2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

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2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby mrredrocker » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:59 pm

I began my months long road trip just this morning. This will be with the SS I picked up second hand a few months ago. Got everything loaded, hooked up the trailer wiring, had the wife get a visual check that the brake lights and signals worked, then got on the road. She made a comment at some point that the lights were a little hard to see in the daylight, so when we stopped for gas I had her work the pedals while I verified the lights. I discovered that when my headlights are turned on, the trailer running lights don't work. I also noticed that the lights flash when the brakes are pressed and held, not staying solid on. I assume they're not supposed to do that?

Im annoyed but not too concerned because I don't plan to drive at night anyway. But I want to troubleshoot this now in case I want my lights on during rain or in the event I get pulled over and the officer questions the flashing brake lights.

Electrical circuits has never been my strong suit, so please bear with me. I'll provide some context that might be relevant:

These are led lights, SS has a 7pin connection. I'm using a 7pin to 4pin adaptor between my TV & the SS.

Previous owner had a 7pin connection on his minivan & I personally checked the teardrop running lights while he worked the pedals before purchasing. Everything worked as it should.

My tow vehicle is a 2007 Honda fit, which has a 4pin harness that connects to a module that ties into the driver side rear light assembly. I believe the harness is a Curt brand. I've used that 4pin connection with a harbor freight utility trailer without issue.

I don't remember specifically testing if the teardrop lights worked on my vehicle with the headlights on. I've always just asked someone to verify the lights come on when I tap the brakes. That was a lack of thoroughness on my part but I think it's safe to assume this isn't a new issue between my TV & the SS.

Any help greatly appreciated!

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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby tony.latham » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:37 pm

I'd recheck if the lights are working on your utility trailer. If they do, two-bits says it's a ground issue on your teardrop. It may be that it's only getting ground by the metal to metal connection at the hitch. Or at least that's my guess.

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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby mrredrocker » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:37 pm

tony.latham wrote:I'd recheck if the lights are working on your utility trailer. If they do, two-bits says it's a ground issue on your teardrop. It may be that it's only getting ground by the metal to metal connection at the hitch. Or at least that's my guess.

Tony

Unfortunately I'm already on the road, so I can't confirm the utility trailer lights (they use a 4pin connection without the adaptor and a separate hitch ball anyway, if that makes a difference). Should I buy one of those light tester gadgets like this?
http://www.walmart.com/ip/16781903?wmls ... 16&veh=sem

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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby tony.latham » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:04 am

mrredrocker wrote:
tony.latham wrote:I'd recheck if the lights are working on your utility trailer. If they do, two-bits says it's a ground issue on your teardrop. It may be that it's only getting ground by the metal to metal connection at the hitch. Or at least that's my guess.

Tony

Unfortunately I'm already on the road, so I can't confirm the utility trailer lights (they use a 4pin connection without the adaptor and a separate hitch ball anyway, if that makes a difference). Should I buy one of those light tester gadgets like this?
http://www.walmart.com/ip/16781903?wmls ... 16&veh=sem

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I think that'd be a good place to start.

Tony
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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby mrredrocker » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:09 pm

Been away from both my trailer and wifi for the most part the last few weeks.

I'd had a dead battery in the teardrop previously and removed it. Had been wondering if that could play a role in the trailer lights being irregular. Got the new battery in today (and replaced a burned out fuse).

I bought one of those little plug in testers: http://www.harborfreight.com/four-way-t ... 66526.html
Testing the tow vehicle, I notice that when I push the brakes, both lights on come initially, but then the left side starts to blink. Both turn signals appear to work as they should. So I'm thinking it's tow vehicle specific. EXCEPT, when I turn on my headlights, all 3 lights on the tester come on when the brakes are applied. So I don't know. At all.

Additionally, while searching online for others with similar issues, I found this post:
http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthr ... ost1427117

Now, I don't really have any experience with multimeters but I picked a cheap Harbor Freight one up. I can't get a continuity reading on either the TV when holding one probe to the white wire and one to the TV frame or the teardrop holding one probe to the trailer ground pin and one to the trailer frame.

Not sure where to go next. Can't really trace the trailer wiring, it's all routed inside. I do see where the ground comes out and it looks secure.
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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby Shadow Catcher » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:22 pm

Knowing how to use a multimeter is one of the basics for diagnosing problems, do a search, this was one of the first I found.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF3OyQ3HwfU
With out more information I am guessing you might have a faulty converter (tow vehicle wiring harness to four prong plug). Etrailer has a very good trouble shooting guide https://www.etrailer.com/faq-4-5-way-troubleshooting.aspx
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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby Kaz » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:56 pm

I know on some vehicles you need a 5 wire to 4 wire isolation adapter. Especially if the tow vehicle has separate brake and turn signals. They make them for just about every vehicle.they just plug in line to the factory harness.
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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby pchast » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:15 pm

With an '07 tow vehicle, Do You have LED lights on the TV?????

then:
Use your Volt Ohm meter to test for 12 volt and ground on the
4 pole socket first. The Odd pin should show continuity to your
hitch ball/or tv frame(ground).
http://www.lindamaki.com/free-trailer-w ... g-diagram/

Otherwise
You may have a burnt out fuse on the 12 volt supply line to the
Converter that supplies the 4 pole socket.
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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby Dale M. » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:33 am

mrredrocker wrote:
I bought one of those little plug in testers: http://www.harborfreight.com/four-way-t ... 66526.html
Testing the tow vehicle, I notice that when I push the brakes, both lights on come initially, but then the left side starts to blink. Both turn signals appear to work as they should. So I'm thinking it's tow vehicle specific. EXCEPT, when I turn on my headlights, all 3 lights on the tester come on when the brakes are applied. So I don't know. At all.




IS this situation with tester ONLY or with trailer plugged into tester...

If its tester only you have tow vehicle problem, if its only with trailer plugged in its a trailer problem.... If its with tester only, you probably have blown converter in TV...

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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby bobhenry » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:01 am

OK time for old school...... Drag out the jumper cables and clamp one color only on the tow vehicle frame bare steel where possible. Now take the other end of the same cable and clamp it on the trailer frame bare metal. Dollar to a donut I bet the gremlin is gone !
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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby mrredrocker » Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:36 pm

pchast wrote:With an '07 tow vehicle, Do You have LED lights on the TV?????

Otherwise
You may have a burnt out fuse on the 12 volt supply line to the
Converter that supplies the 4 pole socket.


I do not have LED lights, and there is no separate supply line to the converter, it is powered simply by plugging into the lights.

Dale M. wrote:IS this situation with tester ONLY or with trailer plugged into tester...

If its tester only you have tow vehicle problem, if its only with trailer plugged in its a trailer problem.... If its with tester only, you probably have blown converter in TV...
Dale


Correct, tester only, the Trailer has a 7 way connector so I can't even use the tester on it. Sounds like a consensus on the converter being bad.

bobhenry wrote:OK time for old school...... Drag out the jumper cables and clamp one color only on the tow vehicle frame bare steel where possible. Now take the other end of the same cable and clamp it on the trailer frame bare metal. Dollar to a donut I bet the gremlin is gone !


I'm going to give this a try. One thing though, there really isn't bare metal on the frame of the trailer, it's pretty thoroughly painted/coated.

So looks like the Curt wiring kit is not longer under warranty. Looking at etrailer, I see that there's three options for my '07 Honda Fit. The Curt one I have, a similar one, and one by Hopkins that has a "powered converter." Is there any distinct advantage of having a powered converter? I'm currently on a break from the roadtrip in New England at my in-laws and thinking about just going ahead and shipping a new harness here before I depart for Seattle. I don't want to expect different results by getting the same harness but I also don't *really* want to have to run a power line to get the powered converter. Unless it's worth it. Thanks for all the feedback. Heading back to the store to get a circuit tester.

e-trailer options: https://www.etrailer.com/t1-2007_Honda_Fit.htm
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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby pchast » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:53 pm

No advantage to the powered converter... Its only used for LED systems since the wire sizes and
current values on the TV will not provide enough power for additional lighting.
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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby mrredrocker » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:18 pm

So, with consensus leaning towards the wire harness converter being the issue, I bought a new Curt brand harness/converter for the TV.

Good news is that the blinking left light when holding the brakes holds steady now. So I have trailer lights when headlights are *off*.

Bad news is that the trailer lights still don't work when the headlight is on.

So apparently I had at least two issues, one resolved with the new harness.

pchast wrote:No advantage to the powered converter... Its only used for LED systems since the wire sizes and
current values on the TV will not provide enough power for additional lighting.


Are you referring to LED systems on the trailer or TV? The Silver Shadow does have LED lights on it... and when testing my trailer lights with the new harness, while it was the middle of the day, I realized that the trailer lights aren't very bright, especially for LEDs. Wondering if the trailer is getting adequate power.
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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby pchast » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:07 pm

Tow vehicle.... Newer vehicles with led lighting use very small wire. They need power to a converter to
supply additional lights as in a trailer or vanity lighting. You can still have a ground issue.
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Re: 2012 Silver Shadow running lights issue

Postby m.colley » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:24 am

mrredrocker wrote:The Silver Shadow does have LED lights on it... and when testing my trailer lights with the new harness, while it was the middle of the day, I realized that the trailer lights aren't very bright, especially for LEDs. Wondering if the trailer is getting adequate power.


Check your ground even if you have to create/make-up a temporary. I had a similar issue while installing interior LED lights last evening. The 15ft of LED lights only partially lit up, only the first 3 ft or so lit up and even then they weren't very bright. Double checking my wiring connections I found a loose ground wire. Once I tightened it up everything was back to normal. Bad/weak/incorrect grounds are notorious for scenario's like what you and I were/are having.


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