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Old 06-11-2014, 07:58 PM   #1
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weird LED auxiliary taillight activity

So, as soon as I'm a wise-ass in Dave's thread, I come home and work on my van, and have a problem. Damn karma.

I'm adding an extra tail/turn LED and reverse LED in my Aluminess and wiring them in to the trailer harness.

Reverse is all set up, but the tail/turn has odd behavior.

Turn tail lights on, everything works perfectly.
Turn left turn signal on (with or without tail lights), everything works perfectly.
Turn right turn signal on (with or without tail lights), everything works perfectly.

Turn hazards on (with tail lights), they DON'T work
Turn hazards on (without tail lights), and a single led blinks in the middle.

Incandescent test light on the connector to the LED shows perfect behavior.

I'm confused.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:09 PM   #2
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Re: weird LED auxiliary taillight activity

I should add that I tested the lights on a battery with jumpers and they work perfectly.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:16 PM   #3
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Re: weird LED auxiliary taillight activity

Was going to say something derogatory, but then thought better of it due to karmic forces being strong with this one
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:49 PM   #4
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Re: weird LED auxiliary taillight activity

Not sure when most vehicles went from thermal based flashers, to pure electronic flasher mechanisms. It used to be adding LED lights to older vehicles caused all sorts of strange behavior. With my '69 Bronco, when I went to LED bulbs, I just swap my old flasher unit (thermal, so it used the heat generated by the current being drawn) to an electronic one that just uses a timing mechanism. LEDs don't draw enough current for the thermal flasher units to work properly.

hy you only get strange results in certain scenarios, I'm not sure.


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Old 06-11-2014, 11:38 PM   #5
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Re: weird LED auxiliary taillight activity

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Not sure when most vehicles went from thermal based flashers, to pure electronic flasher mechanisms. It used to be adding LED lights to older vehicles caused all sorts of strange behavior. With my '69 Bronco, when I went to LED bulbs, I just swap my old flasher unit (thermal, so it used the heat generated by the current being drawn) to an electronic one that just uses a timing mechanism. LEDs don't draw enough current for the thermal flasher units to work properly.

hy you only get strange results in certain scenarios, I'm not sure.


Herb
Yes, I had to add a resistor inline when I went to all LED on one of my bikes.. but since I'm just adding to lights, and not removing the stock incandescent.. I shouldn't have to. Flasher still works fine for stock lights, just not the aux LEDs added into the system. Got me.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:11 PM   #6
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Re: weird LED auxiliary taillight activity

That's because you wired them to the trailer harness.

You need to wire them directly to the lights themselves for the turn signals. I went through this with something else. It is just the way trailer wiring works.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:26 PM   #7
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Re: weird LED auxiliary taillight activity

Quote:
Originally Posted by ANZAC
That's because you wired them to the trailer harness.

You need to wire them directly to the lights themselves for the turn signals. I went through this with something else. It is just the way trailer wiring works.
Hmm.. But how would trailer lights ever work? I've essentially duplicated a trailer light setup, just in my bumper.

That said, I may try your suggestion, just means redoing everything.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:33 PM   #8
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Re: weird LED auxiliary taillight activity

Might be the multi-function switch. Could be dirt limiting current, and your incandescents are pulling all the current.

FWIW most trailers I pull are LED and I have not had that problem, except I noticed the hazards on the rear of the van don't really flash when I have the trailer plugged in (weird, huh?). But... it'll barely flash incandescents on a trailer (4-ways..... works fine with turns and brakes). I think the hazard circuit maybe just has less current capacity than the other functions.

I suspect if you unplugged your regular taillights, the new bumper lights would flash normally.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:39 PM   #9
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Re: weird LED auxiliary taillight activity

On trailers the lights are combined from the turn signals and brake lights, even on a 7 pin. It weirds things up in hazard mode.

Remove the tail light, you can tap into the turn signal wires there and run them straight down.

Of course this means you would need discrete turn + stop/tail lights.
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:01 PM   #10
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Re: weird LED auxiliary taillight activity

Quote:
Originally Posted by ANZAC
On trailers the lights are combined from the turn signals and brake lights, even on a 7 pin. It weirds things up in hazard mode.

Remove the tail light, you can tap into the turn signal wires there and run them straight down.

Of course this means you would need discrete turn + stop/tail lights.
At least on mine, the turn/hazard/brake lights are all controlled by a single wire on the left and one on the right. So that's no change for the trailer.
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