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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

Electrical: In-line fuse with the blinker(turn signal) unit.

 
  #16  
Old 04-26-2011, 06:15 PM
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grounds: battery to block, frame to block, body to block. I know this sounds like overkill, but this is the bestest way to achieve good grounds throughout the vehicle. I use battery cable, either braided or 2/0 insulated. The braid is higher(15$) but is the best. Doc; apologies if I sounded like I was correcting you or disputing what you said. Such was not the case.
 
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:58 PM
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Oh no. Not at all. I understood what you were saying, and you were definitely right. Potential fire hazards always have to be ruled out. Bad grounds will just keep it from working. Short circuits will burn it to the ground if you're not careful. I hate to hear that about your friend's truck.
 
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:32 PM
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Man, I can't thank you all enough. I won't have a chance to get dirty until tomorrow morning, but I'll definitely be looking for some bad connections.

I have an ohm meter, but I thought I need to connect one of the ohm meters needles with one end of the wire, and the other with the other end. The ends start at the column and end at the taillight. Should I get a length of wire to make up for it?
 
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:51 AM
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No not that way. The first thing is to check for shorts in your wiring. Connect one end of the ohm meter to the wire and the other end to a good ground. If it reads a short on any of the wires it will give you a place to start.

Now if you don't find any shorts then take each wire seperately and apply 12 volts to it to see if the light works with that power. If the light works and has good brightness then the problem is before the wires going back.

If the light doesn't work then you have either a broken wire or no ground. Speaking of ground, if you have some light or it works but not very well then you need to go check the grounds on the lights.

That should give you something to do. Remember to trouble shoot your problem you will need to divide your wiring into sections and then find out what section or sections are giving you the problem. Also remember to always check for shorts first.

Good luck and let us know what you find.
jim
 
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:44 AM
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^^OHHH boy, you're not going to want to hear this.....

I have an interesting piece of info I completely forgot about(since I haven't used signals in a long while).

Whenever I used the right-hand signals, both the front and the rear lights would be more dim and seemed to blink just BARELY slower than the left hands. I could never figure it out, but I just gave up and said I'll live with it. Maybe THAT'S a ground issue!

Uhhhh, everything with this truck is not surface level. Everything that's gone wrong has just gone deeper and deeper. Case and point: This.


Once again, thank you for your help, you last post really helped out with explaining how to use an ohm meter.
 
  #21  
Old 04-27-2011, 11:47 AM
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Yes exactly it sounds like a ground but do NOT assume that is what it is. Now is the time to do it right and get some piece of mind. Start at the beginning and check for shorts and then go on to grounds.

As for things getting worse the deeper you go I too know that well. The PO had it set up that to have lights and fan it was done by putting in a fuse. So I was just going to put in a switch and make sure it had a relay. When I got into it the wiring was so bad and how did they say it in another thread? Ah yes FUBAR. So I had to tear it all out and re-wire the truck from the steering column forward.

Hang in and take your time and most importantly take it one step at a time and you will do just fine. It is just common sense trouble shooting nothing you can't handle.

Be sure and let us know what you find.

jim
 
  #22  
Old 04-27-2011, 11:45 PM
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I can come over tomorrow, Thursday, if you want and spend some time helping. Let me know. Give me a call Nick.
 
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:10 AM
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^No problem steve. Heck I can bring it over, the thing runs like a champ, I just can't tell people which direction I'm going in....
 
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:27 PM
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UPDATE:
Ok, so I took an ohm meter and tested the four wires going to each corner light of the truck.

As I thought, the two going to the front lights tested out fine, however, both of the rears didn't have any activity on the gauge.

So what does that mean? No ground for both wires?
 
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:46 PM
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Ok that is a good start. I need a little more information. What exactly did you do to check the wires and by "activity" what did you mean by that.

You are doing the right thing. I just need a little more info so we can move to the next step. This is a little hard to do long distance.....
jim
 
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:14 PM
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Ok let's see here. The best point of ground I've come to find so far is the information tag on the door jamb. I turned my multimeter on to the ohm setting and held the black wire to the plate, and then the red wire to the "end" of the wire going to whichever light.

Activity-- The needle on the gauge is fully to the left hand side when not in use. However when checking with the ohm meter for resistance, it will typically shoot to the other end all the way if it has a good connection. I honestly don't know what that means... but I know that's what I'm looking for. It did that for the two wires going to the front signal/parking lights. However there was no needle response when touching off to the rear light wires.


Anything else you need or need clarification, just ask. Thank you again so much.
 
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:29 AM
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Well Nick, that tells me that you have continuity on the front wires and no continuity on the rear wires.

If you touch your black and red meter wires together you have continuity and your meter registers. If you hold your black wire to the door jamb as you suggested and touched your red wire to the front wires, you are connecting your black and red wires of your meter together through the front light wire and your truck frame. Get it?

Now in order to have continuity the electrons travelling in the wire must go from your meter through the wire and through the light bulb filiment and back to the meter through your truck frame.

You say you have continuity in the rear wires. Do you have the bulbs in their socket? You must have in order to have continuity.
 
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:02 AM
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That is a good explaination of what is happening. 1st check to see if you meter is working is to do as said and just touch the two leads together. The needle will swing to the opposite side. That indicates continunity. If you remove them from each other the needle falls back and no continunity. All you are doing is substituing the wiring circuit between the two leads. If the circuity is complete it will take and complete the circuit and swing the needle to the other side.

Now, since you do not have continunity to the rear through the wires The point about do you have your light bulbs in place is a good one as you are trying to trouble shoot a complete circuit..

Here is something I made up and it helps. I just went to radio shack and bought two alligator clips and put them on a piece of wire of at least two feet long. This is called a jumper wire and actually acts like a second pair of hands.

In this case if you have made a visual inspection of the rear wires and they are visually ok then go to each wire at the tail light and use your jumper wire to artifically create a ground by clamping on each wire [at the tail light] separately and the other end to a good ground. Then re-check to see if you have continunity in the wire. If when checking each wire it does NOT show continunity then most likely the wires are bad and should be replaced. By bad I mean possibly a broken wire inside the insulation.

If they show good then all from the jumper wire forward is good and your problem is most likely in the tailight area.

Hopefully I have explained that what you are doing is eliminating the parts that are good. Your rear cicuit is electricity through the wire, then throught the tailight, then ground. You check them in sections. If the wire is good then you have the taillight and ground as possible problems. If the wires is bad then you replace the wire.

One final thing, just because the wires might be bad does not mean there are not other problems. You will only know that once you get the first problem fixed.

Sorry for the length, just trying to help.

jim
 
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:02 PM
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Ok guys, just read up and have to go and finsih some business right now.

Steve, that was easy to understand, thank you.

Jim--I'm on it. Start first thing tomorrow.

Thanks again guys, big help.
 
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:24 PM
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Hey morotbreath, did you walk out to your truck and put 2 simple wires on it from the lights to the frame like I recommended? If it's bad grounds on the back, you'll know within a matter of seconds.
 

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