How can I use a Blazer's lights while it is being towed?

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  #1  
Old 07-26-08, 06:36 PM
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How can I use a Blazer's lights while it is being towed?

One of my daughters recently married a man who lives 700 miles away, and now I am going to use my old Chevy bus to help him move her and all her stuff from here to there ... and that includes using a tow bar to pull her '91 S-10 Blazer along. We will be traveling at night for part of the trip, and we will probably not be able to run much over 50 mph unless we are going downhill or we have a nice tailwind. So, I want to fully light the Blazer (except for the headlights, of course) in order for us to be as completely visible as possible.

The Blazer has a towing-lighting conection at the rear (for pulling a trailer), and I already know I can power its marker lamps through that connection with the only problem being the lights-on buzzer when the key is off. However, I can easily disconnect that buzzer for the trip.

Here is my problem:

When I powered either turn signal (brake light) through that same connector at the rear, both of them lit up at the same (through the Blazer's turn-signal switch). So, I need a simple way to temporarily disconnect the brake-turn lights from that switch.

Here are three thoughts I am considering:

1) To temporarily disconnect the turn-signal switch's harness at the steering column so the brake/turn lights will work independently;

2) To use a modifed "tow-lights tee" in the harness at the rear of the Blazer. What I would do there (by modifying the tee) is to break the circuits between the brake/turn lights and the turn-signal switch;

3) To run a hot wire to the Blazer's battery and simply turn on its marker lamps when we need them (if all of them are too much for the bus wiring to handle), but that still leaves the matter of how to access the Blazer's brake lights separately (as turn signals).

Does anybody know of any simpler way to do what I am trying to do?

Thank you!
 
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Old 07-26-08, 07:04 PM
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Use a set of magnetic mount towing lights. They plug into the trailer connector on your bus.
 
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Old 07-26-08, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wire twister View Post
Use a set of magnetic mount towing lights. They plug into the trailer connector on your bus.
We need to avoid that expense, and we definitely want to have more lighting.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 07:32 AM
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Rental places like U-haul used to sell light bulbs with little pig tails on them that you could wire up your harness to. The rental places might also give some advice on what to do, maybe ask about renting a tow dolly.

BTW if you're towing an auto transmission car with the wheels on the ground you need to disconnect the drive shaft to save the transmission. If it's 4WD you need to disconnect both driveshafts.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by westwind999 View Post
Rental places like U-haul used to sell light bulbs with little pig tails on them that you could wire up your harness to.
Yes, and I believe a local auto parts store here still sells them. I had thought about using those until I realized I can simply disconnect the Blazer's rear lights from the wiring harness coming to the back, then power them through the trailer connector ... and that it what I am planning to do. That will let the bus circuits run the turn signals and tail lights just like with a trailer, and we can use the rest of the Blazer's marker lamps at night simply by turning them on at the dash and having a charge wire running back to the battery. The alternator on the bus is a monster, so there is never a lack of power available even with the inverter powering the coffee pot!

Originally Posted by westwind999 View Post
BTW if you're towing an auto transmission car with the wheels on the ground you need to disconnect the drive shaft to save the transmission. If it's 4WD you need to disconnect both driveshafts.
I have heard there are some automatics that can be towed "as is", but I knew I needed to check about the Blazer. I hate the idea of having to do that, but neither do I want to destroy the transmission. Thank you for the reminder!
 
  #6  
Old 08-05-08, 03:33 AM
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update

Update:

Since the turn signals on my bus are separate from its brake lights, I have installed an in-line 5-to-4 converter that has a typical 4-flat connector at the hitch on the bus. One of the true experts at a local hitch shop has said my idea of disconnecting the turn-signal switch in the Blazer and powering its turn signals through its own hitch connector should work, and I will find out for sure about that today. If that does not work, the hitch shop regularly install diodes in the tail-light wiring of vehicles so their turn signals can be powered separately in spite of their turn-signal switches. But, magnetic lights can be purchased for quite a bit less than the charge for installing diodes.

One of the men at the hitch shop also said we can tow-bar the Blazer "all day long" (indefinitely) without damage to the drive train simply by placing the transfer case in neutral and leaving the transmission in Park. The transfer case and the front and rear differentials and axles will lube themselves like they always do, and the front hubs will not be latched. However, that does not work for 4wd vehicles with transfer cases that do not have true neutrals.
 
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