Trailer wiring mystery

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Gary Dotson
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Trailer wiring mystery

Postby Gary Dotson » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:32 am

I'm confused! I bought a 2015 Silverado, with factory towing package and installed my brake controller. The factory supplied pigtail was still in the glove box, unused. Anyway, when I finished, I got out my handy, dandy LED tester and plugged it in. Nothing, no 12v., no lights and no brakes. Using a test light, grounded to the bumper, I had power everywhere it was supposed to be. At this point, I'm assuming a ground issue with the connector so I removed it for examination. The ground was good so I looked for a connection issue and found none. I can probe, with the test light, inside the connector, using the ground pin, and everything tests normal. The only issue is that this silly little plug in tester, that works perfectly on both of my other vehicles, doesn't work at all on this one. When the ground firms up, I'll connect to my trailer, I'm pretty sure everything will work right. While it's not a big deal, this thing is bugging the heck out of me, anybody got a clue?

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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby Jim Becker » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:09 am

I can only think of one thing. LEDs are polarity specific and test lights aren't.

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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby muleboss » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:12 am

Maybe the bumper has a poor ground, not making good connection.

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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby Barnyard » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:30 am

muleboss wrote:Maybe the bumper has a poor ground, not making good connection.

Gary Dotson wrote:Using a test light, grounded to the bumper, I had power everywhere it was supposed to be.
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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby Dale Finch » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:29 pm

Curious, was the trailer actually hitched to the truck?

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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby tst » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:54 pm

some newer vehicles the function is computer controlled, and may have to have it activated by the dealer

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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby Barnyard » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:14 pm

Dale Finch wrote:Curious, was the trailer actually hitched to the truck?

Gary Dotson wrote:When the ground firms up, I'll connect to my trailer, I'm pretty sure everything will work right.
There are two ways to get enough Cubs. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.

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Gary Dotson
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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby Gary Dotson » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:06 pm

I considered the polarity issue and checked it, no difference there. The bumper is well grounded (just like the owner) It got firm enough, this afternoon, to drive out back and check, with the trailer connected (but not hooked up, just plugged in the pigtail) As I suspected, everything works perfectly (except that stupid little tester). I'm hoping more people have some thoughts, on this because it makes no sense to me. I don't have a problem, it works just fine but I do have a mystery. All thoughts are welcome.

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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby Don McCombs » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:22 pm

I have always thought that electricity was magic. :D
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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby Jim Becker » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:29 pm

Have you verified that the LED tester works on one of your other vehicles after it didn't on this one? I'm grasping at straws here.

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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby dgrapes59 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:19 pm

Gary, being the electrical wizard you are, I can understand you wanting to solve the mystery. But, some things you just need to accept they work, kinda like a thermos..... Keeps the hot things hot and the cold things cold, how does it know??
David

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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby muleboss » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:15 pm

Barnyard wrote:
muleboss wrote:Maybe the bumper has a poor ground, not making good connection.

Gary Dotson wrote:Using a test light, grounded to the bumper, I had power everywhere it was supposed to be.


You got me on that one. Better learn to read better.

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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby Barnyard » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:22 pm

muleboss wrote:
Barnyard wrote:
muleboss wrote:Maybe the bumper has a poor ground, not making good connection.

Gary Dotson wrote:Using a test light, grounded to the bumper, I had power everywhere it was supposed to be.


You got me on that one. Better learn to read better.

I miss that stuff myself quite often.
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John *.?-!.* cub owner
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Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:39 pm

On my truck the harness a lead with a ring lug that has t5o be bolted to ground. I have also seen some of those pigtail that the ground does not pss through.
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Gary Dotson
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53 Cockshutt 20 restored (Shooter)
52 Cockshutt 20 unrestored
47 Leader "B" (Herckie)
49 Leader "D" (Princess)
49 Leader "D" very rough
48 Leader "D" unrestored
Kubota B6200E
Kubota B6200HST
Kubota B8200HST-D
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: OH West Mansfield

Re: Trailer wiring mystery

Postby Gary Dotson » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:05 am

Checked all that, John, I even put on a new connector on the off chance that I was losing ground through the connector. As I said earlier, the trailer lights and brakes work fine, just not the tester. Yes, Jim, I tried it again on both the Traverse and motorhome, works fine on either. Yes, David, I understand that some things in life remain a mystery, but I'm having a hard time letting go of this one. It just seems too obvious, it should work. Maybe, my newly acquired pick up has some sort of top secret, proto type electricity. That makes about as much sense as anything else I've come up with.


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