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Need HELP! Identifying a WIRE near fuse box

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Old 08-30-2010, 03:16 PM   #1
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Need HELP! Identifying a WIRE near fuse box

O.K. need help identifying a wire. I noticed 2 exposed wires behind the fuse box near your left knee. Both are white and exposed. I bought the truck used so I have no idea if these were to hard wire something or maybe off-roads lights or something. Everything is still stock on the truck including the radio. These pics were taken laying on the floorboard looking up under the steering column directly behind the fuse box.











Any ideas????
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:53 AM   #3
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It looks like someones after market B.S. , regardless if they're hot or not cut the exposed wire off & wirenut/electrical tape them off....
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:38 AM   #4
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test for power first

if they are dead, then just try to pull them out/trace them to where they go....never good to just leave wires hanging around

if they are still live, definetly find out where they are connected to...disconnect and remove

but i'd try to confirm a little more if they are oem or added after
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:50 PM   #5
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It looks to me like that small white one possibly goes to the white box, which maybe is connected to the purple wire.

If that is the case, the purple wire could be for door unlock if it plugs into the right spot in the back of the fusebox, so maybe an aftermarket keyless entry. Its too hard to tell where the blue one might be connected to, but its thick enough that it might be power. Some of those pics almost look like there might be some other wire joining going on as well.

Pretty poor wiring job either way. Looks like he chewed on the end of the wire to strip it.
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:55 PM   #6
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^Thank guys for the responses so far, the wires are LIVE, basically they spark when I touch them together. Not good eh?
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha Dave View Post
^Thank guys for the responses so far, the wires are LIVE, basically they spark when I touch them together. Not good eh?
Thats so not the way to test if a wire is live. First you need to lick your fingers then grab on both ends and see if you feel a shock...

Sounds like one of those wires is live and the other is grounded.

Seriously though, sounds like you dont have the right tools and dont have the knowledge necessary to fix it, so please take it in to a mechanic before you burn down your truck. kill yourself, or blow a major fuse.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manlaan View Post
Thats so not the way to test if a wire is live. First you need to lick your fingers then grab on both ends and see if you feel a shock...

Sounds like one of those wires is live and the other is grounded.

Seriously though, sounds like you dont have the right tools and dont have the knowledge necessary to fix it, so please take it in to a mechanic before you burn down your truck. kill yourself, or blow a major fuse.



Don't have the tools or the electrical knowledge, hence the reason I'm posting here. Didnt want to take it in just yet because if it was something like maybe off road lights or some kind of audio equipment that was pulled off the truck when it was sold there wasnt any reason to take it in to a stealership. Make sense?
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:22 PM   #9
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The proper test is with a volt meter (you can get a cheap one at any store). You can also keep the meter connected to the wire and see if it is live when the key is out of the ignition or any other variety of ways to try to find what it's tied to.

If you don't know what it goes to and the truck runs great, then it probably isn't a big deal anyway. Disconnect the battery before doing anything...that wire could be carrying some serious amps, capable of killing you! You can put a wire nut over it, but I consider them temporary. A better thing to do is cut off the bare end, loop a small amount of the wire over itself and heat shrink the loop. This is a more permanent water resistant way of protecting the wire. There are also crimp-on butt connectors available that do a similar thing.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:46 PM   #10
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^ Thanks yeah the truck runs great. There are two things on the truck that do not work, one are the fog lights and two are the accessory and cigarette lighter ports. Everything is else is perfect. (KNOCKING ON WOOD NOW..)
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha Dave View Post
^ Thanks yeah the truck runs great. There are two things on the truck that do not work, one are the fog lights and two are the accessory and cigarette lighter ports. Everything is else is perfect. (KNOCKING ON WOOD NOW..)
There you go...maybe one of them is the fog lights
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:14 PM   #12
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Well, one of the wires is live and open, so you really do need to get this fixed. Since you aren't going to take this to a professional to get fixed, you really need to fix this yourself. It is a major fire hazard in its present condition since you were able to make sparks, didn't blow a fuse, and they are so close to each other (and other metal surfaces).

Obviously they aren't being used for anything since they're disconnected, so just a simple trim and cap will be fine.

So, first thing you should do is disconnect the negative cable from the battery. You can do the positive as well if you want, but removing the ground connection is enough so you cant complete the circuit and short anything out.

At this point, get yourself some wire cutters or some heavy scissors. Something that will be able to make a decent cut through the wire. You want to remove the exposed wires so they cant come in contact with any other metal surface. With the ground disconnected, there is no chance of getting shocked. Just be certain which wires you're cutting. Cut off all the exposed wire, plus a tiny bit of insulation so it would be very difficult to get to the core of the wire.

You are doing this to limit the possibility of exposure for the wire that is live to come in contact with the ground (basically, any metal surface). As you saw first hand, any time a live wire touches the ground, you have sparks, so if that were to happen while driving, it could very easily start a fire.

Now, I assume you aren't going to have caps for the wire, so with the exposed wire removed, add a piece of electrical tape to the end and it will be good enough to stop any potential for shorting out and causing a fire in the future. Realistically, just cutting off the exposed wire would be enough, but this is electricity we're dealing with, which will jump, so we want to be extra careful in protecting the end. The goal is to make it so there is absolutely no possibility for the core to touch any metal surface under any circumstances. I would say to cut about 2" of tape, put the wire in it lengthwise till about half and fold it in half, making it like a sandwich with the wire down the whole length of the tape and the end of the wire at the tip. (dont do the whole wrapping thing, as that doesn't work on thin wires.)

Now do the same thing for the second exposed wire. Do not combine the two wires.

Dont forget to reattach your battery after you're done.


And please, never just connect two random wires together ever again unless you're 200% positive what they do (check and then double check). You have no clue how dangerous that is for you, as well as what you're working on.


As far as fog lights go, first gens dont have fog lights, and you would know if you had aftermarket lights (because you'd either have non-factory lights on your bumper, or you'd have a hole where the switch used to be). Those lights in the bumper are turn signals for us and the lights on the side of the headlights are just marker lights. I still vote for a keyless entry system that was removed since that is about the only usable wires in that location for us.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:53 PM   #13
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^ Thanks I'm going to work on this now. As far as fog lights, mine is a 2003 and it does have fog lights. These are the factory installed ones in the bumper. I'm not talking about the side markers either, the ones in the lower valance I guess is what it's called? (Black plastic piece). If I'm not mistaken are you saying that on 2003s the lower lights are only turn signals??? I'm confused. Sorry I just got this truck a few months ago still trying to learn about it.


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Old 09-02-2010, 01:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha Dave View Post
^ Thanks I'm going to work on this now. As far as fog lights, mine is a 2003 and it does have fog lights. These are the factory installed ones in the bumper. I'm not talking about the side markers either, the ones in the lower valance I guess is what it's called? (Black plastic piece)
Unless the original owner did some modifications, you activate those type of fog lights by pressing the hazard button or the turn signal lever. They only work intermittently by flashing though. (turn signals ) 1995 to 2004 is all the same in that aspect, although the lens color did change from amber to clear (with an amber bulb) at some point or in some models.

Go try it. Its a common mistake with the clear lens. From the factory, they are turn signal indicators.

Now it is possible the previous owner did some work in that area, but it really isn't a common mod due to either doing it wrong and then making your vehicle illegal to run at night in most states (marker lights missing or not functioning - wouldn't pass your states safety inspection), or by adding another bulb to the cornering lights, which requires drilling a hole and rerouting and extending wire.
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manlaan View Post
Unless the original owner did some modifications, you activate those type of fog lights by pressing the hazard button or the turn signal lever. They only work intermittently by flashing though. (turn signals ) 1995 to 2004 is all the same in that aspect, although the lens color did change from amber to clear (with an amber bulb) at some point or in some models.

Go try it. Its a common mistake with the clear lens. From the factory, they are turn signal indicators.

Now it is possible the previous owner did some work in that area, but it really isn't a common mod due to either doing it wrong and then making your vehicle illegal to run at night in most states (marker lights missing or not functioning - wouldn't pass your states safety inspection), or by adding another bulb to the cornering lights, which requires drilling a hole and rerouting and extending wire.



Well then I think we are on to something. My marker signals or turn signals that are in the lower valance in the black plastic piece were possibly wired to be functional fog lights. I noticed this when I first got the truck coming from a Ford Ranger I didn't have any, and one night after I purchased it I noticed as I was pulling into a restaurant they were indeed ON, they were very bright and they were White, and I was happy because they I needed them BAD I drive in the country roads in the early mornings and it gets misty and foggy out right at the time I leave for school. Visibility gets down to about 100-200ft in front of me. I noticed they only came ON when the truck was out of Park and with the full headlights on, when the parking lights in the side marker were ON, they were OFF. IF this is in fact the wires which when I'm off I'll try and route these wires and see where they go, it looks like the previous owner hard wired these straight into the fuse panel similar to hard wiring a radar detector. ????
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha Dave View Post
Well then I think we are on to something. My marker signals or turn signals that are in the lower valance in the black plastic piece were possibly wired to be functional fog lights. I noticed this when I first got the truck coming from a Ford Ranger I didn't have any, and one night after I purchased it I noticed as I was pulling into a restaurant they were indeed ON, they were very bright and they were White, and I was happy because they I needed them BAD I drive in the country roads in the early mornings and it gets misty and foggy out right at the time I leave for school. Visibility gets down to about 100-200ft in front of me. I noticed they only came ON when the truck was out of Park and with the full headlights on, when the parking lights in the side marker were ON, they were OFF. IF this is in fact the wires which when I'm off I'll try and route these wires and see where they go, it looks like the previous owner hard wired these straight into the fuse panel similar to hard wiring a radar detector. ????
It very well could be, but if you want to get it working as you want, with how its currently wired, there really isn't anything we can help you out with, with what we've been given us.

If you are able to trace down those wires to see exactly where they go, that gives us something to go on, but with the cross gauge of wires (12 or 14gauge vs 18gauge), you are either missing the return wire if its for a switch and the 18 gauge is meant for the ground on the indicator light, or the heavy wire is meant for some type of accessory (keyless, alarm, etc). There would be no reason for the heavy wire to be live (assuming it is live) unless that is the case.

This really isn't the type of job for a first time at going at wiring though. You need someone with more experience and proper tools, standing in front of the vehicle to help you out on this one, or you need to learn from the beginning, starting with a very simple aftermarket fog light setup (not just blindly following instructions, but actually understanding why its plugged in the way it is).

You're talking about messing with safety items (lights) and a series of relays. Not to mention the possibility of doing something wrong and seriously injuring yourself or burning down your truck, or best case, blowing a fuse.

For example, to wire it how you're talking you want it to be, there is absolutely no reason for any wire to be in the cab. The easiest way would be to have a relay that controls the fog lights that is signaled from the headlight power (which is most easily accessed around the engine fuse box since the headlight relays are there as well, or even off the headlight itself).
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