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Author Topic: New Tail Lights  (Read 1796 times)
will4104
Will 4104
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« on: July 02, 2013, 03:42:55 PM »

Hi Everyone!

Needed to replace my tail lights, but the new ones I purchased have three wires while the existing have two. Am I correct to assume the third is for ground: since the old one was metal and used the housing as ground?  (new ones are plastic housing, led)
If someone in the know will chime in, I will thank you ahead of time.
Thank you all for the help. I, as well as many, are glad you are all here!
( attempted to post pics, not edumacated enough to accomplish it... )

Will

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William Fenske
4104-716
Altamonte Springs, Fl.
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 03:46:16 PM »

Will -

What color wire are the leads on your new lights?

That will help us answer your question more intelligently.

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
will4104
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 03:50:37 PM »

The wires are red, black and white. The white wire has an eyelet on it while the others are bare...   Cry
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William Fenske
4104-716
Altamonte Springs, Fl.
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 03:54:10 PM »

The white is ground.
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Cary and Don
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 05:10:53 PM »

Usually if there are three wires, one is stop and one is tail light.

Don and Cary
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gus
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2013, 03:44:06 PM »

I think the original 4104 had separate stop/tail/turn lights. If so you probably don't use one of the wires.

Three wires are needed when the stop/turn/tail lights use the same two contact bulb. Your old ones are probably single contact.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
will4104
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2013, 03:59:11 PM »

Thanks all,
Does anyone know how the lights operated originally? Right now both top and bottom act as stop and turn...
Any opinions on having tops and bottoms act independently, tops for turns bottoms for stops?


Will
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William Fenske
4104-716
Altamonte Springs, Fl.
Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2013, 07:45:24 PM »

If you tow anything the bottom lights will not be visible to anyone behind you, and if for some reason the lights on the tow quit working and you have to stop suddenly, you may find yourself becoming acquainted with the driver behind you.
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
will4104
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2013, 08:42:03 PM »



Good point Ed....    you think I should add a few more  Huh
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William Fenske
4104-716
Altamonte Springs, Fl.
Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2013, 06:21:58 AM »

Probably no need to add more, just keep the same setup as you already have.
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2013, 04:04:13 PM »

Good point Ed....    You think I should add a few more?

Will -

What you might consider is adding an additional stop lamp assembly in the panel below the rear window and above the engine tailgate.

Or get really creative with some electronic do-dads and make the top Michigan Markers (the center cluster of three) flash whenever you step on the brakes?

Anything to keep others from trying to drive up your exhaust!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
will4104
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2013, 05:48:55 PM »

Something I didn't think of until after the installation, how the lights will hold up with the heat off the engine. They are plastic...
Anyone win experience with these ?
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William Fenske
4104-716
Altamonte Springs, Fl.
gus
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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2013, 07:12:13 PM »

All my 4104 lights are the round plastic generic types, never any heat problem.
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PD4107-152
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Ash Flat, AR
usbusin
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'60 PD4104-4355(sold) Now Freightliner Conversion




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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2013, 09:35:38 PM »

Something I didn't think of until after the installation, how the lights will hold up with the heat off the engine. They are plastic...
Anyone win experience with these ?

I had "Truck-lite" units in my 4104.  No problem in 16 years.
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Gary D

USBUSIN was our 1960 PD4104 for 16 years Ustruckin' is our 2001 Freightliner truck conversion
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2013, 05:28:02 AM »

A lot of newer buses have high brake lights in addition to the ones at the normal level.  I suppose it gives them better visibility as hardly any of them will ever tow a trailer.  City buses locally have high mounted lights that are not red that flash when the bus is braking.  My bus is new enough to have a factory installed third brake light, but I replaced it with LED since the bulbs were hard to replace.

I almost always tow a trailer and have never thought about what happens if the trailer lights go out.  I have LED lights on the trailer so they shouldn't burn out, but what if the plugs comes out or something.  Nobody would ever see the bus brake lights.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2013, 06:54:00 AM »

My 4104-4850 has a current-sensing relay in series with the brake lamps. With the original bulbs in place, they would draw enough current to pull the relay whose contacts would light the telltale (indicator) on the dash. Burned-out bulb=no relay operation=no telltale!

Great 'old' technology!

Ted
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will4104
Will 4104
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« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2013, 03:12:43 AM »

Replaced the lights and tested. Turn signals...both work, including fronts. Emergency flashers... front flash, backs stay continuously lit.(not bright like when turn or brake is activated)  Headlights on...no light in back. Marker lights on... tail lights on, not bright as when turn or brake applied. Have not tried brake lights, will need an extra set of eyes.. (guessing will only work when aired up)

So, anyone know the correct lighting procedure/operation?

Also, guessing front turn/hazards are single filament and don't stay on continually?

Thank you all so far, always informative and useful for others    Smiley
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William Fenske
4104-716
Altamonte Springs, Fl.
Lin
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« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2013, 12:09:10 PM »

Looks like your tail lights are on the marker switch.  Mine are also.  That's fine as long as you know to turn them on.  Do the directionals work correctly in the back.  If so, there seems only to be a problem with the emergency flashers in the back.
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will4104
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« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2013, 01:18:38 PM »

Thanks Lin,

Yes, the directionals are working correctly. When the flashers are on the stop/turns are illuminated(not as bright as when stopped or turning) and constantly on. Any thoughts?
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William Fenske
4104-716
Altamonte Springs, Fl.
Lin
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« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2013, 01:53:53 PM »

Must be in the wiring!  That's a joke. I don't know so anything said is just a guess.  The directionals and the flasher function on the same bulb with the same wire, right?  Therefore if the turns are working correctly, it seems the flashers should also be okay as far as connection and ground are concerned.  What about the directionals that are on the side of the bus (no you have those?) are they working as turns and emergency?  There is always the possibility that the flasher unit has a problem.  If you remove on of the rear bulbs, does the other start to flash on emergency? 
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gus
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« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2013, 07:39:54 PM »

This all sounds very familiar, mine once would shut down the engine when the brake lights came on! Drove me nuts for a week.

Anyway, as I remember (it was long ago) it turned out one of the ground wires in the rear light harness was reversed.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
will4104
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« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2013, 11:49:30 PM »

Must be in the wiring, funny... engine shutting down when applying brakes, not so much...

Not sure if the flashers worked before I replaced the tail lights, will most likely require a second person to help track down issue. Sort of a pain in the butt running back and forth, and time consuming.

Thanks again to all who posted and to everyone who participates in making this craziness seem normal... Undecided
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William Fenske
4104-716
Altamonte Springs, Fl.
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« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2013, 01:36:33 AM »

Sort of a pain in the butt running back and forth. . .

Borrow Mama's full-length mirror from the bedroom and set it up behind the coach so you can see it in the driver's exterior mirror.

Or pick up one of the inexpensive "hang on the back of a door" mirrors from WallyWorld if Mama won't let you use hers.  When finished, you can use it in the bus, too!

Or re-park the coach slightly so you can see the rear of the bus reflected in the windows on the front of the house.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
will4104
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« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2013, 05:56:45 AM »

Why you gots to bring my Mama into all this? Youse lookin for a fight?   Cheesy

It's the problem of my arms being too short and my eyesight... can't hold and read my multimeter at the back of the bus while operating controls at the front.

Maybe it's that my legs are too short...
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William Fenske
4104-716
Altamonte Springs, Fl.
gus
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« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2013, 04:40:49 PM »

I just kept messing around until I finally solved the problem, more luck than skill!

One problem also was the double contact bulbs not fitting properly in the sockets and shorting out some circuits.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
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