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Author Topic:   Another Dreaded Trailer Wire Question
17 bodega posted 10-24-2007 08:58 PM ET (US)   Profile for 17 bodega   Send Email to 17 bodega  
After spending about 200 bones on wires, trailer lights, LED's, shrink tubing, high powered hair dryers, I am right back where I started. Failed "sealed" lights and a grimace on my face!

In my frustration, I threw up my hands and bought a "magnetic" stick on set of lights that you can simply plug in the 4 flat connector and go trailering! The problem is, the color coding on this vintage set is different than the standard 4 flat configuration of Brown, Yellow, Green, and White.

This set has:

2 lights with one set of 4 wires running through one light and ending at the other.

The colors are:


From each light socket comes a white, black, and red. The Yellow runs through the first (left) light without a connection, but at the second (right or terminal) light it is crimped to the black. All other connections are crimped to the same color.

Anyone have a clue on this? I did actually get (very strange) combinations of things to light, but never a properly working set of lights.

My suspicion is that I need to crimp some of the wires together to get this to work correctly.

One tutorial that might help me is to know how exactly the 4 or 5 flat system is wired at the trailer end, meaning the exact wiring to the bulbs, turn signal and brake lights.

It can't be too difficult because there are only 4 wires total, but I can't figure out the ground wire and what the proper cobination is.

Anyone know this wiring configutation? Remember that I have only two 1157 style bulbs for the entire system.

thanks for any clues.


Bella con23 posted 10-24-2007 10:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
This might be a helpful thread:

I would start by tying the white (ground) wires together.

Then I would connect the two Black from the light bar and the two Red from the light bar together and apply 12 volts from a power source as follows.

Connect the Negative of the power source to the white wires.

Connect the Positive side of the power source to the Black and Red wires one at a time and note the intensity of the bulbs on the light bar.

If the Red wires produce the dimmer (parking or running) lights, leave them tied together and label them the "Brown" wire.

If the Black wires produce the brighter "Stop and Directional" light, then seperate the two Black wires and label them "Green" for the right side, and "Yellow for the left side bulbs on the light bar.

These become the turn and stop lights from the tow vehicle.

Good luck,

Bella con23 posted 10-24-2007 11:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
I'm going to guess that the yellow from the light bar is the license plate light and if I read your post a little closer, I would have noticed that you mentioned the yellow is tied to the black wire on the light bar.

Therefore, Black wires on the light bar are your running or parking lights and should be tied together and the red wire get seperated as in the example of the previous post.

17 bodega posted 10-25-2007 12:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
Thanks for taking the time to help with this. This trailer lighting thing has really been a mind melt ever since I bought my boat.

I'm not sure why other guys dunk in saltwater as often as I do but don't seem to have as many problems as I do (how do you do it Chuck?)

I'm determined to get it right! It may even involve sealing a set of lights myself with some epoxy.


Plotman posted 10-25-2007 10:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
First off, make sure the problem is not with your vehicle - get one of these for $4. Product_10151_-1_10001_58362?cmCat=CROSSSELL&cmid=PP_P0_2

Then you can work through the remainder of the light issues.

17 bodega posted 10-25-2007 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
Thanks Plotman. I've had one of those little triler light deals for three years now, and you're right, they are invaluable. One of my previous woes was that A short in the trailer blew a fuse instantly and cut my tailights.

So far I have blown no fuses during the current project, and the 4 flat testing gizmo is always close at hand.

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