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2 - 3 wire tail light conversion. #861901 01/21/08 11:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 21
E
EtienneNavaar Offline OP
Need a Spot
I put a flat deck on my pickup. I ordered Grote lights, made nice little boxes to put them in, but I didn't realize that the lights I ordered used one bulb for both turning and breaking, while the original truck lights had independent bulbs. So, after some googling I learned that you can get a converter for adapting trailer lights to the 2 wire system from a vehicle with the 3 wire system. One trip to Wal-Mart, converter in hand, problem solved I thought. Except it doesn't work. Go to the converter manufacturers website (Hoppy's) and it says the converter won't work for what I want it to do. I can't think of why, how does the converter know if I'm hooked up to a trailer or not. Anyways, what I'm looking for is some way to make this work, either with the converter I bought or some other way. I don't really want to make new boxes and order more lights. Anyones help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

From the Off-Road World
Re: 2 - 3 wire tail light conversion. [Re: EtienneNavaar] #861902 01/22/08 12:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 159
W
Whizkidder Offline
Wheeler
Would be helpful to know how you wired the converter.

Just a guess, but you need to cut the original brake/Rturn/Lturn feed wires, and run the feeds to the converter. You should only have two feeds coming out of the converter -- one for each combo brake/turn filament (left and right). Don't forget -- the wiring harness on the truck has a wire that ties both brake lights together, so you'd need to cut that to allow the bulbs to function independently.

Good Luck. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />

Re: 2 - 3 wire tail light conversion. [Re: Whizkidder] #861903 01/22/08 12:41 AM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 12,153
4Crawler Offline
Web Wheeler
*****
Should be able to make it work. I have a generic U-Haul converter on my '85 (installed by PO) and it should have a left and right side tail light wire:
http://www.accessconnect.com/trailer_wiring_diagram.htm

Re: 2 - 3 wire tail light conversion. [Re: Whizkidder] #861904 01/22/08 12:47 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 21
E
EtienneNavaar Offline OP
Need a Spot
Thanks for your reply Whizkidder.

I will try to give a little more detail. I actually bought 2 converters, one for each side. They have 5 wires going in (ground, l-turn, r-turn, tail, brake) and 4 wires coming out (ground, l-turn, r-turn, tail).

I cut the connector off my old (original) light, so my new setup would plug right in, and hooked it up to one end of the converter and hooked my new lights up to the other end, just did not use one of set of the "turn" wires going in and out of the converter.

I've triple checked all connections they appear to be right. The tail light does work, but when I signal or break, I get nothing.

Hope someone can help, thanks again.

Last edited by EtienneNavaar; 01/22/08 04:26 AM.
Re: 2 - 3 wire tail light conversion. [Re: EtienneNavaar] #861905 01/22/08 03:06 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 103
K
KiwiCowboy Offline
Wheeler
Make sure you grounded your new lights.

Re: 2 - 3 wire tail light conversion. [Re: KiwiCowboy] #861906 01/22/08 10:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 12,153
4Crawler Offline
Web Wheeler
*****
With a single bulb, you'll have to do some further mods. Assuming at least that it is a dual filament (1157) type bulb, then the following may help:
- http://www.p-vector.com/bob/garage/vw/side_marker/

Re: 2 - 3 wire tail light conversion. [Re: EtienneNavaar] #861907 01/24/08 03:08 AM
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 675
M
mnwolftrack Offline
Rock Warrior
I know this will work because I've done it before. I put an aftermarket stepside box on my '85 pickup several years ago, and the box just used standard generic $20 trailer lights that are also used on Jeeps. I used a converter but only used one. The converter handles all the lights, so I don't know why two would be needed. As roger said, make sure you are using the dual filiment bulbs. One filiment is for the tail lights, the other is for stop/turn. One thing that annoyed me about the setup is it changed the speed at which the turn signals functioned. Hopefully you don't encounter this, but what happened in my situation was it would work normally when my foot wasn't on the brake, but if I put my foot on the brake, the turn signals went twice as fast. Or, was it the other way around? Either way, the turn signals went really fast one way and normal speed the other way. I think I left it as is, but the fix for this would be to buy two amber lights and wire those up as seperate turn signals from your main tail lights.

Re: 2 - 3 wire tail light conversion. [Re: mnwolftrack] #861908 01/24/08 03:23 AM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 12,153
4Crawler Offline
Web Wheeler
*****
Quote
One thing that annoyed me about the setup is it changed the speed at which the turn signals functioned. Hopefully you don't encounter this, but what happened in my situation was it would work normally when my foot wasn't on the brake, but if I put my foot on the brake, the turn signals went twice as fast. Or, was it the other way around? Either way, the turn signals went really fast one way and normal speed the other way. I think I left it as is, but the fix for this would be to buy two amber lights and wire those up as seperate turn signals from your main tail lights.


Other fixes are to either modify the flasher for a constant flash rate:
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=463125&highlight=flasher

Or install a heavy duty solid state flasher (they flash at a constant rate regardless of load).


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