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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's a 2007 Ford Edge, which has a single brake/turn signal/running light on each side. There's a smaller running light on the side of the rear brake light panel, and a separate reverse light.

The brake/running/turn bulb has three lines--return, running, and brake/signal.

I have a 5-into-4 adapter box. Five lines in from the car and four lines out to the trailer. It looks much like this:






So here's the problem...I can't get it to work.

First question: Does the GROUND on the car side connect to the frame of the car or to the black/green that is the return color on the car's wiring harness (which is how I have it now)? The GROUND on the trailer side connects to a bolt which is secured to the frame.

Of course the TAIL on the car side is the running lights--turn on the headlamps, and it should turn on the rear lights on the trailer. I found the TAIL on the left lamp and ran it to this line.

I ran the RIGHT TURN from the car to the adapter.

I *spliced* the LEFT TURN/LEFT BRAKE together on the adapter (car side) and ran it to the wire on the left brake/turn/running light on the car.

Can anybody see what I've done wrong, or better yet, tell me what to do correctly?
 

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I'm a little confused. Either you've got it wrong, or I'm just not reading it right.

If your car lights are the same as the trailer, you don't need an adapter. If you have separate turn bulbs on the car, they shouldn't be spliced to the brake output.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The car lights are the same as the trailer, a bit, but I need the adapter in place to hook it up to my other car, the Focus, which isn't the same.

I watched that video before posting this, but it only shows how to hook up their $70 adapter kit.

I'm thinking that I may just run two sets of wires for it--a direct one-for-one plug in for the Edge and another harness that will use the adapter for the Focus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually, not sure if that will work now. While going over it in my head last night, I remembered that the lights on the trailer are only two wire--I'm thinking that if I wire straight in, I might need to install diodes because of the two hot lines going to one. Or will I?

I'm also thinking about adding another light to each side because of this--one light will be the brake light, the other the turn signal. The brake light will also operate as the running light when not activated. I would just split the circuit in the car's light to two; one for each.
 

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I'd be willing to bet your trailer has dual filament bulbs just like the car. Trailer probably has a Left, Right, Tail, and a ground. Tap into those on the car and connect up a flat 4 plug with the wires in the right place, and you should be good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, they're dual filaments.

Problem is that I *think* I have them plugged in correctly, but it isn't working. Obviously I don't, because it works on my car but not the Edge.

Frustrating.

(edit)


I think I've figured out my problem...or I have a theory that I'll try when I get home--I need to run the trailer's running light directly off the running light in the rear brake light assembly instead of running it off the brake/turn/running light bulb circuit.

This might make trouble shooting easier.
 

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Yes, they're dual filaments.

Problem is that I *think* I have them plugged in correctly, but it isn't working. Obviously I don't, because it works on my car but not the Edge.

Frustrating.

(edit)


I think I've figured out my problem...or I have a theory that I'll try when I get home--I need to run the trailer's running light directly off the running light in the rear brake light assembly instead of running it off the brake/turn/running light bulb circuit.

This might make trouble shooting easier.

Even the license lamp would work, but you don't want the trailer running lights connected to brake or turn circuits.
 

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are you sure your car isn't CAN BUS or something like that? My gti didn't have meaningful wires as it was just sending signals for the taillight assembly to process? I had to buy the $70 box that takes power, signal, combines them and passes it on to the trailer.
 

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I have no clue what that means!
newer vehicles are wired differently. The power is constant to all the lights, but there are signal wires and microcontrolers which activate them.
in an old car, the taillight was on when the circuit was completed. In the newer vehicles (at least my gti and mom's last couple bimmers), the taillight is on when there is a binary signal going over to a circuit board which activates the bulb. This is why the $70 controler module was necessary for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That blows.

No, I don't think it's that type of setup--I was able to get the right signal to flash...on both left and right...but no brakes.

If nothing else, I'll get the running lights powered (just a simple circuit) to get us down to Florida; we're driving at night. If I can't figure out the rest before we head out, I'll order the adapter kit and have it shipped down and install it while there.
 

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newer vehicles are wired differently. The power is constant to all the lights, but there are signal wires and microcontrolers which activate them.
in an old car, the taillight was on when the circuit was completed. In the newer vehicles (at least my gti and mom's last couple bimmers), the taillight is on when there is a binary signal going over to a circuit board which activates the bulb. This is why the $70 controler module was necessary for me.
Close, but your on the right track. Ford uses a Smart Junction Box, or SJB. It runs all of your lights, dash, interior, exterior, etc, and all it is is essentially a computerized relay system. That's why if you leave an exterior light on it goes off 10 minutes later, because the computer puts it on a timer.

Anyways as madv8 has pointed out you will need a t-connector set in order to be able to get it to work properly, im actually kind of surprised you were able to get the signals to work. Even with the t-connector setup you still have to run a positive line from the t-connector up to the battery, which is how you're able to power the running lights. The t-connector set is just looking for that signal that's sent to turn the brake lights on and then uses the supplied power to run said lights.
 

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Sorry for the double post, took me a minute to find it, but if you'll look in your manual under exterior lighting, it will say this

Do not splice into the vehicle lamp wiring for trailer lamps. Your
vehicle uses an advanced electronic module to control and
monitor your vehicle lamps. Splicing into the wiring or attaching
wiring to the vehicle bulb. may DISABLE the rear vehicle lamps
or cause them not to function properly. Your lamp outage feature
may also be disabled or provide incorrect information.
See your authorized dealer or trailer rental agency for proper
instructions and equipment for hooking up trailer lamps.


Good point, do they still even make 3 wire lights? I know big rigs still use a 3 wire setup as well as some heavy equipment, but I thought that they had pretty much disappeared in the "normal" world
 
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