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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When replacing the tail lights on your trailer, what is the best way to make the connections between your harness wires and the tail light wires?

Should they be crimped together with butt connectors? Should they be soldered and then heat shrink?

What's the best way to at least get a couple of seasons out of them before corrosion sets in?


-Mike
 

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I would absolutely solder and seal them the best you can. Any mechanical fastener, such as crimp, etc, will oxidize quickly and reduce voltage. Soldering is the trick.
 

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I solder, coat with liquid electrical tape and use marine (ancor) heatshrink. It has a hot glue that melts and completes the seal.

Soldering outdoors can be a challenge - the mini torch helps a lot.
 

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Mike, as we all know trailer lights are a pain in the a##. What I did was, I used connectors to tie the wires together then use some stuff called goop?SP and put all over the connectors and let it dry and it seems to work OK. Good luck with them…
 

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Mike - I use heat shrink (Ancor) connectors. Home Depot sells a relative inexpensive heat gun; better than using anything with a flame. I also apply some 'dielectric grease' to every connection I make to minimize corrosion. Stuff is not cheap, especially if you buy that small container West Marine sells (half oz for $10). I prefer the Dow Corning DC-4 version; relatively high melting point. Here is a site to buy a 5.3oz tube for $15.. Dow Corning® DC4 Electrical Insulating Compound (5.3 oz. tube) is a moisture proof seal for aircraft, automotive and marine ignition systems and spark.* The largest selection of Aircraft parts and Pilot Supplies.- SkyGeek.com
 

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I use butt connectors with heat shrink. Never had a problem. Soldering is the best but time consuming and can be difficult in a tight spot. Don't use cheap connectors, use marine grade they have heat shrink built onto them I also use another piece of heat shrink on top just for good measure.
 

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Butt connectors, heat shrink, cover the whole mess with marine sealant. will outlast the lights.
This is the best I've found 40+ years of trailering. I fill the butt connectors with sealant or like, stick the wire ends into the tube to coat them, crimp hard, coat the connection with it, then heat shrink.
Also, If you got the bulb types, fill the bulb sockets with grease -- I used regular chassis grease, but now I'd use synthetic. I spray the entire inside of the fixture with a heavy oil -- like Cable and Chain lube.
Worked for me -- no more problems.
budc
 

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Trailer Light Connection

Don't need to get fancy. Simply use a wire nut to make the connection and then dip the wire nut in liquid tape and let dry. Repeat as required (at least once) to completely cover the connection. I've replaced many trailer lights and this connection always outlasted the light. Never had corrosion with this approach even when the light is submersed.

Good luck.

Kirk
 

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I use Ancor butt connectors and strip off the sheath before I crimp them. If I'm not in a hurry I'll first coat the crimp with liquid electrical tape, then use the Ancor adhesive lined heat shrink over that.

Don't forget to run a separate ground wire down each side and tie them into the main ground of the harness. Bad grounds are the No. 1 reason for trailer light failures. Separate runs w/ proper connections virtually eliminates that problem.
 

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Mike,

I used butt connectors, I believe Ancor, that when you heat up have a sealer that melts and makes the connection water tight. They are pretty expensive but seem to work well.
 

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Mike,
Asking that is like asking if Parker or Grady White makes a better boat.

Personally I solder wires and then heat shrink them. I then put everything in a loom. It's cheaper, easier, and cleaner than connectors and so fas has lasted for as long as I have had my trailer.

I think connectors are just as good. But, I had a soldering gun and a whole bunch of solder laying arouns, and not connectors, when I did my trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mike,
Asking that is like asking if Parker or Grady White makes a better boat.
Francis i would never ask a question like that because i know that Boston Whaler and Maycraft are far superior to both. :eek:

Thanks for all the tips everyone, i am going to solder and heatshrink everything as soon as i get the time.
 
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