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Old 06-28-2010, 03:51 PM   #1
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More brake light problems

I'm about to embark on a trip from Phoenix to Northern California and I have encountered a problem. My brake lights, turn signals and hazard lights work fine during the day but at night while my lights are on when I hit the brake the right brake light goes out. I also noticed that the light itself is more dim than the left. I checked at the brake light for shorts and found none, I also checked at the pigtail which also seems to be complete circuits. I did realize that the PO did some creative wiring which you will see in the pictures. At this junction I have checked to make sure that all circuits are complete but I am unsure of what the little black circuit is for. Any ideas on my problem?
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:05 PM   #2
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Could this problem be at the Univolt? Cuz I hear a hum when I hit the brake.
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:31 PM   #3
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Sounds like a 'ground' problem - when a light is dim, it's usually a bad ground connection - that could also cause some other strange outages...

check the socket itself, to make sure the bulb is getting good contact on the center contact, and the socket itself, which is the actual 'ground' connection...

Also then check bot the leads from the socket to their next contact point - our AS has a bunch of connections in the rear for the tail/stop/backup lights...something could be loose...


If that fails, check around the fuse panel where the wiring has been modified...

I don't like to see those 'twist connectors' for 12 volt wiring - they can be disconnected too easily - use some crimp but connectors and get rid of those yellow twisters...

Bad ground connections cause some strange things with the light circuits....

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Old 06-28-2010, 05:23 PM   #4
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Thanks MexRay, I'll give that a check
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:54 PM   #5
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When you apply the brake, the hum you hear is most likely the electric trailer brakes activating.

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Old 06-28-2010, 05:57 PM   #6
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Duh, sometimes the most obvious eludes me. Thanks Moose
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:59 PM   #7
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The creative wiring isn't it. You have a bad ground on the right brake/turn lamp assembly.
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:01 PM   #8
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How do I find where the bad ground is?
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:19 PM   #9
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Take the tail light out and clean the ground wire and be sure it's screwed down tight when you put it back together.
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:23 PM   #10
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I'll give that a try, thanks
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:16 PM   #11
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could it be the bulb itself?
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azfiredog300 View Post
How do I find where the bad ground is?

I have three utility trailers I tow and every spring I start over with lights. The way I check to see if the ground is bad is to test the ground with a jumper wire grounded to the frame in a clean way. I test the jumper with a resistance meter. If the light works bright with the jumper, I usually just end up running a new ground to the frame. Sometimes just relocating the ground will work. I seldom find a bad wire. It's usually the ground contact point that's the problem.

With clearance lights, I just replace the fixtures when I have to service one. With the tail lights and break lights, sometimes the light fixture has a bad socket. Those should be replaceable. Your dim light tells me it's the ground.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:03 AM   #13
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Hi, like everyone else, it sounds like a bad ground at that light.

(1.) Connect a wire to a solid ground and hold the other end to the base of the light socket/housing; It should make the light brighter. [if it is a bad ground]

(2.) Use a test light, connecting the clip to a good ground and touching the point of the test light to the light socket base/housing; If the light gets brighter or the test light, lights up, you have a bad ground.

(3.) Somewhat rare, but I have had them, An internally grounded bulb or a dual filament bulb where one filament has broken on one end and has dropped and is touching the second filament.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:38 AM   #14
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thanks much for the info, got my work cut out for me tomorrow.
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