW's BF Falcon: Headlights Stopped Working

I discovered this is a common fault in BF falcons - the headlights stop working, related to the indicator stalk.

Quite some time ago the "Auto" headlight setting on the falcon stopped working. I wasn't too fussed about that, I'm pretty capable of deciding if I need the headlights on or not. But when I'm driving at night, and each time I put the indicators all the lights are turning off, it's time to investigate.

Little tab and some screwdriver action to pop cover off.

Well, good news, it's a reasonably simple task to fix if some wires from the headlight switch have snapped. The indicator stalk mechanically actuates the indicator switches on the steering column, but the twisty headlight control is a switch in itself and wires travel down the stalk and onto a steering column plug. You can get at them to repair - there are three screws underneath that hold the top and bottom shroud together, pop them out, unlock the steering wheel height adjuster and the bottom shroud will slip right off.

The trick is the tiny little tab on the indicator stalk where it joins into the column - pop that with a screwdriver and the cover comes off and all the wires are exposed! The greyish wire is for the headlight auto, the green wire is the headlight. I spliced a bit of extra wire in, soldered, with heatshrink, and then wrapped the whole thing in insulation tape. My theory being that these wires keep moving and rubbing every time you turn the indicators on or flash the high beams. But I think more importantly, the wires seemed light they'd had some heat damage, so I think the light in the keyswitch may have contributed to the breakage too.

Extra wire spliced and soldered in, with heatshrink.

With my extra wire and heatshrink and tape I couldn't fit it all back into the stalk to put the cover back on. In trying to force it back together, I broke the tab that keeps the cover in place. The 'ole falcon isn't trying to win any trophies, so I cable tied the cover back in place, job done. So tip: use small gauge very flexible wire (not just cheap speaker wire) and take it easy with the insulation.

Update 2023 The first time I did this job it lasted around 7 years before the headlight wire snapped again. There isn't much you can do - the wire strands are super super fine which is great for flexibility, but the plastic insulation goes hard, which then cracks somewhere along the length, so each time you indicate it is flexing at that single point. Which after the first repair was where I soldered it.

So the second fix effort I took the wire back a bit further up the stalk, and then routed it all the way through the steering column to where it heads to the main loom. Hopefully this means that it will flex along my new piece of (very flexible fancy wire) instead of at another single point...

Second attempt - more wire spliced in.

While initially using the internet to diagnose this problem, I found a dead link to a fordforums.com.au, item index 11268443, by paulie0735, which would have been great to have read instead of finding this out the hard way. Which is what inspired me to post this article. So if you were looking frantically for a copy of that article, but found this instead, then my job is done.