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Unread 01-18-2010, 05:30 AM   #1
TravisNM
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1988 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Headlight switch and harness melted

1988 4.0 4WD XJ
My headlights, parking lights, and dash lights stopped turning on.

I checked the fuses and had the 10A parking lights fuse melted in a way that it had popped but still made contact (doh!). I was able to get the headlight switch out to check for burns. What I found were crispy wires and the plug melting into the switch.

I am unable to separate the wire harness plug from the headlight switch so I will need to replace both of them. I've found where to get a new switch. Does anyone know where I can get a new plug? Or do I have to go pull it from a junkyard? I work graves so going to the junkyard is a last resort.

Wires going into melted plug going into headlight switch:


I would greatly appreciate any advice.

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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:54 AM   #2
Holder350
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After searching....I cannot find a replacement pigtail for that headlight switch.....

That being said, if you go to the yard to get one, you might as well get the switch there too.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 11:57 AM   #3
XJNUTTIER
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Yeap my 98 did the same thing, and yeap the JY is the way to go for the switch and pigtail. I have done some research and believe that is you add the heavy duty harness even to the stock headlights, you will not only get better light throw, but also drop the current running into the switch thus eliminating future harness issues. Good lucks and hope all works out.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 03:18 PM   #4
TravisNM
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Thank you

Once I get the switch fixed I'll be adding two relays to the circuit for high and low beams to avoid this problem altogether in the future.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 07:26 PM   #5
Holder350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisNM View Post
Thank you

Once I get the switch fixed I'll be adding two relays to the circuit for high and low beams to avoid this problem altogether in the future.
Thats a dang good idea....do you happen to be running H4 bulbs or the stockers?
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95' XJ Country - Stock Skids - D30/D35 Limited Slip - 3" Lift - 31x10.50R15 - 4.0 HO - AX15 - NP231

98' XJ Classic - D30/C8.25 - 4.5" RC Lift - 33x12.50R15 - 4.0 HO - AW4 - NP231
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You can tell the character of a person in how they treat someone who can do nothing for them.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 07:32 PM   #6
TravisNM
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Thats a dang good idea....do you happen to be running H4 bulbs or the stockers?
I don't know. It has "sylvania performance" sealed lamps. Does that answer your question?
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Unread 01-18-2010, 07:47 PM   #7
compcrasher86
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holy moly! Thats what you call defeating the purpose of a fuse. Ummm if even without a fuse you were able to melt the harness, I think you need to look into the problem, there must be a short. Also buy a better brand of fuses if that old one was able to blow like that, that is simply crazy!
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:04 PM   #8
Holder350
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Quote:
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I don't know. It has "sylvania performance" sealed lamps. Does that answer your question?
Hmm, must be some good lights.....not the H4 that I was thinking about but I bet they still pull more than the stockers

Quote:
Originally Posted by compcrasher86 View Post
holy moly! Thats what you call defeating the purpose of a fuse. Ummm if even without a fuse you were able to melt the harness, I think you need to look into the problem, there must be a short. Also buy a better brand of fuses if that old one was able to blow like that, that is simply crazy!
I have seen this happen before with a properly fused circuit (of course it was with some high power H4 conversions).....its not the fuses fault its the constant pull that the lights put on the switch.....it just generates ALOT of heat.
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95' XJ Country - Stock Skids - D30/D35 Limited Slip - 3" Lift - 31x10.50R15 - 4.0 HO - AX15 - NP231

98' XJ Classic - D30/C8.25 - 4.5" RC Lift - 33x12.50R15 - 4.0 HO - AW4 - NP231
Quote:
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You can tell the character of a person in how they treat someone who can do nothing for them.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:06 PM   #9
compcrasher86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holder350 View Post
I have seen this happen before with a properly fused circuit (of course it was with some high power H4 conversions).....its not the fuses fault its the constant pull that the lights put on the switch.....it just generates ALOT of heat.
but shouldnt the wiring be fused accordingly and so the fuse shoulda blown and completely cut off power?!
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:20 PM   #10
TravisNM
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The fuse did blow. It just blew in a way that it still made contact and allowed current through. I assume that's when the fuse melted. The melted plastic of the fuse was holding it together...epic fail.

Then again I'm not even sure what the 10A parking lights fuse has to do with the headlight switch as that switch gets battery positive via a red wire with a fusible link in it.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:33 PM   #11
Holder350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compcrasher86 View Post
but shouldnt the wiring be fused accordingly and so the fuse shoulda blown and completely cut off power?!
In a perfect world yes....but sadly fuses usually react alot better to a sudden spike in amperage....not go great to the slow heatup of a bulb.

This is why I try try try to get it into peoples heads to use a relay when wiring lights to prevent what you see up there in those pictures.

If you have a wire burn....I would much rather it be in the engine compartment instead of the cab
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95' XJ Country - Stock Skids - D30/D35 Limited Slip - 3" Lift - 31x10.50R15 - 4.0 HO - AX15 - NP231

98' XJ Classic - D30/C8.25 - 4.5" RC Lift - 33x12.50R15 - 4.0 HO - AW4 - NP231
Quote:
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You can tell the character of a person in how they treat someone who can do nothing for them.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:37 PM   #12
jaunhunglow
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the melted connection appears to be the source, probably loose=heat.
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Unread 01-19-2010, 10:35 AM   #13
1ATony
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I looked on my end for yah too. I have the switch but no pigtail available to offer you.

The dealer might have a pigtail.
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Unread 01-19-2010, 12:09 PM   #14
Kevin108
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Wish I'd seen this earlier. I spent yesterday in a local yard and they have 8 or 10 of the 96 and olders.
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Unread 03-13-2011, 09:25 PM   #15
chlag
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I Confirm that sylvania performance lamp will melt the light switch. I had to install good old basic lamp to after 2 switches...
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