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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2017 Ram 2500

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Trailer Brake Controller on a 2017 Ram 2500


Today we're going to take a look at and also show you how to install the Tekonsha Prodigy P2 proportional trailer brake control. This is going to work for one up to four axles. Its part number is 90885. To make our install easier, we're also going to be using part number 3024-P. That's going to be our Tekonsha plug-in wiring adapter for the electronic brake controllers. Now, the Prodigy P2 is a proportional brake controller, which is designed to work for one up to four axles. This is going to be great for just standard electric brakes or electric over hydraulic brakes.

The biggest advantage to a proportional-style brake controller rather than a time-delayed style is that this is going to give us instant feedback going to our trailer to give us the braking response that we need. In the event that we have just a casual slow-down situation like at a stop light, we're going to hit our brakes. The brake controller will sense that, and it's going to slowly apply brakes to the back to get us slowed down. On the other hand, if we have more of an emergency stop situation and we really need to hit the brakes hard, and it's going to send a lot more braking power back to the rear to get that all under control. Now, to set how much power we're going to be sending back, we've got a gain control knob. I'll just use my manual override lever, and you'll see as I turn this knob up, the number gets higher and higher and higher, all the way up to a max-out of 12.

Now, if I bring that down, let's say to six, of course that's going to be about 50%, or about mid-range braking power. As I use my manual override lever, it's only go up to that 6, that 6.1 area. I can gain that up higher, then it'll go right up to the 12. A few things that'll affect what you set your gain at are going to be road conditions, it's going to be terrain, whether it's really hilly or whether it's flat, and how heavy the trailer is in relation to your truck. As the roads get hillier or the trailer gets heavier, we need more gain, we need more braking power. As things start to flatten out or get lighter, well, we can reduce that so we don't have to worry about the trailer tires locking up and causing flat spots. Another great feature to help fine-tune the P2 is going to be the boost button that's located right here on the right side.

See, right now, we just have this single LED dot here on the bottom. Once boost is activated, we're going to have a second one, which would be right here. Now we've got boost level 1, 2, and 3, and then with a "B" with nothing, that means it's off. That's going to change the quickness and the aggressiveness in which our brakes are applied. Again, for those heavier, longer trailers, we want to have a boost level that's set higher.

As things get lighter and terrain flattens up, then we can bring that down a little bit just to accommodate and get that precise braking feel that we're looking for. Another great advantage to those time-delayed systems is that we're not going to have to wait on our braking power; we're going to get it very quickly and as aggressively as we want it thanks to our sensor inside that determines when we're trying to stop our vehicle. Now, the manual override lever that's located here on the bottom is going to allow us to send back braking power to our trailer right up to whatever our highest setting. If we've got it at 11 or 12, it's going to go right up to that. We're only going to be able to send back as much power as what we've got set. If we do it incrementally, you can see we can just use as much power as what we want. Now, the P2 is going to have several safeguards built in. This is going to isolate your vehicle from your trailer, so we don't have to worry about breakaway batteries, vehicle batteries, anything like that being interfered with. Also in the event of a prolonged stop or when we're sitting at a stop sign or maybe in traffic for a long time, this is actually going to reduce the amount of braking power that's being sent to our trailer so we don't have to worry about overheating. In the event our wiring we're to come disconnected from the rear of our vehicle, as you can see, our brake controller notifies us of that immediately, flashing the "NC," "NC" or not connected. As soon as we have that remedied, we have our connection made again, as you can see, it's going to go right back to "C," indicating we've got the connection we need. We can travel down the road safely. Now on our test today, you're going to be able to see both the brake voltage and current coming through as we operate our manual override lever. As you can see as we gradually squeeze it, that power is going to go up more and more and more, right up to our maximum. Now, to find our brake controller plug-in, we want to go to the right of our hood release, right over to this corner. Now, from there, you just reach right up and over. You're going to feel kind of a block that's got foam around it. That's the plug we want to use. You just pull that foam off. It'll allow us to take some of the slack out of that wire, and there we'll have our plug. Now in that bundle, we're going to have two plugs. One's going to be a little bit wider with orange inserts. The other one's a little bit skinnier there, and it's got the white inserts. We want to use the one with the white inserts, and it's going to be a direct plug-in for our pigtail. Once we've got that connected, these we can zip tie up and out of the way. I like to wait on that, however, until I have this installed so I know how much slack I want to get rid of. We'll take care of that now. Now, the P2 can be mounted in any orientation you want, as long as we have it directly in-line with our direction of travel. We don't want to get this offset one way or another this way, but we've got 360 degrees in this fashion we can do. Now, certainly, if we mount it like this underneath our dashboard, it's not going to be very effective for adjustment or manual override. I typically like to mount it up here higher on the dashboard somewhere. Some people like it on the left side. I like to avoid this area. It tends, when getting in and out, that you bump your leg on it, so I like to kind of keep it over in this area. We've got this little speaker here that's going to act as like our buzzer, so you want to just confirm where the wires go on that. Then we'll get that mounted. Now to mount it, we're going to use the self-tapping screws or Philips head; they're provided with the kit. When I install these, I usually center them. That way, if the customer wants to adjust it one way or another a little bit, that's going to be completely up to him. At this point, we can plug in our P2. See, it's already flashing indicating we've got the power that we need coming to it. You can see we've got threaded holes on each side. We're going to use the machine screws to go either through the lower or upper hole location. It looks like the upper one would work, but I think the lower is going to give us a little nicer look. We are going to have a little bit of our pigtail here hanging down below our dashboard, so it's never a bad idea just to kind of clean up the looks of that a little bit with some tape. Now we can take a few zip ties here and start getting our wire tidied up. Now as an alternative mounting option, we also have kind of like this case that it's going to slide down into. You can see the holes there to allow us for us to secure it just like we did our metal bracket. Then that would slide in. Now this has two tabs, one on either side, and removes for a little quicker removal of this, so if you wanted to use this to switch it from car to car, you can just have one brake controller. It's going to be a little more of the quick-change option. I like the metal bracket just because it is a little bit simpler to install. I think it gives us a little bit cleaner look. We're not going to have additional space being taken up by that case coming around the bottom, but that certainly is a personal preference matter. All right, now let's hook our trailer up and make sure it's working as it should be. Now, the single small LED that we see here is going to indicate to us that we are getting power to our brake controller. As we plug in our trailer, we'd like to see this screen switch and show a small "c." Now, with everything working as it should, that completes our installation of the Tekonsha Prodigy P2 proportional brake controller, part number 90885, also using the plug-in wiring adapter from Tekonsha, part number 3024-P, on our 2017 Ram 2500.


Larry S.

9/13/2021

Do ALL factory harness have the plug in for trlr brake controller? This ram 2500 (2017) did not come W/ttlr brake control. I dont SEE a plug under dash near steering column

Etrailer Expert

Victoria B.

10/11/2021

From what I understand all 2017 Ram 2500s came with the plug and play harness under the dash. It may be wrapped up and taped to other wires under the dash, making it harder to find.

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