Trailer brakes light won’t go off


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Greg & Carol GL1800
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Trailer brakes light won’t go off

Post by Greg & Carol GL1800 »



I have a 2004 1800, I pull a Bushtec trailer but for the last two years the trailer brake lights stay on after I apply the brakes, the brake lights on the bike go off but not the trailer, if I shut the bike off, and start it again, the brake lights are off on the trailer but after I touch the brakes they come back on, Bushtec said I needed a new trailer rectifier so I got one and installed it this weekend, but no good still doing the same thing, even tried changing diode around to what we thought was tied into the trailer, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Greg and Carol Sanders


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Rambozo
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Re: Trailer brakes light won’t go off

Post by Rambozo »

If the trailer has single lights, the fault is most likely with the dual to single light converter unit. Take a volt meter or even a test light and trace the circuit.
Also check all the bulbs, especially if you have incandescent bulbs. A blown filament can short to it's neighbor and cause all kinds of odd behaviors.
Greg & Carol GL1800
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Location: Cheney Washington
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Re: Trailer brakes light won’t go off

Post by Greg & Carol GL1800 »

The trailer has dual light, Amber for turn and a red one for tail and brake lights, had a bike mechanic did the switch for me and when I left he was scratching his head,
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Rambozo
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Re: Trailer brakes light won’t go off

Post by Rambozo »

Then first off check the bike socket with a test light. That will at least narrow down the problem to either the bike or the trailer.
Greg & Carol GL1800
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Re: Trailer brakes light won’t go off

Post by Greg & Carol GL1800 »

We check bike and trailer separate and together, got to get the bike with a test light do the same thing as if the trailer was hooked up, that’s why we thought that the old Bushtec trailer wire system was the problem, put the new Bushtec system in and the bike was doing the same thing!!!! With or without trailer hooked up!!!!
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MikeB
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Re: Trailer brakes light won’t go off

Post by MikeB »

Greg, I don't know what a trailer rectifier is but you no doubt have a trailer isolator between the trailer and the bike wiring. Anyone that has a trailer set up on a GL1800 really needs to have a trailer isolator. The reason is the bike wiring is not really capable of handling the extra load that a trailer can put on it.

An isolator gets its power feed for the trailer directly from the battery. That isolator power feed is fused. The relays in the isolator are energized by the various bike wires that turn on the running lights, brake lights and turn signals. When the relays are energized on, the power from the battery through the isolator is fed to the trailer lights. When you have the malfunction where the lights stay on, remove the fuse that is inline between the battery and the isolator. If the lights go out on the trailer, then your isolator is causing the issue.

That said, I would be willing to bet that the relay that activates the trailer lights is "hanging" when the brakes are applied and releasing when the power is removed. If that is the root of the problem, you will need to replace the trailer isolator.
MikeB
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newday777
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Re: Trailer brakes light won’t go off

Post by newday777 »

As I read through the posts my thoughts were exactly as MikeB said... The relay in the trailer isolator harness that was added on the bike has gone bad. I had to replace mine on my 08 when I bought the bike used, it was also a Bushtec isolator harness that went bad. They are made by ECC, Electrical Connection for Bushtec(same family, different business)

https://store.bushtec.com/product-p/99638000.htm
Greg & Carol GL1800
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Re: Trailer brakes light won’t go off

Post by Greg & Carol GL1800 »

Mike B thanks for the come back, the only thing we didn’t do was pull the fuse on the hot side, we did everything else, put a new isolator in yesterday, and everything my bike mechanic thought of, we got the lights to stay on through a test light just like the trailer was hooked up, that’s why we thought the isolator was bad, but it wasn’t, did the same thing after putting on the new isolator from Bushtec, so what do you think now could be the problem, how about a relay on the bike? Any help is great thanks!!!
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newday777
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1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: Trailer brakes light won’t go off

Post by newday777 »

Where are you hooking the test light as if the trailer was hooked up? At the green Bushtec trailer connector? That is where it should be tested.
There is not a relay after the brake light relay on the bike. If your bike brake lights go off properly then it's in the added isolator harness which has relays in it or possibly a bad ground wire in the trailer harness, in the trailer or in the isolator harness.
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MikeB
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Re: Trailer brakes light won’t go off

Post by MikeB »

If the problem is not the isolator, I have no idea where else to look. As newday777 said, there are no other relays on the bike unless someone added an aftermarket item. Maybe a spoiler light or 'Hyper-Lite' set up or a Kuryakyn brake light addition of some kind is allowing current to back feed to your trailer isolator. Without having hands on the bike, I really don't know how to advise your troubleshooting efforts.


MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
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Retired in Tacoma, WA
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