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Quick headlight question HELP!

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Hey all,


I've got a gremlin in my headlight circuit in my '86 GL. Here are the symptoms:


When the car is first started after sitting any length of time (more than 4 hours and especially after sitting all night) the headlights go wonky. When the switch is moved to the parking light position I have dash lights and parking lights, tail lights and a dull glow from the driver's headlight. So far so good. When I turn the switch to "headlights on" I lose dash lights and tail lights and the pass headlight comes on strong like it should (driver's is still dull). This goes on for a length of time (length of time varies with ???? ambient temp? temp of car warming up? engine rpms???) and then *bing* all lights come on as normal. I tend to drive the car for about 5 minutes before the lights come on which is dicey as it's often dark out and I have no taillights when this is happening.


Here are the things I've checked. Batt voltage (12.5), Alternator output (14.1V), cleaned batt terminals and lugs, replaced fuses, swapped headlight switches. All to no effect...well... all to the same effect. I even swapped bulbs in the dull driver's headlight....


I just read in another thread (thanks, TomRhere) that Subaru runs their headlights grounded through the switch. How can I check these grounds?


Any and all help, suggestions, queries, aid, tidbits of knowledge, jewels of wisdom will be appreciated. Get this a****le with no tail lights off the road!




Canby, OR

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Check any and all applicable ground connections. Also, check under the dash near the steering column for the ignition lock cable--has four wires (it might be six--memory is going flakey on me) and a pink plastic connector. Check the connector for brown discoloration. This usually indicates a bad/poor connection which gets hot and turns the plastic brown (extreme cases it melts the plastic). If you find that replace the connector/cable--find one at the wrecking yard--SOA will charge an arm and a leg for this. This has all the indications for a bad connection which normally gets worse as it heats up over time.

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One other thing to check for on iffy lighting, is the fusable links. Lost the lighting on my '86, traced it to a corroded connection at the links. Wires looked good, but it had corroded off right at the terminal connection, under the box, for one wire. Wouldn't have found it, ifin I hadn't un-bolted the links box and flipped it over.


These Sube's have some strange wiring gremlins. Since I've put the Weber on the '82, and used a different ignition hot feed for the choke, I have things working now, that didn't quite work right before hand. I dun't know. Just happened. One example is my washer pump. Couldn't get it to work no how. Figured I'd work on it over the winters body repair session. Now, it's working! All I've done is the Weber, and wiring change for it. Think I'm using the hot-wire for the idle shut off, for the choke feed, not sure.


Not trying to hi-jack your post. Just wanting to throw out the strange things that can happen with the wiring.

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My sons brat did the same kinda thing. His is an 82 model that originally had 4 headlights and they took it out and replace them with 1 on each side. The lights would come one dim, but if you pulled up one the clutch pedal they worked great..... Pain in the butt to drive that way though. Tracked it down to a bad ground between the body and the engine...



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