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Old 02-02-2014, 06:08 PM   #1
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DIY troubles: taillight sockets and dash lights!

Howdy folks.

My wife and I are new owners of a 2002 Windsor 40PWD! We love it and are planning on full timing once we get everything squared away. Looking forward to interacting with y'all!

Right now, I'm working on a couple problems. First, the easy one, I'm trying to replace the tail light sockets, but I'm having trouble finding the correct replacement! It's the one that holds the 1157 bulb on each side. On one side, my bulb was out. After trying to get the bulb out to replace it, it looks to me like the socket is faulty, because I needed a wrench to get the bulb out! I checked the other side, and it's easy to get the bulb in and out, possibly because part of the plastic has been chipped off. So, long story short, I'm trying to replace both of them.


The second problem I'm having is with the dash lights. The headlamp switch that's supposed to turn them on wasn't working for the dash lights when I got it. This was the only dash light fault I could find. So I decided to try swapping out that switch. I found what I believe to be the same switch and went to put it back in. I think I made a mistake here by only turning off the chassis disconnect, and not turning off the house disconnect, or unplugging from 15 amp shore line. When I put the new switch in, I was using a wrench to get the harness on, and there was an arc at one point. After that, the driver's map light comes on when the switch is turned all the way counter clockwise. Also, when it's turned somewhere in the middle, the dash lights do work, though it seems backwards (i.e. counterclockwise makes them brighter). The most worrisome part is that the dash gauges are now behaving strangely. The coolant temp goes up when I turn the dash light switch among other whacky things. Hopefully, I didn't do too much damage...

Sorry for the long first post! Looking forward to any help I can get!

Thanks.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:18 PM   #2
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The performance of your headlight switch as it controls map light and dash lights sounds right. As for one or more gages acting as you describe, it sounds like the instrument lighting common ground has been opened, probably burned by the arc. Without a good ground, voltage applied to the gage bulb will seek ground through the gage sensinsing wire and its signal source. Try putting a temporary ground on one of the gage lighting posts and see if that solves your problem. If it does, all you need do is find and fix the open in the stock ground wire. Good luck.

DonL

Quote:
Originally Posted by monacle View Post
Howdy folks.

My wife and I are new owners of a 2002 Windsor 40PWD! We love it and are planning on full timing once we get everything squared away. Looking forward to interacting with y'all!

Right now, I'm working on a couple problems. First, the easy one, I'm trying to replace the tail light sockets, but I'm having trouble finding the correct replacement! It's the one that holds the 1157 bulb on each side. On one side, my bulb was out. After trying to get the bulb out to replace it, it looks to me like the socket is faulty, because I needed a wrench to get the bulb out! I checked the other side, and it's easy to get the bulb in and out, possibly because part of the plastic has been chipped off. So, long story short, I'm trying to replace both of them.


The second problem I'm having is with the dash lights. The headlamp switch that's supposed to turn them on wasn't working for the dash lights when I got it. This was the only dash light fault I could find. So I decided to try swapping out that switch. I found what I believe to be the same switch and went to put it back in. I think I made a mistake here by only turning off the chassis disconnect, and not turning off the house disconnect, or unplugging from 15 amp shore line. When I put the new switch in, I was using a wrench to get the harness on, and there was an arc at one point. After that, the driver's map light comes on when the switch is turned all the way counter clockwise. Also, when it's turned somewhere in the middle, the dash lights do work, though it seems backwards (i.e. counterclockwise makes them brighter). The most worrisome part is that the dash gauges are now behaving strangely. The coolant temp goes up when I turn the dash light switch among other whacky things. Hopefully, I didn't do too much damage...

Sorry for the long first post! Looking forward to any help I can get!

Thanks.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:49 PM   #3
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That makes sense. Thanks so much for the solid approach! Do you think I'll be able to find the common ground through the schematic at the back of the owner's manual? Would a wire open up? or an inline fuse?

Was my mistake in not disconnecting the shore power, not disconnecting the house battery cutoff, or both?
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:27 PM   #4
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The schematics in my owners manual (96 HR) are next to useless. The ground path will not be fused. If our guess is correct, your wrench provided a path for more current than the 14 gage ground wire could handle and it burned off at it's weakest (highest resistance) point. If you look at the back of the gages you should find that all of the gages are connected to a common wire (white on my coach). Follow that wire to where it is grounded to the chassis, probably on a ground bar. You should find your ground circuit along the way.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:46 PM   #5
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You could put a jumper wire from ground to any ground on the instrument cluster and see if it works. Then hunt down the burned connection later. It looks like the bulb socket and porcelain is still in the socket. Spray lots of Liquid Wrench or the like and then using a jeweler's screwdriver pry the bulb base away from the sides of the socket. Then use needle nose pliers to twist and remove the bulb base. You probably have the 2 contacts on the base 'welded' or corroded to the contacts. Once the base is out, use emery cloth or a something to clean up the contacts before inserting the new bulb.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonL View Post
The schematics in my owners manual (96 HR) are next to useless. The ground path will not be fused. If our guess is correct, your wrench provided a path for more current than the 14 gage ground wire could handle and it burned off at it's weakest (highest resistance) point. If you look at the back of the gages you should find that all of the gages are connected to a common wire (white on my coach). Follow that wire to where it is grounded to the chassis, probably on a ground bar. You should find your ground circuit along the way.
Okay, thanks for the help.

Anyone else have experience with the tail lights? Interestingly, I took pictures to see the hole where the socket fits back in. Notice it says Europe, P21W, P27/7W. Those aren't the bulbs that are in the manual... pretty interesting, see below...
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:32 AM   #7
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I can't tell from your pic. But the white base, that is spring loaded, has a tab. The tab fits into a slot on the side of the socket. I just had trouble with my sockets because the white base wouldn't move freely up and down inside the socket. This made it difficult to push a bulb in. Align the tab with the slot. See if that helps.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:36 AM   #8
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DIY troubles: taillght sockets

Monacle

Monaco sourced their tail light and headlight assemblies from various auto manufacturers,

A Google search on "2002 Windsor taillight" indicates that the taillight assemblies are from a 1993-98 Jeep Grand Cherokee. If so replacement sockets should be available at your local auto parts store.

The Google search also indicated that there was a recall on the 2002 taillights which may be why the bulb number is different from your manual.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:10 AM   #9
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There are actually 2 tabs on the bulb, at different heights. They have to be installed correctly or will jam in the socket.

I've had decent luck freeing up the piece with the contacts by flooding the socket it with WD40 then using something non metallic to push it up and down. When it starts moving turn the socket on it's side, spray more WD40 behind the contacts to wash the crud out and do it again until it moves freely. A shot of white lithium grease behind the contacts should help to keep it free.

When you install bulbs coat the bases with dielectric grease, it will slow the corrosion.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorlininc View Post
I can't tell from your pic. But the white base, that is spring loaded, has a tab. The tab fits into a slot on the side of the socket. I just had trouble with my sockets because the white base wouldn't move freely up and down inside the socket. This made it difficult to push a bulb in. Align the tab with the slot. See if that helps.
You're right, it isn't aligned. I think that made is what made it difficult. I already clipped the wires on the pictured socket, so I need to find a replacement. Also, the other side's socket is broken and corroded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidz_driver View Post
Monacle

Monaco sourced their tail light and headlight assemblies from various auto manufacturers,

A Google search on "2002 Windsor taillight" indicates that the taillight assemblies are from a 1993-98 Jeep Grand Cherokee. If so replacement sockets should be available at your local auto parts store.

The Google search also indicated that there was a recall on the 2002 taillights which may be why the bulb number is different from your manual.
I googled the same thing, but couldn't find where it says to use the Jeep replacement. I'm usually pretty good at finding stuff, but this search has really thwarted me. Do you have a direct link to where you found this info?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argosy View Post
There are actually 2 tabs on the bulb, at different heights. They have to be installed correctly or will jam in the socket.

I've had decent luck freeing up the piece with the contacts by flooding the socket it with WD40 then using something non metallic to push it up and down. When it starts moving turn the socket on it's side, spray more WD40 behind the contacts to wash the crud out and do it again until it moves freely. A shot of white lithium grease behind the contacts should help to keep it free.

When you install bulbs coat the bases with dielectric grease, it will slow the corrosion.
Thanks for the dielectric grease tip. I do need to replace the part though. Maybe I shouldn't have cut the wires so close...
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:13 PM   #11
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DIY troubles: taillight sockets

Monocle

The reference I found was at the following link:
Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: 2002 MONACO WINDSOR HEADLIGHT QUESTION

Hopefully they are correct.

I found that the tail light socket on my 1999 Diplomat was a GM part.

Just take along the old one to compare.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidz_driver View Post
Monocle

The reference I found was at the following link:
Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: 2002 MONACO WINDSOR HEADLIGHT QUESTION

Hopefully they are correct.

I found that the tail light socket on my 1999 Diplomat was a GM part.

Just take along the old one to compare.
Thanks so much. Looking at pics of my RV, the tail light does look like it matches exactly. Having trouble finding the individual sockets and the wiring harness that I've found doesn't look the same anyway. I'm wondering if I should just replace the whole tail light... I feel so inadequate with my google-fu!
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:52 PM   #13
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Tail light bulb holder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argosy View Post
There are actually 2 tabs on the bulb, at different heights. They have to be installed correctly or will jam in the socket.

I've had decent luck freeing up the piece with the contacts by flooding the socket it with WD40 then using something non metallic to push it up and down. When it starts moving turn the socket on it's side, spray more WD40 behind the contacts to wash the crud out and do it again until it moves freely. A shot of white lithium grease behind the contacts should help to keep it free.

When you install bulbs coat the bases with dielectric grease, it will slow the corrosion.
The two offset tabs sounds European to me. They do that to stop you putting a two-element (i.e. tail/brake light) bulb in the wrong way. I take it standard US bulb holders are different?
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:20 AM   #14
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I did some rootin' around tonight and have a couple ideas. They may be dumb, but are the only thing I can come up with. I'm nearing the end of my comfort zone. :(

I tested the relays circled in this picture with my multimeter. They seemed to check out fine. The Driving Lights relay was interesting to me, but I wanted to run the behavior by y'all first.

It's the bottom left circled item. Here's the schematic.


86-85 were shorted. 30-87a were also shorted. That's it. I'm not sure what the line between 86 and 85 and then the dotted line are. Can anyone explain if I'm seeing the correct behavior here?

The next thing is circled in red. It seems like that might be around the threaded rod to be grounded? It's not grounded however as far as I can tell. Could this be an issue?

This cable was a bit loose, showing a gap in the middle. I might be stretching here...


Does this connector look okay?


Also, found a wing nut on a bolt just chillin at the bottom of the bay.

Lastly for now, behind the dash, this crimp had the wires exposed. Again, not sure how big of an issue this is...


Thanks again for helping me work through these issues.
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