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Old 10-22-2017, 10:40 PM   #1
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Where did I go wrong with my taillights / Brake lights

Good evening my fellow Skoolies;

Well everyone my wife had another idea and listening to CaptSquid and his rules I went with it . I ordered a set of Taillights to replace our 2001 BlueBird, 3401-3502 model, All American, rear engine, Caterpillar 3126, Air Brakes, Built in Fort Valley, GA.

Well we started with the passenger side first and we got the reverse lights working and the turn signals working. That is when our plan went SOUTH. At first, all the lights worked but the brake lights didn’t. Now we have no brake or taillights.

We have changed all the lights on the bus to LED lights. This includes the interior lights. The only standard lights are the headlights.
I also used the ground wire that was already there. It was grounding out the passenger side reverse light.

And YES, all the other lights are working!!!!!!

I have read the threads titled “Weird tail light problem. REDBEAR HELP!” & “need help walking thru light problem”.

First question - Do we have to have lightbulbs in the driver’s side for the passenger side to work?

Second question – Those two (2) red lights that double as license plate lights, can they be eliminated?

I will take on any possible solutions.
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File Type: jpg 1022171902a.jpg (135.1 KB, 12 views)
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:10 AM   #2
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First off LEDs must be wired properly or they will not work, color coding on the wires is very confusing. Second, L E Ds may not work with your origional flasher. Get an led flasher or put some resistance in line.
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bluebird90 View Post
First off LEDs must be wired properly or they will not work, color coding on the wires is very confusing. Second, L E Ds may not work with your origional flasher. Get an led flasher or put some resistance in line.
Bluebird90
You're recommending changing the Flasher or put some resistance and the line even for the brake line?
Are you speaking of a resistor or something else to go in that line?

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Old 10-23-2017, 09:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by IWC Bus View Post
Bluebird90
You're recommending changing the Flasher or put some resistance and the line even for the brake line?
Are you speaking of a resistor or something else to go in that line?

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Your brake lights aren't supposed to flash, right? LED's only mess with flashing lights. Read
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:55 AM   #5
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IF the leds are causing your problem, you need resistance in the turn signals only. An electronic flasher or led resistor would do the trick. What I have found most of the time is the light is wired wrong. The color coding on the light is ass backwards. check with the manufacturer to be sure.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:43 AM   #6
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Where did I go wrong with my taillights / Brake lights

Okay Okay...... I see I will be in Light Tester hell for the next couple of days.
I will back track and place 50W 6ohm Load Resistors at the 4 LED lights.
However do I install a flasher and the Resistors?
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by IWC Bus View Post
Okay Okay...... I see I will be in Light Tester hell for the next couple of days.
I will back track and place 50W 6ohm Load Resistors at the 4 LED lights.
However do I install a flasher and the Resistors?
This depends on what type of flasher unit is installed.

If it is a mechanical flasher, adding the load resistors (25W to each bulb) will allow the flasher to see the load and work correctly. If it is an electronic flasher you might need to do nothing, but even an electronic flasher needs the load if it is "load-sensing". These flasher units are the ones that will flash at double-rate to tell you a bulb is out. If you simply change the bulbs for LED, they will flash just fine, at double-rate. The mechanical ones will turn the bulb on solid, and not flash at all.

It's possible that a simple electronic flasher from Autozone will work with no extra load resistors added, but it depends what you have installed already.

Some vehicles have proprietory units and changing them is a little more involved. I doubt that a bus is one of them.
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:04 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone !

I am going to put the resistor in place.
However my problem are the taillights / brake lights.

The reverse lights are working the turn signals are working.
The emergency flasher are working.

My problem is getting this unit to light up as taillights and come on when the brakes are pressed.

Do anyone know the color code for the Bluebird wiring in the rear compartment?

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Old 10-23-2017, 12:58 PM   #9
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The business about load resistors seems like a bit of a distraction at this point. If they're needed I'd expect to see one of two symptoms: light comes on solid and doesn't flash, or light flashes at double-speed (lamp outage indicator mode). I suggest holding off for the load resistors until more basic operations are in place.

Frequently when vehicle lights act strangely it's because the ground return isn't right. I suggest you disconnect all the new lamps and do some testing with a single old lamp. First connect both test lamp wires to the battery and verify that the lamp works reliably. Then connect one lamp lead to a good ground on the engine, body, frame, etc near the rear signal wires. Connect the other lead to any one of the unknown signal wires. Operate the turn signals, brake, reverse gear, and clearance lights one at a time until you figure out the purpose of the chosen signal wire. Put some kind of label on the wire, whether simple like tape with a hand-written label or a more permanent solution. Repeat until the function of each wire is identified.

If that white wire really is a ground the test lamp will never light while connected there. Verify the ground wire is a good ground by leaving one test lamp wire connected to a known signal and moving its other wire from the engine/frame/body ground to the harness ground wire. The lamp should light equally well as it did when connected to the engine/frame/body.

After the function of every wire is known, start connecting the new LED lamps. As others mentioned, they may (or may not) be polarity sensitive. As each lamp is connected, operate its circuit to ensure it's doing what you expect.

At this point you'll be able to determine whether load resistors are needed to make the flashing signals work correctly: if it isn't right with only the LED lamp connected, then connect the incandescent lamp in parallel with the LED. If the both lamps begin flashing then you'll know you need to keep the incandescent around or replace it with a load resistor.
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
The business about load resistors seems like a bit of a distraction at this point. If they're needed I'd expect to see one of two symptoms: light comes on solid and doesn't flash, or light flashes at double-speed (lamp outage indicator mode). I suggest holding off for the load resistors until more basic operations are in place.

Frequently when vehicle lights act strangely it's because the ground return isn't right. I suggest you disconnect all the new lamps and do some testing with a single old lamp. First connect both test lamp wires to the battery and verify that the lamp works reliably. Then connect one lamp lead to a good ground on the engine, body, frame, etc near the rear signal wires. Connect the other lead to any one of the unknown signal wires. Operate the turn signals, brake, reverse gear, and clearance lights one at a time until you figure out the purpose of the chosen signal wire. Put some kind of label on the wire, whether simple like tape with a hand-written label or a more permanent solution. Repeat until the function of each wire is identified.

If that white wire really is a ground the test lamp will never light while connected there. Verify the ground wire is a good ground by leaving one test lamp wire connected to a known signal and moving its other wire from the engine/frame/body ground to the harness ground wire. The lamp should light equally well as it did when connected to the engine/frame/body.

After the function of every wire is known, start connecting the new LED lamps. As others mentioned, they may (or may not) be polarity sensitive. As each lamp is connected, operate its circuit to ensure it's doing what you expect.

At this point you'll be able to determine whether load resistors are needed to make the flashing signals work correctly: if it isn't right with only the LED lamp connected, then connect the incandescent lamp in parallel with the LED. If the both lamps begin flashing then you'll know you need to keep the incandescent around or replace it with a load resistor.
Thank you family wagon, Thank you for redirecting the forum back to the orignal issue at hand.
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