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Jan 23rd, 2013
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New trailer lights/grounding #12393528
08/20/17 04:11 PM
08/20/17 04:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 42,445
Kansas
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Tallgrass05 Offline OP
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Tallgrass05  Offline OP
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Iím trying to replace the incandescent tail/brake/turn lights on my kayak trailer. All the lights work fine, Iím just tired of the occasional loose bulb. The Optronics lights that came with the trailer are a 2-wire set (see photo) and grounded through the harness, the ground wire is attached to the trailer tongue.

The new LED lights have a ground wire (see photo). When the ground wire is attached to the trailer frame, I have tail lights but no brake lights or turn signal. If that ground wire is removed, I get nothing. If I reattach the old 2-wire light, it works fine.

I'm assuming there are mixed grounding systems now with the new light. What are my options? Completely rewire the trailer if I want to enjoy the LED lights?

Original 2-wire light:


New 3-wire light:



"...to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
~George Washington, Sept. 19, 1796
Re: New trailer lights/grounding [Re: Tallgrass05] #12393574
08/20/17 05:04 PM
08/20/17 05:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 6,497
Temple, TX.
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T Bird Online content
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Temple, TX.
Are you checking operation with the trailer down on ball?

Re: New trailer lights/grounding [Re: Tallgrass05] #12393647
08/20/17 06:42 PM
08/20/17 06:42 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 42,445
Kansas
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Tallgrass05 Offline OP
bill maher's protege
Tallgrass05  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2005
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I will now.


"...to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
~George Washington, Sept. 19, 1796
Re: New trailer lights/grounding [Re: Tallgrass05] #12395384
08/21/17 11:51 PM
08/21/17 11:51 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 317
Houston, Tx
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HItec Redneck Offline
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Houston, Tx
It sounds like you have a bad ground. On the vehicle side make sure the white wire is connected to the frame and the connection is clean. You can take the wire loose from the frame and use a wire brush till you get to shiny metal and reconnect it. Do the same on the trailer and you should be good.

Re: New trailer lights/grounding [Re: Tallgrass05] #12395947
08/22/17 12:43 PM
08/22/17 12:43 PM
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Posts: 42,445
Kansas
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Tallgrass05 Offline OP
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Tallgrass05  Offline OP
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Yeah, trailer ground is nice clean metal-to-metal. I may have to crawl under the truck and see if that ground is rusted or something.


"...to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
~George Washington, Sept. 19, 1796
Re: New trailer lights/grounding [Re: Tallgrass05] #12396026
08/22/17 01:35 PM
08/22/17 01:35 PM
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texas
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redchevy Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tallgrass05
Yeah, trailer ground is nice clean metal-to-metal. I may have to crawl under the truck and see if that ground is rusted or something.


When you say the trailer ground is nice clean metal to metal... are you talking about the ground right there by the light housing?

The white ground wire should have a place up near the plug on the tongue of the trailer where it is hooked up to the trailer also. In my experience most of them are left hanging and never hooked up.

Re: New trailer lights/grounding [Re: Tallgrass05] #12419018
09/08/17 02:36 PM
09/08/17 02:36 PM
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TXMako2201 Offline
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I had the same problem. I ran the tongue ground (white wire) all the way to the back and bolted it to the trailer with each light (the bolt on the back of the light housing is the ground). also polished the area to make clean contact points.

Betting there's some corrosion or blockage between the tongue ground and the back - in you case looks like you could run the ground wire from the plug all the way to the back and use a heat shrink butt connector to connect it directly to the ground wire from each light housing.

Last edited by TXMako2201; 09/08/17 02:43 PM.
Re: New trailer lights/grounding [Re: TXMako2201] #12424705
09/13/17 03:31 AM
09/13/17 03:31 AM
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Kansas
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Tallgrass05 Offline OP
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Kansas
I thought about that, but then was able to isolate the grounding problem in the body of the trailer. Connection at the back of the truck was good. Connection in the tongue was good--it's a retractible tongue so I have a plug on each end. So I just had to replace about 12' of wire in the trailer body, and the new LED lights are grounded to the frame. They look much better than the single bulb incandescent lights.


"...to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
~George Washington, Sept. 19, 1796
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