Very odd wiring phenomenon - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-29-2010
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Very odd wiring phenomenon

Hi all,

Yes, I am a "noob" and yes I did use the search on this and various other sites lol very quickly I'm formerly Cdnranger on rps and decided to make an account here. I am on my 3rd ranger at 22 years of age. OK so now that's out of the way on to the problem:

My brake lights do not work, my third (cab brake light) however works like a charm. From what I've searched from brake light problems most people remedy the situation by replacing the brake light switch and/or replacing the bulbs and I have tried both to no avail. Now my tail lights (running lights) work just fine as do my signals and reverse lights. It gets very weird when I engage the hazard lights. Instead of the rear signals blinking the tail/brake lights blink, including the cab brake light! It was amusing for about 30 seconds....

So my question is this; has anyone encountered a problem like mine? And is there a detailed chassis wiring diagram for my truck? Thank-you in advance!

1997 Ford Ranger XL
2.3 L 5 Speed Manual
Step-side
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Old 03-29-2010
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i dont have the "correct" answer, but if you need a quick and easy fix you could tap into the 3rd brake light power wire and run wire to the back of the truck and tap into the brake light bulb in the tail lights and wham! fixed... yes i know this is a little bit "booty fabbed" but it could work temporarily.. also try tracing your factory existing wiring and making sure there is breaks or bad connections..
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Old 03-29-2010
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It sounds like you have no ground at the taillight assemblies. To test that idea, I would try grounding the black wire at the back of the truck by temporarily jumping it to the bumper or frame. If that fixes it, then you need to trace the black ground wire back from the taillights to the left cowl near the dash. That's where the ground for the taillights and CHMSL is bolted down.
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Old 03-29-2010
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I immediately thought you must have a grounding problem, and seeing that is what Bob says too, then I must be right. :)
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Old 03-29-2010
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First I thought fuses ... but I think the grounding issue may be you trouble
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Old 03-29-2010
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Fear not everyone, I solved the puzzle lol apparently the previous owner (i think Mickey Mouse was his name) attempted to wire a trailer wiring assembly to the existing harness but failed so just ended up extending the wiring at the point were it splits to go to each respective side. His technique of wiring was interesting....apparently sticking two wires together and wrapping them in electrical tape doesnt hold up to well lol looks like i'll be cleaning up the butchered wiring yay!

It was the light green wire that goes from the switch to the bulb that needed the attention, fixed it and the brake lights work like a charm. What I find interesting is how the hazards used the brake lights instead of the signals with the brake light wire failing, maybe a fail safe of some sort? haha i dunno. Whats important here is that its fixed and you were all wrong! j/k thanks for the pointers guys hopefully this thread will help someone with a similar problem in the future.
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Old 03-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wellcom2knoxvile View Post
i dont have the "correct" answer, but if you need a quick and easy fix you could tap into the 3rd brake light power wire and run wire to the back of the truck and tap into the brake light bulb in the tail lights and wham! fixed... yes i know this is a little bit "booty fabbed" but it could work temporarily.. also try tracing your factory existing wiring and making sure there is breaks or bad connections..
lol, worst idea ever
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Old 03-30-2010
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Originally Posted by BLK02 View Post
lol, worst idea ever
i said temporary fix until he found out the problem!! if he HAD to go anywhere he could have done this... and yes, complete booty fab, nig-rig, presidential solution, whatever you wanna call it!
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Old 03-30-2010
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Nice Work!
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Old 03-30-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wellcom2knoxvile View Post
i said temporary fix until he found out the problem!! if he HAD to go anywhere he could have done this... and yes, complete booty fab, nig-rig, presidential solution, whatever you wanna call it!
Technically it could have worked, but I am happy I found the solution and didn't have to resort to this lol I do appreciate the idea though!
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Old 03-30-2010
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Right on for figuring that issue out. It's always "fun" to try and figure out what a hack did to the vehicle before you. People that just don't know, shouldn't do!! Very simple advice. LOL

Ghetto DIY'ers always make me laugh, especially with electrical. There's some vehicles out there that should just burn up to teach them a lesson.
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Old 03-30-2010
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So yours didnt come with a plug at the end near the hitch area for a trailer?
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Old 03-31-2010
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there was a plug but before who ever had it before must have tried to hook it up, gave up and rick bob'd it back to the original harness. Eventually i'll probly hook it to the trailer harness because we do have a boat at my parents place we like to use
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Old 03-31-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunkysoup View Post
there was a plug but before who ever had it before must have tried to hook it up, gave up and rick bob'd it back to the original harness. Eventually i'll probly hook it to the trailer harness because we do have a boat at my parents place we like to use
Oh okay........... wow so they butchered the harness. FUN times
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Old 03-31-2010
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to really fix it, get a barrel connector and some heat shrink. almost as good as new. and that problem would best be described as a short...
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