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Author Topic:   4 Runner trailer wiring - saga continues
Casco Bay Outrage posted 01-03-2006 04:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for Casco Bay Outrage   Send Email to Casco Bay Outrage  
(My apologies to Jim if this is supposed to be in Performance)

The saga of my 4Runner trailer light wiring keeps going. A year ago I blew the factory installed converter (short tongue on my Royal trailer was the culprit, along with my stupidity.)

Having considered the OEM replacement (overpriced "Toyota" pigtail kit off the tail lights) I went to Uhaul last year and got their branded kit installed ($150 cheaper than OEM).

Last week my vehicle started to experience a rash of weird events (ABS light on, Turn signals not working, Shift lock frozen). The culprit was a shorted U haul converter. The thing was half melted (given back to me by the Toyota mechanic)

I am looking for something that will protect the vehicle and the trailer lights.

Will a kit with "circuit protection" be as good as a harness that runs from the car battery with a seperate fuse?

What brand do you like?
Self install?


thediscusthrower posted 01-03-2006 04:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for thediscusthrower  Send Email to thediscusthrower     
I installed a HOPPY trailer light kit (purchased from Auto Zone) into the tail lights of my 1994 Toyota 4 X 4 X-Cab (which I use to tow my 15' Dauntless) and don't have any problems with it. It was a fairly simple installation; just make sure you have a good ground!


deepwater posted 01-03-2006 06:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
i got one of the toy plug converters for my 95 toy in 95 and havent had any probs and it still works in 2005 and i dunk my trailer past the lites all the time new bulbs and some grease and im good to go ,, if i were you i would chech out your trk your feeding way too much juice to the rear to melt it
Chuck Tribolet posted 01-03-2006 07:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
If the converter got hot enough to melt, something is wrong
besides the converter, and if wasn't fixed, it will happen
again. But I'm at a loss to guess what. Melting the
converter would take a significant amount of current, but
not enough to blow the fuse. If it was just a dead short to
ground, either the fuse would blow or the diodes in the
converter would blow, or both, in any case right
away and long before the converter got hot enough to melt.
It had to be something that would cause a load close to the
fuse capacity and just a bit over the diode's capacity, for
a long time.

And I can't imagine what would cause the ABS light to come

I did selfinstall on all three Pathfinders. It was whatever
brand the local auto parts store had. These things aren't
rocket science, just four diodes.


CatBoatSailor posted 01-04-2006 04:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for CatBoatSailor  Send Email to CatBoatSailor     
Phil, I had a similar problem a few years ago with my 95'4Runner. I bought the truck with the factory installed towing package. The electrical connector was the 5 way flat connector. I had the truck in coastal North Carolina while I was on active duty with the Marines. Once I moved back up to New England, I began to experince problems with the onset of winter. The trailer connector became corroded by the salt that is put on the roads in winter up here. It eventually shorted and melted the small circuit card inside the trailer connector on the truck. Sounds similar to what you had. The short in the connector caused my fuses to blow on the brake lights and tail lights. This is a problem on the 4Runner because there is a relay in the electrical system that won't engage the shift until it sees voltage from the brake lights. I had to cut the trailer plug off in order to restore my lights and be able to go anywhere.
I found a new connector at Benny's similar to this one. productID=379&categoryID=71
I spliced this into the existing wiring and haven't had a problem since. I went with the 5 way to 4 way flat connector because both of my trailers only have the 4 way plug. (no trailer brakes)
I've also found that it's good to tape up those end connectors on the plug to prevent any corrosion from our fine New England winters.
CatBoatSailor posted 01-04-2006 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for CatBoatSailor  Send Email to CatBoatSailor     
Sorry looks like a bad link. 2nd try productID=379&categoryID=71
Casco Bay Outrage posted 01-04-2006 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Casco Bay Outrage  Send Email to Casco Bay Outrage     
I appreciate the input. I have been very frustrated with the whole thing ever since I blew the OEM converter.

I think the converter was mounted under the truck (on the hitch bar) and exposed to the elements. That and not having any circuit protection has taught me a lesson.

Are you going off the tail light wires from inside the body or just aft of the tail light? Where is your converter installed? In the vehicle or out?


David Livingstone posted 01-05-2006 09:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Livingstone  Send Email to David Livingstone     
Casco Bay Outrage, I had Apple Auto Glass install my trailer wiring inside my 95 4Runner. It sits coiled up inside my left inside storage bin when not in use. The wiring and converter came as one unit and was installed in about 15 minutes. To hook up the trailer, I have to open the tail gate and pass the connector between the tail gate and bumper and than close the gate and put up the window. I have not had any problems with it yet.


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