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Whelen problem... Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by joeco129, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. joeco129

    joeco129 Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    My hide-a-way strobes have been acting funny. I turn them on and they are fine for a minute or two, then I completely lose the front passenger light. Turn them off and back on and usually they all come on, then I'll lose the front passenger again within a few minutes... Now today I was testing them and I lost the front passenger... then all of them... front and rear... shut them off and on again... nothing... waited 5 minutes and they all came on again... then it all started again with the front passenger side.

    I was talking to a guy that said I need to replace the power supply. Think that's true or just a short somewhere? It's only 3 years old...

    Anyone have similar problems with their Whelen strobes or any strobe for that matter?

    Also, I bought the truck with the lights in it already and I have never wired lighting like this... so any help is appreciated... I just don't know where to start and don't want to get ripped off if I bring it somewhere for service... Thanks!
     
  2. Pirsch

    Pirsch Senior Member
    Messages: 596

    Sounds like he hit it on the head. You may want to try to re-locate the supply first. It may not be getting any air and it's over heating. It will need replaced sooner or later but again if it's not getting much air flow it's probably over heating. After relocation if it still is acting up, Replacement time!
     
  3. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    check all your wires before you go buy a new power box it could just be a loose wire because i had the same problem
     
  4. groundbreakers

    groundbreakers Senior Member
    Messages: 824

    check the cable thats connected to the bulbs themselvs.. or check the wires to the bulbs .. sometimes they can have a moisture leak in the connectors .... been there done that with ABLE 2 undercovers ..
     
  5. Diesel Sniffer

    Diesel Sniffer Member
    Messages: 46

    I have done hundreds of installs over the years on all types of emergency vehicles. My first question would be: How long are they running before the bulb(s) start acting up? If it is 5-10 minutes then it may be a simple overheating problem. However, if you have been running this set-up for three years and this is the first problem that you've had, I doubt overheating is the case.

    If I were a betting man, I would say that you have moisture in the connection to your first bulb that is failing - front passenger I believe you said. Pull the light housing out of the truck and you will see where the bulb connection for the strobe bulb meets the strobe cable that runs to the power supply. Unplug the connection and blow out any water that is in there. If they are not "weatherproof" connectors, water can get in them pretty easily. Put electric grease on the connectors that plug together, then after they are plugged back together silicone the crap out of the connectors to make sure that no water gets back in.

    If this fails, check the wiring to make sure it is not rubbing somewhere causing a short. I also doubt this is the case because it would blow the fuse, but I have seen stranger things before.

    Whelen has a safety setting on their power supplies that will shut down any lamp effected by moisture to prevent shorting out the power supply. From what you are describing, this is what is happening. To be on the safe side, I would check all of the connectors while you are at it to make sure you are good all the way around the truck.

    I hope this helps.
     
  6. joeco129

    joeco129 Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    Thanks for the ideas guys. I did check all the wires right at the harness. They all have "beanie" connectors and seemed tight. I did not re-crimp them but nothing seemed loose. I noticed when looking on-line for new power supplies that all the new wiring harnesses seem to be like a plug and play style. So I am guessing to replace the one I have now that I would have to install a receiving end for the plugs and spice it in to the wiring. Does that receiving piece that the power supply plugs into usually come with the new units?

    Also, as for its location... For anyone familiar with '04 F350's, the power supply is mounted behind the power steering res., drivers side, near firewall in corner... Would that restrict air? Where is the best place to mount a new one... My second battery is right near it too, probably why they put it there.

    In the meantime I will check the wiring at the bulbs...

    How long do most power supply's last, on average, before you need to replace them?

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  7. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    Joeco, I would put my money down that the connections at the bulbs are failing. Whether its moisture or dirt or bad connection, I would guess thats the problem. I have done many ford trucks in the past and usually if someone doesnt connect the bulbs properly, thats the problem. I dont know where in CT you are but I am in central MA. Take a swing up this weekend if you want and I will take a look at it for you.
     
  8. joeco129

    joeco129 Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    Gicon,

    Thanks... I am right near Bradley Airport. Where abouts in Mass. are you... I may take you up on it...
     
  9. joeco129

    joeco129 Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    Diesel Sniffer,

    Thanks for your ideas too... I will check... Is there a way you can seal or protect those connections from moisture in the future? Silicone? Gasket? or something else?
     
  10. Diesel Sniffer

    Diesel Sniffer Member
    Messages: 46

    Silicone seems to work the best for me. I use electric grease on the insides before I clip them back together, then silicone the back sides of each connector very well to keep moisture from getting in that way. Let us know what happens and if this worked for ya....
     
  11. joeco129

    joeco129 Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    My hide-a-ways are under the located under the headlights... but how do I get to the connection. When the hood is lifted I can see the headlight connection, but the lower, thinner light, underneath the headlight, when the strobe is.... I can't see or seem to get to.

    Any ideas? Do I need to go through the wheel well? It's the passeneger side.
     
  12. BlueLine Ent

    BlueLine Ent Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    What model number supply is this? The suppy shouldnt be located under the hood unless its waterproof.
     
  13. Pirsch

    Pirsch Senior Member
    Messages: 596

    You may to have to remove the battery on the one side and probably some stuff on the other side if it's blocked. Sorry don't know much about your vehicle.
     
  14. rcpd34

    rcpd34 Senior Member
    from MD
    Messages: 670

    Try checking with Whelen and see if it's under warranty. They will usually tell you over the phone if you give them the serial number and model number. If it's under warranty, they're usually pretty fair. If it's out of warranty it's cheaper to replaced it then to send it in for repair. I have a replacement if you need one.
     
  15. joeco129

    joeco129 Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    The power supply is a CS 450... older model... but I can still buy new online... The other day I had the truck in my garage and they ran forever... out of the cold... and the diesel was not running long.... I am wondering if more of an overheating problem... Should I move it to inside the cab....

    Where to put it? Under the seat? The dash?
     
  16. rcpd34

    rcpd34 Senior Member
    from MD
    Messages: 670

    As far as I can tell, the CS450 is not potted and therefore not waterproof. It needs to be inside the cab and away from the elements.
     
  17. joeco129

    joeco129 Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    Where is the best spot to install inside the cab? If I put it under the dash could, or will, the heater cause overheating? Unless it's snowing hard and sleeting I tend to plow with the windows down, for visability, and the heat cranked... is that too much heat for the power supply?

    Is under the seat ok... or a bad spot if I need to get to it? Any suggestions?

    Where do all you guys install yours when mounted in the cab?
     
  18. rcpd34

    rcpd34 Senior Member
    from MD
    Messages: 670

    seat, then

    I put mine under the rear seat. If no rear seat then under the passenger front seat so you don't kick snow & salt onto it.
     
  19. OSLIGHTS

    OSLIGHTS Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 44

    That model should definetely be inside the cab. I would suggest putting it under the seat.