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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2013 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 2013 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Today on our 2013 Mercedes Benz Sprinter, we'll be installing the Tekonsha Prodigy P2 brake controller, part number 90885, in conjunction with the etrailer Brake Controller Install Kit part number, ETBC7, our tow rating mounting bracket, part number 18136, and the Edelmann dielectric grease, part number 11755. To begin our install, we'll first take the seven-pole bracket and mount it onto the seven-pole connector. Using the hardware provided with our install kit, we'll go ahead and line the bracket up with the pre-drilled holes in the connector, then install our bolt and nut to secure the bracket to the connector. We'll go ahead and lower the spare tire. Remove the T-nuts at the ends of the studs and then go ahead and loosen the nuts that secure the spare tire in position. Once we can loosen the nuts enough, we'll rotate the hook out of the way and then lower the cradle. Next we'll need to install the seven-pole bracket onto the vehicle. Now, for this application, we'll be using the tow-ready universal mounting bracket part number 18136. Because of the aftermarket body on this vehicle, we cannot install it in a normal fashion.

We're going to take our bracket, bend it as necessary, and then pre-drill a couple of holes in the step bumper to secure it. First let's go ahead and bend our bracket. With our bracket already pre-bent, we'll go ahead and set it in position and then make a couple of marks where we need to drill the holes. Once we have the holes drilled out in the bumper, we'll set the bracket back into place and use our drill bit, going through the holes we drilled in the step bumper, to mark the bracket. Now we've got the bracket marked, I'm going to go ahead and set it on a bench and pre-drill the holes.

Now, with all the holes drilled out, we'll set the bracket back in place, drop our hardware in and tighten it down. Now we can go ahead and connect the seven-pole bracket directly to our tow-ready bracket. Next I'm going to take some black electrical tape and wrap up the wires which will help bundle them up and clean up our install look. Now before we take the four-pole connector that is already on the vehicle and install it into the back of the four-pole connector on the seven-pole wiring harness, we're going to apply some of the Edelmann dielectric grease part number: 11755. This will help prevent corrosion between the two connection points. Now we can go ahead and take the four-pole off the vehicle and install it into our four-pole for our seven-pole harness. To secure the two connectors together I'm also going to take a zip tie and wrap it around the two connection points, and now I'll cut off the excess from the zip tie. Next, we need to take the gray duplex cable and connect it to the black and blue wires from our seven-pole harness.

First, we'll go ahead and feed the gray duplex cable over the axle, through the frame and back to the rear of the vehicle. Now we'll go ahead and take our utility knife and strip back some of the gray sheathing. Strip back both wires and then connect them to the butt connectors already supplied with the 7-pole harness. It will be black to black, white to blue. Once we have this connection point made, we can go ahead and wrap up the remaining portion of our 7-pole harness with some black electrical tape, bundling up our wires, keeping it free from dirt, dust, debris and moisture, and cleaning up our install look.

Now I'll go ahead and secure the 7-pole harness to the vehicle. As we work our way towards the frame, we'll then take the white wire with the pre-attached ring terminal and secure it directly to the body, as this will be the new ground for our 4- and 7-pole connectors. Using a self-tapping screw we'll go in and adhere it here directly to the side of the frame. With that completed, we're now ready to start running the gray duplex cable up to the engine compartment. Keep in mind when routing your wires to stay away from any moving components such as steering or suspension or excessive heat such as exhaust. Now we'll go ahead and reinstall the spare tire. Now that we've got our gray duplex cable routed into the engine compartment, we need to route it inside the vehicle. To route inside the vehicle, we need to go through the fire wall. Locate a manufacturer's grommet here to the driver side of the brake booster and master cylinder. Use the utility knife to cut a small slice in the grommet and then feed our wire into the cab of the vehicle. Now we'll move into the cab of the vehicle. Now for this application, the battery is located in the floorboard near the driver's front seat. To gain access, remove the threshold here and the three screws that secure it. We'll set that aside. Then we can remove the floor lining here in front of the driver's seat. This will expose the battery cover. To remove the battery cover, we'll loosen the four bolts, slide the battery cover to the slotted holes and then pick it up and set it aside. As you can see, we have now exposed the battery. Now with the gray duplex cable routed inside, we're going to go ahead and set it aside. We need to mount the breakers for our brake controller install set-up. To do this we're going to cut out some of the insulation here along the fire wall. First we'll go ahead and mark out the insulation that'll need to be cut out. Then we'll use our utility knife to make these cuts. Now with the insulation out of the way, we'll go ahead and set our breakers in position and secure them using the self-tapping screws provided with the install kit, noting that we'll be using the 40-amp breaker for the hot lead that will go to our seven-pole connector. We're going to go ahead and mount the brake controller. To mount the brake controller, we'll take the brake controller bracket and hardware provided and secure it here to the bottom of the dash. Then we can go ahead and install the brake controller using the screws provided. With our brake controller mounted, raise the wiring up with the brake controller pigtail. Our pigtail is provided with the brake controller. The red wire from the pigtail will need to go to the vehicle's brake switch and connect with the wire that is hot only when the brake pedal is depressed. Using the test light provided with our install kit, we'll go ahead and put the ground clamp on the vehicle body to ground it and then use the test light to probe the wires as necessary. Once we've located the wire, which is a pink wire with a blue tracer for this application, we can then take our quick-splice connector, feed it over the manufacturer's wire, slide the red wire in behind it, crimp it down and close it flat. Next we'll need to connect the blue wire for our brake controller pigtail. To connect it, we'll go back to the gray duplex cable we routed into the cab of the vehicle. Cut it to length and strip it back. We'll route the black wire and go to our breaker and the white wire will go to the blue wire for our brake controller pigtail. We'll go ahead and cut the wire to length and add a yellow butt connector. Then we'll bring in the blue wire and secure it to the other side of our butt connector. Next we'll take the black wire from the gray duplex cable, cut it to length, strip it back and add a small gray terminal. We'll then take the ring terminal and put it on the silver side of our 40-amp breaker, securing it with a star washer and nut. Now we've got two remaining wires for our brake controller pigtail. We can actually take the black pigtail wire, route it directly to the breaker, installing a small ring terminal and securing it directly to the silver side of our second breaker. So, we'll go ahead and take a piece of the leftover, remaining white wire, a yellow butt connector and secure the extra length of wire to the white wire from our brake controller pigtail, route it behind the dash and down to our battery. Then we'll go ahead and secure our wiring as necessary. Once we get down to the battery, we'll cut the wire to length, strip it back and add a large ring terminal. We'll go ahead and back off the nut on the negative battery terminal clamp. Because this nut is not designed to be completely removed, only loosened, we'll then take our ring terminal, using a pair of side cutters, and put a small slice in the ring terminal. We'll slide the ring terminal over the negative battery terminal post and then secure it with the nut. Now with the brake controller pigtail wired up, we'll go ahead and wrap it up with some black electrical tape. We'll then connect the brake controller pigtail into the back of the brake controller. Next we'll be running two hot leads for the breakers, going from the copper side of the breakers and routing it over to the positive battery terminal. We'll take our leftover wire from our gray duplex cable, strip back both ends and add two small ring terminals. Now I'm going to go ahead and wrap up our two hot lead wires with some black electrical tape to help bundle them together and clean up our install look. We can take the ring terminals and secure them to the copper side of the breakers using the star washer and nut. With that done, we'll go ahead and start routing the wires, as necessary, keeping away from any moving components underneath the dash and routing it down to the battery. Once they get to the battery, I'll cut the wires to length, strip them back and add two large ring terminals. We can remove the nut on the positive battery post, install the ring terminals and then re-secure it with the nut. I'll go ahead and secure the wiring as necessary in the battery compartment and underneath the dash. With all our wires secured, we'll go ahead and cut off the excess from the zip ties to clean up our install look. We're now ready to reinstall the battery cover and interior that we removed earlier. With everything reinstalled, we're now ready to test our new brake controller. Starting with just the key on, you can see that the brake controller is powered up with the two LED lights. Then as we connect our trailer we get a "C" in the display window for "connected." Once we remove the trailer wiring, it will flash "NC" for "no connection." Now that our brake controller is tested, we're ready to hit the road. And that does it for the install of our Tekonsha Prodigy P2 brake controller part number 90885 for our 2013 Mercedes Benz Sprinter. .

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