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Installing an electric brake and tow package

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Old 03-19-2004, 12:57 PM
mikebol mikebol is offline
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Default Installing an electric brake and tow package

Hello everyone!

My first post as a first time Dodge owner! I just recently purchased a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab, 4x2, Molten Red, 20" Rims and a Hemi. It's a great truck so far (2nd week of ownership) and I really, really like the comfortable seats!

Anyway, the only thing I wish the truck had was the tow package. It was tough finding the setup I wanted and I figured I could install this myself pretty easy. So, I have some questions for you experts...

Q1) I am going to be towing a ~5500 pound trailer 4 to 6 times a year. The truck comes from the factory with a transmission cooler installed, is that enough or should I look at getting a bigger cooler? If so, any recommendations?

Q2) I am going to pick up the Class III hitch somewhere online, probably eBay for about $70 to $80. Is there a better place to get this online? I can get one at my Dodge dealer for $109 plus tax.

Q3) I want to use an electronic brake system. Are these tough to install or are there kits to do it? I would really like to find a brake kit that would snap into the factory wiring and not require me to cut into anything on this new Dodge. I'm Ok with bolt-ons, wiring nuts and stuff with the kits; I just really don't want to risk messing up the truck. Any recommendations would be awesome!

Q4) Finally, I am going to pick up a 7 pin trailer connector online as well, maybe eBay if I can find one. Similar to Q3, if there were a kit that included this, I'd love some recommendations.

Thanks all!

Mike
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Old 03-19-2004, 01:37 PM
Aftrshck Aftrshck is offline
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Default RE: Installing an electric brake and tow package

OK, first off, I would be VERY leery about buying from ebay...check out your local parts stores...heck..even walmart carries rigid hitch up here...

as far as the 7 pin connector...is the truck set up with that?? hooking it into the wires, they usually just clip right in..no wires to cut...the electric brakes usually is a harness that plugs in under the dash to the existing trailer package...its all perfect...i am not sure if they changed or not...but mine is a 1..2..3..type set up....not sure but I would assume the wiring will be the same...you just wont get the pretty connectors with your vehicle like i did...

good luck...hope i helped a LIL bit....
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Old 03-19-2004, 02:15 PM
mikebol mikebol is offline
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Default RE: Installing an electric brake and tow package

Thanks for the reply, Aftrshck. :-)

I was only thinking of getting the hitch itself from eBay as I figured this would be pretty standard and couldn't get damaged in shipment. I'm not sure if WalMart carries the type of bolt on that I need but I'll certainly check.

The electronics I'd prefer to get from a local auto supply store, I agree.

The truck is setup with a 4 pin connector and in researching this, I've found 7 pin trailer connectors that plug right into the 4 pin harness. However, I've not found anything that plugs in to handle the brakes, hot lead, etc. I've not crawled under the dash yet to see what is there, but, I think that is the next thing to do.

Here are some instructions that I found on eTrailer.com:
http://www.etrailer.com/faq/dbc.asp

I also need to visit the local parts shop to see what they have. That'd probably answer a few more questions for me.

Mike
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Stock drop in bedliner, Dodge factory step bars
2008 Forest River Wildwood 29BHBS LE

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Old 03-19-2004, 02:53 PM
meurich meurich is offline
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Default RE: Installing an electric brake and tow package

The structure for the class III hitch already exists under the cab. The only thing you are purchasing is the bolt on receptacle for the hitch. Make sure you get the one for your truck and the install is easy. You can check out dodgeparts.com for discounted mopar parts.

As far as wiring, mine had the four or five pin receptacle so I had to add the 7 pin and run a couple of wires (12 GA),one from the battery to the plug and one from the brake controller. Then you have to install the brake controller in the cab. It will require power, gnd, one of the wires going to the plug and the brake light wire. You can find it on the multiconductor connector on the brake pedal assembly. In many Dodges it is the wire with the tan stripe. (I didn't do that part yet so I don't know for sure if it is on my truck.)

There are some good webpages out there for the wiring but they are hard to find. If I find the link to one I referenced I'll post it.

Good Luck
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Old 03-19-2004, 04:08 PM
mikebol mikebol is offline
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Default RE: Installing an electric brake and tow package

Thanks, meurich, for the reply.

From what you describe, I must be on the right track then. The link I posted in a previous reply pretty much details the "How To" of installing a brake system and power lead. I was just hoping there was something that would plug into the OEM plugs rather than using the Scotch Lock wire connectors or something similar.

Thanks for the guidance!

Mike
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Stock drop in bedliner, Dodge factory step bars
2008 Forest River Wildwood 29BHBS LE

There's no replacement for displacement
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Old 03-20-2004, 03:47 AM
excelent3 excelent3 is offline
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Default RE: Installing an electric brake and tow package

Best place is etrailer.com. You can buy a bolt on do-it-yourself class III hitch for $127 and the adapter for wiring is on the same page, usually a plug-in, very simple....One of the best brake controllers is a Tekonsha Prodigy.... You can do it yourself, the whole deal should run you about $265. I trailer about 60 campers a year as an RV dealer, have had good luck with this outfit.....Good Luck
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Old 03-21-2004, 04:57 AM
Palm Palm is offline
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Default RE: Installing an electric brake and tow package

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.

Good luck with your installation. If I can offer any further help, just post or PM me.
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Old 03-21-2004, 10:40 PM
mikebol mikebol is offline
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Default RE: Installing an electric brake and tow package

excelent3 and Palm, thanks for your replies.

I have been looking at eTrailer and they have quite a bit of information there. They also have a step by step install on an older model Dodge but I was hoping that there might be an OEM plug in kit to keep me out of the factory wiring. Not that I can't do it, I just get nervous messing with the electric and especially the braking system of my NEW truck.

I'm ready to give it a go, I think I have what I need!

Thanks all for your help!

Mike
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2007.5 Dodge Ram 2500 QC 4X4 SLT TRX4
6.7 CTD 6spd Auto
Stock drop in bedliner, Dodge factory step bars
2008 Forest River Wildwood 29BHBS LE

There's no replacement for displacement
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2005, 02:26 PM
dodgethisone dodgethisone is offline
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Default RE: Installing an electric brake and tow package

thanks for knowing so much, i know so little, do i understand this right, the blue is the one that conects from th brake controller all the way back to the blue wire on the 7pin connecter female that receives the male 7 pin on trailer and the rest of the wires are one ground two turn signals and 3rd brake lights.4 running lights.
[IMG][/IMG] So f i have a dodge ram 15oo wth no towing package should be able to find under the dash a blue 4prong connector that i plug a controller harness into and that harness attaches to the controller and the controller gets juice from black wire gong to positve on battery white goes to ground on battery and the red on goes by the foot pedal on brakes to a tan/white wire then the blue runs all the way back to the 7 pin connector that i need to buy and the four pin flat pug conects to the trailer 7 pin and . im really slow at this so am i close or just still lost in high weeds?
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2005, 02:04 PM
HemiBuell HemiBuell is offline
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Default RE: Installing an electric brake and tow package

Have you thought about a tranny cooler? I think it only comes with the trailer package.
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Old 11-14-2005, 02:04 PM
 
 
 
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