if you have the special bellhousing, then JIMHO, you should reattach them. I think they're braces to help support the weight of the transmission, transfer case, tie it all together as a braced unit. I think in instances where these braces are used, the trans itself has a special case and the bell housing cover attaches with serious bolts, instead of the usual sheet metal screws. just my vague recollection.
Those are supposed to be attached to the aluminum flex plate cover. They are only on 4wd 73-87 GM's they keep the engine/trans from flexing and breaking the tailshaft of the transmission. There should also be a rod that runs from tcase to bellhousing. Zoom in on this picture you can see them attached.
Yep, old style trailer brake controller, you will find the other end of the line usually near the brake master cylinder. It can be disconnected, but you need to plug the hole properly otherwise you will lose your brake pressure. Also be aware one of the wires will be a constant 12+, should be red.
I have never used one, but my 87 suburban had one. I actually like the idea because it gives a brake signal to the trailer that is actually proportional to the pedal. A lot of the newer ones just use a signal from the brake switch and an accelerometer to provide a brake signal to the trailer brakes...
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