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Old 10-31-2010, 09:06 PM   #15
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Steven,
You were doing it correctly. Try another wire like the brake lights or back up lights and see what happens. If they work, then you have an open or short in your running lights circuit.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:10 PM   #16
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Mike the reason I thought I wasn't doing it correctly is because I tried the exat same jump on the other lights that had been working and I couldn't get them to light up with the battery charger. Can I use just a 12v battery?
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:16 PM   #17
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You can use a battery. Remember it is sometimes hard to get a good ground. Once you are sure your ground wire is good then you can check each circuit. Adios, John
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:20 PM   #18
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How would I ground it properly if I use a battery?
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:28 PM   #19
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I would ground the battery negitive terminal to the trailer shell. Or to both the shell and frame.A jumper wire with an aligator clip will work, or clamp, screw or vise grip the wire to the shell. Also you may want to hook to the ground on the 7 pin connecter to make sure your tow vehicle to trailer ground is good. Bad grounds are very commen on these old dogs. Adios, John
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:33 PM   #20
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OK reading through some other posts I found the last light I didn't check/replace was the license plate light. Will check that one out first thing am
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:04 PM   #21
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More stuff to try.

Does your battery charger have a meter? If so, when you connect it to the light wiring and don't get a reading one of two things is happening. You are "crowbaring" the charger and it is shutting down due to a short or you don't have a complete circuit. If you touch the two clips on the charger together you should get a spark and the needle on the gauge will peg. The newer style chargers will shut down if you hold the two clips together. You will probably hear a click of the relay that shuts it down.
My guess is that you have a ground problem when connecting the charger if you can't get it to work on other lights that worked. Try connecting the red wire or clip to the brake light wiring, I think you said they worked. Then scratch a clean spot on the frame or skin of the trailer and connect the black lead of the charger to that clean spot. You should see it spark if you have a good connection to ground and the meter should have some reading.
When you say the other lights work, are they at full intensity or do they look somewhat dim? If they are dim it is probably due to a poor ground. Other problems that occur include, the bulb is not the correct bulb for that style of socket ie dual filament as opposed to single filament. I know they are not supposed to be interchageable, but you would be amazed to see what can be forced to work. Dirt and moisture in the bulb sockets, oxidation and corrosion.
Can you locate where the ground wire form the umbilical cord connects to the trailer frame? Can you locate a ground wire that connects the frame to the skin? You should have both and they should be at least a 10 guage wire. When you locate them disconnect and clean the termination points and the connectors (eyelets) on the wires. If you cannot locate both wires then install them and try it again. Most, if not all of the lights are connected to the skin to provide a ground. Most umbilical cords are grounded to the frame. If you have a poor connection between the frame and the skin, things will act really wierd. You could be getting a significant voltage drop across a bad connection when testing the marker lights because of the heavier load caused by multiple lights.
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:21 PM   #22
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Success.

I looked at the license plate light. Took it apart. Used a Dremel with a wire brush to clean it out. The part where the wire comes in was corroded so I took a screw melted some soder on the top wrapped a wire on the end and shrink wrapped the wire.

I took the batter from the AS to the front and hooked it up directly to the green wire and the small white ground. No lights. I then also attached it to the large and small ground lights. Voila lights.

I hooked the umbilical cord up and attached the battery to the green and ground on the TV side. Lights. I noticed that not all of the lights were working so I put a liece of black tape near the lights that were not working.

I hooked the AS up to TV and no lights. Found that the fuse for trailer lights had blown. I disconnected the lights that hadn't been working, replaced the fuse and the lights worked.

I went through the lights that hadn't been working and reattached them using new clean screws instead of the nasty screws that had been there in the first place.
I think this was the key thing. They all work now except the street front corner one. I'll have to drill out the rivets to get at the wiring for that one.

A big thanks to everyone for your help!!!

Steve
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:34 AM   #23
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I have close to the same issue with a 71 Sovereign I'm starting on. I show the green wire is grounded when testing at the interiot junction but when I hook a batt. to the rear running light connection at a tail light all the Amber light, the curb Red and plate have power with a 4 V voltage drop(batt could have been down). I have no power to the rear 3 and driver Red, I have replaced all of the markers and see no chafing and all the grommets were in place.
Where and in what order do the running lights connect? I have the entire bath out and the front nose wainscotting sheet metal off but did not want to have to take the end cap out.
Also as I was trying to set up my Trailer plug I see the + brake wires (2-Yellow & a REd) is grounded.
I did buy the Serice CD from the Canandian guy, but doo not see how the wiring is routed.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:21 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bermshot View Post
I have close to the same issue with a 71 Sovereign I'm starting on. I show the green wire is grounded when testing at the interiot junction but when I hook a batt. to the rear running light connection at a tail light all the Amber light, the curb Red and plate have power with a 4 V voltage drop(batt could have been down). I have no power to the rear 3 and driver Red, I have replaced all of the markers and see no chafing and all the grommets were in place.
Where and in what order do the running lights connect? I have the entire bath out and the front nose wainscotting sheet metal off but did not want to have to take the end cap out.
Also as I was trying to set up my Trailer plug I see the + brake wires (2-Yellow & a REd) is grounded.
I did buy the Serice CD from the Canandian guy, but doo not see how the wiring is routed.
Make sure you have good connections at each light, both the positive and ground. Rusty and corroded connection can fail and will fail eventually. Clean all connections so you have bare metal and replace any old rusty screws with new ones. The bottom line is that a bad ground will not allow that light to work. Tackle each light individually and of course make sure the bulbs are good too. Good luck.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:46 AM   #25
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Bermshot I don't quite understand what you mean " I show the green wire is grounded when testing at the interior junction". Since we can't see what you're doing you must be clear as to exactly what is done.
The clearance light sequence is as follows.
From the umbilical connector {umbilical is the cable that connects the trailer to the tow vehicle(TV)} one wire branches off the main and first in that branch is the curbside front clearance light, next from curbside to roadside are the front center clearance lights(3 lights) and terminating with the roadside front clearance light.
The main line runs down the center of the trailer overhead under the center ceiling panel and next are the two center clearance lights (1 roadside and 1 curbside).
The line continues rearward and next is the rear curbside clearance light, then the curbside taillight and then to the three rear overhead clearance lights in sequence from curbside to roadside. Next in line is the roadside taillight and the line terminates with the roadside rear clearance light.
Now on to the umbilical connector. The original airstream wiring pattern is different than todays standard pattern. Think of the connector as a clock with the top pin being 12:00 and the bottom pin being 6:00.
So as viewed from inside the trailer here is the airstream wiring pattern
12:00 8 guage white wire for ground connected to the mounting bolt for the umbilical connector. At the mounting bolt there will be two more white wires, one is from the electric brakes and the other is from the univolt power converter.
2:00 brown wire for the right turn signal and stoplight.
4:00 green wire for running(clearance) lights and taillights.
6:00 red wire for the left turn signal and stoplight.
8:00 Two yellow wires. One is from the electric brakes and the other goes to the emergency breakaway switch mounted on the trailer tongue.
10:00 black wire for the reverse lights
Center pin blue 8 guage wire connected to a circuit breaker located in the same area as the umbilical connector. This wire is the charge line from the TV to recharge the battery while driving. The other pin on the circuit breaker will have two wires, one will be 8 guage blue connected to the positive side of the univolt power converter and the other wire is connected to the power tongue jack and the other wire from the emergency breakaway switch. This second wire is most probably the red wire you speak of, it is on my trailer.
To use the original umbilical on todays TV's you will need to alter the tv end of the umbilical to match todays wiring pattern. I can help with that if you like or you can alter the trailer umbilical to match the standard pattern. I prefer to alter the umbilical so that I am the only one with the correctly wired umbilical and a thief can't just plug in their umbilical and go. Others have radically rewied the umbilical so that when running lights are on in the TV the brakes are applied. The theory is that a thief will likely strike at night and as soon as he turns on his lights the trailer brakes slam on. Others have reversed the turn signals hoping that a cop will pull over the thief for signalling wrong.
Anyway I hope this helps and feel free to ask more questions if needed.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:05 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bermshot View Post
I have close to the same issue with a 71 Sovereign I'm starting on. I show the green wire is grounded when testing at the interiot junction but when I hook a batt. to the rear running light connection at a tail light all the Amber light, the curb Red and plate have power with a 4 V voltage drop(batt could have been down). I have no power to the rear 3 and driver Red, I have replaced all of the markers and see no chafing and all the grommets were in place.
Where and in what order do the running lights connect? I have the entire bath out and the front nose wainscotting sheet metal off but did not want to have to take the end cap out.
Also as I was trying to set up my Trailer plug I see the + brake wires (2-Yellow & a REd) is grounded.
I did buy the Serice CD from the Canandian guy, but doo not see how the wiring is routed.
@ Bermshot

I'm not informed about anything on your trailer. I may be an expert on light wiring a 1976 31' Sovereign:-) No matter if you decide to wire to code to confuse thieves (I don't do that because thieves are smarter than me, and I only confuse myself), or if you take a pragmatic approach, it's all the same with respects to testing, mapping, and connecting. And those are the steps in the correct order.

The abstract: I start out with trailer exterior lights by isolating the three components - - - the tow vehicle, the cord, and the trailer. I test all three separately but in the same way with the same tester. After all repairs and replacements have been made and all components have passed independent testing, then I test the cord connected to the trailer and the tow vehicle.

I can't write to what was right on my trailer, because nothing was right.

Tools: In addition to normal electrical wiring tools, connectors, soldering gun, map torch, and new wire of the correct size and color, I used a small 12 volt battery charger, a multi-meter, a jumper light, and a 7-way tester.

I removed the battery from the coach, and disconnected the coach from shore power. I tested the tow vehicle with the 7-way tester. It was correct. I removed the cord. I tested the 7-way trailer plug and it was not correct, so I removed all the wires from the inside.

My running lights and my tail lights were on a common hot and there was a dead short on that line. I removed all the components on that line by replacing all the running light fixtures, and removing all the bulbs in the tail light fixtures. With all running lights off the coach, and with all the bulbs out of the back lights, the circuit was open. I soldered on all new clearance lights (on new gaskets), cleaned up all the sockets, installed all new bulbs, and it worked.

I tested every line out of the 7-way at the trailer location with the wires removed from the 7-way. As I tested those wires and identified the wire function, I mapped them as well as labeled them.

On my trailer, the fuses had been removed from the 7-way location and the breakaway switch had been disconnected. I replaced the fuse panel and installed a new breakaway switch. I soldered all connections. I twisted all the grounds together on a new lead, painted the ends with flux and soldered them together with my map torch. Then I bolted the new ground lead to the body.

I reinstalled all the wires to the 7-way plug using the 7-way tester. I basically ignored all plug directions, wire colors, and ignored the Airscream diagram. I just went by the 7-way tester. Then I wired the umbilical cord using the 7-way tester. I had to reverse two wires on the cord. When I plugged it in, everything worked. My cord is reversible. Either end works in either end. I have three other trailers and two tow vehicles wired to standard 7-way format so I want them all the same and universal. Also . . . I want all my trailers wired to universal 7-way for the times I will need the trailer towed by a relative or a towing company. I want them to be able to plug and go. (I expect my need for a 3rd party tow is greater than my fear of theft.)
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:32 PM   #27
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I had the very same problem on my 73. It was a short in the pig tail. One of the little strands of wire made it from one screw to another wires screw.

I never figured it out. I took it to a trailer place that sells landscape and cargo trailers. Those guys fixed it for me for 40 bucks.

Brian
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:55 PM   #28
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Thanks all. Wasagachris- surely you were married at some point and had to acquire the mindreading and YOU KNOW WHAT I MEANT skills!? Knowing where I need to tear into helps as I did not want to take all the sheet metal out. I have pulled everthing out to the walls but the end caps looks to be a major pain to drop.
Since the UC tlr. connection is now exposed I was testing all connections without the TV pluged up, learning that they are not compatable. With a multi meter set on OHM & the continuity function I was showing the GREEN wire had some ground but not very low resistance. If I tried to connect it to a battery the small guage jumper would get warm quicker than I wanted to test and look at the lights, so I assume that is a live short. From your description I should be looking between the mid to rear curb markers. Will have to think about the layout becasue I have the lower running light connctions but not the upper at the rear.As I stated, if I put power to the connections at the rht. tail running connection I do get the tail,license, all amber and at one time the curb rear red marker. I do have 3 wires coming out fron under the rear endcap that I have not found any connection to, being a black, brown and red. Unless someone has done some bypassing, this looks to match up to the left tail lights but they come from above it and nothing lights up when I put power and ground to them. Am I destined to remove this end cap or cut access holes in the storage parts? I pulled all markers and replaced them, testing ea. connection after doing them and after the ambers I did the curb red and lost power to it. I did have to pull the wire out through the grommet some as it was brittle and broke off short when I tried to strip it. I am gounding to the steel plate that the white gound wires are bolted to the skin and cord connector.
It also showed what is supposed to be the E-Brake positive showed that that had ground ,too. I did get 12V to the jack wire when I put a battery to the now all undone Trl. connector but the emergency brake away wire was showing a ground but was not attached to the A frame.
I need to change the connector at the tlr as it is plastic & brittle and will get it to match the current tlr standards. My TV has a tow package with a 7pin blade type and the cord would record on a Rockwall hardness test. Should I get a round or blade type UC connector for the Tlr?
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