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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
I've finally started on my little conversion project of my work/play van... As part of the ceiling install process I want to swap out the 4 OEM cargo area lights for dimmable LED puck lights that will match my new house LEDs. The house LEDs will run off a separate electrical system on switches, while the OEM lights will still be connected to the van's electrical system and activated when the doors open/close. So far so good, right? Eh, not exactly. While the new cargo LEDs look great when on, it seems that the stay on but in a very dim capacity when they should be off. They are wired directly to the +/- wires of the old OEM lights. Any thoughts on why that is?

These are the lights I'm adding: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012KCNNDQ

This is what's currently installed:
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In a related note, the BEMM indicates there are 6 ground points (#s 26-31) in the rear cargo area behind the wheel well. Does it matter which one I ground to? What is the significance of the green color in the schematic? I was planning to ground my house battery to one of these points.

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Thank in advance for any help :)
 

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I did exactly as you described using the same puck lights that Faroutride recommended.
All I did was crimp connectors onto them and plug them straight into the factory connectors after unplugging the factory lights.
I have matching lights running off my house battery through a dimmer. When they are all on they are the same intensity on both circuits. There is no residual glow when turned off.
Check your polarity.
I did replace all the lights in my Subaru interior with LED's and one of my vanity lights has a slight glow to it when shut off, but none of the others do. I've never figured out what's causing it.
Which lights did you buy?


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@Sonoma; if I remember correctly, the overhead light circuit has a switched GROUND for the on/off, and the POS is on a timer (30 minutes?). It's possible your glow is from the lower power requirement of the LEDs, and there is a tiny bit of ground connection or arc happening in the wiring. Testing would involve running a jumper from known ground while the lights are supposed to be "off" and noting how the lights behave. And using a multimeter on the factory ground wire to check for tiny bits of current when "off".

The "fix" might require a relay that totally disconnects the light side of the NEG wire in the harness from it's source. All the overhead lights in my cargo van get their NEG from a single wire in the loom that splits off at the forward set of overhead lights. I cut that NEG wire and added an inline 3-way switch to control "always off", "always on", and factory setting.
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You don't need extra grounds since the factory wiring already provides that.

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You are not suppose to use any of the factory grounds to ground other things, This was discussed in another thread with other links saying not to from Ford.
It is not that hard to drill a hole in the sheet metal somewhere and create a new grounding point or use one of several unused prethreaded holes in the interior body. Many people here have used an extra bolt hole in the parking brake handle assembly for high current ground for a inverter.
 

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You are not suppose to use any of the factory grounds to ground other things, This was discussed in another thread with other links saying not to from Ford.
It is not that hard to drill a hole in the sheet metal somewhere and create a new grounding point or use one of several unused prethreaded holes in the interior body. Many people here have used an extra bolt hole in the parking brake handle assembly for high current ground for a inverter.
Yes, I'm aware of that, in fact my entire house system is grounded to a lug on a D ring. My point is for simply replacing the cargo lights, there is no requirement to do anything other than plug in a compatible light. No wiring or ground changes.

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies... Like JP4, I was merely hoping to plug them in the place of the old lights. Turns out one of the 4 OEM lights is wired a bit differently, as Bill eluded to. Whereas the other 3 have a single pos and neg wire to each connection, one of them has two wires on its pos and neg. Guessing that's the dimmer / delay function? If I keep that OEM light connected and replace the others with the LEDs, they all turn completely off when they're supposed to. Now the question is - how much time do I spend troubleshooting this versus finishing my ceiling and the rest of the projects???
 

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Thanks for all the replies... Like JP4, I was merely hoping to plug them in the place of the old lights. Turns out one of the 4 OEM lights is wired a bit differently, as Bill eluded to. Whereas the other 3 have a single pos and neg wire to each connection, one of them has two wires on its pos and neg. Guessing that's the dimmer / delay function? If I keep that OEM light connected and replace the others with the LEDs, they all turn completely off when they're supposed to. Now the question is - how much time do I spend troubleshooting this versus finishing my ceiling and the rest of the projects???
I usually find when I get stuck on a problem, if I move on to something else for a few days I either have a eureka moment and figure it out or someone here chimes in with the solution. Good luck!

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