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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 1996 Chevrolet C/K Series Pickup

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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 1996 Chevrolet C/K Series Pickup


Today on our 1996 Chevy CK Pickup truck, we'll be installing the ETB C7 in junction with the Tekonsha Progigy P3 Brake Controller which is part number 90195. We will first begin by picking a location where we're going to mount our 7-way trailer plug. In this case because the trailer hitch comes out so far, we're going to go ahead and drill two small holes in the underside of the bumper to mount our bracket. Once we have the holes drilled, we'll go ahead and use the supplied screws and nuts to attach the bracket to the lower bumper. Next we'll go ahead and take some of the wire looms supplied with the kit and put it over the wires coming out of the back of the 7-way. Then we'll go ahead and feed the 7-way onto the bracket and attach it with the supplied screws and nuts. Next, we're going to go ahead and make the 4-way connection with the 4-way that's already on the vehicle and because this vehicle already had a 4-way on it, we've already gone ahead and tested it to make sure that everything is working properly. You want to make sure when making your connection of the two 4-ways that you use some dielectric grease on the connection before pushing them together.

The dielectric grease is part number 11755. Once you push the 4-way together, it's also a good idea to go ahead and use a zip tie to help secure it. Next we'll go ahead and take the duplex wire that's supplied with the kit in the casing and we'll connect the white wire to the blue wire coming out of the back of the 7-way and the black wire to the black wire coming out of the back of the 7-way. We'll do this by using butt connectors supplied. After we've used the butt connectors, we'll go ahead and put some electrical tape to give them a little more protection. Now in this case, we will not be hooking up the purple wire which is the reverse light, just coil the wire up out of the way. Now with that done, we need to find a good location to connect our white wire that has the ring terminal on it which is the ground wire.

In this case, we went ahead and removed a bolt that already had an existing ground wire in and added our ground to it. Now we're ready to go ahead and route our duplex wire to the front of the vehicle. To do this we're going to route it along the inside of the frame rail, we're also going to use an old section of air tubing which will help us route the wire to the front of the vehicle. We'll be using zip ties to help secure it along the way. Once we get to the front of the vehicle, we're going to go ahead and route it up along the firewall along with some other wires that already exist. Once we get it up there, cut the casing off of the wiring as we'll need to put the white wire into the cab of the vehicle and route the black wire over to the battery. Now we're going to need to find a good location to drill a small hole to go into the vehicle.

Since this vehicle doesn't have any rubber grommets going through, we're going to need to put a hole in our self. We also want to make sure that when drilling this hole, the hole size needed for this grommet is 11/16. You want to make sure that you start out with a pilot hole first, you want to be careful when drilling the small hole to make sure that you will not interfere with any wires that may be on the other side of the firewall. Once we drill our hole though we're going to use a snap bushing grommet, which is part number SWC8057, to help protect the wires where we drilled the hole in the firewall. Now we'll take this additional 10 foot of wire, we'll need to put both the black and the white wire into the cab of the vehicle as these will connect to the brake controller. Since we've already routed one white wire in from the rear of the vehicle, you may want to put a small section of blue tape or something to help you identify which wire will be connected to the brake controller wire. Now that we have those wires routed into the vehicle, we'll go ahead and route the new white and black wire over towards the battery.

Once we're over here, we need to find a good location to mount our 40 amp circuit breaker as well as a 30 circuit breaker. The 40 amp circuit breaker is used for the 12 volt hot lead off of the 7-pole and the 30 amp breaker is used for the brake controller. Just inside the fender well here is a good location and we use a self-tapping screw supplied with the kit. Next we're going to need to connect our wires here to each of the circuit breakers, we'll be connecting the wire that comes from our brake controller to the 30 amp circuit breaker. The wires coming out of the cab and from the rear of the vehicle will connect to the silver or chrome half of the breaker. Next we're going to need to connect the wire that runs from the rear of the 7-way plug that's a 12 volt hot lead to the 40 amp circuit breaker. We've also made a couple of jumpers to go from the circuit breaker, the jumpers are the short pieces of wire to the copper or gold side of the breaker that will go directly to the battery. Once you've connected to your circuit breakers, don't go ahead and connect to the battery yet until we've made all of our other connections. We'll do this connection very last. Go ahead and tighten them down. We'll also go ahead and connect the white wire that is used for the grounding of the brake controller, in this case there's a bolt that is grounding the battery already to the frame of the vehicle. We'll just tie into this location. Now that we've got all the connections made up under the hood, we'll go ahead and use a few zip ties to help secure the wire along the way. Now we're ready to go inside of the vehicle. Now we've got a white wire that's pulled from the back which is tied to the blue or the electric brake output. We've also got a black wire which goes to a 12 volt hot lead that is for the brake controller. As well as a white which is a ground for the brake controller. The red wire, we'll find the brakes switch wire off of this vehicle. You want to find the wire coming off of the brake switch that is only hot whenever you push the brake pedal in. In this case, it is a small white wire that we've located underneath the dash as seen here. Now we'll connect our red wire off the wiring harness for the brake connector with this white wire using a quick splice wire connector. Now once that's done, we're ready to go ahead and complete mounting our brake controller in this vehicle. In this case, we choose to use a small metal bracket and a plastic bracket which is a quick release in case you choose to take your brake controller out. We'll go ahead and put two small pilot holes underneath the dash here. Followed by the two screws to mount the metal section of the bracket. Then we'll go ahead and use the two machine screws to connect the plastic part to the metal part of the bracket. Now we're ready to go ahead and connect our wiring harness to the back of the P3, with that you'll slide the brake controller into the bracket locking the front two tabs into the holes that are in the brake controller. We'll need to go back under the hood and we'll install our battery side bolt extender. Sometimes the battery extender will require a larger ring terminal than what's supplied with the kit. To do this, you just remove the bolt that holds the positive side to the battery and replace the bolt with the extender tightening it back down to the battery. There's a nut that threads off of the other end where you'll connect your two ring terminals from the wires that come off of your 30 and 40 amp fuse. The 40 amp for the hot lead off of the 7-pole at the back and the 30 amp for your brake controller. Now we'll go ahead and put a tester on our 7-pole in the back. You can see here that our brake controller draws current to it so our electric brake switch is working properly. With that, that will complete our installation of the ETB C7 as well as the Tekonsha Prodigy P3 trailer brake controller, part number 90195, on our 1996 Chevrolet CK Pickup. .


Brad T.

8/18/2021

Hey everybody, great video as you explained everything perfectly to do an install of a brake controller on my old 96 Chevy. Thanks again.

Robert W.

2/10/2020

I am planning to install a brake controller on my 1996 Chevy Silverado and I want to buy the additional 10 feet of wire in conjunction with the brake controller wiring. Dont see the part number for it or the grommet through the firewall. If you can send me those I would very appreciated.Thank youRobert

Etrailer Expert

Jacob H.

2/11/2020

The part number for the 10' of extra jacketed wiring is # ETBCXW . If you are needing a grommet to get the wiring safely through the firewall, # SWC8055 is the way to go. We use this snap bushing grommet in many of our installs.

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