Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Toads and Motorhome Related Towing
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-14-2014, 03:34 PM   #1
RWP
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 16
2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid -- LED Light Issue?

Bought a new 2014 MKZ hybrid about two weeks ago after learning here (and confirming with Lincoln) that it can be flat-towed. Lincoln says the 2014 cars are exactly the same as 2013, and Blue Ox says its base plate for the 2013 model will carry over to the '14s. BUT Blue Ox says that so far their engineers have not figured out a way to wire the LED lights to work with the coach lights. (The coach already has a Blue Ox tow bar and Air Force One braking system, which we used withe our previous car.) The parts person I spoke with at Lazy Days in FL seemed unaware of a potential problem, stating that diodes would do the trick. The guy at Blue Ox says diodes won't work with the type of wiring used for LEDs. The only light option may be those ugly magentic mounted ones. Sure would hate to go that route. The Bllue Ox fellow predicts a solution will be found in time, as more and more car manufacturers are going with all-LED lighting. Does anyone here know if there's a way to make the car's LED lights work with the coach lights? Thanks!
__________________

__________________
RWP is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-14-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 249
I don't know anything about the LED lights, but have you considered putting separate bulbs into the existing light housings? If there is room for the additional bulb, this would allow you to connect the lights without touching the car's LED system. Roadmaster makes a kit for this and I suspect Blue Ox does as well.
__________________

__________________
jrwitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 08:10 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
ditto's Avatar
 
Nor'easters Club
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 592
I used a light bar with suction cups and strap ...ran light wire from grill to rear bumper...because of the LEDs ...I stayed away from the cars electrical system.
__________________
2018 Entegra Anthem 44A
16 RAM,
Bailey our Boston Terrier
ditto is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 10:51 PM   #4
RV Mutant #14
 
Wayne M's Avatar


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,188
On my '07 Saturn I didn't have LED's but I still opted to go with the separate light bulbs. Demco makes a light set and that was the bar I had a the time. I hole is drilled in each tail light section and sockets are installed to accept the tail light bulbs. the wiring is independent of the wiring on the car. The coach lighting system controls the lights. For the brake, AF1 pulls the brake pedal to apply brake pressure and in doing so causes the brake light switch to activate. That should take care of the braking (check on that one, please.)

On my 2013 Lincoln MKX I had the Diode system installed. It works fine and I believe they are LED's in the tail light section. Don't know that for sure.
__________________
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
2015 Winnebago Tour 42QD
RVM14
It is what it is, and then it is what you make of it.
Wayne M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2014, 07:38 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Pusherman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 2,544
Yep, the LED tail lights in SOME new cars use a digital pulsing system to make the lights operate, which means they aren't getting a traditional 12V source to make them operate. They use 1 wire to illuminate both stop/turn and tail lights. Therefore diodes will not work.

The separate bulb route will work, as it totally isolates the car wiring from the coach wiring. Blue Ox also makes 12V LED bulb/sockets which are smaller than the incandescent ones, which may better fit into your OEM tail light housing. The Blue Ox guy should have told you that, as it's their product. I don't know if they will fit in your OEM housing, but it's a better route than the larger incandescent 2-filament bulb.

In cars with the digital pulsing system with LED tail lights, separate bulb kits are the only way to make stop/turn/tail lighting work in your OEM housing. Otherwise, you will need to use external lights, such as light bars, etc.
__________________
Don
'07 Winnebago Journey 34H - CAT C7, Koni's, MCU's, SS Bell Crank, Safe-T-Plus
'07 HHR Toad, SMI AFO, Blue OX
Pusherman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 10:24 AM   #6
RV Mutant #14
 
Wayne M's Avatar


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,188
Don,

Thanks for the clarification. I'm going to see if one of the little men running around inside my head can file the digital pulsing system with LED lights for future use.
__________________
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
2015 Winnebago Tour 42QD
RVM14
It is what it is, and then it is what you make of it.
Wayne M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 05:22 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Pusherman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 2,544
For us techno-geeks the proper technical term is most likely 'pulse-width-modulation (PWM)' or 'pulse-code-modulation (PCM)'. This technology is used a lot to send multiple signals along one signal wire. If it is a digital system with 8 bits of digital signal codes, you can do 256 things on the same wire. Same technology used in 'fly-by-wire' systems (you guys are now seeing my prior life coming out as a digital imaging guy).

Bottom line is cars can lower the cost of wiring harnesses by simplifying wiring, using this PWM technology to signal what-ever, in this case, the tail lights to signal stop/tail/turn. And the voltage levels are probably around 4-8V -- thus the reason our old stand-by diodes won't work.

Wayne -- we found this out the hard way -- wiring up LED tail lights on the new Explorers.

Again, if there's room in the tail light assembly on these vehicles, use Blue Ox's separate LED bulb kits which isolate the car wiring from the motorhome wiring.
__________________
Don
'07 Winnebago Journey 34H - CAT C7, Koni's, MCU's, SS Bell Crank, Safe-T-Plus
'07 HHR Toad, SMI AFO, Blue OX
Pusherman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2014, 10:06 AM   #8
RV Mutant #14
 
Wayne M's Avatar


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,188
Hmmm! I wonder what my 2013 Lincoln MkX has. It is using the diodes - so the installer said.
__________________
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
2015 Winnebago Tour 42QD
RVM14
It is what it is, and then it is what you make of it.
Wayne M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2014, 08:06 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Gormleys's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: CO
Posts: 674
I just had the Brake Buddy Stealth installed into my '13 Lincoln MKZ. I think they went the diode route for making the lights work. I've only towed it from CW to home and the lights still work.
__________________
Colorado '15 Winnebago Forza 34T w/MKZ hybrid toad
Gormleys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2014, 07:12 PM   #10
RWP
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 16
Update

Just had the Blue Ox and Air Force One tow package installed on the 2014 MKZ hybrid. The job was done at Lazy Days in Florida. We had quite a discussion about the LED light issue. A light kit supplied by Blue Ox can bypass the car's electrical system altogether, probably a good option with a brand new car and the desire to avoid any potential warranty issues. However, the Blue Ox package requires drilling into the existing brake light housing in order to insert an LED bulb. There wasn't room for this in the MKZ tail light assembly. Both Lazy Days and I then called Blue Ox separately, who continued to insist that the diode system usually used to tie the car's brake lights to the coach would NOT work...and the only solution was a light bar of some sort on the trunk. Ugly, ugly, ugly -- and almost certain to scratch the finish of the new car. However, the Lazy Days tech was all but certain that the diode approach would work, Ford's sophisticated wiring system notwithstanding. Of course it was my call -- and i decided to go with the tech's experience -- and as I watched he made the fateful cut into the Lincoln wiring. He didn't cut the harness, of course, just at the tail light itself, behind the connector that hooked the tail light assembly to the main wiring harness. In the worst case, I would have had to buy a new tail light assembly...certainly not cheap...but in his view, a highly unlikely outcome. Botttom line: the diodes worked like a charm! The car lights work exactly as they should -- when the car is being towed and not. So chalk one up for Lazy Days! I will be calling Blue Ox to report my experience and encourage them to provide updated information to anyone with concerns about towing a Lincoln MKZ hybrid...and, I would assume, a similar Ford Fusion. I felt i should report the final results to this group to alleviate any lingering questions or concerns. This is a great forum. Thanks to all who provide so much outstanding information.
__________________
RWP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2014, 07:23 PM   #11
Community Administrator
 
JohnRR's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Marquette, Michigan "Da UP"
Posts: 16,939
Thank you for the update, the information is appreciated.
__________________
John & Cathy R.
06 Pace Arrow 38L W24
08 14 Lincoln MKX AWD
See My RV Upgrades
JohnRR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2014, 08:45 PM   #12
RV Mutant #14
 
Wayne M's Avatar


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,188
I'm about 1000 miles into towing the 2013 Lincoln MKX using the diodes and all is well.
__________________
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
2015 Winnebago Tour 42QD
RVM14
It is what it is, and then it is what you make of it.
Wayne M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2014, 07:16 PM   #13
RWP
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 16
Called Blue Ox today with my story, and they still insist the diodes are a bad idea on the 2013/14 MKZ hybrid. Without giving specifics, they said there are instances where, some time after installation, the diode mod sends error signals to the car computer and can screw things up. Reporting back in the interest of full disclosure. Time will tell the tale!
__________________
RWP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2014, 10:14 AM   #14
RV Mutant #14
 
Wayne M's Avatar


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,188
I wonder what the difference between the MKZ and MKX lighting systems are.
__________________

__________________
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
2015 Winnebago Tour 42QD
RVM14
It is what it is, and then it is what you make of it.
Wayne M is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2014 Winnebago Adventurer 35P Tom-NC Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 11 06-16-2014 07:59 AM
Unusual electrical issue in a 2014 36LA Roger G Tiffin Motorhomes Owners Forum 34 03-02-2014 08:49 PM
Issue with no power @ outlets :( ShineGinny Travel Trailer Discussion 23 01-19-2014 10:24 PM
Brake light came on maximel Ford Motorhome Chassis Forum 9 01-15-2014 05:04 PM
Strange Electrical Issue baldtat MH-General Discussions & Problems 18 01-13-2014 07:44 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.