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Old 02-14-2012, 05:50 AM   #1
Lakegeezer
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Default Trailer wiring connector maintenance

Has anyone figured out how to keep trailer wiring, the 4-contact flat electrical connectors, from corroding? With owning four trailers, it seems that there is always one with light problems that ends up being a connector issue. The car end can be the problem too. The connector sockets grow green corrosion, and I have yet to find the perfect tool to clean that out, other than poorly with small pieces of rolled up steel wool. The engineering of the standard connector is terrible, yet if I'd go to the round plugs, it would be non-standard for most other vehicles. I looked for gold-plated connectors without success. Surely there must be a better way?
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:58 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Lakegeezer View Post
Has anyone figured out how to keep trailer wiring, the 4-contact flat electrical connectors, from corroding? With owning four trailers, it seems that there is always one with light problems that ends up being a connector issue. The car end can be the problem too. The connector sockets grow green corrosion, and I have yet to find the perfect tool to clean that out, other than poorly with small pieces of rolled up steel wool. The engineering of the standard connector is terrible, yet if I'd go to the round plugs, it would be non-standard for most other vehicles. I looked for gold-plated connectors without success. Surely there must be a better way?
I use what is commonly called di-electric grease. It comes in a small tube and is available at NAPA or most any decent auto parts and some hardware stores. Once you have the male and female plugs clean, you coat them with the grease and you will not have a corrosion problem again.

BT

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...entifier=34495
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:02 AM   #3
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I use what is commonly called di-electric grease.
Yup, this.

It also helps if you keep the pins covered, a wrap of tape, rubber plug cover, etc.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:17 AM   #4
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'Grease' them. Clean them occasionally with WD40. If possible tuck them somewhere that keeps them out of the rain, like the coupler or mount.

If you have a lot of problems you can carry a spare and some clip-in splicers.

Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
I use what is commonly called di-electric grease. It comes in a small tube and is available at NAPA or most any decent auto parts and some hardware stores. Once you have the male and female plugs clean, you coat them with the grease and you will not have a corrosion problem again.

BT

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...entifier=34495
Also good for car battery terminals, snowplow power connectors, 12V bulb sockets on boats and in fact any electrical contacts. I keep tubes in each vehicle and boat.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kamper View Post
'Grease' them. Clean them occasionally with WD40. If possible tuck them somewhere that keeps them out of the rain, like the coupler or mount.

If you have a lot of problems you can carry a spare and some clip-in splicers.

Good luck!
Same here.
I have a snowmobile trailer and a boat trailer and I routinely spray them with WD40 and grease them.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Slickcraft View Post
Also good for car battery terminals, snowplow power connectors, 12V bulb sockets on boats and in fact any electrical contacts. I keep tubes in each vehicle and boat.
Also, quite a few electricians will use this on your breaker connections in your house panel.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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Default Max Profesional Dielectric Spray

Here is the stuff I use which works extremely well...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...02_i00_details

It is a dielectric lube but much lighter than the grease and does not seem to attract dirt to the connection. Your hands stay cleaner when attaching the plugs also! This stuff also works well in all your hard to get to small trailer bulb connections. Very convenient spray can.

Dan
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:27 PM   #9
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Default trailer connector

I've found that sticking the connector end back into the trailer frame to keep it out of the weather helps quite a bit. I try to keep it in there except when I need to plug it in. To keep from losing it I have it come out, and a bungee is wrapped around it and the frame, then it sticks back inside the "metal box" of the framework.

My next problem has been grounding, but on all trailers now I end up running a separate ground wire around everywhere, not relying on the frame. This makes things work _much_ more reliably for me.

The truck side of the connector - I have one of the 5blade types, with a cover. And I keep the adapter w/wire inside the truck. This has been a much better method than what I did on prior vehicles. It looks something like this: http://www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Hopkins/HM48470.html

I suppose something like this could be mounted on both the trailer and vehicle, keeping a connectorized cable in the vehicles (both!) to hook it up. (Both -- so that there's always a backup plan!)

I'm looking forward to connecting up that boat trailer and bringing her back up to the lake.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:59 AM   #10
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Default never knew.

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Originally Posted by ishoot308 View Post
Here is the stuff I use which works extremely well...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...02_i00_details

It is a dielectric lube but much lighter than the grease and does not seem to attract dirt to the connection. Your hands stay cleaner when attaching the plugs also! This stuff also works well in all your hard to get to small trailer bulb connections. Very convenient spray can.

Dan
I've been using the grease form for ever, even on connectors I have covers for like my sander, plow and some trailer connectors have. Is the spray available locally?
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:07 AM   #11
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I've been using the grease form for ever, even on connectors I have covers for like my sander, plow and some trailer connectors have. Is the spray available locally?
B.R.;

Not sure if it's available locally or not... I have never seen it. I have been buying it through amazon for a while since shipping is free. I was turned on to it by a fellow snowmobiler who uses it religiously on his clam trailer. I do too now!

If you read the review on Amazon, that person also uses it on his sander / salt spreader like you.

Dan
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:35 PM   #12
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I bought my last tube of dielectric grease at Home Depot.Most auto parts stores carry it.Didn't know about the spray so not sure if they have that.Wd40 has similar properties in that it lubricates and prevents rust and displaces moisture.I've used it on electrical connections of other types for years.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:02 PM   #13
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Default Wd40

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I bought my last tube of dielectric grease at Home Depot.Most auto parts stores carry it.Didn't know about the spray so not sure if they have that.Wd40 has similar properties in that it lubricates and prevents rust and displaces moisture.I've used it on electrical connections of other types for years.
Water Displacement, 40 the number of times it took to perfect the formula.
To the best of my knowledge WD40 has no lubricating properties what so ever.
At least that is what I was told by a supplier way back when, when I was looking for a lubricant to break rusted bolts free.
It does leave a film but is made to displace water on whatever surface it is sprayed on.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:46 PM   #14
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When you use WD40 to clean connectors the petroleum liquid washes away the old grease and contaminants. It also displaces water from the tight spaces between the prongs and rubber.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:50 PM   #15
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Default Trailer Plugs

I have bought a spare set of connectors at a car swap meet and have the 1/2 attached to the trailer and plug it in when not in use.jm2csw
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:31 PM   #16
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Default great idea

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I have bought a spare set of connectors at a car swap meet and have the 1/2 attached to the trailer and plug it in when not in use.jm2csw
Never thought of that. I have 5 trailers so many sit for extended periods. I should ask my buddy Joe at trailer outlet if there is a dead end connector made just for that.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
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To the best of my knowledge WD40 has no lubricating properties what so ever.
Right from their website:

WD-40 is the ultimate multi-purpose problem solver. WD-40 cleans/degreases, penetrates to loosen up stuck parts, prevents corrosion and is a light lubricant .

More specific:

What does WD-40 do?
WD-40 fulfills five basic functions:
1. CLEANS: WD-40 gets under dirt, grime and grease to clean. It also dissolves adhesives, allowing easy removal of labels, tape and excess bonding material.
2. DISPLACES MOISTURE: Because WD-40 displaces moisture, it quickly dries out electrical systems to eliminate moisture-induced short circuits.
3. PENETRATES: WD-40 loosens rust-to-metal bonds and frees stuck, frozen or rusted metal parts.
4. LUBRICATES: WD-40's lubricating ingredients are widely dispersed and tenaciously held to all moving parts.
5. PROTECTS: WD-40 protects metal surfaces with corrosion-resistant ingredients to shield against moisture and other corrosive elements.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:41 PM   #18
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Default I also checked data.

Remember that old saying?
Believe none of what you here and only half of what you see!!
I've NEVER had luck with it protecting anything I've put it on.
Same with lubrication. Seems to last only a very short period of time before rust sets in.
But to each their own.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:15 AM   #19
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I cover my trailer connectors with syl-glide a silicone based lubricant then put connector into a plastic baggy and tie with a bread twisty.I don't trailer except to the marina in spring and home in fall.Over the years never had any issues with my trailer wiring.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:57 AM   #20
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Here is a handy tool to help clean the connectors inside the plugs. Easier than using steel wool or sandpaper. Have seen these on the tool truck but have never used them. Alittle pricey but fit in the connectors perfectly. Also use a cover or dielectric compound or something mentioned above to protect the connector ends.

http://www.mactools.com/ShopOnline/P...8/Default.aspx
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:28 PM   #21
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You notice that the connector sockets that grow green corrosion is the one right next to the ground wire/connector. The other 2 you never have a problem with. Ground, hot, ground, hot, will do it every time. The wall that seperated them is to thin. You never have that problem with a 6,-7,-8, plug.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:15 AM   #22
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I saw this on Two Guys Garage yesterday look pretty neat and not to expensive...I understand its not going to help with the corrosion but it keeps the wires out of the way.http://www.thereel-deal.com/products.html
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:37 PM   #23
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OK I'll probably get my chops busted for admitting to doing this, but I use some of my Polaris VES 2 cycle oil on my connectors. It's sticky and doesn't wash away that easily but doesn't get all goopy like grease does. WD40 works but is so thin it doesn't last that long. Now clearly it not DI-electric but it hasn't caused me any reason to be concerned thus far. No question keeping any bare connectors out of the elements when possible is the best protection of all.

Speaking of clam shell trailers, I treat mine like I do my truck. Give it a bath in gear oil underneath and grease every exposed nut and bolt on it. So far so good three season later it still looks as new. Those are unfortunately sacrificial though eventually you loose the battle. Salt is just to darn corrosive. Still I've been impressed at how well oiling it has preserved it so far. Figured what the heck been doing it to my trucks for years and they simply do not rust.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:49 AM   #24
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http://store.caig.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.188/.f
If this link works this is the best for cleaning the old terminals. I have used it on several plugs that no longer worked and now they work fine!
Good luck.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:19 PM   #25
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to start relatively clean...you may try battery terminal cleaner...we use it daily in my shop and i believe Permatex is the manufacturer...after the terminals are cleaned...as many suggested, di-electric grease works very well
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