Cause of smoke at 4 way connector - trailer

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  #1  
Old 04-29-18, 11:13 AM
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Cause of smoke at 4 way connector - trailer

Hooked up the trailer and checked the lights .. none ... wiggled the 4 way connector and the running lights were on but no signals. The running lights were on sometimes after wiggling and sometimes not.

Cleaned up the connector to trailer and one on vehicle but ... used WD40 .. maybe I should not have used this?

I plugged the connector in, checked, no lights at all. I crawled under and the wires look good coming out of socket so I pulled out the 4 way and reinserted as hard as I could..

then .. I see smoke at the connection. I disconnected and the one nipple for the brown wire (running lights) had a burnt look and smell??

There is no excess wd40 anywhere but could this be the residue burning off or do I have another problem?

please let me know .. I have today to deal with it, need the trailer tomorrow..

I don't think I have a tester here .. not sure? Not sure how I would use it anyways.

thanks for any help
 
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Old 04-29-18, 11:35 AM
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A corroded connection can cause that problem as well as a poor/missing ground.
WD-40 is perfectly fine for that application.

There should be four wires....
yellow and green - directionals/brake lights
brown - parking/running lights
black - ground.

Check the black for a good connection.
 
  #3  
Old 04-29-18, 01:54 PM
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I plugged it in again and no smoke. My metal fingers on the plug are in good shape. I traced the gound wire and checked the grounding nut but all looks fine. I pulled the fuse for the outlet and that is fine? I have no lights at all now.
 
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Old 04-29-18, 02:00 PM
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I pulled the fuse for the outlet and that is fine?
What fuse is that ?

Are the parking lights still working on the vehicle ?
Are the directionals still working on the vehicle ?

A 12v test light makes the repair much easier.
 
  #5  
Old 04-29-18, 04:45 PM
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In the fuse panel there was a 20A fuse for .. it said trailer or something to that affect. This vehicle had the tow package with tranny cooler, antisway .. maybe the fuse has something to do with the antisway?? It was fine anyways.

Lights on vehicle are working fine.

I don't know what is going on .. will leave the thing parked .. buy myself a 12 volt test light (thanks for that) and try in out when I get back home next week.

thanks for your help
 
  #6  
Old 04-29-18, 05:57 PM
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You had a loose connection and then sprayed a flammable lubricant on it. That is what caused the smoke. Loose connections create heat. In your case enough that it could have started a fire.
 
  #7  
Old 04-30-18, 07:01 AM
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I traced the gound wire and checked the grounding nut but all looks fine.
Looks will not cut it. Disconnect the ground wire from the chassis, clean the connector and chassis connection point with sand paper to get to the bare metal, and reconnect the ground to the chassis. Make sure the connection is tight.
 
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Old 05-21-18, 09:52 AM
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I bought the 12 volt tester light and two out of the three wires to test are duds. I take it that I just touch ground and then insert for each wire? ... all three should light up?

I did order a replacement connector that allows you to cut off the old, lay the new wires in place, snaps shut. It also has an led light on it so you know if it is working.

If it is indeed this connector .. can I just cut the wire or do I need to disconnect from the battery first? or do something else?

please let me know.. thanks
 
  #9  
Old 06-12-18, 07:54 PM
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Ended up buying the plug in tester for the vehicle. The vehicle was fine. The wires and trailer connector were damaged once .. had to splice a new connector on. The connection looked great but took it all apart anyways. The wires where the connection was .. was full of a white calcium like material, built up all around the wires. I had to cut quite low on the connection side to get clean wire that didn't have this white stuff? The trailer side the wires were sound and clean? I don't know if it is just a cheap connector or what but respliced, the bulbs were burnt so must have shorted somewhere ... respliced, new bulbs and all is well.
 
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