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Old 07-29-2010, 11:29 AM   #1
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1964 28' Ambassador
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Ok, so now I'm confused

I'm trying to put a new 7 pin connector plug onto the trailer umbilical and I have a diagram for a configuration which doesn't match the tow vehicle's (2001 Tahoe) color codes for turn lights, stop lights, etc. I know I can just switch things around until the proper match is attained, but I want the trailer wires and colors to match any standard tow socket. I guess a universal color code might not exist, but is there a way I can determine whether color of wire or position in plug is the priority? And, yes, I know you can run all the wires in fuscia if you want, but for ease of future maintenance, it'd be wise to do it correctly. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Below is the diagram I downloaded from one of the threads. It looks like it might be a mirror image of the actual condition of the umbilical plug (based upon my dissection of the old plug which wasn't a blade-type connector)...or am I over-thinking this???
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:42 AM   #2
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You're just about right... the TRAILER plug should "mirror" the tow vehicle, and yes, keep the Tahoe's plug wire configuration to the standard, that way you should be able to connect to "any" trailer, and your trailer can be towed by "any" modern tow vehicle (or tow truck).

The diagram is such that you're looking at the plug straight on. If you were to compare the tow vehicle diagram and the trailer diagram, they're 180 degrees opposite (mirrored) so that they mesh when connected.

You're on the right track!
Marc
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:46 AM   #3
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One other thing, my '63 (as do all) have a unique feature with the wiring of the brakes and turn signals.. but for the moment, I can't remember what the heck it was! I remember that when I put new LED's on, I had to combine some of the wires on the lights themselves to get them to work.

Just test the lights after installing... I remember that if the brakes or headlights were on, and I turned on the turn signal, both left and right would blink, but not if the brakes or headlights were off. Let us know if you run into this, and we'll help you out.
Marc
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:04 PM   #4
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Thanks Marc. Looking forward to the brakes/turn signal conundrum.http://www.airforums.com/forums/imag...lies/smile.gif
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:21 PM   #5
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Ok, so now I'm confused

Greetings Ambie '64!

Your 1964 Ambassador does not utilize the same color coding pattern for its umbilical cord wiring as would a modern coach. You can find the color coding pattern that the factory utilized in this link. The pattern used for 1964 Airstream coaches is the first page of the document. When wiring the plug on the '64 Ambassador you want to match functions and not necessarily wire color.

There is also a possibility that there may be a problem with the condition of the wires if the umbilical cord is the original. I was having all types of strange problems last summer when I replaced both the tow vehicle receptacle and the Airstream's plug; it turned out that years of movement between the coach's body and the umbilical cable where it passed through the banana wrap had chafed the wiring to the extent that wires were exposed and periodically shorting. The cable isn't terribly difficult to replace. A well-stocked RV or trailer dealer will usually have bulk 7 conductor wiring that is sold by the foot, and it will have the current accepted standard regarding wire colors. There is a junction box in the bellypan of your coach where the new cable attaches to the coach's internal wiring. The access panel is in the front curside corner and can be identified by a square or rectangular aluminum access panel screwed or riveted to the bellypan.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin

P.S.: You may find that the sockets in your tail lights are worn out, but it is not the end of the world. Reggiemon came up with a wonderful way to convert our original Bargman tail lights to LEDs that are so much more visible. Following the directions in his thread, I converted my Overlander to the modern LEDs and they fuction beautifully. You can find that thread at this link.
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:05 PM   #6
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Thanks Kevin. I replaced the 7 wire cord which now extends all the way to the rear of the trailer encased in rat-proof armor flex conduit. From your link, it looks like the brake wire is the middle connector (which makes sense because it's a stab type with a hard-to-pull-off grabbing knurl)...boy, am I way out of my descriptive ability league!

I'll wire the trailer lights per the old color codes and position the wires in the plug to match the intended duties of the tow vehicle socket. Growing up in the electrical business, it just went against my nature to hook red to green and blue to brown between trailer and tow.

Also, I'm intending on re-doing my old Bargeman tail lights, but for right now, I just installed the LEDs from Inland to get me down the road.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:16 PM   #7
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I've found that if color doesn't match the standard 7 plug profile, the function must or life will be chaos.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:41 PM   #8
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Ambi,

First time I tried out the umbilical cable between my TV and TT, it locked up the brakes as soon as ignition was on, and no lights on the trailer worked.

Called my dealer and described the problem, and he said to switch the cable around (swap ends).

Guess what?

It worked perfectly.

It was one of those times I didn't ask "why", I just went with the flow...
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