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Roadmaster Tow Bar Wiring Kit Installation - 2020 Jeep Cherokee

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How to Install the Roadmaster Tow Bar Wiring Kit on a 2020 Jeep Cherokee


Rob: Hi, everybody. It's Rob here at etrailer.com. And today we're going to be taking a look at the Roadmaster Hy-Power diode wiring kit on our 2020 Jeep Cherokee. And if you stick around to the end of the video, we're also going to show you how to get them installed, and make sure you feel comfortable doing it at home. Just want to keep in mind that it is only going to be one component of a complete flat tow setup. To safely flat tow your Jeep down the road, you're going to need several components.

You're going to need a base plate. The base plates didn't attach directly to the frame of your Cherokee and give you a solid attachment point for the tow bar to hook up to. Now the tow bar is going to be what actually connects your base plate to your motor home so that we can tow our Jeep down the road.The next thing you're going to need is tow bar wiring. And that's going to take the signals from the motor home and transfer them to our Jeep, so we can safely have all of our signals, stoplights and taillights while we're driving. The next thing we're going to need is safety cables.

It's going to be a secondary safety device in the event that a catastrophic disconnection we're to happen and make sure that we're safe when we're going down the road. Finally, we're going to need a braking system. Our braking system is going to make sure that our Jeep can slow and stop itself rather than putting all that strain and stress on our motor home. And it is becoming a requirement in most States. So here you can see we've got our Cherokee hooked up to our motor home.

And as the turn signals are going, you can see that they're matching each other and they're working in unison.And that's because our diodes are going to allow us to take the signals from our motor home and transfer them to our Jeep's tail lights. So whenever we are flat towing it, everyone knows what's going on, whether we're going to be changing lanes, stopping, or even having our taillight function when we're driving at night. And not only is that important for safety, but that's going to keep us legal as well. Because whenever you're towing anything, whether it's a trailer or a vehicle, you want to have those signals so everyone around us knows what's going on. But at the same time, it's going to make it really convenient for us whenever we do go to tow our Cherokee.

We've all seen those magnetic lights which you stick on your vehicle, and then you'd run a wire to the back of the motor home.Well, they work, but that's an extra step that we had to hook up every time we want to tow. We going to have to put the lights on, not to mention, we had to run a wire all the way across the front of our car, to the back of the motor home. And then that wire's going to be dangling around, potentially scratching the paint. With our diodes we're not going to have any extra hookup. It's simply going to plug in using an umbilical between our motor home and the front of our Jeep. And we don't have to worry about putting anything away or setting anything up. It's just a one-time installation, then we just plug in a cord and our lights will work.At the same time, our diodes are going to make sure that our wiring and electrical system on our Jeep are protected. Because if there was a problem on the motor home and it was going to prevent any kind of backfeeding into our Jeep so we don't have to worry about the electrical system or any other problems down the road. As far as the installation goes, it is pretty straight forward. We're just going to have to run a wire from the front of our Jeep to the back so we can tap into the taillight wiring.Now I know some customers are very nervous and seem kind of scary to tap into wiring and doing anything like that. But rest assured is a really simple process. And will walk you through how to test for each wire and make sure you get the correct function. In fact, let's go and bring our Jeep into the shop and do it together. To begin our installation, I do want to mention that we have our front facial removed because we just got done installing our base plate and that would be a really great time to do your wiring. Now, I also want to mention that you want to start on the front of your Jeep and figure out wherever you're going to mount the plug to hook up your wiring. On ours, we actually used a short bracket to mount directly to the bumper beam, drop it down a little bit so it's in line with our base plate. And then we're going to be using a six pole on the front of ours. So we mounted a six pole bracket to there.Now we want to get our four-pole wiring and we want to start here, leave yourself maybe a few inches of slack so you can wire up whatever plug and reach everything. But then you're going to want to route everything towards the back at the taillights. Now, something to keep in mind is that you want to stay away from any moving components or any extreme heat sources when you are running a wire so it does get damaged. But we're going to go ahead and start ours here and run it back to the tail light and we'll show you how we routed it. So I started at my bracket, I started running my wire along the backside of the bumper beam towards the driver's side. I went underneath the headlight and brought it into the engine bay.Now, depending on what kind of braking system you're using, or if you're putting one in, you may need to tap into your tow bar wiring. So I left a small loop right here on the driver's side, because we are for our application. Just want to be mindful if you do need to tap into it, leave yourself a little bit of slack so you can work with it. But I went around the fuse panel all the way against the firewall, then I dropped my four-pole wire down. Now this is really important. You want to pay attention to how it's going down, because we have a lot of lines here, our exhaust is pretty close and our steering shaft. So you want to use something, coat hanger, airline tube, whatever you have available, drop it down, see the path that it's taking. And then you can use that to pull your wiring down below.So our wire came down right behind our front subframe here. This is zip tied, it's in these existing brake lines. And we have this really large cover, but luckily there's a little bit of access. So just kind of leapfrog my wire in, going underneath this cover till we got to this corner. I moved over to this cover that's below the fuel tank, started routing it back. And once we got to the end of the coverage here, we went up and over the rear subframe. You want to use as many zip ties as you feel comfortable, just see the wiring is going to be secure and it's going to drop back down. We went over all the subframe, the rear axle and everything else. And I have the tail end of my wire right here.Now it is pretty close to the exhaust here, but right at the top of the frame, there's a hole. So we could actually zip tie and secure it all the way at the bottom of the frame, we're there's a few other existing wires. Now we need to find the end of our wiring and we're going to go in and cut the four pole off, get a little bit of tape on my because I'm using that pull wire method. But we want to cut the four-pole end off and we want to separate each four of those wires so we have four separate wires as high up that last anchor point as you can. I'm going to cut it as close as I can so we don't lose any length of wire. Once you cut all four, let me just grab one of the end wires and start pulling. And again, we want to go all the way up till we have four separate wires to work with.If we want to move up top, open up our rear hatch so we can get access to our taillights. Now we're going to have two bolts that are holding each taillight in place. We're going to grab a T30 Torx bit and pull both of those out. And once you have both of them out, you want to grab your taillight and you want to pull it straight back as you can. There's a little bit of wiggle, but you don't want to twist too much because we have some alignment pins and we don't want those to break. Just pull it out, and then on the backside, we're going to have a connector. You want to slide that red tab away. Then we'll press down on the center on that black tab, pull the connector apart. We'll set the tail out of side where it won't get damaged. Then we can pull the passenger side out as well.Then we need to get our wires that we ran to the back up top here so we can tap into our taillight wiring. So I'm going to use an airline tube and I'm going to go in between the bumper and the body. And you can use a coat hanger, you can even use a string with something heavy attached to it so you can drop it down, but we're going to pass this down through until we can get access underneath our Jeep and meet up with our wires, but just keep in mind that there is a plastic panel underneath, kind of curves under there. So you get your pull wire, most of the way down, should be able to go underneath, find the wire, and then we can attach it to our wiring that we ran from the front. So make sure you leave a section sticking out so we can actually grab it and pull our wires up.So once you have your inaudible 00:08:58 seat, the bottom, you want to grab our white wire, our brown wire and our yellow wire. We're going to leave the green one down below. We'll take our three wires and I'm just going to use some electrical tape, tape it to the pull wire so we can pull everything up top. I'm just going to pull all the slack up. And it's not a bad idea to peek underneath, make sure that wires didn't get caught or anything to wrap around the exhaust or anything else. I always like to kind of pull it nice and taut. And then I'm going to take a zip tie and I'm going to secure it to this existing wiring. That way if there is any slack, it won't fall back down and cause any issues with the back here.And we need to cut back this tape that's on our factory wiring, but I will let you know, it's not like regular tape. It's kind of a cloth material. It's actually pretty strong. So I'm going to use a razor knife and very carefully cut away this tape. You just want to be careful not to cut the wires on the inside. So just be very careful and go slow. But we want to cut our tape back so we can expose some of the wires about halfway a little bit more, so plenty of room to work with. So now we want to test our wire to see what signals is for what So right now I have just my headlights on so we can have our taillight function running and I'm going to take my circuit tester. And we're going to test each one of the pins on the front of the plug and see which one activates for our taillight circuit.So if we look at our plug, it's going to be the top pin on the very left-hand side. And if we flip our plug over, it's going to be the white wire with the yellow Stripe. So that's going to be our taillight signal on the driver's side. Now we're going to verify that and check the color of wire and position on the passenger side as well. Over in the passenger side, it's going to be in the same position. So going to be that top pen, and if you're looking at it, it's going to be the left-hand side. But if we flip it over on the passenger side is actually going to be a white wire with a gray Stripe. So I'm going to write those down or remember them so we can test our brake circuit signal now.So now you want to turn your tail lights off and isolate the brake signal. You may need an extra set of hands to press on the brake pedal, or you can wedge something between the seat and the brake pedal, but you want to make sure that your brake lights are on and no other light function is. So we're going to go through, we probe each one of these pins and see which one activates our brake signal. So now if we look at the plug, it's going to be the top pin, but this time it's to be on the right side. And over on the driver's side of our Jeep, it's going to be the solid white wire. So we move over to the passenger side and test for that circuit over there and remember and write down the color of the wire. On the passenger side, it is in the same position again, but it's going to be a white wire with a green stripe.So now that we've identified all the wires we need to, we're going to start making our connections. I'm going to start on the driver's side with our brake wire, which is a solid white wire. I'm going to come down from the plug a little bit, I'm going to cut the wire in half and then we're going to strip back both ends. You want to grab a diode out of your kit that has all blue connectors on it. We're just going to pull two of them off. It doesn't matter which one you use, you just want to grab two of them and take the spade connector, slide it over the stripped end of our wire and crimp it down onto each one of those.We can grab our diode and pull that last spade terminal off. And if you look at it, you're going to have two terminals that are going in and one terminal that's going out. The single terminal on the outside is going to go closest to the plug. So slide that spade terminal over. And then the other one is going to go to one of the internals. Doesn't matter which one for a plug it in. And since this is our brake wire, we're going to take our yellow wire, I like give myself a little bit of slack, just so that we can have room to get our taillight out, wherever needed to do any work. A little bit of slack, cut the excess off. We'll strip back the end of the wire and put that last spade terminal on there.This is going to plug into the open spot. And now you can see, we have our tow bar wiring coming in, going out to the tail light, but we also have our factory wiring coming in, going out to the tail light. So now we can hook up our taillight diode. Now that's going to be almost exactly the same, except we want to grab the diode that has a yellow spade terminal on it, but we'll still strip back both ends of our wire and crimp on the blue ones, just like we did with the other one.And again, I'm going to pull that last terminal off, the one furthest will go into one of the ends, one closest to the plug, go into the out. This time we want to grab our brown wire, again give ourselves a little bit of slack, cut the excess, except this time we want to hold onto the slack. We're going to strip back the end of the wire and the end of the slack that we just cut off. I will let you know that this wire has some kind of plastic coating on it. So sometimes it doesn't really like to strip very well. Almost pulls the coating off first and then we'll strip the wire. But once you have both ends stripped, we're going to combine them together. And that's where the yellow spade terminal comes in. It's a little bit larger and it's easier to fit two wires inside, rather than trying to cram two of them into the blue connector. Crimp it down.I'm going to plug that into our last spade terminal on the inside. So now we need a route that free end of the brown wire, so we go back down, meet up with our green wire and we need to route it over to the passenger side. That way we can hook up our diodes over there. You may not have enough wire, but they do provide you with butt connectors in your kit. And if you need wiring, you can pick it up here at etrailer.com or if you're not using the four pole on the front of your Jeep, they do provide you with a jumper wire, which this is pretty good amount of wire that we cut up and use the brown wire inside to extend it over. So we're going to go ahead and drop our wire down, route it over and make our connections the exact same way over on the passenger side.Now on the driver's side, we still have one more wire left and it's going to be our white wire, that's our ground. So we need to attach our white wire to a solid point of sheet metal. And actually right in here in the body's a really good area, because it's tucked away, be pretty much out of the way. So I'm going to cut the excess wire off, going to strip back the end. I'm going to grabbed the ring terminal out of our kit, slide it over our stripped wire and crimp it down. Now they're also going to give you a self tapping screw in your kit. So we're just going to put our screw right here against the body. Maybe just somewhere along the side, where it's not going to interfere with those alignment pins or the mounting holes for our taillight to go back in. You want to grab yourself a 5/16th nut driver and then just drive the screw right into the side of the sheet metal.inaudible 00:18:10 started and slide my ring terminal over the screw, line it back up, tighten it down. You want to make sure that the screw is nice and snug. And then the ring terminal isn't spinning, but you don't want to strip it out. Now in the back of our diodes, we actually have some double-sided sticky tape and we can put our diodes against the body. So it'd be secure and not move around. However, we don't really have a whole lot of slack on our wires, especially for the connector end, so what I'm going to do is, I'm just going to take the backing off of each one of the diodes, and then I'm going to stick them to each other, that way whenever we do pull your taillight back in, they can just kind of tuck away down here with the excess wire.Plug our taillight in. You want to make sure you press that locking tab back into place. And then again, just kind of tuck your wires and your diodes out of the way, line your taillight back up, those alignment pins. And then we can replace the hardware. We'll do the same thing over on the other side. So I went ahead and hooked up my Jeep to my tester so we can verify that all the lights are working properly. So if I turn on my tester, you can see the taillight function is working, well as the left-hand turn signal, our brake lights and the right-hand turn signal. We're going to continue with our flat tow setup, put the fascia back on and continue putting all the components in that we need to flat tow our Jeep. So inaudible 00:20:06 plugged up on the front of our Jeep, want to start by cutting the four-pole connector off of the wires. Just want to take a pair of cutters and I like to give myself as much slack as I can. So I'm going to cut them really close to the plug itself.Then we can take our plug, we going to pull the boot off the back, feed all of our wires through the small end and just kind of push it out of the way for now. I want to strip back the end of each one of our wires. We have this extra black wire. This is for our braking system. It's our monitor wire. But if you just have your four-pole wires, that's fine. Again, you just want to strip back the end of it so we can make our connections. Now, if we bring our attention to the back of our plug, we can see that each one of these terminals is going to be labeled.And it's a little bit hard to read, but if we start at the 12 o'clock position on top, let's say TM for trailer marker, that's severe a brown wire. We'll go counter-clockwise the next one is be GD for ground, that'll be our white wire. LT for left turn, it'll be our yellow wire. RT for right turn, that's our green wire. Now this next terminals will be labeled S that's typically for your electric brakes. And then the center pin is going to be your 12 volt power source or the auxiliary power. So in our application, we wire our monitor light up to the brake controller output on our motorhome. So we're going to putting it on the S pin. We're going to go along and hookup all five, four wires.Going to take a Phillips screwdriver, really small set screws. Don't want to pull them all the way out, just cause they're extremely easy to lose. We'll take the corresponding wire, I like twisting it together so don't leave loose strands, put it inside the terminal and tighten it down. I always leave just a tiny bit of the copper exposed right at the top. That way I don't have to worry about the insulation getting inside the connector and potentially causing any issues, but you don't want it to be sticking out so much that it might cross over a short on something. We're just going to go through and hook up all of our wires that same way, make sure they go into the correct terminals. Now I always like to fill this cavity here with dielectric grease and hopefully that'll prevent any kind of moisture from building up inside and corrosion. Just fill this entire cavity up, make sure we get dielectric grease all the way around. We don't want any moisture to get inside of here. And we definitely don't want all the terminals to start corroding out.Now that we have that filled up, take the boot, slide it back over all the terminals. And then to help keep it in place and seal out the back, I'm going to wrap it with some tape. I'm actually going to start as high up on these wires as I can go, where it will help protect the wires and hopefully hide some of these bright colors on the front of our Jeep. Then we'll just keep wrapping it in tape. So we get up to the boot and I'm just going to wrap the entire back of the plug here. Now, just slide our plug, where it's flush with the bracket, and take the hardware that comes with the bracket and secure it down. Grab a inaudible 00:24:04 screwdriver and 10 millimeter socket, we can tighten up our hardware, make sure that bracket is nice and secure. But again, I'm Rob here at etrailer.com and that'll finish up your look at the Roadmaster Hy-Power diode wiring kit on our 2020 Jeep Cherokee..


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