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Old 10-14-2019, 02:55 PM   #1
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12v. electrical genius needed

It's a bit complicated. I added two turn signals to the front side of the RV, ECCO Model ED3777 LED 180 degree - perfect for the application.

We picked up the hot and ground from the OEM reflector/turn signal on the front corners. We didn't splice into them but snipped them leaving a pig tail. They work swimmingly as long as the parking/headlights are on and don't work at all if they aren't. I could of course just leave it like this but I don't want to "have" to have my lights on to have the side turn signals. Even when the new ones aren't working, all other lighting works well.

So, I'm looking for ideas as to how/where to pick up another hot lead that will also work with the turn signal but not require the lights to be on. The real mystery here is why did it change as I'm sure the old lights didn't require the lights be on to operate. Difference in amp draw perhaps? Maybe we could go back and rewire the old light back into the circuit? Maybe we could pick up a hot from the front lower turn signal.
Thoughts?


I have the Ford manual and have checked the Winnie drawings and neither are very helpful - at least to me. Does anyone know if there are actual schematics of the wiring?

I'll add a couple of pics of the lights we're replacing and get can them of the new lights if it will help.
Thanks
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:13 PM   #2
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It's an interesting wiring situation, if it's like our 2014 Sunstar on the F53. I did the same modification.



The stock lights are incandescent. For some reason, Ford changes the polarity on the wires to the light depending on whether it's being activated as a "parking" light, or turn signal.


Some LED lights light on only one polarity.



Try reversing the wires and see what happens.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:02 AM   #3
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Slo, thanks. The place that installed the lights said the same thing about the LEDs only working in one direction. It's scheduled to go back to them next week, I'll mention it to them.
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Old 10-15-2019, 07:55 AM   #4
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No genius here however - if reversing the leads makes the new LED inop you probably need load resistors for them to work. Google "load resistor" etc. It has been a known issue since LED lights came out to replace incandescent bulbs. Polarity can indeed be an issue but the LED replacement has very little resistance unlike an incandescent bulb which may operate at 25-50 watts or more. Load resistors for this kind of application are available at any auto store, WalMart etc. Usually price range at 2 for around $10. Have fun. If your replacement light has built-in load resistors it is rare.
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:59 AM   #5
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Kayak, thanks, the installer mentioned he may have to consider doing that also. How did yours turn out? Did you have the same/similar issue and if so, how did you resolve it?
Once I get it figured out, or decide to just run with the headlights on, I'll post the results.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:12 AM   #6
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I ran into this the first time years ago on my old dually when I put LED rear lights on. I really mostly forgot about it after that until this year when I set up my '18 Suby Forester 6sp for flat tow. I used the LED light bar with remote transmitter, TowMateRV, and the transmitter did not operate the bar consistently, especially turns. It was also complicated by a bad ground wire in the factory jumper 7pin plug on the RV. Finally found the loose ground, fixed that issue, then realized I still had a problem. I was aware of the View tow module but hopeful the remote transmitter would present enough load to trigger it operational - it did not.



Load resistors needed because the View tow module expected the resistance from incandescent bulbs and did not "see" enough resistance to operate the tow module under the driver's seat of the RV. My solution was to either buy external load resistors or find an adapter with them internal. I found the short 7pin adapter at eTrailer.com for a reasonable price and it works perfectly. The load resistors are built into the short case, no cutting of the wiring necessary.


If you put in the load resistors be sure to use the heat shrink waterproof butt splices or one of the waterproof connectors to wire in the things - prevent future issues.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:18 AM   #7
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You can Google the installation for the load resistors but it is very simple really. The load resistor emulates adding an incandescent bulb. That means one end of the load resistor goes to the hot wire to that light in parallel with the new led bulb and the other end of the load resistor goes to ground. The resistor does NOT go inline in the hot side, it must be wired just like the original bulb socket, one end to hot wire the other end to ground.


So...splice the hot wire, one end of resistor, and the hot end of the led bulb together. The other end of resistor, ground side of led, and vehicle ground together.


Load resistors come in different resistance which should roughly equate to the wattage rating of the original bulb so check the wattage of the original bulb to know which size resistor is most appropriate.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Upinsmoke View Post
It's a bit complicated. I added two turn signals to the front side of the RV, ECCO Model ED3777 LED 180 degree - perfect for the application.

We picked up the hot and ground from the OEM reflector/turn signal on the front corners. We didn't splice into them but snipped them leaving a pig tail. They work swimmingly as long as the parking/headlights are on and don't work at all if they aren't. I could of course just leave it like this but I don't want to "have" to have my lights on to have the side turn signals. Even when the new ones aren't working, all other lighting works well.

So, I'm looking for ideas as to how/where to pick up another hot lead that will also work with the turn signal but not require the lights to be on. The real mystery here is why did it change as I'm sure the old lights didn't require the lights be on to operate. Difference in amp draw perhaps? Maybe we could go back and rewire the old light back into the circuit? Maybe we could pick up a hot from the front lower turn signal.
Thoughts?


I have the Ford manual and have checked the Winnie drawings and neither are very helpful - at least to me. Does anyone know if there are actual schematics of the wiring?

I'll add a couple of pics of the lights we're replacing and get can them of the new lights if it will help.
Thanks
Yes LED bulbs are great but the need to use diodes may be necessary depending on your application.
Example: as part of any towing package where a vehicle may be towed behind your RV, it is necessary (in most cases on modern cars) to use diodes installed for the lights (turn signals, brake lights, etc) to function at all. And to boot, some vehicles have to be wired very specifically that is unique such as Jeeps.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:56 AM   #9
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Thanks, I'll check out both watts/amps for the push in bulbs to get the correct resistor. I believe my big mistake was having the tech check for hot with the parking lights on, it was just an oversight on my part. Maybe a good place to start is to go back and check for hot with the ignition and turn signal on and not the lights.
In any case, after my appointment this/next week, I'll post a follow up.
Thanks again.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:33 PM   #10
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cutting & splicing is not a good habit to get into

Much better to go to a fuse block...find an empty fuse spot (on the hot side of ignition) run a wire from there to your need

This attitude prevents lots of future issues
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:44 PM   #11
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Lots of strange things posted. First, the OP added turn signal lights. You must run those off the turn signal flasher module just as the original bulb and in that circuit. He specifically added Turn Signal Lights. They need load resistors to function probably and correct polarity.



That's one clarification. Another is diodes have zip, J-zero, nada, absolutely nothing to do with this install. Diodes are required when wiring a towed vehicle to operate off the RV 7pin signals. The diodes isolate the towed vehicle wiring from the RV signals/voltage. This can ALSO induce a problem if the newer towed vehicle has LED lighting which many are now using. Again you need diodes for isolation and load resistors and the install gets much more complex which is why many of us are going to the remote LED light bars for towing behind the RV. That's for the towed vehicle, not the RV itself. There are other considerations as well like CANBUS, all those things make the new vehicles easier to set up with LED light bars.


One other consideration is where you mount load resistors. They get hot if used in a circuit which is ON for a period of time. No issue with turn signal lighting because they are not constant on. If you mount load resistors you really want them at the end of the circuit, ie., adjacent to the light and wired to that light - not inside the rig or anywhere heat is trapped and a problem.
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:01 AM   #12
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Side lights?

Did you happen to tap into the side markers that come on at night and flash with the turn signals? If so, they may very well be picking up power from the running lights and using the turn signals as a ground. If that's the case the front turn signal and the side marker/turn signal will flash opposite each other when the headlights are on, and the side marker will be dead when the headlights are off.

If that's the case you can tap into the front turn signal positive and use a chassis ground to make the new additional side turn signals work. Presuming they're made to be turn signals, they're probably on the bright side to be using at night.

Anyway, good luck. :-)
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:03 AM   #13
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fsj1978, take a look at the original post and you can see where we tapped into the front/side marker light/turn signal. I'm also thinking we may be able to pick up the hot from the lower turn signal, but since that is three wire (turn, marker, ground?), it could mean that I will then have turn signal but no marker light at all - for the new lights.


Kayak73, I understand about the diodes - thanks. We picked up the hot, as you can see from the pics, from the OEM marker/turn signal on the front corners. They are incandescent, push in type bulbs. I'm hoping it's the lack of resistance with the LED lights that's the issue and if we include resistors, they will be in the wheel wells so any heat shouldn't be an issue.

I will reiterate, they operate perfectly as both marker and turn signal lights. . . as long as the marker/headlights are on. If not, they no worky at all. If it gets to be a pain, I'll just run with the lights on as that's what I sould probably do any way.
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:12 AM   #14
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I looked at your picture of the light where you picked up the "hot" wire for the new LED turn signal. From that picture, the light only uses a two wire circuit which means that is is probably a side light that also acts as a turn signal. One old incandescent bulb that functions as both a side light as well as a turn signal.That is why the LED works when the running lights are on.

The correct way to install the LED turn signal would be to go to the front light assembly. There will either be two bulbs (one for running and one for turn) or a single bulb (one two elements). If there are two bulbs, pick the hot wire up from the turn signal. If there is one bulb, there should be three wires (one ground, one running light, one turn signal and use the turn signal "hot" wire. I would suggest you splice the wires into the headlight circuit. That way you would not need any load resistors.

For the sake of clarity, LEDs (Light Emitting Diode) only work hooked up using the correct polarity. Old incandescent bulbs will work with the wires hooked up in either direction.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:03 AM   #15
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LED's Won't work

What you want to happen is the side marker to be on with the lights on, and blink with the turn signals. If I understand this correctly. GM did this for years, by connecting a small bulb to the two hots in the front lamp. When the lights are on, with no turn signal, the current goes, from the park light hot to the bulb, and then returns to the turn signal hot. That circuit not being energized, creates the ground path for the marker light. Using turn signal with lights off, works the same, but backward. Going from turn signal hot to bulb to park light hot. That circuit not being energized then is the ground path. Using turn signals with park lights on, creates a different story. With the lights on, the marker light is on. Then using the turn signal will put a hot wire to the front lamp, thus ending the ground path through that circuit, and the marker lamp goes off. If you look at the marker and park lamps in operation, with the lights off the marker blinks with the turn signal, on and off at the same time. With the lights on, the marker light blinks with the turn signal, but out of phase, when the turn signal lamp comes on, the marker turns off. With the original incandescent bulb in the marker light, this works perfect. But, Because the led only works wired in one direction. This concept won't function. This will only work properly with incandescent lamps. Kerry
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:45 PM   #16
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Quick question... if an LED does require a load resistor, and I am reading they can produce heat, then I assume they are using current. So wouldn't that negate any benefit (besides longevity) of using an LED?
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:59 PM   #17
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Upinsmoke, did your rig have a stock marker light in that position? (mine does). And what is the length of the new light? 4" 6" ? I want to replace my stock marker light with a dual purpose marker/directional. But am having problems finding a 4" light. Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steved28 View Post
Quick question... if an LED does require a load resistor, and I am reading they can produce heat, then I assume they are using current. So wouldn't that negate any benefit (besides longevity) of using an LED?

That is exactly correct. Energy is dissipated into heat with the load resistors. As I read back through this post and slowly understand what the OP is doing it appears his turns work properly in the main location but his new secondary lights do not. This application should not require load resistors but two lights, not one. If the original circuit indeed uses the incandescent bulb as a ground path then he must leave the incandescent in place or re-wire the entire mess. Leaving the incandescent in place and tying the new led bulb to the main flasher circuit appropriately will work as long as the original turns are incandescent and working properly. A mess.


In other words the original main turns circuit has resistance to make his flasher circuit work which will operate a slave LED just fine.
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:42 AM   #19
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OP here. Thanks for all of the useful information. I have an appointment this morning and will share all of the thoughts with the technician.

Maybe to clear up a couple of things: If you look at the original post, it's evident which light(s) I'm replacing. As far as I know, the original lights functioned as turn signals w/o the lights being on, and then as a marker/turn signal when the lights are on. This is exactly what I wish to duplicate with the new light.

The new lights are actually emergency/warning lights able to flash in many different configurations and are 180 degree "intersection" lights. I wanted these because whether functioning as a turn signal and/or marker light, they will be visible from three sides all at one time. The original goal was to have a functional side turn signal like those found on the side of tractor trailer trailers, the other two directions (front and side) are bonuses. This is the new light: https://www.eccoesg.com/us/en/produc...s/ED3777Series

I'll report back and if possible, I'll post a brief video of the operation.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:46 PM   #20
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Most OEM flashers work because they have a bimetallic thermal element that heats up from the load of the incandescent light bulbs in the circuit so when you convert to LED you have to either put in load resistors or change the flasher element to an electronic one with a timer instead of a bimetallic thermal element.

Since most install the LED's to reduce the electrical load on their vehicles along with enjoy the extended bulb life adding the load back by installing a resistor seems counter intuitive so the best solution to me is to just change out the flasher to the electronic version with the timer and pave the way for future conversion of the remaining bulbs to LED. Note that its usually best to change out the emergency flasher too while your at it.
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