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Pathfinder65

87 Pathfinder XE Headlight issue

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I have this posted in a reply on a separate post, but thought I needed to start a thread all it's own.

 

RH Headlight High Beam/Low Beam quit working a couple days ago. High beam never worked since I owned the vehicle.  Low beam would go out occasionally but  I would tap the RH fender and it would come back on (short somewhere), this time that did not work.  I checked the fuses under the dash, both fuses are good (LH Headlight, RH Headlight), I then checked the connector at headlight, have power going to Low beam and High beam until I plug in the bulb then I have no power going to any of the connectors (High beam, Low Beam and Ground no longer lights my test light).  I think there may be an issue with my wiring harness between my LH headlight and my RH headlight.  Would it be possible to run wires from each of the connectors on the LH side to the RH side? Would I need to change the LH headlight fuse since I would be running two headlights off of the same fuse instead of one?  I have no idea when it comes to electrical systems, but I don't have the cash to take it to a shop and have them chase down the issue right now.  Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by Pathfinder65
Clarification on year

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Is your vehicle 89 or 98? You might be in the wrong section.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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niether, 87. I have no idea how that happened

 

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Sounds like a loose connection rather than a short. A short would blow fuses. Showing power until you load it also suggests a weak connection. Check the ground wire from the headlight, that would take out both low and high beam at once. Look for anything obviously wrong with the wire itself and any obvious heat damage or corrosion where the bulb plugs in. I don't know off the top of my head where that black wire grounds to the body/frame but that would be the next thing to check. If you can backprobe the connector (stick a test lead or a thin wire in the back of the plug while it's plugged in), turn the lights on and either check for voltage between that ground and battery ground or just run that wire straight to ground. If the ground is good, you should see basically no voltage or no change from bypassing it.

 

The WD21 headlight switch is a little odd. There are five sets of contacts in the switch. Two sets of low beam contacts, two sets of high beam contacts, and one for the parking lights.The headlights aren't relayed, which means that the switch contacts carry full power for the lights, and the wires are very thin. Each headlight is also individually fused. I would not expect both lights to run off one set of wires.

 

Because the headlight switch has to carry full power to the lights, they do tend to have issues with the contacts inside. They're a little fiddly to work with but can be cleaned and adjusted to work again. That might be what's wrong with your high beam, though if smacking the fender used to bring the low beam back, it's probably not the cause of both. A common mod, one I've done to mine, is to relay the headlights. The wires that used to feed the passenger's side headlight on mine now control a pair of relays which switch battery power to both headlights (one relay for both highs, one for both lows). This reduces load on the headlight switch and should also increase the voltage at the bulbs thanks to a much shorter run of much thicker wire.

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The three wires out of the back of the headlight goes into a bundle of wires wrapped in black covering leading to the driver's side.  I replaced the connector this morning but no change. Plan on tracing the wires because there was some corrosion in one of the wire itself when I cut and stripped it to attach the new connector.  Tracing the wires are going to be a hassle because of the location of them, but looks like I have no choice now.  

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