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Old 05-06-2008, 03:50 PM   #1
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Weird turn signal problem, maybe TV related

dear wizzards,

I think i have a TV electrical problem, but i hope you want to think with me to identify the problem.

We have a 1986 32 ft excella, that was towed by a 2002 tahoe until recently.
The tahoe had split turn and brake lights , and the wiring to the trailer was changed accordingly.
We didn;t need backup lights, so we used that cable for brake lights, and it worked for us.

Since a few weeks i have a 2004 suburban (with Quadra Steer !! ) and that had the original wiring harness, so i tried to change the wiring accordingly.

after finishing the setup.. i thought i made a mistake, since..
when i turn right , the right lights blink, when i turn left , ALL turning signals blink ( on the trailer , not on the TV )

I checked the wiring in the airstream.. no apparent mistake.. then i measured the suburbans 7 pin connector ( factory installed ) :

when i turn right , the pin marked with " right/brake" will be powered ,
when i turn left .. both "right/brake" and "left/brake" get power

So i guess (but I am not sure anymore.. after staring at the problem with a flashlight in the dark) there is something wrong with the suburban..
I did remove the brake controller to see if that created the problem, but the problem persisted.

Please tell me : What am i overlooking ?

Thank you !

Axel

i did use the search button, but had trouble finding the proper keywords.. if anyone else started a link about this problem.. please direct me to it ..
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:48 PM   #2
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Well, I'll think out loud for a minute. Just for the heck of it, have you tried connecting the 'Burb to the '78 Sov and see what happens? Probably the same result because it does sounds like the problem is in the 'Burb.

Have you looked at the wiring harness on the 'Burb for obvious problems? Like a shorted wire, broken wire, or possibly a previous owner "modification" to the harness? Two wires connected together that shouldn't be? That's where I would start looking.

Jim
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:47 PM   #3
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Axle

Do all the lights work properly in the Burb with no trailer connected?

If not, you may have a problem with the multi-function (turn signal)

switch.

As stated above though, the first thing to look for is a mod by the PO.
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:25 PM   #4
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The "new" GM vehicles, like the Suburban, Tahoe, Avalanche, etc, have a module located in the lower rear quarter panel that controls the truckand trailer light function. If this is malfunctioning, all manner of wierd light problems may occur.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:42 PM   #5
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disconnect the 7 point connector.if you have a battery charger ,place the negative on the trailer plug ground pin.move the positive charger wire from pin to pin ,checking each terminal separetely.the trailer is 22 years old. if thats ok,you goofed (maybe).and the tv wiring is not right.my '88 burb came with a wirig color code on paper stuffed in the bumper with the tow wire bundle.recheck your tv wires before the plug,one by one with the trailer.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:24 PM   #6
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if you know for sure the trailer wiring is right ,disconnect the wire from the left turn signal pin on the tv side.go to the left lamp and wire directly to the left turn signal pin.if your tv signals are working ,then this direct connection should work too.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
The "new" GM vehicles, like the Suburban, Tahoe, Avalanche, etc, have a module located in the lower rear quarter panel that controls the truckand trailer light function. If this is malfunctioning, all manner of wierd light problems may occur.
Hi, I agree with Terry. GM trailer towing package module or relays, sounds like where your problem is. With your discription: at first, it sounds like an internally grounded double filament bulb on the trailer, but since you stated that the incorrect power is at the 7 pin connector on your tow vehicle and that the double power only works in one direction [left turn] then wires cannot be shorted together; Otherwise it would do the same thing in both directions.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Well, I'll think out loud for a minute. Just for the heck of it, have you tried connecting the 'Burb to the '78 Sov and see what happens? Probably the same result because it does sounds like the problem is in the 'Burb.

Have you looked at the wiring harness on the 'Burb for obvious problems? Like a shorted wire, broken wire, or possibly a previous owner "modification" to the harness? Two wires connected together that shouldn't be? That's where I would start looking.

Jim
Dear Jim,

Thank you for your response,
the obvious test with the two trailers is somewhat difficult to do, since the Excella is in Europe, and the Sovereign is in the USA.
The Suburban's harness is in great condition, cosmetically, no modifications visible.

Axel
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS
Axle

Do all the lights work properly in the Burb with no trailer connected?
.
thank you for your reply,

the lights on the suburban function perfectly

Axel
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Old 05-07-2008, 04:10 PM   #10
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the Junktion box / module did it

Bob, Terry,

"the wires cannot be shorted together; Otherwise it would do the same thing in both directions."

I ordered a new module, since thats what indeed seems to be the problem.

If anyone needs the GM part number, i have it somewhere, the list price of the module is $ 26 , and is easy to exchange. ( i took it out to take a picture of it )
Since i am in the Netherlands, the delivery of the module will take a while.
(there was not a single module available on this side of the ocean)

i'll update when the unit arrives

thank you for all your help !

Axel
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:22 PM   #11
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not the module you need (to solve the taillight problem) !!

i found the module brand new on ebay , bought it , and had is shipped here.
I replaced the module a minute ago.. and the problem is still there..
if i turn left , i show emergency lights.. turning right is normal, vehicle lights are both normal ( L+R ).

I guess there are more combiners in the vehicle than i expected.
or this one is bad as well..

does anybody know what else to replace ?

Axel
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:43 PM   #12
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i re-thought this..... take the bulb out of the left turn signal on the trailer and put in a different one.
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richinny
could you give details as to the light configuration on the burb? do you have yellow turn signals? have you changed any bulbs recently? have you tested the trailer bulbs by wiring a battery to each light circuit on the umbilical while disconnected from the trailer?
Dear Ricky & (Ingrid)

yes, the circuits are separated.. i tested them using the 12 volt on the trailer connector. the bulbs have been replaced with LED's recently, but if a mistake would have been made wiring those up , the same problem should occur in both "turning directions", right ?

thanks,

Axel
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:24 PM   #14
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Check the bulbs in the tail lights of the 'Burb. I seem to remeber a buddy having a similar problem once upon a time in his car. It turns out he bought the wrong bulbs. I'll try to remember what specifically caused his problem.

Jim
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