Rewiring all rear lights - Electrical Issues - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 18th, 2012, 02:52 PM
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Rewiring all rear lights - Electrical Issues

So I've been having issues with my rear lights and I'm thinking of just running all new wires back there as I currently can't drive my truck at night because of the no-lights issue. I'm having issues finding a short (if any) that is causing the following.

If I end up just running all new wires back there, does anyone have any tips? These guys don't list Defenders:
http://www.britishwiring.com/category-s/234.htm

Issues and Symptoms - all occured before and after installing LED's in the rear

-Headlights on = car on. I could turn the key to the off position, remove the key, but the car wouldn't turn off until I shut off the headlights.
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ad.php?t=36425

-Front - Depress Brake and front amber running lights turn on. I think this stopped when I installed the LEDs in the rear but I could be wrong

-Rear - Tail-Lights: Only one tail light would work. Installed new LEDs = same issue. Went looking for split wires and found one - the passenger tail light red wire was cut. Cut back wire a half a foot from this split and ran new wires and connectors for both passenger and driver side.
http://www.roverparts.com/Parts/8959ABP.cfm
Rear - Tail-lights: After that I now had two half-functioning tail lights. If I do not have my headlights on and hit the brakes, THE BRAKE LIGHTS WORK. However, if I have the headlights on, the rear tail lights do not turn on, and if I hit the brakes, the brake lights DO NOT WORK.

Rear - Turn Signals: I never realized this, but my buddy was driving behind me on our way camping last weekend and told me that when on the highway for example, if I turn the turn signal on to change lanes and then (I'm thinking) hit the brakes, the lights go into Hazard mode and start flashing simultaneously. I havne't had a chance to confirm this.

Attempts at Resolution - things I've done

-Replaced headlight switch
-Inspected (no visual sign of failure) and replaced fuses
-Inspected (no visual sign of failure) and replaced brake relay
-Replaced rear lights with LED upgrade - http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ad.php?t=36519
-Replaced flasher relay with LED flasher relay (issues existed both before and after LED upgrade). See above link
-Replaced rear bulb holder wiring with new harnesses and 1 foot of new wires
-I think that's everything
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  #2  
Old September 18th, 2012, 03:01 PM
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Before you go mucking about and replacing wire, how about replacing the turn signal switch and the ignition switch? Did you check the grounds for the taillight wiring? On mine they were under where the speaker is in the back. Given the rhino lining, that could be an issue. How about the connectors where the front harness connects to the back harness? Those corrode in my experience.

If you are going to rewire the back of the truck, why not get the factory harness and do it right? Before I did that, I would run test wire from the connection point at front to rear harness back to the offending lights and see if it fixes your issue. Unless there was welding done on the frame or you were blowing fuses I think a short or something internal to the harness is unlikely in my view.

If I had to bet, I would guess you have a bad ground and things are backfeeding causing the issues.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 03:21 PM
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Thanks Ron. My multi-meter just arrived the other day, so I'm looking to do additional diagnostics on the issue before committing to a complete re-wire.

Ignition switch is also new.

The Rhinolining does not run past the rear speakers, so I can check the grounds there.

Regarding the front harness to the rear harness, shouldn't that be up top against the bulkhead on the passenger side under the hood?

Frame is rust free, so no welding has been done.

Tracking down a bad ground or short has been unsuccessful. Once I saw this corroded line, my first thought was that if the new 12" wiring kit didn't fully solve the issue(s) there may be similar corrosion (or that it was aggressive enough) to go back in the wire much further than I already replaced.
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  #4  
Old September 18th, 2012, 03:22 PM
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I'm with Ron, replace the multi function switch, clean the connector in the engine bay to the rear harness, clean and check the grounds at the back and then fit one of these:

http://www.autosparks.co.uk/product_...oducts_id=1406

HTH

Ian

Edit, you may have a short in the section of harness inside the frame. Either way that rear harness has issues and is going to be problematic. Save yourself some headaches and just replace it since its cheap enough to do. You don't have to run the new one inside the frame if you don't want to.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 09:35 PM
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If it is just the rear it would be easy to run a temporary ground just to rule that out. If all else fails you could always pull the chassis harness out of the frame and run a new one or repair what you have. Pull it out from the rear but connect a tracer cord so that you could pull it back when you are finished.
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  #6  
Old September 19th, 2012, 05:26 AM
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Actually, last year, I fixed a problem with my rear lights by installing a new ground and cleaning or replacing all the contacts.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipgregory

Edit, you may have a short in the section of harness inside the frame.
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking has happened, but it'll be good to rule out all else first. Fingers crossed! Although that's pretty cheap compared to what I've seen.

None of the diagrams I have list where the ground(s) are located.

Also, it looks like there are 2 main harnesses - I'm pretty sure I've only ever seen the one under the truck (point 12 in the first pic, not point 2).
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  #8  
Old September 19th, 2012, 05:07 PM
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Say Josh what tech manual did you pull those from?
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Old September 19th, 2012, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Larson
Say Josh what tech manual did you pull those from?
Bill I could swear the last time I posted the link(s) you said you'd save them! I have this Workshop Manual saved in my iPhone for when I really need the manual (on the road). Replace 1993 with 1997 at the end of the link.

http://www.internet-tools.co.uk/land...l%20(1993).pdf
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Old September 19th, 2012, 05:47 PM
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Nice ! Is there a manual like this for 1994 NAS D90's ?
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Old September 19th, 2012, 06:05 PM
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i thought the images looked different, oh I did save the ones from the link. your diagrams look more modern.
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  #12  
Old September 19th, 2012, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maleger
Nice ! Is there a manual like this for 1994 NAS D90's ?
Same manual as the 1993 link, dude. It has both 110 and 90 diagrams, etc.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Thanks. I'll put a copy on my iPhone too !
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  #14  
Old September 19th, 2012, 09:20 PM
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There are 2 types of chassis harness. 1 with HRW/Wash the other without. The one I linked (The one you want for your ST) is the one without. That diag is showing you both. Looks like #2 is actually the chassis harness and #12 is the main harness

They are ROW harnesses so you will need to run your speaker wires separately and also you may need to adapt the little section of harness to the fuel pump unit (can't remember if it plugs in or not, never tried it on a NAS).

Either way there is only 1 that runs to the back and then splits into a y shape to feed both sides. That is the chassis harness. Drivers side of the y runs along the rear cross member behind the fuel tank. Both sides go to the lights and also up through the tub floor to behind the speakers. Grounds are typically in the harness with a multi connector needed, but also sometimes local as well via a screw to the frame. You can add a local ground if you want to help with the load by just running a piece of wire to the frame and connecting it into the ground multi connector a the back.

You can't use these harnesses on a 97, different connectors and I don't know of anywhere that sells the harness for a 97 at the moment.
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  #15  
Old September 20th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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just my .02 i'm on my second rear harness fabrication for a customer , if your interested give me a shout . i've been fabricating from the bulkhead back all new wire ...with and without weatherpack connectors as requested....
you could see some repairs on my Facebook page ...Rovertek
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Old September 20th, 2012, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rovertek
just my .02 i'm on my second rear harness fabrication for a customer , if your interested give me a shout . i've been fabricating from the bulkhead back all new wire ...with and without weatherpack connectors as requested....
you could see some repairs on my Facebook page ...Rovertek
Thanks. Yeah I was talking to someone else a few weeks ago over PM who said they may be buying a harness you were making.
If it gets to that point I'll keep you in mind, but I usually like to do my own work to learn something new - OK that's a lie - I usually get help from people who have done it before if it's something I've never done before.
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  #17  
Old September 20th, 2012, 08:18 AM
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This will sound lazy but I'm using trailer wiring to wire up the rear end. I'll end up with a few spare wires for future use. cheap color coded one piece.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 09:15 AM
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The harness is easy to pull and fix. The problem you may run into with the old harness is corrosion inside the wires themselves. Usually it is limited to the ends but may run several inches into the wire. It is easy to get a chassis harness for a newer truck and I have even seen them for the older rubber style connectors At Richards surplus and Ebay UK. The problem with those is non are going to be for a V-8 and the main loom connection may be a little different.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rijosho
Thanks Ron. My multi-meter just arrived the other day, so I'm looking to do additional diagnostics on the issue .
Thats classic! Really? you just got a multi-meter.....make sure you read the instructions so you can quote it to us and provide pdf files ..lmao
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Old September 20th, 2012, 10:23 AM
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scotch locks could be the issue. I would redo all the rear light pigtails if they look like that.
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