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Old 12-23-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
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Help! Running lights problem

Four of our running lights went out yesterday while towing. The three lights across the front and the front light on the street side are out. The other six running lights and the tail lights are still working.

1966 Safari 22.

Anyone have any experience with something like this?

Where do I look to get into that circuit?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:54 AM   #2
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On my '63, the wires come from the street side floor at the forward end of the wall, and head up to the side marker (wire nut) then up and across the upper markers.

I would start by pulling the street side marker and fishing out the wire. If that doesn't give you a solution, ya may have to pull lower interior panel that covers the street side marker.

Good luck!
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:49 PM   #3
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Thanks!

I've replaced the front street side marker light with a new LED unit that I'd been intending to install. All I found with the wiring was that someone had used a blue crimp connector where a red one was the appropriate size.

Meanwhile, the gremlin has proved to be intermittent. When I tried the lights this morning before starting to work on them, they were all working.

Thanks for giving me the location for the next place to look. I'll hope I don't have to tear into the interior, but it's nice to know where to go if that becomes necessary.

Have a great holiday!
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:32 AM   #4
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Same lights failed again towing home on a dark night Christmas. Fortunately, the back lights and the tail lights still worked.

Would appreciate any ideas anyone has that would help me fix this with minimum disassembly of the trailer.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:06 AM   #5
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Same lights failed again towing home on a dark night Christmas. Fortunately, the back lights and the tail lights still worked.

Would appreciate any ideas anyone has that would help me fix this with minimum disassembly of the trailer.
The clearance lights are wired from one to the next.

There is a splice in the wire on the backside of each clearance light.

The wire also goes, so to speak, in series, from one to the next.

Check the wiring behind the last clearance light that's working, as well as behind the clearance light that "is not" work, which will be next to the light that still works.

Sounds confusing, but it really not.

Andy
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:43 PM   #6
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Thanks, Andy!

The remaining question is where does the circuit start? I have two possibilities as to which is the last light working--streetside rear or curbside forward.

Anyone have even a rough wiring diagram?
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:27 PM   #7
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I'm not sure that the wiring on your 66 is like the wiring on our 67, but the pattern fits. The wiring for those lights is green on ours, and there are two circuits. On our 30', the one circuit goes across the door side and includes the lights in the back (all running lights) and one light on the left rear. The other circuit includes the three lights in front and the two front-most on the left.

The two circuits come together to attach to a green wire in the umbilical. On ours, the connection between all trailer wiring (including the green circuits) to the umbilical is under a small hatch underneath the trailer at the right front. And on ours, we had poor connection on the "other" circuit from yours: All right side, rear, and left-rear running lights were intermittent, though of course usually just when we needed them the most. It only took me a decade to figure this out, but just renewing the connection did the trick.

Hope this helps!


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Old 12-26-2011, 09:54 PM   #8
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Thanks, Andy!

The remaining question is where does the circuit start? I have two possibilities as to which is the last light working--streetside rear or curbside forward.

Anyone have even a rough wiring diagram?
It starts in the front.

Andy
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:29 PM   #9
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Well, yeah it does come from the front. It splits at the front and the right side only goes to the front curb side lamp. On my '63, main wires head down the left side. The first main split goes to the left front forward side marker...then it splices and goes to the upper top lights. The main continues toward the rear.

If the front left light is not working, that's the first one in the chain, if it's like mine.

My guess is the left front LED upgrade disrupted the 40+ year old splice...
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:44 AM   #10
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On our 63 Safari 22 most all exterior lighting concerns ended up being ground circuit related. Found that wire nuts were a better solution than in-line crimp connectors or brittle soldered wire repairs. Our wiring also ran to the streetside top then split and ran rearward.

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Old 12-27-2011, 09:09 AM   #11
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None of the clearance lights worked on my trailer when I got it. I made lights a checklist item along with the other maintenance. I replaced all the clearance fixtures with new sealed led fixtures on new gaskets over soldered wire connections. I also replaced all the bulbs in all the tail light fixtures and installed new OEM lenses. Everything worked the first time I tested.

My circuit started at the 7-way fuse panel which I also replaced. All the ground wires came to the front as loose leads. I twisted them all together, added a new #10 wire lead, painted the twist with plumber's flux, and soldered them all together with a map gas torch. Then I cleaned and made a new ground wire body connection.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:48 PM   #12
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Got it!

Thanks everyone!

I think I've found the problem. When I pulled the "working" curbside marker light and fished out the wire nut behind it, the wires connected there had absolutely no insulation left. I presume one of those wires goes down to the box under the trailer where both circuits connect to the umbilical and the other connects to the "not working" four lights across the front of the trailer and the front street side light.

Next priority is lunch, then to the auto supply store for some green wire (appropriate gauge). Then it's fish and pray and fish some more until all those bad wires have been replaced.

You've all been great help. Thanks again.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:05 PM   #13
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Fishing instructions?

Does anyone have suggestions/instructions for fishing new wiring to the front running lights on our '66 Safari?

The wiring at the front curbside light has the insulation burned off both the wire that feeds the power up from the umbilical connector and the wire that feeds across to the other four front lights. It appears the wire used was too small to carry the current required to operate the original five incandescent running light assemblies.

The light on the curbside end of the row of three lights across the front of the trailer shows the same damage.

I'll get into the other lights tomorrow to see how far the bad wiring really goes.

Can this be done without taking the interior skins out of the trailer?
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:22 PM   #14
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Fried wire

Finally, the running and tail lights on our Safari are working again. Ended up fishing new 14 ga wire throughout the entire circuit for the front five running lights. Original (or some later) installer had run 18 ga wire to operate all five incandescent running lights. Obviously too much load for such a small wire.

The only circuit protection was a 20 amp fuse in our TV--nothing at all in the trailer. We're very lucky that we didn't lose all the lights on the trailer coming home on a very dark night after a Christmas trip.

New lights are all LED's, the wire is a lot bigger, and each of the two circuits now includes a 10 amp inline fuse.

All the damaged wire was inside the wall of the trailer, and the wires that came through the skin to each light looked OK. Not sure how this could have been detected before it failed, but also really glad we didn't have a fire or get hit on a dark, rainy highway.

Attached pics are of wire I pulled out of that circuit. The piece of wire at the bottom of the pictures is a section of undamaged wire from down where it attached to the umbilical. Most of the rest is so fried that some of it has no insulation left at all.

Thanks again to everyone who pitched in to help.
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