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Old 08-01-2013, 11:33 AM   #1
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Help! Help! Positive Ground Tow Vehicle

Good Morniing America!

Can anyone please help?

I am fitting a Prodigy RF to an Avion. A very pretty trailer with a very pretty tow vehicle - a 51 Chevy pick-up

Only problem, the Chevy is POSITIVE EARTH!!!

I can't see how to reconcile the positive vehicle power going through the hitch AND powering the brakes??

Advice soon please! This is a live job on a countdown
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:46 AM   #2
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Just a guess...

Would separate wiring from the brakes to the controller work? In other words, disconnect the brake ground (earth) cable from the trailer frame, and connect it to a wire that runs to the negative side of the controller--wire size adequate for the current, of course.

I claim no experience whatsoever in doing this, so accept or reject this idea as you see fit.

Good luck!
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimiandrews View Post
Would separate wiring from the brakes to the controller work? In other words, disconnect the brake ground (earth) cable from the trailer frame, and connect it to a wire that runs to the negative side of the controller--wire size adequate for the current, of course.

I claim no experience whatsoever in doing this, so accept or reject this idea as you see fit.

Good luck!
If you do that, the power for the brake controller would have to be provided by a 12v-to-12v isolation transformer, which should allow you to reverse the polarity by hooking one side up backwards.

But that doesn't help with the lights, only the brakes.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:57 AM   #4
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But that doesn't help with the lights, only the brakes.
Light bulbs don't care if they are positive or negative earth.
Honestly, neither do the brake magnets.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:03 PM   #5
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I've never heard of an american vehicle with a positive ground. Our trucks were 6 volt negative ground until they went 12 volt around late 50's early 60's.
I had issues with installing a 8 track player ( I'm old) in my '58 MGA.
I had a separate battery to power it and mounted the case without grounding it to avoid this problem.
Unless you totally insulate the hitch from frame grounding there will be issues.
Somewhere in that '51's life it was converted 6/12 volt, +/- flipped.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:28 PM   #6
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What you need is a new voltage regulator for the pickup that is neg ground. Swap the wires for the amp gauge reverse the battery cables . Then polarize the reulator per instructions on the reg. And then you have a neg ground system.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:28 PM   #7
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If the truck was converted to postive ground, may be easier to convert it back. I have 3 english sports cars and the 2 older ones are postive ground and the third is negative.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:37 PM   #8
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Here is a link on how it is done Change positive ground to negative old tractor
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:03 PM   #9
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As an old hot rodder, my advice is it's time to change the truck to negative ground. The only problem will be the radio if it has one.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I've never heard of an american vehicle with a positive ground.
Hudsons were negative ground until they went to 12v in 1954 or 55.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
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As an old hot rodder, my advice is it's time to change the truck to negative ground. The only problem will be the radio if it has one.
"Funny", my friend has a friend who is a hot rodder! I'm positive changing the polarity will solve it! The "stock" answer!

Sorry, couldn't resist it!
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:07 PM   #12
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Fords were positive ground for many years,never saw a GM car with positive ground.That was common on english cars, to change it on them the fuel pump was a problem along with the fuel gauge and the radio and generator no simple job
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Old 11-11-2014, 03:53 PM   #13
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Fords were positive ground for many years,....
Ford Motor company was 6V and positive ground up to 1955. In 1956 all Ford Motor Company US products went to 12 V negative ground.


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Old 11-18-2014, 11:51 AM   #14
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My 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 with Cummins Diesel came from the factory with a positive ground. It also has a factory-installed Bargman connector for the umbilical cord.
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