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Military Defender light problems

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Main beam stopped working on the lefthand headlight of my 110, easy, bulb swop, sadly bulb swopped and still no life.

Checked fuses, seemed fine.

Anyway yesterday had a bit of time and fine weather so had a good check through the electrics, was a 24v now a 12v with a 200tdi but the dash wiring does not seem to have been messed with too much.

Anyway popping fuses made no difference to the light coming on/or not, so took the fuse box off and found that the fuse blocks had been transposed so I was dutifully messing with the wrong fuses!

Got them back where they should be and could then see that the fuse for LH Dip blew as soon as the dip switch was pushed for main. Time was getting a bit short now so ran a new wire through from the fuse box to the lamp (assuming a short on the original).

But no....... fuse still blew, took the bulb out and still the fuse blew... surely it cannot be the bulb holder...anyone else seen that!

Wasn't too woried short term as it seldom gets driven in the dark now but once all back together tested everything and then had no indicators (but I do have hazards so flasher unit is OK)

One common factor is the column switch, but surely this would affect both dip's ???

I am fairly OK with electrics having made a loom and rewired a 11a years ago, but I also like to leave well alone if all is OK.

Anyone had anything similar???

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Depending on the vintage of your 110, your headlight wiring goes about 8-12 inches back from lamp bowl then has three bullet connectors (red yellow blue)or 0v main and dip. worth checking here that nothing has dropped off or been swapped over e.g main with dip. The lead/headlamp assembly can be checked on the bench by disconnecting. Have you got sealed units or halogen?

The multiplug on the back of the headlamp should come away with a little effort once rubber cap is eased away from bowl/sealed unit.

Halogen H4 check spring clip isnt shorting the 0v and beam/dip.

Worth noting the early military wiring is split LHS RHS for headlamps, and unhelpfully front and rear for sidelamps.

Also military glass fuses are rated holding current not blow. So a 2.5A side lights fuse really needs a 5A blow. and headlamp 7.5A hold needs 15A blow. I was o.k with mine until I plugged the trailer in.

Worth checking the centre light switch for faults, ther is also a spare three way block behind the light switch for civvy spec blue red and brown column switch. Brown perm live feed, red side? blue dip? dip and main beam are done from column stalk?

you should be able to track down a mil wiring diagram fairly easily, things like balckout relays and convoy lamp positions only complicate efforts.

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You say your 110 was 24V, how was that then? :huh:

MOD 110's were totally unlike the Series fleet they replaced in as much as the FFR's retained the 12V vehicle electrics and ran an entirely separate 24V system for the radios.

Agreed, the rotary light-switch can be be removed and the lighing contolled by a civy spec switch very easily. I have done a couple now and it only takes about 1-hour, getting rid of the convoy-light & 12-pin towing electrics is also a bonus and takes just a little longer. You should also find that the wiring harness is complete with reversing-light wire so all you need to do is fit the correct switch in the gearbox (hole has a plastic blanking-plug fitted) and away you go.

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Ahh that's good news then, means the wireing has not been messed with too much then!.

Want to keep it all as is if poss, just want to get the bits working again!

Will have another look this weekend, i like the idea of checking out the headlight separately.

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I had this problem, and so have others. i was blowing the n/s fuse and the dim dip relay, so ran a new wire from RELAVANT fuse to n/s light , problem solved. BUT I now think I know wat the prob is. Most defenders leak, so they get damp, and they get condensation on the windscreem, which runs down where it shouldn't. The problem i believe is the multi connector block after the fuses but before it goes thro' the bulkhead. Some one somewhere, may even be this forum, showed a pic of the connector block where water had dribbled down into it and caused a prob, and fused the connecter. Electrics are simple if its looked at logically, ie n/s is blowing a fuse, replace the wire from fuse to light , prob solved. But the difficulty comes if you look a why it has gone wrong, then I get completely bogged down, staring at wiring diagrams thinking WHY? Dont think just do! When it gets worse and your dim dip relay blows, DONT buy another, then your resitor behind the o/s wing will start to glow red hot and you'll smell burning and see smoke and not know where its coming from!!!!!!!!!!! If the dip or main beam on near side blows a fuse , rewire , dont feke about. ;)

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All sorted but took the whole day :angry:

In the end, not only was the original wire faulty, but so was the new one!

Also 2 dodgy earths and some slightly strange wire colours, I just wasn't getting consistant results, very very frustrating.

Indicators were just a grubby fuse holder.


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