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> '87 240 Dl Rear Tail Light Electrical Problems
Traveling Brothe...
post Oct 12 2011, 10:21 AM
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Greetings fellow Volvo enthusiasts,

Im brand new to this forum, and not presently the most mechanically inclined. Ive got an 1987 240 DL sedan that Ive been the grateful owner of for a few years now. When I first got the vehicle, I noticed the rear right tail light cable connection needed to be wiggled a bit for to get power to it. After some time, I replaced the entire tail light unit with a new one, and after some similar cable adjusting, it worked (minus a few readjustments here and there). One day, I went to readjust a bulb in the tail light to illuminate it, and the flexible circuit board to which it was making contact melted. So, I bought a new circuit board, replaced it, and now (on the right tail light) I no longer have a brake light, running light, back up light in the windshield, and no backlight on the speedometer/odometer. Oddly enough, the turn light still works. Anyone here encountered this type of systemic issue? Im totally puzzled as to what to do, and would like to remedy the issue on my own, however would be willing to go to a pro if it becomes too complex and time-consuming. Any and all insights and remedies are sincerely appreciated.

Thank you!
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danielm85948
post Oct 12 2011, 07:17 PM
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QUOTE (Traveling Brother @ Oct 12 2011, 10:21 AM)
Greetings fellow Volvo enthusiasts,

Im brand new to this forum, and not presently the most mechanically inclined. Ive got an 1987 240 DL sedan that Ive been the grateful owner of for a few years now. When I first got the vehicle, I noticed the rear right tail light cable connection needed to be wiggled a bit for to get power to it. After some time, I replaced the entire tail light unit with a new one, and after some similar cable adjusting, it worked (minus a few readjustments here and there). One day, I went to readjust a bulb in the tail light to illuminate it, and the flexible circuit board to which it was making contact melted. So, I bought a new circuit board, replaced it, and now (on the right tail light) I no longer have a brake light, running light, back up light in the windshield, and no backlight on the speedometer/odometer. Oddly enough, the turn light still works. Anyone here encountered this type of systemic issue? Im totally puzzled as to what to do, and would like to remedy the issue on my own, however would be willing to go to a pro if it becomes too complex and time-consuming. Any and all insights and remedies are sincerely appreciated.

Thank you!

change the bulb failure relay,behind your glove box,get to it from the passenger foot well,remove the cover above your knee to do this,just turn the clips with a coin to remove,the bulb failure relay is the round one,before you do this check your wiring at the rear first,is not loose ,should solder the wires,and cover with tape.and check the earth wire,that is to the body,is tight.and check you do not have blown fuses.
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Traveling Brothe...
post Oct 20 2011, 01:16 PM
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QUOTE (danielm85948 @ Oct 12 2011, 07:17 PM)
change the bulb failure relay,behind your glove box,get to it from the passenger foot well,remove the cover above your knee to do this,just turn the clips with a coin to remove,the bulb failure relay is the round one,before you do this check your wiring at the rear first,is not loose ,should solder the wires,and cover with tape.and check the earth wire,that is to the body,is tight.and check you do not have blown fuses.

Thank you for the insight. I just received the Bulb Failure Relay in the post. All connections to the tail light seem well connected, and the ground is firmly connected. I will post the results later on. Thank you once again for the knowledge.

Cheers!
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Traveling Brothe...
post Oct 24 2011, 10:21 AM
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Okay, so I replaced the old Bulb Failure Relay with the new one, and nothing changed. I still have no running lights (on the right), brake lights on both, no backlight on the speedometer, etc. Any solutions? Remedies?

Thank you for any and all insights.
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coonmanx
post Oct 27 2011, 09:27 PM
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Check the fuses. You might have blown one. I have found that the tail lights on Volvos suck in general. I had to run a wire directly to the brake light to get it to constantly work. That bypasses the crappy circuit board and all. You can actually hard wire all of the lights if necessary.
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Traveling Brothe...
post Oct 28 2011, 09:03 AM
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QUOTE (coonmanx @ Oct 27 2011, 09:27 PM)
Check the fuses. You might have blown one. I have found that the tail lights on Volvos suck in general. I had to run a wire directly to the brake light to get it to constantly work. That bypasses the crappy circuit board and all. You can actually hard wire all of the lights if necessary.


Thank you for the advice. I agree, the only down side of the 240dl seems to be the lights- makes no sense, really. Now, by fuses, are you referring to the fuse box located in to the left of the driver at foot level? If so, I didnt notice any looking blown, however, I will replace the relevant ones. Is there yet another fuse location (im a newbie to the inner workings of the car)? Also, Im curious how you went about direct wiring- does it require advanced electrical knowledge of cars? Additionally, how would one hard wire the lights?

Thank you once again.
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coonmanx
post Oct 28 2011, 11:55 AM
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No advanced knowledge necessary. I just figured out which wire was the brake light wire, cut it, spliced some more wire on and ran it directly to the bulb holder. At first I tried to solder the wire directly to the bulb holder metal but that failed so instead I drilled a small hole in the metal tab and ran the wire through that. The proper tab is the one that connects to the metal that can be seen on the bottom of the bulb holder, that is the one that points towards you as you look at the black plastic side of the bulb holder.

Here is a more advanced article, although it really isn't necessary to add in all of the wires or even the grounds, unless of course they are bad. Car electricity is just positive and negative. Easy stuff. A test light can help in identifying which wire is which. Have a friend push down on the brake pedal (or use a board) and then go to the plastic connector that contacts the circuit board. Use the test light to find which wire is brake light (or whatever you are looking for).

http://www.k-jet.org/articles/projects/har...ng-tail-lights/

Basically with hard wiring you are running electricity directly to the bulb holder. I believe that they should have been wired like that originally and they would have had less problems.
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Traveling Brothe...
post Oct 28 2011, 08:55 PM
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Thank you for the knowledge. Doubled checked the fuses, and of course, there were a few blown! Replaced them and have all lights restored besides brake lights and reverse lights. Any suggestions? I will investigate that link as well.

Cheers!
QUOTE (coonmanx @ Oct 28 2011, 11:55 AM)
No advanced knowledge necessary. I just figured out which wire was the brake light wire, cut it, spliced some more wire on and ran it directly to the bulb holder. At first I tried to solder the wire directly to the bulb holder metal but that failed so instead I drilled a small hole in the metal tab and ran the wire through that. The proper tab is the one that connects to the metal that can be seen on the bottom of the bulb holder, that is the one that points towards you as you look at the black plastic side of the bulb holder.

Here is a more advanced article, although it really isn't necessary to add in all of the wires or even the grounds, unless of course they are bad. Car electricity is just positive and negative. Easy stuff. A test light can help in identifying which wire is which. Have a friend push down on the brake pedal (or use a board) and then go to the plastic connector that contacts the circuit board. Use the test light to find which wire is brake light (or whatever you are looking for).

http://www.k-jet.org/articles/projects/har...ng-tail-lights/

Basically with hard wiring you are running electricity directly to the bulb holder. I believe that they should have been wired like that originally and they would have had less problems.

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coonmanx
post Oct 28 2011, 11:50 PM
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Get yourself a test light. They sell them pretty cheap at the auto parts store or somewhere like harbor freight. Then you can have someone press down on the brake pedal while you probe the plastic connector with the test light to find out which wire is for the brake light. You just clip the alligator clip to ground and then touch the tip to where you are looking for power. If it lights up you have found your power. Once you find which wire supplies power to the brake lights you can cut it, splice in some more wire and run it directly to the bulb for the brake light. By tab I was referring to the metal tab that contacts the circuit board. Reverse lights are a bit more tricky because sometimes they won't work if the wire becomes disconnected at the transmission. I kept reconnecting it there but finally gave up and haven't had reverse lights for some time now.
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Traveling Brothe...
post Oct 30 2011, 03:03 PM
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QUOTE (coonmanx @ Oct 28 2011, 11:50 PM)
Get yourself a test light. They sell them pretty cheap at the auto parts store or somewhere like harbor freight. Then you can have someone press down on the brake pedal while you probe the plastic connector with the test light to find out which wire is for the brake light. You just clip the alligator clip to ground and then touch the tip to where you are looking for power. If it lights up you have found your power. Once you find which wire supplies power to the brake lights you can cut it, splice in some more wire and run it directly to the bulb for the brake light. By tab I was referring to the metal tab that contacts the circuit board. Reverse lights are a bit more tricky because sometimes they won't work if the wire becomes disconnected at the transmission. I kept reconnecting it there but finally gave up and haven't had reverse lights for some time now.

Thank you very much! I sincerely appreciate the prompt reply- super helpful solutions!. I will buy a test light and see what I can do, and will report the results.

Cheers! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/beer.gif)
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