2017 1500 More lighting and electrical issues

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KrazyLegz

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Howdy Everyone, I have been looking at older posts and trying to figure out what the common issue has been with my truck acting similar to others and totally different with others. Here is a rundown of the issues and what has been tested. 2017 1500 Big Horn with Halogen lights from factory. I ordered and was working on replacing all exterior lights with LEDs. I first replaced the headlights with Morimoto XB headlights with LED turn signal integrated. These are meant to be plug and play and they were functioning correctly when installed. I then replaced the fog lights with 4banger assemblies and they function properly. I replaced the mirror/puddle light with Morimoto sequential light and it too is plug and play and functions properly. I replaced the License plate lights with Morimoto assemblies and though they cause a glare on the backup camera, they function properly with or without the resistors. The problem arose when I replaced the taillights to match the rest of the truck, the taillights are Morimoto XB which are similar to the 5th gen LED assemblies. I installed the lights and checked everything without the truck running, and everything was fine. I started the truck and the passenger side park light would flash, then it would turn off and would notify me on the dash. I removed and swapped one at a time, the lights, the adapter harness, the resistors, left to right and the problem persisted on the passenger side. I installed the factory taillights and everything works fine. I put the truck back to stock besides the puddle lights, PITA/scary to remove, and only installed the taillights and they still do not function properly. After I contacted the vendor, they sent me another set of lights to try. I installed them on my truck and the same issue arose. I installed these lights on my in-laws 2017 1500 Laramie, with factory projectors and LED tails, and they function properly. I installed the same taillights on a 2014 with halogen tails and they function properly when the resistors are installed. This would have me believe the taillights, resistors, and adapter harness are not faulty. I re- installed all aftermarket lights again and everything worked fine even with the truck running, but only once. After I restarted the truck, the same issue returned on the passenger side taillight. I measured voltage at the connector and had 12.1V with the truck not running and IIRC 14.6V with the truck running, for a few seconds, the truck would then cut off power to the tail light. After this, I noticed the DRL (part of the new headlight if add a circuit is used) is more dim on the passenger side than the driver, at the same time, the fog light is dimmer on the driver side compared to the passenger, (looks more orange than a bright yellow). I forgot to mention when I installed all the connectors, I applied Dielectric grease to the connectors upon assembly, highly recommended by the vendor. I now have the truck with great lighting all around except for tails. Now the even more oddball issue, when I start the truck and let it warm up, the tachometer needle glitches 100-200 RPM for about 15 seconds. It also glitches when held at a steady RPM (1600 at 70MPH), I force a downshift and hold at 2500 RPM and the needle still glitches. Since lighting and instrument cluster would have you thinking they are unrelated, I found multiple posts talking about the BCM is in charge of controlling the lighting, dash, and many more systems. I have the factory lifetime warranty and have scheduled to drop it off on the 8th of January. Is there anything else I should have checked or should check before then? Is there a keyword or issue the dealership needs to hear to help them figure this issue out? I had to replace the headlights, not because they burnt out, but they were a terrible design which did not illuminate very well in the dark roads in Northern Nevada. Any input is greatly appreciated. I love the truck, it replaced my 240k mile '07 SLT with a 4.7L which was not as complicated as this one.
 

crash68

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I doubt the dealership will find any problems and most likely blame the LEDs on the issues your having.
You may need to use AlfaOBD to set the lights to LED to remedy any errors or them turning off.
I replaced the License plate lights with Morimoto assemblies and though they cause a glare on the backup camera,
I put black vinyl tape over the top 2/3s of the license plate lights for this issue after switching to LEDs
 
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KrazyLegz

KrazyLegz

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Thank you for the pointer on the license plate light! That will definitely help me out. I have been reading up on AlfaOBD and I am just worried if I spend the money to program it properly for the lights and I have a faulty BCM, if the dealer will try to void the warranty or if I would still have tachometer issue?
 

indept

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Dealer will blame the LED's. When I first thought about LED's I asked the service manager at the dealer if they could reset my truck for LED exterior bulbs and he said they can't change that. I got AlfaOBD and reset it myself.
 
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KrazyLegz

KrazyLegz

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Seems like the best way to get this handled would be AlfaOBD. I checked grounds and verified no corrosion just to be on the safe side and still not functioning properly. No corrosion found, only 86k in the odometer as well. I'm hoping they have ran into these issues and will test the BCM prior to just blaming it on LED or "just the way these truck act"
 

Bigskyroadglide

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I think you are being hopeful and ignoring the solid advice given. I have 3 rams and a dodge. All fca products, I've used alfa old, to solve 99.5% of every issue and the only time any of them have been to the dealer is for warranty work. What you are experiencing is not warranty work, but non acceptance of reality. Get alfa obd and fix your issue
 
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KrazyLegz

KrazyLegz

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@Bigskyroadglide I do admire your bluntness! You are correct, I am hopeful in thinking the dealership will repair this issue. I should have also mentioned I have other issues which "should" be covered under warranty, (front diff leak, right side manifold exhaust leak, radio intermittently inoperable, which may be related). I thought, why not give them the chance to look into it and see if it is an issue they will even entertain looking into while it is there for the rest of the actual work. If from what I read in other posts and here is correct, the dealer will be unable to verify the concern and just do the rest of the actual repairs. I will then end up getting AlfaOBD, and come back to this post to let everyone know my experience with the dealer and AlfaOBD.
 

jmc921

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Here is another relatively inexpensive option that I've found. I had ordered the LED lights listed below back in early 2021 but, due to all the concerns I had read about with these installations, I never installed them. Total cost was about $100 on Amazon so it wasn't a huge investment. Well, I got tired of the poor lighting quality of the existing lights and decided to go ahead and (finally) install these about a year ago and see what happens. These are advertised as plug and play with no other additional resistors, etc. required. I installed the lights and, just to be sure, drove around for about an hour during the day with the lights on to see if there would be any flickering of the bulbs or warning lights in the dash. When everything seemed to work properly, I figured they were good. I had planned to use AlfaOBD to select the LED lights but it was totally unnecessary.

The first time I drove at night with these, the difference was amazing. Bright, white light that seemed to be at least twice as effectivve as the stock lights. I have been driving with these for about a year now and there have been no problems. These particular lights have been discontinued but have been replaced with a newer design. Mine have cooling fans on each bulb but the newer ones do not and appear to have larger cooling fins. I included a link to the new lights.

Fog Lights:
SEALIGHT 9006/HB4 LED Headlight Bulbs, 9006 LED Conversion Kit with Cooling Fan, 8000 Lumens, 6000K Cool White, Low Beam/Fog Light Bulb, Pack of 2

Head Lights (Hi and Lo)
SEALIGHT Laxmas L2 H11 9005 LED Headlight Bulb Kit, High Beam Low Beam, Ultra-thin, 360-degree Illumination, 6000K Daylight Effect, 200% Brightness, Pack of 4

New link: https://www.amazon.com/SEALIGHT-9005-H11-Lumens-Bright/dp/B0CLGZ1J56?ref_=ast_sto_dp&th=1
Takes you to the 4 bulb headlight set ($70) and there is also a tab to select the 9006 fog lights ($39)

Also, I have read about the requirement for LED's to be "clocked" so that the position of the LED elements is left and right rather than one above the other. When I installed these they were not "clocked" but I have had no issue at all with the lighting cutoff or distribution. My existing lights are the reflector style and they work great.

Good luck with your upgrade.
 
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KrazyLegz

KrazyLegz

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Here is another relatively inexpensive option that I've found. I had ordered the LED lights listed below back in early 2021 but, due to all the concerns I had read about with these installations, I never installed them. Total cost was about $100 on Amazon so it wasn't a huge investment. Well, I got tired of the poor lighting quality of the existing lights and decided to go ahead and (finally) install these about a year ago and see what happens. These are advertised as plug and play with no other additional resistors, etc. required. I installed the lights and, just to be sure, drove around for about an hour during the day with the lights on to see if there would be any flickering of the bulbs or warning lights in the dash. When everything seemed to work properly, I figured they were good. I had planned to use AlfaOBD to select the LED lights but it was totally unnecessary.

The first time I drove at night with these, the difference was amazing. Bright, white light that seemed to be at least twice as effectivve as the stock lights. I have been driving with these for about a year now and there have been no problems. These particular lights have been discontinued but have been replaced with a newer design. Mine have cooling fans on each bulb but the newer ones do not and appear to have larger cooling fins. I included a link to the new lights.

Fog Lights:
SEALIGHT 9006/HB4 LED Headlight Bulbs, 9006 LED Conversion Kit with Cooling Fan, 8000 Lumens, 6000K Cool White, Low Beam/Fog Light Bulb, Pack of 2

Head Lights (Hi and Lo)
SEALIGHT Laxmas L2 H11 9005 LED Headlight Bulb Kit, High Beam Low Beam, Ultra-thin, 360-degree Illumination, 6000K Daylight Effect, 200% Brightness, Pack of 4

New link: https://www.amazon.com/SEALIGHT-9005-H11-Lumens-Bright/dp/B0CLGZ1J56?ref_=ast_sto_dp&th=1
Takes you to the 4 bulb headlight set ($70) and there is also a tab to select the 9006 fog lights ($39)

Also, I have read about the requirement for LED's to be "clocked" so that the position of the LED elements is left and right rather than one above the other. When I installed these they were not "clocked" but I have had no issue at all with the lighting cutoff or distribution. My existing lights are the reflector style and they work great.

Good luck with your upgrade.
Thanks for the info! I will look into these when I get the truck back. It's been at the dealer for warranty repairs for a couple of weeks now due to availability of parts. The exhaust manifold is getting replaced, an axle seal is being replaced, and something about the instrument cluster, reprogram or replacement. I'll be trying the lights again when I get it back, to see if that may have been the issue all along. If all doesn't go well, I'll look further into these since the factory lights were just so terrible.
 
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KrazyLegz

KrazyLegz

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After repair follow up:
Settings on truck have been updated by dealer to newer version. Exhaust manifold was replaced, instrument panel cluster had faulty step motor and was replaced, Axle seal was replaced. I installed the taillights and headlights and still ran into the same issue, though it took a few trips to have them throw an error code. Got AlfaOBD and programmed rear lights to LED, no issues now! I am looking into removing the resistors that came with the morimoto lights and use AlfaOBD to set to LED. I would also like to get rid of the DRL fuse tap but have the DRL work the same way. I reached out to MPGrimm about a harness available to get this done. Any advice before I pull out the lights to remove resistors and try to get the DRL to work without the tap? I'm thinking I need to connect the wire for DRL on the headlights before any of the settings are changed. Thank you in advance and thank you too everyone with input on this issue that AlfaOBD was able to remedy.
 

hunterdan

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I'd enable hid (high intensity discharge) lights via alfaobd to eliminate the pwm so you don't get any possible flickering of the headlights for starters. After that, as long as you enable led settings for every light, front and rear, you should be able to eliminate any and all resistors. In the front you need to enable led for the marker/turn signal and in the rear, turn, stop and tail lights need the LED enabled. So, 2 settings for the front, 3 for the rear.
As for the drl wiring. Connect and run the wires first, then enable all the proper settings (they can be found in the alfaobd thread). I've added the drl wires from mpgrimm and enabled everything via alfaobd so that I can have manual control via the radio screen. Everything works as factory. Now, I'm not running morimoto housings, but form Lighting, but the setup is very similar. Turn signal/drl settings took several hours for the BCM to recognize and a drive cycle or 2 to show up on the radio. But, since I've been running the form housings, I've not had any faults of any kind. A far cry from the alpharex housings I've previously had. Now, for the rear tails, I'm running standard housings with led bulb upgrades. But, I've had issues with cheap bulbs burning out, and dropping led chips which have caused taillight out errors in the past.
 
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KrazyLegz

KrazyLegz

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Thank you for the great info! I will wait to hear from Grimm on the harness before I make the changes. I'll do the research in the meantime and look at the setting in the AlfaOBD thread. Thank you very much @hunterdan
 

hunterdan

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Thank you for the great info! I will wait to hear from Grimm on the harness before I make the changes. I'll do the research in the meantime and look at the setting in the AlfaOBD thread. Thank you very much @hunterdan
The harness install is pretty easy, it's just a matter of pulling the blank plugs out of the connector and putting it all back together. There's a thread on it here as well, I wish I would have documented it when I did it, but it's not bad. Should be less than an hour to pull the top of the fuse box off to the side. Pull the connector and run the wires. Some guys will just tap into the wires on the back side with wire taps, but the harness from mpgrimm is far cleaner, and only a few bucks.
 

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