General Towbars - here we go again.

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Would love a towbar on the back of dobbin but am a little confussed about the electrics (mine's an 06 plate 1.9 jtd).
After reading earlier threads on the subject it all seemed so easy - especially fitting the ironmongery but the electrics...

A DiY towbar offers huge savings over a garage fitted jobbie but looking around the web just serves to confuse matters.

Some makers say I can simply scotchlock the wiring into my existing rear lights (as I have done on many previous motors), others say a 7 way bypass is required and yet others say I need a vehicle specific kit which plugs into various points along the way.

Fiat themselves are neither use nor ornament, they will not tell me what I need - obviously wanting me to buy their overpriced equipment (£400) and won't even hint at the wiring - Would it really hurt them?

I know in previous threads users have said they have scotched the wires in but the seeds of doubt have been planted by towbar manufacturers.

Anyone in the know?
 
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Some dealers are friendlier than others. Maybe if you try a few more you might find one that's more helpful.
You would think that if there is a proper Fiat towbar wiring kit they could just sell you one.
 
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sludgeguts
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Some dealers are friendlier than others. Maybe if you try a few more you might find one that's more helpful.
You would think that if there is a proper Fiat towbar wiring kit they could just sell you one.

I agree with the latter, as for friendly dealers... i contacted Fiat UK who, basically, wanted nothig to do with 3rd party towbars & suggested taking the motor to my local dealers:rolleyes:

When I contacted my local dealers, all they could suggest was taking dobbin in for them to have a look.

Obviously not prepared to tell me the secret of the Dobbin's leccy.
 

maisie the ugly bug

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We had one fitted to our doblo by indespension with twin electrics for £215.00
which i thought was not bad, but I know the wiring went up to the middle row of seats and took them about three hours to fit including towbar and electrics.
 
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sludgeguts
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We had one fitted to our doblo by indespension with twin electrics for £215.00
which i thought was not bad, but I know the wiring went up to the middle row of seats and took them about three hours to fit including towbar and electrics.

That's not bad. Average DiY job is £100.
I've just had a quote from a 'local' garage for £212. That's a 40 mile round trip & single electrics only!
 

cphawk

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mts towbars about £145 need two way relay on so ecu doesnt put light on dash!!:D :D :D
 

Ozzie1989

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I scotchlocked mine in on my 04 model without any problems, however if you are planning to tow any sort of trailer then you should have a buzzer for the indicators.

The best way to wire any towbar wiring in is through a bypass relay, because you aren't putting a strain on the original wiring + it contains a buzzer for the indicators already. However, if it's only a small trailer with only the basic lights (not caravans with lots of running lights down the sides and up the top) then the scotchlock is fine.
 
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sludgeguts
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Just had another quote - £194 and they come to me to fit.
Where's mts towbars? (and is that £145 fitted?)
 
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sludgeguts
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I scotchlocked mine in on my 04 model without any problems, however if you are planning to tow any sort of trailer then you should have a buzzer for the indicators.

The best way to wire any towbar wiring in is through a bypass relay, because you aren't putting a strain on the original wiring + it contains a buzzer for the indicators already. However, if it's only a small trailer with only the basic lights (not caravans with lots of running lights down the sides and up the top) then the scotchlock is fine.

Cheers Ozzie & Tango.
Decided to opt for the bypass relay.
If I have to scotch in the wires for the tow socket, I may as well run a cable to pick up 12v & scotch the relay in as I would have had to do anyway.
The company did say that they would recommend a relay but that it wasn't essential for the Dobbin.
Paying just over the ton for bar, ball, bumper protector, electric kit & bypass relay so not too bad.
I reckon it'll take me longer to strip the plastic panels than it will to fit the bar & electrics :rolleyes:

ILYKHIGO
 

Andy Monty

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sludgeguts does the 06 have a bulb failure warning if not you WILL need a 7 way bypass relay talking to a chap at the place i had my bar fitted (he fits them for Jordans of Hull and has an Alfa himself he reckons that fiat wiring is a bit thin to take the extra load of a caravan roadlights as unlike a small trailer they have front marker lights, side markers and more and more have a 3rd brake light.... ergo you risk melting the loom.


hope this Guide i put on the GP section helps helps..

https://www.fiatforum.com/grande-pu...ng-towbar-12-n-socket-7-way-bypass-relay.html

(edit to make clear)
 
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sludgeguts
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sludgeguts does the 06 have a bulb failure warning
No idea but other owners say they scotch the wires straight in
if not you WILL need a 7 way bypass relay talking to a chap at the place i had my bar fitted (he fits them for Jordans of Hull and has an Alfa himself he reckons that fiat wiring is a bit thin to take the extra load of a caravan roadlights as unlike a small trailer they have front marker lights, side markers and more and more have a 3rd brake light.... ergo you risk melting the loom.


hope this Guide i put on the GP section helps helps..

https://www.fiatforum.com/grande-pu...ng-towbar-12-n-socket-7-way-bypass-relay.html

(edit to make clear)

I have spoken with a few manufacturers & resellers now & the majority say it isn't necessary although most would recommend using the bypass. I have opted to install the bypass (see earlier post) just in case I ever tow a caravan - I only really plan to tow trailers & presently on the lookout for a largish box trailer to store some furniture in.
Thanks for the input, I'll have a read of your guide.
 

Andy Monty

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easy way of testing to see if you have a bulb failure system pull a side lamp/ indiator/brake light bulb and activate the light you should get a amber lightbulb with an sun burst pattern symbol on your dash it doesnt detect a blown headlamp or side repeater or high level brake light... I beleve (i could be mistaken) its some EEC regulation that all cars from a set date have to have it my active grande puntos an 06 and it has it..

are you planning on fitting a 12S (white socket)? if so you can get an intelligent relay which is easier to wire in as you don't need a separate wire to the alternator

http://www.towsure.com/product/1828-Self-Switching_Combination_Relay
 
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sludgeguts
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No, I was just planning on single electrics.
I figured if I have to scotch in a whole bunch of wires, I might as well ad the relay as it's simply a case of running one wire to the battery & another to the nearest earth point.
That way I'd be covered.
(hopefully):D
 
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sludgeguts
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Well, the towbar arrived yesterday so I thought I'd have a go at fitting it today as it is nice out.
Took me two hours to fit the towbar - not quite as easy as some would have you believe but certainly not a difficult process. Then I had to remove the bumper protection plate as the tailgate won't shut - plate is about 1cm too high(n) so I'll have to attack it later with a decent drill.

Gone in to wire up the leccy. Ran a wire from the cig lighter (on the driver's side - says max 180w so should be enough & I never use that socket anyway) under the carpet to the back & through into the boot inside the panel. Removed the panel to get a good view of the wiring.
There's a nice drain hole at the rear of the quarterpanel that allows the wire to be taken up to meet the rest.
Then comes the tricky part.
The 7 way bypass relay didn't come with instruction, however, there is a link to download them - but the downloaded instructions don't resemble the relay I have:eek:

Rings the freephone helpline & speaks to an engineer who is very helpful - I'm glad I did, the wiring is completely different.
He finished off by saying always route the trailer wire in on the fog light side to save on cable (only need to run two wires across then.
Of course, by this point, I'd already got the panel off, routed the trailer wire and live cable into the car on the passenger side - as per these forums:confused:
So, I turned on the ignition, switched on the lights.......fog light is on driver's side:bang:

Oh well, off down the shop to buy some 3 core cable (side, turn, fog) to run across the boot:cry:

One last point. Bejhind the nice side panel we have a huge plug & socket where the wiring joins up - if only someone would make a connector to go inbetween the plug/socket with screw terminals for the trailer wire (You can buy these things pre-wired to a trailer socket for about £80 but this thing must be dirt cheap to make.
 
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sludgeguts
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Well, ran the three core up & across above the rear door & back down to the OSR light cluster - and lost the @%&*@@ nut thingy down inside the bodywork - I was being really careful as well:bang:

If you want to include the fog light & only run 2 core cable, it is best to bring the trailer cable into the OSR (there is a handy drain hole where two bits of bodywork join) .
I brought mine into the NSR (passenger) & so had to run the three core cable.
Anyway.
For those who are interested (& to save anyone else from pulling the light cluster & possibly losing the silly nut thingy), the wiring colours are...

In order on the plug.

Offside (driver)
Grey (or a strange purple - it was hard to tell) - Fog
Green/Yellow - Brake
Pink - Indicator
White - Reverse
Yellow/Red - Tail
Black - Earth

Nearside (passenger)
Unused Pin (for fog if wired)
Green/White - Brake
Green/Red - Indicator
White - Reverse
Yellow/Black - Tail
Black - Earth
 
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sludgeguts
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Went down the main dealer today to buy a new nut to fix the light cluster - a really popular part, as used on a few Fiats - but they have none in stock - WTF how can you not carry any stock of one of THE most basic components?
The guy even admitted that they were a PITA & people lose them almost daily as they drop into the nether regions of the bodywork - a really stupid design flaw?
A better design would be to have a longer thread & a nut built into a large plastic washer/wingnut affair. This would hold the lights in place AND remove the need for the large grommet & stupid nut.
 

Obadiah

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If this is the nut I think it is, I had the same problems years ago, with a Lada, so the problem must go back to the 60's. and the Fiat that the Lada was based on. Obviously not an important problem, then?
 
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sludgeguts
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If this is the nut I think it is, I had the same problems years ago, with a Lada, so the problem must go back to the 60's. and the Fiat that the Lada was based on. Obviously not an important problem, then?

Obviously not to the manufacturers, but they don't ever have to remove the light cluster - for them, once it's on that's it.
 

bunterboy

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I'm currently (excuse the pun) struggling to wire in my 2004 Doblo towbar single socket, but no luck so far, can I just scotch lock the wires into one side of that big plug? Not sure which wire is which-no pink one on my loom...
 
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