Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

Headlight connector just...crumbled? (95 Subaru Legacy L)


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 HadrianV

HadrianV

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Frackville, PA

Posted 18 October 2013 - 08:48 PM

Hi guys, so about a few weeks ago I noticed my passenger side headlight wasn't working, so today I presumed the bulb blew and purchased a new set. I never changed these bulbs before so I referred to the manual, which told me to remove the "electrical connector" to the headlight, looked easy enough, so I pushed on both sides (as indicated)...wiggled it...nudged it...then stopped when I heard an alarming CRUNCH and felt the whole thing break apart in my grasp:

The result:
http://imageshack.us...89/397/pju9.jpg

So, I'm a bit concerned...Do I now have a completely broken headlight unit? Can this connector be replaced? Is it easily doable? And moreover, is it expensive?

Im guessing the whole thing was dry rotted? The inside of the connector is corroded, complete with green oxidation on the wire. I'm thinking the bulb itself is not dead, since at one point the high beams worked for a second when fiddling with it (had the car on after it shattered to check if the driver side light still worked, lucky, it still does.)

Thanks guys.

#2 987687

987687

    Rally Suby!

  • Members
  • 4,010 posts
  • Northern Maine

Posted 18 October 2013 - 09:35 PM

Every damn one does that. Go to an autoparts store and buy a replacement connector. I know napa has them.

I've had more than one of those connector melt on more than one car, they eventually changed it around 97.



#3 nipper

nipper

    Semi Elite Master of the

  • Members
  • 18,162 posts
  • Long Island NY

Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:22 PM

I was replacing mine once a year. I just used to cut them all off of every sooby i found in scrap yards to have a stock of them. The cause is that over the years of heating and cooling the blade connector loosens up ( or the wire to it corrodes) and causes the connection to overheat, melting the socket.



#4 HadrianV

HadrianV

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Frackville, PA

Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:25 PM

Glad to hear this is pretty common, thanks for the pro tip, I'll get a replacement asap. Are these things easy to install?

#5 Fairtax4me

Fairtax4me

    Sooberoo

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 11,774 posts
  • Charlottesburg, VA

Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:26 PM

Yep. Those connectors are quite prone to damage from heat caused by corrosion of the connectors, (as you can see by all the green stuff) and aging in general.

Every parts place I've seen sells replacements. A pair is usually $12-15. Solder and heat shrink the wires together, or use the heat shrink type crimp connectors.

#6 HadrianV

HadrianV

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Frackville, PA

Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:48 PM

So these can be done without soldering? To be honest I have no experience with it (I know, I know) nor do I have the tools. I take it the heat shrink type connectors are my best bet?

#7 1-3-2-4

1-3-2-4

    Subaru Mike!

  • Members
  • 3,753 posts
  • Greenwich

Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:15 PM

soldering is really easy.. if you don't own wire strippers it's easy just match the color wires up strip the wires and use heat shrink tubing.. tin the wires and solder the two together.. let the wire cool then slide the heat shrink tubing over the area you connected and heat it so the tubing shrinks down over it.



#8 Fairtax4me

Fairtax4me

    Sooberoo

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 11,774 posts
  • Charlottesburg, VA

Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:02 AM

Just get the heat shrink crimp connectors if you've never soldered before.
Slide an extra piece of heat shrink tubing over the wire before you put the connector on in case you damage the heat shrink on the connector. The cheap crimp tools don't always play nice.

#9 heartless

heartless

    Do YOU Subaru?

  • Members
  • 3,024 posts
  • North Central Wisconsin

Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:34 AM

get some heat shrink tubing, close to the size of the wires (it comes in many sizes)

there are 2 types -  a plastic looking type (shiny) and a rubbery type - the rubbery type is the better product by far.

 

Cut a piece of the heat shrink tubing about 2 inches long

Strip the ends of the wires about 1 inch

Slide the piece of heat shrink over one of the wires & out of the way.

Twist the stripped wires together tightly, like this:

 

 

Slide the heatshrink down over the twisted bare wires so it covers about 1/2 in of insulation on both sides of the repair.

Apply a heat source to the heat shrink (a common cigarette lighter works fine, just keep it moving), starting in the middle and working out to the ends until it has shrunk down snugly around the repair - it should look like this when done:

 

 

I have made many, many wiring repairs using this method over the years, both on cars and on semi trucks, and have never had a problem with them corroding inside the repair. Even repairs that were very exposed to the elements - such as wiring for marker lights on a semi trailer - for extended periods held up just fine.



#10 987687

987687

    Rally Suby!

  • Members
  • 4,010 posts
  • Northern Maine

Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:53 AM

Don't solder it. Use heatshrink crimp connectors. I don't like soldering on car wiring anyway. Where the soldered wire transitions to not soldered wire there's a hard spot. Over time and vibration, it has a tendancy to break right there. Crimping with the sealing heatshrink connectors is the best way.

 

I do a lot of marine work, and it's the same deal there. If I can use a crimp, that's the best option.



#11 HadrianV

HadrianV

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Frackville, PA

Posted 19 October 2013 - 12:21 PM

You guys rock, heartless that guide helped out so much, thanks a bunch :)! I'll do as you guys suggested an go the heat shrink route. I'll keep you all posted.



#12 HadrianV

HadrianV

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Frackville, PA

Posted 19 October 2013 - 05:11 PM

Alright guys, problem...

The replacement I got is white with all black cables, looks like this:

http://imageshack.us...6/3456/7y7d.jpg

The guy at advance auto had no clue which was what, so I attempted to splice and crimp...no result. I'm at a loss.

Edited by HadrianV, 19 October 2013 - 05:12 PM.


#13 987687

987687

    Rally Suby!

  • Members
  • 4,010 posts
  • Northern Maine

Posted 19 October 2013 - 05:15 PM

Hopefully you didn't blindly cut off the old connector without seeing where the wires went... Whenever I do these, I cut one wire at a time. 

Cut a wire off the old connector, and match it up to the same pin on the new connector. If you do it one at a time, you won't get lost.



#14 HadrianV

HadrianV

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Frackville, PA

Posted 19 October 2013 - 05:21 PM

I didn't. There was virtually no housing left on the old connector to indicate, I guess what I'm asking is If I
am utterly lost, is there any way I can figure out what's what?

Edited by HadrianV, 19 October 2013 - 05:23 PM.


#15 HadrianV

HadrianV

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Frackville, PA

Posted 19 October 2013 - 05:42 PM

Never mind, I'm an idiot...never occurred to me to check the OTHER SOCKET.

Progress, gentlemten. Progress.

*facepalm*

#16 Fairtax4me

Fairtax4me

    Sooberoo

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 11,774 posts
  • Charlottesburg, VA

Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:11 PM

Don't use those white plugs. They'll just corrode again.
There are much better weather proof plugs available.
Dorman 84790
They look just like the factory ones, except have big fat wires, and even have the rubber boot on them.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users