Installing Guidematic
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, Installing Guidematic in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I've recently bought some dealership materials for my '87 Brougham (the "Portfolio" pages that have the ordering information and the ...
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    TopherS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Installing Guidematic

    I've recently bought some dealership materials for my '87 Brougham (the "Portfolio" pages that have the ordering information and the "Price and Equipment Guide"). Very interesting stuff. In looking through it, I've thought about what it would have been like to be able to have ordered my Brougham back in '87. If I had been able to...I would have ordered the option "T80 - Headlamp Control - Guidematic". My car has a lot of options, but the Guidematic is an option my car doesn't have. I had a similar system on an '88 Cougar and I loved it.

    The other day, I saw an auction listing on eBay for a wiring harness for the front lamps (not with the Guidematic option, though). In the listing, the seller said that the harness had been removed from (I think it was an '83) Fleetwood Brougham by a dealership when the owner wanted the Guidematic system installed on his car...and he wanted the original harness replaced with the proper, Guidematic-included, harness (as opposed to the dealership hacking into the original harness, I guess).

    It made me think...did GM offer, through the dealership, the ability to add the Guidematic option to the Fleetwood/Broughams? ...and if so, can I get my hands on one of the kits (NOS)?

    Has anyone ever done this...or know about it?

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    77CDV's Avatar
    77CDV is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    Guidematic controls the high beams, and turns them on and off in response to oncoming traffic headlights. At least, that's how it's supposed to work. In practice, Guidematic is one of those options that rarely, if ever, gets used. It's perhaps marginally useful in rural areas, but in urban or suburban driving, it's pretty much worthless.

    Now Twilight Sentinel, there's a useful option.

  4. #3
    Spillin is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    My cad has that option and I used it all the time (in an urban area), it was awesome until I stopped driving it.

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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    Cadillac sold kits to add either Twilight Sentinel, Guidematic or both to a car for the late 60s through mid 70s. The kit has everything you need, including wiring harnesses & instructions. There were three kits, one for TWS one for GM and one with both. they were very year specific (sometimes 2 years would fit). Each kit assumed you had neither so they contained extra bezels, etc to ensure a correct installation. Kits are Very Hard to find today though.

    I wouldn't get a used guidematic set though, because the photocell sits behind the grille in the engine compartment and they tended to go bad. I went through several on my 1970 FWB and when i got a TWS kit for my 1968 DVC, i specifically opted to get TWS only and skip the guidematic.

    TWS is GREAT!!!

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    talismandave's Avatar
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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    Three of the four 74-76 cars I had had both. I wouldn't be without twilight sent.
    Guidematic...well it always worked, if you don't mind pissing off about every fourth car on the road. However, that said I still didn't have to hit the dimmer switch, the minute they hit their dimmer switch, my lights would dim! So it worked 100% of the time.

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    TopherS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    I, too, love my Twilight Sentinel. I've installed the system on most cars I've owned (either by retrofitting a factory system or by using an aftermarket "Lights-On" kit. Even my wife, who isn't into all the automotive toys like I am, demands that whatever car she has will have an automatic-headlamp system. My Brougham has TS, but not GM.

    I had an '88 Cougar that had the system with the eye mounted on the inside rearview mirror bracket. Finding the settings that allows maximum use of the brights with minimum offense to oncoming drivers can be an art. I usually set the setting to MAX and it was fine. Never really had many problems at all with other drivers.

    These days, I've noticed that when I use my brights, I don't have to turn them off much, as it seems it's when there's not much traffic around...other times, I'm in city traffic and wouldn't use my brights at all. The headlights on my Brougham work fine and I believe they're aimed properly (and my auto-level system works fine), but there's still not enough light on the road. I live in a city full of dogs/cats/raccoon/possum/skunk/squirrel and the occasional car-eating pothole...and in an area with rain more often than not (the Pacific NorthWET). I can use as much light on the roads as I can get.

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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    Quote Originally Posted by talismandave View Post
    Three of the four 74-76 cars I had had both. I wouldn't be without twilight sent.
    Guidematic...well it always worked, if you don't mind pissing off about every fourth car on the road. However, that said I still didn't have to hit the dimmer switch, the minute they hit their dimmer switch, my lights would dim! So it worked 100% of the time.
    That's too funny.

    Same thing i experienced in my 1970 Fleetwood Brougham!

    And this 2009 STS has it and it sometimes is slow to dim the headlights.

    Oh well.....

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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    What I noticed on the late 60 early 70's was that out on open road the gm would dim from the reflection of delineator posts. My Dad said they got complaints from customers all of the time when he was a Service Manager at a dealership.

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    talismandave's Avatar
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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    That is funny! I never had that problem. Probably would have laughed myself into ditch!
    Fleetwood70 and Fleetwood70 like this.

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    Maximln is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    If you can find the parts, you should be able to install it fairly easily. I used to have a 1975 Sedan de Ville d'Elegance that came equipped with the Twilight Sentinel but not the Guidematic as well. After reading the FSM, I knew what parts I needed & it looked like it would be pretty easily to install. I went to a wrecking yard & found several cars with the option (this was back in the 80's). I got the wiring harness, the headlamp switch with both the Twilight Sentinel control and the Guidematic control, the power module, the hi-beam switch (in 75, it was on the floor below the e-brake & the Guidematic switch was different from the standard switch), and the photo amplifier that sat on the grille. The photo amplifier had 2 little "level" bubbles for proper aiming of the sensor. The hardest part of installation was getting the wiring harness through the firewall. Once everything was installed, it worked perfectly! I do remember it getting false readings from reflective street signs but other than that, it did work really well. There was a procedure for proper use which was something like activating the system & then adjusting the sensitivity of the amplifier. The only difference I think for your car would be that the hi-beam switch is located on the turn signal so I'm not sure if you need a different one of those too.

    Max

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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    I've had all those experiences on a '73 Eldo. My headlights would dim and then the oncoming car would dim his. Then of coarse Guidmatic would sense that and put the high beams back on. Oncoming driver would then flash his back on and mine would go low. When he then turned his down, mine would go back up. After getting the finger a few times I just turned that useless feature off and never used it again. After all, how hard was it to just step on the high beam button on the floor (that's where they where back then).

    They also dimmed from reflective signs and snow banks.

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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    I've had all those experiences on a '73 Eldo. My headlights would dim and then the oncoming car would dim his. Then of coarse Guidmatic would sense that and put the high beams back on. Oncoming driver would then flash his back on and mine would go low. When he then turned his down, mine would go back up. After getting the finger a few times I just turned that useless feature off and never used it again.

    OMG it has been thirty years since I drove one and I forgot all about that whole chain of events. I would have the same thing happen but forgot all about it! Thank's for the memory jog and the good laugh!
    Maximln likes this.

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    Maximln is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    My current Caddy also has this feature & when I 1st got it, I used to wait to hear that loud "clicking" noise when the power amplifier would switch to high beams but this system doesn't make a sound! Remember how the Twilight Sentinel would also "click" when they were activated? These were such advanced features back then!

    Max
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    TopherS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    I never had those problems with my '88 Cougar's auto-dim system. Perhaps Ford had already worked the bugs out of their system. I usually had the sensitivity setting set at MAX and it seemed to work great. Only if I was approaching a car from behind and that car's taillamps weren't very bright would I have to override the system to prevent blinding him via his mirrors...otherwise, it worked well.

    If the Cadillac Guidematic system is that flawed, then I won't worry about it.

    I use my brights a lot...and yes, I am perfectly capable of dimming my own brights...but if my car can take care of that task for me...then I was thinking "why not ?".

    @Max - I know what you mean about the Twilight Sentinel making the loud click when turning on/off. My 2001 Park Avenue even clicked...just not as loudly. My wife's SRX doesn't make a sound at all...can only tell by the green indicator on the dash that the lights have turned on. By the way, you say you have that automatic dimming system in your STS...do you have problems with the system...or is it improved?

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    talismandave's Avatar
    talismandave is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Installing Guidematic

    I'm sure the Cadillac system I much improved over the early 70's models most of us are talking about!

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