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Thread: How to rehabilitate trailer connector cable?

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    Default How to rehabilitate trailer connector cable?

    The 12-pin electrical connector cable on my M116A3 has seen better days. Although electrically it works fine, the rubber is so degraded that it leaves my hands covered in black residue when I plug or unplug it from my vehicle, and the rubber has cracked to the point that it is almost disconnected from the metal body of the plug.

    I ordered a lightly used replacement on eBay but even that shows some cracking in the rubber. It will eventually meet the same fate. That is, unless there’s some way to stop the dry rot. Is there some kind of treatment I can apply to the rubber to make it stronger and less likely to crack and fail?
    1991 Kasel M116A3 now a camping trailer

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    4 Star General Guyfang's Avatar
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    I used silicone grease when I was on active, worked very well.

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    The two brand new ones I installed on my trailers over two years ago or so are already showing small cracks in the rubber.
    They simply were not made to last the life of the trailer.
    Sun and heat are killers on the rubber.
    Mine sit in the sun a few hours each day and shade the rest.

    Once the rubber starts to break down, nothing can be done to stop it that I’m aware of.
    The grease trick guyfang mentioned will definitely help slow it.

    Buy a new one and keep the plug end covered with a rag to keep the Sun off.
    It won’t last forever but should last a long time.


    We have same issue with helicopters sitting outside most of the day.
    Even rubber mounts and bushings that cost thousands of dollars each, will degenerate due to the Sun, heat, and of course use.
    1987 M1008A1 (2)
    1986 M1009
    1995 NF2D FloodLight/Kohler-Kubota Generator Set
    1992 M101A2 trailer (2)
    S-280 Shelter

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    Moderator Tinstar's Avatar
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    CE916DE3-8BEB-4858-93D6-FFD2E94527F2.jpg

    You can always tuck your connector under the surge brake assembly.
    Keeps sun and water off it.

    This is how I store mine now.
    1987 M1008A1 (2)
    1986 M1009
    1995 NF2D FloodLight/Kohler-Kubota Generator Set
    1992 M101A2 trailer (2)
    S-280 Shelter

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    Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback. It sounds like the degradation of the rubber in the sun is par for the course for this equipment. On another forum I also got advice to wrap it in electrical tape it use heat shrink tubing around it. Has anyone tried either of those options?

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    4 Star General Guyfang's Avatar
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    The cable will be fairly stiff with heat shrink.

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    Moderator Tinstar's Avatar
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    Electrical tape will get gummy/hard over time in the sun.
    Use wire loom for the cable itself and just tuck the connector under the assembly as shown earlier.
    Both will keep sun off.
    The heat is a different story. It is what it is.

    Buy a new one while their still available.
    When current cable is beyond hope, install the new one.
    1987 M1008A1 (2)
    1986 M1009
    1995 NF2D FloodLight/Kohler-Kubota Generator Set
    1992 M101A2 trailer (2)
    S-280 Shelter

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    dumpsterlandingfromorbit! gimpyrobb's Avatar
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    I use heat shrink on my slave cables and its been great. Hard to find heat shrink for the plug itself, but the cable should be easy to find. Make sure you find exterior grade stuff or youll be doing it over quickly.

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