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  #13  
Old 12-03-2012, 05:31 AM
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Re: Electric Trailer Brakes

farrrrk this looks like brain surgery to me, im in perth ??
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  #14  
Old 12-03-2012, 05:41 PM
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Re: Electric Trailer Brakes

really isn't hard....first though you have to decide on what sort of brake controller - usually either the Redarc remote head unit or a Tekonsha proportional controller. This can be influenced on what you are towing or previous experience with controllers
They're both around $150 to 160 from reputable sources on Ebay. autoelecau items - Get great deals on items on eBay Stores!
Keep prowling around the forums - search for brake controller and towbar threads and look for pictures that will show you where others have mounted their controllers - that's really your biggest issue - deciding what sort of controller and where to mount it.
As previously mentioned ours is in the little lidded enclosure in front of the centre console - out of sight when not being used.
If you're not confident fitting it yourself, any auto elec that has worked on late model vehicles should be able to do it for you - just ensure they have power from the battery through a circuit breaker, earth back to the battery, brake actuation from stop light wire in the trailer plug wiring and the blue brake supply wire all the way back to the trailer plug. 4 wires in total.
Maybe ask your dealer for a recommendation.
John
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2012, 06:17 AM
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Re: Electric Trailer Brakes

Inspired by what John had done, I went for a Tekonsha P3 also. I was in two minds as to whether to go for the cubby location or somewhere on the right. Then, on another site I read of someone locating the controller in a most unlikely spot, just under the dash, about mid-way between the two brake pedals. There it is out of the way, it can be seen through the steering wheel by moving you head slightly, otherwise it is nicely obstructed so as not to distract on those long night drives. The manual lever can still be easily activated by reaching down. The downside is that it is vulnerable to being kicked. I would certainly remove it if putting the car in for a service. Luckily it is very easy to remove. If it doesn't work out I'll probably put it in the cubby but so far so good.

My wiring was somewhat different also. The four pig-tails supplied, I took into the centre console. There I earthed the unit to an existing earth post. The other three leads I took more or less diagonally across the body and under the carpet to the trailer harness socket under the rear left quarter panel. On the battery side of the socket I spliced the power lead into the thicker red wire with a 20A line fuse. The fuse is probably not necessary since the red wire is fused back at the fuse box anyway but I felt it would be good to provide a bit more isolation. The stop light signal lead I spliced into the appropriate lead at the socket. The third lead (brake controller actuator) I connected with a spade connector to the blue wire on trailer harness that is terminated loose at the trailer harness plug.

A point to note about Australia's stupid automotive wire standard that measures the outside diameter of the insulation. For the stop light signal wire I used 3mm wire and 4mm for the others. As you might know, the blue electric bake wire in the trailer harness seems quite skinny and certainly skinnier than the 4mm I was using to take it back to the controller. I considered this blue wire to be the weak point. However, when I connected the two, this "skinny" blue wire had considerably more copper in it than my 4mm supposedly top quality Aussie Narva brand wire. So now the weak point is my wiring.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:43 PM
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Re: Electric Trailer Brakes

That blue wire seems to be simply a "trigger" so most probably does not require a heavier wire as it is not susceptible to significant voltage drop effect.
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  #17  
Old 12-06-2012, 12:49 AM
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Re: Electric Trailer Brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by allypally View Post
That blue wire seems to be simply a "trigger" so most probably does not require a heavier wire as it is not susceptible to significant voltage drop effect.
The blue wire is actually the output to the trailer brakes. Electric brakes typically draw 3A per wheel so that would be 12A for a four wheeler. The 4mm wire I used is rated at 15A continuous so I should be safe given that brakes are used intermittently anyway. The beauty of the Tekonsha is that as the vehicle comes to a stop with the foot still on the brake pedal, the current drops to a quarter which would be 3A for a four wheeler. My main problem might be voltage drop but on the Tekonsha, it's easy to just turn up the wick. At this point I have to say that while everything tested OK, the controller hasn't yet fired a shot in anger and won't till February. We'll see how it goes then.

Regarding wire colours, the pig tails supplied by Tekonsha are weird. Black is the 12V power supply to the unit. How dumb is that? In extending it I used red. White is used for the earth wire, again dumb. All other earths in the car are black. The stop light signal wire is red. There is a wiff of logic in that but I used white as the extension. The only colour that makes sense is blue for the output to the trailer brakes.

The reason I routed the wires where I did was to reduce voltage drop although I don't know if it would even have been an issue if I had gone a longer easier route. It was not easy finding the shortest path then drawing the wires through under the carpet.
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