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Old 08-04-2014, 06:54 PM   #1
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Tail & Clearance Lights

Recently, most of my rear parking/tail lights went out, and the only one working on the back of our T-1350 was on the left rear. Turn, brake, 4-ways, and backup all worked fine. The R/R parking light was out as were the clearance lights above, and the right side rear clearance light. I found a poor connection in the left rear tail light. I found it easily when I put the meter on them and the other lights came on. The upper connections on this socket needed re-terminated. (I also re-terminated the lower one. You can barely see the tip of the wire on it here - if you look real close.) You can also see that there is a bit of corrosion on the bulb's shell and its bracket/socket. That will be mentioned again later in this post.



The lower of the two bulbs was the culprit. The upper one is the backup light and was fine. The lower is the combination turn/stop/tail - 1157.



The caulking/sealing didn't look that great, but it seemed to be ok - kinda. When I got the fixture off.....yuck!



Ok.....a simple electrical fix. Cut the green wires loose, get all the "hairs" out of the holes, strip some new wire and shove it in the holes, making sure it sticks out on the other side.



After making sure the connections were good and all the lights worked in all modes, it's time to clean it up. Almost there, and I'm sure glad they didn't use silicone on it! Could have cleaned it all up before terminating, but I'm different.



Butyl tape on 3+ sides. I left some open at the bottom for good drainage. Don't know if it was necessary, but I did. I doubled up on the tape in the low spots on the vertical runs.



I suck at calking, but I cleaned it up better than this shot shows. Didn't want to get all that white goopy stuff on my nice shiny camera, so I stopped shooting at this point.



When it sets up good, I'll paint it and try to make it look like it's on purpose.

After it got it all back together and calked, I checked the lights again. Strange....when I had the 4-ways on with the parking lights, the 4-ways looked like a school bus's lights - alternating. LOL! Ok, I neglected to clean up the shell of the light bulb and its socket/bracket. (Silly goose!) It was a bit corroded. Once cleaned up, they all worked normally. Glad I didn't have to pull it all back apart and start over again. <G>
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:15 AM   #2
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Smear the bulb bases and sockets with bulb grease (dielectric) found at any auto parts store. Helps prevent corrosion.
That's the first TT I've seen with backup lights.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim44646 View Post
Smear the bulb bases and sockets with bulb grease (dielectric) found at any auto parts store. Helps prevent corrosion.
That's the first TT I've seen with backup lights.
I intend to do that, Jim. They were really "dry". Didn't have any on hand, but I'll rectify that soon enough - thanks.

It's nice to know the backup lights are there and they work. Never backed at night yet, so haven't really used them.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:38 PM   #4
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One of my coworkers suggested soldering the wires on to prevent future issues like this.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:32 PM   #5
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Here's the finished tail light. The paint isn't a perfect match but it's close - Krylon Gloss Almond.

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Old 08-05-2014, 06:17 PM   #6
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Nicely done and well documented!
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:26 PM   #7
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RV light assemblies are terrible they really are junk all ways have been and probably all ways will unless they are replaced with potted LED's On the plus side the average worker can put them on and at least have them work when they the factory. Soldering the wires would help but if they did not work because of a bad connection the wire is probably oxidized, if it's black it won't take solder unless you can cut off a few inches down to clean copper.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:36 PM   #8
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It's said: it's not how good you are but how well you can cover your screw ups
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:37 PM   #9
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Thank you, Lynn!

You're right, Tim. That method of connecting wires really stinks to begin with. I much prefer bonded leads from the lights - like my clearance lights are.

Jim, you got that right! <G> It's kind of like a welder grinding the ugly stuff off.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:35 PM   #10
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I have found WD40 works better than the electric grease. Years ago I had some non RV electrical connections with constant problems. The electrical grease only worked a short time. The WD40 solved the problem.

I also fixed a bunch of tail light problems with WD40.

WD40 also works wonders on those old circuit board edge connectors. Remember when computers had circuit coards that plugged into big long connectors on the main board?
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:40 AM   #11
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Thanks, Gene. Hadn't thought of WD-40.
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