Let there be light!

Finally, 3 weeks later, headlights! No more slogging through the night w/ hazard lights on! No more hearing it from the wife! No more.. ok ok, what did i fix? I was able to install the new[er] 280z combo switch fairly swiftly (seeing as i’ve done it countless times before). This one, purchased from eBay, came in decent shape, and the cam switches that turn on/off the parking lights and headlights are solid. Solid. Turn on the headlights, though… nothing. Back to the voltmeter. Measured again between the terminals on the combo switch – 12.5v… but when i turn it on, it goes to zero volts. huh! a ground issue? I again make my way down the chain toward the fuse panel, then the other way toward the battery. ah ha! doh.. the fusible link looked good, but upon serious inspection (meaning trying to pull it off):

Daily Datsun - fusible link

wtf – seriously? i measured the voltage across it, and it was good! good i tell you! but probably because it was hanging by a thread, which will read voltage, but not have the capacity to hold upwards of 50A of headlight power. Just for reference, the headlights fusible link is on the bottom left (when looking into the engine bay from the passenger side).

Daily Datsun - fusible link

Until my replacement 280z fusible links can come in from Motorsport Auto’s (MSA) Z store, I just trimmed, and reattached the link – and…viola!

Daily Datsun - headlights on

and wouldn’t you know.. highs AND low beams work! huzzah!   And that’s not all. Interestingly enough there’s a bit of discrepancy in the 280z’s fusible link layout! You’ll notice on MSA’s fusible link product page, they note the use of the black fusible link (80A) for the headlights, and on AtlanticZ.ca’s site, they note that a red/brown fusible link (50A) should be used; with black being used for the alternator / ignition. See below:

MSA’s diagram:

Motorsport Auto's Z fusible link diagram

Atlantic Z’s diagram:

Atlantic Z's fusible link layout for 1977 280z

So who’s right? It would make sense that if any circuit out of the four has to have the highest rated fuse, it would be the alternator and ignition circuit. Datsun Field Service Manual (FSM) says…. huh. it doesn’t. yeah, pg BE-6 doesn’t know which one goes where. A few google searches later, you’ll notice that most images will show that Atlantic Z has it correct, the black fusible link is for the Alternator / Ignition Relay. This additional wiring diagram from CarPartsManual.com shows it clearly (even though for a ’74-’76).

Datsun-Z-engine-bay-wiring-diagram

Other supporting images show the same layout (not in favor of MSA’s diagram)…

I really like ZCurves’ solution for using the blade styled (read: more accessible / cost effective) fuses.

Yet another: http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/fusiblelinks/correct_fusible_links3.jpg

I guess we’ll be contacting MSA to find out what the real setup should be!

ok. time to move on to real stuff: suspension!  

About justinyee

engineer, musician, designer, artist, dreamer, positive attitude w/ best intentions, critic and friend. i believe in truth, justice, beauty, and above all: love. View all posts by justinyee

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