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PostPosted: December 8th, 2017, 8:12 am 
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Anyone know how to access the right rear blinker bulb to replace it. Looks like there's no way from inside rear closet so I'm thinking you have to pry off the cover from the outside but I'm concerned about breaking it if I try. Appreciate any help as I'm on the road towing and the right blinker just died.

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PostPosted: December 8th, 2017, 8:24 am 
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Location: Northern NJ
You didn't include your model and year, so I went to your blog to look it up :)

See this post:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=680&p=5396#p5396

You were right. For your model, you pry the lens off, starting at the bottom.

Kev

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PostPosted: December 8th, 2017, 10:19 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Yep, just to elaborate (for future reference), up until.... I'm not sure when but sometime in the early 2000's, Chinook used the stock Ford Econoline taillights. I always figured they came along with the cutaway. These come out with obvious screws, like you'd expect. Then they switched to Ford Explorer taillights, which apparently pry out from the outside (maybe Ford stopped including the van taillights? Or they just wanted a change?).

Viewed from outside the vehicle, the stock Econoline van tailights have completely smooth exterior surfaces, visible "screw tunnels" and a thin black molding around the edge. The Explorer ones, in contrast have three "Michelin Tire Man" type humps and no screw tunnels.

BG

PS: Not sure when the Econoline taillights started --- likely early 90's when they went to the Ford chassis pretty much exclusively for the 21-footer. Earlier Dodge and Chevy 18+ types used different taillights (probably Dodge or Chevy - more square anyway -- the ones referred to in the main body of the post are tall and thin).

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PostPosted: December 8th, 2017, 4:37 pm 
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Location: Northern NJ
Blue, you meant Expedition, not Explorer. And they used Aerostar taillights instead of Econoline for a while. Remember when I finally figured that out? (After wasting ton$ buying aftermarket Econoline lights that simply would not fit my 94!)

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=680&start=0#p5327

To recap, with some model year overlap, for the post 1992 Ford Chinooks:

1992-1995 Chinook : used '86-'95 Aerostar (red-white-yellow / ribbed)
1995-1997 Chinook : used '92-'94 Econoline (yellow-red-white / smooth)
1996-1999 Chinook : used '95-'99 Econoline (red-red-white / smooth)
2000-2005 Chinook : used '97-'02 Expedition (red-red-white / three bulges)


Cheers, Kev

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PostPosted: December 8th, 2017, 5:00 pm 
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Thank you for that accurate summation. Oops on the Explorer vs. Expedition (glad you caught that).

I had forgotten about your Aerostar escapades and the multiple taillight purchases (bet you didn't though, sheesh).

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PostPosted: December 9th, 2017, 6:34 am 
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Thanks for your quick reply yesterday. It was very helpful.

As it turns out the bulb was not the problem. Fuse #5 had blown. Simultaneously a fuse (#24) had blown on my Honda Fit Toad. Not sure what had caused this. Doing more testing today to see if we can work out what happened.

Thinking of installing battery disconnect in the Honda for when we're towing but not sure if that will add other complications (eg getting power to the Blue Ox Patriot braking system). Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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PostPosted: December 9th, 2017, 10:03 am 
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I'm not familiar with the Blue Ox Patriot system, but I think the worry would be that if your toad became disconnected, there would be no power for the emergency breakaway brakes (which are your car brakes, activated by the Blue Ox system, I would imagine). So I think that's not cool.

On some cars people pull a radio fuse (I think maybe some Hondas but not sure on your year/model). Coincidentally, a Honda Fit is the first "toad" I towed. It was a friend's 2009, manual transmission. I used it when I bought the Chinook to get two vehicles back. Nothing needed to be disconnected on that car (he had a US Gear braking system, which is also a "built in" type.

I now have a Stay-in-Play braking system (also one of the types that's permanently installed on the toad; not a box type that you set in place each time), and it does need the vehicle power for the breakaway brakes. You can test yours thusly:

1) You know how when you go to test your emergency breakaway brakes, you pull that little plunger out of the breakaway box on the front of the car (presuming yours is like most)? And it makes that "Nrrrrrrr" noise to tell you the breakaway system is working? (Like if your toad became disconnected on the road.) Well, disconnect the toad from the Chinook, then disconnect the toad battery. Then pull the plunger thingie out. I'm guessing you will not hear the "Nrrrrrr," and that would mean your breakaway system would not be functioning. But maybe yours powers another way (?).

2) Just a side note, but on my car (not a Honda) when I have the ignition in the prescribed position, the steering wheel is unlocked (good), but the dash and accessory dash panel (shows mileage, etc.) are always on. This is fine for a half day of towing, but it does drain the car battery some, and plus if I want to pull in someplace at night and just sack out, that means the car dash is pulling power all night, plus it's lit up for people to see and maybe knock on my door to tell me about (ugh). I found out by first researching, then trying it, that I can turn the key to that position (to unlock the wheel), then turn it back to the "lesser" position, and the wheel will still stay unlocked. In the latter position nothing on the dash is on (yay!).

3) Lastly, are the turn signals of the Chinook on the same fuse as the taillights? If so, then they are likely wired up like other Chinooks (a bonehead move IMO), wherein Chinook did not use the standard Ford wiring, but instead used the *trailer hitch* lead provided by Ford. You can figure this out by looking at that little additional fuse panel by your left ankle when driving - the one with Chinook added stuff on it. Do you see one called "Marker Lights" that is around 7 amps? If you pull that fuse do your taillights, marker lights, and maybe turn signals quit working? If not, then never mind. If yes, then you are finding out what I found out a year or two ago, only I was in a busy, truck-filled rest area at 10 p.m. (groan) wondering why my taillights and trailer lights were out.

Reason was that okay, Chinook used that trailer hitch circuit to power the taillights and marker lights on the Chinook (but not sure about the turn signals). And it's a thin, thin wire that goes all the way back from the front, the all the way forward from the back, then all the way back again (bonehead move!). If you have incandescent lights on your Chinook, that's already close to 7 amps. Add in a bunch of trailer lights to the SAME circuit, especially if they are also incandescent, and "pop!." I had towed my boat for years with no issue but that has all LED lights. The utility trailer I was towing had like 28 incandescent bulbs on it (!). I could have run a new/larger wire for the circuits but since most trailers are going to LED, my boat is LED, and I will likely change the marker lights of the Chinook over to LED, I instead upgraded all 28 of the trailer lights to LED. Much less power draw and so no issue (also better lights). I never had that problem with a toad though, likely because it's just two additional lights (vs. the "christmas tree" utility trailer).

Again not sure that's your problem, but just figured I'd throw it out there in case.

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