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Lighting Electrical Gremlins

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Johnwilson_osf View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10 Dec 2019 at 3:34pm
Greetings all,
I am curious if anyone might give me some pointers on solving a lighting problem.  
I have a Kenworth T300 that I lost marker lights on.  I have blinkers, head lights and brake lights.  I have looked in the fuse panel, and the fuse for the marker lights is intact. I swapped in a new fuse just to verify.   In addition, the relay for the marker lights is functional, as I swapped one from another position and both relays worked in the other location.  
I have gone around and looked at all the wiring that is not in a wire loom that is related to the marker lights, and I cannot see any breaks or rubs.  
All my marker lights are traditional Grote amber lights, and they are incandescent, not LED.  
Can I have a christmas lights problem here, where one light is out and the entire string goes out?  
Should I be looking at connections inside the bulb housings?  
Is there a way to test if my switch in the cab is good?  
Is there something else I am not even imagining?  

Thank you all for your help. 

John
Allis Express: Eastern PA on Rt 80
8050, 8010, 6080, 190, D14, DA 6035, AA 6690, 5650, Gleaner F2
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jaybmiller View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jaybmiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2019 at 3:53pm
NOT old skool xmas lights , all are in parallel, so all or nothing suggests a break in the circuit 'somewhere'  between switch and the first or closest light bulb.
I'm thinking the switch may be bad (open).

Simple test, you'll need small 12V battery and 2 alligator test leads...
1) turn switch OFF( actually whole truck can be off )
2) remove light bulb from ONE running light unit.
3) put one test from ground to battery -ve
4) put other on +ve post  and carefully put other end on where the 'center contact' of the bulb would go.

If done right, a small spark will occour and all the other running lights will be on.
This verifies all the lights and 99% of the wiring is GOOD.

Only thing left is the switch.

Odds are you've flipped that switch a ga-zilion times and it's wore out.

Jay
3 D-14s,A-C forklift, B-112
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Stan IL&TN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stan IL&TN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2019 at 4:00pm
I know there are probably two dozen of those lights on the truck but I would want to verify that at least one bulb is good such as the one you remove to do as Jay suggested. If one tests good you can be pretty sure most if not all the other bulbs will be good also.
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steve(ill) View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote steve(ill) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2019 at 6:17pm
If there are two dozen lights and each is 1/2 amp....... then you putting 12 amps thru the switch... Many small toggles cant take that forever.
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Gary in da UP View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary in da UP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2019 at 7:31pm
check grounding
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jaybmiller View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jaybmiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2019 at 8:18am
yeesh, what Steve says !! I never thought to ask how many 'marker lights'... spark  Should have a switch rated for at least 20 amps DC ( NOT AC).
Actually, I'd add a 30A relay. Then new switch would last forever....
Jay
3 D-14s,A-C forklift, B-112
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Never burn your bridges, unless you can walk on water
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Tbone95 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tbone95 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2019 at 9:10am
Originally posted by steve(ill) steve(ill) wrote:

If there are two dozen lights and each is 1/2 amp....... then you putting 12 amps thru the switch... Many small toggles cant take that forever.
No, the high amperage would be going through the relay, right?Confused
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jaybmiller View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jaybmiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2019 at 9:26am
hmm, I had to re-read the OP. Since the relay works in the other location, it boils down to
1) no power to switch
2) defective switch
3) broken feed wire from relay to lights
4) defective wiring at relay/fuse panel

One test to do, turn on marker light switch
goto fuse/relay panel
pull 'marker' relay
if it 'clunks' when pulled, power IS getting to it, so switch and relay are OK, there must be  break in the wire from relay to lights.
3 D-14s,A-C forklift, B-112
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Never burn your bridges, unless you can walk on water
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LeonR2013 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LeonR2013 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2019 at 2:56pm
1st thing to do is buy a new bulb and then install a new truck, preferably a Pete. LOL   Just kidding. I do remember back when I worked in a shop that the wiring in a KW seemed to have more problems than others. I think I would turn on the lights and check each connection for heat. Did you mention whether this was a straight truck or a tractor? If so then you just have to extend the investigation and like someone said I would really suspect a ground.     Leon
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tadams(OH) View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tadams(OH) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2019 at 3:06pm
I would take a test light and start to see where there the test light will light
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnwilson_osf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2019 at 4:47pm
Originally posted by jaybmiller jaybmiller wrote:

NOT old skool xmas lights , all are in parallel, so all or nothing suggests a break in the circuit 'somewhere'  between switch and the first or closest light bulb.
I'm thinking the switch may be bad (open).

Simple test, you'll need small 12V battery and 2 alligator test leads...
1) turn switch OFF( actually whole truck can be off )
2) remove light bulb from ONE running light unit.
3) put one test from ground to battery -ve
4) put other on +ve post  and carefully put other end on where the 'center contact' of the bulb would go.

If done right, a small spark will occour and all the other running lights will be on.
This verifies all the lights and 99% of the wiring is GOOD.

Only thing left is the switch.

Odds are you've flipped that switch a ga-zilion times and it's wore out.

Jay

Jay, I did what you suggested, and I was able to energize the marker lights with backfeeding through a bulb.  

I then opened up the dash, and got to the switch assembly.  When I looked at it, I could see that the plastic housing that the wire harness connects to the switch had melted.  The porcelain in the switch for the Rheostat for the cab lights was cracked and falling apart, so I went and purchased a new switch, and plastic connector for the wire harness.  

While I had it apart, I also checked the wires to make sure that they were working before I installed the new switch.  When I take the 12v lead, and connect it to the various other wires (Marker lights, head lights, dome light, dash lights), they all work individually.  

When I install the wires to the new switch (which is a 2-position pull type), I get the following results:
First Position: Marker Lights, No Dash lights
Second Position: Head lights, No marker lights, no dash lights.  

I am thinking I might have a bad switch, as they wires all do as they are supposed to when individually connected to the 12v lead.  

Could there be something else?  A grounding problem on the marker/dash lights such that when I pull to the head light position, it shuts the markers off?  

This was a slow process to identify all the wires, since Kenworth will not give me a pin-out diagram for the switch, and the company that the switch came from says that kenworth has the diagram, and I have to get it from them.  

Turns out this switch is similar to one used in 66 corvettes.  (part number: BA40600)
 


Allis Express: Eastern PA on Rt 80
8050, 8010, 6080, 190, D14, DA 6035, AA 6690, 5650, Gleaner F2
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