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Trailer light replacement

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Dabbie7

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Pulled the tail lights off my trailer this evening and they are shot! Rusted up mess... I really like the replacement waterproof LED tailights, but need some advice on making the wiring connections to the new fixtures waterproof. Any ideas on the best connectors/methods? Thanks!
 

livestock

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Put them at the tips of your guide on posts. I've had mine there on my last three boats. Never had a problem with them after mounting them up on the posts.
 

kingfish

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I agree with livestock - put them up on your guide posts, and *do* use LEDs. Google "post lights" to find the most elegant solution for guide-posts lights out there! And for connections, is Ancor brand heat shrink cemented butt connectors. There are a couple of other brands out there as well that I'm not thinking of, but Ancor wrote the book on waterproof marine connectors.
 

gw204

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If you one of the types that doesn't like guide posts (like me), get yourself an inexpensive of set of Dry Launch lights tail lights. Those things last forever unless you back into something. :) Also find side markers (LEDs if you want) that have a separate ground wire instead of just the 12V+ and the mounting stud.

https://www.surplusunlimited.com/Mercha ... de=2700-40

Run a dedicated ground wire from the wiring harness down each side of the frame. DO NOT rely on the frame to ground your lights. Make all of your connections with Ancor tinned butt connectors. But, before you put those one, take a utility knife and cut off the insulation. Then slide a 1-1/2" to 2" piece of Ancor adhesive lined heat shink up one side of the junction. Next you can crimp the wires together. Once that's done, smear some liquid electrical tape over the crimp and up the wire's insulation about 1/2". Make sure it gets 100% coverabe. Let that dry and then finish off the connection with the heat shrink.

Do that, and you won't touch those lights again for another 10 years...unless a bulb burns out...and that easy enough to change in the tail lights.
 

Porkchunker

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gw204":2vb15pqp said:
...Run a dedicated ground wire from the wiring harness down each side of the frame. DO NOT rely on the frame to ground your lights. Make all of your connections with Ancor tinned butt connectors. But, before you put those one, take a utility knife and cut off the insulation. Then slide a 1-1/2" to 2" piece of Ancor adhesive lined heat shink up one side of the junction. Next you can crimp the wires together. Once that's done, smear some liquid electrical tape over the crimp and up the wire's insulation about 1/2". Make sure it gets 100% coverabe. Let that dry and then finish off the connection with the heat shrink...
Absolutely great guidance. I do almost the same. I use the Ancor butt connectors with the shrink tubing already installed. Slide a piece of shrink tube that the Ancor butt connector will drop through, do the butt connection, shrink the Ancor tube, cover with liquid tape, let dry, and then add another longer shrink tube. Do that and that particular connection will never corrode.
 

jeffnick

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Poor man's way to waterproof connections:
Small tube of 5200 from Walmart
Plastic syringe, 3ml (no needle) from Walmart pharmacy

*Take the plunger out of the syringe
*Squeeze 5200 into the syringe from the back end, leaving 1/2" of 'air' at the tip
*Insert the plunger in the syringe
*Fill the butt connector with 5200 using the syringe - push 5200 into one end and out the other
*Insert wires and crimp
It can get a little messy - I use rubber gloves...

This syringe is also great for applying sealant to fastener holes. I use a horse needle (f/ Tractor Supply) to inject the sealant into the bottom of the hole until it comes out the top, then I'm sure I've got good coverage -- especially in the transom for 'ducer mounting.


The syringe method is also good for applying sealant to small areas anwyhere, like a small bead around the seat bases or hatches.

I have also done wires with wire nuts filled w/ 5200.
 

Dabbie7

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Great guidance everyone, thanks for your help. I'll be splicing away tomorrow getting ready for a run down to the Outer Banks on Tuesday. Really appreciate the advice.
 

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