Sunday, May 13, 2012

Clearance and Marker Lights Part 2

It is probably obvious to you that I am not a mechanic and I am not an RV technician.  So sometimes I don't get it right have to do things over.  I feely admit that.  Hopefully the mistakes are small.  Hopefully someone else can benefit from my mistakes too.

Take the clearance and marker lights which I wrote about on April 9th.  I replaced the first five out of fourteen and tried to connect the white (negative) wires by wrapping them around the mounting screw. Later I found a couple of these connections were poor.  So I removed the all five lights and installed ring terminals on  the ends of the white wires to ensure a really solid connection.

Ring Terminal

In the picture below, the connection between the white wire and the mounting screw is very poor and unreliable.  This marker light is designed for mounting on a metal automotive surface, where the mounting screw on the right would ground to the metal vehicle body without having to attach to a wire.  Unfortunately my motorhome sidewall is not conductive and not grounded, so the white ground wire is required.  

Before: poor connection for the white wire
I removed the marker light, added a more centred hole for the wires to pass through, then added the ring terminal, crimping it into the wire with my crimping tool.
Crimping the ring terminal onto the wire

Here is the finished light, with two new mounting screws.  I added those because the old mounting screws were no longer holding as well as I would like.
Finished: ring terminal, wire routed through new hole and two new mounting screws. 
And of course lots of silicone!

After completing this, I used the same method to replace the five remaining clearance lights at the front of the motorhome, and four side marker lights.  That completes a total of fourteen lights. Now I can rest assured that the lights will be watertight and reliable for years to come.


Anonymous said...

You show a ring terminal being crimped on the black wire, where does that wire hook up?

Paul Melanson said...

Nice blog. I also have a 1985 Glendale 23 ft camper. I've done so much of the same things to mine I should have started a blog too. Instead of silicon caulking use thermo plastic. It is much better at sticking and is paintable.

Dean J said...

Dear anonymous: the marker light comes with the black wire already connected!

Dean J said...

Paul: you are so right about silicone. I have come to regret that decision. Silicone is not paintable, and collects road dust at a different rate than the motorhome siding, so after a dusty drip you can really see the silicone lines. I would also like to try polyurethane calking.