Now this is a super weird brake light problem - JeepForum.com
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Unread 03-17-2013, 10:26 AM   #1
Dirty Ern
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: the BIG valley
Posts: 35
Now this is a super weird brake light problem

My 56 CJ5 didn't have turn signals when I bought it a few months ago. I picked up a new turn signal at an auto swap meet in January and put it in yesterday. Everything worked first time out of the chute. The only problem is… is that when the left turn signal is applied, the smaller element lights up. I traced the wire in the back of the socket to the correct connection on the bulb for the brake element. I took the bulb up front to the battery and proved that the terminal on the bulb that was getting the voltage was for the brake element and it was. So then I swapped bulbs from the other tail light and they both worked as they should. I buttoned everything up, put all the tools away, and as a last test I tried them once more. Same thing, the left bulb has the tail element on when the turn signal or brake is on. What the world is going on???

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Unread 03-18-2013, 10:04 AM   #2
Dirty Ern
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: the BIG valley
Posts: 35
O.K……so I see that all the electricians took Sunday off. I knew what I was going to have to do so here’s what it was all about….

I cut the wires going into the tail light and removed it from the Jeep. With the bulb out the terminal assembly can be removed by pushing the wires through the back of the tail light. Then it was obvious what was going on. Both of the wires were cracked and the insulation was broken away in the same spot. So here’s my take on what was going on…the connection between the stop button on the bulb and the terminal in the socket wasn’t making a connection, and because the wires were exposed to each other, that let the power go to the tail light element. When I swapped bulbs the other day and it worked, it was probably just the wiggling of the bulb changed the position of the wires a little and the bulb connection made up momentarily.

The fix would have been a breeze if I had new terminals to put on the new wires. I pried open the part of the terminal that crimps over the insulation then stripped the old insulation off and cut the wire. Then I soldered the new wire to what little bit of terminal was left. You have to be careful to keep things tidy because it all has to thread back through a hole not much bigger than the wire.

Ernie.
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Unread 03-19-2013, 04:08 AM   #3
John Strenk
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1976 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shalersville Ohio
Posts: 13,240
Well congratulations on figuring it out. it was a weird problem...
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Unread 03-21-2013, 05:26 PM   #4
Dirty Ern
Registered User
1995 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: the BIG valley
Posts: 35
So the Gremlins were back... I'm pulling out of the lane and get out to close the gate and turn the left signal on so I can admire my handy work and you might know it.... it's only the tail element burning again. DRATS!!! Now I've only traced the correct terminal on the bulb about 40 times and nothing has changed. So I swap with the right side bulb... same thing. I push and pull on the wire from the back and it's still the tail element that's burning. If I had any hair left I would pull it out. And then I grab hold of the whole tail light and give it a twist and SHEZAM...the stop element starts blinking. Simply a bad ground. I don't know how but it must have been back feeding back to the turn signal guts and finding a ground there and making the tail element blink. So I drilled a hole through the tail light and body and ran a bolt through the two. Good ground now. No more problems???
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Unread 03-22-2013, 03:35 AM   #5
John Strenk
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1976 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shalersville Ohio
Posts: 13,240
"No more problem??? "

Are you kidding??

It's a CJ.

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