Electrical help, what's the common denominator? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old April 7th, 2016, 06:53 PM
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Electrical help, what's the common denominator?

'93 ROW 110

No low beams/no green dash icon (before you say new switch, read on...yes, I've searched and read the threads)
No high beam in forward position, only when pulling back (blue dash icon turns on)
No gauge lights
No wipers
No reverse light
No heater motor

Side indicators and markers work, as do blinkers, tail/brake light and radio.

Replaced light switch
Replaced horn/highbeam/indicator switch
Fuses check out

I checked connections in the headlight assembly and replaced some connectors that appeared corroded. I thought I had fixed it as everything worked again...until I drove it and went over some bumps, then it went dark. Something must be loose but what? Headlight connections appear okay. Where's the common denominator here? I'm almost ready to send it to the shop but feel so close to solving this as I had it working!
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  #2  
Old April 7th, 2016, 08:20 PM
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Have you checked the fuse box to make sure you have power to the fuses that are not working? My first thought is the key switch. You are getting power on the aux position but not the next position?
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  #3  
Old April 7th, 2016, 08:28 PM
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Little more background would help - did you just get the truck and have these issues Day1? - did you have the truck before and these issues just started up? What was the last thing done before it started happening? Do you have other odd symptoms like turn signals light up when you hit the brakes?

I would say maybe a loose ground strap or maybe battery terminal cable (at battery or at battery cut-off switch if you have one). Or maybe your ignition switch is going though I think you would have other issues/symptoms as well (atleast mine did when it went).

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Old April 7th, 2016, 09:02 PM
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I've had it for about a month, everything worked when I got it. Then as I was driving along, stopped at a stop sign at night, lights went out.

No "odd symptom" as far as things only working if I turn something on. The things I mention just don't work.

The fuses are all working. When I use a multimeter to test the continuity, they all beep. Does that mean the power to the fuse box is okay?

I have a feeling it's a ground issue but just don't know where. Connections to battery are fine.

I have power in both accessory and on positions in the ignition switch. None of the above work in either, though.
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Old April 8th, 2016, 12:39 AM
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Does the hazard switch work?
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Old April 8th, 2016, 01:22 AM
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check the grounds for the head lights. Use a test lamp to see if you are getting power to the headlamps on low beam and trace the wire back from there until you do find power.
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Old April 8th, 2016, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by lmwong View Post
I have a feeling it's a ground issue but just don't know where.
Check the body to frame ground as a start. The side/marker lights are on the same cct as the instrument back lights so that makes no sense.

Does the rear wash/wipe work ? Do the stop lights work ? Both are fed from the same common'd switched ignition feed on the fuse box as the wipers, reverse lights etc.

You could try jumpering out the ignition switch, link the thick brown to the thick white and see if that helps.... might have a high resistance position in the switch.
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Old April 8th, 2016, 08:46 AM
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Sounds like backfeed from a ground not making contact. Sometimes people will group ground wires and if one lead comes loose or melts or disconnects it will backfeed through all other circuits to ground.

Your issues are pretty widespread so I would take a look under the bonnet and in the rear for anything that appears like it has been worked on, then go ahead and check those connections
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Old April 8th, 2016, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
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Sounds like backfeed from a ground not making contact. Sometimes people will group ground wires and if one lead comes loose or melts or disconnects it will backfeed through all other circuits to ground.

Your issues are pretty widespread so I would take a look under the bonnet and in the rear for anything that appears like it has been worked on, then go ahead and check those connections
There is one ground in particular from the Transfer Case to the chassis that gets corroded or loose. I made several unnecessary component replacements before I found it.
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  #10  
Old April 8th, 2016, 09:55 AM
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Thanks all for the responses. I will try again over the weekend to solve this problem. After thinking about it some more, I wonder if it has to do with the reverse light switch at the transmission case and ground. When things went wonky initially, I checked the reverse light switch and found that the metal contacts to the switch were corroded and literally fell apart in my hands. I connected the two wires and found the reverse light worked, then later realized all the electrical issues were solved (seemingly like magic)! I bought a temporary simple toggle switch from autozone and hooked it up to the reverse light until I could find a reverse light switch replacement. It all worked...until it didn't. Now when I connect the two wires to the reverse light, it doesn't work.

Where does the ground from the reverse light switch normally come from? It is connected to a bolt holding the shifter housing on mine.

Ground to the headlights work.
Hazards work.
Rear wipe does not work.
Brake lights work.
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Old April 8th, 2016, 12:37 PM
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There is one ground in particular from the Transfer Case to the chassis that gets corroded or loose. I made several unnecessary component replacements before I found it.

I'd go with a grounding problem... the ground wire on the reverse light switch is only for the light, it won't carry the load for all the body ccts.... check underneath for a ground strap from the body to the frame as well.
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  #12  
Old April 10th, 2016, 02:43 PM
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Electrical help, what's the common denominator?

So one step forward, two steps back. I found a ground wire bolted to the back of the frame (bolted to other grounds) that goes to the license plate light and splits to ground the back blinker light, when I jiggled it, everything started working. Jiggled it again and it stopped. Off and on. Nothing appeared loose, however.

Then, with everything on and working (engine off) it suddenly stopped working, and now all the driver-side lights (blinker, marker, tails) don't work when previously they did!?
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Old April 10th, 2016, 02:48 PM
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Internal break in wire or if it has crimped connectors in one of them. Remove and replace.
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Old April 10th, 2016, 11:30 PM
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Last hours of the weekend and I'm doing the happy dance! Replaced the ground wire in the back. Found a blown 5 amp fuse for the left blinkers and replaced that (thank you javelindave for the link to the smart fuses, it would have taken me another weekend to figure out a fuse was blown)! Boom. GROUNDS are the common denominator.

Now why did that fuse blow?
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  #15  
Old April 11th, 2016, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by lmwong View Post
Last hours of the weekend and I'm doing the happy dance! Replaced the ground wire in the back. Found a blown 5 amp fuse for the left blinkers and replaced that (thank you javelindave for the link to the smart fuses, it would have taken me another weekend to figure out a fuse was blown)! Boom. GROUNDS are the common denominator. Now why did that fuse blow?
congrats! that feeling after fixing something like that is like landing on the green from 250 yds out.
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Old April 11th, 2016, 09:37 AM
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Internal break in wire or if it has crimped connectors in one of them. Remove and replace.
This x2 - good reference for people searching in the future. Most of my ground problems were hard to find as the wires felt solid and were connected solidly to a ground terminal on the body or frame as well. Then when you look closely you find the wire strands have literally disintegrated within that crimp connector or ring terminal (maybe due to the two dis-similar metals corroding each other over time) to the point where the electrical connection is compromised. The crimp can be solid and holding the wire/sheething in place but it doesn't mean there is good or any electrical connectivity happening there if the conducting wires are corroded. This happened to me on two different common ground joints (the two inside the cab by the back on each side of the rear door).

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