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Old 04-25-2007, 02:00 PM   #1
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1969 23' Safari
Grosse Ile , Michigan
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Which Brake Controller for Vintage Tow Vehicle??

Guess I can save lots of grief and phone calls to various RV stores by asking you guys this first.....

I am putting the last few finishing touches outfitting my 1977 Lincoln Town Car that is going to be my "Vintage Tow Vehicle" to pull my Vintage 1969 23' Safari.

I do know that "back in the day" most everyone used the K-H or Tekonsha brake controller that was tapped into the hydraulic system of the brakes. I am assuming these are obsolete, and never used anymore.

My question is which brake controller out of the many offered today would be the best and easiest for me to install on my 1977 Lincoln?? Unlike most late model vehicles with a tow package factory installed, this car does not have the pre-wired pigtail for the controller under the dash, and I will be most likely pulling my hair out (what there is left of it) trying to figure out how to properly wire this thingy. A buddy of mine kinda shuddered when i mentioned this to him, saying I may need to incorporate resistors and relays and all kinds of fun stuff to get this to work properly on the old Lincoln. (E-GAD !!)

How exactly does an electric brake controller work on an older vintage vehicle like mine, without ABS or any of the high tech stuff built today?? Curious..... Unfortunately, Electrical is most certainly NOT my forte' when it comes to diagnosing and wiring.

Eagerly waiting your responses........
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Scott Anderson
Grosse Ile, Mich.
1969 23' Safari Twin
WBCCI # 22426
(formerly #22425 1968-76)



When it is my time, I want to go peacefully,
And in my sleep.....Just like my Grandfather....
Not screaming, kicking and in a state of panic,
like the other passengers in his car were......
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:21 PM   #2
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You could go retro! With an old KH.

eBay Motors: Brake Controller (item 220106292531 end time May-01-07 18:50:51 PDT)

I have one on my '66 Merc. Haven't used it. Hope it works.

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Old 04-25-2007, 02:26 PM   #3
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1960 24' Tradewind
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Geez, I'll have to go take a look. I believe it's the later Tekonsha but what I wanted was one that was small but easy to use and could be put on the upper kick panel. It's out of the way, easy to reach, and not distracting from the interior. It's black as are the kick panels (black carpet) so you have to really look to see it. I also just purchased a new digital one that I'll install before we do any travelling this summer, just for the simplicity of it. I'll confirm the names and include a picture when I get out to the shop later today.
Barry
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:38 PM   #4
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We had the old K-H on my parents '72 Safari wagon for pulling the horse trailer. Worked better than the new Hoppy on our 2000 GMC Safari van

There's nothing to go wrong with the old K-H. If there's any "old fashion" wrecking yards around you I'll bet you could go pull one out of an old pick'em up truck for a few bucks and be good to go. Remember to get the resistor that mounts on the fender well

-Bernie
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:09 PM   #5
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1954 29' Liner
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Scott, Scott, Scott,

Just ask, I have a Tekonsho Envoy in my Lincoln, it was installed by the hitch fabricator. He mounted it below the dash on the right side of the steering wheel, easy to access for adjustment and to push the manual lever to make sure the brakes are working. Also the light only comes on when the trailer plug is attached. It takes four wires, one to the battery positive (with a circuit breaker), one to the battery negative, one to the brake switch and one to the trailer plug.

Here is their site: Tekonsha

I had the old KH on my PowerWagon but replaced it when I purchased the Safari, the only reason I replaced it is over the 30+ years since installation, some dummy, me, disconnected the power line and the controller did not work and I did not determine that until I had purchased another one and started to install the new controller.

Bill
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:47 PM   #6
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Bill Bill Bill...... (hehe)

You were just the guy i wanted to talk to about this.....

Thanks for the link to Tekonsha.. I will try to locate one of these units tomorrow, and except for the 20-30 amp in line circuit breaker, it sounds pretty cut n dried--- easy to hook up..... I was just expecting the worst after talking to a couple old school guys about variable resistors mounted on the firewall, and relays and all that rot. eek!!

Pretty happy so far with the performance of the car/Airstream combo...I hooked it up over the weekend and pulled it around the neighborhood, and with the WD bars cinched up proper, the rear end of the car sits nearly level, maybe even an inch high...so this is a relief...no need to do the Airlift Air bags....whew!!

That big ol' 460 hardly even knows anything is back there!!!!

All I have left now in regards to the car is to hook up the 7 way plug off the wiring harness in the trunk...that shouldn't be any problem... (famous last words)....

Scott
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Scott Anderson
Grosse Ile, Mich.
1969 23' Safari Twin
WBCCI # 22426
(formerly #22425 1968-76)



When it is my time, I want to go peacefully,
And in my sleep.....Just like my Grandfather....
Not screaming, kicking and in a state of panic,
like the other passengers in his car were......
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Old 04-25-2007, 05:05 PM   #7
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1969 23' Safari
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Inaugural Trip Last Weekend too!!

And just for kix n giggles I took the inaugural overnite trip with my little silver twinkie last weekend.... a whole 12 mile trip round trip!!! haha!!!

Set up camp down at the Yacht Club where I keep one of my other obsessions.... er, ah...hobbies... yeah-- HOBBIES...that's it!!!

Got an awesome parking spot right next to the shore overlooking the southern end of the Detroit River looking out on Lake Erie. We were treated to one of the nicest sunsets in recent memory......

Not bad, eh?? First night out and we get a waterfront camping spot with power and water!!!... FREE too !!!!!!

Needless to say it sure was fun...the kids and I are hooked!!

Looking forward to the next voyage!! Hopefully within 2 weeks I will have brakes and lights on the trailer!! (DOH !!!)
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Scott Anderson
Grosse Ile, Mich.
1969 23' Safari Twin
WBCCI # 22426
(formerly #22425 1968-76)



When it is my time, I want to go peacefully,
And in my sleep.....Just like my Grandfather....
Not screaming, kicking and in a state of panic,
like the other passengers in his car were......
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:22 PM   #8
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Great pictures Scott. I haven't seen anything along these lines show up on the April photo contest thread - or are you waiting till the last day.

I actually have a collection of old brake controllers - including the one that hooks into the brake hydraulic system. I just like the later, smaller, digital ones for ease of installation and the fact that they can be hidden away nicely - but it's really a personal preference thing. One of my friends has a large under dash unit that looks very neat and very vintage.

Barry
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:37 PM   #9
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The controller in my '66 Merc ParkLane. When I step on the brake pedal the lever does move!

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