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04 Ram 1500 electrical problem, trailer setup
08-21-2013, 08:00 AM
Post: #1
04 Ram 1500 electrical problem, trailer setup
04 Ram 1500, V6, 5 speed, 355 true-loc. factory tow option. 39,000 miles.

the both rear brake lights for the truck work correctly.
but the connectors for the trailer has a problem.. both the 4 pin and 7 pin.

NO left brake light or turn signal for trailer. rights work correctly

I am testing at the connector.
I have checked the trailer brake light FUSES under the hood of the truck.

is there a converter somewhere? or is all the trickery done in the brake light switch?
truck has separate brake light bulb and turn signal but trailer has the brake and turn being the same bulb.
again the right side brake and turn signal work correctly

any help or a wiring diagram.
Chiltens repair manual does not have the trailer setup.

I am a retired auto mechanic. I bought the truck NEW and never wrecked or had electrical issues.
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08-21-2013, 11:44 AM
Post: #2
RE: 04 Ram 1500 electrical problem, trailer setup
Don't know for sure if this vehicle has a converter in it but if you do not have all of the lights showing up at the connector in the rear I would follow the wire harness to see if there's a bum connection.

For a 4 pin hook up you need the following:
Ground
Left sig
Right sig
Parking lamps

The brake lights are just BOTH signal wires on at the same time.

Since you state the truck has separate bulbs for brakes and signals I suspect there is a converter somewhere. Follow the harness. It may be inside the fender behind the tail light assembly for a factory unit.

BTW, the 7 pin connector has extras for the addition of electric brakes and a 12 volt hot to supply a camper battery.... or possibly a separate brake light circuit. Typically they are not connected and the owner's manual tells you where to find the other end under the dash or hood.

Hope this helps.
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08-21-2013, 08:05 PM
Post: #3
RE: 04 Ram 1500 electrical problem, trailer setup
May-be a stupid question but…did you check the bulb?

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

Interested in Mining? Look here: Coal Mining, PA
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08-21-2013, 10:18 PM (This post was last modified: 08-21-2013 10:19 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #4
RE: 04 Ram 1500 electrical problem, trailer setup
I made the presumption that "checking at the connector" meant the trailer connector on the back of the truck, but you have a valid point.

BTW, most trailers don't get used very often which means the connector plug is always cruddy from hanging around in the weather. IOW, double check (and clean?) things then check again before doing the wild goose chase.

I'll be away for a few days so I hope you get this resolved with the info we've already laid out.
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08-22-2013, 05:10 AM (This post was last modified: 08-22-2013 05:14 AM by Chuck_thehammer.)
Post: #5
RE: 04 Ram 1500 electrical problem, trailer setup
Yes, $900 repair,
2003 to 2006 Dodge Ram (all models) power distribution system has a design problem.

problem starts with trailer circuits stop working without blowing fuses..
every power circuit for the complete truck is controlled by this computer. not even a turn signal flasher.
the cpu and fuse panel is one unit and must be replaced and computer needs to be programed... Dealer ONLY...

my truck NEVER had a trailer connected to it.. until 2 days ago. so defect happens without circuits being used.
I am going to install a Power trailer converter.. as Dodge has posted do not add extra lights to the brake light circuit.
and I will wait until computer completely dies before I spend 900 dollars ... For a problem Dodge could have recalled.

I guess you missed the part.. I am a retired auto mechanic 43 years.. bulb and wiring was where I started. test light and digital Fluke Multi-meter.
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08-22-2013, 08:29 AM
Post: #6
RE: 04 Ram 1500 electrical problem, trailer setup
Thanks for the up date there Chuck. Had I bothered to do a Google search for more info this would have slapped me in the face. Seems the problem is common. Ford had a similar issue going back about 10 years ago where the fuse box was built like a printed circuit board and if you added anything (snow plow, driving lights, etc) the traces blew out and the expensive fuse panel became junk. In your case it's obviously not the electrical load that killed the unit but knowing a bit about Chrysler products I would venture a guess at a poor solder joint or cracked PCB due to vibration. Either way the result is the same.

Maybe it's time for me to retire cause I also have about 43 years in the business!
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08-22-2013, 07:30 PM
Post: #7
RE: 04 Ram 1500 electrical problem, trailer setup
Mr. Rupe,

Understood, If you can get OUT, do it. the way cars/trucks are made today, good cars, but if/when problems develop... big dollars and NO ROOM TO WORK ... unless you have the hands and arms of a child.
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