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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I'm having an issue with my '86 headlights. The passenger side low beam has 12V to the lamp, but does'nt work.(yes the lamp is good) The high beam works. When testing the socket, found that the high beam has continuity w/ ground. Driver side tests fine. Fuses are good. Disconnected high beam from socket and still does not light, even when 12v is present at socket and making good connection. What am I missing here? Tried tracing wires through harness but unsuccessful.
 

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Does the low-beam side have continuity to ground (check terminal 1 to gnd)? You could also check with the bulb disconnected, connect your meter across bulb terminals 1 to 3 to make sure the low-beam part the bulb is not open circuited.
 

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fully agree with zanegrey! its the switch!
try pulling it a part and cleaning the contacts or just replace it
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is there a relay after the switch? If so where is it located? I tried looking at the switch but didn't have time to pull it apart. Anyway, I think I'm getting a backfeed on the lowbeam side because it shows 12v, however the bulb does not light.(Yes, it's a good bulb!) On testing the plug w/o bulb installed, get continuity between ground and high beam terminal , but the high beam works, just not low beam.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
O.K, finally had time to test the switch. When testing the switch, it seems fine, but when mated to the harness connector, I wiggled the low beam switch leg and the light would go off and on. I used a jumper at the connector and the light worked fine, but with the switch connected I'd turn on the highs and then the lows and the one low would not come back on unless I slightly moved the switch. So I think you guys are correct in saying that it is the switch.Thanx.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Don't pat yourself on the back just yet. How come when I test the switch (with it out) it tests fine? It acts more like a loose connection at the plug. I'm gonna keep on messing with it (till my patience wears out)!
 

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Don't pat yourself on the back just yet. How come when I test the switch (with it out) it tests fine? It acts more like a loose connection at the plug. I'm gonna keep on messing with it (till my patience wears out)!
we all have been there.. done that... replace the switch!
oh... I forgot.... cough!
 

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I just went through a similar problem with my 86.5, only with the windshield washer. Same symptoms, 12 volts to the motor, motor works fine with currently directly to the battery. When I switched my multimeter from volts to amps I found I was only getting a trickle. Checked the switch and found it was full of old dog hair, grease, dirt, etc. Cleaned the switch out and now the washer works great.
 

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I vote for the switch -- had similar problem

I went through the same thing when I resurrected my 88 d21 from the slime. It had been parked for 5 or 6 years. My symptom was that it would wink at people. The low beam on one side would work, then high beam on the other side. After awhile both hi beams would work. Then Both low beams would work. ANd it would sometimes flip that around - low beams first then high beams.


Anway the short answer is the switch because after I pulled it out, cleaned it and reinstalled it everything worked perfectly.

The reason you get the goofy VOM readings is because NISSAN routed the power back through the light switch before sending it back off to the headlights (at least that was the conclusion I vaguely remember coming to last june when I was fixing the problem).

Also I knew I had enough juice because I had installed 75 amp alternator from a 93 v6 pathfinder since the original had apparently been dying before it was placed in hibernation.

Based on the responses here I get the feeling that the switch is a common faliure item.
 
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