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LostxSoul

Headlights on but combo switch is hot.

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Well folks, here's my first post. I've spent the last two hours trying to find an answer to my wiring issue and another 2 trying to diagnose it. So when all else fails, get some help from those who have LOTS of experience.

1977 280Z.

PO "fixed" the combination switch for the headlights. After my drive home (lights off) I realized that they didn't work. I noticed the Red wire FSM says it runs to the fuse box, I think, was off. I put my finger over it and pressed it back onto the connection and it the lights turned on. A month later I'm finally getting to the issue of soldering it back on.

I soldered the connection back together on it's pin. I turned the lights on and they work fine, out of curiosity I touched the connection and it's heating up, hotter than my finger can handle. I didn't let it sit like that for long and checked the other connections, for heat while the running lights were on. Nothing else was even hot, or warm. I double checked the connection. It's not touching any wires, housing, etc. Checked the fuse box, no burned out fuses.

I suck at electrical issues (next semester I'll be signing up for that class) but from what I can see, doesn't look like there's anything too out of the ordinary.

Recent electrical fixes are as follows.

Headlights (New, PO installed them)

Short on Black and Green ignition wire (jumped to passenger side connection before it connects to the 8 or 12 pin connection. (PO did this but I had to clean it up).

New Pos and Neg battery cables.

Starter wire that goes to the solenoid. (PO soldered them half a$$ so I cut, cleaned, crimped and wrapped them).

A picture is worth 1000 words. Attached is the pic of my crappy soldering job and the combo switch that's problematic.

Thanks in advance!!! I've read some really awesome threads and learned a lot so far but have a long way to go.

post-24025-14150814378714_thumb.jpg

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use the Search engine here on the site, you'll find that the S30's 240/260/280Z never had Relays on the headlight circuit. the lack of relays means the power of the headlights goes thru the fuse box, wiring, connectors and the combo switch. Lots or amperage cause the wires to overheat.

If you had a 240Z, I would suggest my Plug in headlight relay upgrade harness, BUT the only thing I can offer is to research headlight relay wiring or get one of my Hard-wire upgrade harnesses, or buy the one from Black Dragon.

Dave

Edited by Zs-ondabrain

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Dave,

Thanks for the input. I was reading through quite a bit and did find that they never ran relays, which surprises me for how advanced these cars were for their time. At any rate, the best option is just to upgrade instead of finding the potential problem? Or is the problem most likely all the juice running through the combination switch?

Thanks Dave for your input, it's most appreciated. I'll let you know if I can round up the cash for your Headlight Harness, which is a fair price. Times are a bit tough for a student these days so I may have to run with the Black Dragon one.

Thanks,

Colin

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Yes, The problem IS all the juice running through the old wiring, with no relays.

Which ever you decide, it'll be better than running the headlights without a relay set-up of Some sort. Choose wisely Grasshopper...... LOL

I understand the budget, I LIVE on a budget.

Dave

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I had that same issue as you did, what I did to fix the issue is that I cleaned all the connections that I could see, inside the car and in the engine. Another think that will save you lots of headaches is to change out the fuse blocks in the engine compartment. Read the atlanticz site. I went to walmart and bought 2 blocks and installed them on my 280z and noticed that it has saved me several headaches. Now i'm in the process of changing out the fuse box, thats another thing that I have noticed that also heats up either because the connections aren't clean. My suggestion is to clean every connection that you can even grounds and you will see that your problem will disapear. Good luck,

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Blue and dcruz, thanks for your replies. I'm going to switch over to the Black Dragon relay setup next weekend, too broke for Dave's. This isn't a daily driver, just need to get it to pass safety and get tags for now.

Today I'll clean the fusable links that are problematic and the rest next week. Have a Thermotime switch, that I think is giving me trouble too. Maybe cleaning the connection will solve that issue. I'll post my results later on today and let y'all know what happened.

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I bought the BD relay kit. I replaced most of it before installing it. The relays are non standard. You should at least replace those with more typical relays and bases. (found on Amazon for pretty cheap) You'll also need to install your own fuses because the kit doesn't have any.

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Well, cleaned the hell out of the fusable links and the heat took a little longer to arrive but it showed up again. I'm over it, I'll just upgrade! Thanks for your advise Steve, I may ask a few questions later on when I get the kit in hand, if you don't mind. I feel so lost when it comes to electrical stuff.

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Yes, I'm in the same boat as you but working here and there on the car has paid off, fix some issues here and some new issues will pop up, just be patient and you will figure it out, the fuse links are big problems for this cars. Keep at it and you will get it.

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Another helpful hint is to use dielectric grease on all contacts and sockets.

Good anti-corrosion properties.

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Thanks to all for the good tips!!

I just ordered a the relay upgrade from Black Dragon, now if I can put it all together I'll be happy. Also, if it fixes the heating issues I may even do a heel click.

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Just got the Black Dragon wiring harness and started on it this afternoon. Realizing now that in order to fit the 3 prong upgraded harness, it won't come out through the light can, so I have to cut and connect the wires after fitting the new harness socket into the can. As for the drivers side, I need to still use the old harness so should I cut and butt connect the wires from the old harness to their right place on the old harness before connecting it up? Or is there an easier way of getting around this? Also, I don't want those wires rubbing on the headlight can opening, so any idea on a good way to alleviate that risk?

Thanks in advance.

P.S. For anyone looking to use the Black Dragon wiring harness, it's better used on the RX7 and a much better fit. I realize now that the way the 280Z is designed, it's not very friendly for this upgrade.

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Just got the Black Dragon wiring harness and started on it this afternoon. Realizing now that in order to fit the 3 prong upgraded harness, it won't come out through the light can, so I have to cut and connect the wires after fitting the new harness socket into the can. As for the drivers side, I need to still use the old harness so should I cut and butt connect the wires from the old harness to their right place on the old harness before connecting it up? Or is there an easier way of getting around this? Also, I don't want those wires rubbing on the headlight can opening, so any idea on a good way to alleviate that risk?

Thanks in advance.

P.S. For anyone looking to use the Black Dragon wiring harness, it's better used on the RX7 and a much better fit. I realize now that the way the 280Z is designed, it's not very friendly for this upgrade.

Yeah, I tried to warn you...

For protecting the wires, I suggest 3 steps.

1. Heat shrink around the wires

2. Grommet at the hole (Find an any home improvement or auto parts place)

3. Liquid electrical tape applied liberally after getting it wired to seal between the heat shrink and the grommet.

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Haha, well I have a reputation to uphold so no video proof will be available at this time.

At the rate this quick "Plug and play" kit is going I'll be lucky if I don't throw a brick through the windshield. I think I've eaten, breathed and gotten in my eyes enough rust that I may get lock jaw if I don't get a shot soon.

Off to the local ACE store to see if I can get some necessities to finish this.

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Steve,

Thanks for the info, you were right. Question here... I'll need fuses? So I need an in-line fuse for the wires coming from the Positive terminal? What Amp should I use? Also for the relays, what do you mean? You replaced just the relay or the relay and the plug?

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Yes, you'll need inline fuses. Fuse each power wire separately. A 10 AMP fuse will work for each circuit. I replaced the plug and the relay. Before you know it, it won't be much less than Dave's upgrade...

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Steve,

Thanks for reminding me about the inline fuses. Picked up parts today, which ran me another $30. Thanks for the tips. I'll have to continue the rest of the project tomorrow but progress was made.

Thanks again,

Colin

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Alright,

Just under a week later I'm finally finished it. Combo switch doesn't get hot anymore and my lights have turned into a white color from a dull tan. If I wasn't so tired I'd do a heel click.... haha!

Dave, I wish you would do a kit for the 280Z wiring harness because I had to do a lot of "customizing" on mine and I swear I cut just about every connector off and reconnected it. The kit is straight forward and on paper, it looks like it's plug and play (it is for a 1st gen RX7) but communism looks great on paper too!! At any rate, if anyone is thinking of this upgrade, just watch the video on what I ended up doing to make it work.

http://youtu.be/HxriwIEqrOo

Steve,

Thanks for your great advise!!! It helped out a ton and I did the best I could. It's ugly but it just needs to get me until winter when I'll be looking at rewiring a lot of the car.

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