How to Install a Brake Controller in Your Tow Vehicle

by Contributor

Installing a brake controller unit isn't very difficult. This task is made even easier if your tow vehicle is a late model and comes with a 7-way connector as part of the towing package.

In this case, installation is as simple as mounting the brake controller in a convenient, easy to reach place, usually under the dash, just above your right leg, and connecting the wires from the brake controller to the wiring harness, and then plugging the harness into the harness located under the dash.

Here are the basic steps to take for the three popular late model trucks/SUV's: Ford, GM/Chevy, and Dodge.

Brake controller bracket

Install the brake controller bracket in a convenient location under the dash using the bracket supplied. This usually requires drilling two holes to attach the mounting bracket.

Snap-in bracket type

Mount the brake controller to the mounting bracket. Some brands provide a simple snap-in type bracket while others utilize mounting screws that go in from the side of the brake controller bracket.

Typical brake controller harness connectors

Identify the brake controller harness for your vehicle. Most newer vehicles equipped with towing packages are now providing a wiring harness which looks similar the ones in the accompanying picture depending on the make of your vehicle. Next, you will connect the brake controller harness to the vehicles factory-supplied wiring. If you have a Chevy, go to step 3. If you have a Dodge, got to step 4. If you have a Ford, go to step 5.

GM/Chevy brake controller harness location

GM/Chevy vehicles have a harness panel located on the driver's side towards the top left. Simply remove the cover and plug the harness into the slot shown in the accompanying picture. Zip tie the harness wires to another harness to prevent the wiring from hanging down near your feet.

Dodge brake controller harness location

Dodge vehicles, unlike GM vehicles, have an independent and movable wiring harness. On some dodge vehicles, the harness is found loosely stuffed under the dash above the driver's right leg. And on others, it can be found attached to a module above the driver's left leg. The harness is often blue as shown in the accompanying picture. Also shown in the picture is an example of the dodge harness attached to a wiring module as opposed to finding it loosely stuffed under the dash. Simply connect the brake controller harness connector into the vehicle connector. Zip tie the harness wires to another harness to prevent the wiring from hanging down near your feet.

Ford brake controller harness location

Ford's factory supplied brake controller harness end can also be found loosely stuffed under the dash, usually just above the driver's right leg. A Ford harness is shown in the accompanying picture. Simply connect the brake controller harness connector into the vehicle connector. Zip tie the harness wires to another harness to prevent the wiring from hanging down near your feet.

That's it! Pretty simple. See the video above for steps on how to calibrate and test your newly installed brake controller.

Warning

  • close If you have a different brand of brake controller other than the one shown in this how-to, like a Voyager or Prodigy, consult your owner's manual for specific instructions on how to calibrate and test the brake controller.

Items you will need

About the Author

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