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Old 07-06-2002, 06:04 AM   #1
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Why would someone do this?

When I picked up my trailer, we found that it had some tail-light problems, one of which was that there is no power going to the backup lights. After troubleshooting, we found that there is no continuity through the "umbilical cord". So we took the plugs off, and found that the wire for the backup lights was not only not attached to its terminal, it had been cut back an inch or more, so that it couldn't even reach the terminal. Its almost like someone was trying to prevent the backup lights from being used. There is continuity from the plug on the front of the trailer to the backup lights; I'm just wondering, if I send electricity down this circuit, is something going to catch fire? was this preventive measure done intentionally, or was it just a goof, and a "bah, you don't need backup lights, anyway...". Hmmm.....
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Old 07-06-2002, 08:41 AM   #2
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Re: Why would someone do this?

Quote:
Originally posted by chuck
I'm just wondering, if I send electricity down this circuit, is something going to catch fire? was this preventive measure done intentionally, or was it just a goof, and a "bah, you don't need backup lights, anyway...". Hmmm.....
Could happen, I would start with a continuity tester and check for shorts and opens.
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Old 07-06-2002, 08:48 AM   #3
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did that...seems that there is continuity from the plug on the front of the trailer to the backup lights.
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Old 07-10-2002, 02:34 PM   #4
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Chuck,

You said you checked continuity from the plug to the taillight and found it to be fine. But did you do what Jim was saying and check your continuity from the backup wire to ground? A short is more dangerous than an open. Something to consider: Did the factory get too aggresive when they stripped the backup wire for the plug. I have seen it happen on many occasions and have done it myself. Vibration on the road may cause a nicked wire to break off at the end of the insulation. Can you see into the back of the connector and tell if there is a piece of wire attached to the backup connector pin? Backup lights may be the most overlooked item when doing your preflight checkout.

Good Luck,
Larry

P.S. Have you located any gaskets for your taillight lenses? Let me know when you do. I have not detected any leaks yet but after 29 years mine have to be worn out. What material are the olds ones made out of? Are they rubber, fiber, or something else? I have made rubber gaskets for past projects using an old bicycle inner tube. They are thinner than what was used on cars.
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Old 07-10-2002, 02:56 PM   #5
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A prior owner may not have had the backup lights wired in to their tow vehicle and cut the wire back to be sure that they would not hook up??? I know on many of the newer tow vehicles that the wiring is designed to handle the load of multiple back up lights but there could have been an overload of the circuit on an older tow vehicle, hence the mod?? Not trying to justify it, just trying to come up with a plausable reason for the modification.
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Old 07-10-2002, 03:32 PM   #6
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This wire was definately cut...not an oversite. I think that there is probably a short. The one I tested showed continuity...the other is so badly corroded, the springy-contact thing is stuck. It needs replacement, and I'm betting that this is why they disconnected the wire altogether. The "old man" is on it, as we speak. (good to have a dad that's an electrical guru and is retired, has time, and is willing to sort all of this out ).

Never found gaskets...didn't look too hard, though. I think I'm just going to replace the lights, and be done with it. they're corroded and leaky. My only problem there was figuring out how they are secured in the housing. (no one has addressed that question that I posted.) I think I found the answer, though, on the "other" airstream board. someone else asked the exact same question, and andy answered it. If he saw the question here, he probably thought he'd already answered it...I'm sure he answers a ton of ??? every day....Anyway, they're riveted from the inside. (wonder why?...). We saw the tails of the pop-rivets, but figured that someone had nailed the skin to the back of the tail light inadvertantly.....
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Old 07-10-2002, 03:53 PM   #7
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Depending on how deep the hole in the tail light assembly is you may be able to drill out the rivets from the oustide (exterior) and remove the tail lights, then to reinstall insert a long enough pop or olympic rivet into the hole in the tail light assembly and back thru the skin. If you attemt this I would suggest using olympics as they have alot better holding power on the inside that a regular old pop rivet.

If PeterH still has the piece of AL that was used as a rivet demo at the Mystic Springs rally he might be able to post a pic to show the diffrent type of grabbing/holding power.
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