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Author Topic: Getting a better electrical connection to trailer  (Read 142 times)

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

  • Sir David Alhambra.
  • *
  • Posts: 568
  • Thanked: 10
  • Model: Alhambra Mk2 Auto
  • Spec: 2006 1.9 Tdi auto
  • First Name: Dave
  • Region: South East
  • Country: United Kingdom
Getting a better electrical connection to trailer
« on: September 20, 2020, 02:59:26 PM »
Hi friends! How are u all? I hope ur all keeping well?

Now then. I have a little hobby trailer which I donít use very often. When I connect it up to my Alhamb, I often have to wiggle the electrical plug around a bit before the lights on the trailer all work properly. Iíve found that the best way to make it work is to plug it in then pull it back out a little, it seems to get a good connection that way.

Any ideas what I should do please guys? Spray, sandpaper, bending pins?

All advice gratefully received.

Thank u all very much.

 [THANKS] balloons [cool]
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline barlidge

  • *
  • Posts: 145
  • Thanked: 2
  • Model: Sharan Mk2
  • Spec: 2.0TDi 2007
  • First Name: Bruce
  • Region: East Anglia
  • Country: United Kingdom
Re: Getting a better electrical connection to trailer
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2020, 03:26:50 PM »
I would just swap out the plug and socket, they do get to a point that they are just more problematic that the cost/time of swapping out.  Although you don't need it the the 13 pin I have on mine now seems to have fared the years far better that the 7 pins I used to have.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

  • Sir David Alhambra.
  • *
  • Posts: 568
  • Thanked: 10
  • Model: Alhambra Mk2 Auto
  • Spec: 2006 1.9 Tdi auto
  • First Name: Dave
  • Region: South East
  • Country: United Kingdom
Re: Getting a better electrical connection to trailer
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2020, 03:33:57 PM »
Wise advice if I ever did hear it... thank u
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline regw

  • *
  • Posts: 81
  • Thanked: 8
  • Model: Galaxy Mk2
  • Spec: 1.9TDI 130 Zetec
  • First Name: Reg
  • Region: South West
  • Country: United Kingdom
Re: Getting a better electrical connection to trailer
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2020, 05:27:46 PM »
Get a can of contact cleaner from Halfrauds
and squish that in the plug socket then fit/remove the plug a few times
You only need to scrape if its really/badly oxidised

After its all been checked and cleaned, a light smear of Vaseline helps
stop the brass oxidising and keep the weather out

Years if fixing up old motorcycles taught me this

Offline regw

  • *
  • Posts: 81
  • Thanked: 8
  • Model: Galaxy Mk2
  • Spec: 1.9TDI 130 Zetec
  • First Name: Reg
  • Region: South West
  • Country: United Kingdom
Re: Getting a better electrical connection to trailer
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2020, 05:36:31 PM »
Personally I'd probably open up the plug and sockets
and if they not physically damaged check/clean all screw terminals
maybe even strip back the cables a wee bit to get fresh bright metal to bright metal contact
and ensure the cable has good strain relief then finally more Vaseline before reassembly
Purists may mention Di-Electric grease, but Vaseleine is a good cheap substitute. 

Offline brianh

  • *
  • Posts: 822
  • Thanked: 74
  • Model: Galaxy Mk2
  • Spec: 2001 2.3 Ghia LPG
  • First Name: Brian
  • Region: South East
  • Country: United Kingdom
Re: Getting a better electrical connection to trailer
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2020, 09:12:18 PM »
Opening up the plug socket might in itself be a problem, the ones I've dealt with tend to have the bolts rusted in place so your off to a bad start there to begin with. It would be a good idea to get another socket and some suitable bolts/nuts to put it back together with before you start getting too involved with it. Some of them as said above seem to fare better than others. The 13 pin are supposed to be better in this respect, that said I've had to replace the 13 pin one I had after 3 years as it had managed to corrode away inside and rot most of the rear section of wiring in the process (cut around 6 ft out of the loom back to the plug before i could find decent wire that hadn't gone black). I think a lot of that was down to having the perm 12v+ there though as it had been converted from the older split double plugs previously, you won't have the extra pins if you only have the 7 pin socket currently so shouldn't find that issue.

Its not a bad idea to use some stainless nuts and bolts of the right size when reassembling it just in case you have to get in there again.

Offline barlidge

  • *
  • Posts: 145
  • Thanked: 2
  • Model: Sharan Mk2
  • Spec: 2.0TDi 2007
  • First Name: Bruce
  • Region: East Anglia
  • Country: United Kingdom
Re: Getting a better electrical connection to trailer
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2020, 10:22:45 PM »
Below are some pic of my 13 pin as I swapped it from the galaxy to the Sharan at the beginning of August, I had to disconnect the socket to pull it back up through the rear floor as it was a car specific loom.  it had been on the Galaxy since 2012, I had tinned the wires before original fitting.  Like brian says bolts may be an issue, I had one shear that held the hinge to the towbar but the three socket/backplate bolts were all good but I do copper slip most of my bolts.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

  • Sir David Alhambra.
  • *
  • Posts: 568
  • Thanked: 10
  • Model: Alhambra Mk2 Auto
  • Spec: 2006 1.9 Tdi auto
  • First Name: Dave
  • Region: South East
  • Country: United Kingdom
Re: Getting a better electrical connection to trailer
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2020, 07:29:47 AM »
So impressive... you guys always do everything properly... mine has bolts which do look rusted and indeed I think someone may have reversed into a kerb or something because the trailer connectors are bent back quite a lot (I think it was a garage that did that, I went to pick up the car once and they had reversed it up a steep grass bank to the point where the bumper was bending in). Canít wait to get this little job done, will be reassuring to know that the lights on the trailer are working properly while Iím driving.

While I was down there examining it by the way, I noticed that my exhaust heat shield is swinging about because it is only held on by two clips! Clearly the lazy garage must have known that and didnít even bother securing it properly. I think it is normally held on by 6 or so clips... mine now has just 2. The pins look very rusted... not sure if anyone else has had this and how they have secured it nice and sturdy in such circumstances?

Thank u all so much!!

 [THANX] [WAVE] [drive] cheers
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline barlidge

  • *
  • Posts: 145
  • Thanked: 2
  • Model: Sharan Mk2
  • Spec: 2.0TDi 2007
  • First Name: Bruce
  • Region: East Anglia
  • Country: United Kingdom
Re: Getting a better electrical connection to trailer
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2020, 08:08:26 AM »
If I remember correctly it attaches to threaded studs welded to the bodywork, if the studs are still there it could simply be a case of replacing the speed nuts using larger repair washers if the heat has been damaged.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/272721111762
(cheaper versions available)

If the studs are broken off then two further options:

1.  A bit overkill but lift the carpet in the back and drill through, fitting small dome cap coach bolts through.
2.  Drill a pilot from underneath and use self tappers being careful to select the length carefully (still probably need to lift the carpet a little to check for cables).

The heat shield may have been designed to have an air gap between itself and the car boby, if needed this could easily be achieved by using 3 or 4 stacked repair washers between the shield and body.

Offline brianh

  • *
  • Posts: 822
  • Thanked: 74
  • Model: Galaxy Mk2
  • Spec: 2001 2.3 Ghia LPG
  • First Name: Brian
  • Region: South East
  • Country: United Kingdom
Re: Getting a better electrical connection to trailer
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2020, 06:59:58 PM »
One of mine is held in place with a few of these > https://www.screwfix.com/p/easydrive-carbon-steel-self-drilling-screws-4-8-x-16mm-100-pack/68505 (note they are only 16mm long not what the pic shows!) and a large washer. You can find the bit around the nut has corroded away with the nut still in place. Those fixings applied carefully will self drill from below, just make sure your not going to drill through anything when using them. Theres usually a box section you can attach it to, close to the original fixing point.

If possible, you want to drill into a raised section so you know nothing there will be damaged.


 

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