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Thread: Light Wiring questions

  1. #1

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    Light Wiring questions

    I'm still prepping the bed and after getting the bumper off ducked my head under and saw a mess on that license plate hanger and light. Turned on the lights and no light. I got both off got a new led light fixture & fasteners I'll post later that will fit the OE holes wired it to the old bullet connectors and turned on, no light. Then I notice I have no tail lights (still have the old ones in) and only one side marker out of the 4 flashes when I put on the blinker. The front & rear blinker works both sides.

    So will the tail light not working stop the license plate light from working? How does one trace wrapped wires looking for a break. The old plate light had both wires fused together from what seems like a short and the bulb was fused at the base but it came out.

  2. #2




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    sounds like you need a new taillight harness for that truck - let me know if you need one.
    Pennyman1
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  3. #3

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    Can you tell me where the tail light harness disconnects from the main? Or am I making that too simple? It is page 8-53 in the 1st gen manual. seems simple enough but it doesn't show where it connects to the front.

  4. #4

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    There's a weird connector under the bed just behind the cab. It looks nothing like the rest of the harness plugs. It wouldn't be that hard to replicate the rear lighting harness except for this goofy connector.
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  5. #5

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    Got a photo of it?

  6. #6

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    Alrighty then. So I went a looking this morning up by the cab and found out that I should have dealt with my skirt panels before sealing those interior bed panels in! Rasa frassin!@#$%^&*() Before I spend time working myself up tpo taking out those panels and resealing them is there a known method for removing the skirts without getting inside the bed panels?

    Did not find the connector up by the cab. Went back to the tail end with a trouble light and it was right there passenger side just above the shackle. See pics.
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  7. #7




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    that's the one I was talking about - taillight harness.
    Pennyman1
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  8. #8

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    OK. Any reason the front side markers would not light up? The only one that worked was the rear Driver. I'm going to connect the new lights just to see if they work before I got nuts on this. Could be as simple as me having broken those lights when I had them off to paint.

  9. #9

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    Got back at it I have the tail light harness out. I have not torn it open yet. The side marker plastic sheath was crunchy. Is there a source for new connectors? That rubber grommet?

  10. #10

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    You can buy new connectors dirt cheap from ebay. I've bought 2,3,6 and 8 pin sockets for my truck and they look the same as OEM. No doubt you can get the grommets as well.
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  11. #11

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    Duh posted a response in the wrong place

  12. #12

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    OK i caught up a bit so I stripped the tail harness. I have some pics, the splices in it look to be homemade but that might be OE design I have not cut the tape on the splices yet. I saw no obvious cracks in the wires and they feel supple with the dry hard tape off them. I will be using friction tape when I tape it back up.
    1. If the splices seem good what else might be wrong?
    2. How do I test at the harness attachment that is still in the truck to see if power is getting there? I suspect its fine since I had one rear side marker working when I noticed the lights had failed. But that might be a dedicated supply?? (Edit- Apparently I named all the pictures wrong !)
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  13. #13

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    Yes, there are splices in the factory loom. No, they aren't pretty (the ones in the forward half in the engine bay are borderline ghetto but Mitsubishi wasn't chasing Scout badges when they made these trucks ) If you have a multimeter, check continuity from end to end then check power out. A cheap pocket multimeter is good a gadget to have on hand. If you don't have one - now's the time to get one. They are easy to use. Check the ground leads as well to ensure they have solid connections to the body and chassis. Check that the tail light bulb sockets are looking ok etc. Make sure the sockets have good connections from the rear section of the harness to the main harness (they might be corroded or just dirty)
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  14. #14

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    Thank's Geezer. I knew they had to be there its the way they did it that looked off. All wires showed continuity. I re-taped it with a couple cable ties at the T's and plugged it in. Lights no worky. I checked the fuses and sure enough the 10A was blown. Replaced it and the tail lights all worked. But now no turn signals
    Before I added the electric fuel pump the dash worked intermittently but I could always hear the turn signals blinking and they worked on the outside. Now when I hit the turn signal it buzzes same thing with the emergency flashers. The buzzing stops if I turn on the lights but that's it. I think my problem is in the column but ??

    Here's the promised pic and info on the rear plate light.It is supposed to be for a blazer. AZ has it in the isles stock. You'll have to get new machine screws for it if yours are as rusty as mine were.
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ID:	23078 I meant to add this in case anyone wants to know.
    Last edited by 85Ram50; 08-08-2019 at 04:21 PM.

  15. #15

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    Hmm, the buzzing would indicate low voltage. I keep thinking there's a ground wire issue somewhere. Maybe give all of your fuses a clean to make sure they're making good contact The relay itself could be on it's knees begging for mercy.
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  16. #16

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    I am going to have to take out the paper manual and study the wiring diagram to look for all the grounds. Hopefully it will indicate where the relay is. Are they still available?

    Off topic sort of, if I have to change the switch, since it is a single unit with the wiper control, has anyone installed a 2nd gen switch with intermittent wiper? I am assuming the switch controls/creates the intermittent.

  17. #17

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    I give up. I only know of the ground from the battery to the frame and the block and the block to the frame on the other side under t he alt. Where else are there grounds I should be checking? And Where is the turn signal relay?

  18. #18

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    I decided that since the tail lights worked I would go ahead and finish the bed and get it back together enough so I can drive using hand signals until I figure out what is up.

  19. #19

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    I'm down today so I decided to try to figure out the turn signals. I took out the instrument panel. Two questions then some whinging and another question. 1. What is the switch on the back of the instrument panel for? see pic. 2. This relay is what is buzzing (The flashers are now working IDK why) What is it and how do I test it. OK that's two in one.

    I tried to get the column cover off. It has never sat right since I took it off when I first bought it. I cannot see up the inside hole mainly because I cannot get under to see it and my screwdriver will not take purchase on anything. How does one get at it? I'm tempted to take the bench out.

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  20. #20

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    Well I went and got this relay https://www.autozone.com/electrical-...9_642469_11714 it worked at making the turn signals signal. I put the instrument panel back in and now I have no lights on it. I have not driven yet. I will eat then go drive it.

    Any ideas what may cause the dash lights to fail? Also what is that switch?

    EDIT- I feel stupid. After I ate I realized I had forgotten to plug the round black plug into the back of the instrument panel. Everything worked normally. I think that hot wire the Dodge dealer mechanic hooked up to my starter was the cause of the intermittent instrument failure. Time will tell. Drove up the interstate and back about 24-25 miles, gas gauge did not move that I noticed and that is something. It felt good like I could rely on it. I haven't got the guts to take another long distance trip yet. Last time I was 45 miles away I blew the head gasket. Temp never went above half and it took a lot longer than usual to get there.
    Last edited by 85Ram50; 08-10-2019 at 02:48 PM.

  21. #21

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    The more you do to the truck, the more reliable it'll be. It clearly has passed through a number of hands that haven't gone to the effort of maintaining it properly in the first place. Modifying the electrical system unnecessarily instead of fault finding will always lead to headaches for someone else - it's probably the #1 thing that screws up a vehicle. I think you're ready for a decent run
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  22. #22

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    Two more things
    1. the parts gal at Autozone looked up the switch for the 85 Ram 50 and it came up a 2 prong not a 3 prong.

    2 WHAT IS THAT SWITCH IN THE BACK OF THE INSTRUMENT PANEL?

  23. #23

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    I know there's a engine service interval switch on Gen 2's, but IDK what that one is for I also noticed the circuit board is designated for the US market which might explain why I haven't seen one in person either. There's only 4 screws holding the column cover on - 2 right up at the back under the dash and 2 in the central section of the column cover. The column case halves clip together and if you don't have tilt adjust steering, getting the upper half off is a PITA. If and when you get it apart, be careful not to accidentally cut the threaded holes up by cross threading the screws back in (easier said than done) There isn't a lot of plastic holding the screws in place. Not 100% sure on the relay (could be the hazard light relay or the turn signal) I'll have to jam my head up under the dash on my truck or look at the spare harness to get my Scooby Doo on.
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  24. #24

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    It finally occurred to me to start it up and flip the switch. It turns on the check EGR light.
    That circuit board is from another truck. It was the first thing I did to it. I forget the exact reason but once I saw it could be done I did it so that I did not have to give up the original Odometer. It only had 80K+ when I bought it 16 years ago.
    My column has steel pieces that the screws go through into the top piece. I knew where the holes are I just cannot get my head into a position to see the holes on the right side of the column so I can figure out why my screwdriver won't connect with anything. I know I had it off once that is why it hangs loose on the driver side. It just never went back together right.

  25. #25

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    OK I have the skirts back on and I made my own grommet for the hole in the tail light housing. 1/2 inch pipe expanded foam covering about 2 inches long with a slit around the circumference about 1/4 deep a half inch up from the bottom.

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