Left blinker not working on 19ft 1979 bigfoot - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-18-2016, 03:41 PM   #1
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Name: TheBurro
Trailer: 1980 Bigfoot 17ft
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Left blinker not working on 19ft 1979 bigfoot

checking my lights before I head out next week, and I noticed that the left bliker isn't working. I just bought the trailer 2 months ago, and I've been getting it road worthy. Hoping to head out on Friday so any help would be great. I decided to change the tail lights with new ones as the old ones were cracked anyway.

Here's what I know

on the left side there are green yellow and red.

Yellow is ground, green is daylights running lights and they work fine.
When I check the voltage on the red one with the blinker going and not plugged in it alternates the voltage. when I touch the wire to the one it is supposed to be on the the new light, the voltage reader does not register anything while the blinker is on.

On the right side everything works, blinker and daylights.

It has yellow green and brown I believe and the voltages read the same as the left side.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Lowell
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Old 07-18-2016, 04:23 PM   #2
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I recently learned that my tow vehicle (2000 F-150) has a separate fuse for the trailer lights. Actually, two fuses, one for the left and one for the right, IIRC.

I did a lot of trouble checking on my trailer and wiring before finding those fuses. Maybe I can save you the same grief. If not, at least you will be more familiar with your fuse box.
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Old 07-19-2016, 04:18 AM   #3
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When I have the infrequent problem of a bulb not working I've always been able to fix it by removing the bulb and brushing the bottom of the bulb with a wire brush and lightly scraping the bottom of the socket with a small flat screwdriver blade. First I look at the bulb filament to see if it's intact. but I haven't burned a bulb out yet.
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:29 AM   #4
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Agree with Steve but would add that if the bulbs have been in place for a long time you will sometimes twist the bulb out of its base which requires needle nose pliers to remove. So go at it carefully. After doing what Steve says, use some electrical grease on the bulb base. In reduces corrosion and helps on the next removal.


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Old 07-19-2016, 08:57 AM   #5
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I have actually changed the whole tail light, and it didn't fix it. I was hoping it would as it was only $15. And the only bulb and assembly are really old, plus it looks much better. I'm wondering if there's a short somewhere up the line, but I can't find the wire inside, I think it might be between the fiberglass and the insulating styrofoam
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Old 07-19-2016, 09:12 AM   #6
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I bet that when the brakes are applied, only one side works.
I think you have a loose (open) wire.
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:27 AM   #7
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I'll have to check the brakes. I would just replace the wire from the 7 pin connector, but they ran it through the wall, so I can't even find where the original goes about half way down the trailer.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:05 AM   #8
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Here is the thing, The white wire is the ground, not the color you indicated.

Trailer Wiring Colors

Brown wire to the tail or parking lights
Green wire to right turn signal/stoplight
Yellow wire to the left turn signal/stoplight
White wire to common or chassis ground

air.about.com/od/glossary/qt/trailer-wire-colors.htm

If it were me, I would clean the bulb and receptacle as indicated in a previous post and I would also check all wires on the back of the lite fixtore to insure a good connection.

You could also get a battery jump box and check the wiring without connecting to the tow vehicle. Apply ground (Black) of the jump box to the white trailer wire and the (red) of the jump box to each of the other wires, one at a time and check out what happens.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mmeyer View Post
After doing what Steve says, use some electrical grease on the bulb base. In reduces corrosion and helps on the next removal.
Dielectric grease is an insulator, not a conductor. It should not be smeared on the contacts or it will reduce electrical flow. It's used on spark plugs for instance, between the rubber boot and the plug to prevent corrosion, with care not to get it on the actual contact area.
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:17 PM   #10
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So I spent a bit more time trouble shooting. I hooked up the trailer to a battery without the truck. I got power to the left tail light for both the running lights, and the blinker.

I also hooked the truck up after, and there is no light for the brake as somebody had suggested.

Could this mean a short in the TV or some issue with it??

Ideas??
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:14 PM   #11
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Name: TheBurro
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Solved the issue. It ended up being an issue in the 4 pin connector on the truck. I happened to have a new spare that I switched it with. Once I did that all the lights worked. Weird how the wiring on my 2003 truck has issues, and no issues with the wiring on the 1979 trailer

Thanks for all the suggestions and help, some of them helped me get to the issue.

Cheers.
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:48 PM   #12
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Get yourself one of these. It helps to isolate problems.
Four-Way Trailer Light Tester
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Dielectric grease is an insulator, not a conductor. It should not be smeared on the contacts or it will reduce electrical flow. It's used on spark plugs for instance, between the rubber boot and the plug to prevent corrosion, with care not to get it on the actual contact area.
Glelnn while I agree that the term dielectric means insulator i do not believe that it is inappropriate to use silicone dielectric grease for this application. The NEC requires specific conditions for wire splices in wet locations in that the splice or wire nut be UL 486D listed.I believe this is mainly to prevent water intrusion and subsequent corrosion. On my last Wastewater plant job all wet area wire nut connectors were special and were all filled with silicone grease, the last underground power splice I witnessed had the crimp sleeve filled with silicone grease and special boots to cover it. You can buy these connectors at Lowes etc. If you look at them they are all filled with dielectric grease. I see no real difference in the mechanical connection of a wire nut with silicone grease and the mechanical connection of a bulb and socket with a coating of dielectric silicone grease. I believe the simple act of mechanically connecting the two puts the metal in direct contact and pushes away any potential insulating value of the grease. I think the corrosion prevention and lubrication value for future removal out weighs any slight loss of connection. Of course we could go "old school " and smear vasoline on the bulb base. Just my 2 cents
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:15 PM   #14
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All I know is Wiki entry says it's an insulator and that a buddy applied grease to my tail light bulb and socket and I couldn't get it to work consistently until I'd thoroughly wiped it off the contacts.
I think in a wire nut you already have a solid connection and the grease in the nut prevents water intrusion.
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