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custom90steve



Member Since: 21 Jan 2010
Location: South West, England.
Posts: 19290

United Kingdom 
On the front, you may need a piggyback loom from the headlights up to the sidelights.

The only thing I’m confused by is why you aren’t getting tail lights, though if you do have these powered by a piggyback loom that may well energise the tail on the same circuit.

When I changed mine, I don’t remember having tail light issues, but the sidelight was out, it’s a feature that’s lost with LED upgrade UNLESS you have a piggyback loom taking power from the headlights loom in-line up to the sidelights.

It was a bit of a complication I unexpectedly had with mine.

On slightly different note.
I assumed, that as I had LED headlights, with sidelight feature(which was optional) dipped and main, that those upper external sidelights would work too when the lights were on, they weren’t so I had to get a piggyback loom which takes power up from the headlights to the external sidelights.
I have a feeling that, that will cure the tail issue as well on the same circuit.

I’m not exactly sure how it fitted now, but if you can rig up temporarily power and ground from the headlight plug up to the sidelights, see if that sorts the issue out and illuminates the tail.

Hope you don’t mind asking but which LED headlights is it that you have? Diesels Lives Matter. ⛽️🛢️👨‍🔧🧰⚙️
And if You Love the Country, then we’re on the same side ~
I got’ love for Britain, I got’ British pride’. 🇬🇧
Post #1024419 11th Feb 2024 9:20pm
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Newbie



Member Since: 04 Oct 2023
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14

United States 1988 Defender 90 2.5 TD ST Select Colour
Not at all, Steve. A knock-off brand, I know, but this is what I purchased:

https://www.amazon.com/RearTail-Land-Rover...B09V78TMZL

First off, thank you for your continued help with this situation. I believe I follow what you are saying about the piggyback loom. And I certainly understand what you are saying about rigging something from the headlight. So would you say that the power and ground from each headlight would technically take care of the side lights and tail lights on that side of the vehicle? So left handles left and right handles right?

And do you think the headlights would power these lights in the dipped (running light) setting without actually having to turn the headlights on? (I hope that question makes sense.)

Thanks again!
Post #1024569 13th Feb 2024 1:21am
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kestrel



Member Since: 18 Jan 2024
Location: Stein
Posts: 6

Switzerland 2012 Defender 110 Puma 2.2 SW Blenheim Silver
Hi Jim

Newbie wrote:

I'm afraid I cannibalized the sockets and just retained the white plastic housings. So the old housings are mounted as before and the new lights are mounted to them. The incandescent sockets were removed in order to do this.


I don't understand why you had to cannabalize the sockets when I'm reading the description on Amazon:

Suitable for all 1990-2016 Defender,plug and play.

Could you post a picture of the sockets? That may shade some light on it 😉

Cheers....Toby
Post #1024575 13th Feb 2024 6:58am
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blackwolf



Member Since: 03 Nov 2009
Location: South West England
Posts: 16692

United Kingdom 2007 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Stornoway Grey
Newbie wrote:
... To start, my brake lights work, but my running (side and tail) lights don't. My fuses are good. When I started changing over my lights from incandescent to LED, I started at the front and worked my way to the rear. With the factory relay in place, I was able to confirm that the new front running (side) lights were working when the headlights were on. I checked these lights again when I replaced the rear turn signals and they were still working. After installing the new brake/tail lights, however, the front running lights were no longer working and neither were the tail lights (apart from working as brake lights). I thought it may have been an issue caused by the original relay so I installed the new, LED-style relay, but it made no difference.

I've since learned from blackwolf that running lights are not impacted by relays, so I figured I must have wired the tail lights incorrectly. I'm not that versed with a multimeter, so I went through the four combinations of red-black-green connections and still have nothing. So if this is a polarity issue, I think I've checked every wiring permutation. And my fuses are still good.
...


If I understand your narrative correctly, everything was going well until you fitted the rear brake/tail lights. Until that point, your indicators worked (with the old relay), your front side (what you call "running") lights worked, and your old brake and tail lights worked. You then fitted the new rear brake/tail lights, and the front side lights stopped working. You then changed the flasher relay and it made no difference to the side/tail/brake lights (and indeed why would it given that there is no connection whatsoever between the two circuits).

If this sumary is correct, it is evident that there is nothing wrong with the flasher circuits or light units, and there is, or at least was, nothing wrong with the front side lights. Look to the brake/tail lights for the problem.

Give that the old lights worked correctly, it is safe to assume that there is nothing wrong with the wiring on the vehicle, unless you have blown a fuse (possible) or there has been a coincidental failure of something else (possible but unlikely).

Newbie wrote:
... I'm afraid I cannibalized the sockets and just retained the white plastic housings. So the old housings are mounted as before and the new lights are mounted to them. The incandescent sockets were removed in order to do this....


I don't quite understand what you are getting at here. THe lights you have pruchased are supposedly plug and play and clearly have Econoseal connectors which should plug straight into the vehicle harness in place of the old light units. They certainly would on a TD5 or Puma era Defender. I note however that you have a 1988 2.5TD Defender, which may have different connectors so I am now wondering what you have done to hook the lights up and whether this is the source of the problem. The only thing I can think of that might be described as a "white plastic housing" is the bulb holder itself. Can you explain in more detail, ideally with a photo or two, how you have actually connected them?

In the meantime I would suggest that you disconnect the rear (tail/stop) lights completely from the vehicle (just leave the vehicle wires disconnected and not touching anything) and see what then works. From what you have said I would expect the indicators and front side lights to work. If they don't, check whether you have the panel lights on the dash working, and check the fuses. Usually the sidelights on each side of the vehicle are fused separately, one side also powering the dash lights, so there will probably be two fuses.

If we can pin down the problem to the light units or to the way you have connected them, we should be able to guide you out of the mess!

For now forget the flasher unit, it isn't relevant to your problem if you have accurately described the situation. Forget jumpers to the headlights etc., irrelevant and unnecessary. Personally I'd also forget the Haynes manual since unless they have improved hugely in the last few years they're really not worth the (recycled) paper they're printed on, you should be able to find online and download the genuine LR manuals for the vehicle since almost all WSM and electrical manuals are now in the public domain. 40 or 50 years ago Haynes manuals were excellent, but they have dumbed them down so much now that they really aren't worth bothering with in my opinion (unless you want to be told repeated that this is a difficult and complex task requiring special tools and should be left to a professional).

Here's a link to a genuine WSM which includes wiring diagrams for the 2.5TD Defender of about your era, unfortunately it's not a great scan but it is usable:

http://www.retroanaconda.com/landrover/man...1993ed.pdf
Post #1024582 13th Feb 2024 9:42am
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custom90steve



Member Since: 21 Jan 2010
Location: South West, England.
Posts: 19290

United Kingdom 
Though I haven’t looked at the link Jim posted of that kit, I don’t suppose there is a 12 or 24v version at all?
Though I doubt it, but, you can get some automotive lighting that is 24v and has a higher voltage cut in, though, I’d have thought that would be 16v upwards for 24v systems.

I think as BW mentioned there is something, regarding how they are connected up or the lights themselves, as it was working before and little has changed except for the connectors, fuse blown or the lights themselves.
Have you checked the fuse for the tail and brake lights? Somethings they can give you the impression they aren’t blown when they are. Diesels Lives Matter. ⛽️🛢️👨‍🔧🧰⚙️
And if You Love the Country, then we’re on the same side ~
I got’ love for Britain, I got’ British pride’. 🇬🇧
Post #1024607 13th Feb 2024 2:01pm
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custom90steve



Member Since: 21 Jan 2010
Location: South West, England.
Posts: 19290

United Kingdom 
Newbie wrote:


1) First off, thank you for your continued help with this situation. I believe I follow what you are saying about the piggyback loom. And I certainly understand what you are saying about rigging something from the headlight. So would you say that the power and ground from each headlight would technically take care of the side lights and tail lights on that side of the vehicle? So left handles left and right handles right?

2) And do you think the headlights would power these lights in the dipped (running light) setting without actually having to turn the headlights on? (I hope that question makes sense.)

Thanks again!

1) Yes, correct as the current draw is lower by far for LED’s so that circuit can power both safely as the current is significantly less, which is something that wouldn’t be possible with incandescent.

2) Yes, it will turn them on, on sidelight (running light) and dipped basically all the time any form of exterior lighting is required.
I would imagine If I Recall Correctly, this will also energise the tail light circuit also, whenever sidelight or dipped is turned on.

This MAY be the issue you have, on mine I was able to fit a plug and play in-line loom due to the headlights I have Nolden Gen 1.
However, to get around that you may need some male and female (can I get away with saying that that? Shocked Whistle Rolling with laughter )
Headlight plus and sockets, and make a small plug in loom to take power and ground up to the sidelights, whist also still providing power for the headlights.

As the front sidelights (upper ones) are on the same circuit as the tail, it should solve the tail lights also.
You seem to have the flashers / indicators and the relay for that sorted now as that’s separate anyway.
And you seem to have brake lights as required also.

The connections are Econoseal connectors, on most later years of which those lights in your link are 2-pole econoseals. So I’ve you have plugged them straight into the LR plugs there shouldn’t be an issue, but if not there maybe. But if they just plugged in that should be fine.

If you go on 4x4 Overlander and take a look at Nolden Gen 1, you’ll see that Pilot light is an option, and there is a piggyback loom also for it.
If the headlights don’t have this plug and play functionality, then you’ll need a workaround as I detailed above.
But the jist is, power needs taking up in parallel each side from the headlight plugs up to the sidelights whilst also going to the headlights.
You could take taps from the existing lives and ground, or fit a small loom in between to do that so the factory wiring isn’t touched. I’d probably do the latter.

I think that on mine it was the reverse where power from the sidelight is taken down to the headlight to provide a sidelight in the headlights aka the optional pilot light.
I’m thinking this maybe a workaround for you.
It should at least give you tail lights and side along with dipped, but not specifically sidelight running light only.
Besides this I can only think of it being the rear loom ground, the two eyes for that on the transfer box side being loose.
Ground issues can cause a lot of problems and bizarre results, if the ground is not low impedance and poor security / loose then you’ll have severe voltage drop or nearly no power at all. Possibly have power to other ground circuits as well.

I once had the main ground loose, not fitted by me. Started fine got out on the roads and all lights were out and the indicators or flashers fir example would light up the entire dash flashing.
Good job I was only around 1/4 mile from home. Laughing
Tightened up the ground lead, job done. Diesels Lives Matter. ⛽️🛢️👨‍🔧🧰⚙️
And if You Love the Country, then we’re on the same side ~
I got’ love for Britain, I got’ British pride’. 🇬🇧
Post #1024610 13th Feb 2024 2:25pm
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Newbie



Member Since: 04 Oct 2023
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14

United States 1988 Defender 90 2.5 TD ST Select Colour
kestrel wrote:
Hi Jim

Newbie wrote:

I'm afraid I cannibalized the sockets and just retained the white plastic housings. So the old housings are mounted as before and the new lights are mounted to them. The incandescent sockets were removed in order to do this.


I don't understand why you had to cannabalize the sockets when I'm reading the description on Amazon:

Suitable for all 1990-2016 Defender,plug and play.

Could you post a picture of the sockets? That may shade some light on it 😉

Cheers....Toby




Thanks for writing, Toby. Perhaps because I have 1988 (pre-Defender), I did not have a male/female "plug style" connection that I could use. The sockets for the incandescent bulbs were mounted in the white, plastic housings (pictured), and they were wired to the car's wiring with bullet connectors. So I had to snip off the plugs that came with my lights and wire everything together with crimp connectors. When I was unsuccessful getting my running lights back (and after I learned the signal relay has nothing to do with my running lights), I assumed that I had wired my tail lights incorrectly and that was why the entire running light circuit - fronts and rears - was out. I went on to try every combination of red-green-black wiring and continued to check my fuses, but no luck.


Click image to enlarge



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Post #1024649 13th Feb 2024 7:32pm
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Newbie



Member Since: 04 Oct 2023
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14

United States 1988 Defender 90 2.5 TD ST Select Colour
blackwolf wrote:
Newbie wrote:
... To start, my brake lights work, but my running (side and tail) lights don't. My fuses are good. When I started changing over my lights from incandescent to LED, I started at the front and worked my way to the rear. With the factory relay in place, I was able to confirm that the new front running (side) lights were working when the headlights were on. I checked these lights again when I replaced the rear turn signals and they were still working. After installing the new brake/tail lights, however, the front running lights were no longer working and neither were the tail lights (apart from working as brake lights). I thought it may have been an issue caused by the original relay so I installed the new, LED-style relay, but it made no difference.

I've since learned from blackwolf that running lights are not impacted by relays, so I figured I must have wired the tail lights incorrectly. I'm not that versed with a multimeter, so I went through the four combinations of red-black-green connections and still have nothing. So if this is a polarity issue, I think I've checked every wiring permutation. And my fuses are still good.
...


If I understand your narrative correctly, everything was going well until you fitted the rear brake/tail lights. Until that point, your indicators worked (with the old relay), your front side (what you call "running") lights worked, and your old brake and tail lights worked. You then fitted the new rear brake/tail lights, and the front side lights stopped working. You then changed the flasher relay and it made no difference to the side/tail/brake lights (and indeed why would it given that there is no connection whatsoever between the two circuits).

That is EXACTLY what happened.


If this sumary is correct, it is evident that there is nothing wrong with the flasher circuits or light units, and there is, or at least was, nothing wrong with the front side lights. Look to the brake/tail lights for the problem.

Give that the old lights worked correctly, it is safe to assume that there is nothing wrong with the wiring on the vehicle, unless you have blown a fuse (possible) or there has been a coincidental failure of something else (possible but unlikely).

Newbie wrote:
... I'm afraid I cannibalized the sockets and just retained the white plastic housings. So the old housings are mounted as before and the new lights are mounted to them. The incandescent sockets were removed in order to do this....


I don't quite understand what you are getting at here. THe lights you have pruchased are supposedly plug and play and clearly have Econoseal connectors which should plug straight into the vehicle harness in place of the old light units. They certainly would on a TD5 or Puma era Defender. I note however that you have a 1988 2.5TD Defender, which may have different connectors so I am now wondering what you have done to hook the lights up and whether this is the source of the problem. The only thing I can think of that might be described as a "white plastic housing" is the bulb holder itself. Can you explain in more detail, ideally with a photo or two, how you have actually connected them?


I stopped short of removing the bulb holder (a much better name, thank you) for the pictures I included in my most recent post, but can when the weather improves. You'd see, though, that the black-green-red wires from the fixture are crimped and heat sealed to the black-green-red wires which formerly fed the lamp socket. I've tried the four combinations these wires can be connected and still no joy. I believe I have been able to determine, though, that black, for me, is ground/earth. My brake lights are working and my fuses are good.


In the meantime I would suggest that you disconnect the rear (tail/stop) lights completely from the vehicle (just leave the vehicle wires disconnected and not touching anything) and see what then works. From what you have said I would expect the indicators and front side lights to work. If they don't, check whether you have the panel lights on the dash working, and check the fuses. Usually the sidelights on each side of the vehicle are fused separately, one side also powering the dash lights, so there will probably be two fuses.


I can certainly do this, though the indicators have been working through all of this. (That said, I've noticed a bit of bleed-through where the driver side indicator flashes faintly when the passenger side indicator is on. The same happens with the dash indicator. This seems to be a new issue, but am hopeful that the newly-arrived RDX relay may assist with this.)


If we can pin down the problem to the light units or to the way you have connected them, we should be able to guide you out of the mess!

For now forget the flasher unit, it isn't relevant to your problem if you have accurately described the situation. Forget jumpers to the headlights etc., irrelevant and unnecessary. Personally I'd also forget the Haynes manual since unless they have improved hugely in the last few years they're really not worth the (recycled) paper they're printed on, you should be able to find online and download the genuine LR manuals for the vehicle since almost all WSM and electrical manuals are now in the public domain. 40 or 50 years ago Haynes manuals were excellent, but they have dumbed them down so much now that they really aren't worth bothering with in my opinion (unless you want to be told repeated that this is a difficult and complex task requiring special tools and should be left to a professional).


Who knows; I may not need special tools, but a professional may be in my future!


Here's a link to a genuine WSM which includes wiring diagrams for the 2.5TD Defender of about your era, unfortunately it's not a great scan but it is usable:

http://www.retroanaconda.com/landrover/man...1993ed.pdf



I can't believe the time everyone is putting into this for me. I feel I've joined quite the fraternity. Thanks, blackwolf, and thank you all!
Post #1024650 13th Feb 2024 7:49pm
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spudfan



Member Since: 10 Sep 2007
Location: Co Donegal
Posts: 4360

Ireland 
I fitted Ring Aurora DRL lights to a 2008 Puma and a 2011 Puma. It was a straight forward job. I did the same on a 200 tdi and a 300 tdi,wired as per instructions as the two Pumas were but they did not work. I had to get a mechanic to do the two tdi's. There must be a difference in the wiring/electrics on the Pumas than on the tdi's. 1982 88" 2.25 diesel
1992 110 200tdi csw -Zikali
2008 110 2.4 tdci csw-Zulu
2011 110 2.4 tdci csw-Masai
Post #1024802 15th Feb 2024 3:12pm
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kestrel



Member Since: 18 Jan 2024
Location: Stein
Posts: 6

Switzerland 2012 Defender 110 Puma 2.2 SW Blenheim Silver
Newbie wrote:

Thanks for writing, Toby. Perhaps because I have 1988 (pre-Defender), I did not have a male/female "plug style" connection that I could use. The sockets for the incandescent bulbs were mounted in the white, plastic housings (pictured), and they were wired to the car's wiring with bullet connectors. So I had to snip off the plugs that came with my lights and wire everything together with crimp connectors. When I was unsuccessful getting my running lights back (and after I learned the signal relay has nothing to do with my running lights), I assumed that I had wired my tail lights incorrectly and that was why the entire running light circuit - fronts and rears - was out. I went on to try every combination of red-green-black wiring and continued to check my fuses, but no luck.


Hi Jim

I don't have any experience with old Land Rovers but a bit with another british car (Triumph TR6) Laughing

In another post you wrote that you have checked the fuses and determined that the black wire is ground.

How did you do that? Have you used a multimeter? If not, I recommend to use a multimeter. You could also use the multimeter to check if you have power at the light.

Good luck...Toby
Post #1024840 16th Feb 2024 7:38am
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blackwolf



Member Since: 03 Nov 2009
Location: South West England
Posts: 16692

United Kingdom 2007 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Stornoway Grey
Any progress with this, Mr Newbie?
Post #1024845 16th Feb 2024 8:26am
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Newbie



Member Since: 04 Oct 2023
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14

United States 1988 Defender 90 2.5 TD ST Select Colour
Thanks for the additional info and for checking in, everyone. The weather has been rough here, but am hoping to dig in a bit more today/tomorrow.

Looking at this situation from a distance, it's peculiar that the cause of the problem is so elusive. Put simply, I removed incandescent fixtures, stripped the wires, stripped the wires on the new LED lights and re-connected both. When that didn't work, I tried a different wiring combination. When that didn't work, I tried another. In no time I was out of combinations and nothing worked. The fuses have been both checked and replaced (even though the originals were/are fine). I'm going to try what's been suggested, of course, but I feel it shouldn't be this tricky given that the operations was so simple. I mean, it'd have to be in order for me to try it.

That said, I remain hopeful and will check back. Thanks again, everybody.
Post #1025026 17th Feb 2024 6:27pm
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Newbie



Member Since: 04 Oct 2023
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14

United States 1988 Defender 90 2.5 TD ST Select Colour
You could also use the multimeter to check if you have power at the light.

Good luck...Toby




Toby, I'd have power to my lights if my break lights work, right? I know they are fused separately, but wouldn't working brake lights indicate that I have power?

- Jim
Post #1025028 17th Feb 2024 6:29pm
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blackwolf



Member Since: 03 Nov 2009
Location: South West England
Posts: 16692

United Kingdom 2007 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Stornoway Grey
It is quite possible to have power to the brake lights but no power to the tail lights, but it does tend to suggest that there is an earth connection albeit not necessarily the correct earth connection!
Post #1025030 17th Feb 2024 6:43pm
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custom90steve



Member Since: 21 Jan 2010
Location: South West, England.
Posts: 19290

United Kingdom 
There could well be high impedance on the tail light and sidelights due to poor grounding on that circuit, but the brake light circuit being a little lower impedance and that works okay.

I would take power from the dipped, from headlights, up to the sidelights and see what that does.

I’d be looking at what the voltage is on the live tail light pin to a good ground, and across pin ground and tail light.
See what the voltage is, might be worth checking the rear of the fuse panel in case a live connection has came off.
But checking the pins voltage is first step, I’d say if it’s low voltage it’s poor ground, if no voltage there is a connector popped off.
Sometimes connections on the indicator stalk pop off when disturbed, they can slip off and you would never know accidentally. It could be so loose or barely touching that the original lights due to higher current overcome the low impedance, but the new LED’s don’t.
They normally work down to about 9v, but you can get a dim glow below that.
If the latter then I do tend to think that’s it’s a poor ground, but taking power up to them may well be beneficial.

Is there any dim dip on this year?

Ground issues are hard to find, I find easier to pinpoint by doing impedance checks on the ground line. Pin to a good ground point.
If they’re a high impedance reading in Ohms, then that’s normally the culprit, if it’s low impedance then it’s normally okay.
Ground points are often shared too.

It’s definitely a job for tracking down with a Multimeter, but admittedly the indicator stalk female pins could be hard to track down but a visual check can sort that out but annoyingly is not the easiest place to get at with it taking other items off.

Good luck. Thumbs Up Diesels Lives Matter. ⛽️🛢️👨‍🔧🧰⚙️
And if You Love the Country, then we’re on the same side ~
I got’ love for Britain, I got’ British pride’. 🇬🇧
Post #1025032 17th Feb 2024 7:07pm
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