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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 1999 GMC Suburban

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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 1999 GMC Suburban


Today on our 1999 GMC Suburban we will be installing the e trailer brake controller 7 to 4 way install kit. Part #etbc7. To begin our install we will first go ahead and mount the install bracket for our 7 pole connector. We will be using the hardware provided with our install kit.Now with the mount secured to the bracket we will go ahead and install the bracket on the vehicle. Because of the size hitch we will need to locate the 7 pole connector next to the hitch so it doesnt stick out too far. Using a couple of self-tapping screws we can attach it directly to the bottom side of the bumper.

Note this vehicle is equipped with a manufacturers tow package so we will be able to connect directly into it. The butt connectors we will use to make these connections are not supplied with our install kit. We will go ahead and remove the pre-wired 4 pole connector by cutting it off and then we will clean up the wires by removing any of the excess tape or old debris. Now we will go ahead and strip back the wires and add our butt connectors. With this application we will be able to match it up color to color for the new 7 to 4 pole.

To make this connection we will go ahead and cut the plug off the new 7 pole. Go ahead and strip back the wires and start making our connections. We will connect brown to brown, yellow to yellow, and the dark green on the manufacturers side to the green wire in the 4 pole connector we just cut off. The white wire on the manufacturers side we will cut off short, as we will use the new ground wire coming from the 7 pole connector. The purple wire from our 7 pole connector will match up with the light green wire on the manufacturers side.

This connection will be for the reverse tail lights. The orange wire will be our hot lead going to the 7 pole connector and the blue wire will match up color to color and will be the brake signal circuit going to our new 7 pole connector. We will go ahead and strip them back, cut the length and connect them to the yellow butt connectors already attached to our new 7 pole. Next we will go ahead and take the white wire, which is our ground wire and route it over to the frame. In this application we dont need such a long ground wire so we will go ahead and cut off the excess, add a new ring terminal and use a self-tapping screw to connect it directly to the frame.

Now with all our connections made we will go ahead and take some electrical tape and wrap up our wires. Now with the connections made, taped up, we will take one of the black zip ties from our install kit and secure it here behind the hitch. Next we will move up to the engine compartment. We will need to locate the orange and blue wire typically taped to the main wiring harness below the brake booster. As you can see it is located right here. Now using my utility knife I will go ahead and cut the electrical tape and pull the wires free. Now we will go ahead and set the wires aside as we will need to locate a suitable grommet to go through the firewall with our wiring. Since there are no manufacturers grommet to run through we will need to go ahead and make our own. We will install a grommet to run our wires through. First we will use a smaller bit to make a pilot hole, checking our location. Then we will step up to the larger size as specified per the grommet instructions. The grommet we will be using today is not provided with our install kit but can be purchased separately, part #SWC8057. Now with the hole drilled out we will go ahead and install our grommet. Now we will get back in the engine compartment and start routing our wires. The blue wire will route into the cabin of the vehicle and to the brake controller and the orange wire routed up and to the power supply located at the fuse box. Next we will take the grey duplex wire, provided with our install kit, and start routing it from inside near the brake controller to the engine compartment. We will need enough length that we can add a circuit breaker, and a ground. Now with our wire router we will go ahead and cut off any excess, strip back the ends and leave enough length to route to the breaker and ground. We can go ahead and start making our connections with the brake controller. As we will be hardwiring this we can go ahead and cut off the brake controller plug and strip back all four wire ends. Now we can go ahead and add the necessary butt connectors to make these connections. We will take the blue wire that we located in the engine compartment and connect it with the blue wire on the brake controller. Stripping back a few inches of sheathing and the two wires inside, the black and white, this will be our power and ground for our brake controller. We will connect them color for color, black to black and white to white. Now we have our red wire coming from the brake controller. This will be the brake control signal coming from the brake switch. First we need to locate the brake signal wire on the vehicle. Using our test light we have located the proper wire which is a white wire here underneath the dash. Using a quick splice connector we will go ahead and attach an extra-length of red wire to the quick-splice connector and manufacturers brake control circuit. Then route it over to our brake controller, cutting off any excess from our wire, stripping it back and adding it to the butt connector. Now with all four connections made we will go ahead and take some black electrical tape and wrap them up. Then we can take a couple of black zip tires, included in our install kit and secure the wiring. Now we are back underneath the hood. Next we will go ahead and mount our breaker using the self-tapping screws provided with our install kit. Here on the drivers side inner fender well would be a perfect location. Now we can go ahead and cut off any excess from the power wire that we ran previously with our grey duplex cable, strip back the wire and add a ring terminal. We will go ahead and attach this to the silver side of our breaker. Next we will take the white wire and go ahead and trim off any excess wire, strip it back and add a ring terminal. This one will get attached here to a manufacturers ground point. Now we will go back to the orange wire. Some applications, this will already have a pre-attached ring terminal. You need to strip back the electrical tape to find out. In this application it does not, so we will go ahead and cut off any excess, strip it back, add a ring terminal and attach it here to the fuse box power. Using an 8mm nut, part #185917, we will secure the ring terminal to the power supply post. Next we will need to take a piece of the left-over black wire from our grey duplex cable and run a short lead from the breaker to the other power supply post. We will go ahead and strip it back, add a ring terminal and attach it to the copper side of our breaker. Now we will route it over to the power supply post and again add a ring terminal and secure it with the 8mm nut. Now with all of our wires run we will go ahead with some of the black zip ties, provided with our install kit, to secure our wiring. Once we complete zip tying the wires we will go ahead cut off the excess to clean up our install look.This will complete the install of our e trailer etbc7 brake control install kit, part #etbc7, on our 1999 GMC Suburban.


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