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Old 08-19-2012, 06:43 PM   #21
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If your trailer is a 4 wire plug and the right turn signal works then the right brake light should work. It still sounds like you may still need to work on the ground or after driving ]while it may pick up some ground through the hitch.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:13 PM   #22
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If your trailer is a 4 wire plug and the right turn signal works then the right brake light should work. It still sounds like you may still need to work on the ground or after driving ]while it may pick up some ground through the hitch.

It actually is a 5 wire, but I do not know what the 5th wire is for since I do not have brakes or a reverse light... I am using a 4 wire to connect to the tow vehicle...

The funny thing is that the light WAS working... I took it off to check the bulb on the left since I knew that bulb was working and saw that it was WAY rusted out.... the left was not working, but it was only the bulb...

I still want to work on the ground close to the plug... I added a second wire but have not got it as tight as it needs... I am using a wood screw on the metal...

I agree... I do NOT know why it is not working... it should be.... and the ground seems to be good as the light became a lot brighter on the turn signal the last time I put it back together....

Edit to add... it is on the hitch... I have not taken it off while doing the work....
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:17 PM   #23
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That is why I have one of these and shoot my wheels with it whenever I stop for a break: Amazon.com: HDE Temperature Gun Infrared Thermometer w/ Laser Sight
Do you need this level of precision? Do they heat up so much?
Or you just don't like to touch them?
I use low tech method and check my boat trailer bearing by touching them - so far they have been warm and not burning hot I and hope they stay this way
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:29 PM   #24
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I use low tech method and check my boat trailer bearing by touching them - so far they have been warm and not burning hot I and hope they stay this way
I'm all for old school as long as I don't have to show up for class.

It's that "burning hot" part I want to avoid touching, thus the (birthday gift) IR gun.

Slightly off topic, but I found it a neat toy tool to check for insulation leaks around the house. I shot all my ceilings and discovered missing attic insulation in one area that has always been difficult to cool in the summer.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:40 PM   #25
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The above application is a very worthwhile use. I did not know these IR thermometers have that good a sensitivity and resolution. I am ordering one now.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:11 PM   #26
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I keep posting on threads like this, then go on the Web to buy geeky hardware and toys.

No wonder I never get to see the "girl in a yellow sweater". Arghhh...
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:54 PM   #27
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That is why I have one of these and shoot my wheels with it whenever I stop for a break: Amazon.com: HDE Temperature Gun Infrared Thermometer w/ Laser Sight

I just clicked on it and if I buy it and this, I get a discount!!!

Amazon.com: The Ghost Meter EMF Sensor: Home Improvement

So far, I have not had any ghost scares....
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:29 AM   #28
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I worked at a trailer rental place between high school and college. Part of my job was to keep the trailer lights working. The number one lesson that I learned was DO NOT USE THE FRAME as a ground. Run a separate ground wire (preferably soldered) to each light from the harness plug. The cost is pennies and the increase in reliability is huge.

If it is a boat trailer, this advice is 10X.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:13 AM   #29
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I read a good boat trailer tip recently. When installing the bulbs, coat the bottom metal peice in dielectric grease. It helps with contact and also prevents a lot of corrosion.

I just had a stuck bulb on my boat trailer and got it out with a pair of needle nose pliers (after breaking the glass etc).
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:18 AM   #30
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I worked at a trailer rental place between high school and college. Part of my job was to keep the trailer lights working. The number one lesson that I learned was DO NOT USE THE FRAME as a ground. Run a separate ground wire (preferably soldered) to each light from the harness plug. The cost is pennies and the increase in reliability is huge.

If it is a boat trailer, this advice is 10X.
I'm also suspecting ground connections. That is the most reasonable explanation for getting voltage readings of 4 or 7 volts at some points.

With a good ground, you either get battery voltage (~13V) or 0 volts, nothing in-between. But with a bad ground, the current finds it's way through one bulb filament, and then with no path to ground, it goes through the other filaments of the other bulbs to ground. That splits the voltage across the different filaments, giving you some fraction of battery voltage, rather than the all or nothing you should be getting.

-ERD50
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:24 AM   #31
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I worked at a trailer rental place between high school and college. Part of my job was to keep the trailer lights working. The number one lesson that I learned was DO NOT USE THE FRAME as a ground. Run a separate ground wire (preferably soldered) to each light from the harness plug. The cost is pennies and the increase in reliability is huge.

If it is a boat trailer, this advice is 10X.
.



Since I do not have a separate ground wire, I have to use what I have... if the LEDs work, I will leave the existing wires... if not, then I will make sure I add the extra wire when I rewire the trailer.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:11 AM   #32
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.
Since I do not have a separate ground wire, I have to use what I have... if the LEDs work, I will leave the existing wires... if not, then I will make sure I add the extra wire when I rewire the trailer.
Or you can simply buy a 25 foot piece of #14 braided wire and run it from the 4 way plug to each light base in succession. It doesn't hurt to duplicate the ground, but it sure eliminates a lot of problems.

Your call. I'd rather be fishin' than trying to fix the lights at the last minute.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:31 PM   #33
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It actually is a 5 wire, but I do not know what the 5th wire is for since I do not have brakes or a reverse light... I am using a 4 wire to connect to the tow vehicle...
What kind of trailer/boat?

Most small boats that I see with 5 wire plugs on the trailer is because the trailer has surge brakes and the 5th wire prevents their activation when trying to back up.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:04 PM   #34
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What kind of trailer/boat?

Most small boats that I see with 5 wire plugs on the trailer is because the trailer has surge brakes and the 5th wire prevents their activation when trying to back up.

It is a 18.5 ft bow rider... the trailer does not have any brakes... trust me... we had two blowouts and I had everything off...


Thanks to travelover I am going to try a wire from the right side to the left... if it is a ground issue I hope that the side were the light is working has a better ground...

If that does not work, I will run a wire the length of the trailer and see if that works... if so, I guess I will live with it for awhile... but might do the rewire and LEDs anyhow... I have not talked to DW about what she would want.... most of the time she just wants things to work....
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:14 AM   #35
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An update:

We went to the lake yesterday and all the lights were working.... I do not know why the one was not working the other day
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:01 AM   #36
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An update:

We went to the lake yesterday and all the lights were working.... I do not know why the one was not working the other day
Who say inanimate objects don't have a sense of humor?

Now, next time when you are all packed and ready to go, trying to beat rush hour traffic, it will go back on strike.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:52 AM   #37
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An update:

We went to the lake yesterday and all the lights were working.... I do not know why the one was not working the other day
My old saw is that if it can "fix" itself, it can break itself...
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:28 AM   #38
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An update:

We went to the lake yesterday and all the lights were working.... I do not know why the one was not working the other day
FM, well known in the electronics trades.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:33 AM   #39
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FM, well known in the electronics trades.
Aviation, too. It's disconcerting to see a serious write-up by a previous crew ("smoke in cockpit") with the maintenance guy's accompanying comment "CND" = "could not duplicate." Okay, I guess I'll take the plane and see if it actually catches fire in flight so we can troubleshoot this problem.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:42 AM   #40
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Speaking of squawks. A pilot noted "autoland inoperative" Mechanic signed off "this model does not have autoland"
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