Re-wiring lights for use in the United Kingdom??

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powerjen

Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Posts
16
Hi,

I have a 28ft 7.5L NAtional RV Tropical, it's a 1992 (based on a Ford F350 Econoline).  We have imported it from Florida to Scotland in the UK and we have to do several things to it before it can be driven permenantly on our roads.  The main thing is the outside lights.  Rear ones have to be changed from combined stop/indicator/driving lights to a separate flasher for driving, stop and indicators (and indicators have to be orange).  At the front we have to have the orange sidelights/indicators split to an orange indicator and a separate white sidelight (or one combined within the front headlight).

We've looked at the wiring on the RV and it seems as though the rear stop/indicators are combined on the same wire and so it isn't going to be such an easy job to get them changed as we had hoped.  Someone has told us that these Fords have a Lighting Control Unit, which if you're not careful you can blow and it's a costly replacement.

I know its not something that you guys would normally have to do to your RV's but we're hoping that someone has some experience in the wiring of them and can help us get the lights sorted?

Thanks SO very much!

Jen  :-*
 

Lou Schneider

Site Team
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
10,906
Is the fullsize Ford Econoline or pickup (ute) imported to the UK?  If so, talk to your local Ford dealer and ask what needs to be done to change the lighting.  The circuitry for the RVs lights is the same as what Ford provides for their Econoline or pickup models.
 

powerjen

Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Posts
16
Hi Lou

Thanks for the post, sadly we dont' have anything like that imported by Ford, we have a completely different range of Ford cars in the UK.  There are a few specialist places dotted around the UK who do some conversion work on american imports but they're not overly helpful unless you want to pay out to get them to do it all for you.  They were the ones who told me about the Lighting Control Unit and to be very careful with it.  i didn't know if they were just telling me that so they ended up getting the work?

Our nearest place is over 250 miles away and we are on a very limited budget and we really need to try do it ourselves if at all possible.

Thanks again.

Jen
 

John From Detroit

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Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,794
Location
Davison Michigan
WARNING: I do not know if this modification will meet your country's requirements

The easiest way to convert the rear lights is going to be to add new lights, and perhaps change the color lense on the old ones (or re-route wores AT THE LIGHT)

You will need to add one very well insulated wire from the brake lightr switch to the rear of the rig,  Just one.

I suggest using either a piece of tubing (Garden hose?) (leakey garden hose?) or proper wire wrap (Leakey garden hose is excelent for this job) to route the wire in, this is to protect against rubbing against frame members and such

At the brake light switch check for voltage,,,, If it's there (You may have to turn the ignition switch to ON) do not disturb this wire.. If there is none press the pedal, if you now have voltage cut this wire about 3-12 inches from the switch, tape off the cut end away from the switch,,, The wire from the switch goes to your new wire

This wire (At the back) goes to the stop lamps (Whichever color they need to be.

The existing wires to the back are the turn signal wires (Again, whatever color they need to be)

WARNING... I do not know if this modification will meet your requirements
 

powerjen

Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Posts
16
Hi John

Keith (husband) has read your post and a) he knows what you're talking about  :) and b) he thinks it would sort our problem out.

So, we will get onto it one night this week and see how we get on.

Thank you very much and WOW!  :eek: what a RV you have!  It is huge!

Best wishes

Jen
 

JohnSandyWhite

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Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Posts
209
Location
England
:D Hi powerjen. As John In detroit says the easiest way is to change the rear red light to an Orange lens. We have converted 3 so far. A 1993 Gulfstream based on the Chevy P30 7.5. The Minnie Winnie based on the 1993 Ford E350 7.5 and our latest the 1996 Newmar Mountain Aire based on the Ford F53 7.5. They ALL have different problems to solve to fix the lights. I suppose it depends on the manufacturers.
The 2 Fords were similar up to the connections at the back where the Newmar decided to revert to a single wire operating several lights at the same time. The Ford should be fairly straightforward to do once you check the signals at the front. Be careful as John says because the control box can be blown (been there and fixed that). We found that if you used one of those light testers that light up when you have a signal (voltage) with a sharp prong to pierce the cable works well for testing.

The front indicator should operate seperately from any other lgiht and must be seen from the side at a 45degree angle or a repeater fitted. The front must also have a white side light.
The rear again must have an indicator operating seperately from any other light. In addition there must be a Fog light.
One way of converting the rear indicators is to use the white reversing lights instead and use a coloured bulb. You then fit an additional white light similar to the Fog light instead.
 

powerjen

Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Posts
16
Hi John & John

Thanks for the valuable info.  We had a go at the lights yesterday, but are still a fair bit confused.  After much messing and getting into positions we thought we'd never get out of, we cut the red/green wire that was showing as the brake light wire under the pedal.  There were two wires coming out - both seemed to be red/green.  There is also a brown plastic 'box' with a ribbed top and a metal piece over the top of it where these wires (as well as other ones) go into and when the brake pedal is pushed a red light appears on this box.  We have no idea what that box does!!  Is it the lighting control unit that we've been warned about? It's about 6" x 4" x 2" and was sitting next to the switch for the high beam on the headlights (i.e. under my left foot under the dashboard). Answers gratefully recieved!

So, after we'd cut the wire from the brake pedal (bypassing the brown box) we joined it up with new wire so it stretched to the back of the RV and then attempted to figure out which wire at the back did what.  Well confusing or what!!!  :D We assume that National RV just used any old wiring at the back as it doesn't match up with the Ford chasis wiring diagrams we have found on the web.  We have green, black and white wires coming from the two stop/turn/running lights at the back and although we messed about with a variation of most of them we couldn't seem to get it to work as we wanted it and we couldn't get the 'new' stop lights to work because we couldn't find the correct existing wire to attach it to!  Perhaps you don't attach it to an existing wire and you just attach the new wire straight to one of the lights? Should you then just cut all the other wires going to that light? We're obviously not doing something right.  I will go over today (it's stored on my Mum's driveway) and try take a photo of the back light wiring and perhaps someone could try give us some more help.  I may take a photo of the funny brown plastic box too!

We at least feel that we're on the way to getting it sorted, we seem further forward than we were anyway! All thanks to you guys!

Thanks again and sorry for sounding so hopeless!!  ;D

Jen x
 

powerjen

Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Posts
16
Hi Everyone

Just to let you know that we finally think we have sorted out our lights.  Thank you to everyone for their help and info.  We have got the back lights running as they should although we haven't wired them in properly yet, but we now know what we're doing!  Need to do front side lights and side indicators now, but think they should be easier to sort out than the back ones!  So we're on our way to getting it all sorted ready to be registered.

Thanks again

Jen
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,630
Glad to hear it Jen. Any chance you could describe what you had to do &/or post a diagram(s) or photos? This might be helpful for others in future.
 
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