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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Rewiring Trailer Brakes - How to Allow for Axle Movement?

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Woodtroll

Appalachian Mtns, SW Virginia

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Posted: 08/23/19 12:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello, folks,

I am planning to rewire my travel trailer axle brakes using a 12/2 commercial brake wire such as this:

https://www.nassaunationalcable.com/12-gauge-2-conductor-duplex-brake-cable.html

I'm going to run a separate wire from a junction at the front of the trailer to each hub. Two axles means four hubs, so there are eight flex points in the wire (frame and axle on each wire) that will be moving constantly. I know that stranded wire is much better at handling flexion, but what else can I do at the point where the wire leaves the trailer frame to help ensure that the wire won't eventually break? Are there any "best practices" that would apply to this installation?

Many thanks!
Regan


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romore

Okanagan valley British Columbia

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Posted: 08/23/19 12:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would place the junction close to the axles, less wire to run and if one short section fails it is easy to repair or replace. Eventually the wires will fail due to flexing and abuse from road debris, salt etc, regular inspection is the key.

Chum lee

Albuquerque, NM

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Posted: 08/23/19 12:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Make sure you use the appropriate shielded wire anchors spacing them frequently along the run. Use strap ties to hold groups of conductors together. Allow plenty of wire in the flex areas and secure each end using the appropriate connectors. Whenever the wire changes direction, place an anchor at the beginning and end of each radius. Do not bend the conductors sharply. When the conductors are subject to flying debris, heat, moisture, dirt protect them with an additional corrugated plastic shield. For examples of what to do and how to do it, just look under the hood of any trucks with factory wiring. You'll immediately notice the difference between that and when trunk monkeys have been at work. Do it like the factory to minimize future issues.

Chum lee

JRscooby

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Posted: 08/23/19 12:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If spring ride, or torsion, follow the spring. The only place you need slack is the "hinge" area, and not a lot of movement there. Seal the water out...

time2roll

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Posted: 08/23/19 01:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A smooth curve will flex just fine. Allow just enough slack to be jacked up by the frame. I would keep the wire away from the tire in case of failure.


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noteven

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Posted: 08/23/19 01:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Being basically lazy I would make the axle loop about the same length as the old wires.

Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 08/23/19 01:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jack trailer up by FRAME so wheels/suspension is fully extended
Wire up brake lines.....
Then lower back onto wheels

Check wiring for pitch spots/hung up spots


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joebedford

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Posted: 08/23/19 05:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why not run the wire through the axle like the factory? - half as many flex points.

jodeb720

Los Angeles

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Posted: 08/25/19 08:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Joe,

I had wires inside my axle's originally - and they don't provide mounting points inside the axle to stop the wiring from flopping around.

After a number of years, I got a short in my second axle and couldn't figure out why - Until I put a post up here. Someone else had the same issue and suggested I break the circuit and figure out which axle and which wheel.

Turns out the wire inside had chafed itself down to bare wire and was shorting out.

I rewired with zipties and check it annually for wear to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Just my two cents

JRscooby

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Posted: 08/25/19 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

Jack trailer up by FRAME so wheels/suspension is fully extended
Wire up brake lines.....
Then lower back onto wheels

Check wiring for pitch spots/hung up spots


This is a given, do it with full extension. But if you run the shortest distance, from frame above the axle down to the brake, you have a chance of that wire catching anything as it is blowing in the wind. Follow the suspension, keep it tied tight except a little slack at the pivot points.

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