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dome light circuit #753841
November 04th 2019 7:13 am
November 04th 2019 7:13 am
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 13
NW Louisiana
Excoastie Offline OP
stranger
Excoastie  Offline OP
stranger
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 13
NW Louisiana
Morning all!

'99 Ram Van 1500 with the Starcraft conversion package.

My dome lights in front near the driver and passenger and the one in the rear behind the bed/ bench work when you open the door.
The dome lights through the center of the van do not come on unless the "reading light" switch is pushed in the overhead switch panel or if they're turned on locally.

I want to add an LED strip light to this center section so that when the barn door on the side is opened, it's not dark and gloomy.

I thought that this would be an easy fix. I mounted the strip light and ran the wires along the upper console; I planned to tap into the dome lights near the driver's seat.
These dome lights have one each orange, white, and black wires. The white and orange are hot all the time, the black is the ground, it doesn't matter if the door is open or not.
I'm not sure where the circuit is broken in order for the door switch(es) to trigger the lights. I have checked the door switch at the barn doors (on the side), both sides of that switch are also hot regardless of if the plunger is depressed or not.

Is there a place that I can tap into a wiring harness or even directly to a dome light where I can grab the switched power for a dome light? The conversion package also has the "wallboard" glued tightly to the edge, where it's almost impossible to get it pulled away from enough to go fishing for wires, etc.

Thanks,

Exco


I know a little bit about a lot of things, but there are only a few things of which I know a lot.
Re: dome light circuit [Re: Excoastie] #754541
November 28th 2019 2:54 pm
November 28th 2019 2:54 pm
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 13
NW Louisiana
Excoastie Offline OP
stranger
Excoastie  Offline OP
stranger
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 13
NW Louisiana
I found a wire that would add power when the door plunger for the barn doors was pushed in (opened). I used a normally open relay and ran my LED strip light.
It was functioning well until it stopped. Now I am chasing my tail trying to find the blown fuse.
I have a Hane’s manual; it states that there are no fusible links in the ’99 model year. I have checked all of the fuses using a meter, and they test out good. This was in the fuse block that is on the left side of the dash behind the end panel. I have what I believe is being called a “power distribution panel” under the hood near the battery, but none of the labels appear to be associated with the dome light circuit.
I also recently discovered that the trip odometer gets reset every time the van is turned off now. I can only assume that the two issues are related.
Can anyone point me in the right direction to find a wiring diagram specific to the dome light circuit or provide some ideas as to where I can look next?

Thanks
Exco


I know a little bit about a lot of things, but there are only a few things of which I know a lot.
Re: dome light circuit [Re: Excoastie] #754782
December 08th 2019 9:17 pm
December 08th 2019 9:17 pm
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 4,378
Dundee, Michigan
Ram4ever Offline

pooh-bah
Ram4ever  Offline

pooh-bah
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 4,378
Dundee, Michigan
In conversion vans it's often a real headache trying to sort out what has been done to the wiring. The inexpensive clamp on wiring taps are frequent sources of failure. With Chryslers selection of wire guages, overheating and melting wires together was a constant problem. (Wires running together in bundles should be derate substantially)

In light of your trip meter reset, I'd speculate that the conversions folks tapped the trip meter wiring, as it would have to have an unswitched source of power to retain its memory. The wires to the trip meter likely weren't rated for much more than their intended purpose, so adding LED strips may have heated the wiring enough somewhere to melt the insulation off. Despite LEDs being pretty efficient, LED strips actually consume a substantial amount of current; my 15 foot RGBWW LED strips easily hit 6+ amps per strip! Try tracing the wiring around where you tapped in, plus trace the trip meter wiring back as far as you can, separating the wires to verify none are melted together or melted to the chassis.

Many conversion vans have an additional fuse block along the wall behind the drivers seat, sometimes as far back as the side windows. Are there any little doors or access panels there? I saw a fuse block behind an overhead TV once too.

As you would have discovered, overhead lights typically work with switched grounds. Those circuits will be constantly electrically hot, waiting for a ground to be made to complete their circuit. In a few cases with conversion companies there may be relays involved.

Since the dome light wiring main junction and timer usually resides rght behind the instrument cluster, it might be worth looking for any obvious alterations in that area while you're tracing the trip meter wiring.


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