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headlight switch hell


Madkaw

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What baffles me about this is none of the wires in the lighting switch go to the headlights unless they go thru something else first, there are 5 wires, the R/G wire goes to the fuse block which supplies power to the R/B(right side) and R/L(left side) wires that go to the headlights from the fuse block, the R(red) wire goes to the fusible link, the R/L wire is interior illumination for when one opens the door, the R/W wire goes to the relay, and the R/Y goes to the side marker lights, dash lights, gauge lights.

Since the left side is effected, first thing I would do is check the fuse for the left side headlights, obviously it is still good because you have voltage, but maybe like what happens to the battery posts sometimes, the contacts in the fuse block have corroded and your not getting good contact all the time, pull the fuse out and put it back in several times, or if you have contact cleaner for electrical parts use that on the fuse contacts, try using a new red(10A) fuse also, my wiring diagram shows the left side headlight fuse as the second one in from the back but it is a 1982 wiring diagram for a pickup with a diesel engine, I expect the headlight circuit is the same on the 1983 pickup(gas version).

The only thing that separates the left and right side headlights is them 2 fuses.

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I just looked at my Nissan 1984 service manual, in the trouble shooting section it said dim light on one side means burnt fuse.

Also it mentioned if voltage was below 12.8 to check the charging system for proper operation, it also mentioned dim lights could be a burnt fusible link, but I would assume both lights would be dim if either of these were the issue.

 

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7 hours ago, wayno said:

I just looked at my Nissan 1984 service manual, in the trouble shooting section it said dim light on one side means burnt fuse.

Also it mentioned if voltage was below 12.8 to check the charging system for proper operation, it also mentioned dim lights could be a burnt fusible link, but I would assume both lights would be dim if either of these were the issue.

 

I’m saying it’s the switch . I can physically move the contacts and the headlight works fine . It’s the switch - period. It’s a crap design and would be a challenge to turn into a relay system for sure . It’s why we convert to relays on the Z cars , to take the voltage out of that switch. 

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13 hours ago, Madkaw said:

I’m saying it’s the switch . I can physically move the contacts and the headlight works fine . It’s the switch - period. It’s a crap design and would be a challenge to turn into a relay system for sure . It’s why we convert to relays on the Z cars , to take the voltage out of that switch. 

Is there a bad spring behind the contact? Or maybe the contact finger can be bent over slightly to give more pressure.

 

This is what I call bench work. I love this kind of work because it gives me time to sit on a stool at a workbench instead of being on my feet all day.

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8 hours ago, butter fingers said:

i am the guy you bought the Datsun tailgate from , HELLO . in my local pick n pull is a grandpa auto 720 . do you want  me to chase down a switch for you ? i am sure it is cherry ! butter fingers 

Hey brother , 

it’s all getting painted this week ! Now the switch has to be pretty exact for a 83 with tilt wheel if you can find one . Not sure what other years work, but the tilt wheel or collapsible column is important. 

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9 hours ago, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

Is there a bad spring behind the contact? Or maybe the contact finger can be bent over slightly to give more pressure.

 

This is what I call bench work. I love this kind of work because it gives me time to sit on a stool at a workbench instead of being on my feet all day.

I hear ya. I sat there and played with those fingers forever . Either it was too much or not enough. It acts almost exactly the way the old one did. Maybe the cam assembly is wore out . I’d buy a new one if I could find it . Ready to go with a rocker switch , but don’t want to try and figure all that wiring .

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You dont want to do the rocker switches... I just did it temporarily with my 521 and it was a pain to use.... at first I still had the switch on the column and was still using it disconnected... 

I'm usually on autopilot in the morning..

 

I think hainz may have had the best Idea other than finding a working switch.....

The h4 wiring harness ....

Screenshot-20200819-084745-Amazon-Shoppi

 

Your switch would just be triggering the new harness not actually feeding power to the lights..  

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On 8/19/2020 at 8:51 AM, Crashtd420 said:

You dont want to do the rocker switches... I just did it temporarily with my 521 and it was a pain to use.... at first I still had the switch on the column and was still using it disconnected... 

I'm usually on autopilot in the morning..

 

I think hainz may have had the best Idea other than finding a working switch.....

The h4 wiring harness ....

Screenshot-20200819-084745-Amazon-Shoppi

 

Your switch would just be triggering the new harness not actually feeding power to the lights..  

Didn’t know there was such a harness available like this - thanks 

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On 8/19/2020 at 8:51 AM, Crashtd420 said:

You dont want to do the rocker switches... 

I'm an idiot on this comment....

You were talking about the headlights not the blinkers for the rocker switch....

 

I kept seeing the picture of the switch on the column and was thinking blinkers....

 

4 hours ago, Charlie69 said:

Curious as to why they did not use a three position rocker switch with center position off.

That would probably work too.... 

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Might be crazy , but I might have a radical fix for this . The tilt wheel is about useless for me . I’m tall and have 300zx seats so room is sparse . I about hit my knee on the clam shells on the column now . I was thinking that if it was a straight swap I might go with a non-tilt wheel and that would solve my switch issue also. Would the clam shells be smaller and provide more knee room?

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Yes the clam shell is smaller, but that non-tilt column combination switch has to match your wiring harness also, as I recall another thing you need is the complete non-tilt column all the way to the steering gear as the rag joint is on the steering gear while on the tilt column it is near the firewall unless you have a power steering gear, then you may need to modify that part of the column to keep the rag joint near the firewall, mix matching gets to be a pain, you cannot have the rag joint on the power steering gear as the rag joint hits the front of the upper control arm on a 2wd.

Edited by wayno
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I am getting ready to swap my power steering gear box out for non power steering and at the time I will loose the tilt columns in my 86 and 84 720s.   Tired of repairing and cleaning up puddles of power steering fluid.  While doing the swap I plan on getting 2 2010 Nissan Cube electric steering motors.  I will document it or let you guys know if it is too tight under the dash.  I have seen installs withe the electric motor unit in the engine compartment.  But I will not do that with mine as I do not think these motors are designed for the wet and heat and dirt associated with "under the hood".

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15 hours ago, wayno said:

Yes the clam shell is smaller, but that non-tilt column combination switch has to match your wiring harness also, as I recall another thing you need is the complete non-tilt column all the way to the steering gear as the rag joint is on the steering gear while on the tilt column it is near the firewall unless you have a power steering gear, then you may need to modify that part of the column to keep the rag joint near the firewall, mix matching gets to be a pain, you cannot have the rag joint on the power steering gear as the rag joint hits the front of the upper control arm on a 2wd.


thanks for the info Wayno!

i do have power steering so I will investigate . 

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Your Welcome

 

I just read my post and it sounds kinda confusing, so all 2wd 720s with power steering have the rag joint near the firewall and the knuckle joint connected the power steering gear, all manual steering have the rag joint connected to the steering gear and the knuckle joint near the firewall.

They did this because the power steering gear is slightly taller and that puts the connection right next to the upper control arm.

4wd trucks just make everything more confusing as the upper control arms are mounted differently so only use stuff from a 2wd unless you do a lot of measuring, I only know this because I tried using a 4wd power steering tilt column and they have the rag joint on the power steering gear connection but it clears everything on the 4wd, I didn't know a lot back in 2008 and made a lot of mistakes, but I learned a lot making them mistakes, I actually ground the corner of the upper control arm to make it work till I found what I needed.

4 hours ago, Madkaw said:


thanks for the info Wayno!

i do have power steering so I will investigate . 

 

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I’m also in 1983 4x4 with tilt column headlight hell...

 

Like many of you, I am attempting to switch the new “guts” from a switch I bought from RockAuto (1.25” center bore) over time my original housing (1.5” center bore).

 

Wiper side was pretty straightforward...

 

Now I have removed the “box” (terminal) portion from the rear of the headlight switch side...but can’t figure out how to physically remove the turn signal arm/lever and the large “ring” piece that goes around the center hole and has the spring and ball bearing and such.  
 

Whats the trick here?
 

 

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What is wrong with your switch, the lights not coming on right away?

56 minutes ago, CicliDevotion said:

I’m also in 1983 4x4 with tilt column headlight hell...

 

Like many of you, I am attempting to switch the new “guts” from a switch I bought from RockAuto (1.25” center bore) over time my original housing (1.5” center bore).

 

Wiper side was pretty straightforward...

 

Now I have removed the “box” (terminal) portion from the rear of the headlight switch side...but can’t figure out how to physically remove the turn signal arm/lever and the large “ring” piece that goes around the center hole and has the spring and ball bearing and such.  
 

Whats the trick here?
 

 

 

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So I migrated all of the guts from the new RockAuto switch (1.25” center) over to my original housing (1.5” center)...and still no functional headlights. It also made my running lights and turn signals stop working...so I moved everything back.

 

(i will continue to look for the correct switch...but in the mean time, will probably add a bypass and use a toggle switch for the headlights.)

 

in the process of taking my switch off and on and off and on and moving things around, I somehow don’t have a “return” on the turn signals anymore.  It stays on until I press it off.  
 

Any idea what could have stopped the return from working?

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5 hours ago, CicliDevotion said:

So I migrated all of the guts from the new RockAuto switch (1.25” center) over to my original housing (1.5” center)...and still no functional headlights. It also made my running lights and turn signals stop working...so I moved everything back.

 

(i will continue to look for the correct switch...but in the mean time, will probably add a bypass and use a toggle switch for the headlights.)

 

in the process of taking my switch off and on and off and on and moving things around, I somehow don’t have a “return” on the turn signals anymore.  It stays on until I press it off.  
 

Any idea what could have stopped the return from working?

Damn- you had a worst experience then me . Everything else works except the headlight . Sure your steering wheel is all the way on? 
 

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