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1988 Econoline E350: Brake lights out

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Colorado Coach
New User

Jun 17, 2022, 8:32 PM

Post #1 of 2 (351 views)
  post locked   1988 Econoline E350: Brake lights out  

A couple weeks back on my way to park my 1988 Okanagan camper van (built on a Ford Econoline E350 chassis) in storage, I noticed that the brake lights were out. Now I’m finally getting around to dealing with it.

After pulling the rear driver’s side taillight cover off and checking the bulbs (all good, filaments intact & showing resistance with a multimeter) I ran a few tests of what should be working back there. Here’s what I discovered:

-The taillights & rear blinkers are working perfectly.
-The brake lights, rear Hazards & reverse lights DO NOT work. (Front hazards work just fine.)
-Both filaments in the taillight bulb CAN light up. (Example: with headlights/taillights on, blinker works fine.)

An electrician buddy suggested that this sounds like an “Electronic” problem, not a wiring issue. Maybe some type of module is blown? Thoughts anyone?

Thanks in advance!

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 18, 2022, 4:29 AM

Post #2 of 2 (334 views)
  post locked   Re: 1988 Econoline E350: Brake lights out  

There is very little in modules used in a '88 van. There is also very little available in the way of wiring diagrams that old.

The one thing to look at is the brake lights have to pass through the multifunction switch before going to the rear lights. This wouldn't have anything to do with the backup lights but that is probably a separate problem.

Someone would have to do some electrical testing going in and out of the multifunction switch and that could be difficult without a wiring diagram for wire colors.


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