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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 1999 Ford F250

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How to Install a Brake Controller for a Trailer on a 1999 Ford F250


Today we're going to install the Prodigy brake controller from Tekonsha, Part Number 90185, on a 1999 Ford F-250, the light-duty version. This will also apply to the same year Ford F-150. We're going to start off with this one vehicle that only has a factory 4-pole package on it and does not have the 7-pole in the back. So we're going to have to upgrade the 4-pole to make it a 7-pole and then we can install the brake controller up front. The first thing we do is install one of two brackets on the hitch itself so we have a place to mount our electrical connector, and basically we're going to be using Part Number 18140 from Tow-Ready. And basically this is one that clamps in place right here. Basically it's just a hose clamp that goes around the hitch and back through itself. And then you just tighten it down with a clamp set. You might want to hold the bracket in position while you tighten it down, too. Next we're going to install a bracket by a hole in the connector right here. And this comes with the Part Number 37185, and that's a 4-pole to 7- and 4-pole adapter.

Now we can install the adapter itself into the bracketry. Next we'll actually plug these two connectors together. This comes from the original factory, and this is our adapter. And we put some dielectric grease in there and that is going to help things from corroding up all the time. Then we plug the two together and run a zip-tie around it to keep everything in place. The next thing we do is go ahead and install the ground wire. This comes with a generous length, and there is a handy ground screw right here, so we'll go ahead and use that. And we install a screw. The next thing we do is extend these two wires here, the black one and the blue one. The blue one is going to go to the brake control and the black one is going to go to the hot lead coming off the battery. And what we'll do is run these right up here. And we do not need to run these toward the front. The actual factory tow harness comes here and it stops where you can see the orange and the blue.

The orange is for the 12 volt and the blue is coming from the brakes. You notice on the side it does not come out, so it terminates right here. So what we need to do is splice into the wire right here and that will finish up our install at the back of the vehicle. We won't have to worry about running wires up front to the brake controller or anything. You can see our wire harness here. Lets go ahead and separate the blue and the orange wires from the rest those are the only ones we need to deal with. Okay, we'll get some wires and splice them in and then we'll follow the harness back down to the wire connector and make a connection that is going toward the adapter. And we go ahead and make our splice. We can do this in a variety of different ways. We're going to use our quick splice here basically and we'll slide in the wire we want to use and that will be the blue wire. Just slide the connecting wire in. We'll also use a little dielectric grease on the inside just to help things stay a little more secure. Then we'll do the same thing with the black wire. It's a good idea to stagger it, so that when you tape it it wont be so bulky. And then just take these wires and follow the harness back down. And I am going to go ahead and wrap these back up in electrical tape, too, and that will keep them more secure. And put as much of the loom back on, as much as we can, also. It might be a good idea to pull this assembly off. It's just a press-in fit it will be easier to tape it up once you have it out. It might be a good idea to go ahead and pull the harness away from the frame, and that will make it easier to tape up, too. And this last wire here, the purple wire, that goes to the reverse light lead on the trailer, if it has one. In this case, we do not need to install this, so run the wire up there along the harness to match up. We can always hook it up at a later date. At this point we can just go ahead and put electrical tape up here and make it nice and neat, and pack it away. Everything is taped up nice and neat, and all that is left is to go ahead and secure the wires up to itself in the harness up here or anywhere you would like as long as it is secure.

Usually we mount the brake controller on the bottom where it's out of the way, but this is a work truck and had a previous piece of equipment installed right here. And we're actually going to go ahead and reuse a couple of the holes right here for our bracketry. And the Prodigy brake controller can be mounted at that much of an angle, too, like so. It will be just fine. And if you go too far up there, there will be two bars flashing and that will be too far vertical, but in this case I think we'll be fine. We'll go ahead and install it and show you how it works. All right, first we'll install this bracket. All right, next we'll install the actual cable that goes between the brake controller and the tow package on the vehicle. And this simply slips on like so and snaps into place. And that cable is Part Number 3035-P. And then we actually hide this behind this plastic fascia right here just kind of tuck it in to hide most of it. And then we just install the brake controller. A couple of screws will hold it in place.

Next we'll snap in the other part of the harness into the tow package. And this is the port for the tow package right here, and it simply snaps into place. And just take the rest of the wires and tie them out of the way. Now we have power applied to the brake controller. And you can see two dots and one is for the boost and we'll turn that off. Then what we're looking for here is, if it's pointing too far vertical there will be two bars flashing on the top here. It looks like its not flashing, so it looks like we're well within range of operation for this brake controller. And the same thing would apply if it's pointing too far down, also. And that takes care of our install for Part Number 90185, the Prodigy brake controller, on the 1999 Ford F250 light-duty model.


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