LED lights, no directionals!

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by horizonchaser, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. horizonchaser

    horizonchaser Senior Member Contributor

    I hope someone can help me with this. I recently installed from Harbor Freight the LED light onto my landscaping trailer so I could eventually tow my bike around. Well after completing the job and plugging the trailer cord into my FordF150's trailer receptacle I observed that all the lights were working properly. But when I went to put the directional s on the truck to confirm that I had directional s on the trailer, I saw that I had none! The trucks directions worked fine but the new LED lights just stayed illuminated. They weren't blinking in unison with the truck! I was beside myself and called it a day.
    At work I mentioned this to a few of my coworkers. They both agreed that the LED lights need a "load leveler". They said that LED's draw only miliamps and that the truck doesn't sense a load and therefor doesn't trigger the directionals ( or something like that). Anyway, can anyone confirm that i do indeed need an inline load leveler to make them work? And even if you don''t agree with their assessment of the problem could you tell me what you might think is wrong. In a nutshell:All the lights are working but only the truck lights show the directional lights working while the trailer lights only stay illuminated.
  2. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I would think that the information you already have is where i would be looking to resolve the issue ie some sort of load equaliser
    On this side of the pond it is a requirement that a vehicle that has a tow bar has a secondary indication that the trailer turn signals are working this is usually achieved by a buzzer that is trigged by the additional draw of power by the trailer turn signal bulbs

  3. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    Load levelers are used if your replacing filament bulbs with LED's. That's not what your doing. You are adding a set LED's to the existing wiring of the truck. The truck is fine. My guess is your problem is in the way the trailer is wired.

    Is there a link at Harbor freight for the directions for the trailer kit you purchased.
    What is the shape & number of pins on the plug of the F150 trailer receptacle.
  4. horizonchaser

    horizonchaser Senior Member Contributor

    Hoop, what I actually did ( out of laziness maybe) is to leave the original filament wiring intact on the trailer and replace the old cracked lenses with the newer LED's. The trailer already had a light kit but a few of the lenses were cracked so I went to Harbor Freight and purchased the LED Kit. I figured the trailer was already wired and that all I had to do is replace the original cracked lenses with the new HF ones. All the lights came on but they wouldn't blink, nor would the brake lights on the trailer become brighter when I depressed the brake pedal even though the trucks brake lights grew brighter.
    I will check to see what the shape of the receptacle is tomorrow. If memory serves me correctly I believe it is three pins mounted vertically. I do have the instructions which came from HF. I suppose I should review them to see if there is something that i need to be aware of. I never read them the first time! :( I just figured it was a cut and dry installation and everything should work fine.
  5. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    When you removed the original trailer lights, did each fixture assembly have 2 wire leads with a mounting ground which would make them actually 3 wire,, or were they 3 wire (isolated ground). The original trailer tungsten bulbs should of had two filaments,, which would mean they are a 3 wire assembly. Did each fixture have 1 bulb made up of two filaments.

    The new LED tail lights are probably isolated ground and require separate grounding. Do the new LED lights have 2 or 3 wires coming out of them? If they are 3 wire, they are probably isolated ground.

    I assume when you used the original trailer lights with the F150, everything did work like expected. The trailer did have brake lights and turn signals.
    If you never read the instructions, how would you know which color wire was the running light or the turn/brake light? Did all the wires color match?

    I think if you review the instructions, you will find your answer.
  6. SledDog

    SledDog Senior Member Staff Member Moderator

    Ford uses a heavy duty flasher. More than likely there is not enough load for the flasher to work. You could replace the flasher with a standard duty unit, that may help.
  7. Jennmarr

    Jennmarr Junior Member

    I the flasher unit was the problem the truck lights would be affected too. The problem is not the flasher unit or the lack of a load equalizer. Something is not connected properly. Very likely the trailer is not adequately grounded.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    One "issue" often overlooked is that Domestic and International turn signals operate differently, which is why there are usually kits made for them to adapt to the wiring system of your trailer. Hoop had you on the right trail...there are three wire, four wire and five wire systems and often if you look at the "trailer lighting kits" for specific models you will see a "lump" in the harness. This could be a simple resistor setup (Load Equalizer) or more "complex" DTL (Diode or Transistor Logic circuit) potted module. Try looking at your local Advanced Auto, O'Rielly's or Pep Boys and go to the wiring kit section...for "Valley" or other brands...there is a ton and vary in price from $15 to $80 due to the complexity of the design. Steve07 is the trailer guy would tell you about this slippery slope. You do not want to get the wrong one, cause often there is modern computers and electronics involved just like your Harley and the TSSM, ICM setup.
  9. 4fun

    4fun Member

    I think the problem is in the wiring also. I have a 2010 F150 and had no problem after replacing my trailer lights with led's.
  10. horizonchaser

    horizonchaser Senior Member Contributor

    The wires that were on the trailer originally had two wires. The new led's had three. The third being the white color which was the ground. I had grounded that to the trailer frame via the mounting bolt. The other two wires did match the original trailer lights color.
    I stopped by a place o the way home from work today who sells trailers. He told me to check the fuse in the truck.
    I'll get it figured out one way or the other.
    Thanks for your help.