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Old 08-16-2003, 07:03 PM   #29
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The original owner (wife's uncle) didn't know which end of the screwdriver went into the socket.
-BUT, since he traded in a '52 Silver Streak Clipper, I wonder if the dealer didn't switch the brake magnets so he could keep the same brake controller in his tow vehicle.
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Old 08-16-2003, 08:47 PM   #30
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Now that makes sense!

Also I think split rims were used on heavier vehicles. So a light trailer may have had nonsplit rims and a heavier one would have the split type. I remember seeing split rims on a 3/4 ton truck from the mid 60's. I had a 1964 Ford that came standard with one piece rims. Not sure if cars ever had split rims.

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Old 08-16-2003, 10:11 PM   #31
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I love the idea of matchng the trailer with a vintage tow vehicle. I had always planned on towing with my Buick 455 convertible, but... what can I say, somebody offered me big bucks and I sold it. More money for the Airstream I guess. Hence I changed my forum name from Wildat 455 to 61Overlander. I'd love to see pics of your Merc tow car some time. Remember the old Matt Helm movies, (Dean Martin) he had a 66 Colony Park Wagon instead of 007's Aston Martin. Let's see, '61, anyone have a 61 Impala 409 Wagon out there? Mike
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Old 08-17-2003, 11:13 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by markdoane
I have scan of the original wiring diagram using a 6way plug. PM me with your e-mail address, file is to big for posting on this forum.
I have that also . Mine is revise dated 8-6-58. I also have the Kelsey Hays documentation dated 57.


I have about decided to completly rewire ours. Everything still seems to function but I am very worried about the condition of 44 year old wiring as well as some of the PO's work since then. I'm trying to find some wiring diagrams of current units and uses that as a bassis and put in a current distributon pannel, charger and inverter. The inverter scares me the most. Stupid thing by design will will leave a male standard three plug live if unplgged when on shore power. It's got to go. I have transformers all over the place. One at both overheadfans to go from 110-12v as well as the blower for the furnace. Going to strip all that out bring all 12v back to a central point and get rid of them. They still work just that 40 year old wiring and electical parts again. Ours is full of glass screw in fuses with exposed connectors. All the plugs have been replacesd with 3 prong and I wonder how many don't have any ground on them.

It's a wonder more people are not dead from "50's" way of doing things LOL.
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Old 08-17-2003, 01:00 PM   #33
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Your shematic has same rev. date as mine. Did you notice the resistor to step down voltage to 6V, just after the Kelsey Hayes? The K-H documentation says to use the selective resistor for running 6V brakes off a 12V tow vehicle. I guess I'm still thinking that the original '59 had 6V brakes, because there were still some 6V tow vehicles around at that time, and because it was easier to step 12V down to 6V, than to boost 6V up to 12V.
Kelsey Hayes Documentation available, PM me if wanted:
ABC-261 Automatic Electric Brake Controller 4 pages
EC-164R 30M Installation Instructions (Kit No. 56943) 4 pages
E-458 Installation Instructions Tow car Kit E-122-55 4 pages
E-357 Operation Manual 35 pages
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Old 08-17-2003, 01:10 PM   #34
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With a good controller like the Prodegy, 6V brakes would probably work just fine on a 12v tow vehicle. The gain control on the controller should be able to limit the voltage to the brakes to under 6V. The voltage to my brakes only goes above 6V on a very hard stop.
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Old 08-17-2003, 01:43 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by markdoane
Your shematic has same rev. date as mine. Did you notice the resistor to step down voltage to 6V, just after the Kelsey Hayes? The K-H documentation says to use the selective resistor for running 6V brakes off a 12V tow vehicle. I guess I'm still thinking that the original '59 had 6V brakes, because there were still some 6V tow vehicles around at that time, and because it was easier to step 12V down to 6V, than to boost 6V up to 12V.
Kelsey Hayes Documentation available, PM me if wanted:
ABC-261 Automatic Electric Brake Controller 4 pages
EC-164R 30M Installation Instructions (Kit No. 56943) 4 pages
E-458 Installation Instructions Tow car Kit E-122-55 4 pages
E-357 Operation Manual 35 pages
That resistor is for you rough adjustment. I have that set up on both of my trucks. Yes it could be adjusted down enough for a 6V system but even for a 12 v system you have to have it. There is not enough adjustment at the dash mounted section on those units. On my buddies barrowed 9 year old car trailer I had to adjust it down about 50% to get it where I could fine tune with the dash controls.

It still workes great concidering it's 50 year old tech. For operation once you have it dialed in it's on par to to the performance of the Jordan. It just doesn't have the diagonstics features.
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Old 08-17-2003, 04:43 PM   #36
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For info purposes: The 1957 Kelsy Hayes manual for selective resistor had a look up table for various trailer weights and number of brakes. There was a confusing set of connections labelled A, B, C, D, with different combinations of taps for different weights and number of drums.
By 1961 they had improved it considerably. There were still the A, B, C, D connections, but now the look-up table was 4 times larger, and they had numbered the various connection permutations 1 thru 8.
And they called it progress?
Back to my specific issue, 6 volt brakes on a '59 Tradewind:
This is a single axle trailer weighing 3170 lbs. According to the Kelsey Hayes manual, if the brakes were 12 volts, no selective resistor would have been required for this combination.
On the other hand, if the brakes were 6 volts, a resistor was required, as shown on the wiring diagram.
I agree completely with you comments on using the resistor for rough adjustments, especially when towing a variety of trailers with different weights and axles. Been there.
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Old 08-17-2003, 06:57 PM   #37
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I have to use the resistor on our 59. It's set about midway. Need to up it just a hair. Its just lowe enough that I can't lock the trailer on gravel. Next time I'm tinkering on it I will measure the output voltage.
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Old 08-17-2003, 09:26 PM   #38
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split rims/brakes

I have a relativly light trailer ( 1958 18' California Traveller) and it came with split rims and the Bendix hydraulic brakes. Just if this two cents helps??
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Old 08-17-2003, 10:41 PM   #39
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59Toaster: Yeah, I used one of those "slide" resistors on my '77 GMC. Worked great, although it smelled pretty bad until the oil and shellac burned off. It was a lot simpler than the A-B-C-D taps on the stock K-H resistors. You had to remember not to adjust it until they cooled off.
Hey Bugs, thanks for the comment. Another vote for California split rims/Ohio one piece. How are the hydraulic brakes set up? Do they run off the tow vehicle, master cylinder, or is it a surge type?
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Old 08-18-2003, 10:22 AM   #40
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Bugs

I would say that with one axle and 2 tires that the load per wheel is higher than a car. Something like 1500 to 2000 pounds per wheel on an empty trailer. Depending on trailer.

Contrast that to a 4000 pound (pre 1970) full size car or truck, 4 wheels that's 1000 a wheel.

Yeah your trailer is light over all. On a per wheel basis it may not be.

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Old 08-18-2003, 09:43 PM   #41
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my brakes

I have a master cylinder near the hitch of my trailer. I have recently found out that there was some terrible means of actuating it that was neither safe or reliable (I just cannot remember meny details right now) I was considering trading to a surge brake and keeping the original hydraulic setup but was convinced otherwise by the good folks of the forum (I don't know where I'd be without our collective knowledge )

To date I'm still looking for the simplest and best conversion (aren't we all).

I guess you're right about my trailer being RELATIVLY heavy/light I see your point but I also dont even know the weight of my 18'er

Thanks all
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Old 08-18-2003, 10:23 PM   #42
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Best recommendation ..

I could ever give you is one that was given to me. Tow it to a scale and get it weighed! Trailers have a tendency to gain weight over time and so I recommend taking it to a scale and getting it weighed. That will give you a point of reference for towing, making changes, and for the tow vehicle. Over a period of time most RV's will gather items that just never leave the unit. Extra tools, dishes, linen, bigger battery, just stuff like that. Not to mention the brake changes that you are thinking about and the one the previous owner did. So things change.

So did I mention get the trailer weighed?

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