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  #1  
Old May 25th, 2014, 10:37 PM
lbowers
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L Bowers
1997 D-90: ST, BRG
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Tail Light Issues

Gents, need a bit of advice. I haven't posted on here much as my truck is actually pretty reliable and I have been able to get all the info I need from other posts. However, I ran into an issue today I can't figure out. Yes, I searched...and searched. I tried all the ideas that I found without any luck.

So here's the deal: I failed a state inspection because my rear brake lights (not the 3rd) and my rear turn signals are not working. I took apart the lights and the connectors were completely corroded and shot. I incorrectly assumed that this was the problem. I have been eyeing up the LEDs for a while and got the Wipac set from L8 with the relay. I got everything wired up today, installed the relay (which is a huge pain in the ass in a 97 with the center console), went to test it and the rear lights still do not work. All the lights on the front are working properly. My reverse light works fine, and when the headlights are on the rear lights and marker lights work as they should.

Here is what I have tried unsuccessfully:

- replaced all light-related fuses
- swapped out the new relay provided by L8 with the stock one...and back again
- reversed the wiring on the LEDs in case I screwed anything up
- replaced the bulbs in the rear marker lights

I read all the LED threads and I really think it has nothing to do with the LEDs as the problem existed previously. I think its a ground issue, but I honestly do not know where to start looking to check the grounds. Any suggestions or thoughts would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

-Liam
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  #2  
Old May 25th, 2014, 10:59 PM
lbowers
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L Bowers
1997 D-90: ST, BRG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Did you check your brake light switch?

-Jeff
Nope, I have not checked it yet. Is that the one on the firewall that is really hard to get to? Would that also be messing with my turn signals? Thanks.
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  #3  
Old May 25th, 2014, 11:16 PM
lbowers
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L Bowers
1997 D-90: ST, BRG
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Charlottesville, VA
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Tail Light Issues

Thats what I was thinking as well. I just don't know where to start looking for the grounds for the lights in the rear of the vehicle. Some of the threads indicate it would be below the RR speaker housing. Im not sure that would make sense as the faulty ground would have to be specific to only some of the tail lights (vs. the whole rear of the vehicle). My reverse lights and 3rd brake light work fine.
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  #4  
Old May 26th, 2014, 08:11 AM
flananuts
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Matthew
LRC Customs #003 D110 Soft Top
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I would suggest running a ground pigtail to a reliable ground inside the truck to confirm that it's your ground.
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  #5  
Old May 26th, 2014, 01:49 PM
Lemonhead
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TB
1997 D90 SW
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: NY
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I had similar problems and it was my harness. The PO did have the "rear" part of the harness replaced which failed - so I had the entire thing replaced.

Get a test light - comes in handy.
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  #6  
Old May 26th, 2014, 02:16 PM
lbowers
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L Bowers
1997 D-90: ST, BRG
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Charlottesville, VA
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Tail Light Issues

Figured it out...operator error. I will explain what happened so that future generations don't spend a full day staring at the ass end of a Defender scratching their head. So the issue ended up being how I wired the new LED lights. Obviously the colors do not match up between the Wipacs and the stock wiring harness. My issue was that I was only switching the wires to test different combinations on the left hand side of the truck. I would turn on the turn signal, and walk tot he back of the truck and start switching wires. That, apparently, does not do a bit of good if the "upstream" lamp is incorrectly wired and therefore not creating a complete circuit. Once I fixed my right brake light and right turn signal the left hand side worked fine. It probably exists already, but I will give a breakdown of the wiring colors to help future Wipac buyers. Working from RIGHT to LEFT when looking at the back of the truck:

Brake light
Wipac-Red -> Truck-Green/Brown
Wipac-White -> Truck-Red
Wipac-Black -> Truck-Black

Turn Signal
Wipac-White -> Truck-Back
Wipac-Blue -> Truck -White/Green

Reverse
Wipac-Black -> Truck- Black
Wipac-White -> Truck-Green/Brown

Left Turn Signal and Brake Light are same as above.

Hopefully this helps someone in the future. Thanks for all the suggestions. I really thought it was going to be a ground issue. Hell, it still may be since I was having similar problems before. But, if I don't touch anything else today, I think I can get the rejection sticker off tomorrow and start driving it again!

Thanks again.

-Liam
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