Jump to content
Ultimate Subaru Message Board
the sucker king

Help needed with ea81 electrical stuff (no lights)

Recommended Posts

I installed a harness from I think an '81 GL into my hatch, can't get headlights to work. Fuses in fuse box are good, Here is what the connection to the headlight switch looks like:

IMG_1447.jpg

 

The wires that leave this little mini-harness and are spliced as seen in the pic are apparently supposed to go to a fuse:

 

IMG_1446.jpg

 

 

 

The end of that wire is always hot.

Where does this go to???

 

does the combo switch need to be mounted proper for the lights to work? right now it's just hanging, I didn't know if maybe it grounds to the steering column

Edited by the sucker king

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You really need an 81 FSM for this stuff. Personally I'm much more familair with the 83+ wireing because it's a lot more common. I don't know what that timer or that relay are for.

 

I would guess that this mini-harness and fuse tube are for some accessory that was after-the-fact but dealer installed. Like AC or Cruise control. It appears that it's only point is to intercept a main power lead, run it through a fuse, and to....?

 

If it were me I would probably remove this mini-harness and just connect the two ends together. Make note of where it came from in case you need to put it back in later :-p.

 

The combo switch does not need to be grounded. You are going to have to trace the circuit. You need power at the lights. The switch turns on and off the *ground* for the lights. Subaru used a ground controlled lighting system. When the ignition is on the bulbs should always have 12v present. They should only be grounded when the switch is on. Check for +12v at the bulbs. Then try grounding the other side - it should come on. That will narrrow it down to the power supply or the ground switching.

 

There should be at least one or two grounds (ring terminal style) under the dash that are for the lights. And of course the relays.

 

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The light harness is called a headlight fuse kit. It just plugged in between the original harness connectors. GD is correct that your lights should work fine if you just took it out. I am trying to remember where the other end plugged in but it was a long time ago........sucks getting older. The original headlamp fuse holder was secured by a rivet that held it to the terminal plate, this rivet could loosen and the higher resistance of the circuit would cause the solder to melt on the fuse resulting in headlamp failure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just looking at all of the pics.

 

It looks as if the 2nd set of plugs would go between the White ones in the background there in the 1st pic. Just going by size of the connectors shown.

There has to be a set of connectors of simular size to the "patch" connectors close by.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you checked to see if power is getting to the lights using a test light probe? If not, I suggest you do that. There may be a grounding problem causing the trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Solved!

and this is all pretty interesting. First off the car is an 80 DL that I put a 81 GL harness (front and middle) into. The problem was that the headlight switch was from a 84. Although the harness connectors are the same and they will plug in there are a lot of differences, some subtle some not between 80, 81, 82, and then the later 83+ light switches and combo switches. So I got the right switch and lights work as they should now.

 

Also regarding those mini harnesses, what TomRhere called a headlight fuse kit - here's the skinny. They were a recall or repair item found only in 80 and 81, when they had issues with the lighting wires overheating and continuously blowing fuses and even melting the wiring. These harnesses were how they fixed the problem, which was then corrected with proper wiring by 82.

 

The second picture of one that I posted was from the 80 dl and it went between the engine harness and the dash harness. don't know where the fuse end goes. The one in the first pic of the post goes between the light switch and the dash harness. Also don't know where the fuse end goes. I tried different comboes of hooking this up before I found that I needed a different switch, And all I did was blow a couple of fuses. Now that I have the right switch in, I will try these in the places they came off there perspective harnesses and see what happens, right now both are uninstalled and everything works as it should. However I will need to have the headlight fuse kit in if I want to avoid trouble in the future. The fuse box from the 81 gl harness by the way, does show some signs of previous overheating on the hot light fuse. It was bad enough to start melting the plastic fusebox case.

 

What would REALLY be handy here is if one of my fellow Subaru geeks had the old supliment to a 80, 81, or 82 FSM that might have the instructions on installing the wiring fix. I have a 80 FSM, but my guess is it would only be in the supliment that came out in 80 or 81 or 82. For those that have never seen them, the FSM supliments were small (compared to the FSM) manuals that came out after the FSM that would have corrections, additional info, etc.

 

Thanks all for the help, much apreesh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can try checking with my dealer for you - they have all the manuals going back to the 70's and my parts guy has been there 31 years. I'm sure he would photocopy anything that he had on this lighting fuse kit if he can find it.

 

GD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can try checking with my dealer for you - they have all the manuals going back to the 70's and my parts guy has been there 31 years. I'm sure he would photocopy anything that he had on this lighting fuse kit if he can find it.

 

GD

 

Would be awesome and save me a lot of worry. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×