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Old 03-25-2011, 04:41 PM   #1
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Umbilical Cord Maintenance

I was having tail lamp, signal and brake drop outs on my way camping this weekend so when we got here we decided that we'd take a look at what the problem could be.

Just today I was riding through Eutawville, SC and we dropped by the local gun shop and picked up a .22 caliber bore brush. When I got back to the campground I got my blue umbilical cord out of the car and fetched my tools.

I began by using the bore brush in the socked holes on the umbilical cord since the contacts were practically black and were full of gunk. I spun the brush counter clockwise and this pulled the debris out of the socket. Completed I looked and the contacts in the sunlight and they looked brand new. Next I spun the cable around and did the other side.

Next step was to open the shell and check for loose wires per Depchief. There's a tiny screw just behind the face of the cord and then there's a #2 Phillips screw on the strain relief. I pulled the small screw first and backed off on the relief screw. Grabbing the cable, push the cord while holding the plug. This pops the plug out of the shell. Next step check for loose wires. I found 1 wire that was very loose in my brake signal circuit. Tightening all the screws all was well. If your cord is very old the heads could be rusted and you might not get a good bite with a small Phillips ... use a small flat blade driver. That worked. Align the notch on the plug to the slot on the shell and restore the small screw. Tighten the strain relief screw down until its fairly tight ... it's not a head bolt.

Repeat the above for side #2.

We ruled out that anything was wrong with the MH BTW by using an LED plug. All was well.

The neighbors got the same idea so 2 other umbilical cords were also serviced using the bore brush.

$1.99 for a bore brush. Good investment I'd say.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:57 PM   #2
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If you don't mind I'd like to add what I did. After I replaced 1 sagging umbilical cord I vowed never again. I bought a 4' bungee cord at Wal-Mart in a package of two, and strung it through the center of the coil cord umbilical. I hook it to the front of the toad near the plug and do the same at the rear of the MH. Now my cord never sags and most likely will never need replaced.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:05 PM   #3
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Hi DriVer,
Checking the plugs for loose wires and cleaning the male/female contacts has been on my annual maintenance list. Unfortunately, when I learned this lesson the Internet was not available yet (I know it seems hard to believe there was a time without the Internet) and it took me quite a while to track down this problem.

Everyone who tows should add DriVer's process (or make your own) to their annual maintenance tasks.

Loctite on the screws helps keep them tight.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buford B View Post
I bought a 4' bungee cord at Wal-Mart in a package of two, and strung it through the center of the coil cord umbilical.
I have a bunch of 6"-8" looped bungee cords with a ball. My umbilical cord pretty much goes straight from the back of the MH to the toad.

I initially passed the loop over the umbilical cord so it's about 1/2 way on the the cord. What I do then is slip the bungee loop over the left side knuckle on the tow bar and I place the loop just forward of the release lever on my Aladdin. The loop suspends the umbilical cord in mid-span and it works great.

Just as an after thought I pass the breakaway cable through the same loop so it remains suspended as well.

Mother is the root of all invention.
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