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Old 07-29-2020, 05:40 AM   #1
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No brakes at 6500 feet

We were coming back from Vernal Utah at 6500 feet when the "No Trailer Brake" warning started to ding and flash as we were climbing up the gorge.

The first thing that went through my mind was the hitch guy in "The Long Long Trailer" yelling "Trailer Brakes, Trailer Brakes' at Desi.

There are not a lot places to stop off the road as you ascend the gorge. Using the transmission to help control my speed, we finally made to a roadside kiosk.

I went to take a look and found the brake wiring had pulled out of the waterproof wire connectors.

I had to cut the wires that were still attached and twisted them very tightly together and wrapped them up in electrical tape.

Off we went when about 4 miles further the darn trailer brake disconnect started dinging again. I had to drive several miles before I could pull off without blocking traffic. With the wife watching the instrument panel, I started moving the other connectors when the warning light started to go off and on. I had found the remaining problem and cut out 2 more connectors.

This is the second trailer where the same kind of connectors have failed and the wires have falling out. The first trailer was 6 years old but this is only 2 year old. This is quite the safety concern and should not happen.

I am home now and have to replace the connectors and will replace all of them. But I do not want to replace them with the same kind and do not want to use twist caps.

I had thought of using these, anyone else have any suggestions?

Plus tools, tools tool, carry them. I did not think I would have need for them but still carried 2 sets sockets, 2 kinds of every wrench and assorted screw drivers. Plus vice grips, monkeys wrenchs etc. Bought a extra Endurance spare for the trip also.


25,000 miles of pulling a trailer and this is the first time I have had problems. (knock on wood) On the way to Vernal in Omaha the check engine light came so I connected my OBD 2 scanner for the code. After some roadside research, discovered it nothing major or preventing us from continuing. Had it fixed at the Dodge dealer in Vernal who are top notch.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:13 AM   #2
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good you found the problem trailer wiring can be a problem the connectors you showed should work or you might solder the connections yourself and use heat shrink.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:21 AM   #3
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I used those on our sailboat trailer when I replaced all wires.

Be carful when making the connections. Pull on them!
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:57 AM   #4
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I've used those type of connectors before on both of my boats for stereo wiring. They work very well, and are a solid connection. To me, they're better than the male / female blade style connectors.

Glad you found the issue, and got home safely. I agree with the tools statement. I take them every time, short trip or long. The wife had made a comment about them before, but the few times I've had small issues, she's admitted it is nice having them on board.
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:55 AM   #5
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We use these when vibration is a concern
https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-...94857497&rt=r3


Put some Vaseline in them and you won't have issues with water. Over 15 years on the boat trailer with no issues.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:12 AM   #6
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A soldered and then heat shrinked connection is always better than any mechanical crimp/twist.

Those solder/heat shrink connectors you linked work OK with the exception of you are not able to test/visually inspect the solder job before heat shrinking as the soldering and shrinking is done all in one process.

But, as long as the wire is clean (no corrosion) and twisted correctly, (linemans splice) those will do the job.

I like to solder first and then use a separate heat shrink over the splice.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:28 AM   #7
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IMO soldered connections are not great in situations where there is constant vibration. Marine grade heat shrink crimp connectors are a better option.
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/ancor...ck--P003879517
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tombsy View Post
IMO soldered connections are not great in situations where there is constant vibration. Marine grade heat shrink crimp connectors are a better option.
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/ancor...ck--P003879517
NASA thinks differently...
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:29 PM   #9
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That NASA video addressees a wire under tension, not wires in a connector or subject to flexing. In aviation maintenance you do not solder wire terminals because of what Tombsy noted. A crimped connection does not have a single point where every wire strand can break whereas a soldered terminal does.

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Old 07-29-2020, 01:45 PM   #10
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Those connectors work great. They both solder and provide a seal via shrinkwrap. I use them on every electrical connection I touch. Soldering is much better than crimp or a wire nut. I also add a second straight shrinkwrap over them to to assure I have a sealed connection. I use a hot air gun with a narrow nozzle so that I can direct the heat right on the solder. Just make sure you heat them up enough to melt the solder so that it flows through the wire twist. Sometimes that takes a lot of heat and will melt the wrap. That's why I double shrinkwrap.
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Old 07-29-2020, 02:03 PM   #11
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I found this is a good heat gun for soldering the the above mentioned wire connectors. Fairly low cost.
https://www.amazon.com/Dual-Temperat...-mkt-fox-us-20
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Old 07-29-2020, 02:49 PM   #12
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X2

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
A soldered and then heat shrinked connection is always better than any mechanical crimp/twist.

Those solder/heat shrink connectors you linked work OK with the exception of you are not able to test/visually inspect the solder job before heat shrinking as the soldering and shrinking is done all in one process.

But, as long as the wire is clean (no corrosion) and twisted correctly, (linemans splice) those will do the job.

I like to solder first and then use a separate heat shrink over the splice.
Just what I was about to write! If it's really important, slide some heat shrink down the wire, twist in a Western Union splice, apply rosin flux solder, and heat until the solder is flows and is absorbed into the joint. Wait until the joint cools, then slide the heat shrink tubing over the joint and heat. As it cools, it will shrink.

The original IDC (Insulation Displacement Connectors) connectors are fine for non-critical applications, but should never be used for brakes!
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:58 PM   #13
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I'm surprised the wires pulled out the waterproof connectors. The genuine 3M ones do a great job in my experience, maybe the wrong size, improperly seated, or a knock-off was used?
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
A soldered and then heat shrinked connection is always better than any mechanical crimp/twist .................................................. .......................
I like to solder first and then use a separate heat shrink over the splice.
I agree completely . Ive never had one of my soldered connections fail. Cannot say the same for butt connectors or other crimped connections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tombsy View Post
IMO soldered connections are not great in situations where there is constant vibration. Marine grade heat shrink crimp connectors are a better option.
That has not been my experience at all, quite the reverse.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NXR View Post
That NASA video addressees a wire under tension, not wires in a connector or subject to flexing. In aviation maintenance you do not solder wire terminals because of what Tombsy noted. A crimped connection does not have a single point where every wire strand can break whereas a soldered terminal does.

Ray

Right on, thatís all use I use on my boat thatís been trailered for 1000ís of miles and has been in salt and fresh water. Marine grade wire and connectors, but you have to invest in a half decent crimper. I do a lot of soldering for other things building rc race boats, lipo battery connectors etc.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:41 PM   #16
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I have used the connectors you showed. The small gauge work ok. The larger gauge ones the heat shrink can melt before the solder sometimes with a lighter or a heat gun so make sure it does not pull apart easily when done.

My question is why would you not run a solid cord to a dry juction box under the tongue and bolt it down? In there you can solder, twist, or heat shrink whatever but now it cannot pull out of any connection. Even an open screw terminal would allow you to bolt down the 7pin in front of it. Splices for 4 or 5 pins in mid air maybe, but not for my brake line.

I prefer solder and heat shrink tubing but will also use these where there is not stress on the connection as they are reusable and waterproof. The only tool you need is a knife to install it.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HTADIOY..._5u3iFbX50BQHN
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:28 PM   #17
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Solder and heat shrink are the best connection. The heat shrink has 3 purposes. 1- to seal out the environment. 2- Prevents shorts. 3- Adds stability to the connection. As the braided wires can be delicate at the end of the solder joint under vibration. The heat shrink supports this area and will make a very long lasting connection.
Downside is hard to reach areas are not fun.
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:38 PM   #18
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Always better to use a crimp instead of solder especially in a vibration environment. The problem is most people don't know how to crimp properly and/or use a crappy Harbor Freight crimper and crimps.


As far as NASA approving soldering for joints like that, we used to build plenty of things that went into space. They weren't using solder splices like that.


I worked in defense, commercial and automotive design and production. No wires were ever soldered unless it was a special connector that had solder cups but those were rare.



Those connectors where you heat up and the solder melts would be good in an emergency but no way I would use them for anything I would do on a trailer, car or boat.


https://marinehowto.com/solder-and-p...uble-shooting/
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:04 AM   #19
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On most of my trailers I use one of these. I crimp a ring connector on all the lighting, brake and charge wires. Way better than what these trailers come with.


https://smile.amazon.com/MICTUNING-H...6171741&sr=8-2


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Old 07-31-2020, 12:38 PM   #20
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On most of my trailers I use one of these. I crimp a ring connector on all the lighting, brake and charge wires. Way better than what these trailers come with.


https://smile.amazon.com/MICTUNING-H...6171741&sr=8-2



One of the first things I replaced when I bought my new TT. Got rid of that residential type junction box on the frame and the wire nuts.

Now the wires are connected reliably and the whole box is waterproof.
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