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Installing a Brake Controller on a 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 with a Factory 4-Flat Trailer Connector


I see only 4 wires being available in the back of the truck they are in colors Black 16 awg, yellow 18 awg, brown 18 awg and blue 18 awg. How do I connect and what connectors would I need for the electric brakes and lights on the trailer that has a seven pin blade round connector. The manual says that in order to connect a trailer with electric brakes I need to connect to a wire harness located to the left of the brake pedal. Can you help me?


Expert Reply:

Yes, I can most certainly help you. It sounds like you have a factory 4-Way connector at the rear of your 2004 Dodge Ram. So you will need 2 things in order to have the lights and the trailer brakes functional on the trailer. First, you will need a brake controller installed in the cab of the truck to control the electric trailer brakes. Second, you will need a 7 and 4 way Installation Kit, # ETBC7 to allow for all of the functions (lights and brakes) to work on the trailer.

For a brake controller, I recommend the Tekonsha P2 Proportional Brake Controller, # 90885 and Dodge Specific wiring adapter # 3020-P. This is one of our most popular and highest rated models. It is easy to install and easy to use. I have included a link to the installation details below.

First, you will need to install the # ETBC7 harness. Plug in the factory 4-Way into the back of the # ETBC7. Attach the white ground wire to an existing ground point or to the vehicle frame. Next, attach the blue wire on the # ETBC7 to the white wire on the included duplex cable. Then attach the black wire on the harness to the black wire on the duplex cable. Route the duplex cable under the truck and up through the engine compartment. Be careful to avoid areas that might pinch or burn the wire.

Under the hood, separate the two wires of the duplex cable. The black wire attaches to the positive battery terminal via a 40 amp circuit breaker you will need to mount near by. Once complete, route the white wire to the front drivers side wheel well. Usually located under the drivers side of the vehicle, right behind the front wheel well, is a wire connector. I have included a picture below of what it will look like.

Before making any attachments, make sure the brake controller is plugged into the harness located under the steering wheel, just to the right of the emergency brake pedal, held together with white tape. The harness will have a plug that mates with the brake controller harness. Once the brake controller is connected, have someone engage the manual override on the brake controller while you test the wires under the wheel well.

Using the circuit tester that comes with the # ETBC7 kit, find the wire that carries a signal when the brake controller override is engaged. Make sure you have the correct wire by having your helper engage and disengage the override. Once you are sure you have found the correct wire, attach the white wire you ran to that wire.

There is only one connection left. There is a purple wire on the # ETBC7 that is for the reverse lights. Using the circuit tester and a helper again, put the vehicle in reverse and engage the emergency brake so the truck will not move while you are under it. Find the wire behind the taillight that carries the reverse light signal and attach the purple wire to it. Installation is now complete. I have included an FAQ article on installing a brake controller on a Dodge pickup for you.

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