Help!!! ALL LIGHTS ON REAR OF TRUCK DEAD. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 09-09-2007
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Help!!! ALL LIGHTS ON REAR OF TRUCK DEAD.

I have no wire diagram for the truck. I haven't bothered to buy a Haynes manual. I prefer Haynes over Clymer's because the Haynes manual has better wire diagrams. Checked the 4 auto parts stores 20 miles away, and none had any books in stock. Couple of them didn't even have them in warehouse.
Here's the chain of events as best I recall. I did break one of the tail light bulb and socket but this was after the trouble started.

OK, several weeks ago, I rented a trailer from UHaul to finish our to Florissant.
We had the trailer hooked on for a few days when I noticed the tail lights on the truck were not working but all trailer lights worked. The brake, turn signals, 4way flasher, and license plate lights worked. Unhook the trailer and all lights worked on truck.

Last week a CSP officer pulls me over and comes up to the car and tells me I have no lights at all working on the back of the truck except brake and 4ways. Turn signals did not work, and gave that rapid clicking that occurs when a bulb is out. Both filaments on both tail/stop/turn lights are intact. I even got my VOM and checked the filaments. All good. I went to check for voltage at sockets and the batteries died in the meter. All stores within 30 miles are closed. Tomorrow I'll get the batteries and start over.

Yes, I pulled every fri

gging fuse and all pass visual inspection. I did this on both fuse panels. I don't know how to test the black boxes under the hood. I have no wire diagram. Any websites have diagrams I can download? Not to mention where to start testing, besides fuse panels. Interresting enough, The Ranger owner's manual has the fuse panel diagrams with corresponding list of what the fuse covers. I have read and read the lists and I see no fuse labeled for tail lights. Both hi/lo beams of headlights have a fuse. stop /turn have a fuse. Even the circuit that supplies power to the flat 4 conductor trailer connector has it's own fuse. Sheesh, now what? Am I missing it somewhere? Did Ford make a corrected manual or letter stating the label is wrong and it includes the correct labels.

That's it. Now what?????? Any ideas on how/why this is going on? The Uhaul connectors were plugged in correctly.

AARRGGGHHH
thanks in advance.
Myles
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2007
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Did I mention it's a 2001 Ranger Xlt super cab? or I'm told. It is a salvage truch but I've owned it for 2-3 years and no problems.
Myles
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Old 09-09-2007
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when you got the trailer was the trailer harness already there or did you have thm install it?
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Old 09-09-2007
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it was already on the truck. I've been hauling 2 different trailers that I own without any problem. Haven't hooked one up to see what happens though...
Myles
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Old 09-09-2007
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i say go back to uhaul and tell them that their trailer screwed up your truck
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Old 09-09-2007
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The Uhaul store I rented the trailer from is 140 miles away.
hmm, I should call them and see if I can get it done locally.
Thanks,
Myles
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Old 09-09-2007
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wait so they worked with the trailor hooked up but when you removed the tralor they stopped working?

and now you dont have turn signals or running lights? but the 4ways work (meaning emergency) could you elaborate id like to help (and i have a diaghram) but im confewsed alil

JOSH
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Old 09-09-2007
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confused as all hell.

If your brake lights are working, and 4 ways are working....then why aren't the turn signals working?? Man, this is wack!
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbeard
I have no lights at all working on the back of the truck except brake and 4ways. Turn signals did not work.
Do the front park, side marker, and turn signals work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbeard
I have read and read the lists and I see no fuse labeled for tail lights.
The park lights, both front and rear, get power from fuse F1.33 (15 amp) located in the Battery Junction Box under the hood on the drivers side next to inner finder.

Is the trailer wiring factory? If not, how is it connected, i.e., scotchlok taps, connector adapter, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by redbeard
Now what??????
If your front park lamps and turn signals work its not a fuse problem. Back probe the trailer wiring and park lamp/turn signal sockets with either a test light or VOM. If you dont see anything there try back probing at the cab connector. I would suspect the problem is where the trailer wiring connects to the factory harness especially if scotchloks where used.

.
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  #10  
Old 09-09-2007
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Did you check the spot where someone spliced the trailer wiring into your system? Over time corrosion could form and cause all sorts of havoc. A few years back something similar happened to me. When I'd put my truck in reverse my flasher would start and my "key in ignition" chime would start making noise. Found out the splice was causing the trouble because corrosion had formed at the press on connector and was making things wacky. I removed the connector, spliced in some new wire, weather-proofed the repair and all is good now.
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2007
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let me try agian...

1. Uhaul trailer attched to truck for a couple maybe even 5 days when I notice the TAIL lights on truck not on, but all trailer lights on as normal.

2. then and there I checked the connection to trailer. The were tight, clean, etc., and the TRUCK lights worked as normal.

3. trailer still on truck for a week or more, but I was not always there to check lights. My g/f drove it and she told me that if the trailer lights all worked, then wait till we got home and fix then.

4. forgot about the problem.

5. Last week CSP pulled me over and said my tail lights were BOTH OFF.
In pulling over I used my turn circles, brakes ( obviously) and 4ways while stopped on side of road. He said since I had working 4ways, leave them on till I got home (5-6miles or so). He also said don't drive at night till fixed.

6.yesterday, I was driving a 2 lane 40mph road ahind stopped to turn left into a drive way. All of a sudden I hear horns. A car coming up on my rear hit his horn and started to move towards and paritlally on the shoulder of road,. The oncoming giant RV hit his air horns also. Well, the car flew by me on the right, I moved towards the center hoping there was room for all 3 of us. I really had no escape route out, since no one goes 40 on this newly repaved straight part of the road. Anyway the RV was on the opposite shoulder, I sat on the middle of the road and both vehicles passed me almost at the same time. When I got ready to turn and had my turn signal on, it made the fast clicking/flashing thing it does when a filament is out in one of the signals. It was then that I recalled a lighting problem. And you guys think you are confused?

7. First: no tail lights,with trailerattac,ed and had flashers/turn signals working.

8. All worked without trailer as normal.

9. no tail lights again, and had the turn/flash lights worked.

10. Next day I took the truck down the hill, hit the tturn signal and heard/remembered a lighting problem (again). It was daylight and was going to Post Office and back.

11. got home, turned flasers on:nothing.
Turned the turn signal on and :TADA nothing.

12.front lights on, back of truck had NO lights working at all. even license plate lights were out. I did not try backup lights. Bulbs had intact filaments.

wait, some one asked if it was the 2 bulb or 3 bulb taillight unit. It is a 2 bulb. This is a salvage vehicle and is a 2001 truck that has a 2000 bed installed. When we decided to buy it and leave a deposit, the mechanic asked us if we wanted the factory trailer wire adapter installed. I said yes, and he said ok. tThen he said I think I even have a factory receiver hitch If we wanted that too. I said yes, of course, we 'll take anything he's got for no additional funds. He laughed and said that was it. I guess he did it right. He specializes in repairing mostly salvaged Rangers and Explorers. And we 've had any problems.The occasional trailer lighting would have a bulb out, and it always turned out to be at the 4 flat plug. Corrasion, mud etc.

where was I. umm stand by and I will go out to the truck and check it over again....shoot. the battery appears to have run itself down. Short to ground taking lights and now battery is now due to continued short to ground? Just a guess there. We've got like 3-4 circuits on the rear lighting.
1.stop/turn
2.reverse lights
3. tail lights/license plate lights
4 trailer lights as they are on a circuit all to them selves.
or something like that anyway. I did break a license plate light and probably socket, but that was last week in the middle of all this.....
AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH where is that mechanic who is supposed to live next door when you need him.

Ok, I'll post this, get the charger out, and start over.....

to be continued....
Myles
PS the caps early in this post were for emphasis and clarity. I didn't want anyone to thing i was yelling, which in fact I usually do while working on cars, trucks, umm tractors, motorcycles, dogs........
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2007
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forgot to mention,last timea a trailer light was unhappy and did not go back on with cleaning of plugs, I went under the truck to check wiring. I've never seen a wire harness that well wrapped by both electrical tape of the plastic ribbed wire protector, which usually also had tape on it. It looked like it would outlast the truck. Like I said, 2 years+ and no problems till this....
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  #13  
Old 09-09-2007
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Redbeard, the park lamps/side marker/license plate lights are powered by a single fuse and feed both front and rear lamps from the dash light switch. If you had a short in any of these lamp wiring it would blow the fuse causing all park lamps/side marker/license plate, front and rear, to be out.

Also, the brake and hazard share a commen feed through the multifunction switch to the rear lamps but use different fuses for power. The turn signals use a different feed and fuse through the multifunction switch but connect to the same feed to the rear lamps as the brake and hazard lamps.

If your brake and hazard lamps work on the rear but not the turn signals or park lamps you need to check the front turn signals and front park lamps to see if they are working. Let us know if the front turn/park/side marker lamps work and post up that info. Also, get a test light or your VOM and check for battery voltage at the flat 4 pin trailer connection using the park/turn signals and the same at each tail lamp bulb socket and post up that info.
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  #14  
Old 09-10-2007
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mystery solved

TO ONE AND ALL, THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP AND IDEAS.
I went out to the truck to start checking things again. I decided to look closely at that license plate light I broke a couple days ago. I thought it might be part of the problem. The hat looking thing is a lens and protector. I sheered it right off. Interestingly enough, it apparantly took the bulb with it. I took it all apart and the socket appears intact. The bulb base even disintegrated. I guess I'll check a dealer and see they can order me a replacement hood.

While under there, I decided to look at the trailer connections again, as suggested. The wires from the flat 4 connector go directly to a taped and wrapped junction. The junction is where the right and left rear electrical power splits, I think. With a little closer inspection I saw where one of the clips that holds wires in place against the frame was broken. That's where I found the problem. With that clip gone, the bundle to the rear, including the flat 4 wires, were not properly secured. Pieces of that ribbed stuff that hold the wires was missing. When I looked at the wires that were unprotected, I found the flat 4 wires and they looked like they had some rubbed areas. I could not see a true break in the insulation, but it was like pinholes in a couple of the wires. Apparantly the wires disappear into this wire loom, but dont' actually connect in the circuit until further up somewhere. I rerouted the flat 4 wires over a different frame piece that pulled the open areas of the wire loom away from the frame. I will wire tie them tomorrow, after I either find mine or go buy some. I used that liquid electical tape stuff to cover the wires where they looked rubbed. That stuff really works. I use it a lot where real tape on a connection is difficult to place. I"ll dab it on, let it dry for a day, put more on and let that dry a day, then put a third coat on. I've used it enough to know that one application is usually too thin, or it runs down the wire and didn't completely cover the wire where it was needed. I got all this done and went to the cab and turned the 4way flashers and the mail lint switch on. All worked. I turned off the flashers to try the turn signals. They didn't work. Then I remembered I had to have the truck running or at least have the ignition switch to on for turn signals to work. Well, it wasn't on. Go to the house, get the keys, come back out, turn on the truck and turn signals worked also. that was it. I had already looked at the 4flat wires up to where they entered the loom. The break in the plastic protection stuff was about 3 inches up from where the wires entered.

So all is fixed. Now, what fuse are the damn tail lights on? I never did find one labled for them. If anyone knows, please tell me which of the 2 fuse boxes and the number of the fuse for future reference.

Thanks again for all the help. Hope I can return it some day.
Myles
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  #15  
Old 09-10-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbeard
So all is fixed. Now, what fuse are the damn tail lights on? I never did find one labled for them. If anyone knows, please tell me which of the 2 fuse boxes and the number of the fuse for future reference.
Running lights, including license plate lights, are on #33 in the Battery Junction Box under the hood.
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  #16  
Old 09-10-2007
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tail light fuse

Thanks for the fuse info. I'll double check the owner's manual. It may say running lights. Guess I didn't figure the tail lights as running lights. Does that make all lights on are running lights? just kidding. Thanks again.

Myles
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  #17  
Old 12-11-2007
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i have this same problem in my 91 but i totally took off my trailer harness in hopes to fix the problem but no luck at all!!!!
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  #18  
Old 12-12-2007
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Holy cow........

What a freaking nightmare of a situation. Glad to hear it's all fixed. Electrical problems are a PITA, and trying to locate the source of the problem is just as frustrating.
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