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Old 04-15-2009, 06:03 PM   #1
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67' Caravel brakes

My existing wiring harness has been cut many moons ago and I ran a new 4 pin wiring to work all the lights. If I'm right I believe the existing wiring harness ran the brakes, etc? The wires are hanging out of the back of the backing plates and just capped off. Is there anyway to run new wires up to a brake controller, etc and make the brakes work without having to run through the trailer connector.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:06 PM   #2
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Why wouldn't you want to run the brake wire through the same connector as your lights so that when you plug your trailer to your TV, everything is plugged in and when you disconnect, everything is disconnected? That is the normal way it is done.

Just a question.........
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:49 PM   #3
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Couple of questions here. Is the old 6/7 pin plug and wiring intact or is there only a new 4 pin plug? How about the old wiring harness?
Kind of sounds like the original connector was cut off and a generic 4-pin flat plug spliced in as a temporary way to move the rig. I would have to guess that if the wires to the brake magnets were cut there was a problem in one of the magnets. Can you see any wiring poking out of the belly pan by the axles? If your tow vehicle has a 7-pin socket and brake controller you might be able to wire up a jumper wire to each magnet and see how they react, or see what the controller display reports back.
I think the best bet is to install a new 7-pin plug. Search around for one with a couple feet of wiring attached. Many of the Vintage units Iíve seen have an access cover in the belly skin where the connections are located for the main harness. This will give you, at the very least, the lights and battery charging circuits back. Now, hopefully, youíll have a decent circuit to check or repair the brakes.
Lots of threads on rewiring and the different TV plugs to check out.
Good luck, Let us know how it turns out.

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Old 04-16-2009, 12:41 AM   #4
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Brakes

Hi Steven, I suggest that you run a new 7 conductor cable. It makes things so much simpler and fool proof. Also it is the RV industry standard.

All the wires you'll need are in that cable, lights, signals, stop lights, battery charge line, brake wire, ground and back up lights if you have that option.

Unless someone has changed things, there should be a access panel under the front of your Caravel on the curbside. Right behind where the frame goes into the belly skin. All of your wiring should be right there, behind that panel.

It is fairly easy to fish a 7 conductor cable through the frame rail up to the hitch. You can make your connections there, behind the panel. If they didn't tear out your wiring for your brakes. It should be there too.

If you need to run new wire for the brakes I suggest nothing smaller than #12. Also you will need to wire in a break away switch. It is a safety device that engages the brakes if your trailer comes off the ball. It is required in most states. Your trailer may already have one, but it is most likely toast. VTS has exact replacements available.

I just bought a Prodigy controller. I really like it. Very easy to use and if your TV has a tow package, they have pigtails already made to fit most vehicles. Plug and play as they say.

Some things to check out :
  • Are the bearings shot ? I'd pull the drums and check them.
  • Are the brakes shot ? I'd pull the drums and check them.
  • Are the magnets shot ? Ditto. If the magnets are severely worn they will not function properly. You can buy new backing plates with everything installed for about $55 +/- each. Take the old ones off put the new ones on. Done deal.
I can't tell but have you put on a new axle yet ? If your Caravel has it original axle, I highly suggest getting a new one. The original spindles are prone to breaking. The reason I mention this is it will determine how much effort you want to put into the current brakes.

The spindle broke on the original axle on my Caravel. I was lucky enough to talk to the original owner to find this out. It explained why I had all this floor/frame damage around the wheel well. She told me it broke going over some railroad tracks.

Sorry about being long winded.
I am very safety conscious.
Bad running gear can turn a good trip into a nightmare.

Brakes, do you want to stop or just slow down when you want to stop ?
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:54 AM   #5
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The existing harness is pretty much gone. I have seen a wire or two here and there but it not like someone cut it and its hanging there at the tongue and I could just add a pigtail. There were some wires coming out the back but I've never seen such a rats nest of BS and spliced wires and at the front I saw a couple wires but by no means was there the original 7 wires. When I got the trailer 2 years ago the previous owner had run a new 4 pin wire but never hooked up. I had to fish new wires up to the lights to get them to work and opted not to run the existing after looking at the mess I saw. Why anyone would have done that to the existing wires is baffling to me.
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:01 AM   #6
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Something to look for... There is a panel under the airstream in the belly just behind the tongue where the "A" meets the belly. There should be four screws in it although sometimes it is riveted. If you remove three of the screws, you can rotate it out of the way. This should provide access to the airstream's main wires for lights, breaks, etc. If those are still serviceable, you will save yourself a ton of work. Worth a shot.
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:27 AM   #7
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Steven, To answer your original question, you can run new brake wires from the hitch along the A frame fastened securely with wire clips along the belly pan to the axle. From there splice in two pairs of wire. One positive and one negative to each brake. I would suggest a 7 pin connector like everyone else. You'll need to rebuild the brakes, shoes, magnets and springs and then install a brake controller. You'll have working brakes in no time.
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Old 04-25-2009, 03:57 AM   #8
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65 caravel pigtail wiring

Hi Steven,

I made a sketch of my pigtail wiring on my 65 caravel and attached it for you. Yours may be similar. I noticed that my brake wiring had a junction laying on the belly pan just above the center of the axle. You might be able to pull a few rivets off the center bellypan joint and feel around up there. If you're lucky and can find a similar junction, it wouldn't be hard to fish some new wires up there over to the belly pan and to the brakes and join them to this junction. THen you have a clue for what wire color to look for up front in the access patch in the bellypan for the main wiring junction. From there you may be able to run some new pigtail cable thru the frame and out to the hitch. Hope this helps.

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Old 05-01-2009, 01:47 PM   #9
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So Campaz, I guess what your saying is I can run some new wires for the brakes and still use my new 4 pin wire I ran for the running lights to the back and just splice all that into a new 7 pin connector and I guess I could run a new charge wire also and put it all into 7 pin connector. I know some of you are thinking why but if you saw the mess I have with the wiring you'd understand. All running lights, turn, stop, blinker, etc all work with the new 4 pin wiring, its just the brakes not hooked up.
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:44 PM   #10
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This may help you too.
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:53 PM   #11
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My 2003 Ford Supercrew only has a 4 pin connector in rear of truck. Will a adapter from 7 to 4 do the job or do you have to have a new connector on truck end?
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:12 PM   #12
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You will always regret.....

Steven,
Really, do yourself a favor and go with the right 7 pin connector. The flat four is not the way. You can use the adaptor, if your so inclined, and it will work. Your in Texas....go to any farm trailer or boat dealer and they can put a 7 pin on both the truck and the Caravel. You can also get ready made connector harness for the truck at any supply.
P.S. My Caravel wiring was the tangled mess, as yours, too when I got it. Looking up thru that access panel is frightening.
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Old 05-02-2009, 09:36 PM   #13
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Iíve had Ford TVs for years. The wiring harness to the rear is a common part. The harness to the hitch is changed depending on the tow package that was ordered. You may be able to order a 7-pin harness from the dealer that plugs right in.
Head over to FTE, and check out this post to start.
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/824659-tow-package-wiring.html Lots of good info over there on towing.
Often the main fuse/relay box under the hood is wired for all the necessary relays and fuses. Once again, the appropriate relays and fuses are installed depending on the trim level. Just plug in whatever you may be missing.
Youíll never regret getting the truck and trailer set up right from the beginning. Wiring in Vintage trailers can cause you untold aggravation even with a minor glitch. The problems only compound themselves with patches and shortcuts.

Good luck,
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:05 PM   #14
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Steven, Go with the 7 pin connector. Yes you can run the brake wires outside of the belly pan. That will get you working brakes. Use good quality marine wire or such. Two wires, plus and minus in a sheath. Fasten it securely to the belly pan, not as nice perhaps as having them inside but it'll work. Taking off the belly pan is work, putting it back on is more work. One thing for certain is you'll find tons of mouse crap and several dead ones when you open it up. Don't allow the wire to hang down anywhere except at the wheels where you need to leave enough slack for the suspension to work without pulling or breaking the wire.
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