How to Wire a Trailer Brake Control to a Chevy Silveradoby John Cagney Nash
Chevrolet Silverados were factory-fitted with an in-dash "plug-and-play" harness for the fitting of aftermarket brake control before model-year 2007. Later model years still have the wires installed, but because they do not end in a terminal multi-block, some hardwiring is required. All feature a factory-fitted round seven-pin hitch mounted to the rear of the truck adjacent to the tow package, so wiring a trailer brake control to either installation is a relatively straightforward project.
Install the brake control in the cab according to the instructions delivered with the unit. Brake controls typically clip into a "C"-shaped bracket which must be fitted in the cab where the driver can reach it, no more than 30 degrees from horizontal and lined up with the fore/aft axis of the truck.
Locate the "plug-and-play" harness under the dash, if fitted. It is usually found taped to the steering column close beneath the dials. Route the harness from the brake control to the location of the truck's harness and press the two terminal multi-blocks together until the small sprung teeth in the sides of one component clip into receivers molded onto the other. Check that the appropriate fuse is pre-installed in the vehicle's main fuse-box.
Hard-wire the connections from the brake controller to the blue, black and white dead tails left under the dash if a "plug-and-play" harness is not installed; they are normally left loose but bundled with tape somewhere below and behind the dials. Route the blue, black and white wires from the brake control to the location of the truck's dead tails, use wire strippers to remove a half inch of insulation from all six wire ends, twist the color-matched wires together, make the connections using a soldering kit and insulate them with a shrink-wrap kit.
Route the solid red wire from the brake control to the microswitch on the brake pedal; it is located just above where the pedal pivots. Use a cable splice to join the red wire to the switched side of the microswitch. Check that a fuse sized to the installation instructions is located in the Chevy Silverado's fuse board.
- Consult Chevrolet Bulletin #06-08-45-008A, a copy of which should be available from any main dealer. The Bulletin features detailed wiring diagrams and the locations of wires and components which comprise the trailer brake control harness.
Items you will need
- Brake control kit
- Wire strippers
- Soldering kit
- Shrink-wrap insulation kit
- Fuse (optional)
- Cable splice (optional)
- camping,trailer image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com