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Old 10-28-2013, 12:57 PM   #1
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Electrical Help Please

I did another dumb thing. I want to replace all of the bulbs in my SMB with LED's, so I pulled what turned out to be a 211-2 bulb out of of each of two 3-bulb fixtures that worked, and disconnected a red wire on one fixture so I could read a label that identified the bulb since the probably 17 year old bulbs were too oxidized to read the type of bulb, reconnected the red wire, and now neither fixture works. I do not know how to reduce digital photos to attach, but I will get my son-in-law over if photos are necessary to tell me what I did and what to do. HELP!
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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Re: Electrical Help Please

Check to see if you blew a fuse using a voltmeter.
Make sure all the contacts and base are clean.
Make sure that the bulb is installed correctly...some only go in one way.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:59 PM   #3
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Re: Electrical Help Please

Daveb, Thank you for your help. The two 15 amp fuses inside the SMB are OK. The bulbs appear to be installable either way since I moved one on the third fixture that still works which I assume is not wired with the other two and it works either way. I'll check out your other ideas. The batteries were still hooked up when I disconnected the red wire, but the switch on the fixture was off. I sure hope I can get these working again and go to LED's since the 211-2's are burn-your-finger hot and I am suprised that they have not melted the plastic lens.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:00 PM   #4
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Re: Electrical Help Please

Try turning the bulb around and installing it opposite the way you did. Sounds like it's just not making contact. If you wiggle the bulb can you get it to flicker?
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:37 PM   #5
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Re: Electrical Help Please

I'm betting Dave's first thought was right. The red wire is usually +12V, so it could have touched metal when removed and blown a fuse.

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Old 10-28-2013, 05:52 PM   #6
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Re: Electrical Help Please

Going to LEDs in those 3-bulb fixtures makes a huge difference! I did it this summer and have no regrets. Way cooler (you won't burn your skin) and less current draw, too.

If you are sure you don't have a blown fuse (cause that's what it sounds like), are you 100% certain you reconnected the red wire correctly? Unless you have a very basic build, you should have more than just two fuses on the house side of the SMB wiring. I've got a whole wiring-block full of them. Lights on the two sides of the van are on different circuits, as are the fridge, etc.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
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Re: Electrical Help Please

To: daveb,Ford_6L_E350 and BrianW. You guys are great! I do have a very basic SMB Penthouse that I just purchased, a 1997 Ford E-250 long wheelbase. Only 6 fuse holders and three spare holders for the interior of the van that are in the black fuse box under the sofa. None appear to be blown, but I will check them with a meter, and I will check all the bulbs although all appear to be OK. One 3 amp for LP&CO Detect.(but a 5 amp was in there), one 30 amp pass. side, one 30 amp driver's side, one 30 amp a/c(vacant, I do not have A/C), one 15 amp fridge, and one 15 amp furnace. I will also switch the bulb position. These are the bulbs (GE) that have a horseshoe shaped wire on each end, not the ones with the pointed torpedo ends. On each fixture, the switch on the right side (the one closest to the red wire I pulled off the female disconnect) controls the left and right bulb, while the switch on the left controls the center bulb. On the one fixture that is still working (top rear above the double doors) each bulb works even if one or both of the others are removed. I think that the other two fixtures worked the same when they were working. I probably did touch metal when I removed the red wire, and the wire, the fuses and the bulbs were all very hard to remove since I assume they have been in there for 17 years.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:45 PM   #8
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Re: Electrical Help Please

Lights are pretty simple. Start with the voltmeter at the bulb socket. One lead on a known good ground, the other on the contact for the bulb. (careful you don't short the contact to the shell of the socket) The meter should read something like 13.2 or so for a fully charged battery. No voltage? Move to the splice you make. No voltage? Probably the fuse since it worked prior to your working on it, you can't always tell just by looking. Got voltage? The problem is between your splice and the contact on the bulb, follow the circuit through with your meter to tell where the voltage stops. I'm betting it's corrosion...............Arctic Traveller
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:12 PM   #9
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Re: Electrical Help Please

To everyone who have helped with advice. I think I have tried everything that has been suggested and I still cannot find out what is wrong. With the help of a neighbor we have determined that there is no power to any of the four switches on the two lights that do not work. All of the fuses and breakers in the SMB have been checked with a meter. In addition to the six fuses in the black box under the sofa that I mentioned, there are three others that I thought were spares that are live and control something that is not labeled and I cannot find yet. The SMB manual mentions a breaker that we cannot find, and it does not say what it controls. We are in the process of checking the wiring and fuses under the hood of the SMB. The original owner told me that the switch that controls the van radio always worked to allow powering the radio from either the starting or house batteries until a Ford dealer fixed the heater control and it never worked after that and he never went back to the dealer. Now, the radio only works from the starting battery. We are going to search for the radio wiring and/or fuse under the hood, but if that requires removing the dash, I probably will not attempt it myself. I guess the next step is to remove the fixtures to see if there is/are fuses behind them. This will (I hope) turn out to be some stupid thing I did that I cannot remember, but for now it is a mystery, and I do not like real-life electrical mysteries.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:00 PM   #10
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Re: Electrical Help Please

Are they connected to the factory dome-light circuit? That fuse is under the dash by the steering column.
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