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Old 12-23-2013, 06:32 AM   #1
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Default HOW TO: Buld a D21 to Pathfinder Headlight Harness (

So I recently completed my pathfinder front end conversion thanks to the help and some parts from guys on here. Love the look, it changed up the truck a lot. I did my homework on the headlight wiring, and couldn't come up with much on how to convert the wiring on the headlights, other than it needs to be done... So Here is what I did. It's not a really hard swap, i'd say 4/10 difficulty-wise just because of the electrical B/S. Not sure where to put this exactly, but I didn't really document the parts swap, only the lighting wiring, so I guess the electrical and wiring section? Mods feel free to move it where you see fit.

I'm not responsible if you booger up some fuses and electrical junk on your truck. This is one method to do it though, and it worked for me.

What you'll need for the entire front end conversion...

-Pathfinder headlights
-Pathfinder headlight buckets (really, more like headlight adjusters, there isn't much of a bucket like with a D21)
-Pathfinder grill
-Pathfinder corner lights
-Basic hand tools (phillips screwdriver, socket set, etc.)

What you'll need for the electrical aspect... At least my way...

-Pathfinder 9004 headlight pigtails, cut off from the harness. I got mine on here from a former member who won't be named.
-Some sort of 9003/H4 male pigtail, or harness extension. I used this one from Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
-Wire Strippers
-Scissors or side dykes
-Electrical tape, or crimp connectors, or both

-Soldering iron
-Heat shrink tubing
-Wire loom

Swapping the parts over is the easiest part. You'll have to remove the D21 grill, corner lights, and headlights, and unbolt their buckets holding them to the core support. Then everything from the Pathfinder bolts right in its place. The Pathy headlights mounted into different, but existing holes in the core support. I had to use some nuts that fit the Pathy headlight adjusters, and washers to mount them. This is different than the D21 buckets, they have bolts that threaded into existing nuts welded in, then the headlights bolted to the buckets. I may come back in and document this process later, but I have it all back together now and didn't think of it. It's not hard, really.

A Pathfinder headlight has a different bulb than the D21. Factory D21's have a sealed headlight (I believe H4651), although I converted mine to a clear 7x6 housing and a 9003/H4 right when I got it. Pathys have a 9004, and aren't a sealed beam...

This means you have to figure out how to splice in the 9004 pigtail into your factory system to work.

Method 1: You can hack off your factory female end pigtails and rewire in the pathfinder ones if you choose. I'm sure the wires will line up just like my harness too. Nothing wrong with that method, other than it's not reversible without doing the work over again to swap the pigtails back. Not to mention, I personally hate cutting up a wiring harness in any way.

Method 2: You can also crimp on some spade terminals and plug each one into the D21 headlight plug. This method scares me as it isn't hard for one of those to wiggle loose and cause problems, and I don't trust crimp on anything either when it comes to electrical work.

Method 3: What I did was buy a 9003 harness extender from Amazon to wire into my Pathy pigtails, making a plug-and-play harness, that is 100% reversible with no effort.


There is others nicer out there, but I wanted cheap since I was cutting it up anyway. A lot of automotive stores (Autozone, Napa, Carquest, etc.) will have some sort of connector also, but some don't.

So here we go...

You have to make a plug designed to fit this bulb...

Fit into this bulb...

Here is a shot of the Pathy pigtails you have to splice in.

Here is my harness I ordered. I got them pretty quick, and they aren't too badly made. Now you'll need the male end, so don't be a dipshit like me and hack that one off by accident. Cut off the female end, which is blue on this harness.

Then go ahead and strip the Pathy pigtails of their electrical tape, and strip the wire ends off with the strippers. There is 3 wires, black is the ground, and the other 2 are a positive for the high, and low beam.

Now, here is the two laying right next to each other. They wire straight across, and it isn't too hard to figure out. Now I don't recommend you use crimp/butt connectors, or just wrapping the connection in electrical tape, but some people like those methods. I personally twisted them together the correct way, and heat shrinked them up. Just make sure you slide on the heat shrink on one end before you put them together if you do it that way. If I was more ambitious I'd bust out my soldering gun and solder them together, but this should do just fine with the heat shrink.

Just wire the ground up first (black wire), then wire the center wires on the plugs together, and the last one is obvious. I would list wire colors, but my plugs had different colored stripes per side on the red wires.

Here is a shot of the new completed harness with the Pathy pigtail on it. I went ahead and wrapped the whole thing tightly in electrical tape afterwards like the factory harness, it looks very clean. You can use loom if you'd rather, or leave it as-is, but I chose this route for a more factory look.

Now just go plug her in! And if you ever get tired of the Pathfinder front end, you can switch it back in a matter of minutes. Mine is working great, but its a bit late I don't have any shots of it on yet. I'll post some up later.

Last edited by Gordo78; 12-23-2013 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:45 AM   #2
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looks good.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:47 PM   #3
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Stuck. Thanks Gordo
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Old 12-23-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
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very nice write up...
96 HB XE
SAS'd D44 3-link on 35s
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Old 12-23-2013, 04:24 PM   #5
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NP fellas. I get so much off of this site, I can give back when I can.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:34 AM   #6
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I like that you mentioned soldering. Up until recently I did all my electrical work with crimps or by twisting and taping. I recently got hooked on the Mighty Car Mods videos and will only solder and heat shrink from now on. Marty is a soldering god!
1997 HB XE KA24E 5-Speed HF35

Last edited by JohnnyRingo; 12-24-2013 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 12-24-2013, 02:37 AM   #7
I'm The Juggernaut B&#@^!
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I didn't solder mine though, just because I didn't want to mess with it at the time. If I was actually splicing the pigtails into the factory harness without a doubt i'd solder. BUUUUT heat shrink makes a world of difference on anything.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:38 PM   #8
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When I build my truck, Im going to have both options of plugs to be able to convert back if I choose to.
My stable of Nissan trucks includes:
1987 Nissan King Cab(full frame off Restoration).
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