Lights will not come on after changing radio.

  • 1 POST
  • 1998 FORD RANGER
  • 138,000 MILES

I bought a new radio for my 98 ford ranger. Disconneted the battery, and replaced the radio. I bought one of those universal wiring kits to connect to the after market radio. Connected and taped the like wires together, and taped the end of the wires that had no like wires. Attached the battery cables back to the battery. Now my right head light doesnt work, my dash light doesn't work, and my parking lights don't work either. My right break light doesn't light up when I break, but my back up lights work, and blinkers work. My blinker lights, and high beam lights work, light up in the dash. I think there is a fuse blown, but can't seem to find one that is bad. Thank you so much for your help in advance.

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Monday, January 9th, 2012 AT 5:45 AM

1 Reply

  • 29,775 POSTS

First of all, what do you mean "like wires"? If you just matched up colors, there is no rhyme or reason to the colors the harness supplier uses. You have to go according to function. Electrical tape is a very bad idea. It IS going to unravel into a gooey mess, and if you didn't solder the wires, one could have gotten snagged when you pushed the radio in and pulled apart and shorted to ground. The only acceptable way to splice in a different harness is to twist the wires, solder them, then seal them with heat-shrink tubing. I don't mean twist like you're installing a wire nut. I mean twist like they do with those goofy donuts that they grab by the sides and give a twist to. Essentially you're bringing the bared ends of the two wires up to each other, overlapping just the bared copper, and twisting them around each other. After they're soldered, flatten any points of copper wire that are sticking up so they don't work their way through the heat-shrink tubing later.

The place to start now is by removing and unplugging the new radio, then diagnosing the lighting problems. There are two lighting wires in the radio harness that went to the original radio. One is tied to the running lights and tells the display to dim when the head lights are turned on. The other one comes from the dash lights and tells the display how much to dim. If those were wired to something or touched anything metal, a fuse would likely be blown. Check inside and under the hood for two fuse boxes. I don't know how that could affect just one head light. Any chance it just decided to burn out now?

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Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 AT 12:19 AM

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