H F Wiring puzzler

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H F Wiring puzzler

Postby gassman » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:12 pm

My HF trailer has the two wire tailights; bought a plug and play connector for the OE setup; followed directions and all seemed well; have all turns, brakes and running..no problem! Try it with headlights on; still have the turns and running lights; step on the brakes and tow vehicle works, trailer lights go off...I'm puzzled...can anyone help?

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Postby Gerdo » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:18 pm

My friend had the same problem with his HF frame. Grind off the paint where the tail lights mount. This is how they get a ground. No good ground and the power flows thru the other wire. When the lights are on there is power coming the other line.
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Postby asianflava » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:55 pm

Yes the 2 wires are the + lines that go the bulb (it has 2 filaments) the - is the metal mounting bracket. One of the lines goes to the taillight circuit and the other goes to the brake light circuit.
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Postby gassman » Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:06 pm

Thanks for the replys....could I still be missing something? Ground the brackets and frame to bare metal; redid the ground wires to both the vehicle and trailer; everything is metal to metal...even checked to make sure the vehicles lights were working properly in case I missed something. Still when the headlights are on and I hit the brakes.....no trailer taillights; they just go dark...this is driving me insane!!!

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Postby Gerdo » Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:13 pm

You must have bare metal where the lights mount on the frame.
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Postby gassman » Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:19 pm

Gerdo:
As per your first reply that is exactly wht I did...ground off the paint where the bracket attaches...is it possible the light studs or the bracket are coated with something? It does not appear so!!
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Postby IndyCubby » Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:41 am

I had a similar problem with one of my HF trailers. The one I build my teardrop on did not have this problem because I had my dad take the welder to all the joints after it was all put together and I never had a ground problem.

I bought a second trailer just to haul stuff on and did have issues with the ground. The place where it was not connecting was between the "v" tongue section (the part that folds) and the main trailer frame. I had to tap a screw into both parts and run a wire between the two sections. Now it works fine.

Try hooking the trailer up to the car and put it on the hitch...then have someone press the brake while you go back there and rock the trailer around. If the lights flicker, you know that it is probably not grounding between the sections well enough.

Good luck.
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Voltage differential

Postby Lesbest » Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:21 pm

The lights in any socket glow because of a difference in voltage between the positive side and the negitive side. The bigger the difference the brighter the glow.With a difference of 12 volts the bulbs will glow as they were designed. If you have some resistance and only 6 volts difference the light won't glow as bright as it should. If you have no difference across the bulb the light won't glow at all (goes out). Check the voltage at each wire to the bulb, if the ground is poor at the base of the housing you won't have 12 v like you should. Hope this helps. Les
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continued

Postby Lesbest » Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:51 pm

Sorry it made sense when I wrote it, seems vague at the end. If you use a volt meter (dvom) set at 20 volts, black lead on the trailer frame and red lead in or on each contact in turn and you get 12 volts, then hook the black lead on the light housing and you should get the same voltages, if not then the ground to the light housings are suspect. Run a jumper wire to the frame and see if it works, if it doesn't run the jumper to the trailer harness at the tow vehicle plug if it works now then the problem is where the trailer pigtail is grounded to the frame of the trailer. Don't ever trust the hitch ball for a ground connection. Hope that helps. Les
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Postby gassman » Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:13 pm

Thanks Guys....
All great input; looks like I'll have time to look into the situation tomorrow; got called out of town on family matters the last few days. If I have any more questions; I be sure to let you know...I feel like a real putz on this one!!!
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Postby Loader » Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:59 pm

I had the same problem, fixed it just yesterday. I ran a dedicated ground line to the rear lights. I think it is related to the bolt together frames, so the ground is not consistant throughout.
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Postby gassman » Sun Oct 22, 2006 1:33 am

Absolutely!! The only way to do it is a dedicated ground. I guess if I was as dedicated to grounding wires as I am to building our Tear Drop; I wouldn't have had this problem...a lesson well learned!!
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