1982 Datsun Maxima Headlight problem

General information about the first-generation Nissan Maxima in the US. What was the Datsun 810 became the luxury leader Maxima in the US in 1981.

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bari
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Location: West Palm Beach, Florida

1982 Datsun Maxima Headlight problem

#1

Post by bari » 11 years ago

My 1982 Nissan Maxima headlights don't come on. When you turn the switch on the column the dash lights up, the tail lights come on and the front amber lights come on. Could it be the headlight relay? If so, I don't have a repair manual, which relay controls the headlights.?

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kassim503
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Location: Stony Brook, NY

#2

Post by kassim503 » 11 years ago

It would be #3 in my crude diagram of the diagram shown on page EL-162 on a 1983 Maxima FSM. Now, this would be a overhead view of the box, I usually flip it over when i remove it, so the relay diagram would be upside down. Its the black enclosure just aft of the battery and in front of the shock mount on the passenger side. Hope this helps a little, I also attached a picture of the page, but the text is unreadable.

ImageImage
Click to enlarge

Click on the link below for the photo of the page.
http://img142.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1004410gv5.jpg

If the relay is getting power from the signal wire, I would try hitting the steering column- nothing more than a palm slap, dont break anything. Sometimes the multifunction switch sticks and dosent turn the headlights on.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

diesel-man
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Location: Elkton, MD

#3

Post by diesel-man » 11 years ago

I think another way to diagnos this is to check for power at the headlight connection first with a test light. Try the high beams. I have seen both bulbs blow at "seemingly" the same time on other peoples cars.

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asavage
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#4

Post by asavage » 11 years ago

Twice, I've had cars come in with "no headlights" and both low beams burned out. Running with one burned out lamp for years, then the other goes and THEN the customer notices :roll:

[I check all my lights, plus tire pressures, every oil change.]

And, for completeness, check out the thread "Sticking High Beams". That problem isn't your problem, but it's something you should be aware of anyway.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

bari
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Joined: 11 years ago
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida

No headlights

#5

Post by bari » 11 years ago

I was able to replace relay. Still no lights. I checked voltage at relay and it seems okay. I am checking headlights voltage. Do not seem to get any voltage at the lights.

I tried hitting the steering column in case the switch was sticking.

Any more ideas?

Thanks in advance

goglio704
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Location: East Tennessee

#6

Post by goglio704 » 11 years ago

Maxima headlights are fused...
Matt B.

83 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 5 speed, white, 130k miles. My original Maxima.
83 Maxima Sedan converted from gasser, LD28, 5 speed, 2 tone blue, 230k miles
82 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, 2 tone Gray/Silver, 140k miles
81 810 Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, rust, rust, and more rust!

2005 Jeep Liberty CRD

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kassim503
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Location: Stony Brook, NY

#7

Post by kassim503 » 11 years ago

I personally check if my headlights are out on a regular basis, and you can do it while driving. If your ever sitting behind a car, just search for two lights in the reflection of the car.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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asavage
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#8

Post by asavage » 11 years ago

1982 FSM, page EL-45 thru 48 is the headlamps circuit.

An important point here: the HL relays does NOT supply power to the lamps! If you don't understand that, you will drive yourself crazy diagnosing this circuit.

All the power for the HLs goes through the MultiFunction Switch (MFS) and not through a relay on the feed side. The HL Relay controls the ground side of the circuit only.

Moving from the battery toward the lamps:
  • 12v feed side
    Check fusible link under the small plastic rectangular cover next to the battery. The Black one is supposed to be the one that feeds the headlamps.
  • Fuses in the fusebox under the glovebox: the two rightmost fuses are for the headlamps. The right end fuse is for the Right headlamps, the second from the end is for the Left headlamps (page EL-5).
  • Turn on the HL switch. Check for voltage at either a Right Headlamp (Red/White) or a Left Headlamp (Red/Yellow). With the HL switch ON, there should be battery voltage at all four headlamps simultaneously, so you can check at any one of the lamps for power.
  • At this point, you have checked the feed side of the circuit (battery, fusible link, fuses, MFS (HL) switch, and all the wiring up to the headlamps. If OK so far, look for the ground side problem.
  • Ground side
    Unbolt the relay panel, locate the HL relay. It has five wires. Find the two black wires. With the HL switch ON, back probe it with a test lamp (or shove a ground probe in the back of either terminal). The test lamp should be OFF. If you get battery voltage at either black wire, find the bad ground for those two wires (they connect together). Diagram says ground point "14M" which is not terribly useful. I can't pull mine apart tonight, but I would look for a large phillips-head screw with a ring terminal under it on the fenderwell, if I had to guess.
  • If the Black wires have no voltage on them, repeat test (test lamp or ground probe) to the Red/Green wire. Test lamp should be ON, or with ground probe the High beams should come on. If they do, replace the relay. If not, you have a wiring fault in the harness.
My guess? a) Fusible link corrosion. b) Ground screw corrsion on the HL Relay ground point, probably to the fenderwell.[/quote]

If this helped you find your HL problem, consider making a site donation. That was 45 minutes work.
Last edited by asavage 11 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

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kassim503
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Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Stony Brook, NY

#9

Post by kassim503 » 11 years ago

Ground point 14M appears to be grounded on the bottom bolt of the windshield washer fluid canister mount. This is just going on the approx. location that the FSM gives, and the only fenderwell grounding point that I know of on the passenger fenderwell.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

bari
Posts: 5
Joined: 11 years ago
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida

#10

Post by bari » 11 years ago

I checked al the things asavage recommended.
1. Fusible links okay
2.Fuses okay
3.*****No voltage at the headlights ******, when hl switch turned on.
What does this mean??????

Ground side
1. Both black relay wires had no voltage. Ground seems okay.
2. Checked Red/green, test lamp did not come on. Did not with high beam switched on.

New relay clicks when you turn high beams on.

Any ideas on what to try next.
Thanks for anyone's help.

Is the headlight section of the FSM online?

rlaggren
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Joined: 13 years ago
Location: San Francisco

#11

Post by rlaggren » 11 years ago

1. Fusible links okay
2.Fuses okay
Just to be very clear, that means you tested 12 volts on the LOAD SIDE of the fuses, right?

And when testing the red/green wires at the relay box, you also tested your test light by lighting it from some other 12volt source but USING THE SAME GROUND POINT for the lamp that you use for the actual test?

Just trying to reduce chance of insanity here. <g> It's pretty easy to go crazy and then find it was something simple, often having to do with your test procedures.

Rufus
82 Maxima wagon

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asavage
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#12

Post by asavage » 11 years ago

bari wrote:*****No voltage at the headlights ******, when hl switch turned on. What does this mean?
Next thing to check is the MFS (MultiFunction Switch, which contains the Headlamp switch).

You may have to remove the plastic column shroud to access the MFS connector, but it's likely that all you have to remove is the sound panel above the driver's feet. That does involve one large horizontal Phillips head screw on the left.

Once you have the sound panel down, the Talking Lady module wire harness will be keeping you from removing it. Disconnect the harness (one connector) and move the panel out of the way.

Locate the MFS connector. It is an eight-position connector which contains five wires. Use your test light or meter to backprobe the connector from the main harness side. Do not backprobe from the MFS side of the connector. Check for voltage at the Red/Blue wire, which leads from the rightmost fuse in the fusebox to the MFS. It should be hot at all times.

If yes, then turn HL switch ON, backprobe the Red/White wire. If voltage there, the MFS is good (for the right headamps, anyway). If you've gotten this far and still have not voltage at the Right headlamps, you have a wiring fault in the harness. There are no connectors in the harness between the MFS connector and the back of the headlamps.
Is the headlight section of the FSM online?
Not on my server.

Extra credit if someone can figure out the Left headlamp wire color code at the MFS connector. It's listed twice as "OR", but there is no "O" color in the Nissan chart at the head of the chapter. Is this Orange, or UndeterminedBackground/Red?
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

bari
Posts: 5
Joined: 11 years ago
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida

Success - Lights now work

#13

Post by bari » 11 years ago

I took Al Savage's advise on how to check out the MFS.

The switch was not working.

I took the switch apart and cleaned all the contacts.
Put it back together and lights work fine.

Thanks to everyone for the help.
Al, I'll make a donation to your forum for all your excellent assistance.

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