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Discussion Starter #1
What is this? I've been having electrical issues with my lights for a good while and it's driving me nuts. The reverse lights don't work, the brake lights dont work. One blinker works. The brake lights are getting only 3V reading. Both blinkers are getting the 12V, but just one actually lights up. The tailights work, however.

I've chased the brake wire from the actual light all the way back to where the turn signal switch plugs into them, all under the vehicle, under the hood, through the firewall. Out of the turn signal switch I am still only getting a 3V reading for the brakes. The turn signal is plugged into what is in the photo, I think. The brake switch itself runs into what is in the photo, and I am getting 12V right off the brake switch. I'm staring at this new wiring harness I ordered but would much rather send it back and just fix the problem because I don't even know if the "universal harness" will work on this diesel unless I do a lot of wire hacking.

So I think the problem is this little box, but I don't know what it is. It's grounded, but there is also a white wire coming out of it that goes to nothing. This whole can is a rebuild and the guy I bought it from might have messed something up. If I could figure out what this box is, maybe I could find a wire diagram for it, or just get a new one. I'm at the end of my rope here. Wires are everywhere and I am really understanding what you guys mean when yall say it's all psychedelic spaghetti. which leads me to believe if I just ate some mushrooms I would figure it all out in no time!

Any help is appreciated. Thanks. Sorry if it's such a simple thing.

If it means anything, there is also a hydraulic brake actuator wired in. Also, the light on this box does light up when brake is pushed.
 

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We need to know what you're working on to be sure, but that doesn't look stock to me, at least not on a Ford Diesel.
Maybe a trailer brake controller??
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It might be the trailer brake controller. I know I have a trailer brake actuator on the vehicle, just not sure if it works. I would much rather rip it out and bypass that if I could. I'm not going to be pulling a trailer anytime soon and when I do I can wire it all in. I just need to get this to pass inspection.

The vehicle is an 89 E350 Cutaway. But the engine is a 94 IDI turbo.
 

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A trailer brake controller on an old-ass Econoline would not have over a dozen wires. It is aftermarket and is most likely an alarm system with some whistles and bells which are commonly shoved up under the drivers side of the dash where wiring connections are hacked.
 

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an old-ass Econoline
:grin2: Tell us what you really think about his van.


Good point on the alarm system module. That would have wires going everywhere to stuff like door switches, etc.
 

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Typically yes - door locks, lights, horn/siren, ignition switch... The wire colors in the pic are bright colors and generic looking. Ford OEM wiring colors are much different.

As for the van itself it's all good. I see the newest vehicles mostly and the older ones fade away... they don't call or write.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Whew!! Im getting closer on my old-ass Econoline. Since ya'll said it was aftermarket I looked a little closer at the wires after shaving off insulation, multiple voltage tests, and whatnot. Decided to just bypass the box for the brakes. Got the left brake light and blinker working! The right side still doesn't work and I ran out of daylight to keep messing with it. Now I feel like I am on the right path to being able to figure things out. My van does have an electronic brake actuator installed, so maybe the box is for that. But the the box seems really integrated into everything so I'm worried about taking it all out and I can't seem to find any installation instructions for it. But whatever, I'm sure I can get things going enough to finally pass inspection.

As far as my old-ass Econoline goes, it's pretty awesome. Engine runs great, and I'm fitting the back out to live in. It looks a lot better on the inside with a cedar ceiling and all wood siding. And it's what's on the inside that matters most!

Thanks for the help!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hmmm.... now that I'm looking it up online. That box does look like an alarm box. Maybe I'll just figure out how to remove it. I've read that aftermarket car alarms kinda suck
 

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