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Old 06-30-2018, 09:40 PM   #1
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Grounding of toad

Just wired a new wrangler with a bulb and socket setup. Iíve done this on two previous toads, but I did not ground this one correcly. I used the blue ox wiring kit and have the four flat type wiring set up in the kit connected to a six way blue ox round female mounted on an aftermarket off road front bumper. A blue ox wire connects the 6 way to the 7 way on the driverís rear of the RV. I towed the wrangler for the first time this week. I hooked up the tow bar, then the 6 to 7 wire, then the safety cables. The safety cables sparked when I attached them to the d ring mounts I have on the front are crossbar, so I assume I grounded the bulb and socket system incorrectly. The result was that the motorhome driverís rear blinker quit functioning as did the toad bulb and socket bulb when the left blinker was on. The RV left front blinker blinked quickly. The right blinker, the brake tail lights, and the rear driving lights worked fine on driverís and passenger sides of the RV and toad. When I disconnected the 6 to 7 wire, to my surprise, all the RV light functions returned to normal; no blown fuses or bulbs.
I realize this question reveals my complete ignorance with electrical wiring, but I do appreciate the help. Any thoughts regarding the easiest grounding fix is appreciated. I couldnít find a loose ground, but Iím happy to run an additional dedicated ground if that would solve it; just not sure where to slice into the bulb and socket system to ground it correctly.
Thanks,
Rick
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:32 AM   #2
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Well Rick,
You don't say what year Wrangler you're dealing with. And, if it's actually a new(er) one, like say, a '15 or up, just wondering why you wouldn't have gone with one of the many aftermarket wiring harness's that would have alleviated any issues with your problem you're having? Everyone who deals with a toad does what he/she feels best for them in setting up toad wiring. I've never been a fan of additional sockets and bulbs due to the fact that they're not placed in the housing where the bulbs will provide with the optimum reflection.

But, that's me. As for your ground, well, I've never installed additional sockets and bulbs but, I'd just about bet that there's a ground wire on each of those sockets, correct? And, if there was/is instructions that came with the kit, what do they say to do with the ground wire? Do they say to tie it in with the existing ground wire for the tail lights? Or, do they say to go directly to a frame or body sheet metal section?

And, I'm sure you already know this but, your umbilical provides at least one wire for connecting the ground from the coach, to the ground system of the toad. That grounding system, SHOULD be enough to handle the load of transferring the ground from auto to auto and, that SHOULD make the lights, all functions, i.e. RT, LT, BRK, Running etc.without issue.

So, I'd begin with the back side of the 7 pin plug on the coach, follow the ground wire, from the ground pin, back to the source and make sure it's good, tight and clean. Then, make sure the pins in the 7 pin plug and receptacle are also clean and tight. Then, make sure the umbilical is not broken or has bad connections on either end. Then, take the ground wire from the back side of the toads plug and follow it to it's grounding source and make sure it's connection is clean, tight and correct.

A circuit cannot be complete without a ground. And, we all know that a very, very large percentage of electrical problems are the results of a poor ground. So, while it may be a pain, tracing the ground, each and every connection from the coach to the toad is needed so you can complete your circuits.
Scott
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:04 AM   #3
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Ground

Thanks for the reply. The jeep is a Ď18 rubi. I should have used a more idiotproof kit, but I went with the setup I used twice before. There is a ground that I mounted in each taillight compartment. The wire was pretty short, so I drilled a pilot hole then a self tapping screw into the jeep body at the most solid metal I could get to in each tailight compartment. I checked out the motorhome, and that side looks like the ground is secure and the 7 wire female receptacle clean. The 6 to 7 cord is old and so is suspect, but since I towed my last jeep a few weeks ago without issue, Iím starting with the ssumption that my lousy electrical skills caused the problem.
At the front of the jeep, it would be easy to tie into the grounding wire where it connects into the back of the 6 round female mount. I could T in a ground wire that I could drill-mount to the nearby frame crossmember. Iím assuming it is the white wire entering the 6 round that is the ground. Any opinion on whether or not this might work is appreciated.
Thank you.
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Old 07-01-2018, 08:48 AM   #4
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From my experience, you cannot assume that any piece of metal is actually electrically grounded. I chose the cradle under the engine, assuming it to be a good ground. After finding that my toad lights did not work properly, the search ended at that (un)grounded connection. Come to find out, the engine cradle is electrically ISOLATED from the rest of the chassis.

With the amount of plastic in today's vehicles, you MUST, MUST, MUST test for a proper ground before attaching. Do it with a test light or a voltmeter, but test the surface you intend on attaching a ground.

Also confirm that the toad ground is connected to the coach ground, via your cable.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:32 AM   #5
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I am in the process of setting up my new Colorado right now. My plan is to go straight from the ground pin on the six way plug to the negative battery and skip using the white wire that comes with the four conductor light wiring completely. Plan to also upsize the wire a bit as well.
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:55 PM   #6
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Quick question here, why does the Motorhome ground need to go to the toad ground. What purpose does that serve if no Motorhome power goes to the toad system? I must be missing something. I have a 2017 JK and I use the roadmaster plug in bulbs and they are indeed powered via the motorhome (7 pin to 4 pin) but I didn't attach the motorhome ground to the Jeep ground. Is it a static electric thing or what? I could run a jumper wire but I don't see why it's needed. It functions basically like a trailer.

And yes, the plug in lamps are not as bright as the factory Jeep lamps, but more light than you'd think and when the brakes are applied there is actually a lot more light as the plug in bulb comes on and the Jeep brake lights come on as well. As I brake to a stop I have both the motorhome system via the plug in's on and the Jeep brake lamps on. Once stopped with my foot on the brake of the motor home I just have the plug in lamps on. I've looked at them at night time and the Jeep tail lights are a bit brighter than the plug in lamps. Ditto with the turn signals. But while braking super bright.
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Old 07-01-2018, 08:29 PM   #7
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ground

Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to T off the white directly to the frame near the front of the jeep. I'll sand off the paint at the point of contact. I should be able to complete this after work tomorrow. I'll route the ground wire in a protective conduit up to the negative battery terminal if that step doesn't work. I'll post an update as soon as I get one or both of those steps completed.
Thanks again
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Old 07-01-2018, 11:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bob1340 View Post
Quick question here, why does the Motorhome ground need to go to the toad ground. What purpose does that serve if no Motorhome power goes to the toad system? I must be missing something. I have a 2017 JK and I use the roadmaster plug in bulbs and they are indeed powered via the motorhome (7 pin to 4 pin) but I didn't attach the motorhome ground to the Jeep ground. Is it a static electric thing or what? I could run a jumper wire but I don't see why it's needed. It functions basically like a trailer.

And yes, the plug in lamps are not as bright as the factory Jeep lamps, but more light than you'd think and when the brakes are applied there is actually a lot more light as the plug in bulb comes on and the Jeep brake lights come on as well. As I brake to a stop I have both the motorhome system via the plug in's on and the Jeep brake lamps on. Once stopped with my foot on the brake of the motor home I just have the plug in lamps on. I've looked at them at night time and the Jeep tail lights are a bit brighter than the plug in lamps. Ditto with the turn signals. But while braking super bright.
Well Bob,
That's where you're just a might confused. 99.999999% of the motorhomes towing toads, send signals to whatever kind of lighting arrangement one has on the back of their toad through the 7 - pin plug, the umbilical and, to the rear of the toad. When you're hooked up to your toad, and you apply a left turn signal, where do you think that signal on the rear of the toad, (no matter what lighting arrangement you have) comes from? It comes from the COACH!

And, using basic electrical theory, in order for a light to work, ANY LIGHT, you have to have a complete circuit, correct? That is, the signal might travel out from the positive side of a switch (turn signal lever and switch) all the way through the coach, through the 7-pin connector, through the umbilical, through the additional wiring placed under or in the toad, all the way to the rear of the toad, and into whatever kind of light you're applying it to in the rear of the toad. But, that light cannot light up, unless it completes the circuit and that's where the ground from the motorhome comes into play. See what I'm getting at?

IN other words, you're not powering up the toad lighting system with the toads battery. You're using the coaches battery system. To make it even simpler, picture a wire coming from the 7-pin connectors left turn pin inside that trailer plug and, that wire is 20' long. At the end, is a bulb. The wire is attached to the positive input of that bulb. But, the bulb cannot work, unless there is another wire, attached to the ground side of that bulb, and ran all 20 ' back to the trailer plug, to the ground pin inside that trailer plug. Now, you have a complete circuit.
Scott
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by RBowman View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to T off the white directly to the frame near the front of the jeep. I'll sand off the paint at the point of contact. I should be able to complete this after work tomorrow. I'll route the ground wire in a protective conduit up to the negative battery terminal if that step doesn't work. I'll post an update as soon as I get one or both of those steps completed.
Thanks again
One quick note, not sure if Jeep has it, but I just bought a 2018 Chevy Colorado. I found a stud near the radiator specifically marked "Ground" with no wires attached. I assume it is for adding aftermarket components. Might be worth a quick snoop around under the hood to see if FMC added something similar since a lot of owners do add aftermarket components to their Jeeps.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:15 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post

And, using basic electrical theory, in order for a light to work, ANY LIGHT, you have to have a complete circuit, correct? That is, the signal might travel out from the positive side of a switch (turn signal lever and switch) all the way through the coach, through the 7-pin connector, through the umbilical, through the additional wiring placed under or in the toad, all the way to the rear of the toad, and into whatever kind of light you're applying it to in the rear of the toad. But, that light cannot light up, unless it completes the circuit and that's where the ground from the motorhome comes into play. See what I'm getting at?
Electricity is lazy, and likes it where it is. If it can't see a way back, it ain't going no where. And if you give it a chance to take a short cut it will.

I can't say much about the OP's problem, because I don't know his cage. Couple of decades ago they started wiring CMV trailers so the body was above ground, in other words running a wire for ground to each load. This eliminated a lot of problems, but you could not make a add-on light work by running a screw into the body. Might want to run ground wire lights to MH in case your toad is wired that way.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:32 AM   #11
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Well Bob,
That's where you're just a might confused. 99.999999% of the motorhomes towing toads, send signals to whatever kind of lighting arrangement one has on the back of their toad through the 7 - pin plug, the umbilical and, to the rear of the toad. When you're hooked up to your toad, and you apply a left turn signal, where do you think that signal on the rear of the toad, (no matter what lighting arrangement you have) comes from? It comes from the COACH!

And, using basic electrical theory, in order for a light to work, ANY LIGHT, you have to have a complete circuit, correct? That is, the signal might travel out from the positive side of a switch (turn signal lever and switch) all the way through the coach, through the 7-pin connector, through the umbilical, through the additional wiring placed under or in the toad, all the way to the rear of the toad, and into whatever kind of light you're applying it to in the rear of the toad. But, that light cannot light up, unless it completes the circuit and that's where the ground from the motorhome comes into play. See what I'm getting at?

IN other words, you're not powering up the toad lighting system with the toads battery. You're using the coaches battery system. To make it even simpler, picture a wire coming from the 7-pin connectors left turn pin inside that trailer plug and, that wire is 20' long. At the end, is a bulb. The wire is attached to the positive input of that bulb. But, the bulb cannot work, unless there is another wire, attached to the ground side of that bulb, and ran all 20 ' back to the trailer plug, to the ground pin inside that trailer plug. Now, you have a complete circuit.
Scott

I understand all that. But my question was, why do I need a ground from the MH to the Toad chassis? I use a 4 pin set up. I just ran the MH ground all the way to the light. I don't have the MH ground going to the toad chassis ground anywhere. My system would be similar to those toads that have magnetic lights on the rear. No place in my wiring do I have the ground from the MH attached to the ground of the toad. Is this a safety issue? I can't see where it would be, but just wanted to make sure.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:42 AM   #12
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You're probably too deep into the setup now to change course, but with my 2018 Wrangler, I used diodes with the existing bulbs. Easy Peasy
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Old 07-02-2018, 10:45 AM   #13
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Bob1340,
I understand what you're saying now. I just read into your statement and misinterpreted it. No, you don't need a ground from the coach to the toad IF, you're not grounding or, attempted to ground an "add-on" set of lights installed in the housings of the tail lights and, you've tied the ground wire to the body or even the frame. But, you are absolutely correct in the fact that if you run say, a set of magnetic lights or, a light bar (as we did with a boat for decades) and the lighting is in no way, tied to any part of the toad (or boat in our case).

"Is this a safety issue"? Nope, not at all. Wiring it in such a way that you have, no need to tie the coach chassis to the toad chassis.
Scott
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:06 PM   #14
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I understand all that. But my question was, why do I need a ground from the MH to the Toad chassis? I use a 4 pin set up. I just ran the MH ground all the way to the light.
This is what you want, 3 wires, Turn, Tail and Ground to each lamp. Is there any chance you crossed any of the 3 at either end? Short turn to ground could kick a auto reset breaker...
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