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Unread 11-12-2011, 03:44 PM   #1
Tfain
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1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lutz, Florida
Posts: 578
Taillights not working

Iv looked at the wires and it's a mess. The guy that owned it before me did some stuff so he could hook up a trailer. I really don't wanna have to buy a new wiring harness. Any ideas?

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Unread 11-12-2011, 07:30 PM   #2
Tfain
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Anyone?
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Unread 11-12-2011, 07:37 PM   #3
Rick7
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There is no one answer-- You must sort it out piece by piece. Having the wiring diagram would help. Start with a test lamp at the taillight harness and see if you can find tail light power on any of the wires. If not, go to the light switch and see if power is applied to the tail light wire leg. Then, depending on what you find, look in-between. Do the front park lights have power?
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Unread 11-12-2011, 08:40 PM   #4
RevN3
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I was just rebuilding the assembly on mine today. PO wired it for towing and being towed...poorly. If you take a picture of the parts that are giving you grief I'll take a look.
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Unread 11-12-2011, 10:34 PM   #5
Jeep_Trench
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Tfain, Hit me up privately, I can't post any pics on here yet due to my post count.

I have the wiring diagrams that helped me sort out the PO's retarded mess of lamp wiring he used for the tail lights.

Also, prepare yourself for the do-it once attitude. Re-wiring is actually not bad at all. Just grab a good set of wire strippers, crimps, heat shrink tubing, etc, etc and take your time. If you are good with the solder iron, use it.

Try to buy wire bails that are close to the OE colors so in case one day you have to go back, you won't be banging your head against the pavement with trying to remember. The diagrams I have show the proper color sequence. If you do have to use an off color, take note of it in your manual and write down detail.

Just don't be that PO guy.
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Unread 11-13-2011, 04:38 AM   #6
aquaholic69
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1980 CJ5 
 
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Not really enough description to actually trouble shoot your problem, but I had a similar issue with mine and it turned out being my turn signal switch. If you've been messing with the switch any check it out. Other than that get a wire tester and start following wires...good luck...
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Unread 11-13-2011, 04:59 AM   #7
Tfain
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My parking lights do not work at all. My headlights work, brake lights work, one revers light works and my turning signals work. Just not my parking lights, tail lights, and the side lights
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Unread 11-13-2011, 05:26 AM   #8
Tfain
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Ok here's some pics. The first 2 are where the tail lamp plugs in on the drivers side, the 3rd is where all the wires go for the trailer lights and the last pic is where the tail lamp plugs in on the passenger side
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Unread 11-13-2011, 05:27 AM   #9
Tfain
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Unread 11-14-2011, 04:55 PM   #10
RevN3
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Looks like some of what I had looks like what you had. I'd suggest trying to diagram the whole thing. Ignore the wiring for the trailer. Just focus on what's going to your tail-lights. Here's what I made to try to figure out what I had:

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Unread 11-14-2011, 05:07 PM   #11
Foundrydude
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Start by removing all the trailer wiring then assess what works and doesn't. Most of the time the trailer wiring is to blame and just removing it (properly) makes things work again. Removing properly means soldering all the cut and twisted connections where the trailer harness is attached.
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Unread 11-14-2011, 05:31 PM   #12
Tfain
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I removed the trailer wiring harness. I just in rapped it from the other wires. The still don't work
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Unread 11-14-2011, 05:32 PM   #13
Tfain
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I removed it and they still don't work
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Unread 11-14-2011, 06:08 PM   #14
BagusJeep
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I would start off with the fuse box, or did you check that already? The diagram below is for a later fuse box but you should find you have a fuse for those circuits.

If it is not the fuse you may have to start from the beginning and check everything. Have you got a test light? They are only $5 and will save you a lot of time and effort. A meter is also very useful in this circumstance, as well as the usual electrical tools and crimpers and a soldering iron. Most of all get hold of a proper wiring diagram for your year and identify which wire is which and where they run. www.offroaders.com have some but may not be right for your year.

First off, have you got voltage at the fuse? If so then it is going to be in the wiring or fittings back to the lamps.

I suggest you start with establishing what you have at the tail lights and what you do not have, electrically.

Stop light left
Stop light right
Reversersing lamp left
Reversing lamp right
Side marker left
Side marker right
Ground left
Ground right


Once you have stablished if each one is dead you then need to get the fitting apart and check for voltage at the fitting on each of those circuits.

If no voltages go back to the plug directly behind the fitting and check there. There are only 3 prongs on this plug but there are probbaly 4 wires on one and 5 on the other as the tail lamps and side markers are spliced together at the plug and there is one splice on one side of the backup lamps. Your wire colours at these plugs are:

Green with tracer - turn and hazard left
Green - turn and hazard right
White with tracer - back up lamp
White - tail lamp

If you look back at those photos of those plugs you can see those colours. Take the plug apart and check the prongs for voltage. I would suggest concentrating on the white wires as this appears to be your problem.

I would then go under the dash to the frame connector plug. These wires run down the side of the tub in a small loom to a plug under the dash. Follow that loom until you find it. You will find a pink wire in there as well which goes to your fuel sender. When you find the connector it should have 5 prongs on it.

Test at the connector for voltage on the white wires. If you have nothing here you know the problem is further forward. I would then suggest going to the lighting switch and having a look there for voltage. You may have a burnt switch.
84-86fuseboxsch.jpg  
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Unread 11-14-2011, 06:12 PM   #15
rebelsonjeep
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did you check all the grounds ?
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