Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by Kevin Seniu » Tue, 12 Dec 2000 07:15:15


I hooked my 2 place snowmobile trailer up this week to see if
everything was still working and found that my lights are acting very
strangely. Here is a breakdown:

Lights off:

left turn signal = works OK
right turn signal = works OK
touch brake = all trailer lights on
right signal + brake = all lights blink
left signal + brake = all lights blink

Lights on:

all trailer lights on correctly
touch brake = all lights turn off
left signal = all lights blink
left + brake all off except left signal
right signal = all lights blink
right signal + brake = all llights off except right signal

I've done the following to try and diagnose this:

ran a new ground wire directly from the trailer tongue to the frame of
the truck = no change
the trailer has 7 night time lights 2 at the front, 2 at the sides and
3 at the back plus the the 2 sealed units that do all three (brakes,
signal and night light). I've disconnected the 2 lights at the front
of the trailer. I've also regrounded the 2 sealed units as well as the
2 lights on the side of the trailer. I haven't done anything to the 3
night lights at the back of the trailer.

I've also got a testor that has a ground wire and a pointed end. You
attach the wire to a ground source and touch the point to power and a
light comes on. With this I've tested the connector coming from the
Truck and everything appears to be working normally.

Another strange thing that I noticed is this.
If I have the lights on and then put either signal on, all of the
lights start to blink. If I then physically unplug either of the rear
brake/signal/light units and then turn the lights off all of the
lights continue to blink. Where are the night lights getting power
from? It doesn't do this if I don't unplug one of the blinker lights.

Anyone have any suggestions? I haven't done anything to the trailer
since last season and everything worked perfectly then.

Thanks,

Kevin

 
 
 

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by Ike » Tue, 12 Dec 2000 08:07:20

Quote:

> I hooked my 2 place snowmobile trailer up this week to see if
> everything was still working and found that my lights are acting very
> strangely. Here is a breakdown:

> Lights off:

> left turn signal = works OK
> right turn signal = works OK
> touch brake = all trailer lights on
> right signal + brake = all lights blink
> left signal + brake = all lights blink

> Lights on:

> all trailer lights on correctly
> touch brake = all lights turn off
> left signal = all lights blink
> left + brake all off except left signal
> right signal = all lights blink
> right signal + brake = all llights off except right signal

> I've done the following to try and diagnose this:

> ran a new ground wire directly from the trailer tongue to the frame of
> the truck = no change
> the trailer has 7 night time lights 2 at the front, 2 at the sides and
> 3 at the back plus the the 2 sealed units that do all three (brakes,
> signal and night light). I've disconnected the 2 lights at the front
> of the trailer. I've also regrounded the 2 sealed units as well as the
> 2 lights on the side of the trailer. I haven't done anything to the 3
> night lights at the back of the trailer.

> I've also got a testor that has a ground wire and a pointed end. You
> attach the wire to a ground source and touch the point to power and a
> light comes on. With this I've tested the connector coming from the
> Truck and everything appears to be working normally.

> Another strange thing that I noticed is this.
> If I have the lights on and then put either signal on, all of the
> lights start to blink. If I then physically unplug either of the rear
> brake/signal/light units and then turn the lights off all of the
> lights continue to blink. Where are the night lights getting power
> from? It doesn't do this if I don't unplug one of the blinker lights.

> Anyone have any suggestions? I haven't done anything to the trailer
> since last season and everything worked perfectly then.

Does the wiring harness have a common ground for all the lights?
If this is a tilt bed, are all the lights grounded to the bed and not
the tongue, which you grounded to the truck? Corrosion does funny things
to electrical connections-

It sounds like a bad ground somewhere in the trailer- good luck.

          Ike


 **********************
  '01 GS700 FORMULA
    '95 600 V-MAX
       '97 XP
          '93 HD FLSTC
 **********************

 
 
 

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by MDMe » Tue, 12 Dec 2000 08:09:01

My first guess would have been the ground between the truck and trailer, but
running a new ground wire would have solved this problem.

It sounds like you have other grounding problems on the trailer or a shorted
bulb/socket.

First things first, did you confirm the wiring is good on the truck at 4-wire?
I'm sure it's fine.

Is your trailer a tilt trailer?  If so, run a ground wire between the tongue
and the rest of the trailer.  I've had to do this on two trailers so far.  (I
bet this is your problem.)

Next, you might consider pulling all of the bulbs (or disconnecting the lights
some other way) on the trailer, and then start hooking them up one by one.
With luck, the first bulb you reconnect will work OK, and then it will be easy
to find the problem area when you reach it.  (If the first bulb doesn't work
right, try a different one.  If that doesn't work, your problem is in the
wiring.  (If you pull all the bulbs, you may very well find one in really bad
shape..... read corroded and/or full of water.)

My personal experiences with trailer wiring problems has always been either a
bad truck-trailer ground, tongue-trailer ground or a water-filled running
light.

Good luck!  

Matt
Doo owner
Manta owner
A "Snowmobiler For Bush".... still...

First,

Quote:
>I hooked my 2 place snowmobile trailer up this week to see if
>everything was still working and found that my lights are acting very
>strangely. Here is a breakdown:

>Lights off:

>left turn signal = works OK
>right turn signal = works OK
>touch brake = all trailer lights on
>right signal + brake = all lights blink
>left signal + brake = all lights blink

>Lights on:

>all trailer lights on correctly
>touch brake = all lights turn off
>left signal = all lights blink
>left + brake all off except left signal
>right signal = all lights blink
>right signal + brake = all llights off except right signal

>I've done the following to try and diagnose this:

>ran a new ground wire directly from the trailer tongue to the frame of
>the truck = no change
>the trailer has 7 night time lights 2 at the front, 2 at the sides and
>3 at the back plus the the 2 sealed units that do all three (brakes,
>signal and night light). I've disconnected the 2 lights at the front
>of the trailer. I've also regrounded the 2 sealed units as well as the
>2 lights on the side of the trailer. I haven't done anything to the 3
>night lights at the back of the trailer.

>I've also got a testor that has a ground wire and a pointed end. You
>attach the wire to a ground source and touch the point to power and a
>light comes on. With this I've tested the connector coming from the
>Truck and everything appears to be working normally.

>Another strange thing that I noticed is this.
>If I have the lights on and then put either signal on, all of the
>lights start to blink. If I then physically unplug either of the rear
>brake/signal/light units and then turn the lights off all of the
>lights continue to blink. Where are the night lights getting power
>from? It doesn't do this if I don't unplug one of the blinker lights.

>Anyone have any suggestions? I haven't done anything to the trailer
>since last season and everything worked perfectly then.

>Thanks,

>Kevin


 
 
 

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by Kevin Seniu » Tue, 12 Dec 2000 08:14:21

The wiring harness has a ground that is attached to the tongue while
each light has its own ground attached to the tilt bed. Could it be
that the tongue isn't grounding to the bed? It is very rusty. I had
planned on sanding it down this past summer and painting it but never
got around to it. Now its -30C so I gues it will have to wait until
next year.
Quote:


>> I hooked my 2 place snowmobile trailer up this week to see if
>> everything was still working and found that my lights are acting very
>> strangely. Here is a breakdown:

>> Lights off:

>> left turn signal = works OK
>> right turn signal = works OK
>> touch brake = all trailer lights on
>> right signal + brake = all lights blink
>> left signal + brake = all lights blink

>> Lights on:

>> all trailer lights on correctly
>> touch brake = all lights turn off
>> left signal = all lights blink
>> left + brake all off except left signal
>> right signal = all lights blink
>> right signal + brake = all llights off except right signal

>> I've done the following to try and diagnose this:

>> ran a new ground wire directly from the trailer tongue to the frame of
>> the truck = no change
>> the trailer has 7 night time lights 2 at the front, 2 at the sides and
>> 3 at the back plus the the 2 sealed units that do all three (brakes,
>> signal and night light). I've disconnected the 2 lights at the front
>> of the trailer. I've also regrounded the 2 sealed units as well as the
>> 2 lights on the side of the trailer. I haven't done anything to the 3
>> night lights at the back of the trailer.

>> I've also got a testor that has a ground wire and a pointed end. You
>> attach the wire to a ground source and touch the point to power and a
>> light comes on. With this I've tested the connector coming from the
>> Truck and everything appears to be working normally.

>> Another strange thing that I noticed is this.
>> If I have the lights on and then put either signal on, all of the
>> lights start to blink. If I then physically unplug either of the rear
>> brake/signal/light units and then turn the lights off all of the
>> lights continue to blink. Where are the night lights getting power
>> from? It doesn't do this if I don't unplug one of the blinker lights.

>> Anyone have any suggestions? I haven't done anything to the trailer
>> since last season and everything worked perfectly then.

>Does the wiring harness have a common ground for all the lights?
>If this is a tilt bed, are all the lights grounded to the bed and not
>the tongue, which you grounded to the truck? Corrosion does funny things
>to electrical connections-

>It sounds like a bad ground somewhere in the trailer- good luck.

>          Ike


> **********************
>  '01 GS700 FORMULA
>    '95 600 V-MAX
>       '97 XP
>          '93 HD FLSTC
> **********************

 
 
 

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by Ike » Tue, 12 Dec 2000 08:20:44

Quote:

> The wiring harness has a ground that is attached to the tongue while
> each light has its own ground attached to the tilt bed. Could it be
> that the tongue isn't grounding to the bed? It is very rusty. I had
> planned on sanding it down this past summer and painting it but never
> got around to it. Now its -30C so I gues it will have to wait until
> next year.

As someone else has now posted, this may indeed be your problem-

A few tilts and dragging it around a few miles should help.. ;-)

Ike

 
 
 

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by Kevin Seniu » Tue, 12 Dec 2000 10:39:18

Running a ground wire from the tongue to the tilt bed worked like a
charm. Thanks Guys.

Kevin



Quote:
>The wiring harness has a ground that is attached to the tongue while
>each light has its own ground attached to the tilt bed. Could it be
>that the tongue isn't grounding to the bed? It is very rusty. I had
>planned on sanding it down this past summer and painting it but never
>got around to it. Now its -30C so I gues it will have to wait until
>next year.



>>> I hooked my 2 place snowmobile trailer up this week to see if
>>> everything was still working and found that my lights are acting very
>>> strangely. Here is a breakdown:

>>> Lights off:

>>> left turn signal = works OK
>>> right turn signal = works OK
>>> touch brake = all trailer lights on
>>> right signal + brake = all lights blink
>>> left signal + brake = all lights blink

>>> Lights on:

>>> all trailer lights on correctly
>>> touch brake = all lights turn off
>>> left signal = all lights blink
>>> left + brake all off except left signal
>>> right signal = all lights blink
>>> right signal + brake = all llights off except right signal

>>> I've done the following to try and diagnose this:

>>> ran a new ground wire directly from the trailer tongue to the frame of
>>> the truck = no change
>>> the trailer has 7 night time lights 2 at the front, 2 at the sides and
>>> 3 at the back plus the the 2 sealed units that do all three (brakes,
>>> signal and night light). I've disconnected the 2 lights at the front
>>> of the trailer. I've also regrounded the 2 sealed units as well as the
>>> 2 lights on the side of the trailer. I haven't done anything to the 3
>>> night lights at the back of the trailer.

>>> I've also got a testor that has a ground wire and a pointed end. You
>>> attach the wire to a ground source and touch the point to power and a
>>> light comes on. With this I've tested the connector coming from the
>>> Truck and everything appears to be working normally.

>>> Another strange thing that I noticed is this.
>>> If I have the lights on and then put either signal on, all of the
>>> lights start to blink. If I then physically unplug either of the rear
>>> brake/signal/light units and then turn the lights off all of the
>>> lights continue to blink. Where are the night lights getting power
>>> from? It doesn't do this if I don't unplug one of the blinker lights.

>>> Anyone have any suggestions? I haven't done anything to the trailer
>>> since last season and everything worked perfectly then.

>>Does the wiring harness have a common ground for all the lights?
>>If this is a tilt bed, are all the lights grounded to the bed and not
>>the tongue, which you grounded to the truck? Corrosion does funny things
>>to electrical connections-

>>It sounds like a bad ground somewhere in the trailer- good luck.

>>          Ike


>> **********************
>>  '01 GS700 FORMULA
>>    '95 600 V-MAX
>>       '97 XP
>>          '93 HD FLSTC
>> **********************

 
 
 

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by evansz.. » Tue, 12 Dec 2000 11:08:24

      like they said sounds like a ground problem try a jumper cable
from the truck bumper to the trailer bed for a quick check of the
ground from the bed to the trailer tounge      jeff in nh

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by Don McLucki » Tue, 12 Dec 2000 12:51:37

Quote:

> I hooked my 2 place snowmobile trailer up this week to see if
> everything was still working and found that my lights are acting very
> strangely. Here is a breakdown:

Strange lighting behavior on a trailer is a grounding problem
99.99999999% of the time.

-Don

 
 
 

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by Eric Curti » Tue, 12 Dec 2000 12:54:03

Quote:

> I hooked my 2 place snowmobile trailer up this week to see if
> everything was still working and found that my lights are acting very
> strangely. Here is a breakdown:
> Lights on:

> all trailer lights on correctly
> touch brake = all lights turn off
> left signal = all lights blink
> left + brake all off except left signal
> right signal = all lights blink
> right signal + brake = all llights off except right signal

Sounds like a ground problem, run a ground wire from the tongue of the
trailer to the bed itself and see if that takes care of it.

--
ICQ 26608833; MnUSA# 65776; IRC Curt340; VSCA# 02446

 
 
 

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by Curt&Ronda Marti » Tue, 12 Dec 2000 18:06:15

Quote:

> I hooked my 2 place snowmobile trailer up this week to see if
> everything was still working and found that my lights are acting very
> strangely. Here is a breakdown:

<snip>

Hook it up to your truck and drag around for a while...it'll work itself
in, this is pretty common early in the riding season, a little wd40 on
the ball and reciever will help too.

 
 
 

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by bill » Fri, 15 Dec 2000 12:09:12

Hi
   I had the same problem with another type of trailer, from the bold that
holds the light to the trailer.  Loosen the nut, then run a wire directely
to the frame so you ground each light to the trailer.  I ran my lights to a
terminal lug next to the lights, fixed all problems.  Hope this helps.

Good Luck   Bill

Quote:
> I hooked my 2 place snowmobile trailer up this week to see if
> everything was still working and found that my lights are acting very
> strangely. Here is a breakdown:

> Lights off:

> left turn signal = works OK
> right turn signal = works OK
> touch brake = all trailer lights on
> right signal + brake = all lights blink
> left signal + brake = all lights blink

> Lights on:

> all trailer lights on correctly
> touch brake = all lights turn off
> left signal = all lights blink
> left + brake all off except left signal
> right signal = all lights blink
> right signal + brake = all llights off except right signal

> I've done the following to try and diagnose this:

> ran a new ground wire directly from the trailer tongue to the frame of
> the truck = no change
> the trailer has 7 night time lights 2 at the front, 2 at the sides and
> 3 at the back plus the the 2 sealed units that do all three (brakes,
> signal and night light). I've disconnected the 2 lights at the front
> of the trailer. I've also regrounded the 2 sealed units as well as the
> 2 lights on the side of the trailer. I haven't done anything to the 3
> night lights at the back of the trailer.

> I've also got a testor that has a ground wire and a pointed end. You
> attach the wire to a ground source and touch the point to power and a
> light comes on. With this I've tested the connector coming from the
> Truck and everything appears to be working normally.

> Another strange thing that I noticed is this.
> If I have the lights on and then put either signal on, all of the
> lights start to blink. If I then physically unplug either of the rear
> brake/signal/light units and then turn the lights off all of the
> lights continue to blink. Where are the night lights getting power
> from? It doesn't do this if I don't unplug one of the blinker lights.

> Anyone have any suggestions? I haven't done anything to the trailer
> since last season and everything worked perfectly then.

> Thanks,

> Kevin

 
 
 

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by William McBain » Mon, 25 Dec 2000 12:06:02

Kevin,

I bet if you run a ground wire from each light to a common ground wire
(not the frame) that is connected to the ground pin of your connector
your problems will go away. This sounds like a poor ground problem which
does these types of things.

Bill McBaine

Quote:

> I hooked my 2 place snowmobile trailer up this week to see if
> everything was still working and found that my lights are acting very
> strangely. Here is a breakdown:

> Lights off:

> left turn signal = works OK
> right turn signal = works OK
> touch brake = all trailer lights on
> right signal + brake = all lights blink
> left signal + brake = all lights blink

> Lights on:

> all trailer lights on correctly
> touch brake = all lights turn off
> left signal = all lights blink
> left + brake all off except left signal
> right signal = all lights blink
> right signal + brake = all llights off except right signal

> I've done the following to try and diagnose this:

> ran a new ground wire directly from the trailer tongue to the frame of
> the truck = no change
> the trailer has 7 night time lights 2 at the front, 2 at the sides and
> 3 at the back plus the the 2 sealed units that do all three (brakes,
> signal and night light). I've disconnected the 2 lights at the front
> of the trailer. I've also regrounded the 2 sealed units as well as the
> 2 lights on the side of the trailer. I haven't done anything to the 3
> night lights at the back of the trailer.

> I've also got a testor that has a ground wire and a pointed end. You
> attach the wire to a ground source and touch the point to power and a
> light comes on. With this I've tested the connector coming from the
> Truck and everything appears to be working normally.

> Another strange thing that I noticed is this.
> If I have the lights on and then put either signal on, all of the
> lights start to blink. If I then physically unplug either of the rear
> brake/signal/light units and then turn the lights off all of the
> lights continue to blink. Where are the night lights getting power
> from? It doesn't do this if I don't unplug one of the blinker lights.

> Anyone have any suggestions? I haven't done anything to the trailer
> since last season and everything worked perfectly then.

> Thanks,

> Kevin

 
 
 

Need help from Trailer Wiring Experts (long)

Post by Doug Sanderma » Mon, 25 Dec 2000 12:32:30

Hi Kevin
I think Mr. McBaine is probably correct. The other thing you may want to do
( if it applies) is to check the rear double element bulbs.
i.e.. each bulb has a brighter element for the brake and a dimmer element
for the running lights.

I've had similar problems and found that one element sometimes breaks off
within the bulb itself and drops down on to the second element, and will
create a closed circuit to the running lights.

Doug Sanderman

Quote:

> Kevin,

> I bet if you run a ground wire from each light to a common ground wire
> (not the frame) that is connected to the ground pin of your connector
> your problems will go away. This sounds like a poor ground problem which
> does these types of things.

> Bill McBaine


> > I hooked my 2 place snowmobile trailer up this week to see if
> > everything was still working and found that my lights are acting very
> > strangely. Here is a breakdown:

> > Lights off:

> > left turn signal = works OK
> > right turn signal = works OK
> > touch brake = all trailer lights on
> > right signal + brake = all lights blink
> > left signal + brake = all lights blink

> > Lights on:

> > all trailer lights on correctly
> > touch brake = all lights turn off
> > left signal = all lights blink
> > left + brake all off except left signal
> > right signal = all lights blink
> > right signal + brake = all llights off except right signal

> > I've done the following to try and diagnose this:

> > ran a new ground wire directly from the trailer tongue to the frame of
> > the truck = no change
> > the trailer has 7 night time lights 2 at the front, 2 at the sides and
> > 3 at the back plus the the 2 sealed units that do all three (brakes,
> > signal and night light). I've disconnected the 2 lights at the front
> > of the trailer. I've also regrounded the 2 sealed units as well as the
> > 2 lights on the side of the trailer. I haven't done anything to the 3
> > night lights at the back of the trailer.

> > I've also got a testor that has a ground wire and a pointed end. You
> > attach the wire to a ground source and touch the point to power and a
> > light comes on. With this I've tested the connector coming from the
> > Truck and everything appears to be working normally.

> > Another strange thing that I noticed is this.
> > If I have the lights on and then put either signal on, all of the
> > lights start to blink. If I then physically unplug either of the rear
> > brake/signal/light units and then turn the lights off all of the
> > lights continue to blink. Where are the night lights getting power
> > from? It doesn't do this if I don't unplug one of the blinker lights.

> > Anyone have any suggestions? I haven't done anything to the trailer
> > since last season and everything worked perfectly then.

> > Thanks,

> > Kevin

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