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Tekonsha ZCI Circuit Protected Vehicle Wiring Harness Installation - 2017 BMW X5

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How to Install the Tekonsha ZCI Circuit Protected Vehicle Wiring Harness on a 2017 BMW X5


Rob: Rob here etrailer.com. And today you need to take a look at the Tekonsha ZCI circuit protected vehicle wiring harness with a four-pole flat trailer connector on our 2017 BMW X5. Now our Tekonsha wiring is going to give us a four-pole flat trailer connector so we have all the required lights to safely and legally get down the road, like our taillights, our turn signals and our brake lights. One of my personal favorite things about the ZCI wiring, as well as a lot of other customers, is that to get this installed, there's absolutely no cutting of wires involved at all. We're not going to have to splice anything. We're not even going to have to use a T-connector.

They're going to have a zero contact interface sensor that's going to go around the wire and that's going to pick up the signal without ever actually having to cut into it.So if later on down the road, we want to get rid of our BMW for any reason, we can actually remove the wiring without any trace of it being there. Now, our wiring is going to come with an included dust cap. It's going to keep all the dirt, debris, moisture out of the connector, hopefully preventing any kind of corrosion. But our wiring is designed to stay on the inside of the car until we're ready to use it. So we have a dropdown our rear hatch here.

We'll open it up, open up the tailgate. And the way we ran ours is we actually went underneath the tailgate. That way we don't have to worry about our connector dragging on top of the tailgate. And you just get a little bit more Slack that way. Whenever you're not using it and actually store it underneath right by your battery compartment here and in this open area there.And as far as the installation goes, it is going to be really straightforward.

And especially since our battery for our BMW is right here in the back, it's going to make it that much easier for us to get power to our ZCI. In fact, let's go and walk through the installation together. To begin our installation, we want to come to the back of our X5. We're going to open up the hatch. We want to open up the tailgate as well.

And on each side, if we come into the cargo area, we're going to have these panels. Just going to grab that cover. We'll pull it out and we can set this aside for now. We want to pull the other side out as well. So we'll go to the driver's side and pull that panel out too. Once we have both side panels removed, we're going to lift up on the floor, covering, and then we'll expose this plastic cover and there's going to be five bolts holding it in place. I'm going to grab an eight millimeter socket. We're going to pull all those bolts outWe're going to grab our cover. We're going to lift straight up and you can actually just set this in front of where we took it off and that'll expose our battery. All right. Now, if we move over to the driver's side, now that we have all those panels loose, we look inside the opening, just find our taillight wire and the connector and will be going right into the back of the housing. There's a small tab on there. We're going to push in and pull the connector out. And we're going to go ahead and disconnect the passenger side as well. Now, in your kit, you're going to get a tester. This is what it's going to look like. And this is going to work perfectly fine for checking the circuits. You just want to take the clip end, hook it to a good solid ground. And then you use the needle end to poke inside the connector here so we can find out which wire does what.Now for purposes of the video, I'm going to be using a different style connector just because mine's going to be a little bit bigger and easier to see when it lights up and it'll actually be so be easy to see on video. But I went ahead and turned my tail lights on. So now we need to check each one of these wires to see which one is going to be our taillight signal. Now you want to make sure that nobody's pushing on the brake. The turn signals are off, and we want to isolate our taillight signal by itself. So you can either probe from the back and touch the metal pin on the inside. Or if you could fit yours in the front, we can probe it from the front.It looks like it's going to be the gray wire with the purple stripe over on the driver's side that's getting our signal for our tail lights. And I'm going to go ahead and turn my tail lights off. And I'm going to turn on my left-hand turn signal. Now, with the turn signal going on the left-hand side we'll go ahead and check all of our wires again. So, it looks like we're getting a signal from the black wire with the white Stripe on it. So that's going to be our left-hand turn signal. And we're going to repeat that same process of finding our taillight signal and our turn signal over in the passenger side. So here over at the passenger side, we tested these as well. And they're in the same locations. So our gray wire with the yellow stripe is going to be our tail light signal. And the black wire with a white stripe is going to be our right hand turn signal.So I went ahead and pushed the tape farther up so that we have a lot of exposed wire here that we have room to work with. We're going to grab our harness. We want to grab the connector that has a brown sticker, and you'll see tail. And if we look at it, you'll notice this and have a little channel right here, and an arrow pointing out. This little clip here, we'll open it up. And if you notice on the inside, underneath that cover, there's two little magnets. We want our wire to sit in that channel and the arrow needs me pointing towards the connector. So since this is for our tail lights, we'll take our tail light wire. We're going to sit the wire inside that channel, just like this. And then for now let's close it shut. And we'll grab the other connector that's going to say left-hand turn or left turn.And that's going to be the yellow one and it's going to go onto our left-hand turn signal. So again, we'll just take that wire and make sure it sits in that channel. We may have to move the wires so the cover can go on properly making sure it sits in that groove. We'll close the cover up. So to help keep our connector in place and also help keep the wire in there, they're going to provide us with some foam tape. And this not only is going to help everything stay secure, but in case anything we're to move around in there. This will deaden the sound a little bit. So I'm going to take the backing off. I'm just going to take my connector. Again, making sure that wire is in there good. Stick the tape to it. I'm just going to wrap it all the way around so that wire can't move around too much. And don't have to worry about the connector coming undone.We're going to go to repeat that for other connector right here. So we should have two more connectors just like the ones we've plugged in. One will say right turn and one will say, stop. The one that's red and says stop, we're not going to be using this one because our turn signals are on the same circuit that our stoplights are on. So we don't need this connector. But with our green connector that says right turn, this needs to go over to the passenger side. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to come into this compartment and there's this foam tray that's in here. Can actually just grab this and move these wires out of the way. Should be able to pull this foam tray out and just set it aside and that'll give us really good access to go underneath this part, route our green wire all the way over to the passenger side, right along the battery here. So we don't have to worry about any kind of interference.And the green connector is going to hook up to the right turn signal, the exact same way. Coming off our converter box you should have a white wire with a ring terminal, this is going to be our ground. It's merely finding a nice solid piece of sheet metal that we can attach this to, or a factory ground that's close by in the driver's side compartment here. Now, if we look right towards the front of the vehicle, we should have this bolt right here, right where that foam panel was in place. That'll be a really good spot to use as a ground because we we're using that when we we're testing. So we know it is a good ground. So, you want to grab an eight millimeter socket and you pull that bolt out.We're going to take our white wire, pass the screw through and then just reinsert it and make sure it's nice and tight. We're going to have one more wire coming off our converter box. This is going to be our power wire. But before we do anything with this, I want to make sure I can mount my box in the location. That's going to be out of the way. And then we can worry about getting our power. And when we mount this, we got a couple different options of how we can do it. There's an eyelid on top that we can use to attach zip tie to and secure it to some existing wiring or something like that. Or we can use the double-sided foam tape, stick it to the back of the box and find a nice flat surface. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the backing off the tape, stick it to the box, make sure you press down pretty good. So it sticks well. Remove the backing off the other side.I'm actually going to put my box right in this general area here. We know it's going to be behind that area so our panel won't interfere. But then I'm also going to take a zip tie and secure it to this wiring here, in case down the road, that double-sided tape fails on the converter box, our zip tie will still hold it in place. With our box securely attached. We can come back to that power wire. And I'm going to strip back just a little bit more of installation off of there. Then we're going to grab the heat shrink butt connector out of our kit, slide it over the end of our wire and we're just wanting to clamp it down in place.Now they are going to provide us with a length of wire in our kit. Now, obviously we don't need all of this because our battery is going to be really close to where our converter box is, but let's take the end of it. We're going to strip back the end of the wire. We'll take the free end and we're going to attach it to the end that has our butt connector. You can always trim off all the excess later on, but at least this way we know that it will reach the battery. We don't have to worry about finding any extra wire.Now I'm going to use a heat gun to shrink down my heat shrink connector. And if you're using an open flame, like a lighter or a mini torch or anything else, should be extremely careful not to burn, char the connector or the wire. Now that we have our wire connected, I'm going to give myself a little bit of extra slack, just so I can go over the top of everything because we don't need all that wire. So, I'm going to just estimate about how much I need. Always a good idea to give yourself some extra. We'll cut the end off and we're going to route it underneath, just like we did for that green wire. So I'm going to go underneath this panel, grab the wire, make sure it comes in towards the battery area here. And then we're going to strip back the end of the wire, just like we did to attach it to the converter box.You can take another one of our yellow heat shrink butt connectors, and we'll crimp it on to the end of our wire. I'm going to grab the fuse holder out of our kit. This is going to be pre-stripped. So you just pull the ends off. And one end is going to go into our butt connector and crimp it down. Then on the other end, we'll remove the installation and grab the ring terminal, crimp that in place. Now, at this point, you want to make sure that the fuse is not in the fuse holder. So if it is, go ahead and pull that out and we can make our connections. Now we want to hook up our ring terminal to the positive post in our battery.Now at the back here, we're going to have this really large panel with a lot of red wires coming off of it really don't even mess with any of that. Just come to the very corner of our battery, lift up the cover. We're going to have a post right here that we can really easily attach that ring terminal to, without having to worry about pulling any of these covers up or messing with these wires. So, we'll grab a 10 millimeter socket, loosen the nut up, pull it off. Just want to take your ring terminal, slide it over the stud and then we can reinstall the nut.Once you have your power wire hooked up and all your connectors, we can go ahead and plug our taillights back in. Make sure you have enough slack in your wires, nothing's interfering and plug them back in. But before we tidy up any wires, put any panels back, we're going to go ahead and put our fuse in place and go through the learning process, make sure all of our circuits are working. Just putting a refuse, close up the cover then we can move into the driver's seat. Now to go through the learning process for our ZCI, what we need to do is when you come to the front seat of our BMW. I'm going to put my foot on the brake pedal and I'll start my car up and we want to hold our foot on the brake pedal for at least five seconds.Once we have that done, we're going to take our foot off the brake pedal. You want to turn your tail lights on. You want to leave those on for at least five seconds without your foot on the brake and no other functions running. Then we'll go ahead and turn those off and we'll do the turn signal separately for five seconds each. Now, we're going to hook up a tester and make sure that it is working properly. We went ahead and plugged up our tester. And if you need one, you can pick one up here etrailer.com using part number I26. But now we can run through our lights. You see that my taillight function's working, my brake lights and my turn signals. Now, we're just going to take a little bit of time to clean up all of our wires and start putting all the panels back in place.Now, once you get ready to put all your panels back, you want to make sure that you route your four-pole out. I like to have it come out right by my battery over here. That way we can take our panel. And there'll be just enough room that once we get the panel lined up, we'll have this little bit of gap right here that we can pull our wire through and we can get access to it. Now we can go ahead and start putting all the fasteners back in.Once we have our panel in, where we are going to be able to use our wiring, just a little grab the wire. Now you have the option of closing your tailgate and dropping it down. But to me personally, that seems like a lot of room there where it's going to be touching the paint and the fact that we're not going to have a whole lot of slack. So what I like to do is with the tailgate open, if we come to the edge here and we lift this little flap up, you can see we have a really big opening here, so we can actually get behind the tailgate and get it below the car a lot easier. So I'm just going to take the four pole end, start feeding it down. Then I can just reach underneath the tailgate right here, grab my connector, pull all the slack through. And even with the tailgate closed, we still have a lot of room there so the wire is not getting pinched and there's nothing to worry about. Not to mention, we have a lot more slack to hook up.But once you have everything all put back together, that'll finish up your installation and your look at the Tekonsha ZCI circuit protected vehicle wiring on our 2017 BMW X5..


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