Brake Light Problem After LED Upgrade - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 29th, 2016, 07:48 PM
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John T
1986 Defender 110
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Brake Light Problem After LED Upgrade

Upgraded my lights to LED's on my 1986 Defender 110. Everything works great except for my brake lights. The lights illuminate red but don't go bright when brake pedal is depressed. Worked prior to upgrade. Needed to put resistors on flashers and all is good. Do I need resistors on rear brake lights?? Ideas? Help...
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  #2  
Old August 29th, 2016, 07:57 PM
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You probably have the brake and running light wires crossed
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  #3  
Old August 29th, 2016, 07:58 PM
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Mike Ferguson
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I went all LED on my '94 and had no issues with the brake lights. I did install the load balancers for the turn signals, but the brakes we fine. Have you checked to ensure the wiring is right?
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  #4  
Old August 29th, 2016, 08:04 PM
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John T
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I have three wires coming from the light fixture (black, red & green). These are connected to the matching wires coming out of the vehicle the only difference is the green coming out of the vehicle is green/purple .
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Old August 29th, 2016, 08:05 PM
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Wipac LED light colors do not correlate to the Defender color scheme - use clips and an assistant to operate the pedal while you test.

No resistors are needed, wire directly.
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  #6  
Old August 29th, 2016, 08:08 PM
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Try a volt/ohm meter to ensure you know which one is which and the correct colors to match. I installed waterproof connectors since they get sprayed by the rear wheels, so I have to make sure they were right before soldering them on. This was not a hard conversion as I remember it.
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  #7  
Old August 29th, 2016, 08:12 PM
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Also check that the grounds are all good. The lights share grounds. When you have regular lights, one light is able to ground through the others. With LEDs, they can't do that any more.

As above, the Wipac connector wire colors don't match the vehicle. You need to check each wire.
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  #8  
Old August 29th, 2016, 08:30 PM
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Yippie! Mybluett you were correct. I changed the black to black to black to green and it worked like a charm...Go figure...! Thanks for the insight!
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  #9  
Old August 30th, 2016, 04:32 PM
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John T
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Continuing Brake Light Problem After LED Upgrade

Thought all was well after getting advice about wire colors not matching after LED upgrade. Well here is my problem now:

1986 Defender 110

Upgraded to LED lights. All work except for brake lights. Tried all wire color combinations and found the only one that gets any results but crazy results:

When no key in ignition and headlights in ON position - brake lights work fine
When no key in ignition and headlights in OFF position - No brake lights when brake depressed

When key is in ignition and turned 3/4 and headlights in ON position - brake lights turn OFF when brake is depressed
When key is in ignition and turned 3/4 and headlights in OFF position - brake lights don't come on at all

When defender is started and headlights in ON position - brake lights turn ON when brake is depressed.
When defender is started and headlights in OFF position - brake lights don't come on at all

Some more detail when key is in position 1 or 2 brakelights work properly. In position 3 three and when the engine is started brakelights actually turn off when brake is depressed.


Please help!!!
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  #10  
Old August 30th, 2016, 06:08 PM
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As was mentioned earlier, I would check and make sure you have good grounds on all of the lights.
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  #11  
Old August 30th, 2016, 07:36 PM
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Angus, when I pull the wires out from the hole in the body a spider web of wires comes out with it. Wires spliced all over the place and all different colors. Can you give me some insight on how to best locate the ground wire. You would think it would be black but who knows with this mess!

Any thoughts/help would be great.
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  #12  
Old August 30th, 2016, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tig View Post
Angus, when I pull the wires out from the hole in the body a spider web of wires comes out with it. Wires spliced all over the place and all different colors. Can you give me some insight on how to best locate the ground wire. You would think it would be black but who knows with this mess! Any thoughts/help would be great.
All oem ground wires are black.
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  #13  
Old August 31st, 2016, 10:12 AM
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John T
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Ok...Here is an update and still an issue unresolved:

Was able to get the right brake/tail light working correctly but the left brake/tail light is still not functioning properly. The lamp illuminates on but does not go bright when break depressed.

I've checked the ground and all is ok... In fact when I wire the left lamp up exactly as the right lamp the it doesn't illuminate at all. In order to get it to illuminate I have to wire it up red/red black/black green/green but in doing so I still don't get any bright illumination when the break is depressed.

Stumped... Any suggestions?
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  #14  
Old August 31st, 2016, 10:20 AM
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You need to take a meter and test all of the power leads for power and the grounds for ground. Figure out which wire does what and label them. If one of the wires is not working, you then need to trace the fault.

Then once all of that is correct determine what lead is for what on the lights and wire it up.
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  #15  
Old August 31st, 2016, 11:03 AM
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Make sure the polarity is correct on all lamps.
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  #16  
Old August 31st, 2016, 11:34 AM
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John T
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Any idea how many volts should be coming out of the brake light wire with no brake applied and brake applied?
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  #17  
Old August 31st, 2016, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tig View Post
Any idea how many volts should be coming out of the brake light wire with no brake applied and brake applied?
Pull fuses to isolate the circuit providing power then begin the troubleshooting there.
As others have said, LEDs are polarity sensitive. Make sure you have all of them wired correctly.
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  #18  
Old August 31st, 2016, 11:56 AM
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where did you get the LED light package?
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  #19  
Old August 31st, 2016, 12:09 PM
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John T
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It is a Bearmach kit

------ Follow up post added August 31st, 2016 01:11 PM ------

down_shift,
Ok, once I pull the fuse can you tell me what to do then? I'm a newbie...Thx!
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  #20  
Old August 31st, 2016, 01:10 PM
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Check your grounds.

In all honesty you need to start reading about how electrical systems work, or find someone that does, to help and teach you. It isn't very complicated. Otherwise you are shooting in the dark.

There is nothing special about our cars vs other cars. Start here.

http://www.howacarworks.com/basics/h...l-systems-work
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