Wiring Euro Spec. Tail Lights Into A US Spec. 240-Z

Contributed By: Mark Ross, IZCC #3186

The Purpose of this page is to tell you how to properly wire your US Spec. DATSUN 240-Z to install the Euro Spec. 240-Z Tail Lights.

Last up-date- 04 March 2005 ..cjb
Please E-Mail Comments To Carl Beck at: beck@becksystems.com
The Following is re-published from the "THE GROUP-Z ADVISOR" as transcribed and contributed by Mark Ross.
I want to update the looks of my '72 240Z with those snazzy "European" style taillights. I bought the lights, but when I pulled the rear interior moulding panel I discovered that my stock wiring0harness connectors don't match the new ones! I see that I can use the old wiring harness by just plugging the old bulb sockets into the new units, but this will give me amber lights when I brake and flash the red lens when I signal for a turn. What can I do?

To do it right, you have to run a wire from your brake switch to your taillights. You'll need the following materials for the job:
1. 16 guage wire (25 feet if your the exacting type - the "CAROL ALL PURPOSE WIRE" in the 35 foot blister pack lets you be sloppy and survive.
2. Wire strippers and cutters.
3. Wirenuts or solder and a soldering iron (solder is better electrically, but use wirenuts if you're not good at it; you have to make about a dozen connections).
4. Black tape or shrink tubing (if you solder).
5. A wire coat-hanger that can be bent straight.
6. Miscellaneous tools (pliers, screwdrivers, etc.) to facilitate removing and installing panels and moulding. Assuming that you've physically installed the taillights and have the rear internal trim panel removed (not the little screw-on inspection plates, but the large moulded plastic panel that fits across the back), remove the following interior panels:
A. The black metal trim panel between the windshield and the dash (held in place with philips-head screws).
B. The upholstered side panel behind and to the right of the passenger's seat (to the passenger's right when seated). This panel is held in with spring clip fasteners and can be removed with a long flatbladed screwdriver used as a prying tool.
C. The moulded plastic right rear quarter panel (it is not necessary to remove the plastic panel above the shock tower).
Now remove the rug from in front of the passenger's seat and peel back the vinyl covering that runs along the bottom of the doorframe. You'll find a taped wire bundle running parallel to the side of the car. Follow the bundle forward and you'll find that it turns upward and disappears behind the "kick panel" on the right. If you look above the top of the kick panel, you'll see that the wire bundle goes up under the dash.

Unroll your coil of wire and find a spot about eight feet from one end as a reference point. This spot should go behind the kick panel with the eight foot end coming out at the top. You should be able to pull the forward side of the panel far enough away from the firewall to squeeze the wire past without removing the panel.

Straighten out that wire coat-hanger with a pair of pliers and bend one end over in a little "U". Insert the coat-hanger thru open space in the center of the dash and feed it toward the right side of the car until it comes out above the kick panel. Attach the end of your wire to the end of the coat-hanger (crimp it in the "U" with the pliers) and pull the wire thru the top of the dash.

Undo the wire from the coat-hanger and repeat the procedure from beneath the dash by the steering column. When done, you should have the wire hanging down across the steering column just below the dash.

Now find the connector that comes from your turn-signal switch and plugs into the main under-dash wiring harness. It will be a six wire plug with only five wires in use. To facilitate identification, the five wires are colored as follows:
White with a red stripe
White with a black stripe
Green with a yellow stripe
Green with a red stripe
Green with a black stripe
The green wire with a yellow stripe is the brake switch output. Cut it flush with the connector body on the dash side of the plug (this allows you to replace your turn-signal switch without rewiring, should it go bad in the future). Solder your new wire to this lead and tape it securely (if you use a wirenut, tape it back out of the way).

Now pull the slack out of the wire from the bottom of the kick panel on the right side. Run the new wire along the stock wire bundle beneath the vinyl doorframe moulding toward the rear of the car. When the bundle turns up and enters the body, follow it with the coat-hanger (you should be getting good at this), but this time attach the end of the wire to the coat-hanger before it goes behind the steel framing. You should be able to push it up and back until it appears near the little gasoline vapor tank (you may need a friend to grab it for you).

Pull the wire thru the body from the back until the slack is taken up. Run it behind the pipes and tuck it into the corner so there won't be any stress on it later.

Now you get to do the serious wiring!
Take one of the socket sets that came with your new taillights and examine it. Two of the sockets are wired for double filament bulbs (they have two wires coming out of the socket base instead of one). Cut these two out of the set, leaving enough wire on the sockets to work with (about 4 inches should be adequate).

The two loose sockets from your new wiring will replace the two sockets above the back-up lights in the stock arrangement. Assuming that you have your stock sockets plugged into your new taillights, remove and examine the two sockets above the back-up lights (the inside top socket on each taillight). They should each be single filament sockets with only a black ground wire and a green wire with a white stripe (the green wire with a white stripe is the running light wire). Cut these two sockets out of the circuit, leaving enough wire in the circuit to work with.

Now solder and tape (or wirenut) the new sockets to the old wiring, matching wire colors (black to black, green with white to green with white).

Examine the old wiring to the one original dual filament socket in each taillight (the outside top socket). There should be a black ground wire, a green wire with a white stripe (the running light wire), and another green wire with either a black or a red stripe (depending on whether you're looking at the left or right taillight). Follow the green wires with the red and black stripes until they come to a junction or bundle and cut them there. Cut them again about 4 inches from the sockets. Tape up the bundle ends - they are now superfluous (don't tape up the ends coming out of the sockets).

You should now have five loose wire ends - the one that you strung from the front of the car and one from each of the four top sockets. Solder or wirenut all of these ends together, and test your lights! If all is well, the red lens should be brakes and running lights and the amber lens should blink.