one brake light not working on trailer, turn signal fine - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-11-2012, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
b yond
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one brake light not working on trailer, turn signal fine

I have a trailer attached to my 97 tj. The trailer has two rear lights, which work as running lights, brake lights, and turn signals. Although the running light and turn signal functions work fine, when I step on the brakes the right light goes out. This is wired using a 4-wire connector, where the green wire to the right light controls both turn signal and brake functions. Since the turn signal function works, I think the problem must be with the jeep. The 4-pin trailer wiring harness was installed on the TJ when I bought it, and I don't know anything about it, so I'm hoping the jeep braintrust here can point me in the right direction.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.


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post #2 of 13 Old 02-11-2012, 07:16 PM
little_Jeep
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Check the bulb to make sure that it is in firmly..... Does your trailer have the cheap standard lights, or have they been upgraded?
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-11-2012, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
b yond
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The bulb is seated properly. Its the same bulb for brakes and running lights, so I know it works. These are the cheapo lights that came with the trailer, which is a cheap trailer I plan to customize.

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post #4 of 13 Old 02-11-2012, 10:33 PM
2003RubiBlue
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I've dealt with this problem and it is almost always a ground problem. Years ago I lost both brake lights on a trip, but my directionals worked fine, couldn't figure it out. When I got home I finally figured it out. Since its a two filament bulb, when you put on the directional it only uses on side, so the brake light wire provides a path to ground. Now with a weak or bad ground you step on the brake lights and both filaments try to light up and boom dead short = no brake lights. I also found that even easier than dealing with this stuff all the time on my trailers, it was easier to go led lights and I have had no problems since. Hope that helps.
Brian

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post #5 of 13 Old 02-11-2012, 10:35 PM
2003RubiBlue
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Just to clarify I think its a ground problem on that right trailer light not the Jeep.
Brian

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post #6 of 13 Old 02-12-2012, 04:29 AM
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I also think it's a ground issue. I've owned many trailers over the years, and had to re-wire all but one (bought it new) due to either ground issue or PO not knowing what they were doing when installing the lights. Good luck.
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-12-2012, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003RubiBlue View Post
I've dealt with this problem and it is almost always a ground problem. Years ago I lost both brake lights on a trip, but my directionals worked fine, couldn't figure it out. When I got home I finally figured it out. Since its a two filament bulb, when you put on the directional it only uses on side, so the brake light wire provides a path to ground. Now with a weak or bad ground you step on the brake lights and both filaments try to light up and boom dead short = no brake lights. I also found that even easier than dealing with this stuff all the time on my trailers, it was easier to go led lights and I have had no problems since. Hope that helps.
Brian
My issue was getting bulb to make solid connection in cheap housing. I'd get it fixed, but it wouldn't last long. I ended up going to LED lights from Harbor Freight or Tractor Supply, (I don't remember which). By time I got done, I rewired the entire trailer, including the e-brakes, replaced the e-brakes, added marker lights, added a Break Away system, and painted the trailer to boot.



The Break Away system

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post #8 of 13 Old 02-12-2012, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
b yond
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You guys are awesome! It was a grounding problem on the trailer.

Thanks!

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post #9 of 13 Old 02-12-2012, 10:58 PM
2003RubiBlue
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[QUOTE=little_Jeep;13036279]My issue was getting bulb to make solid connection in cheap housing. I'd get it fixed, but it wouldn't last long. I ended up going to LED lights from Harbor Freight or Tractor Supply, (I don't remember which). By time I got done, I rewired the entire trailer, including the e-brakes, replaced the e-brakes, added marker lights, added a Break Away system, and painted the trailer to boot.

That is funny because that is almost exactly what led me to the discovery of my grounding problem. The PO of my trailer had bought the cheapest trailer lights I have ever seen, and tried to ground them to wood, you can imagine how that worked!! Lol.

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post #10 of 13 Old 02-13-2012, 05:29 AM
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[quote=2003RubiBlue;13041663]
Quote:
Originally Posted by little_Jeep View Post
My issue was getting bulb to make solid connection in cheap housing. I'd get it fixed, but it wouldn't last long. I ended up going to LED lights from Harbor Freight or Tractor Supply, (I don't remember which). By time I got done, I rewired the entire trailer, including the e-brakes, replaced the e-brakes, added marker lights, added a Break Away system, and painted the trailer to boot.

That is funny because that is almost exactly what led me to the discovery of my grounding problem. The PO of my trailer had bought the cheapest trailer lights I have ever seen, and tried to ground them to wood, you can imagine how that worked!! Lol.
When I installed the Break Away system, it would work perfectly as long as it was hooked to the tow rig. However, when you were disconnected from the tow rig and you pulled the safety wire (as if the trailer had broken away from tow rig), the trailer brakes were so weak they were worthless..... Ended up being a ground issue and the reason I rewired the trailer.
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-13-2012, 10:46 PM
2003RubiBlue
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I do love the led tails on my trailer now. They are seriously bright!!

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post #12 of 13 Old 02-14-2012, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 2003RubiBlue View Post
I do love the led tails on my trailer now. They are seriously bright!!

I am very pleased with them. I don't have a photo(s) that show the finished trailer, but I added more reflectors, reflector tape, plus these lighted markers that are about two inches square. I haven't even pulled the trailer after dark since I have added all this. However, I had a friend follow me one day and he said that I'll be a Christmas tree when the Sun goes down.

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post #13 of 13 Old 02-14-2012, 07:08 AM
Andy5150
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Bad grounds can make strange things happen. On my 82' cj-7, with the trailer hooked up, the radio would quit any time I hit the brakes. The trailer lights worked fine. I cleaned up the ground connection in the frame, and everything worked fine.
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