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Old 01-31-2018, 11:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rigging wire harness to flat tow

Might be picking up a samurai this weekend. It is rigged with a front tow bar, but no plug or wiring for the rear lights. But, it does have a plug on the back bumper for when it is the tow vehicle.

Iíve read some about how to tie into the factory lights, add bulbs, etc. Seems overkill. Why canít I just create a harness from the back of my dually to the plug at the back of the Zuke. Is there concern about pushing current back into whatever stock relays and flashers?
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Flat towing wiring

Hello again Wldfbio,

Looks like you decided to go the Sami route. Hope the one you're going to see is a good one.

I set mine up the way you are thinking about doing it. I ran a 4 wire harness from the front of the Sami to the back bumper and tapped into the Sami tail lights. Left enough at the front to reach the plug in the truck/RV and keep it rolled up and stored under the hood.

My vehicle tail light configuration is one dual red filament bulb for running and stop light and a separate amber light for a turn signal on each side. The standard 4 pin trailer wiring supports stop and turn on one the same bulb so I just ignored the wire for the amber turn light.

You don't want to back feed the 12V in either direction which is what will happen if you just tap into the towed vehicle light circuits. Use diodes to isolate the two 12v systems from each other. I used this set of 4 from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The vehicle and tow harness wires feed into each diode and output goes to the proper filament on each lamp. Itís easiest to locate the diodes at the rear near the lamp.

Tom
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Old 02-03-2018, 02:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomU View Post
The standard 4 pin trailer wiring supports stop and turn on one the same bulb so I just ignored the wire for the amber turn light.
Whether or not can safely be done will depend on how the tow vehicle is wired.
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Old 02-03-2018, 03:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Tow vehicle and towed vehicle wiring are very different.

When a vehicle is set up to tow, the tow wiring harness is intended to pass power from the tow vehicle circuits to the towed vehicle circuits, which may be a trailer with no power supply of it's own.

When a vehicle is set up to be towed, the tow wiring harness is intended to accept power from the tow vehicle circuits and route that power to the rear lights of the towed vehicle without allowing that power to "back feed" into the remainder of the towed vehicle's lighting circuits.

Your Samurai will have tow vehicle wiring, not towed vehicle wiring.

In addition to the above, consideration has to be given to circumstances where the two vehicles are wired differently - Samurais have four separate rear light circuits that need to be considered, the "running" lights, the stop lights and the left & right turn signals circuits - to power these as designed requires a minimum of five conductors, if the tow vehicle uses a similar rear light setup.

Note that - if the tow vehicle uses a similar rear light setup - many US built vehicles (your dually is US built - isn't it?) use a single lamp filament for both turn signal & stop lights - these can be routed through a four pin connector to the towed vehicle but if the towed vehicle uses separate turn signals, as is the case with the Samurai, the turn signals will not flash, and both stop lights will flash when the tow vehicle signals a turn in either direction, unless you get creative with the Samurai wiring.

So - onto my first question - what is your experience level with electrical wiring - specifically automotive electrical wiring - if I had to guess it would be little to no experience, if it was different, you would have known where the pitfalls were before you asked the question.

Second question - do you still think it's "overkill"?
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Old 02-03-2018, 05:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The one I looked at wasnít the one for me. He converted to the VW tdi motor with a few tweaks that I didnít like, plus it was leaking oil, leaking at the transfer case, and also the bottom of the master cylinder. Body was nice though.

I think Iíll look for a stock rig for about $2k, then do the build with a buddy. I gave myself a $6k budget for this hunting rig. Should be doable with simple OME upgrade, shocks, locker, tires, and enough if there are drivetrain issues.

The diode route makes perfect sense. Run wires right to the tail lights and then ensure my truck doesnít back feed beyond the Sammy lights.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I found a kit for my Sidekick that came with bulbs for the rear light.
You just ran the wiring through the existing channel on drivers side where factory wiring runs. At the rear, you drill a 1 inch hold in the existing tail lights. The new bulbs pop into the lower section of the lights. This way you are not connected any previous wiring.
When I got my Side kick the previous owner had a glove box of fuses. He said anytime he towed it blew a lot of them.
Just me thoughts.
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