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Old 04-17-2011, 03:22 PM   #1
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One Wire Running Lights---Effects on Grounding

I have started the conversion of my running lights to LED having replaced the 4 ambers up front. In all my research, I have yet to find a LED double bullseye light that will match my existing ones that comes with 2 wires. The one wire thing bothers me in that even though they ground to the skin and work, by the time I change out all of them, 11 in all, the bulk of the grounding system is useless. Not to mention that the ground wire has to be left dead-ended inside the wall since there is no way to mount the light flush to the skin if you don't. I have spent way too much time trying to figure out a way to do just that and it's not happening.

It seems that the majority of troubles that people have with the running lights is often traced to the ground wires so it doesn't seem like such a good idea to eliminate them. Plus if you should need to get to the wire for future use, well, it's time to remove furniture and pull panels to get them out of the walls. Don't want to do that again.

I really like the ones I have installed so far but the more I think about it the less I want to remove the old ones, even though they need it. Trailer is 10 years old now and the sun has taken it's toll on them.

I like to be proactive about this kind of stuff but may be over thinking it.
Any thoughts about long term issues with ground wires being unhooked.
Anyone have a for sure, known source for 2 wire LED lights that will match????

Thanks,
TB
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:25 PM   #2
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TB...I imagine many of us on the forum are asking the same questions. I purchased all new LED running lights for our "78" Ambassador. Like you, I question the wisdom of loosing the ground wire within the walls. Will be interested to see how others feel. I am not aware of any LED lights with two wires.

Bob
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:47 PM   #3
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I am confused by the above. "losing the ground wire behind the skin". To my knowledge the skin is the ground plane for the entire trailer. Please give further details.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:00 PM   #4
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"Losing" ground wire

Twinkie,

I think RRunner meant the same thing that I did about "losing" the ground wire in the wall. My original lights had 2 wires, one ground one power. When you put the 1 wire kind on the trailer, you are left with an unattached ground wire that doesn't hook up to the new light, so it must be tucked back through the outer skin to rest inside the wall.

The LED lights that I'm using are sealed on the back, as I think most are, so you have no place to put an unused wire except in the wall.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:21 PM   #5
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I see

Are the light fixtures so flat on the back that you couldn't jus leave the tail sticking thru the hole and folded over. It's the ground, so it won't hurt anything if it touches; just clip it off square.
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:08 AM   #6
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Hi, not seeing what you are talking about, [no pictures] but assuming that the new lights have two mounting screws to hold them in place, I would put crimp-on eyes on the ground wires and run one of the mounting screws through them.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, not seeing what you are talking about, [no pictures] but assuming that the new lights have two mounting screws to hold them in place, I would put crimp-on eyes on the ground wires and run one of the mounting screws through them.

YES! What Robert said. If there is room, redundant grounds are ALWAYS a good thing.

If you CAN'T us the ground wire, tape it up with the positive lead so you don't "lose" it.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:22 AM   #8
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I would strip the ground wire back about an inch. Then sand the skin a little behind the light and pinch the stripped wire between the new light and the skin. I wouldn't hurt to use some anti-corrode wire stuff for aluminum wire on the sanded skin, since the skin is aluminum. That way you know the aluminum segment that the light is attached to has a good ground.
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