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PwrTek

2003 Signature 260 Cruiser Care Mod & Info Thread

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Because there are not many sub-forums for boat modeal types here, and I have found some great information buried from long lost members, I wanted to try and gather good info for '03 and thereabouts Sig 260 owners to one thread. B)

Older posts will be linked to so you won't have to go dig 45 pages deep to find them, and I welcome postings from current members who have something to share. In my experience the web is pretty quiet about some of the things I have looked for. If we share what we learn with each other we can save time to spend on the water! :D

Some of you have been great help to me, and I thought, we can't have the knowledge so difficult to find when the next person comes along, and if it is all together in one place, so much the better! :)

With that, I will start taking pictures and making my posts in this thread. Calling Sig 260 Owners!

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Adding Deep Cycle Capacity & Voltmeter

One thing we have noticed is we have to be aware of our usage of the Deep Cycle battery, and with my career field this seems dumb. We decided to go from one Group 24 to two Group 27 batteries, and install a voltmeter in the cabin we could monitor when desired. We wanted to keep it looking OEM where possible, so bought the same type Attwood trays for the bigger batteries, and new Interstate deep cycle marine batteries.

An analog or bar battery indicator is nice, but I wanted a digital meter that could be calibrated with my true RMS multimeter for accuracy. Since our boat has Blue accents we wanted blue. You may not want to look at it glowing all night or drawing 10 milliamps so a switch would be good too. Here is what we came up with: (click for bigger pics)

The New Batteries In Parallel
Scaring Myself Taking A Dremel To The Dash
Finished & Calibrated Meter
Here is where I got the two parts I used:

Hope someone finds this useful!

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Converting From Surge Hydraulic to Electric over Hydraulic Trailer Brakes (EOH)

We converted the 4 wheel disc, hydraulic surge, Trail Rite trailer our Sig 260 came on, to EOH for a few reasons. We live in a steep hilly area, and launch on some steep snotty / slimy ramps. With the cruiser weighing 6000 pounds and the trailer another 1600, it can be really sketchy on the steeper ramps with no trailer brakes while backing down (as with surge brakes). Since the trailer will never press against the tow vehicle when facing uphill, this can become problematic in an unexpected situation!

Surge brakes are hands down the easiest to deal with, and do apply good braking force without too much trouble, though you want the 5 pin connector and the electric bypass valve (triggered by your reverse lights) to release the brakes if you back up or the brakes may apply when backing up any incline or hill. Only time surge brakes seem to particularly misbehave in my experience is if the little shock absorbers wear out; then the trailer can get touchy and jerk back and forth on the hitch when you brake due to unregulated movement of the surge brake actuator master cylinder.

I've had good luck with Electric brakes on an 8000 pound toy hauler - zero delay, and with a good controller (Prodigy for example) which has an accelerometer in it - they work beautifully. But if you already have surge brakes and want to have the nice control scheme and flexibility that electric controls can offer, a retrofit can be expensive. We opted to keep the nice brake effect of the 4 wheel hydraulic disc brakes, but control them with one of the new EOH controllers. You might say that EOH is well suited for heavy loads - solid hydraulic braking force with no lag, and adjustable electric controls.

We did the work and it was not that hard - it came out pro looking and works even better. Total out of pocket was about $800 (coupler, EOH actuator, breakaway switch, dual batteries w/ boxes & new trailer plug/pigtail), we already had a controller (prodigy) in the tow vehicle. Here is the summary of parts ordered from etrailer.com:

T4853100_250.jpgT4813100_250.jpgT4822100_500.jpgH20044_4_250.jpg

1     Titan Brakerite Ehb Ele.-hyd. Actuator For Disc Brakes       1         01     Gel Cell Breakaway Kit(2 Batteries +2 Boxes + switch)        1         01     Coupler - Extended 2-5/16 Bolt-on - 21k                      1         01     7-way Molded Trailer Wire Connector  6 Long                  1         0

The job involved disconnecting the brakeline, removing the Surge brake coupler, which was a Titan, bolting on the new Titan straight coupler which had the same hole pattern, though we enlarged 2 holes to fit the 5/8" bolts and insure no movement. We built a stainless angle mounting bracket to bolt to the trailer frame, then bolt the controller to it (all holes tapped 5/16" @ 90o degrees). Then we did the re-bending, re-flaring of the brakeline end to meet the new controller (cut off about a foot of line). Next, mounting the backup battery boxes by drilling and tapping the frame tube 1/4"-20 and running the new 7 way RV pigtail connector. You'll need to mount the break-away switch and wire everything up (note the pigtail has a different color code - follow note on etrailer website!). Finally, fIll the brake fluid up and bleed all brakes, starting with furthest away and working closer. Don't forget to check fluid level after each wheel or you could empty the reservoir and suck air! This results in getting to start all over again boo!

Here is our old surge brake system

Here is the completed conversion

In summary we couldn't be happier with the revised system! The adjustable control levels make it very user friendly once you understand it. A few Test Stops on flat ground help you see if you have things working properly.

If the tow vehicle's tires really scrub and scratch the ground you need to bias the brakes more to the trailer (increase trailer brake gain).

If the trailer wheels scratch or lock up, you need to bias more to the tow vehicle (decrease trailer brake gain).

Optimally, you will have a slight bias on the trailer which will help prevent a jack-knife when braking very hard in an emergency. It is very important to read your controller owner manual for initial gain settings. On our prodigy controller for instance, it designates 6.1 as the starting point for 6000-8000 pound trailer. Make sure you do this or your test drive might scare you - you'll be so far off the correct bias you could have nothing or far too much!

Hope you find this useful. B) (if you think my experience may help you, don't hesitate to PM me)

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Thanks for making this thread, it took me some times to find info on my recently acquired 03 260 sig.  I will try to share and contribute whatever I think that may help the 260 sig owners.  

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Recently purchased a 1998 Sig 260 ourselves.  Trying to located a factory swim platform but Chap does not offer one for that year model.  I wonder if one from a newer year model would fit up. 

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Thanks for sharing the brake conversion info.  I look forward to hearing and contributing ideas on this thread!

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