Wiring for trailer lights - Polaris ATV Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Wiring for trailer lights

I decided I should make provisions for tail lights and brake lights when I'm pulling an old trailer down the road. So today, I spliced a trailer light harness into the X2, hooked up the trailer to verify my handy work and found problems. Without the trailer hooked up, the X2 tail/brake lights work normal. When I hook up the trailer lights, all the tail lights go bright. Pulled the rear trailer bulbs and the X2 lights work properly and I have marker lights on the trailer. Plug in a trailer bulb and all the lights go bright.

Before I get into troubleshooting this one, I thought I would ask if anyone else has tried adding a trailer light harness to their machine and had any issues. I also thought I might be adding too much current draw to the X2 system which caused the problem. Any suggestions on where to start?

Last week, in preparation, I installed Sylvania Zevo 3157R tail lights. Before starting today, I pulled one tail light and checked the ATV wiring with a volt meter while referencing the Repair Manual schematic drawing. With the engine running and brake NOT engaged, I measured 14 volts on the red (tail light) wire and about 9 volts on the Brown/White (brake light) wire. I set the brake and the brn/wht wire then went up to 14 volts as expected.

Surprised me to get 9 volts on the brake wire without the brakes engaged; does this sound normal?

Do I need to install relays or something for the trailer lighting?

I'll have a chance to troubleshoot again tomorrow but hoping someone may have run into a similar situation and same me some time and head scratching.

Thanks, Dennis

'15 Sportsman X2 570
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 05:17 PM
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try normal bulbs and see what happens.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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This one has me stumped. Hope someone with some wiring experience can assist.
What I see on the Service Manual wiring diagram and measure with the voltmeter don't seem to match. By the wiring diagram, it appears that the brake lever applies ground to the starter solenoid and also to the brake lights through a diode.
Using an ohm meter, I found how the light socket and original 3157 bulbs are wired. I have the voltages on the wires with one and both lights removed and also with and without the brake lever applied.
There is still something I haven't noticed that will explain how brake lights work and if I can simply splice in a trailer wiring harness.

'15 Sportsman X2 570
Front Brush guard
Rear Bumper
Front Rack Extender
Fender bag
Warn ProVantage 2500

Side view mirrors (definite help when riding down the road)
AGM battery
Wire harness for trailer lights
20 Gal Sprayer
60" Glacier Pro Plow
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 06:08 PM
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I would have to say the ground is going the other way and the diode makes sure it only flows in one direction.
Check which side the diode is faced in the diagram.

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KFI winch mount
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LED ground graphics
ACERIB X PRO Handguards
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Badlands 2500 winch
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 06:46 PM
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I thought ground wire also, I've had many instances with my vehicle pulling a trailer, where the lights were doing odd things and it usually came back to a bad ground wire
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony357 View Post
I would have to say the ground is going the other way and the diode makes sure it only flows in one direction.
Check which side the diode is faced in the diagram.
I'm not 100% sure that found the diode but if I have, it's covered with heat-shrink tubing. The schematics are blurry but appears to be oriented so current flows from the bulb through the brake switch to a ground splice in the dash pod

'15 Sportsman X2 570
Front Brush guard
Rear Bumper
Front Rack Extender
Fender bag
Warn ProVantage 2500

Side view mirrors (definite help when riding down the road)
AGM battery
Wire harness for trailer lights
20 Gal Sprayer
60" Glacier Pro Plow
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porky View Post
I thought ground wire also, I've had many instances with my vehicle pulling a trailer, where the lights were doing odd things and it usually came back to a bad ground wire
I couldn't rule out the trailer wiring so I went through that today. Didn't find anything out of the ordinary.

'15 Sportsman X2 570
Front Brush guard
Rear Bumper
Front Rack Extender
Fender bag
Warn ProVantage 2500

Side view mirrors (definite help when riding down the road)
AGM battery
Wire harness for trailer lights
20 Gal Sprayer
60" Glacier Pro Plow
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHStrehlow View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porky View Post
I thought ground wire also, I've had many instances with my vehicle pulling a trailer, where the lights were doing odd things and it usually came back to a bad ground wire
I couldn't rule out the trailer wiring so I went through that today. Didn't find anything out of the ordinary.
Like someone has already suggested.....go back to the regular bulbs and see if that cures the problem

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I didn't mention that I did try the original lights.... same issue. After more searching, I found the following pics in the ATV Visual and Body Modifications area of this site.
Granted, it's for a different year ATV but Polaris has NON-conventional wiring (on a side note, this should also explain the issue with changing to LED lights) I have a conventional 3157 socket but it is wired in a non conventional manner.
I'm pretty sure this will straighten everything out for me.

Thanks to those who provided input, kept me thinking about the issue.




'15 Sportsman X2 570
Front Brush guard
Rear Bumper
Front Rack Extender
Fender bag
Warn ProVantage 2500

Side view mirrors (definite help when riding down the road)
AGM battery
Wire harness for trailer lights
20 Gal Sprayer
60" Glacier Pro Plow
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Update to my dilemna......
I installed a relay for the trailer wiring harness.
With the Zevo lights installed, the relay would de-energize consistently, seemed to stay energized more often than not with the brake lever released.
Reverted back to traditional 3157 bulbs and the relay works as it should. There seems to be a path through the LED modules for current to flow through and keeps the relay energized. I can't say for sure but seems to be related to Polaris using non-standard wiring in the bulb socket.

It is possible that if I had rewired the whole rear-end through a relay I could have continued to use the Zevo lights. But, I have it working now and gonna leave alone for now.

FYI, I used the diagram below. (courtesy of backcountryrebels.com) I just substituted the 4-pin trailer harness in place of the LED. Both signal light wires are attached to the brake wire.

Note that the wire colors are different on my X2 than on the diagram.


'15 Sportsman X2 570
Front Brush guard
Rear Bumper
Front Rack Extender
Fender bag
Warn ProVantage 2500

Side view mirrors (definite help when riding down the road)
AGM battery
Wire harness for trailer lights
20 Gal Sprayer
60" Glacier Pro Plow
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