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3:30
*******www.etrailer****/tv-This-Old-Trailer-Groundwire.aspx Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information. The first thing you want to do when you first start working on electrical problems is you want to divide and conquer. You have two parts here, the truck and the trailer. You want to verify which one actually has the problem. Chances are it is going to be on the trailer, but then again you still want to check the truck too. So use a separate light tester, hook a ground not to the frame but to the 4-pull ground itself because this is what is going to carry the ground to the trailer. :52 So we will hook up our ground lead to the tester to the ground, we have our running lights on so we are good to go. We will do the same test with the left turn and right turn. Once we verify our truck is working fine then we can start working on the trailer. The hitch should only be used for pulling purposes, not for anything electrical. And that is the proper way how the trailer should be hooked up to the tow vehicle. 1:19 Just to give you a quick idea how electricity flows in the trailer what happens is the electricity flows through the brown, yellow, and the green wire goes through the lights and has to flow back in a circle like I said, so it all has to come back to ground. On trailers it goes to the frame, and from the trailer it has to go through the ground on the truck. And if there is any interruption it is going to cause the trailer lights not to work at all or do some weird stuff. We have our ground wire right here, as you can see it is loose in the air so it is not going to do you any good. We have wires disconnected so lets go out back and show you what is going to happen when you have no ground wire attached to the trailer.1:54 You can see here we actually have the lights on on the trailer, yet we still have the ground disconnected up front. Basically what is happening is starting to get ground any way it can. In this instance it is getting it through the ball on the truck. Now you get a brand new hitch with everything painted and nice and new, chances are this is not going to work this way. But on an older vehicle, with the parts worn in and used a lot where you still have metal to metal contact it probably will work. However, it is not very good on an electrical system, because when you go down the road you are going to get a constant on off all the time. You have probably seen guys going down the road and see their lights flicker every time they hit a bump. We will shake the trailer and get the same effect. And now we have the turn signal on. Again, the ground is not hooked up front, but it is getting ground from the ball. We will go ahead and shake the trailer again. See how it goes off? That is not good. So to fix that we will go ahead and reattach our ground. 2:51 Go ahead and run the ground screw through the trailer. Now that we have it reattached go ahead and test it back at the other end of the trailer. All right we have the running light circuit back on, go ahead and check the trailer, simulate it bouncing down the road.
22 Oct 2010
734
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3:36
*******www.etrailer****/tv-This-Old-Trailer-Groundwire-Part2.aspx Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information. Next we will go ahead and talk about the ground on the tail lights themselves. Potential problems that could happen there. We have done all of the steps to make sure the grounds are good and then your lights still are not working then chances are it is with the tail light ground itself. Lets go move back there. On this particular ground problem here we see the blinker working but it is not as bright as it should be and also if you want to take a look at it, take a look at the truck. We actually have our running lights working too but we do not have the running lights working on the tail light. You can see how the tail light is trying to work but it is actually opposite the truck. The truck goes on the light goes off. They should be in time with each other. It could be something simple as a loose light. So we can actually just take the nuts in back and just tighten them down to see if we get any better performance out of it. (01:14) Something you can do if you are out in the road and all of a sudden it may quit working, try this first off. This is not a permanent fix but this will get you going. Okay lets go check the light out now. Now we have got our running light circuit working and the turn signals are in time with each other. And also you can tell it is a lot brighter too. Since we tightened these nuts down and we have got everything working fine we know that is our ground problem. So what we are actually going to do to fix it for real is we are going to go ahead and just take everything apart and basically clean it up and reassemble it. We are going to take off these nuts and go ahead and uninstall the light. Now you see we left the power on and we are totally disconnected from the ground it is actually trying to get ground through any available circuit. That is how we got that same problem to begin with flashing and no running lights. (02:20) Inside the slots here we will just scrape them out and wash it down to get back to bare metal and and then we will just go ahead and reassemble it really. Ideally you want to use a file to clean everything out but obviously not everybody is going have a set of metal files in their garage so you can get by with a nice screwdriver and just scrape it out really good and then on the back side of the steel here where the nut touches the angle iron here you want to go ahead and put some sand paper on that just to get all of the dirt and grime off of it too. Really you just want to clean it up really good and get down to the bare metal. And then you wash it down to pull out any extra junk. All right lets spray down the studs a little bit too on the light and clean those up. You can use a paper towel or your fingers or anything just to get the dirt and stuff out of the threads and basically what was really happening was that the nuts touching the steel and the nut transferred to the stud here and also the edge of the threads are catching ground too. (03:41) So everything you keep clean as possible will keep it lasting a lot longer. Take and we are actually using a battery terminal brush and just kind of clean it off. Dry it off and then we will just go ahead and reassemble it. Here is a little track for the wires. Make sure if fits in that track. If the wire gets up here you could actually mash the wire into the steel and cause a short that way. So lets go ahead and reassemble it and get our lights back on. You can already tell we are just touching it and it is wanting to work right away. All right go back to the other side and inspect our work. Make sure your circuits are working okay. All right as you can see we have got our running light nice and bright and also the turn signal is working as it should. That was all just sticks in the ground issues with the lights. After you have got it all cleaned up put some spray paint over it that will kind of help protect the little seems and nooks and crannies from moisture getting inside there. Kind of like the plastic coating on top of the wire.
22 Oct 2010
343
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5:24
*******www.etrailer****/tv-This-Old-Trailer-Wiring-Shorts.aspx Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information. Today on This Old Trailer, we are going to discuss electrical shorts on the trailer itself. Basically we are going to talk about if you plug up your trailer and you find out that you have a blown fuse and the tail light does not work, the running light does not work. We will go through this trailer we have here and try to find some problems with it and show you what to look for. Basically when you are dealing with a short you are going to look for physical evidence. And that means tracing the wire from the front all the way out back. So what is going to happen is basically we are going to start at the plug. Generally it is going to be somewhere down here that has a problem like it has extra extra long length here and it is going to be dragging on the ground so it gets some road rash in there. Your running light and your ground wires could fray and touch each other causing a short that way. Just work your way on down and then a lot of times the wire lays against the steel of the trailer. Sometimes it is a vibration like this will cause that problem also. Or one of the wires, part of the wire will grind against the frame causing a short. There is nothing here so you just keep working your way down where the wire goes through the loop here or through the hole in the steel. If it is really tight it could vibrate and cause a short that way. Which is usually not much of a problem. Whenever there is wire lying on metal somewhere, always check there first for a short. And you can not really see it. Maybe just take your fingers and feel the wire. If you feel anything that is out of place, and we can feel there is something right here. Let us pull it out and take a look. It looks like the gray wire has got a nick in it. It has been like that for a while too because it is a dark color it is not a shiny copper. All right we will go ahead and give this a quick fix. Basically we are just going split the brown wire away from the other two. And just pull it away just to get it started just like I did. Okay. And sometimes there is a small nick you can probably just get away with just cutting it in half and stripping the wires a little bit on each side. If you have got enough wire you can actually go ahead and just slice the butt connector right into place. If it was a little farther apart or a really big section like we are dealing with here you might want to go ahead and just put a small section of wiring and two new connections in there too. And this is right at the end so since these are kind of corroded up and your fresh wire is here, it is better to connect to that so let us go ahead and pull it out a little bit more and we will just put a new section in. Again, if there is just a one time deal then this is fine but if you are going to have like three or four of these places in your trailers, especially an older one, that has been sitting for a while, you might want to go ahead and just replace the entire harness because the more connection you have the more liability one of these coming loose. Start with fresh wire.03:27. And actually this type of short is a perfect example of an intermittent short. Or sometimes you go down the road and you blow a fuse and then you put a new one in and it does not do it for a while, that is because these wires have been bouncing back and forth on the frame so when it hits the right bump, they will short out and you will not know what is going on. Okay, and we will just go ahead and just cover up our connection from the electric tape and we will give it a test. And this is only for our running light circuit. The short one that will not bother any other instances of left turn or right turn both have their own fuses on the vehicle. All right, once you have got your connection made, then it is a good time to go ahead and try it again. Now if this does not work again the chances are you might be dealing with another short somewhere else down the line. Chances are it is usually just one short causing the problem. We do not have our truck handy, we are just going to plug this into our own power supply. You could easily do this at home with a couple of wires coming off the back of your towing vehicle and just put the wires to the correct terminals temporarily testing it that way. All right, we have got our power supply on. We have got the running light circuit turned on. And so far it has not been shortened out but I think we are good with that circuit. It is always a good idea to inspect the rest of the wiring just in case. The same way we did before. 05:24
30 Oct 2010
1288
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5:39
*******www.etrailer****/tv-This-Old-Trailer-Broken-Wire.aspx Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information. In this addition of “This Old Trailer” we are going to cover wiring again. This time we are going to cover the wiring concerning a broken wire. Not talking about shorts, not talking about a ground issue, we are talking about a broken wire. We are going to show you what to look for on that. :40 This is a good clue it is a broken wire, because it is working so far and then all of a sudden it just stops working. Then you know it is probably a broken wire, not a short or blown fuse. So we are going to start at the top and work our way back to find the broken connection. :54 First thing we are going to check is the trailer connector itself. Now this is going to apply to all connectors, not just the simple 4-pull we have here. You want to make sure the connections are clean, they do not have to be shiny or anything like that but they should be clean like this one is here. And also check in the ground. A lot of times the running light circuit is the one that gets corroded up a lot, so if the running light circuit is a problem it could be from corrosion right there. It is clean so go ahead and plug it back together and we will resume our inspection down the line. Also, sometimes the wires going into here get flexed a lot too, sometimes the wire itself will get worn back and fourth and actually breaks. It is rare that this would happen but it does on occasion. So we will work our way down since it passes inspection. So it looks like there is nothing physically wrong with it, what we will do to make sure is we will test right behind the wire here with our light tester. 1:53 Then we will check it periodically after each connection. We are going to make a splice somewhere in here and check before and after. Take your tester and ground it to the wire harnesss ground. That will verify power going into it. Okay there is power going in. We have verified there is power going in so we will check the other side. We have power coming out so we are good there. We will test the power on this wire, go ahead behind this connection. We have power through here so we are good, so we will go through the section of splices here and check that. Double check ourselves. Power here and no power here. So our problem is somewhere in this splice right here. We will go ahead and take it apart to inspect it and see what the problem is. One neat little tip is once you are done piercing the wire, even though it is a needle point that you are checking it with, it might be a good idea to put a dab of silicone on there to help seal it up when you are done, or what we are doing and wrap electrical tape around it. That will keep air from getting to the wire itself and will help out a lot. And theres our problem right there. 3:36 The butt connector itself, the crimp fitting on it looks like its smashed the wire in half and it is barely in there so there is our problem, a broken wire. It looks like it crimped it too tight and sheared the wire basically. If you hold it together you can see that the light is actually working. So simply what we are going to do here is go ahead and replace this splice. Now we reapply our electrical tape to it and we will be done. Now since we found our broken wire here this could have easily happened somewhere else further down the line if there was another splice involved or right behind the light fixture itself. As in the fixtures on this trailer the actual wires itself will push into the light itself. The light could get pulled out or may not have a good connection to begin with. So something like that can always happen behind the lights. Also, if your tail light has a type of connection that has a push pin into it, a small little fixture that plugs into it may get corroded or be faulty at best. So you want to check on both sides of the light itself if you have that fixture. And that pretty much covers looking for a broken wire on a trailer.
30 Oct 2010
553
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6:37
*******www.etrailer****/tv-This-Old-Trailer-Wiring-Shorts-Part2.aspx Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information. Now we will move on to another circuit. In this case it will be the right turn circuit. And we will just check the signal on that. On the right turn signal here again, the same principle applies. Start from the front and work you way back. What happens a lot is that on some of these lights here where the wire gets ran in behind it, there is a channel that these wires fit into. However a lot of times, even on brand new trailers. This wire actually does not fit in the channel, they miss when they put it together. The wire gets smashed between the light and the frame of the trailer. Eventually they wear down to a minuscule spec of wire that is visible but it will cause a short and all kinds of headaches. This came to be a perfect example. All right you see the green wire here that has actually been flattened compared to the brown wire which was sitting in the track like it is supposed to. This green wire here was smashed. And you can tell because there is a very small dot of copper wire. It is flushed with the surface of the installation so that was touching the frame and that causes our short. Even this could be intermittent maybe the right bump could make it short out or it could be just permanently there and you will be blowing fuses left and right. So this is kind of a bright color so this break in the insulation was pretty recent. So basically there is two ways about it. Put in another section of wire or if there is enough slack in here you can probably just cut off the offending part of the wire and just reinstall it into the light itself. Which I think is what we will do in this case. To take out the wires here, there is these little holes on the bottom and they push back on the tabs that hold the wire in place. A perfect tool for this is actually an eyeglass screwdriver. You can use a piece of stiff wire to do the same job. In fact this one just came right out. So we do not have to worry about that one. We are still going to remove the brown one too just to have some more working room for now. We might as well check that one too. So, we will just put our wire in there. Just push it in and then wiggle out the brown wire. There it goes. Part of our problem was here when you install these wires into the light always twist these tight it makes the little tab work better. If it is loose like this, it will just flatten out and the tab will release over time. So we will just go ahead and just cut of the offending sections here. Make them both even and reinstall the wires. All of these little things can add up to a little short and a lot of headache. Think of it as these are your usual suspects to check out first when you have a problem. That is what we do in the shop. All basic steps we do. 03:13. Get them twisted and put them right back into the labeled holes. This one is labeled brown so we will go ahead and install it in the brown spot. Okay same thing with the green where right turn is labeled. Okay make sure your wire goes back into the track. Maybe a piece of tape to hold it in place would work too. As long as you keep tension on it you can go ahead and reinstall the light. Another way you can tell you have got it right is your light will fit flush against the frame bracket here. Give it a test run. Go ahead and check our repair and give it a quick test run here. Okay, the next short we are going to talk about is the bulb inside here. Sometimes on these trailers the lights bounce around so much that the bulb itself gets jarred loose. So sometimes you want to go ahead and take it apart and check that. So we will go ahead and take the lens off. When you go to inspect your bulb take a look at the filaments themselves. Make sure it is level. Most lights, when they are set up properly, the filaments will be in a level spot. If it is a little bit crooked like that, that is where you can get a short to come into play. Or one circuit will work. The running light will work but the turn signal will not. We are actually going to turn it to the left a little bit and then work the bulb out. Now if it was really corroded up inside there, you probably want to use some gloves to take this out. When you put the bulb back in make sure that the pins are in the right way and take a look at the slots in the light fixture itself. If you put it in backwards you are going to be mashing this thing pretty far in there and it will be sitting at a really odd angle. Something like this, see how the filaments are at a goofy angle. That means you will not get a circuit working or you will be causing a short. Or if you have it just far enough we will contact through the bulb we will actually cross both of the contacts behind it. Just make sure that you have everything. Your bulb is good and is clean inside there. That is another unusual suspect that you want to check out. Make sure you put the bulb in the correct way. It should have some friction but once you get past it it should twist relatively easily in the bulb. Once it is properly seated it really should not move around too much. Now we got it. Okay and we got the running light. One other thing that could actually cause a short I see from time to time is this little bulb on the inside here, the running light one. I think it burns out. You take it out. Sometimes those little contacts will actually touch each other inside there and cause a short that way too. The inspection is completed on this light so you can go ahead and just reassemble the lens on it. 06:37.
30 Oct 2010
573
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4:55
*******www.etrailer****/tv-This-Old-Trailer-7-Pole-Install.aspx Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information. Today on This Old Trailer we are going to replace the wiring on this trailer. Right now, this trailer has a 5 pull socket here and the owner uses a patch cord in between here and his tow vehicle. What we are going to do is remove all this and add a 7-way cable that leads right to his tow vehicle. We will be using part number H20046. We will unbolt the connector here. Then we will go ahead and untape it and undo the screw right here, it should release the inside part where the pins are and the wires are connected. Tale that, push everything out. Simply disconnect our wires. 1:04 Now we have our bare wires, we will go over the code real fast. White is going to be your ground wire. Blue is going to go to the lock-out switch on the hydraulic brake controller. Yellow is going to be left turn. Green is going to be right turn. Brown is going to be your running lights. Now we are going to take our wire harness and thread it through the front here, try to guide it back to the hole where the socket was. We will take it and pull it on out, it is an 8 foot length, so we really do not need all of that. We will pull out some, and hook up our other end of the 7-pole to the tow vehicle and see how much slack we need. 1:53 We will use some tin snips to cut off our excess length. Cut the sheath so we can get to the wires. No we will strip back the wires on the ones we are going to use. We will use this green wire, red wire, yellow wire, brown wire, and white. We will not be using the black wire or blue wire since there are only 5 wires being used on the trailer. It is pretty tempting to match up the wires color for color, but you really can not do that because the 7-pole connector actually has a separate wiring code. In this case, green is going to be our running light circuit on the 7-pole, and on our trailer it is going to be brown. So we have to make the conversion. We will go ahead and start off by making our connections with that. To make our connections we will be using little connections called butt connectors. The wires butt together and we crimp them in place. Our next wire on the 7-pole is brown which is our right turn signal, and is going to hook up to green on our trailer, which is right turn. Red on our 7-pole connector is going to be our left turn signal, and the left turn on our trailer is going to be yellow. Next, we will work on our white wire that is the ground on the 7-pole, that will actually match up to our trailer so we will be doing white to white. Okay, our last wire is yellow on our 7-way connector which is the reverse lights and then on our boat trailer it is special so it is going to be the blue wire. 4:11 Now what we are going to do is tape this all together and seal it up for good. Tuck everything back in. We are going to wrap a zip tie around it which will help hold it in place. That will keep it extra secure. We will just leave this open, and now we are set. With that, that will finish our install of our 7-pole connector, part number H20046 on This Old Trailer.
25 Nov 2010
1454
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