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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2018 Chevrolet Colorado

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How to Install the Trailer Brake Controller on a 2018 Chevrolet Colorado


Speaker 1: Today on our 2018 Chevrolet Colorado, we're going to take a look at and also show you how to install the Tekonsha Prodigy P2 Proportional Trailer Brake Controller. This works for 1, up to 4 axles. The part number is 90885.Now, the Tekonsha Prodigy P2 is a really good choice when it comes to brake controllers. It offers proportional braking, which in my opinion, is the safest braking that we have available with brake controllers; versus the time delayed systems, which just have a general ramp into which the power we're going to be applied to the brakes when you hit them. This brakes in relation to the force that you're actually exerting on your pedal. So if you slam on your brakes very quickly, you're going to get your braking force very quickly at a higher amount.

If we're just barely tapping the brakes as we're in stop and go traffic, it's just going to barely apply the trailer brakes.Basically, with proportional braking, the truck is going to do its fair share of the work when needed. The trailer's going to do its fair share of the work when needed. So we're not going to overuse the brakes on the truck, we're not going to overuse the brakes on our trailer. And it can be especially important in emergencies because we get everything stopped safely.Now, to operate the controller, it's very simple really. On the side here, there's a roll knob.

This controls our gain or the amount of braking force being sent out to the trailer. You can see here it's 00. That means we've essentially turned the brake controller completely off. As we start to raise this, generally you hold your manual override over to see it. We can set it up at really any tenth of digit, all the way up to 11 is where it maxes out.

So, at 11, we're getting maximum braking power being sent back to our brakes. If we have it down at about 5.5, that's going to be about 50% braking power.Now, this we adjust based on our load, terrain, and road conditions. If the roads are wet and slippery, we certainly don't want to have this on high because our trailer wheels are going to lock up. Ideally we set this just below the point in which our trailer brakes lock up. That ensures we get maximum braking performance out of our trailer when we need it.The manual override lever over here on the bottom generally is used to either test the setting of your controller or in an emergency sway situation.

This allows us to apply the brakes on our trailer up to whatever our preset is with our gain so we don't have to worry about overpowering if we've got it set to 2.6, 2.7, that's basically where it's going to end. So let's just show you. 2.3 let's say. All the way over it's going to be a 2.3, so we're not going to lock them up, but by just applying the brakes on the trailer and not the truck, most of the times you're going to eliminate that sway.There's a single LED dot here just after the first number. That's going to indicate to you that you have 12 volt power coming to your brake controller. There's a second one on the other side kind of right behind the P and P2, and that's for boost mode, which is operated with the button here. Now boost mode is going to change the quickness and aggressiveness in which our brakes are applied. So for a light trailer behind a vehicle, we really don't need any boost, or maybe just go to boost level one.But as that trailer gets heavier and heavier, or as the hills get steeper up and down, we want to increase that boost level to get a quicker, more aggressive braking process. We'll do that just by tapping the button here. Currently no boost is on, so we hit the button, it's a B with no number and no LED. We hit it twice, you can see we go to B1, B2, B3. Once again, we can go to boost nothing, which means no boost on. So, very quick and easy to adjust that and it really helps you to fine tune your braking. Once we have our gain set, which is the maximum power, we can set the feel, or how quickly and aggressively we want those to come on.Now when we compare this to other proportional brake controllers, I would say the P3, it's got to be one of the most popular ones on the market. They're made by the same company. They have a lot of the same technologies. With the P3, you do have more options in mounting. That's just about any direction you want to mount it, as long as it's in direction with your vehicle's line of travel. And with the P3, I really think you get more diagnostic functions and more customization. You're not really going to upgrade the braking performance by going with the P3, it's just going to be more interactive.You're going to get more information from it, you'll be able to change the colors of it, different things like that. If that's something that's important to you, or if you tow just about every single day, I think the P3 might be the way to go. But for your weekender, for your occasional use, or even somebody that halls with the same trailer, you don't have to make a bunch of adjustments and you use that daily, I think this would be the way to go. It's a nice, cost effective brake controller, works for one, up to four axles so you're not really limited there.Now to begin our installation, we need to find the four wires that are running to the cab on our Colorado. They should be right in here, just behind this plastic panel. Now from here back to this middle of the seat, it's one piece to right here. So we'll push down, lift up on that outside on that top portion. We have a little clip there, a few clips as we work forward that'll separate. And once it's raised up to about here, we just need to pull straight back on it. You can see that separates the two steel clips. We got one here and one here. So we'll set that aside. Right here, one, two, three, and four, will be our wires.All right, we need to free up our wires here. So we just want to pull this factory, it's kind of like a fabric tape. We want to get that off of there. Extend those out, and there's protectors on the end. You're going to strip each of these. This is excessive, so we want to trim that back. Now the brake controller itself comes with the four butt connectors you'll need to make your connection. And I think these standard ones would be an okay thing to put on the inside of the vehicle here. Something I'm going to do is just replace these with heat shrink connectors, yellow for yellow, blue for blue. The yellow ones are part number DW05745. The blue ones are part number DW05744. And again, these will work, I just feel like we get a better, more secure connection with these. I'm just going to get that slid on. I'm going to crimp it down. And we'll just give it a pull, make sure it's connected properly. We're going to do these individually. So we want to work through them as we go.Now the white and blue wire that we have here, and the black wire, are pretty thin, so I think we could just trim off a little bit there and double them over. As you can see, we're using those yellow, or the larger butt connectors on the larger wires, and placing the blue ones on the smaller wires there. Now for your connections, we've got a red wire with a green stripe, it's one of the larger ones. That we're going to connect the black wire from our Tekonsha pigtail. Then once we're sure it's connected properly, we're going to use our heat source here. We're going to get this shrank down.Now you can use one of those mini torches, a heat gun, or simply use a lighter. The key is not to overheat it. You just want to gently heat it all the way around. You'll start to see it shrink down. And then when it's fully shrank, it looks like the wire gets larger, almost as if it's been magnified. Then there's a little bit of clear gel that comes out of the end of it. So let's get it shrank. You'll see the wire looks magnified there, a little bit of clear gel right there. So we'll just do that same thing for the other side. Now, we'll do that exact same thing for our other colors. The white wire, which is our ground, needs to go to the small black wire from our truck. The blue wire, which is our brake controller signal from the controller to the seven pole plug, needs to go to the other blue wire. Then our red wire, which initiates kind of like the brake signal and it's our brake signal wire, that's going to go to the white wire with the blue stripe.Now I like to take a little electrical tape, just wrap this whole harness up. That'll be completely up to you whether you want to do it or not, but I think it does give you a cleaner look on your installation. Now we're going to get our pigtail routed. Basically right up and over our OBD port that's right here, use zip ties wherever you can to keep everything nice and secure. I'm going to bring it down about right here.All right, now I've just temporarily mounted our bracket onto our brake controller. We're going to use this, plug in our pigtail. With this pigtail, you've got decent length, but you need to ensure that you're not out of range of where that will reach or you'll have to extend those wires. Looks like about right there I think would be a good position for it. It'll be easy to read, easy to get to our controls, easy to get to our override. You see in our bracket, we have two oblong holes. I'm going to mark each of those just using a pick here just to give us a little bit of a mark here and here. Now let's get our bracket installed. So we're going to remove the bracket from the controller. See we've got some small Philips head self-tapping screws. Let's get one started here on the mark we made. And just make one at our other mark, but ensure it's level, I've got my marks a little bit crooked, so I'm going to bring this one up just a touch.Put your bracket in, screw through it. Really no need to over-tighten these. It's going to keep our controller up and out of the way. And we've got the option of using the upper or lower set of holes there for our controller. I'm going to do the lower set. I think that's going to have a little bit better angle for us. It'll be a little bit easier to use. I'm going to just put in the fine thread machine screws on both sides. All right, nice and secure. I think everything's working the way it should. So now just track your pigtail back and zip tie it off anywhere you can, and make sure you keep it nice and secure.All right, now we'll line our clips here with the slots there. This little tab at the top's going to go in that hole. Push it in. We've got this rubber molding. You just want to kind of flip it up so it'll go over the top there. Now once we get to the bend here at the bottom, I'm going to get that molding over the top, then we're going to tap it down.Now we can test the brake controller. We're going to plug in our trailer tester. It gives us the amps and the current running through. You could plug into your trailer and just make sure that the brakes are applying in your trailer too if you want to do it that way. We're going to flip your switch to the trailer brake side and that's when we hit our controller, we should see brake current and voltage coming through. So I'm going to adjust the gain all the way up on my controller, I'll hit my manual override, and as you can see, getting plenty of current and voltage coming through. Now the nice thing about the system is you can set your gain higher or lower and it's always going to go to your preset. In that case, we're set at about four. That case, we're back to 11 and anywhere in between.With everything working properly, that's going to complete our installation of the Prodigy P2 part number 90885 on our 2018 Chevrolet Colorado.


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