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Old 10-02-2015, 09:11 AM   #1
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1981 28' Airstream 280
Lisle sur Tarn , France
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problem of lights...

Hello. grrrrr, my front cluster lights and side clearance lights don't work anymore ( rear is ok )
I can see anything in the packet of wires-spaghettis ...
Can you say me what is the following way (and colour) of the wire for these lights ? Or where can I see it around the fuses block ?
Thank you.
Marc
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:52 AM   #2
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I understand your frustration. The wiring on motorhomes of that era was poorly done and virtually no documentation ever seemed to be available, so I doubt that you will be able to find the issue (s) and solution from any advice here.

Be sure that the problem is not the actual lights and sockets themselves. After 34 years it is very common that there is power to the lights, but time has taken it's toll on the internal connections. Although it might sound impossible that each light has corroded and is not working in some way, I have seen it happen. So, first be sure that there is really no power to the lights before you go farther.

The second issue that you may find is poor grounding (earthing is a term sometimes used in UK english). On Airstream motorhomes of that era, many times the negative wires were bundled together and riveted to the metal frame in some location. Over time the rivet loses strength and the contacts are lost. This is especially true under the dash and around the instruments. It can cause you hours of frustration. Always check for (-) connection issues on old Airstream Motorhomes first, especially if the problem you are chasing is intermittent or acting very strange.

At least electrical circuits are universal and not related to language. So a person good with electrical issues in any area world wide should be able to understand what is needed to make any circuit work. However, they may laugh and poke fun at how this famous American icon was wired and built. And they would be right too.

So, again, my best wishes to you in finding the problem (s) involved. It may take some time to locate the issues involved, but in the end the circuits are simple and universal. There is virtually nothing electronic on your 34 year old Airstream, and that is a blessing. It is electronic issues and "black box" computer things which will make our current 2015 units un repairable in another 34 years.
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Old 10-02-2015, 11:12 AM   #3
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1982 31' Airstream 310
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Idroba just gave you the best advice you can get on these old rigs...one thing I have finally learned on my 310 and its electrical issues....always always always start with the easiest things first. Fuse, ground, power then move on to relays and switches. Sometimes it just magically starts working again too

Mike
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Old 10-02-2015, 11:43 AM   #4
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I always start by checking the ground connections. I think for me about 80% of the time the ground connection ends up being the problem.

Good luck!

Brad
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Old 10-02-2015, 03:29 PM   #5
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Generally Motor Homes are built on a chassis supplied by one of the major manufactures. Those chassis are shipped to the factory completely road worthy as far as all driving equipment is concerned. That said the lights are generally part of that. You should be able to find documentation as to color code on the light switch from the manufacture and work out from there. This may be a starting point.

GM headlight switches had habit of melting the parking light wire right at the connector to the switch because it was undersized.

Picture shows where mine melted and the jumper I installed to fix it. GM sells a kit to do that for about $60.00 but the kit is all White wires, great help.
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Old 10-02-2015, 04:53 PM   #6
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Oooooooh how I wish that were true with the wiring on these Airstream Classic Motorhomes. The light switch IS GM but the dash controls are a mish mash of different brands.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:31 AM   #7
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1981 28' Airstream 280
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Okayyyy. The grounding is right because if I put +12v on 1 of the light, the 5 are on. So ground is ok and wire between lights are ok. Fuses and main power are ok because the rear is ok... It seems a problem of wire between this group of lights and its connexion...somewhere.

But, google is my friend and I found a doc which say :"The upper clearance lights are fed through the ICC blink switch which picks up power from the head light switch".... I am going to investigate ....
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:35 AM   #8
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campkahler.com/files/310-service-manual.pdf
is my source...
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:46 AM   #9
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...But I don't think My Excella has a ICC switch ----- lol . But perhaps the connexion is close to headlights or something like this.
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Old 10-03-2015, 06:27 AM   #10
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Youre Excella doesnt have an icc switch, they came out later. There should be a splice in the wire coming from your headlight switch, under the dash, that goes to your clearance lights. Thats where your clearance lights are powered. If your tail lights are workng I think I would check the connections at the back of the headlight switch next. Look for the wire that has that splice in it and check its connection at the back of the switch. The splice is fairly close to the back of the switch. Within a few inches. Thats the wire that powers your headlights.
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:34 AM   #11
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Et meeeeerrrrde (french in the text ) ! I can't find it.... Tomorrow will be a other day. ˘˘˘˘˘˘mmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 10-10-2015, 01:31 AM   #12
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Ok, I ran a wire from the line of clearance lights to the dash between the windscreens : more simple for...my mind !
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