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Old 03-01-2021, 01:02 AM   #21
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Name: Elliott
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Wouldn't the simplest test be to just make sure nobody's right behind you on the road, let off the gas, and give the brake controller lever a partial nudge and see if the brakes kick in? Doesn't have to be hard enough to lock them up or anything, just enough that you can feel the pull.
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:12 AM   #22
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What if only one side is disconnected? That was apparently the issue here, and I’m not sure I’d be able to feel the difference. That’s a good daily general test, of course, or a quick check before you head down a long grade.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:16 AM   #23
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Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
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Originally Posted by Defenestrator View Post
Wouldn't the simplest test be to just make sure nobody's right behind you on the road, let off the gas, and give the brake controller lever a partial nudge and see if the brakes kick in? Doesn't have to be hard enough to lock them up or anything, just enough that you can feel the pull.
1) My factory IBC has an indicator that warns you if the trailer brakes become disconnected during travel
2) Every time we head out on the road we check our trailer brakes in a manner similar to the method you describe.
3) I got no warning light on my vehicle indicating faulty trailer brakes and the brakes worked normally the last time they were manually applied / tested
4) Only one wheel on the passenger side had broken wires . On the other wheel the wires appear to be intact .

Like I said , if I hadn’t removed the passenger side tires , I may have never spotted the problem
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:38 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
What if only one side is disconnected? That was apparently the issue here, and Iím not sure Iíd be able to feel the difference. That a good daily general test, of course, or a quick check before you head down a long grade.
Especially the OP's dual axle Escape with 10" brakes. I can attest to the fact that you might not even know that one brake is not working. With an Escape at least one just needs to disconnect the 7-pin umbilical, pull the breakaway pin and try to pull the trailer. The wheels with working brakes will drag. This is ideally done on gravel but can also be done on smooth pavement. Best if a second person is watching the wheels. Instead of dragging I have also jacked up each wheel and checked that they were locked.
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:08 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Defenestrator View Post
Wouldn't the simplest test be to just make sure nobody's right behind you on the road, let off the gas, and give the brake controller lever a partial nudge and see if the brakes kick in? Doesn't have to be hard enough to lock them up or anything, just enough that you can feel the pull.
I keep my brake controller set aggressive enough that every time I apply the brakes, I can feel the trailer pulling back. No special tests needed. I feel it at every brake application. For me, under normal traction conditions, this works very well. I do not want the trailer pushing me.

But as I pull out from home, I do skid them on the dirt road and make sure all of them are working.

On a tandem axle, you may not notice if one is not working while driving, but I'm sure you would if two on the same side were not working. This steers the tow vehicle to one side when stopping. If the left brakes are not working, the tow vehicle gets steered to the left under braking.

I noticed a slight unevenness in my braking while stopping hard on pavement. It slightly pulled to one side. Then I found a brake wire was pinched in the backing plate flange and shorted. On another trailer I had a brake that was grabbing because it had gotten some grease on the shoes. That situation steered the truck and would easily skid the tire long before the other ones skidded.
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:09 PM   #26
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It would be possible to wire the brakes in series. That way, if one brake becomes disconnected the brake controller would know about it. However that would mean that if one brake fails, they both fail. Probably not a good idea for double axles.
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:14 PM   #27
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If you wired them in series the brakes would only see half the voltage. I don't know if you would get enough current to properly operate the brakes.
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:46 AM   #28
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One thing I haven't seen mentioned - use heat shrink butt connectors everywhere you use a butt connector. The melt wall heatshrink tubing not only seals against corrosion, but provides a strain relief against vibration breakage.
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Old 03-06-2021, 12:16 PM   #29
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Thanks, Darwin. That I can and will do.
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Old 03-06-2021, 01:41 PM   #30
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Hi Steve, Do you have any idea why the wires were pulled from the connectors? Did they get hooked on something or are the wires too short?



I asking because I had the same problem with my 2017 Scamp and the wires were too short from the factory. There were not long enough to allow for full suspension travel and pulled out of the connectors.
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Old 03-06-2021, 04:31 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by GpaNed View Post
Hi Steve, Do you have any idea why the wires were pulled from the connectors? Did they get hooked on something or are the wires too short?



I asking because I had the same problem with my 2017 Scamp and the wires were too short from the factory. There were not long enough to allow for full suspension travel and pulled out of the connectors.
Both brake wires broke at the junction point (Crimp sleeve ) where the wires from the brake connect to the trailer’s brake wiring . The wires from the brake are #18 AWG , and Escape used #16 AWG - the # 18 wires broke .
It appears they were long enough from the factory .Escape encloses the brake wires in flexible plastic conduit for protection
I lengthened the brake wires and plastic conduit so there is more flexibility
Not sure what caused the wires to break
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:32 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Both brake wires broke at the junction point (Crimp sleeve ) where the wires from the brake connect to the trailerís brake wiring . The wires from the brake are #18 AWG , and Escape used #16 AWG - the # 18 wires broke .
It appears they were long enough from the factory .Escape encloses the brake wires in flexible plastic conduit for protection
I lengthened the brake wires and plastic conduit so there is more flexibility
Not sure what caused the wires to break
Vibration over time, possibly combined with minor corrosion. Using heat-shrink insulated connectors or bare connectors with meltwall heatshrink tubing will alleviate this problem.
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:48 PM   #33
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When I replaced my axle and hooked up the brake wires I ran the brake wires along the trailing are to a point where they were clear from impact damage from rocks etc and were close to the pivot point of the arm. This way they are out of the way and there is little travel to deal with.
I did not think that having the wires long enough to go from the brake backing plate to the trailer, just flopping around was a good idea.
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Old 03-06-2021, 06:55 PM   #34
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+1 for butt connectors that also have heat shrink (but the added mechanical strength is very minimal).

And instead of heat shrink butt connectors, or better yet, in addition to them, Liquid Electrical Tape is helpful.

One possible cause of failure is a bad crimp. Its not hard to do a proper crimp, but it is very possible to do a bad one. I think Steve (OP) would be able to identify a bad crimp as the cause if it were the case (usually the wire pulls out and the connector appears undamaged).
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Old 03-07-2021, 08:04 AM   #35
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When using areo-space qualified butt connectors we always pull tested them.
Also those butt connectors were identified by rings on each side that separate the part of the crimp that crimped the wire and that part that crimped the insulation to prevent movement at the insulation/wire junction.
The heat shrink serves the same purpose and also seals the connection from contamination that would cause corrosion and failure.
These also have an heat activated sealant that you can see ooze out as it shrinks.
They are also quite a bit cheaper than the Aero-space butt splices that were $0.50 each back in the 1970s.
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Old 03-07-2021, 11:52 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
When using areo-space qualified butt connectors we always pull tested them.
Also those butt connectors were identified by rings on each side that separate the part of the crimp that crimped the wire and that part that crimped the insulation to prevent movement at the insulation/wire junction.
The heat shrink serves the same purpose and also seals the connection from contamination that would cause corrosion and failure.
These also have an heat activated sealant that you can see ooze out as it shrinks.
They are also quite a bit cheaper than the Aero-space butt splices that were $0.50 each back in the 1970s.
Dielectric grease inside to keep out the elements and prevent corrosion.
In the Army School we were taught to only Crimp Once, never multiple times because to do it again loosens the crimp.

This is the only positive crimp tool. it ratchets and once the crimp is done, it is positively crimped.
https://www.harborfreight.com/ratche...=crimping+tool
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Old 03-07-2021, 01:22 PM   #37
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The butt splices I am talking about are aircraft and they are made to crimp the wire and insulation with an alignment ring to make certain the crimps are in the right place. They look like this:

Today you can buy these for only $ 6.14 each.
Back in the day the crimper for these was also a ratcheting unit and crimped both sides of the (one end of the crimp, either side of the locating ring) at a time.
Those crimpers in 1970s ran about $150.00 as I remember.
Today you can buy heat shrink Thomas and Betts butt splices that are also aircraft qualified

A little pricey at $39.00 for a pack of 10.
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Old 03-07-2021, 01:31 PM   #38
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Name: Elliott
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So far I've just been going with the middle ground. Cheap knockoff brands of the marine-style connectors that have built-in heatshrink plus some hot-melt glue on the inside: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QCYT22G/
Plus the basic Irwin crimpers.

I wouldn't want to use them for aircraft or something high-amperage like a battery lug, but they're at least a notch or two up from the junk it came from the factory with.
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Old 03-07-2021, 01:37 PM   #39
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Name: Michael
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I've never had much success with any unions of this type. After a year or two they corrode, pull apart etc. Maybe I'm not using them correctly.
I join the wires directly and then solder the connection. I cover it with heat shrink and/or brush on electrical tape. Never had a problem and soldering is very cheap.
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Old 03-07-2021, 01:46 PM   #40
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Either of the above will work well. The solder and heat shrink is good as are the crimps with heat shrink and sealant. I use the liquid electrical tape, but I find that it does not work as well as heat shrink, especially those with the sealant inside.
Make a good connection, keep the water out and keep the fires from flexing at the join.
Then make sure there is enough slack for movement and protect the wire from damage.
That covers it completely...
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