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Old 02-25-2011, 08:51 AM   #1
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7 pin problem

We have a 99 suburban with teh tow package. Back then, that did not include a 7pin recepticle, it was just some pre wiring for Brake controller/Aux power and a transmision cooler.

It had a wierd Uhal inline adapter to get a 4pin like output and it worked fine for a popup we used to have. Since we picked up our new-to-us sunline, I had to hastily wire in a 7pin receptical at the PO's campsite. It didn't work so great but we drove it home anyhow.

I got under and wired it up proper using the existing 4-pin wires and 2 wires for brake controller and Aux. I tested it with a 12v bulb and some wire. Following the diagram that came with the recepticle, it worked fine. I hooked it up to the TT and only the left turn signal would work in any capacity and pushing in the brakes would cause it to go dead no matter what.

I took the battery down, hooked to wires to it and tested the 7pin on the TT. Using a mirror image of the wireing instructions for the recepticle, it seems to work fine with all lights turning on when I applied voltage to their pins. I figured I was not getting good connection between the TT and TV so I bent the left pin out a little on the recepticle and tried again.

After that, the running lights worked fine but pushing in the brakes turned both brake lights off (Dual filament?). Then, no matter if I turned the turn signal to the left or right, BOTH lights blinked in the rear. Once again, pushing on the brake pedal caused both lights to go out. I checked the TT 7pin again with the battery and when I applied voltage to the left or right pins, only the respctive left or right signal illuminated.

Any ideas on what tio check next?

Thanks if you can help,

-Pat
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:27 AM   #2
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Pat, It sounds like you have the turn signals wired to the brake lights if both blink when turn signal is used.

Look at this lighting link.... Trailer Wiring Diagrams | etrailer.com

It might help some.

jim
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:43 AM   #3
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Jim,

Thanks for the quick reply and that diagram of the 7 pin lower on the link you sent will help as a reference point for me to discuss this. I'm actually not entirely sure what you meant by wiring the turn signal to brake lights. I have a feeling this will be a big "Duh" moment on my part when I get it but...

I will attach the image of the 7way connector to reference.

I tested the TV wireing (What I did) as follows using a 12v bulb and some wire.

I kept the negative wire on post 1 (Ground).

When I turn the left turn signal on I get the flashing bulb only if I touch the other wire to post 5. No other post will send power to the bulb.

When I turn the right turn signal on, I only get a flash when the wire is on post 6.

When I have the running lights on, the bulb is only illuminated when I touch it to post 3.

This is all as it should be. So then I took the battery to the trailer and kinda did the reverse. I kept a wire from the negative battery terminal and kept it on post 1 on the TT harness.

When I touched the other wire to post 5, the left signal light in the back stays illuminated.

When I touch positive to post 6, the right signal stays illuminated.

When I touch positive to post 3, the running lights come on and both signals are illuminated dimmly.

Once again, I think this is how it should be and it worked fine when coupled to the PO's TV. I am just recounting this so you can see what steps I have taken so far.

What I haven't tried yet is my test bulb on the TV with the turn signal on and someone stepping on the brakes. I will try that when my wife gets home...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 7way trailer connection.jpg (34.6 KB, 5 views)
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:01 PM   #4
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It sounds like you're pretty much done with the wiring. Plug the TT into the TV and turn the emergency flashers on. You should see that operation as it is supposed to be. If so relax and have a drink.

I always use the TV for the power source when finding the wire combinations. Seperate power, like the house battery, might have their own issues so no need combining problems.

I have also plugged TT and TV together, put the parking brake on very firmly, chocked the wheels, start motor and then use turn signals. If they werk right the brake will werk right.

Final test and enjoy the drink.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:16 AM   #5
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If you are upgrading your wiring from a 4 pin for your old pop-up to the 7 pin for your Sunline, you should replace the ground wire. The 4 pin wiring was probably 18 gauge, and is not big enough for the Sunline. In addition to more lights, you also have the electric brakes and the battery charging circuits to consider.

Go into the TV's 7 pin connector and locate Pin #1 (it may be a white wire) remove it completely and replace it with a stranded 10 or 12 gauge wire. (If you can, get white wire as that is the standard color for -12vdv or ground in the RV world. Should be available at any auto parts store.) Route that new wire to a really good chassis grounding point. I always recommend coating all electrical connections with a light coat of dielectric grease to prevent corrosion, oxidation, and water penetration.
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:55 AM   #6
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The 7 pin recepticle kit I bought had it's own 12guage ground hard wired into it. I had put it on the factory ground point behind the bumper. I pulled the cover off the 7pin connector on the TT and was greeted with alot of oxidation, particularly on the running lights lead. I pulled the wires, cleaned as best I could and crimped in some fresh copper. It looks like the corrosion was bridging some terminals possiably.

I hooked the TV back up and didn't get the odd problems with both lights blinking but I noticed that the connection was not great and I could lose lights if I moved the TT connector. I will try to put some of that dielectric greese in the connector slots and see if that helps maintain a connection. Once I can get it reliable, I have it all sorted out finally.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhhWell View Post
The 7 pin recepticle kit I bought had it's own 12guage ground hard wired into it. I had put it on the factory ground point behind the bumper.
That's good enough. Some folks just get the 4 pin adapter and don't swap out the ground wire.
Quote:
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I pulled the cover off the 7pin connector on the TT and was greeted with alot of oxidation, particularly on the running lights lead. I pulled the wires, cleaned as best I could and crimped in some fresh copper. It looks like the corrosion was bridging some terminals possiably.

I hooked the TV back up and didn't get the odd problems with both lights blinking but I noticed that the connection was not great and I could lose lights if I moved the TT connector. I will try to put some of that dielectric greese in the connector slots and see if that helps maintain a connection. Once I can get it reliable, I have it all sorted out finally.
I use WD-40 to clean up those corrosion problems and then dielectric grease to prevent them. Don't be afraid to lightly coat the copper wire with the dielectric grease before putting it back in the screw terminal.

My TV and TT ends of the 7 pin always have a generous dollop of the grease in each slot. Since I started doing that, I have not had any further wiring issues there.

The other thing you can do is in the female slots, take a small flat blade screw driver and gently push them away from the surrounding plastic so that they are closer together. That way they should grip the male better and create a wiping action every time you plug in which will help keep corrosion at bay.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:58 AM   #8
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Well, Home Depot said they don't have the Dielectric grease and the auto parts store was pretty far in the other direction so I will get that tomorrow. I bent the pins out from the plastic a bit. One didn't want to stay so I put a small peice of paper behind it. I cleaned them all off with some electrical cleaner/lubricant stuff that is labeled 2-26 from CRC. I am petty sure that will do the trick. I will test with the TV this afternoon.

Interestingly enough, the axle grease I use lists electrical connections as one of the applications.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:24 PM   #9
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I haven't had time to do it on this TT yet but on our old one I took a tupperware, snaptop container and cut a notch for the TT plug half to protect it from the weather. The container had four holes so I could run wireties around the tongue jack post. I got the idea from the guy that installed our old big C-Band satelite dish. I did also use the WD40 since that will displace moisture. Will also incorporate the dielectric grease. Hope the WD40 doesn't wash the grease off.

jim
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Will also incorporate the dielectric grease. Hope the WD40 doesn't wash the grease off.
Use the WD-40 or the CRC for cleaning. Let it dry and then re-apply the dielectric grease.

I have plans for two different nifty protectors for the 7 pin trailer end plug pvc pipe pieces. I got it out of Trailer Life so I hesitate to just post it here. Send your email address to me if you want a copy.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:08 AM   #11
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Well, all lights are working well now with no dimming. I think the problems were twofold. One might have been the corrosion bridging the terminals inside the TT connection and 2nd the dirty terminals not making good contact with the TV pins.

Once I bent the pins in a bit on the TT, it has been solid everytime I plug it in.

Thanks a ton for all the help.
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