Right under the stock airbox there is a conenctor that may be the source of your trouble. I think it is the main connection of the front lights to the wiring harness. The connector holds moisture due to it's location under the airbox, and many I've seen we're severely corroded. My first XJ was so badly corroded that I ended up splicing out the connector, bypassing and removing it. This solved my problems with front blinkers and headlights.
Your troubles may be elsewhere but it couldn't hurt to take a quick look, remove your airbox and open the connector to see the possible carnage.
good thinking I will look at that tomorrow, but when I took the airbox out to clean it and fix a power steering line I didn't see such said connector. The signal light in the dash works, and isn't the RR and the RF connected? but the RR signal light works...... wouldn't be a simple flasher would it?
checked the fuse, all my other lights are working though. But I did notice someone had been in that light before, butt connectors
Check for a bad connection there even if you have to replace all the butt connectors. Many diy crimp terminals fail due to improper installation. There are tons of substandard crimp tools sold. One should really invest in quality strippers and crimpers like Klien. Don't forget to protect the connection with shrink tube.
More likely to have an open circuit rather than a short. A shorted circuit would cause more symptoms like blown fuses, burnt wiring, or more lights out.