Trailer Brake Controller Install
Last week I had a 600 mile trip transporting cars to storage for my upcoming move this summer. I was going to haul a heavy 1968 station wagon with a 440. I needed to be able to stop this thing so I installed a Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller.
The first step for me was to convert my four pin wiring to seven pin. I picked up a seven pin receptacle and a four pin extension cable. I cut the four pin extension cable in half and fed the wires to the seven pin outlet.
Then, Starting from the rear, I began to add 12 gauge wire following the factory electrical harness for the trailer lights. This is the red wire you see. it goes into the seven pin with the four light wires above. Simply following the harness gets you all the way to the wheel well:
The harness runs over the gas tank and is tough to get to so I had to go by feel through here:
You can see my wire tie between the bed and the frame rail.
When you get to the fuel filler tube the harness is easier to see:
Here I ran the wire between the cab and the cross member section because there was too much dirt in the space where the harness goes through to feed the wire through.
Then I rejoined the harness on the other side:
I followed the harness along the frame rail all the way to the front.
I brought another length of wire down from the engine compartment through the space between the wheel well liner and the firewall and spliced it to the end of my first wire, which ran out right at the bend you see above. The harness runs through the wheel well liner as well, show below:
For power You hook up to the battery with a self resetting circuit breaker, and run a wire through the firewall into the cab:
Above is the circuit breaker. Below you see a green wire and a red going through the firewall. The green is spliced to the orange wire circuit breaker, and the red is the one i told you I ran down through the wheel well liner. They both go inside to hook into the controller.
The green is bringing power from the battery, and hooks up to the controller's black wire. The blue/red wire takes that power from the controller and sends it out to the trailer at the seven pin receptacle when the controller tells it to.
How does the controller know when to send power, and how much power to send? First, the controller needs to be hooked up to the brake light illumination wire. This is the wire that comes off the brake pedal switch (when the pedal is depressed the switch closes and lets current flow through this wire). This wire is the second one in from the drivers seat, as shown below. It is a white wire with a beige stripe. The prodigy controller uses some type of accelerometer to determine the amount of voltage to send out.
Once this is hooked up, there is one wire left, the ground wire. This wire is a white wire coming from the controller. I hooked it up to this body electrical ground point (in the center of the image):
Here are these four wires where they hook in to the controller:
I chose to mount the controller right above the emergency brake lever because it provides the easiest access to the manual override in an emergency.
The wire runs right behind the E-brake release and then into the area behind the knee panel.
And finally, The FINISHED PRODUCT!
I even brought back some mess!...
Nice, clean and correct install. The prodigy is a top of the line unit, too. Rep for that!
Great write-up and documentation! Rep points for that!:rep:
Nice write up,I have the same unit, love it
Looks very similar to the Prodigy that I have in my '08 Ram 3500. Good install. I'd recommend running wire loom over everything though. Great pics and a sweet truck. Like to see 'em dirty, being put to use. :)
:smileup: Awsome post/how to /step by step and of course PICS Well done and nice truck....thanks.:smileup:
I hit my knee on it every week or so but i knew that before hand I think the benefit of being able to reach it easily and fast wins out.
Looks like you did a nice job!
I have the same controller in my truck, you made a great choice, this is the best controller I have ever used. When the rv dealership installed mine I had it put in the same place because I have a cb on the other side. I think I'd mount it there anyway though, like you said easy to get at if the trailer sways or you you need to turn down the power towing through a city. One thing you didn't show was where you mounted the 7 pin connector. The dealership put mine under the bumper on it's own bracket. Two years later my brakes wouldn't work. I found out the connector had filled with road grime and had completely rusted up. There is a plug to the left of the license plate that you can remove and mount your connector in, which is what I did when I replaced mine. I don't know why those dunderheads put it under the bumper to begin with.
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