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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2003 Honda Pilot

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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 2003 Honda Pilot


Today on this 2003 Honda Pilot we're going to install part number 90885. This is Tekonsha Prodigy P2 Trailer Brake Controller. We'll also be using part number ETBC7, Universal Installation Kit for Trailer Brake Controllers, and a bracket for our 7-pole connector which will be part number 18140, the Universal Mounting Bracket. First thing we're going to do is go ahead and get our vehicle ready. Our ETBC7 kit comes with a 7-pole connector and the brackets and all the hardware necessary for installation. However, this is designed to go only to a regular 4-pole flat. It really won't work on this type of specialized connector.

So honestly, we're just going to cut this thing off. We'll cut our 4-pole off as well and just use some extra butt connectors that don't come with the kit to make our connection. The butt connectors we'll be using is part number DW05714. Let's go ahead and free up our wires. We'll go ahead and cut off our connector here. Let's split our wires up and make them easier to work with.

We'll go ahead and prepare our wires and put our butt connectors on. Typically you'd want to test these wires to verify their function. We actually already did that so we know they work, and also we got lucky on this wire harness that they're actually labelled what they do as well. This last wire is our ground. Our 7-pole connector actually has a bigger ground that works with it so we don't even need this wire.

Let's go ahead and put our butt connectors on. We'll cut off our excess for that old ground wire. Let's leave those alone for now. Let's go ahead and mount our 7-pole bracket to our hitch using our short universal bracket. Now we'll go ahead and install our bracket. We'll pull it up to the bottom of the hitch and take the clamp that comes with bracket and run it around back into itself.

Push your screw back down into place. We'll go ahead and take the plaque and set it where we want it. In this case we actually want it hanging down towards the ground just a little bit. Next we'll go ahead and install our 7-pole bracket. We'll connect it by using the hardware that comes with the short bracket kit. Our bracket's going to be really close to our hitch here so we're actually just going to bend the bracket out a little bit to give us room for our wires that we'll angle up between the bumper and the hitch. We're almost ready to take our 7-pole connector and install it on our bracket. Before we do that we'll go ahead and wrap up our wires to keep them under control while we work with them. While we're at we'll go ahead and snip off our 4-pole end here. Let's go ahead and take our wires and run them through. Then we can go ahead and install it into our bracket. We'll go ahead and hold our 7-pole up to our bracket and run the machine screws that come with the kit in it. The screw is loosely installed, we'll go ahead and tighten them down. The connector ended up at a little of an odd angle but we did this to keep it as even with the hitch as possible. Let's go ahead and get those 3 wires for our 4-pole connector ready and make our connections. We'll start off with our wire label for taillight circuit. We'll go ahead and connect that to our brown wire. Next step will be our left turn signal which will go to yellow. The last one will go to green for our right turn signal. We'll go ahead and use some tape to help protect our connections here. Our next 2 wires will be our purple and our white wire. Our white wire with the ring terminal will go to ground. So we'll just go ahead and run that to the body of the vehicle. Our purple wire is typically used for auxiliary circuit, such as reverse lights or if you want a separate power source for something else. In this case it's not going to be used so we'll go ahead and bundle it up with the other wires and keep it safe and out of the way. Now we'll find a place for our white wire and ground it. We're going to take our white wire and we'll go ahead and ground it right here underneath the vehicle. We'll go ahead and use a large self-tapping screw that comes with the ETBC7 kit. We'll go ahead and drill it out first and then add our wire. Now we'll go ahead and add our grey cable to these 2 wires here. Inside here will be a black and white wire. We'll go ahead and connect the black to black and white to blue. Our black wire will be a 12-volt power supply, so if anything needs to be charged on a trailer it'll have power. Our blue wire will be our output from the brake controller that we're installing. Let's go ahead and get these wires ready. We'll go ahead and strip the ends back a little bit and we'll go ahead and click them up to our pre-installed butt connectors. Let's go ahead and take a moment to secure our wires. Then we'll go ahead and take a moment and secure these wires that we just added and we'll go ahead and hide them up behind the hitch. We're using longer zip-ties than what comes with the kit. It's always a good idea to get extra zip-ties when securing your wires. Now we'll go ahead and cut off the tails. Now at this point we can go ahead and take our cable and run it up towards our power supply. When we run our wire up there we'll make sure we stay away from anything moving like suspension components or anything hot like the exhaust. When we get to the front of the vehicle you also want to stay away from the steering components as well. We'll go ahead and show you how we ran our wire. To start off we ran it along the frame rail here and we used a couple of loom clamps, part number A0500. We ran it over the rear suspension and over some lines we used another loom clamp right here next to the gas tank. Then we just ran it through some preexisting brackets and used the zip-ties to help hold it in place. We ran it through this guard right here so the guard's doing the work for us, we cut by our lines here. We have it temporarily over our sway bar right here. We'll go ahead and drop the line from the top down to go ahead and pull this wire up towards the top. To pull our wire from the bottom we're going to use an old piece of airline tubing. This could also be any piece of wire that can hold a shape as you work it down to the bottom. We'll go into the bottom of the vehicle and then we'll go ahead and attach it and pull it back up. We've got our wire pulled out and then we'll go ahead and route it to where we're going to get power. In this case we're going to the positive side of the battery. You want to put a little bit of extra wire into, one, going to our circuit breaker that we're going to install for our black wire, and plus we need a little bit more length on our white wire so we can run it to the inside of the vehicle. The rest of our wire we cut off will be used for the run that'll go between the brake controller and back up to the battery. We'll just set that to the side for now. Let's take a moment to go ahead and zip-tie it to help pull it up and keep it secure. Let's go ahead and split our sheath back and get access to our wires. Take our white wire and we're just going to push it off to the side for now. Now we'll go ahead and work with our black wire. Our black wire has got to run through a 40-amp circuit breaker. We'll go ahead and take the circuit breaker and install it right here using the self-tapping screws that come with the kit. Let's go ahead and attach our wire to our circuit breaker. We'll cut the wire in half and add a ring terminal on each side. Now I'll go ahead and hook it up to our circuit breaker. The end that goes to our battery will always go to the copper side. Our side that goes out to our accessory, in this case a 7-pole connector, will goes to this post. Our second post is kind of obscured by the plastic here in an effort to keep the circuit breaker in a flat spot of steel so let's go ahead and just make a notch around it. We'll be using a rotary tool to make our notch. We'll go ahead and add our wire to this post now. We'll go ahead and tighten down our connection using a 3/8" steel bolt socket. Now we'll trace our wire up and towards our battery. Instead of routing our wire around the air box we're actually going to run it underneath here into our battery. We'll go ahead and put our ring terminal in our wire to make our connection right here but we won't actually connect it yet. That'll be one of the last things we do. We'll just leave that there for now and we'll go ahead and work with our white wire next. We'll run this wire to the inside of the vehicle and eventually back to the blue colored wire going through our brake controller. Our location that we're going to run our wires through will be through this grommet right here. I'm pushing it right now with the white wire. We'll go ahead and make a slit in the grommet so we can push our wires through. We're going to try and stay on the outside of the edge as best as possible so we don't damage anything else but the grommet. We'll go ahead and route our wire over to it and we'll go ahead and push through. We'll go ahead and pull our slack for our brake wire here. While we're at it we'll go ahead and get that scrap piece of wire that was left over and we'll go ahead and run that through as well. Now we have 3 wires in here right now, 2 wires in the sheath and our lone white wire. We'll go ahead and leave these alone for now. Let's go back underneath the hood and add 1 more circuit breaker for our brake controller. We'll also get our ground ready to work with as well. We'll be adding a 20-amp circuit breaker. Depending on the type of trailer and inaudible 12:51 you need, you may need a heavier circuit breaker. In this case we just need a 20-amp. We'll make just a slight notch to make room for our hardware here as well. Let's go ahead and route our wire to where we want it, to our circuit breakers. Then we'll go ahead and strip back the sheath for this part as well. Just like before, power going to our accessory will go to our silver post and power from our battery will go to the copper post. Let's go ahead and get our white wire out of the way and we'll go ahead and add ring terminals to our black wire. In our other half we'll get the other small ring terminal and then a large ring terminal on the other side. Let's go ahead and tighten up the hardware on our circuit breakers for our wires. Now our white wire will be ground. Let's go ahead and route that towards our battery. Here I think we'll actually use the inaudible 15:01 going to the battery. So we'll go ahead and cut our wire's length and add another large ring terminal. I like to leave the connections as the last thing we do so let's go back underneath the dashboard. We'll go ahead and hook up our wires going into our brake controller. Now we can go ahead and start working with the brake controller. This is the wire harness that comes with the brake controller. To help things under control we'll go ahead and use some of the little material that comes with the ETBC7 kit. We'll go ahead and wrap that around our wires. We'll leave that alone for now. Let's get our other wires ready. We'll go ahead and shorten up our wires now because we don't really need all that length and we'll go ahead and remove the sheath on the grey cable. All right, we'll go ahead and strip back our wires and we'll add the butt connectors. We use the large yellow butt connectors. Then we'll hook up what we can to our brake controller wire harness. On our brake controller wire harness we're not going to use the red for now. That'll hook up somewhere else. Let's just get that out of our way and we'll go ahead and hook up our wires. Our lone white wire, we'll go ahead and connect that back to our blue wire. So it was blue from the 7-pole connector, white and then back to blue for our brake controller. For our remaining 2 wires it'll be color for color. Our last wire will be a small red wire. That's going to go to our brake light switch. So we need to find the cold 17:15 side of our brake switch, which means as soon as we hit the pedal the brakes come on. We need to find that wire. We're going to use a different tester that comes with kit to make things a little easier to demonstrate what's going on. When we hit the brake pedal that's the wire we want. In this case it looks like white with a black stripe and silver bands. To make our connection to it we'll use a quick splice connector that comes with the brake controller install kit. We'll slide our connector over to the wire we're going to use then we'll slide our red wire next to it. Next to each other we'll go ahead and squeeze down a pair of pliers in the middle clip in the middle that'll make the connection. We'll just go ahead and mount the pocket for our brake controller. The kit comes with a heat metal screw that we'll use to attach it to the dashboard. When you mount the pocket this is up to personal preference. Typically it's going to be on the right hand side and up and out of the way. When we're mounting the pocket we want to make sure that it's in a straight as a line as possible with the vehicle so the brake controller will be the same way. We've got 1 screw holding it. We'll go ahead and add the second screw. We'll go ahead and run our wire through our pocket and it'll plug into the back of our brake controller. We'll pop it back into place and then we'll go ahead and zip-tie our wire to keep it out of the way. We're done underneath the dash. We'll go ahead and hook up our wires to our battery and our ground. Let's go hook up our 2 black wires to the positive side of the battery. Now let's go hook up our ground. Everything's installed. Let's go ahead and check out the brake controller. I see we have 2 dots on it so that's a good sign. One shows the boost button is in use and the other one shows we have power going to the brake controller. You can go ahead and scroll through the boost buttons, "B1, b2, b3, no boost." We'll leave it at boost 1 for now. Now we'll hit the manual override. You can see it says, "Nc," that means no connection for our trailer. We'll go ahead and hook up our trailer now and see what it does. Now when I plug the trailer in we'll have a c showing a connection. We'll hit the manual override. See how it scrolls through the power. Total power can be adjusted by this knob right here from full power down to nothing. We'll go ahead and hit the brake pedal and we should see a small amount of numbers show up, so we know we have brake signal as well. It looks like everything's working. With that that'll finish it for our install part number 90885, the Tekonsha Project P2 brake controller and our ETBC7 kit on our 2003 Honda Pilot. .


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