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Old 01-18-2020, 12:47 PM   #1
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Flipping the GM Connector right side up

Comments here and elsewhere that the 2015? - 2019? GM truck 7 Pin Connector receptacle is "upside down". In my case I am convinced that is the main cause of my AS connector becoming "disconnected". Worst effect of that was losing trailer brakes on long descent in Colorado, resulting in serious brake fade on my TV. Realized only after I pulled over at a rest stop how badly they were overheated.

At any rate some have concluded or been told it is "not possible" to flip it over. Of course that is not true as it only took me about 20 minutes to modify the bumper hole and shorten the tabs so it would slip in and still be properly retained snugly in the bumper. This was mentioned on another thread which OP has clarified appears to be an electronics issue, so thought I would start a new one related only to the orientation of the 7 pin receptacle cover/retainer.

Pulling down on the cable it is very obvious to me how this configuration does a better job of keeping the connector fully engaged. Your opinion may differ so good for you but for those who agree, this is not a difficult fix.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:52 PM   #2
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You CAN sharpen both ends of a wood pencil. Just take the eraser end off first!

Well done, hopefully solid connections from here on out.

Gary
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:14 PM   #3
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Good work. It seems as thought that should do the job.

On my RAM it the receptacle is oriented the "correct" way. But the connection of plug into the receptacle is not tight. So just for a measure of safety I take a piece of velcro tape and put it around the plug and over the cover of the cap. Maybe be overkill but only takes a minute to do and may prevent a disconnect.

Safe travels!
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:29 PM   #4
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We had our cable come loose for a different reason and the resultant dragging of the cable end along the road was not beneficial. Two large O-rings are now slipped over the end of the replacement cable. Upon plugging into the receptacle, I now stretch the O-rings over the end of the cover cap. Works like the Velcro tape Hans627 mentions except that I don't have to search for the O-rings when hooking up because they are always around the cable. Knowing me, I would have to go looking for the Velcro because of putting it someplace where "it is easy to find."

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Old 01-18-2020, 01:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tim A. View Post
We had our cable come loose for a different reason and the resultant dragging of the cable end along the road was not beneficial. Two large O-rings are now slipped over the end of the replacement cable. Upon plugging into the receptacle, I now stretch the O-rings over the end of the cover cap. Works like the Velcro tape Hans627 mentions except that I don't have to search for the O-rings when hooking up because they are always around the cable. Knowing me, I would have to go looking for the Velcro because of putting it someplace where "it is easy to find."

Tim
Tim,

I like your idea better than the tape. I have lost it a few times. I'll have to see if I can find some of those "o" rings. Did you get them at an Auto Zone or similar?

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Old 01-18-2020, 03:59 PM   #6
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Hans,

I bought them at a local hardware store. The outside diameter is a little less than 2" and ring cross-section is between about 1/8" and 3/16". I bought a couple of different cross-sections (they are not expensive) and tried them out to see what was easy to stretch to hold the flap. I use two on the flap in case one decides to break while in use.

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Old 01-18-2020, 06:57 PM   #7
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Turning the receptacle on the truck right side up will yield a solid performance improvement.

If you want to make the interface as reliable as possible, also change the plug on the trailer umbilical cord to a Pollak branded hard shell plug that is SAE J2863 compliant. The rubbery plug that is provided on brand new Airstreams (and on most other brands of trailers) does NOT dimensionally comply with the industry standard defined in Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) specification J2863, and does not perform as well as an SAE J2863 compliant plug. The rubbery plug will insert into the SAE J2863 receptacle on the truck and "sort of work", but cannot be relied upon to perform as well as an SAE J2863 complaint plug.

Here is a post providing a little more background from my past life as an automotive electrical engineer:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f439...ml#post2139288

P.S. I have been told that since my retirement, SAE J2863 has been updated to specify a receptacle mounting orientation with the hinged cover on top as a result of the study that I was a part of. Previously it did not specify a mounting orientation. Hopefully, the "upside down" orientation will never again be used on new trucks.
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:34 AM   #8
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Joe- Great information, thank you. I have in fact updated the Airstream side to the Pollak connector with lots of dielectric grease slathered on the internal connections and some on the interface too. Should be good to go! Having intermittent trailer brakes was definitely not good!
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:39 AM   #9
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... lots of dielectric grease slathered on the internal connections and some on the interface too. ...
The problem with too much dielectric grease is that it attracts dirt (especially if you accidentally drop it on the ground) - which can prevent a good contact connection. You may want to carry a spray can of contact cleaner to clean both ends from time to time.
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:56 AM   #10
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The problem with too much dielectric grease is that it attracts dirt (especially if you accidentally drop it on the ground) - which can prevent a good contact connection. You may want to carry a spray can of contact cleaner to clean both ends from time to time.
Good idea. Yeah, the main location I "slathered it on" was internal to the connector so it is sealed from dirt, if not moisture, which unless you have a truly hermetic seal is a potential problem.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:04 AM   #11
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Tim,

I like your idea better than the tape. I have lost it a few times. I'll have to see if I can find some of those "o" rings. Did you get them at an Auto Zone or similar?

Hans
A stout rubber band will work as well. I had to use that fix on an old rig years ago.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:06 AM   #12
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dielectric grease ....
Do you mean conductive grease?
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:24 AM   #13
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I had the same problem on my RAM connection, kept coming loose.....
I now use an electrical extension cord cable clamp to hold the cover down tight and stop the plug pulling out. This is a link to an AMAZON version .
A Worldwide CCM0601-UP-001 Cable Clamp Cord Organizer , Home Depot has them also.
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:04 AM   #14
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Do you mean conductive grease?
No. (BTW, "dielectric" was a quote from a previous poster.)

"Dielectric grease, or tune-up grease, is a silicone-based grease that repels moisture and protects electrical connections against corrosion. It is also used to keep dirt, water, and other elements out of electrical connections."
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:21 PM   #15
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Hmm, my 2015 Chevy 2500 must be "upside" down. The cover has a tab that engages a stop on the 7 pin plug. The weight of the cord seems to "hold" it all in place against cover spring tension.. Seems like if it was reversed the weight of cord would be pulling away from the cover tab. Just saying. I think I will not mess with it..
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:20 PM   #16
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I was going to fix a loose receptacle on my truck by staking it with a small screw. However, I had some body work done and bought a new GM socket that mounted tightly agains the bumper. It turns out the old bumper was after market and thinner than the OEM bumper. That was the cause of the looseness.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:55 AM   #17
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Believe my 2019 F150 has the same connector as well and it's just as loose, which is no surprise since so many 'soft' parts are made by a handful of vendors.
Wonder if there's a TSB from Chevy, Ford or Ram covering these types of complaints? The receptacle shouldn't be that loose and no doubt it'll get worse as the miles accumulate.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Tim,

I like your idea better than the tape. I have lost it a few times. I'll have to see if I can find some of those "o" rings. Did you get them at an Auto Zone or similar?

Hans
Maybe this is the type of velcro thing you need? It could stay on the umbilical cable when not in use.

Reusable velcro cinch strap
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Old 01-23-2020, 08:59 AM   #19
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We had this clamp supplied with our previous trailer--Casita. It works great, and stores on the cord when not traveling.


https://www.amazon.com/Camco-39103-M.../dp/B000BUQOAY
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emelaich01 View Post
Believe my 2019 F150 has the same connector as well and it's just as loose, which is no surprise since so many 'soft' parts are made by a handful of vendors.
Wonder if there's a TSB from Chevy, Ford or Ram covering these types of complaints? The receptacle shouldn't be that loose and no doubt it'll get worse as the miles accumulate.
The problem isn't the receptacle on the trucks. The problem is most trailer manufacturers not using the industry standard plug on their trailer umbilical cords.

The industry standard specification SAE J2863 was created to eliminate these problems, but both sides need to comply for it to work.
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