2004 Ram 1500 quad cab, 5.7hemi, it had a four wire trailer harness factory installed and there is another wire that was terminated and tied up at the harness at the rear of the truck (i was assuming for a brake lead)
I'm installing a trailer brake control and have reached a bump in the road. I have purchased my trailer brake controller, wiring harness for rear of truck and harness for trailer, and the "connector" for under the dash to connect the controller. I CAN'T find the harness. I read on etrailer.com that it should be a blue harness near the emergency brake...under the driver side dash.
I found a blue connector..but it has 5 wires and NOT 4 and doesn't match the harness I purchased for the controller.
Heres a pic of the under dash harness I located...it is blue but has five wires. The harness itself has six holes but only five have "pins".
I'm assuming this is NOT the factory brake control harness and I'm thinking possibly my truck doesn't have one...
Here is the harness I purchased:
Am I gonna have to manually wire this thing up???? any tips or advice on how to go about that??? Power, ground, and the brake lead will be no problem but what do I do with the brake light wire?
I'm hoping I'm just missing the harness somewhere, but I've dug all around under the dash and can't locate it.
oldjeep, thanks for the reply...while the wire was NOT to the right of the steering column, your reply motivated my butt to not stop searching till I found the darn thing.
Well I found the factory harness for the brake controller!!! Its actually located right near the firewall behind all kinds of wiring. It was NOT easy to locate, I ended up removing the panel below the steering wheel to get a better look and finally found it. It was tied up with a rubber band on the firewall, almost directly behind the emergency brake pedal mechanism.
I hooked up my brake controller and then went to testing that mysterious wire at the rear of the truck. Its a white wire with a brown stripe and was tied up and terminated at the bundle of wires where the 4way trailer harness was at. I tested the wire with a multimeter and I get 13.98volts when the brake pedal is applied but the brake controller doesn't light up??????? This wire is fairly small, perhaps 18guage or smaller...nowhere near the size of the wires on the controller and harness. Perhaps this isn't the facotry wire for brakes? What the heck is it for? As i said, it shows voltage when brakes are applied. No voltage without brakes.
The etrailer.com website mentions possibly having to run a wire from the harness located behind the front drivers side wheel well to the rear of the truck for the brake wire.
Any tips or advice is greatly appreciated!!!!
After reading and searching for hours last night, I can't seem to find what the white w/brownstripe wire is at the rear of the truck. Its weird, it gets voltage when brakes are applied but its NOT from the brake controller. From my research, it looks like I will have to splice into the factory harness behind the drivers front wheel well and run a lead to the rear for the brake controller. My truck didn't come with the factory 7way harness or it WOULD have the wire already run. (i think)
I'll post what I find tonight hopefully.
I'm more confused than ever!!! I found the factory harness and hookep up the brake controller. After reading on etrailer, I found that there isn't a wire run to the rear of the truck for the brake control, it actually terminates at a harness behind the front driver wheel well. I've located the proper wire(also found a hot lead I may run to the back) cause I can get the controller to light up when I put my multimeter in "battery load test mode". I get NO lights if the meter isn't in the test mode, but I DO show voltage even without the controller lighting up. What has me so confused is that I'm getting 12-14volts CONSTANT power. No brake applied, the truck off and the keys out of the ignition, I'm still getting voltage. I checked voltage at the controlle as well as the harness behind the wheel well where I'll be splicing to run to the rear of the truck, anyways on the controller(disconnected lead to test) and the harness(with controller lead wired back up) the meter shows constant voltage with or without the brakes applied or the truck even on!!! I'm thinking something is wrong??????? A buddy gave me the brake controller, so possibly it is faulty?
The controller may not light up untill it feels the load of the trailer brakes.. my prodigy tells me when im connected or not that would explian why it only works in load mode...and why you have voltage at the connector at all times .... i bet you thats it... wire it up and hook up to a trailer and test it need any more info let me know
Thanks again Josh P! The controller I was given is a tekonsha "voyager" model. I'm hoping your right. I went ahead and ran the brake lead from the factory harness by the wheel well and ran it to the rear of the truck...following the factory wire loom and zip tied it up along the way. I just have to wire up a new harness at the rear of the truck and also on the trailer(its currently only wired for lights, but the brake wire(s) are ran already)
I've got another question...Is there any reason I can't use a 5-flat harness instead of the RV type?
I don't have a break away system for the trailer yet, but it has its own 12v supply from what I gather about them.
I did find a 12v "hot" lead at the factory harness I could run to the rear if necessary. I don't have anything else to be "powered" on the trailer that would require anything but the 5-flat. Any reason that isn't acceptable?
Btw, I still don't have any idea what that other wire I spoke of was for. It only gets voltage when brakes are applied but it doesn't come from the brake controller. It was tied up inside the factory harness where the 4way trailer came out of. Maybe another brake light lead for something? It was quite small guage, 18-20 or so
These brake controllers need to have a ground to the blue wire for the controller to show a green light. to test the controller use a 12 volt test light. Attach the clip to a good ground and test the blue wire. The controller should show a green light. Press the brake pedal and the light should progress to yellow then orange then red. Most new controllers come with a mini cd with adjustment instructions.
The brake controllers need to see the brake load or they go dark.
If the controller ever goes dark on the road you will know immediately that you do NOT have any brakes working back there.
The 5th. pin on the flat connectors is connected to the Backup Lights to DISABLE the brakes while backing up.
If you re-purpose the the 5th. pin as a brake controller signal, only you will be able to pull your trailer, No one else will.
Also you will NOT be able to pull any other trailer with brakes that hasn't also been Rednecked!
The flat connectors are marginal at best. Stay with the 7 pin RV connector.
Thanks everyone! I used a test light and the controller does light up. I will aslo go purchase the proper 7way connector, I"m trying to fix redneck repairs and NOT make more of them, so i'll do it right. I'll post results when completed. Thanks again guys!
I installed a 7pin and 4pin combo connector this evening. My truck actually had a hole with a plastic plate over it in the bumper already for this purpose! Sweet! I have to run the wires for the aux. power and reverse leads but i'm in no rush as I don't need them now. I went ahead and installed the 7pole connector on the trailer as well and wired everything up. Laying under a trailer for two hours replacing the freaking romex somebody used for the brake leads wasn't that exciting. But I replaced all the wiring with 12guage primary wire and covered it all in wire loom. While I haven't taken things for a drive yet, I'm concerned. The controller does light up when I connect the trailer to the new plug. However, when applying the brakes the light doesn't change and I don't here the "pucks" smacking against the drum like I did when i tested them with a battery.
As I said, a buddy just gave me this controller so possibly it isn't working properly. Its a tekonsha voyager older model. Again, the pucks DO work but I don't hear them engaging when the brake is applied even with the gain turned all the way or pressing the button on the controller. Perhaps they are engaging and I just don't hear them smacking the drum, although the sound was quite prominent when I tested them via a battery. Tomorrow, i'll take it for a spin around the block and see whats up. I get voltage at the wire (blue brake lead) but it doesn't seem to fluctuate at all, brakes on or off. Shouldn't the controller be regulating the juice going to the pucks depending on the gain setting and brake engagement????
Thanks so much all of you for your help!!!! The brake controller I was given was faulty. I had suspected this from the beginning and confirmed today. I bought a new controller from hopkins and the brakes are working! At least the magnets are buzzing when the brake is applied and the digital readout shows me the "gain" when I apply the brakes. I also like the new 7pin,4pin combo connector I installed. The big boat uses the 7pin and the lil boat and lawn mower trailer use the 4pin. I haven't pulled the big boat out yet to adjust the brake level but all six magnets are buzzing when the brake is applied so i'm assuming things will work......hopefully...
I took some pics of the new stuff:
New brake controller mounted under the steering wheel
New trailer connector harness thingy mounted in the hole in the bumper provided by the factory..even the bolt holes lined up! sweet!
I had a feeling things weren't right with that old controller when the voltage readings were so confusing and the light never changed colors like its supposed to. Would have saved myself all the trouble if I just bought a new one from the beginning.