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Old 07-21-2004, 05:44 PM   #1
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Brake Wiring

I just finished the brakes and axles on our 61 Overlander dual axle.
I just started the wiring and wanted to get some input from those of you
who have wired their own electric brakes.

Two questions:

1) What type of material have you used to cover (protect) the wires from the elements? ie. plastic tubing, bare wire, etc...

2) What was your wiring route?

I do have a plan of using clear flexible plastic tubing that I've seen on some horse trailers. I plan on bringing all wires to a weather proof junction box mounted on the axle, this will make servicing or rewiring easier down the road. (thanks uwe). Then running my wires to the wire harness from there.

Any suggestion, comments and complaints would be appreciated.

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Old 07-21-2004, 06:20 PM   #2
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Just a suggestion.....

Keep all wires and J box "inside" belly pan. An access door to the J box would help you in the future. Night time road debris (or even day time for that matter) can reek havock on things mounted at roads surface.

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Old 07-21-2004, 08:43 PM   #3
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brake wiring

I just finished doing mine today. I used 3/8" fuel hose as primary protection, and 3/4" smurf pipe for mechanical protection where the line crosses a 'pocket' I put in when I moved my shocks inside the frame rails.
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Old 07-21-2004, 09:28 PM   #4
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The recommended attachment at the axle is a wire nut on each connection, wrapped with electrical tape. This is how Airstream put them together, and how mine still was when I took it apart last fall.

Also, where the wires go through the frame rail to the backing plate, you should put a rubber eyelet in that hole, with the wire running through it.
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Old 07-21-2004, 11:42 PM   #5
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Yes, Argosy20 a rubber eyelet is a great idea - will help keep moisture out.

And my wiring also had wire nuts, except without the electrical tape (probably fell off).

Looks great Markdoane, I saw something that resembled the blue flex hose in your photo at Lowe's. It had a threaded end connector that will screw into a "J" box mounted inside the belly. I was thinking of just mounting it on the axle, but I will re-think that and look for a convenient spot in the bell silver bullet.

Thanks for the input

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Old 08-19-2004, 06:43 AM   #6
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Why not solder?

Not to get too picky, but I have an 81' Excella with a conversion to electrical drum brakes. The factory had wire nutted and electrical taped the wires outside the belly pan...and with the road vibration and poor support it ended up dragging behind my AS(S) while driving up the Al-Can. No problem to twist the wires and apply new zip-ties...but I can't see a reason to not solder and heat shrink these connections when doing my resto. Just my two cents.
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Old 08-19-2004, 07:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by IceKing02
...The factory had wire nutted and electrical taped the wires outside the belly pan...but I can't see a reason to not solder and heat shrink these connections when doing my resto.
In my opinion, a soldered joint, wrapped properly in high quality electrical tape, is the best way to make a permanent connection. In general, I think Airstream used wire nuts everywhere because their installation is considerably faster than soldering.

However, when I replaced my brake magnets, I opted to leave the wire nuts in place because the magnets are a maintenance item, being that their life is only around 20,000 miles. There is not that much wire going to each magnet. Clipping out the soldered joint & making a new one takes some of that wire.

I decided I could inspect the wire caps every year or 10,000 miles since I am supposed to be repacking the bearings & inspecting the brakes at that time.

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Old 08-19-2004, 11:11 AM   #8
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Soldering is a better joint.

And it's still ok with wire nuts.
It's fast. It's cheaper. It works. And as TC pointed out less wire is wasted when the next magnet is installed.

So soldering would not have an adverse affect. And in most cases it would look nicer.

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Old 08-19-2004, 12:54 PM   #9
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Just a quick thought for those of you how don't like laying on your back having hot solder drip down your arm. There are heat shrink covered butt connectors with a sealer inside available from most auto parts outlets. Strip, crimp, heat, done. The sealer makes then waterproof so no corrosion which can still occur beyond the solder joint when water gets in behind the tape.
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