Brake light issue

Brake light issue

Postby dreamcatcher22 [OP] » September 26th 2010, 8:40pm

I have a 95 Safari, high mount brake light works but the other two don't. The hazard lights work, turn signals work and all running lights ok. I have power to orange wire at switch, and jumping orange to white lights the high mount but not other two. The fuse is good, but no indication of power running through it. I am not very good with electrical schematics, was just following a similar post in this forum, now not sure where to look next. Thanks
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Re: Brake light issue

Postby RECox286 » September 26th 2010, 8:51pm

If one of the three lights work, then I think I would carefully check at the socket for 12v while someone stomped on the pedal. Could be as easy as a bad bulb, socket, or ground around back.

Do a little poking first, and get back with what you find.

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Re: Brake light issue

Postby dreamcatcher22 [OP] » September 26th 2010, 9:10pm

The bulbs are good, and if I am reading right from other posts, the high mount light is a separate circuit, and the tail lights share wiring with turn signals (which work), so I assume the problem lies up front somewhere between the brake switch and wherever the wires go from there. The first question is should there be power at the fuse? I have a test light grounded, and check other fuses, and power is present, but not at the 15 amp "brake" fuse. The fuse itself is good.
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Re: Brake light issue

Postby RECox286 » September 26th 2010, 9:34pm

That fuse should be on the allways hot bus, the same as Horn, interior lights, cigar lighter. Do you have any of them? There just may be a fusable link in front of it. Did you take the fuse out and probe for power in the fuse receptacle?

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Re: Brake light issue

Postby RECox286 » September 26th 2010, 11:37pm

I just had time to dig out the readers digest version of the FSM by Haynes. Looking at the diagram: 20A fuse on the allways hot bus > Stop light switch @ pedal > branch off directly from switch to cyclops. Branch connection continues on thru Turn Signal Sw > (one pole) and terminates at rear lens assy.

I think I would look at the T/S connector (under steering column and see if you are able to shunt the wht and dk green wires to get the brake lights to illuminate. If that works, then a question: is the hazzard switch in the on position? Pull the knob and see if the brake lights start to work.

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Re: Brake light issue

Postby dreamcatcher22 [OP] » September 27th 2010, 2:31am

fuse marked "brake" is hot with ignition on, fuse marked "stop/haz" is always hot. jumping from white wire out of brake switch on the pedal to dark green under column and stepping on brake lights the high mount and passenger side light, and going from white wire to yellow lights the drivers and high mount. Hazard push button is off and works properly when pushed in, and shuts off when pulled out. There were two issues when I bought the van, the left turn signal does not cancel when the wheel is turned, I am guessing it is the cam inside the column, and there was a remote starter that was very poorly wired under the dash. However the brake lights were working up until a few days ago. Next step is tracing wires I guess, from switch to column?
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Re: Brake light issue

Postby RECox286 » September 27th 2010, 3:33am

Be aware that remote starter installations have caused more grief than joy. I had one put in at the dealership, and now the front power locks will not work at all.

The turn signal no cnx is probably due to a broken/missing cnx spring in the switch assy, or a broken plastic switch frame. I have had to replace a lot of those cancel springs. If you take it apart to change the one spring, replace both springs. Don't ask why... Look in the HELP section, the springs are available as an item, If you need a cam wheel, they are available too.

The stop/hazzard fuse should be hot all the time. It feeds both functions. Try stepping on the brake pedal of any car, even when the key is not in the slot, the brake lights will illuminate, and hazzard will work. The turn signal/backup fuse is only hot in RUN or START.

The reason that there are the Dark Green wire and the Yellow wire feeding right and left lamps respectively is that unlike most foreign cars, our brake lamps also serve as turn signal lamps. (the same filament that is).

#1157 lamp is dual filament, lower wattage is parking lamp, higher wattage stop/turn lamp.

Seems like you are getting closer to doing a t/s switch R&R.

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Re: Brake light issue

Postby Phantom » September 27th 2010, 3:53am

Check to be sure the bulbs are in the socket correctly , on some sockets you can install the bulb backwards and get those results cause the brake light filament is being used for the turn signal , try removing and turning the bulb around the reinsert it. There are 2 prongs in the bulb socket , you can use test light there to see if the voltage is going to both prongs 1 is turn sig the other is brake light
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Re: Brake light issue

Postby RECox286 » September 27th 2010, 4:09am

Good thought Phantom.

If you look at an 1157, you will notice that one of the bayonet lugs is mounted higher on the base than the other lug, thus making it more difficult, if not impossible to mount the blub brown side up. I will admit that yes, it can be done, and yes, I have done it...

Not to be a Mr. know-it-all, but the fact is that the stop, and turn are the same contact, and the other contact is parking lamp, and of course the base of the bulb and mostly the lugs to be specific are the contact for ground.

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Re: Brake light issue

Postby Phantom » September 27th 2010, 1:53pm

LOL yea I have done it myself , one day a bulb burned out and I replaced the bulb and noticed that the park lights were lighting at different brightness level , the bulb I had just replaced with new one was a lot brighter than the other side and it had no turn signal or brake light . After messing with it I took it out and turned it around reinserted , presto , brake/turn signal was working and bulbs matched in brightness
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Re: Brake light issue

Postby 94 Van Guy » September 27th 2010, 2:37pm

If I'm reading the OP's thoughts, he says the flashers work. This would indicate the contacts from the socket to the bulb, would be making contact and the bulb is being placed into the socket the correct way.
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Re: Brake light issue

Postby Phantom » September 27th 2010, 3:09pm

Then it may be the switch at the brake pedal not passing the voltage , still can test the socket voltage with meter or test light by hooking it up to the prongs in the socket , position the test light in a location that can be seen from the interior and then press the brake pedal to see if it lights up , to confirm that voltage gets to the lights from the hazard light circuit , and if the voltage gets to the lights pressing the brake pedal, confirm there is voltage passing through the brake switch on both sides and follow it from there ,
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Re: Brake light issue

Postby RECox286 » September 27th 2010, 4:16pm

If it was the pedal switch, then the cyclops wouldn't illuminate, which in this case, it does. The most likely gremlin is the T/S switch.

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Re: Brake light issue

Postby Phantom » September 27th 2010, 5:17pm

Getting interested in what culprit this may be , OP says the high mounted light is on a different circuit , so it is possible that the wires on the brake switch could have bad connection , or simply a power wire is chafed , bad ground , could be Turn signal switch , but I have never heard or seen that happen , unless someone had taken the column apart and caused the problem during assembly, turn signal needs ign switch on to get power , brakes lights work without key on.
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Re: Brake light issue

Postby RECox286 » September 27th 2010, 5:33pm

Almost true. Power for cyclops comes from (StopTurn) fuse> petal sw> bundle connection> cyclops. The bundle connection travels on to the T/S sw, where it is split in two, one contact for Left, and one for Right breaklamp. Wish I had a way to send diagrams, photos, etc, but I'm stuck with just words here.

Ah, Hey Jim: Can you post a diagram of the exterior lighting system for me? Then, maybe we can all be on the same wavelength here. Thx.

OP says that the (loads) Dark green wire, and the Yellow wire (out of the T/S sw) are dead while white (power) is still hot from pedal sw.

I say T/S sw is toast.

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Re: Brake light issue

Postby astroturf » September 27th 2010, 7:05pm

Here you go Bob,

1995 astro exterior lighting wiring diagram.pdf


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Re: Brake light issue

Postby dreamcatcher22 [OP] » September 27th 2010, 9:54pm

Thanks for the suggestion Phantom, but I don't think that is the problem. I back my van into my parking space every day and see the light reflections on the garage door, one day there was no reflection, and I had not done any work on the lights. I will double check, since they are open now anyway, never know what the gremlins are capable of...

As far as the starter, I agree, aftermarket remotes are more trouble than they are worth. This was installed by previous owner, along with a brain damaging stereo. I spent a perfectly good Saturday afternoon removing a mile of wires and taping open connections and stripped insulation, since the starter/alarm/door lock didn't work anyway. Everything was functional after that though.

I wonder if it is possible that the broken spring in the turn signal cam has found its way into contact with the turn signal switch? The signals function ok, other than the left signal does not cancel. I guess I am going to have to pull the wheel off and fix the cam, and look at the TS switch...

Thanks for all the help so far...
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Re: Brake light issue

Postby dreamcatcher22 [OP] » September 27th 2010, 10:15pm

Thanks for the diagram, the electrician at work says the problem lies in the TS switch, or in a faulty wire between the TS switch and brake switch. Power from orange wire into brake switch is good, and power in white wire out of switch when pedal is depressed means brake switch is good. Jumping from white to green and yellow wires under column, which is after TS switch, lights the brake lights with pedal depressed, so the balance of the circuit after TS switch is good. So according to diagram, the problem lies between the white wire at the brake switch and the Green and yellow wires at the column, which is the 'to" and "from" leads to the TS switch...sounds less complicated when your looking at the diagram, sooooo...since the turn signal cam needs repair anyway, I am going to have to pull the steering wheel off and see whats inside...
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Re: Brake light issue

Postby RECox286 » September 27th 2010, 11:03pm

Excellent. Houston, we may have ignition...

Thanks for the Diagram Jim. This stuff is really working!

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Re: Brake light issue

Postby Big_kid » September 28th 2010, 2:36am

I replaced my TS switch last year, it wasn't very difficult. When you pull the steering wheel, match mark it to the shaft to be sure it goes back on straight, and be careful of the airbag clock spring/ribbon cable.

When you go to reinstall the snap ring you'll have to come up with your own unique set of four letter words that will work on your van. When I failed to do that I managed to use a second spring and a deep well socket, driven by a hammer. It went right on. That will make more sense once you see the assembly.
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