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URGENT...need info about trailer brakes

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by heavy4x4, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    My Dad's looking at buying a trailer and found one with a 2950lb capacity and electric brakes (this won't be for vehicles, but will be used for ATV's, wood, etc). We really don't need the electric brakes but this is a nice trailer for a good price.

    Here comes the urgent part...we need to buy a trailer this week so we can use it this weekend. My Dad's truck isn't set up (at least I don't think so) for electric brakes. He currently has the standard 4-prong connector. The vehicle is a '97 Chevy Suburban 1500 4x4 with the towing package. What would I need to do/buy to install a 6-prong round connector in place of the 4 prong flat connector in order to make these trailer brakes work?

    THANKS!
     
  2. ugly_blazer

    ugly_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    To make the trailer brakes work you will need a cab mounted controller. Couldn't you just wire up a 6 plug socket using only the 4 wires for the lights and run without brakes? My friend built an adapter cord for his truck that has a 4 prong on one end and a 6 pin on the other to adapt from a 6 pin truck to 4 prong trailer, maybe you could do the same in reverse?
     
  3. burbBoy

    burbBoy 1/2 ton status

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    like was said above. Get an adapter and run the current 4 way plug for the lights. The brakes wont care if they are hooked up or not.
     
  4. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the replies. I figured I could do what you guys mentioned. I'm more interested in wiring it up TO make the brakes work.

    Anybody have some tips or links to trailer brake controllers?
     
  5. js4x4

    js4x4 1/2 ton status

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    i know you mentioned you prefer to have the brakes actually work, but when I rented a U-Haul trailer with the 6 prong, they made me buy a connector kit so it'd be compatable with my 4 pronger....it was like $5-$10. so its a cheap quickie fix...temporary for sure. Heck, maybe ask the U-Haul guys how you hook up a 6 prong...it can't be THAT difficult. I know here in cali most U haul places hook all kinds of stuff up for towing (hitches etc...) Good luck
     
  6. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    I just completly rewired our 18' trailer and tow rig so this is all pretty fresh in my mind. You will need a female connector for your truck. Any auto parts store should have one. Also you will need a brake controller again available at any auto parts store. They cost $40 and up. The connector you get for the truck should have a wire diagram with it (Incidentally it should be 7 wire rt, lt, backup, running, power, brake, ground). In your case you won't need the power wire unless your trailer has emergency breakaway awitch and a battery. You may also not need the backup light wire.

    In any case check the diagram and hook up the wires you need from your existing 4 prong connector to the new socket. Then when you install the brake controller you will need to run a hot wire to it from the battery, a ground preferrably from the battery, and a wire from the brake switch which is usually located down under the dash somewhere by the brake pedal. Then from the brake controller you will run 1 heavy guage wire to the socket you installed. If you ever think you may haul something like a camper then while you are doing the wiring I would just hook up all the connectors that way you'll have them. Just remember to fuse the +12v power wire.

    EDIT: actually I got to thinking and if that burb has the towing package it should be prewired for trailer brakes and a 7 wire trailer plug. Contact either the dealer or an RV place and find out. If so you can probably just buy a harness that connects to your brake controller and plugs into a socket under the dash. Then under the rear bumper there may be another socket that you can plug in a harness that connects to your trailer plug socket. Hope that made sense.
     
  7. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Location:
    Dillon Colorado, Hang'in in the mountains. Renting
    Auto parts stores sell adaptors that will just let you plug a 4 prong connector into a 6 or 7 prong connector. No wiring needed at all.
    If you want brakes, follow the above recommendations.
     

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