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Old 03-01-2004, 08:38 PM   #1
Herritt
 
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1973 25' Tradewind
Victoria , BC
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Unhappy brake/turn lights

Its seems I just lost my brake and turn sigal lights. All the marker lights at the top front and back work. Last year I was told my lights were very dim.

I know where the access panel for the harness plug is. ( on the inside under the fwd dinnete table.

Do any know where the wires run back to the tail lights. I have did a little reading on the fourm. Someone said it was in the belly pan. At the moment I have the last three feet of the belly pan down and no wiring to be seen.

Does anyone know where the wiring harness run on the '73 Trade wind. 25' ?

I have the service manual with the wiring dirgram but it doesn't give where the wiring run.


Herritt
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:49 PM   #2
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sockets?

before you tear into your wiring harness, take a look at the sockets in your tail lights.

you should confirm that you have voltage there first.

john
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:56 PM   #3
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I will take these lights out and meter the sockets. I had them out last year because of the dim lights. I think there there was something weird at that time with the voltage. It seems as if the brake/turn light was getting it power on the marker segment of the light unit. Its one of there sealed light units with three pin concector. Should there be any resistance between the marker wire and the brake/turn wire or should it read open?
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:20 PM   #4
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brake/turn lights

Greetings Herritt!

Have you tried cleaning/replacing the connector sockets on your coach's umbilical cord? When I had problems with no brakes the problem was with corrossion on the terminals in the connectors - - new connectors on both the tow vehicle and trailer end cured the problem - - it was amazing the amount of corrossion that was present on both ends - - this was after less than six years after the previous replacement of the connectors.

Kevin
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Old 03-02-2004, 12:38 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input, My first step will to clean all the contacts on both ends of the umbilical cord. The 7way connector on the truck and on the airstream. After that will be the check for voltage at the lights them self if that doesn't solve the problem. I will keep you posted on my progress.
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Old 03-02-2004, 07:49 AM   #6
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Bad ground

Quote:
Originally posted by Herritt
I think there there was something weird at that time with the voltage. It seems as if the brake/turn light was getting it power on the marker segment of the light unit. Its one of there sealed light units with three pin concector. Should there be any resistance between the marker wire and the brake/turn wire or should it read open?
Hmm, sounds suspiciously like a bad ground. Most likely, the big ground between your Airstream (A/S), and the tow vehicle (T/V).

Your dual-element bulbs, i.e. the combination stop/turn/tail light bulbs, share a common ground. If the ground between the T/V & A/S is bad, and you turn on the taillights, the power goes through the higher resistance tail light filament first. With no ground (return path), it then proceeds through the stop light filament. Still in search of a ground, the power will back-track up the brake/turn signal wire until it finds the brakelights in the T/V. It will then pass through that filament, and finally find ground.

Since the brake/turn signal filament has less resistance than the tail light filament, you will probably see it glow even though you only turned on the tail lights.

But with so many resistances in the way, everything will be dim.

While I can't express things as well as my hero, markdoane, please feel to ask questions. Although, to me, it is fun to understand exactly what is wrong, you may find it easier to just thoroughly examine your ground connections. Start with the 7-pin connector - don't depend on the ground being established by the hitch.

Hope this helps,
Tom
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Old 04-19-2004, 06:55 PM   #7
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Unhappy

Back up lights would burn all the time if bulbs were not removed on my '76 overlander. Everything else normal. Help
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockcutter
Back up lights would burn all the time if bulbs were not removed on my '76 overlander. Everything else normal. Help
I would start by seeing how your tow vehicle is wired. The seven pin wiring was not standardized years ago. In fact, I do not know if it is considered standardized today.

Off hand, it sounds like your backup lights are wired to the "charge line" from the tow vehicle. Sounds like you need to plan an hour or two with a volt-ohm-meter or test light & hopefully an assistant, and verify the trailer wiring is compatible with the tow vehicle.

Please reply or PM if you would like help in starting this task.

Tom
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Old 04-19-2004, 08:05 PM   #9
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backup lights

Thanks for reply. Mabey tackle this problem again next fall.
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Old 04-19-2004, 09:40 PM   #10
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brake/turn lights

Greetings rockcutter!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!

Quote:
Back up lights would burn all the time if bulbs were not removed on my '76 overlander. Everything else normal. Help
This is very typical of a situation where you have a modern tow vehicle wired to the current standard and an Airstream or Argosy wired to the Airstream standard of the 1970s. I experienced similar difficulties with both my '64 Overlander and my '78 Minuet (in fact my Minuet paralleled yours).

You can find the current standart that your tow vehicle is likely wired to at:

Bargman Plug - Modern Wiring Standard

The standard that your 1976 Overlander was wired to can be found at:

1966-1981 Airstream Bargman Plug Wiring Standard

In what is likely your current circumstance (this was true with my Minuet), you have constant on backup lights but absolutely no charging of the coach's battery while underway; and I also suspect that the trailer brakes may not be matched up between the two plugs.

When I towed my Minuet for the first time, I had to install a new Bargman plug and wired it to the modern standard using the functions denoted in the modern wiring diagram cited above matching the function of the Airstream wires (colors do not necessarily match modern color coding) to the terminal applications on the modern wiring diagram (used a 12-volt garden tractor battery with alligator clips to test the function of each of the Airstream wires). It was a rather simple job that would have taken less than an hour had it not been early August with 90+ temperatures and 90%+ humidity.

Good luck with your umbilical wiring!

Kevin
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Old 04-20-2004, 08:49 PM   #11
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Thumbs up

Thanks Keven for valuable info. Copyed all wireing info & will work on this problem next winter. Until then, I must get there before dark. :
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Old 04-22-2004, 09:12 PM   #12
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Twelve volt and 120 volt wiring, since 1969, is contained in the "multi-dome," which is the center ceiling panel.

It is easily removed.

However, most all wiring problems, especially 12 volts, are at the sockets or terminals.

Going into the "multi-dome" should be saved for a "last resort."

Andy
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