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Old 04-11-2006, 11:50 PM   #1
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trailer wiring

Has anyone here ever used one of those adapters for connecting the bus signals and brake lights together? How do the lights flash when you step on the brake and at the same time have either the left or right signal on?

My thoughts are it would alternate bus on trailer off and then bus off trailer on and so on.

And then with the brakes released the signals would flash at the same time. Can someone confirm this is the way those work or not. If it is the way it works I just came up with a way to duplicate that using three 5 position relays, which would be useful since there are a good number of buses that had these for the 8 way lamps.

Here is my cheesy diagram. I hope it is understandable.The two wire from the left are, the red is a constant power and the black is ground.

edit: I had a couple wires wrong on the picture so I changed it.
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:36 PM   #2
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I need to figure out how to do this with my vehicle so that I can just hook up and plug in, using my vehicle taillights/signals. I don't guess you'd hook up the front signals, since that would be confusing to other drivers.
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:51 PM   #3
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I figured I'd run some wires from the front to the back on my truck and tap into the rear signal brake lights or maybe I can just use a jumper wire into the trucks trailer plug. I am assuming you still havn't wired your tow behind for lights either have you. When I drove my bus the 600 miles home I didn't bother with the light hook up. When I was darker out I just turned the truck lights on.

My set up does work the way I described above. I had set it up on some cardboard using 5 clip lights. one solo brake light and two solo signal lights, and then it goes through the relays like I show in my drawing above to the combo signal and brake lights.
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:42 AM   #4
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I'm a little lost here...what is it that you're trying to accomplish?

In a nutshell...the bus (and most foreign cars) have separate lights (and therefor two bulbs) for brake lights and turn signals. Most trailers and American cars have a combined light fixture utilizing a single bulb with two elements.

You can purchase an adapter in order to pull a trailer with dual element bulbs behind your bus with two single element bulbs. It's just a little box with a bunch of wires coming out each end; one set taps into the bus wiring and the other goes (typically) to a standard flat-4 trailer connector.

In two element bulbs each element has a difference wattage (i.e. - one is brighter than the other). The lower wattage element is powered by the brown "running light" circuit that comes on with the parking lights (and/or headlights). The other element, the bright one, is powered by the yellow wire (for the left side) or the green wire (for the right side). This element is energized by the application of the brakes (both yellow and green wires receive power) or by engaging the turn signal in which case either the yellow wire or the green wire recieve power individually (depending on the direction of turn). You don't get both brakes lights and turn signals at the same time in the same fixture; it's one or the other. [Apparently other countries feel having both is a safer situation so their cars have a red brake light and a yellow turn signal; both can work at the same time. The U.S. government apparently thinks along these lines too since that system is mandated for school buses.]

The above color code is relative to the trailer end of the setup; not the tow vehicle.
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:49 PM   #5
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I'm just tring to be cheap. I went to the store and I saw them there and really didn't want to pay $40 for one. So I checked ebay and also I reall didn't want to pay $15 for one there either. So I figured I'd try a cheaper method.
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Old 04-15-2006, 01:47 PM   #6
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the three relays you have in the system will cost more than the 15 bucks you could have bought the correct part for. What are they? about $7 bucks each. Not to mention that every relay has 5 connectors....that's a lot of wires, and a lot of connectors to go bad. Certainly it can work if you do everything right, those type of relays are used in millions of automibiles.....
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Old 04-15-2006, 06:05 PM   #7
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Well I just finished wiring my set up in. Yes I had some from bone yard cars. And the bus had four of them in it for the 8 way lamps. I'll admit it, it would have been easier to go buy one of them gizmos. And when I started running my wires on the inside behind the left signal and brake lights I was starting to think why don't I just go buy a gizmo and be done with it, but I went with it anyways.
(It's ok to flame me for the whole idea, I can take it and realize the other way would have been easier.)

And then after I got the 7 way plug hooked up and plugged in to a small trailer to verify it works. The brake lights we're lit up. And then when I started looking at my relay set up I realized it was correct and that I had the 7 way plug 180 off, which would explain why I had a hard time pushing together. If someone asked me to help them do the same for them I'd tell them to go buy the gizmo and be done with it. As for myself I guess I just wanted to do it the complicated way.
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Old 04-15-2006, 06:56 PM   #8
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congrats on getting it to work
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