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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, sorry if this is the wrong section... Since they are technical questions I'd assume they go in here... Anyhow, most of my questions were resolved (at least kind of...lots of debate about towing stuff) by searching but I still have one or two.

Today I discovered I have a 7 way trailer connector on my hitch. Considering that I've found way more wiring in my bronco than I'd think an 86 4x4 would have and lots of the wires seem to go nowhere (I've removed probably 8 wires in the 2 times I've worked on the bronco that went from nothing to nothing)...

1. Would it be reasonable to assume that to check that the connector is actually wired up I could use a multimeter and hit the brakes, check the voltage from the brake light wire to the ground wire... turn the right signal on, check the voltage from the right signal wire to the ground wire...etc etc? If not what is the easiest way to make sure it is in working order (other than plugging it into a trailer)?

2. How can I check to see if there is already a trailer brake controller installed? Can I do it the same way as above? Hit the brakes and see if I get a voltage from the trailer brake controller wire?

3. Ok so I kind of have 3 but this one is kind of unimportant since I figure the hitch can support at least a boat. How can I tell what class my hitch is? I looked on it and all that is stamped on it is "QS" where the hitch tube would go into the receiver.

4. Lots of people seem to say bronco's can pull around a 20' boat without a problem... Am I being too anal about worrying about pulling a 19' boat?

From the way everything is set up it looks like some previous owner use to tow something relatively big and/or a lot with my bronco. It has a tranny cooler (even though it is really small...appears to be single or double pass...), the 7 way connector, some sort of towing controller (guess I should look up the model to see what it is eh?), and what looks to be a Class III or IV hitch (guessing based of how rugged it looks compared to hitches I saw online). That's why I figure I'll be ok and I might already have a lot of the stuff I need but the guy also removed a lot of things before he sold it to the dealer my friend got it from so I want to make sure he didn't remove some of the trailer wiring too or the brake controller. Here is some info on my bronc and what I know about the boat/trailer I'm getting. Thanks for the help!

86 Bronco XLT
Fuel Injected 302 5.0L
stock A4OD
31" Wild Country Radial RVT Tires
Stock gears (3.08's? 3.10?)
Tranny Cooler (seems small unless there is a bigger cooler away from the radiator)

Towing
1972/73 19' Fibreform boat with inboard V6
Dual-axle trailer
Use to be pulled by a '94 (I think) Yukon.
Don't know exact weight but 19' boats with inboards 1972-1974 ranged 1000 to 2000 lbs. Figure the trailer puts another 1000 lbs on that? 1500?
Don't know if the trailer has brakes. Guy I'm buying it from says he thinks it does but he said it has a flat 4 light connector so either somebody adapted the wiring or it doesn't have brakes.
First, trip is going to be about 400 miles to bring it here. Figure I'll take it slow and I might end up breaking the trip into a 250 mile trip one day and a 150 mile trip the next day.
Normal towing is going to be maybe 15-20 miles but is down into a valley (road isn't terribly steep but it is a concern). I'll be beefing up the bronco hopefully before we start using the boat too much though so that should help (gearing to 4.56/4.88 so I can tow now and get bigger tires later, better tranny cooler, tranny temp gauge, overhaul brakes just in case, etc). Also my buddy has a truck so I don't think the bronco will be towing everytime we go.

Here's a picture of the boat and trailer... kinda small but photobucket resized it super small when I uploaded it.

 

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the brake control should be a little black box mounted under the dash with in drivers reach...it will either be digital or have a slide handle on the front...only way mine will show power is if the trailer itself is connected up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow you guys are quick.

redwagon said:
the brake control should be a little black box mounted under the dash with in drivers reach...it will either be digital or have a slide handle on the front...
That sounds exactly like the box I was saying I should look up the model number for...It's black and has a sliding button on the front of it. The Slide doesn't stay though so I guess it just needs a momentary connection to turn it on and another momentary connection to turn it off? Always wondered what the heck it was... The bronco just keeps getting better and better! :) Thanks for your input.
 

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the slide is just an override if needed...the box itself controls the brakes...on the sides of the box should have some type of adjustment wheels...one for leveling the internal switch and the other to control the amount of braking sent to the trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alright so that is definitely what that box is. Cause it does have 2 wheels on one side (more things that I didn't know what they did).

So two questions then.

1. How does the internal switch work so that it needs to be level and more importantly how can I know that it is level?

2. So if the switch is an override is that like I can push that switch and it would activate the trailer brakes in case my normal brakes didn't activate them or something?

I don't have the manual for this thing anymore and have never had a tow setup let alone one that was any more advanced than a 4 flat plug for the trailer lights. By the way, if at any point I should just start searching again let me know. Thanks again for all the help.
 

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You will have no trouble towing the boat. I would suggest hitching the trailer up to test things. You are likely to find the PO had his own idea of what went where and the connections may need straightening out.
By all means test with a light or multimeter and write down which pins are which.
 

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cant quite recall how to set up for level...but to adjust the amount of pressure you need the trailer attached...so that as you apply the brakes you watch the indicator light on the controller change colors...plus you try to get a feel for how the trailer is acting....to much pressure you will feel the trailer brakes stopping quicker the the bko...and not enough will make it feel like it is pushing your bko...

edit...reading thru your post if the trailer has a four flat...it doesnt have brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, according to the guy I'm buying it from it has a 4 flat but he said he also thought it had brakes. Either way he is confused. If I'm lucky it'll be that somebody was retarded and didn't want to use the brakes so they cut the harness and spliced a flat 4 OR I could get really lucky and have him be confused and find that the flat 4 is an adapter and there is a 6 or 7 way plug behind it somewhere. Only time will tell.

Anyhow, thanks for the help. Good to know the brake controller is there if I ever need it. For $375 plus $100 for registration and tabs I'm not going to complain that the trailer may or may not have brakes and may or may not be wired correctly. I'll post again later this month to let ya know how the trip goes. The bronco made the trip without the boat before I changed the thermostat, temp sensor and coolant. Much more confident it'll make it now particularly since I don't plan on being in a hurry. Anyhow, I'll let ya know how it goes. Thanks again.
 

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For the weight you want to tow, I would want brakes on the trailer. Find out if it has surge or electric brakes. If it has surge brakes all you need is a plug that converts your seven connector plug to flat four connector. RV stores sell them.

If it has electric brakes, you need to change the trailer plug to match what is on your Bronco. You will need a minimum of five working wires from your seven connector plug on your Bronco. Test and see if you have them:
1 lights
2 lt turn/brake light
3 rt turn/ brake light
4 ground
5 trailer brakes
6 could be aux power (12 volts to charge a trailer battery) NOT needed
7 backup lights, NOT needed

If you can find the brand/model of your brake controller, manufactures web site should have operating/ set up intructions.

The manual lever on your contoller is useful to set up your brake controller. Drive about 30 mph and see if using it you can lock up the trailer brakes, adjust to the point of just locking up and back off a little. It is also useful to control trailer sway, if the trailer starts swaying only brake the trailer and if usually stops swaying.

If when you hook up the trailer you find it really sags your bronco in the rear get a weight distubution hitch with equailer bars. The bars come in different weight ratings.
 

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If the trailer has electric brakes,I would wire it so that the breakaway battery is charging while the trailer is plugged in.That way you won't have to remember to charge the battery up every so often.I agree with sar450,if the trailer has brakes and a 4 connector plug,then it probably has surge brakes.
 

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you don't NEED brakes for that. I have a 24 ft bayliner i don't use brakes. I have also towed a skid steer w/o brakes (not fun w/ a 302) that was just a little hairy
 

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I'm having the same fun trying to connect my new pop up tent trailer to my Bronco. The previous owner really messed things up but I think I have it figured out. Anyway here is the diagram from the 4 flat to 7 round adapter from Hoppy. It might help you out.

 

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To add to that, the proper tee adapter for the Bronco is the Hoppy model 40425. I bought the 40125 which is for the F150 but it is wired differently than the 40425. I will return the one I bought and just hard wire the 47185 4 to 7 adapter to the Beater. I still need to buy a brake controller. It might not be necessary but it's better to be safe than sorry.
 

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bronco1 said:
You do legally,remember that the brakes on the Bronco are good for a total of 6250 lbs.
whoops i didn't know there was a legal limit
well i f^cked that up:goodfinge
 

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Here in B.C. Canada,the legal limit for having to have trailer brakes is 1500 lbs or if the trailer weight is greater than 50% of the tow vehicle weight(which ever is the lesser amount).Plus you can't be over the gross combined vehicle weight of the tow vehicle,as indicated by the manufacturer.Also,if the trailer has brakes,it must be equipped with a brake-away system to apply the trailer brakes if the trailer "breaks-away" from the tow vehicle.
 

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Ok not to hijack but i'm getting ready to make me a utillity trailer with a 3500 lb axel then would i need to put brakes on it.. I was thinking of doing it but they cost so much and can be a pain if not wired up right.
 
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