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Excuse my lack of/ misuse of technical jargon.

So, I was wiring up my 4-plug light harness and the instructions made sure to tell me I had to ground the white wire but didn't specify where. I ended up sliding the end loop between two metal pieces (you know the bolts holding the jack holder on? I removed the lowest bolt and slid the loop between the jack holder and the metal behind it and then put the bolt back in.) after just attaching it to the bolt gave an insufficient ground (brake lights wouldn't work.) but that location doesn't seem much better. Where should I be attaching the ground? Do I need to scrape off some paint so the loop touches bare metal maybe?

Thank you.
 

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I really hate the idea of scraping paint anywhere on an automotive body. The factory wiring of the lights and everything else uses the body as an electrical return path (ground), so the there are large number of well-planned points to do this. I would look for where the tail lights ground, and see if I could add on to that. Without taking the time to check the electrical diagrams (which identify and locate each of the ground points), that's all I can suggest for now.
 

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There are a number of bolts under the carpet in the "well" where the third row folds into. They are bare metal. I attached to the nearest one of those.
 

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I just installed the 118304 wiring kit from etrailer and grounded it by the jack as in the online install video. Everything tests OK with the tester I have that plugs into the 4 pole connector. The trailer is brand new but the lights are acting wacky.When I turn on the left turn signal it blinks once and then stops on both the trailer and van, the right side seems to work OK.The 4 way flashers do not work and the turn signal fuse in the van also blew.The trailer has 2 side markers per side and a tailight and small brake light in the back. It seems like either a ground problem or are there too many lights for this wiring kit?
 

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Check that ground first. Other than that, the ratings for this unit are 2.1amps turn/stop and 4.2 amps for running lights. That is quite low. Does everything work on the sienna with the trailer not attached? I would suggest you have an incorrect bulb or shorting problem on the left side of your trailer wiring. If the right is working fine and the running lights work, the 4way flashers and left side problem probable are due to a problem with the left signal on your trailer.



robv10 said:
I just installed the 118304 wiring kit from etrailer and grounded it by the jack as in the online install video. Everything tests OK with the tester I have that plugs into the 4 pole connector. The trailer is brand new but the lights are acting wacky.When I turn on the left turn signal it blinks once and then stops on both the trailer and van, the right side seems to work OK.The 4 way flashers do not work and the turn signal fuse in the van also blew.The trailer has 2 side markers per side and a tailight and small brake light in the back. It seems like either a ground problem or are there too many lights for this wiring kit?
 

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The low rating for tail and marker lights is due to the Sienna's own circuit limitation; the basic aftermarket converter and even the OEM converter do not have a separate power source, and thus draw all required current from the stock circuit. With basic lighting this should not be a problem, but the large number of lights required for wide (over 2m/80") trailers are too much.
 

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The attached image shows ground points in the back part of the second-generation Sienna. The obvious point from a wiring schematic point of view is labeled "BL", but it appears to be well forward behind the right-side interior panel, almost up to the side door.

tcp said:
There are a number of bolts under the carpet in the "well" where the third row folds into. They are bare metal...
Perhaps this is the "BN" ground point?
 

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Van lights are fine without the trailer attached. I will recheck the ground later ...any idea how much many amps are drawn from 2 small side markers and tailights? Also what about replacing the lights with LEDs for less amps?
 

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robv10 said:
...any idea how much many amps are drawn from 2 small side markers and tailights?
I realize that this is not very helpful, but that depends so much on the specific bulb type used that I don't even have a useful guess.

robv10 said:
Also what about replacing the lights with LEDs for less amps?
I think that's an excellent idea, and I want to do this on my trailer, but just have not got to it yet. Any routinely available LED light will use much less current than the corresponding bulb.
 

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To be "legal", you have to make sure any exterior replacement LED bulbs are DOT approved. Many of them do not put out enough light, or enough light in the proper directions without a suitable reflector design. There are LOTS of aftermarket bulbs out there and most of them are for "off-road or show use only"....same with light assembly-kits. Some are so dim that they are barely noticeable at night, or when the brakes are applied.
 

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There are some pretty questionable LED modules which are used in place of bulbs in existing lamps; on the other hand, there is a wide variety of readily available LED lamps for trucks and trailers, complete with DOT markings. If the lights on the trailer are common trailer items, I would entirely replace them with properly designed LED units, rather than trying to replace just the bulb with some conversion item. If entirely replacing lamps seems excessive, keep in mind that the marker lights are only a few dollars each, and $100 would probably do the whole trailer with some careful shopping... and the LED units will probably last the life of the trailer.
 

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Right above the hitch, where I came through the floor (through a rubber plug), I bolted the ground to one of the "grocery clips" below the rear gate. I removed some paint from the metal inside. It's behind the rear plastic, so was not concerned about it.
 

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robv10 said:
...any idea how much many amps are drawn from 2 small side markers and tailights? Also what about replacing the lights with LEDs for less amps?
When I was trying to figure out which Modulite powered taillight converter to use, I found this info on the Draw-Tite website (http://www.draw-tite.com/):



If you want to find it on Draw-Tite's website, from the main page choose Information, then General Wiring Info (their site is apparently Flash, so there is no direct link). On my trailer, the Stop/Tail lights are #1157 and the marker lights are #194 - but since my pop-up is over 7 feet wide it has 11 marker lights, this I definitely need a powered converter.

If you want to look into LED replacements, check out http://www.superbrightleds.com/1157.htm - though apparently not DOT approved (their website states "For aftermarket use. May not comply with SAE or U.S. DOT standards. Warranty void if used in applications other than standard automotive replacement bulbs." I was considering the WLED-x5 for the marker lights (use amber or red LEDs, not white).

As far as grounding, I used one of the jack bracket mounting bolts, but I used a star-type lock washer between the ground wire lug and the painted body sheet metal to assure a good electrical connection.
 

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Zero260 said:
...If you want to find it on Draw-Tite's website, from the main page choose Information, then General Wiring Info (their site is apparently Flash, so there is no direct link).
It's Active Server Pages (.asp files) and Server Side Includes (.shtml files), rather than flash, but it leads to the same annoyance for linking. The corporate sister sites for Reese and Hidden Hitch are similar; all render better in MS Internet Explorer than other browsers due to the way the ASP junk is used.

Although the displayed URL (address) is always the same in this site, you can still copy links... although someone follows them they see the targeted content without some or all of the surrounding context of the rest of the normal page. For instance, you can link to Information or General Wiring Info.

Zero260 said:
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As far as grounding, I used one of the jack bracket mounting bolts, but I used a star-type lock washer between the ground wire lug and the painted body sheet metal to assure a good electrical connection.
I think the star washer idea makes a lot of sense; it is a long-established method.
 

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brian_bp said:
It's Active Server Pages (.asp files) and Server Side Includes (.shtml files), rather than flash, but it leads to the same annoyance for linking. The corporate sister sites for Reese and Hidden Hitch are similar; all render better in MS Internet Explorer than other browsers due to the way the ASP junk is used.

Although the displayed URL (address) is always the same in this site, you can still copy links... although someone follows them they see the targeted content without some or all of the surrounding context of the rest of the normal page. For instance, you can link to Information or General Wiring Info.
Thanks for the info Brian (I was just guessing Flash). So now I see that the page itself only displays the main URL, but if you look at the referring page and hover over the link to the page you want you will see the full path at the bottom of the IE window - you can't cut/paste this info, you would have to manually enter it, but you can right-click on the link and select "Copy Shortcut". Learn something new every day...
 

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My trailer lighting problem is fixed ....it was the trailer wiring that was messed up. Brand new Tracker boat and trailer and I get the one with a bad ground. Bass Pro Shops put in a new wiring harness rather than try to find the short. Thanks to all for the help.
 
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