Monday, September 2, 2013

Keeping it Legal

Along with our old boat we got an old Superior Mfg. Co. trailer. When we first bought the boat the first thing we did was to replace the tires and wheel bearings. Other than that, the trailer has been neglected. 

Then when we were having the gel-coat repairs done, George got his buffer tangled up in the loose wiring and tore out one of the sides of the wire harness. It was time to re-wire the trailer to keep it legal.
See the wires dangling from the trailer? You can almost make out the piece of
string the  previous owner used as a wire tie.

Since we were a little over cast on Saturday morning I figured I could take an hour or two and rewire the trailer. I bought the 20' trailer wire harness kit from Auto Zone and I was ready to go. My goal was to to run the wiring inside the trailer frame to keep everything neat and tidy. As usual I under estimated the time required for the project and spent the next 5 hours messing with the trailer.

First I drilled a 1/2 hole at the top front of the trailer frame and drilled another 1/2 hole at the bottom back of the trailer frame. Then I proceeded for two to three hours to frustrate myself trying to run a single wire down the backbone. First I attached a nut to the wire and lifted the nose of the trailer 5' in the air. Then I added more weight by taping a deburring bit to the wire and lifted again. No matter what, the wire would fall about 3 feet and stop. I knew if I had a barn with a hay loft I could winch the trailer straight up in the air and my weighted wire would fall down to the bottom but the closest hay loft is probably 100 miles away...

So I figured a "fish tape" would do the trick. (A fish tape is a roll of flat wire that you can push down a run of pipe.) But that would require another trip to Home Depot and parking is so hard to find on Holiday weekends I didn't want to leave again. So I went and got the "fish tape" we all have in our bedroom closets... a wire coat hanger. 

The down side to this plan was I would need to drill a 1/2" hole every 3 feet, so I drilled away. But then when I was on my last hole my cordless drill battery died. I so desperately wanted to finish my project that I spent an hour trying to drill the last hole (charge for five minutes, drill, charge, drill). It was silly and I was just frustrating my self. I even considered driving to Home Depot to buy another battery. (I call this heat-stroke logic.) So I put the battery in the charger and went in and took a nap! When I woke up the battery was charged I drilled my last hole and within an hour the trailer was wired.

I still need to add rubber grommets where the wire passes out of the trailer neck and at the tail lights and I need to at least paint the holes where there is raw metal exposed to keep them from rusting. (I actually I need to paint the whole trailer.) But at least the wiring is now all neat and tidy.

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