2003 Ford Explorer with the right rear turn signal inop. The right stoplight also was not working. Checked the bulb and socket in the rear and all checked okay except no power to right rear socket. As this is a common problem on Ford Explorer, Expeditions, Excursions, E Vans and F Trucks with tilt wheel I went to the steering column to inspect.
There are three screws that have to be removed from the lower steering column cover on this vehicle. Also the ignition lock cylinder may need to be removed. To do so turn the key on and with a small screwdriver or similar tool depress the retaining pin either through the access hole in the cover or remove the cover for easier pin location. Remove the tilt lever handle also.
With the lower cover removed, tilt the wheel fully down and remove the upper cover. On some models the instrument cluster trim panel will need to be removed.
Locate the broken or pulled out wires and terminals. Some vehicles only have the plastic locks broken in the connector and as a result the wires will pull out and create an open circuit. Whenever you come across this problem on these trucks, activate the offending switch (right turn signal on this vehicle) and tilt the wheel up and down to see if the circuit comes back. This is and easy, quick test to locate the problem.
This particular vehicle had broken wires. Only one shows in the picture but the other finished breaking during repairs. Normally there are only one or two wires that are giving a problem and in order to save time for the customer and produce a neater repair I transfer the good wiring from the old connector to the new one and only splice the damaged ones. Also if the locks in the plastic connector are broken the plastic connector itself has to be replaced. Sometimes there are no wire issues just broken plastic locks.
The final step before assembly is to form the new wires to lay in place so that they can freely move with the pivot of the tilt wheel and so that they do not touch any moving parts (shifter).
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