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Old 08-05-2010, 01:06 PM   #15
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Silverhoot

Here is what I would recommend which is fairly close to what Airstream seems to be doing on current production.

1) All connections should be made using solder and heatshrink tubing, including the connections to the magnets. I have never seen a properly soldered 12 volt connection fail. Strip the wires about 2 inches, twist, and solder the 2" or so length at each junction.

1a) If you do use crimp on connectors be sure they are in an area protected from road spray and crimp them with the proper tool not some $20 piece of junk from harbor freight

2) Whether you wire in what is called "home run" or sometimes "multiple" fashion, where each brake has its own pair of wires going to the umbilical, or "parallel" fashion, where the wires are sort of daisy chained from one magnet to the next, is immaterial.

3) It does not matter where the connections go because you soldering and heatshrinking the connections and therefore you will never have to look at them again.

4) You should plan on wiring the hot and ground the same way instead of depending on the frame to carry some of the current. The problem is that a grounding connection to the frame may fail due to corrosion while a wired connection generally will not except from mechanical damage.

5) Put the wires inside something. Flexible "loom" is fine. Plastic conduit is fine. Leftover pex is fine. Anything that provides a degree of protection from the abrasive effects of rocks and other debris.
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:34 PM   #16
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Jammer,

Thanks so much for the directions. I'll definitely be soldering, and heatshrinking all my connections. If I do the "homerun" method then at some point the four wires must become one and I don't know the best way to do that.
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverHoot View Post
Jammer,

Thanks so much for the directions. I'll definitely be soldering, and heatshrinking all my connections. If I do the "homerun" method then at some point the four wires must become one and I don't know the best way to do that.

Where a bunch of wires come together for something really important like brakes, I weave them, pinch them together and I use my map gas torch to solder them. I have good luck painting the wires with flux just like I'm soldering a copper plumbing pipe. There's a suck in effect with the wires the same as a plumbing joint.

Melt the shrink wrap with a heat gun, not the map torch. Ask me how I know that.

I use 3M severe service electric tape on top of my shrink wrap joints for extra protection and strength. That stuff sticks . . . not like the 10 rolls for a buck stuff.

Gary
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:11 PM   #18
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Jammer,

Thanks so much for the directions. I'll definitely be soldering, and heatshrinking all my connections. If I do the "homerun" method then at some point the four wires must become one and I don't know the best way to do that.
There are several ways to do it.

Usually I strip all 5 wires about 3" and twist them together, and solder them with a 175w soldering iron. It is also possible to solder them with a propane torch but then it is easier to overheat them so the solder will not stick.

In most cases one of the wires goes one way and the other four go another way so it's a matter of twisting them together in that configuration. Or you can leave some extra length and twist them all together the same way and then wrap or tape the joint to either the bundle of wires or the single one.
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