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Old 06-08-2012, 10:32 PM   #1
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Rewiring tail lights for led replacement

I have purchased the led replacement lenses for my 1976 Argosy 26'. Unfortunatley, some has disconnected the wires from the housing. The two outer lights have 3 wire and the two inner lights only have 2 wires. I don't know how to rewire them so the 1157 bulb replacements will function. Does the white wire ground have to attach at the common ground for the ac/dc grounds?
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:07 AM   #2
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Can you throw up a picture of what ya got?
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:35 PM   #3
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how do i get pictures on this forum?
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:27 PM   #4
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In the reply window at the bottom of the page, I click on the go advanced tab.

Then I click on the paper clip on the top tool bar of the reply window. That will open a window to upload a photo from your hard drive or from a URL.

Upload the picture and in the reply text window, click on the paper clip again and the attached picture should appear in the window (maybe as HTML code).

Write or paste the text, and click on preview post and when it's the way you want, click on submit reply.

Copy and paste a picture from another site works too. I use Photobucket.

Play with it. It's easy. You can edit posts for a few minutes too.
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:26 PM   #5
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Wiring tail lights on Argosy

Here is a picture of the tail light wires. I have the right lights to plug in but not sure how to ground the 3 wire side. Do I need to ground the white wire to the light can and then to the frame? Do I need to connect all 4 of the white wires and ground them to the frame? Or should the ground to the can be sufficient?
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:33 PM   #6
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Without taking mine apart to look at them, my guess is you need to connect the white wire to the light can. The base of the 1157 bulb also connects to the light can. That completes the - (negative) side of the light.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:23 PM   #7
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Susan,
Yes, the white wires (negative AKA ground) are connected to the cans for each light. The dark wires are the positive wires for the running/tail lights. The yellow wire is the positive wire for the turn signal/stop light which is on your outermost light assembly on each side. I'm mentioning the positive/negative aspect as LEDs will work only if connected with the correct polarity.

If you are re using your old cans (shown in your picture), the 1157 LED bulb will not work for the inner lamp assemblies as they have a single, center positive contact and the 1157 bulbs have offset dual contacts. Also, bulbs with dual contacts will only go into the sockets one way as the socket slots and bulb protrusions are offset (one is high and the other is lower).

Here's a picture of my rear lamp assemblies. The outboard units are just like your trailer. My trailer has identical inner and outer can assemblies which is different from you trailer. The center can is for back up lamps.


1. Just connect the two white wires on the left side together and also connect the two white wires on the right side together. Inside your trailer, the white wires are already connected to each other.
2. Are you reusing your existing cans,
3. Did you buy two or four 1157 LED bulbs?
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:51 PM   #8
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It's not clear from your description and pictures exactly what you have. You say that you bought replacement led "lenses". Does that mean that you are not using led bulbs? Or have you purchased led bulbs that are intended to go into your original sockets? Your picture does not show any fixture. If you have the reflectors with the sockets, then Steve's picture should solve the problem. If you only have the wires, then you will need the reflectors with their sockets to accept the bulbs. If you have led panels built into new lenses then the wires from them probably end in a piece that looks like a bulb base intended to fit into existing sockets. If that is the case, and you don't have the reflector/socket assemblies, just cut the wires and attach them to the correct ones in the trailer a la Steve's description. As was noted by others, the cylindrical part of the socket serves as the ground for the bulb to which it is electrically connected through the reflector and the two wire socket has one central terminal in the bottom. The three wire socket has two terminals in the bottom of the socket. The second and third wire in both cases is the ground. The bulbs have keyed bases that prevent you from installing them into the wrong sockets or in the wrong orientation. Phew!
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:13 AM   #9
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Tmi lol
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:33 PM   #10
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Thank you for the picture. That helps alot. I do have the cans but I am having to replace the sockets as I don't know what my "friend" did with them. I have been able to find one that has the groove and have made the other. I have the leds that plug into the sockets and see that the 1156 and 1157 are different. I have new pigtails but not sure which way the wires go. I guess if it doesn't work I'll turn it the other way. That is if it ever stops raining here in florida.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by susans69 View Post
I have new pigtails but not sure which way the wires go. I guess if it doesn't work I'll turn it the other way. That is if it ever stops raining here in florida.
The negative (white) wires from the trailer connect to the cans which in turn electrically connect to the cylindrical portion of the sockets. This is true for both the 1156 and 1157 (and any other similar "bayonet" style bulb). The little solder contacts at the base of the bulbs connect to wires that are positive (either park/running lights or stop/turn signal lights depending on whether the bulb is single purpose [1156] or dual purpose [1157]).

It will stop raining on the Gulf. I just wish you could send some of the moisture to Kansas and the surrounding states!
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:40 PM   #12
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Thank you, Steve. The cans are in a fiberglass housing that is attached to the trailer therefore I am not sure this will be a complete ground. Does the wire on the back of the can need to attach to the aluminum skin of the trailer or the chasis?

The sun came back out today in full force.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:04 AM   #13
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Just completed LED refurb on my Argosy 26. In your picture you can see a hole in the skin above where the wires come out of the body. The light "cans" were also grounded there with a sheet metal screw.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by susans69 View Post
Thank you, Steve. The cans are in a fiberglass housing that is attached to the trailer therefore I am not sure this will be a complete ground. Does the wire on the back of the can need to attach to the aluminum skin of the trailer or the chasis?

The sun came back out today in full force.
Susan,
Your comment and question tell me that you're understanding some of the important nuances of dealing with things electrical. This is all goodness!

The metallic can is the source of ground for the bulb/LED (and therefore the negative terminal of the battery). If that can were not connected to the vehicle ground using a wire connected to the trailer ground then the fiberglass housing would be a barrier (insulator) to the flow of electricity. So the bottom line is if the white wire from the can is connected via the wire nut to the white (ground) wire of the trailer, the electricity can flow from the negative terminal of the battery to the cylindrical portion of the bulb or LED.

I hope that this helps. Let me know if you have further questions. Also, when you get finished, you might want to post a picture of your LED illuminated rear lights.
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