Hi, most likely the circuit boards that the lamp sockets are mounted on are defective, losing ground. Make sure you have power to the lamps when turn on all the lights, and have a good ground to the circuit board, if so the circuit boards need to be replaced. Below is information on what the circuit board looks like nd where you can purchase them at a good price online. They fail often.
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Here is a better picture of the circuit boards, the ones in my answer may be hard to find and open.
If you put an hook your ammeter is series from the battery terminal and cable, you should get a reading when you turn the lights on. Be careful since most ammeter only handle 10 amps, or you will blow a fuse in the meter. The reading you are getting with the voltmeter indicates you have no ground at the trucks frame. The reading SHOULD be ZERO. Just make up a jumper wire and connect one end from the battery negative post and the other end to a clean rust free area on the frame, this should get the lights to work.This info should explain the testing procedures.
We hear the terms "Voltage Loss" and "Voltage Drop" test frequently in the Automotive industry. But most refer to it as what's is really a Voltage "Drop" test. This is incorrect, these are two separate test with two separate purposes - however, many-times the same failure result can be determined with both test. So what is the difference between the two test, and why do we perform them?
Well, it's actually what it states:
A Voltage Loss test is testing for a voltage "loss" across one or more connections or components. This test is performed on "one" side of the circuit at a time - meaning to test the Positive side of the circuit, and / or then test the negative side of the circuit.
A Voltage Drop test is to test for a voltage "drop" across one or more connections and components. This test is performed across both sides of the circuit and requires a component - meaning to test from the positive side of the circuit to the negative side of the circuit. This requires some sort of resistance through a load component like a light bulb or resistor, etc...
. This test is typically not performed across a component - although you can in some cases. It is typically used to test circuit hard wire connections - like a starter cable, or for a lose ground with lights flickering or dim on one side. A "General" rule is 0.5 volt allowance across each connection. If you are testing across several connections, it would be 0.5 Volts "per connection." Three connections would be 0.5 Volts X (3) Connections = 1.5 Volts loss allowance. Now this is a general rule, realistically it would be typically in the 0.35 to 0.37 volt range depending on wire length, gauge, number of connections, quality of connection, number of components and the resistance or voltage loss value of each component (any resistance equates to a volt loss value).
Hi, glad to hear you found the problem with the lights. If you are not getting a reading on the ammeter between the battery post and cable then you don't have a drain. As for the voltage drop testing, this is done with the cable connected to the battery post,you just touch one test lead of meter to the battery post, the other test lead to various points in the circuit .You should get less then .5 volts if you connection and wires are good. I am sending you a link to a video that will show in detail how the testing is done,and a photo I took showing how you test a connection at the battery. If my answer has helped,please click on accept,we don't get any credit unless you do. Thanks,Jerry
Jerry, Thanks for the photo and video. It does help in understanding voltage drop testing. Is it possible to narrow down the faulty ground side of the circuit by putting the voltmeter between the negative battery post and the negative battery cable and then one by one, pulling each fuse untill the reading goes to zero volts?
Hello Art, I believe you have parasitic drain testing confused with voltage drop testing. To check voltage drips you connect your voltmeter between various connections with the cable and wire connected. To test for a drain condition, you use an ammeter that reads milliamps. I will send you some info on this and n illustration showing how the meter is connected. If you do get an excessive reading, this is when you pull fuse to try and isolate the problem circuit.