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Old 06-25-2013, 02:28 PM   #1
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Brake wires damaged

While cleaning the trailer after the most recent trip I noticed that the electrical wire for the brakes that runs underneath the trailer from side to side somehow got pulled slack and was dragging on the ground. At one point (about 4" worth) the insulation is gone and I can see bare wires.

Does anyone know:

1. What kind of wire this is? (No label on wire like there usually is)

2. Can I just replace the wire with a new section using crimps and new wire? I don't know if the wires is simply supplying current or if I will mess something up by potentially changing the resistance in the wire? (I would be sure to lower the resistance by using a larger gauge wire)

Thank you in advance.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:34 PM   #2
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When I replaced mine I used regular stranded elec wire. I soldered the ends together to ensure good conectivity and then used shrink tube to cover it. then I used zip ties to secure it to the axle. Good luck
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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Just make sure the replacement wire is the same gauge as the original. If you use crimp on connectors, either use ones with waterproof heat shrink ends or use liquid electrical tape to be sure to seal splices.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:22 PM   #4
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Just regular wire. Also, doesn't matter which end goes to which one.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:08 AM   #5
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Just regular wire. Also, doesn't matter which end goes to which one.
What is regular wire?
Since I don't know what is considered "regular" wire this is my suggestion: Use automotive "primary wire", (available at auto parts and Walmart), the same gauge or heaver.
Be very careful of "which end you connect to which one" or you could end up with the bright brake light coming on when it should be the dimmer tail light, and vice versa.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:12 AM   #6
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Sorry, normal is different to me. Just 12ga stranded, 12V wire.
Also Mel, if I read the OP right, he was talking about brake wires for the brakes on the axles, not brake light wires, which are turn signal wires. So for brake wires, it does not matter which end goes where.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:59 AM   #7
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Sorry, normal is different to me. Just 12ga stranded, 12V wire.
Also Mel, if I read the OP right, he was talking about brake wires for the brakes on the axles, not brake light wires, which are turn signal wires. So for brake wires, it does not matter which end goes where.
jesilvas
Sorry my mistake.
My suggestion of wire "gauge" applies but dedicated brake wires may have nothing to do with the lights.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:01 PM   #8
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Today I fixed the wires. Decided to just splice in a section where worn versus replacing the whole line (A better idea but requires removal of wheels).

The guy at Lowes had a good idea and we used 14 awg low voltage landscape lighting wiring since it is rated for direct burial (good against the elements).

I used butt connectors and shrink tubed the area.

Used a bunch more more ties along both axles to make sure this doesn't repeat itself.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:34 AM   #9
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IF the wire is still good and not worn away I['d wrap with RESCUE TAPE and then zip tie it to something solid under the trailer so it does not happen again.

IF the wire is say half worn away (Most likely) then standard wire will work,, Nothing special about it. I would splce the new wire in as follows.

From a MARINA get marine grade heat shrink tubing, this has a "Mastic"like substance inside it, slip it over the wire.

Crimp and SOLDER the wires together using butt splice connectors... Then once it cools smooth as needed .. Slip the heat shrink over it and shrink to seal against water.

Do this on both ends.

Make sure the heat shrink is long enough to extend well past the crimp/solder splice in both directions (Say 2-3 inches)

Then Zip tie the wire in a safe place.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:43 AM   #10
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When I replaced mine I used regular stranded elec wire. I soldered the ends together to ensure good conectivity and then used shrink tube to cover it. then I used zip ties to secure it to the axle. Good luck
I second zipO's method. Butt and crimp connectors allow water to enter the joint. Over time the moisture can cause corrosion and poor current flow. The last thing you need is a poor connection on the brake circuit.

I rewired the brakes to one of our equipment trailers a few years ago. It has Dexter 5,200 lb axles. Dexter said to use #10 stranded wires.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:30 AM   #11
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I get what you are all saying about the butt connectors, but it's worth mentioning that butt connectors is how the brake wires are connected by the manufacturer (not the heat shrink style either) right behind the tires, definitely more exposed as well. On top of that I have added 4" of shrink tubing and taped the ends with e-tape. I believe what I have done will work, I am sure the other ideas would be a step up as well.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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I def. wouldn't have used 14awg, low volt wiring.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:11 PM   #13
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I def. wouldn't have used 14awg, low volt wiring.
IMO, if the original wires where 14 awg, (or smaller), he will have no problems.
Mel
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:12 PM   #14
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Brake wire shouldn't be 14awg at all. It's 12awg in the 7way plug, and should be all the way to the brakes.
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