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Trailer Wiring Harness Installation - 2016 Dodge Journey

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How to Install a Trailer Wiring Harness on a 2016 Dodge Journey

Today our 2016 Dodge Journey we'll be installing the Tekonsha T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4-Pole Flat Trailer Connector, part number 118536. Here's what our wiring looks like once it's been installed. As you can see we have an adequate length of wire here to hook up to our trailer electrical connection nice and easy. It ends right next to where our draw bar for our hitch is inserted. This gives us our simple 4-pole flat, though it gives us all of our required lighting functions that we need by law. When we're not using it we have this nice dust cover that's built onto it, clips over like so.

Here's a trick though, if you want to secure your wiring so it doesn't get snagged on something, wrap that dust cover around your safety chain loop on your hitch. You can clip it back in here like so and it's easily accessible for whenever you need it, and you don't have to worry about it getting snagged on something. Here's what our wiring kit comes with. We have our module box here. This will give us an isolated signal for our trailer wiring from our vehicle lighting circuit. That way if our trailer has a short or it wants to back feed any voltage into our vehicle, it won't cause any damage to our expensive electrical components inside of our vehicle.

This wiring harness is made to work with the Dodge Journeys that have LED tail lights from the factory. If you have incandescent light bulbs, this won't work for you. We have other options available on our website for you. Right here we have our T-connectors right here. This will go over to our right side to give us our right side turn signal. Right here we have our left side connectors for our left side turn signals.

Then this smaller one here, this will go on our left side of the vehicle, this will give us our tail light function and our brake light function for our trailer. We have our industry standard 4-pole flat connector to give us all the lighting functions that our trailer needs as required by law. Coming off our converter box we have an input here which will be ran directly to the battery using this included spool of wire and our hardware kit which gives us a fuse holder and a fuse. This module will be powered directly from the battery so it doesn't cause any strain on your electrical components inside the vehicle. Then we have this white wire here which is our ground wire and we'll attach that with the self-tapping screw that's included in our hardware kit. To begin our installation by opening our hatch so we can get access to our tail lights Now there's two plastic clips right here over our tail light.

Using a trim panel tool to pry it off, or a flat head screwdriver, whichever you have. I'll grab our tail light assembly, pull it out towards us. We'll un-clip our turn signal bolt here and undo our tail light and brake light connector here for the LED section. Now we'll repeat the same process on the other side. Now we'll take our green wire connector for our passenger side, or our right side turn signal, we'll drop it down through the spot behind our bumper cover on the drivers side. It'll fall straight down the floor. We're doing this because our box is designed to be mounted on the drivers side of the vehicle. Once we have that done, we'll drop down our 4-pole trailer connector as well. Just want to do one at a time, that way they don't get tangled. Now we'll take one end of our black wire spool, strip off the insulation, put a yellow butt connector on it, crimp it on down, slide it over the black wire that's on our module, crimp it on down too, and we'll wrap this in some electrical tape. Grab the other end of our black wire, and we'll feed it on down behind our bumper cover, just like we did the other wires. Now we'll take the male end of our smaller connector here, this is for our tail lights and our brake lights, and we'll plug it in the female end that exists on the vehicle. It snaps in place. Grab our yellow wire here. This is for our left turn signal. We'll take the male end right here, and we'll plug it into the female end on the vehicle. Push it in, pull it back and make sure it's secure. Once that is, we're good. Now we'll take the provided self-tapping screw, place it over our ground wire here and on the sheet metal on the body. Once that's nice and secure, we'll have a good grounding connection. Once we're grounded right here, we'll take our module box, remove the double-sided protective tape off the back, so we can apply it firmly to the body of our vehicle. We'll stick it down behind our bumper cover, to come in at an angle to clear. This wasn't a good enough surface in this area right here to stick it there. We needed something a little bit more flat, so that's why we went right here. Now we can re-install our drivers side tail light assembly. Plug in our connector here for our tail light and brake light. Hear that snap in nice and solid. We'll plug in our turn signal here. It clips in nice and tight. Now we'll tuck our connector down here behind the bumper cover and we'll slide our tail light into position, making sure our guide pins go in the appropriate holes. I'll push it back in place and re-install our clips that hold it in position. Now we're back on over at the passenger side. We're going to drop down something behind our bumper cover that we can use to pull our wire up. I'll use a piece of air line tubing we have laying around. You can use a coat hanger or anything that you have that's long enough and flexible enough to go down through there. You see, it comes out of our bumper down there. We'll raise our vehicle on up and feed our wire on over to that side. Work it behind our bumper cover and up over our exhaust, and we'll connect it with our pull wire. This will tape our green wire on up to our pull wire. Pull our connector on up. We can remove our pull wire now. Plug our male in here into our vehicle end until it clicks on. Re-connect our turn signal connector and re-connect the factory LED connector here for our tail lights and stop light. Now we'll slide our tail light back in, making sure guide pins go in the holes. With that done, we can now close our hatch. Go back underneath the vehicle and run our power wire to the front. When running the power wire you want to make sure to avoid any sources of heat or moving parts, so keep away from the exhaust. Keep away from any steering or suspension components and you'll be okay. We have our power wire over our exhaust hanger here. It goes up and over our rear sub frame and then comes out to the drivers side of our gas tank here. Then we follow through this bracket that supports our parking brake cable. Go behind the parking brake cable adjuster right here and then we have it zip tied to the cable. Again, by this bracket here for the cable. Here, and towards the end of our cable where it goes inside the vehicle. We drop down our pull wire from the top and tape the end of our power wire to that. Now we'll go back out underneath our hood and pull our wire into the engine bay. Our vehicle has a battery that's located in the wheel well and we can hook our power up to that if we wanted to, or we could use the jump start terminal on the vehicle, which is what we're going to use. That's located right here next to the fuse box, which is on the drivers side next to the air filter. I'll slide this cover open. Now we'll grab our fuse holder here, we'll open the dust cover. As you can see there's no fuse inside so it's safe to make our connection. We'll cut the loop in half giving us two ends. Now we'll strip back both ends of our fuse holder. On one end we'll place a ring terminal and we will crimp that on down. On the other end we will install a butt connector. Crimp that down as well. Measure off about how much of our black wire we'll need. Right there will be good. Cut off and remove the excess. Strip back our insulation. Place our other end of our butt connector that goes to our fuse holder over it. Crimp it on down. We'll wrap our butt connector up in some electrical tape, just to help protect it from the elements. Now I'll take a fifteen millimeter socket and remove this nut right here. Set the nut aside. Place a ring terminal on over that stud. Re-install the nut. Now we'll install our fifteen amp fuse into our fuse holder. Push it on down and close our dust cap on over. Now one thing I would like to do here, additional to what we are doing, just to make sure our wire doesn't fall down, let's take a zip tie here for our fuse holder and secure it to this wire loom right here. This way if we ever need to gain access into our fuse box here, we don't have to worry about this wire or fuse holder that we just installed, getting in the way of that. Now we're going to go ahead and test our functions before we hook up to our trailer. I already have our headlights on and as you can see our tail lights function is working. We have left turn signal. We have right turn signal and we'll have functioning brake lights on our trailer too. We're ready to hook up to our trailer now. That completes our installation of the Tekonsha T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4-Pole Flat Trailer Connector, part number 118536 on our 2016 Dodge Journey.

Jerry R.



Etrailer Expert

Mike L.


A powered taillight converter draws its power from a direct connection to the vehicle battery, but will gain its switching information via its connection to the vehicle's taillight harness or tow package connector. Years ago, taillight circuits in vehicles used higher gauge wire and had enough capacity to handle the draw of the vehicle taillights as well as those of a trailer, but that the price of copper has gone through the roof, vehicle manufacturers try to save all the weight and expense they can. The taillight circuits use smaller gauge wire that can handle the load from the vehicle taillights but not much else. Drawing the power directly from the battery also serves to isolate the tow vehicle's sensitive electronics from any short circuits that might occur in the trailer wiring. Some folks will attempt to connect to a 12-volt power source in the vehicle's cargo area, but connecting the converter's power feed anywhere other than the battery or where the converter's manufacturer recommends can leave your vehicle's electrical system exposed to possible damage.

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