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trailer brake wiring???

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  #1  
Old 04-02-2009, 12:39 AM
Kevin58145 Kevin58145 is offline
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Default trailer brake wiring???

Hey everyone im new to the forum, I have a 2004 Ram 1500 Hemi 4x4 SLT quad cab.

I dont have a brake controller on the truck but the truck came with a hitch and the flat 4 prong plug just for lights.

I looked under the dash and up near the parking brake pedal there is a plug thats says "electric brake"

Question where does that plug lead? and does that mean the wires are there for me to wire the brake controller and 7 pole plug?

or do i need to run 3 more wires to the rear for the 7 pole plug?
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:59 AM
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everything is there, and pre-wired. the plug you found is where the harness you wire into your brake controller plugs into. if you dont have this harness, usually come in the glove box, then go to your stealership or parts store and get one and wire it to the brake controller and plug it into the plug you found and yours good to go.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:39 AM
09W3500 09W3500 is offline
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When I recently bought my Tekonsha P3 brake controller, I made sure they included the wiring adapter for the Dodge hookup (Part #3020). They go for (about) $12.00 + shipping on Ebay. (I had mine included with the brake controller, so they combined shipping.)
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:20 AM
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Wait. Do you have the 7-prong plug at the back of the truck? I don't understand how there could be a plug and wiring with no 7-prong plug????? My truck came with both so i don't know if you need to wire or not but it sounds like the plug maybe at the rear of the frame? I'd look there see if it's not tucked up back there as well???

I think only the 2500+ series came with the harness in the glove box, not the 1500's.
I too bought a Prodigy P3 and it came with a better harness than factory. The harness to plug from the plug on the e-brake pedal to the back of the controller. No wiring. It has connectors on both ends where as OEM needs to be wired on one end. Here's the link
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/P3-Br...Q5fAccessories

Best price around and a nice controller.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:08 PM
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I have the 2500, but it is my understanding that if you have the e-brake harness under the dash, then you have the 7 way receptacle on the back as well (part of the OEM towing kit?).

+2 to the others here, the aftermarket kits for OEM to TEKONSHA Prodigy (or P3) cables are the best... snap in, and you are done.

Look to the left of your rear plate bracket for a receptacle.
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:40 PM
TheFist TheFist is offline
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I'm looking for a brake controller as well. You guys recommend this one so its good enough for me. I've got the 7 plug on the reciever and the 4 plug is hanging there behind the bumper.

In the cab to the right of the parking brake is a piece of plastic with what looks like a nine slot plug. I guess this is the "port" that you plug the harness into. I'd just order the trailer brake with the right type of oem harness. plug side into the "port" in the cab of the truck and the other into the brake controller, mount the controller somewhere in the truck and my travel trailer now has brakes right?

On another note, if my trailer brakes were dragging, wouldn't they make the same smell my normal brakes would. After I hook this up I want to make sure my brakes aren't dragging.
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:49 PM
09W3500 09W3500 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
Best price around and a nice controller.
That's the outfit I bought my brake controller and wiring adapter from. I figure I saved about $50.00 when compared to local prices.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFist View Post

In the cab to the right of the parking brake is a piece of plastic with what looks like a nine slot plug. I guess this is the "port" that you plug the harness into. I'd just order the trailer brake with the right type of oem harness. plug side into the "port" in the cab of the truck and the other into the brake controller, mount the controller somewhere in the truck and my travel trailer now has brakes right?
Yes. That is correct as long as your trailer brakes are wired and working properly.
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Originally Posted by TheFist View Post
On another note, if my trailer brakes were dragging, wouldn't they make the same smell my normal brakes would. After I hook this up I want to make sure my brakes aren't dragging.
Yes but you wouldn't really smell them because they are so far back. Best bet is to jack each wheel up that has brakes and remove the wheel and spin the brake drum. You should have slight drag. The brake shoes should be barely rubbing in the high spots. If not, adjust accordingly.
If you don't want to go through all that and want to be a lazy man....lol Hook up the brake controller and while backing up at about 5mph with the trailer hooked up, hit the brakes. If they lock up and look like the trailer want to go in the air, they are too tight.
Another way is to drive a few miles around town and get out and feel the drum. It should be just warm to the touch. if they are really hot, they are too tight.
Now, if you are in drive and going 5mph and push the trailer brake lock lever over, your trailer brakes should dtop the truck and maybe even skid if you have dual axles and one axle brakes.
Hopefully that helped out a little.


For the mount, I actually bolted mine on the bottom of the steering column for that stealth hidden look. It's very tight and does rub if I try to drop the steering wheel to the bottom most setting, but why would I ever do that. I have it on the 2nd setting from the bottom and there's enough room. Also, some guys lift their steering wheels when they exit and most guys don't put the steering wheel at the botom location. here's a pic of mine. It's perfectly visible and super close to touch. Just pay very close attention to the steering wheel and make sure you can do a full revolution and not touch the controller. That is why it's recessed off the front lip about 1/2" and why it touches with the steering whel all the way down, but clears the 2nd notch from the bottom.

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Old 04-03-2009, 12:21 AM
Kevin58145 Kevin58145 is offline
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Default still confused

to the left of my plate is just a blank which pops out for the round trailer brake plug but the truck does not have one currently and the only wire that i clearly see is just the 4 wires for brake, tail and turn, but there is a plug under the dash that says electric brake which has me puzzled why would there be that plug under the dash but no wiring to the rear bumper.

thanks for all the replys i need to figure this out I dont like the feel of moving a loaded car hauler with no brakes on the trailer.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:57 AM
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I need to get a brake controller and not sure what to get. I'm gonna give this thread a little bump cause i have the same issue ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin58145 View Post
to the left of my plate is just a blank which pops out for the round trailer brake plug but the truck does not have one currently and the only wire that i clearly see is just the 4 wires for brake, tail and turn, but there is a plug under the dash that says electric brake which has me puzzled why would there be that plug under the dash but no wiring to the rear bumper.

thanks for all the replys i need to figure this out I dont like the feel of moving a loaded car hauler with no brakes on the trailer.
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  #11  
Old 04-30-2009, 03:41 AM
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You need to get a 7 pin connector and harness. This is what I bought.

http://www.autotrucktoys.com/ram/Mop...6319C1009.aspx

you plug your 4 pin into the back of the 7 pin, and mount the 7 pin connector in the bumper. You'll have to pull the left rear taillight and soldier one of the harness wires into the reverse lights. the other two wires from the harness go up to the front of the truck. One wire is to the battery to charge a trailer battery (optional of course) and the other is for the trailer brake controller. You can run the blue wire into the cab an tap into the green wire of the blue 4 pin connector you found under the dash. Then you need to get either the OEM trailer brake adapter to tie into whatever controller you want (Prodigy is great) or buy the prodigy cable specific to the Dodge Ram that requires no splicing.

here is a good description I grabbed from another post that talks about an alternate attachment point for the blue wire.

The Dodge truck comes with the connector for the electric brake controller under the dash to the left of the brake pedal. It's on top of the large wiring connector that you will see there. The problem is, while this connector is present in all trucks regardless of whether they are equipped with the towing package or not, there will be two other connections that you will need to make. The controller receptacle will contain the power to your controller along with the connection to the brake circuit and the ground connection. It also contains the electric brake wire but this wire is not carried through all the way to the rear of the truck. Neither is the battery wire carried through from the power panel to the rear connector. These are the two wires you will need to install.

I don't know if I would cheap out on the 7-pin conversion or not. Personally I would obtain the Mopar kit for this. It contains the wiring with a good plastic harness, the 4-pin connector on the rear that plugs into your existing connector, and the other two wires (Red-battery, Blue, elec. brake) going to the included 7-pin connector to be installed in the bumper. It also has an inline fuse to allow connection of the battery wire to your battery connection.

If you do not wish to run the wire through the firewall of the truck and want to use the existing wire coming out for the electric brake connection, you will find this wire going into the male section of one of the connectors under the truck directly behind the left front wheel. Although it goes into this connector, that's where it stops. It's a green wire, just clip it off of the connector and splice your blue wire into it. I suggest using a short piece of plastic harness that comes with the connector kit, to enclose this wire. If you are handy with this sort of thing you can make a real professional and secure connection that's next best to the factory harness. Be sure to have several black plastic cable ties on hand to properly secure the cable along the frame of the truck.

As far as receivers are concerned, I would not use less than the Class IV, although for your proposed load, the Class III is O.K. There's not that much difference in the price of the two. Take my advice and stick with a Prodigy controller, they are far superior to others, and I have had my share. I did buy my Prodigy off of E-bay and had very good results. You can also buy a harness that has the Prodigy connector on one end and your mating Dodge connector on the other for about $12.00, or you will have to obtain the mating connector from Mopar or some source, and splice it into the Prodigy connector harness.
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:58 AM
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+1 to what RAMJAM says you need to whole wiring harness to replace that blank in your bumper.

Yes the Tekonsa prodigy is the best controller hands down. Also well worth the $12 to get the converter cable from Prodigy to Dodge.

http://www.etrailer.com/p-90185.htm

My GF has a durango, with a prodigy... tows her 17ft camper, and 2 horse trailer, and has for 3 years, no problems. The readout of voltage to the brakes is nice to have... plus it has clear notifications for bad connection. It just works!

I was so impressed I got one for my 2500. Now we tow the stuff with the 2500 as well
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:18 AM
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wow ramjam thanks for all the great help. I already bought the tekonsha p3 (prodigy's new generation). I'm a little confused on the wiring of all this. I have the connector by the e-brake that the controller will plug into. I know i also have to splice into 2 wires under the wheel well to send to the back to turn the 4 pin into a 7pin. Is this where the mopar kit comes in handy? It says "no splicing". How?? where does it plug in and how is getting those two wires to the rear. Thanks
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:04 PM
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Towing has BIG safety issues involved with it, so I did not want to do anything other that purchase the Dodge tow harness. They flat out lie when they say "no splicing involved" If you want to hook up a trailer brake controller and have reverse lights, you have to splice. Otherwise, the other two connections are your stock 4 pin harness plugs into the back of the 7 pin connector, and you run the postive wire up to the battery if you need it for your specific trailer. The hot wire has a buit in eye terminal that you can eaisly add to the stock battery terminal connector. I went ahead and hooked the hot wire up, but I leave the fuse out until I need it. I did not tap the blue wire into the wheel well so I can't talk to that.

If you crawl under the dash and take a hard look at the 4 pin "towing connector" you will see a green wire. You need to splice the blue wire (trailer brake wire) from the Dodge harness into this green wire. I just clipped the green wire rather than doing a true splice. The green wire is not used for anything else so I did not want another current path leading out of the firewall to have to pay attention to if I have problems later. It was a bit of a pain for me as I like to soldier all connections, but you could use a butt connector pretty eaisly to attach the blue trailer brake wire to the green at the back of the blue 4 pin connector. Since this is inside the cab, butt connectors are fine for me. Anything outside the cab, and I soldier the joint, use shrinkwrap, and I add the protective plastic conduit to protect any wiring from abrasion. Lots of cable ties as well..

If you buy the Dodge 7 pin tow harness, it comes with slightly sketch instuctions (all pictures and symbols, no words!) to mount everything and route the wires back along the framerail. They provide all necessary screws and a good amount of heavy duty cable ties. I like the Dodge kit as it has the protective plastic couduit already installed, and a prewired weatherpack fuse for the battery connection.

I reflect on how I have to spend time evey other year screwing around with the trailer wiring on my boat and camping trailer to keep the lights working, I am NOT interested in having the trailer brake controller wire cutting out on me when I'm towing 7K worth of trailer on the highway with my family in the cab with me. Lights going out on my 2K boat trailer when I'm traveling 40 MPH from the lake is one thing, no trailer brakes on a 7K rig at highway speed is entirely different.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:31 PM
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I've found a few other 7pin kits that allow the 4 pin to plug into the back of it, plus the other 2 wires. from what i understand, looks like the only difference between them and the mopar one is some weather protection and about $40. Thanks for the great info x2
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Old 09-06-2009, 05:58 PM
Bob Cosby Bob Cosby is offline
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First post here - but did some searching first, so am going to ask my question on this old thread!

My 08 Ram 1500 standard cab does not have the towing package (though does come with the standard 4-pin setup). I have installed a hitch, 7-pin plug, and a brake controller. It is all wired except the brake wire and the power to battery. Power to batter is no problem - some 12 ga wire from the 7-pin plug up to the battery with an inline fuse. That will be easy.

What I have a question about is the brake wire itself (blue from the 7-pin and the controller). I have the wiring adapter that attaches the brake controller to the factory plug under the dash near the e-brake. That's all done. I have traced the green wire from the factory harness to the large connector underneath the cab, just behind the drivers-side front wheel. I am 99% sure this is the wire that I need to splice into the blue wire coming from the 7-pin connector on the bumper. However, the factory wire is a much smaller gauge than the blue wire on the connector (and from the controller, for that matter). It is probaby 16 or perhaps 14 gauge, while the blue wire on the 7-pin is 12 gauge (much larger diameter). Is this a problem? Should I be worried about it? Perhaps it would be better to run a 12 gauge wire directly from the controller to the 7-pin, bypassing the wiring adapter and factory wire for this particular connection?

Any input from knowledgeable folks would be greatly appreciated!

Bob
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:30 AM
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i would like to bump this because i also would like to know if that ^^^^^^ is a problem
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:13 AM
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Funny enough, I just hooked up a P3 the other day and low and behold the OEM wiring doesn't actually connect... drumming up service department business???

Anyway after about two hours of trying to figure out where the green wire goes to (unsuccessfully), and trying to figure out where the blue wire was supposed to connect (again, unsuccessfully), I said screw it, pulled it through the firewall, and I clipped and butt connected into the Tekonsha adapter wire and bypassed the oem green wire all together. Driving around it seems to work great. The OEM blue wire that was bundled up under the dash was 16ga, and I know that Tekonsha recommends 12ga - but I don't think it's going to be a problem.

If I was hauling a 12k+ fifth wheel around all the time going up and down the pass where I'd be using the brakes a lot, then it would make sense to have a bigger pipe - as there would be more voltage more consistently. I think with a 7k load and having the factory exhaust brake though, the 16ga factory wiring will be just fine.
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:50 PM
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Glad I found this old thread, bought an 04 Ram with the tow package.

Mounted the prodigy from my old truck into it, used the oem harness from the controller to the factory blue plug (which was very well hidden up behind the ebrake)

Everything seemed good to go brake controller had power, problem though was no brakes and it still shows as not connected when the trailer was plugges into the 7 way connector.

Traced some wires and i have a white wire for trailer charging all the way from the back to the battery with an inline fuse, the blue wire from the back goes into a grommet in the firewall and then is bunched up and taped in place not hooked to anything.

So I'm going to cut the green wire from the back of the blue tow connector and splice it to the blue one and I should be in business.

It makes no sense that they run the blue wire from the back into the cab and the green wire out to nowhere behind the front wheel, but now I know!!!
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidconway View Post
Glad I found this old thread, bought an 04 Ram with the tow package.

Mounted the prodigy from my old truck into it, used the oem harness from the controller to the factory blue plug (which was very well hidden up behind the ebrake)

Everything seemed good to go brake controller had power, problem though was no brakes and it still shows as not connected when the trailer was plugges into the 7 way connector.

Traced some wires and i have a white wire for trailer charging all the way from the back to the battery with an inline fuse, the blue wire from the back goes into a grommet in the firewall and then is bunched up and taped in place not hooked to anything.

So I'm going to cut the green wire from the back of the blue tow connector and splice it to the blue one and I should be in business.

It makes no sense that they run the blue wire from the back into the cab and the green wire out to nowhere behind the front wheel, but now I know!!!
I am having the same issues as you with my 08, my prodigy shows n/c when plugged into a 7 pin trailer. Someone at some point replaced the oem 7 pin receptacle and the blue wire from it is spliced into a what looks like a white wire with pink stripe running back towards the cab of the truck. Im thinking it isnt the correct wire?
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:08 PM
 
 
 
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