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Unread 05-08-2013, 10:31 PM   #1
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Headlight wire shorted out, help with fixing it. SOLVED!!

SOLVED: Found all my answers in this thread. I wish I would have seen this earlier. Edited to possibly help someone down the line if they chance upon this thread.

Basically I was messing with the dash wiring a bit ago and something arced. I didn't look too close into it because everything still worked. (dumb I know.) A couple weeks later the headlights stopped working along with the dash lights. Turn signals and brake lights were still good to go.

I read here a common problem was the dimmer switch which I changed but they still didn't work. I remembered the arcing wire from earlier and looked to see if that had melted anything after first checking fuses.

I found that the red/white wire on the headlight connector (the one that is connected to the wire harness that attaches to headlight knob) was messed up. The shielding was melted back a little bit and there wasn't much copper connecting it to the plastic connector.

I imagine I need to change out this connector. (The locking tabs are kind of screwed up on it too) Any idea where I could fine another one and how I can get everything swapped over?

I have read jeephammers electrical 101 that talked about factory crimps and what not but I still don;'t know where to but the ends and how to get this sorted.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Sorry for the crappy pic, its dark and late and I settled for a cell phone pic.

2013-05-08-21.05.11.jpg  
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Unread 05-09-2013, 02:32 AM   #2
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maybe someone has a good one on an old harness they are throwing out. Take your wires out and fix any terminals and put them in a better connector housing.
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Unread 05-09-2013, 07:47 AM   #3
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Is this not a part that anyone sells new? I have found the switch on the online stores but not the harness end? Going the salvage route would you splice in new cables a few inches from the plug or remove the old connecters from the plug and fit my wires to the actual connector? Thanks for the help. I also just got all my dash bulbs replaced and new dash light housings attached where the old ones were broken. I'm ready to use my lights.
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Unread 05-09-2013, 08:45 AM   #4
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Try NAPA or google "pig tails"

I would splice the wiring by soldering it. I dislike mechanical connectors because of corrosion. I'd splice it by cutting it off, slipping a piece of shrink tape for each wire over one end and sliding it out of the way, twisting the ends together, soldering it, folding the soldered connection down, slipping the shrink tube over the folded connection and heating it. Taking the time to carefully measure out the wiring would allow you to stagger the splices so that there isn't a "bundle". If I read your post correctly, (still working on my first cup of coffee) unless you have a lot of experience and the proper tools, I don't think you could recreate the factory termination at the connector. If you can, I admire your skills.
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Unread 05-09-2013, 09:14 AM   #5
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WindKnot- your right, I haven't many skills and I don' t have the tools to recreate the factory connection. That is why I wondered about splicing in the new plug. I'm okay with buying some tools as I go but assuming I can find the tool I wasn't even sure where to buy the connectors or which ones are the correct ones. I am trying to make these repairs the "right" way in my quest for mad skills. I didn't find anything on napas website but understand if I went in they could look in their connector book and would probably be able to find the plug that way. Thanks for the help.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 11:48 AM   #6
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A little update. I stopped at Napa yesterday on the way home from work. I had the guy helping me sort through his books of plugs but he wasn't able to find the right one. If anyone knows of a new part with the number I would appreciate it. I have called two other "CJ boneyards" in my area and asked if they had what I was looking for. It seemed like they both did but neither of them could help me get the part today. I was hoping to get the wiring fixed this weekend to have working lights. Not sure if I already said this earlier but both Quadratec and 4WD don't carry just the plug. Kinda bummed about this but its just one of those things.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 11:57 AM   #7
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what does that plug into? i can't tell from the pic and/or picture it on my jeep. at worst you will be able to get an entire new plug (male and female) with enough connections, and rewire both ends. it's not terribly hard to do...unless that plugs into some sort of solid mount and you really need that exact end
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Unread 05-10-2013, 12:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferday View Post
what does that plug into?
Its the red with white tracer wire that shorted from the wire harness. I didn't look at it close enough to see whether it effected other wires as well. Not sure if I understood your question right but this is the harness connected plug that the dash headlight switch goes in.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 12:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Not sure if I understood your question right but this is the harness connected plug that the dash headlight switch goes in.
that's what i wasn't figuring out was where it plugs into...my bad as i missed it in your OP.

if you need it going ASAP you could always hardwire it right onto the headlight switch, the harness is not technically necessary. if you pull the dash switch out and pull the wiring through the hole in the dash it shouldn't be too hard to work on....just make sure you document which wires go where before cutting the harness off LOL
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Unread 05-10-2013, 01:02 PM   #10
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I don't need to get it done that quick. I was just hoping to get the part and work on it this weekend if I had some extra time. I have an axle leak that is getting fixed next friday and because of that I haven't been driving the CJ much. When I do though, I just make sure I'll be able to get home before dark. I'll for sure be able to get a used part from a yard at the beginning of next week.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 11:39 AM   #11
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I called back both of the bone yards this morning that told me Friday they had what I needed but as it turns out neither of them do. The one guy wants to sell me the whole harness and the other guy didn't have anything that would work. I checked with a few other guys that seem to sell tons of stuff on the local classifieds without any luck.

I am wondering what other options I have for this? I don't know enough to know if I could swap a plug/connector in from another vehicle or if they make something generic that would work. Any help or suggestions or direction would be greatly appreciated.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 01:07 PM   #12
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as i said, you could hardwire on to the switch, or use any harness you find at the local autoshop, although then it might not fit on the plug

a harness is just a way to offer a quick connect and keep wires organized, there isn't anything special about them. personally if i was in your situation, i'd pick up a really cheap set of male/female plugs with the right number of connections, wire the dash switch with short pigtails (properly i.e. solder) and voila, a homemade harness
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Unread 05-14-2013, 07:18 PM   #13
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So I hail marry phone called a couple more places and was able to find what I needed. When I got home I looked closer at my current situation and found that only one of the wires had melted in the plug. I was able to pop the current wires with their connectors out of the plug on everything just fine. I popped them out and got them inserted into the new plug and after a little tug they all seemed to hold well. The wire that melted I sliced to the wire from the new plug a few inches back from the connector.

After reconnecting the battery the only way I could get the headlights to turn on was to hit the brights. The dash lights did not work at all. I tested one of the orange dash wires for power on my multimeter (that I don't know how to use) and didn't get a response.

I already replaced the dimmer switch but didn't change out the wires from the dimmer. Any suggestions on where to go from here? I don't know where to look for grounds but figured that since the brights worked it would be something else. I really have no idea what to look at to get the headlights working on "regular" and to get the dash lights going. My fuse is good to the dash lights.

Help?
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Unread 05-15-2013, 05:41 AM   #14
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Buy a test light. It's easier to use.






Double Check your wires:
I think this if from 82 and later.


Does the orange wire come off the switch like this?



this is for a 76 CJ
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Unread 05-15-2013, 07:45 AM   #15
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Thanks for responding. I have a test light, I'm just a moron and didn't think to pull that out rather than the multimeter. I don't have the orange wire on the headlight plug. I checked my wires again this morning before I took off for work and they look to be in the correct locations. I will have to look at the switch again when I get home to make sure all of the prongs are clean and went into the plug correctly. Hell, I may just replace that if it isn't too much money.

Here are a couple pictures I took yesterday. (They were too big to be uploaded, link to imgur album.)
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