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Triumph TR6 - Electrical quiz

Guys, we're going to be gone until Sunday. Here's a test for you.

My left tail light and brake light now work fine. My right brake light works fine, but no tail light. While I was trying to find a short, at one point I did have power to both on the right.

Is it most likely
A) A broken wire between the left assembly and the right?
B) A short somewhere that I can't fine?

Also, the backup lights don't work and the right rear side light. I'm working on them!

Thanks, John.
JL Bryan

JOHN - WHEN YOU GET BACK (I assume you drove there in the TR6 with it being 82 F), TRY THE FOLLOWING TO TROUBLE-SHOOT THE PROBLEM. CONNECT A LENGTH OF INSULATED WIRE, SAY 15 FEET LONG WITH ONE END AROUND THE (CORRECT) BATTERY POST AND TRY THE OTHER END MANUALLY TOUCHING THIS OR THAT ITEM WHERE THE ORIGINAL WIRE IS CONNECTED - IN THE REAR TO SEE IF THE LIGHTS COME ON. IF NOT, CONNECT A SHORT LENGTH OF WIRE FROM EACH BODY OR BASE TO A CLEAN (NON-PAINTED AND NOT RUSTY) POINT ON THE BODY - TO SIMULATE A TEMPORARY GROUND - THEN TRY CONNECTING WITH THE LONG WIRE AGAIN.

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

John, I'll put money down that you've lost the ground
in one or more areas. Remove all ground wires that are
screwed to metal of the body, clean everything to bare
metal. Pull the light sockets and clean them as well
and the metal they touch. Coat all clean metal with
dialectric grease and reassemble. I'll bet that solves most of the problems if not all.
goodluck
Christopher Trace

Well, I'm back. Now, both brake lights work fine, but the right tail light works now and the left one doesn't, which is the reverse of where it was before. It has to be a short somewhere!

John.
JL Bryan

Nope John. It's an open somewhere. <G>

Clean all the contacts, check all the grounds. You'll find it Bud, really.

Jim
Jim Deatsch

Jim, what does that mean? A bad or open connection somewhere? Should I just be cleaning and checking all the contacts on the tail light assemblies and making sure they are grounded well?

Thanks, John
JL Bryan

Hi John,

Folks will sometimes refer to an electrical problem as a "short" when, in fact, the issue is really an 'open'.

Short denotes a lead, usually power, going to ground or to another lead. Open is just the opposite, a broken wire or poor connection that causes the circuit to not be completed. This might happen in the case of a poor connection at your taillamp sockets.

hth,

Jim
Jim Deatsch

I will add to both A and B:
C-You don't know how to troubleshoot
D-all of the above
Angel L. Traverso

Thanks, Angel, but I already knew that or I wouldn't have asked.
JL Bryan

Angel,

Actually John has really progressed in his TR6 and electrical knowledge. There was a time we had to help him open the bonnet. <G>

Jim (ducking,, errrr... goosing)
Jim Deatsch

Now I have regressed, Jim. I have taken out every single bulb holder and connection in the back of the car. Several of the bulb holders were already soldered, and not very well. I re-did them and soldered the unsoldered brake/rear light. I have taken the bulbs out, cleaned contacts, used dielectric grease, crimped connectors, checked power, etc.

Sometimes, when I put it all back together, both brakes work, but only 1 tail light. Sometimes, when I put it back together, neither light on either side works. My side lights are working, my blinkers are working, sometimes I am getting power to the leads but sometimes not. I concluded, by the way, that 1 bulb has a bad rear light filament, so it needs to be replaced (it wouldn't work with a direct connection).

There is an open or a short or something, but I don't think it is in the actual wiring. I'm just gonna give up and order new bulb holders. It has, however, been educational!

John.
JL Bryan

Before you spend your money, take a simple jumper (any piece of wire with a clip at each end) from battery NEG (ground) to each nonfunctioning lamp. The rear cluster especially, grounds at each bulbholder and is notorious, after 30 or so years for NOT grounding. By going direct to the battery, you bypass all other bad grounding possibilities. IF they then work, you just HAVE to trace your ground path, or run wires instead. It really is'nt that difficult and you'll jump several confidence levels when you succeed. Peter
Peter Gooch

Peter, the ground path for the brake lights is through the bulb holder, which clips into the frame. I have messed with it over and over, and finally just gave up and ordered new bulb holders. Hopefully, that will fix it.

John.
JL Bryan

This thread was discussed between 13/02/2004 and 19/02/2004

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