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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2008 Ford Ranger

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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 2008 Ford Ranger


Today on our 2008 Ford Ranger we're going to be installing the Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Brake Controller part number 90195 along with the etrailer brake controller install kit part number ETBC7. To start we'll first go ahead and assemble the 7-pole adapter bracket. With the hardware provided we'll use it to attach the bracket to the 7-pole adapter. We'll go ahead and take the bracket and feed it over the wires and up to the back of the mounting surface for the 7-pole adapter. Then we'll take the screws, feed them through the front side of the 7-pole and secure it with the nuts on the backside. Once we have all four in place we'll go ahead and tighten them down. Now once we have the bracket mounted to help secure our wires and clean up our install look we're going to go ahead and tape it up here until we get to the 4-pole connector. Using some black electrical tape, it'll help bundle it up and protect our wires.

You could also use the wire loom provided with the install kit. Note: the purple wire is for a reverse taillight circuit that will not be installed on this application. We're going to cut it off short in case we ever add it later and tape it up. Now we're ready to install the Tow Ready no drill mounting bracket part number 18140. We'll use the hardware provided with the bracket to secure it to our 7-pole bracket. Now we can go ahead and mount the bracket directly to the hitch. We'll use the worm gear clamp provided with the install kit of the bracket to secure it to the hitch.

Once we have the bracket secure we'll go ahead and start wiring up our connectors. We're going to start with our two 4-pole connectors. First the 4-pole connector here on the vehicle side and then the 4-pole connector coming from the back of our new 7-pole connector. Note: I do recommend to use Edleman Dielectric Grease in between these two connection points to help prevent corrosion. We'll just put some grease inside the connector and push the two together. We'll go ahead and remove the cap as it won't be necessary any more and to get it out of the way. Next we'll need to hook up the blue and black wire coming from our 7-pole connector.

To hook it up we're going to utilize the grey duplex cable provided with our install kit. We'll strip back the sheathing and then strip back the wires inside. To remove the grey sheathing we're just going to use our utility knife and carefully split it down the middle exposing the wires underneath. I'm just going to go ahead and remove the excess to get it out of my way. Then we'll strip back the wires.

To try and keep our color code as closely as possible we'll attach black to black and white to blue. With those connections made I'm going to continue wrapping up our wiring harness with some black electrical tape. This will help protect our open connections and keep the two 4-pole connectors together, clean and dry from dirt, dust, debris or moisture. With our wiring harness taped up we'll go ahead and start routing the grey duplex cable through the frame following the manufacturer's wiring. Quick tech tip: as you route your wiring, recommend to stay away from any moving components such as steering or suspension or excessive heat such as the exhaust. Keep in mind as I wrap the wiring I'm also going to secure it as necessary with the black tip ties provided with the install kit. Next I'm going to take the white wire with the pre-tagged ring terminal and ground it here to the frame of the vehicle using the self tapping screw provided with our install kit. We'll go ahead and secure the ring terminal now. Now with my wiring routed and secured here at the back of the vehicle we're going to go ahead and take the remaining portion of our grey duplex cable and run it up towards the front of the vehicle and ultimately to the top of the engine compartment. Now we're going to be going through the manufacturer's shift cable grommet so if you follow the shift cable up the firewall, you'll locate the grommet. We can utilize the manufacturer's grommet here to run our wiring inside the cab. Taking a utility knife we can cut the grommet just large enough to get our wires through and into the cab of the vehicle. Now we can move back underneath the vehicle. We'll take our grey duplex cable, run it up to the grommet, mark our length, bring it back down, and then we'll need to add some additional length. We'll carefully slice the grey duplex cable down the middle. Once we get to the other end cut it off and remove the sheathing. Now that we've got it stripped back we'll go ahead and remove the sheathing and go to the other end of our white wire only and cut it. This is the end that will go inside the cab of the vehicle. I'm going to go ahead and run it now. Now that I've got the white wire started into the cab of the vehicle, I'll take the other end of my grey duplex cable and run it up to the top of the engine compartment. Note: to assist in routing any of your wires you can also use a pull wire which can be a stiff piece of wire, coat hanger or even a piece of old air tubing, which we're going to be using. Once we get the duplex cable taped to our pull wire, we can move to the top of the engine compartment where we can pull the duplex cable up to the top of the engine and then move inside and pull our white wire into the cab of the vehicle. Now with our white wire pulled into the cab of the vehicle we'll move back to the engine compartment. Here's our grey duplex cable that we used our pull wire to route to the top of the engine compartment. We're going to mount the breakers for our new brake control install kit here below the body seam of the fender. We'll need a little more length for our black power wire. I'll go ahead and strip back the grey duplex cable to give it some more working room. We'll cut off the extra from our black power wire. We'll use the 40 amp breaker supplied with our install kit for the hot lead to our 7-pole connector. Now once we have the breaker mounted we can go ahead and strip back our power wire that supplies the hot lead to the 7-pole connector, install a small ring terminal and crimp it down. We'll then secure it to the silver side of our breaker, as the copper side will be the hot lead from the breaker to the positive battery post. To secure the ring terminal to the breaker we'll use the star washer and nut provided. The second one will be the power supply for our brake controller. We'll use the 20 amp breaker for this application. Next we'll go ahead and run the power and ground for the brake controller. We'll use the remaining wire from our grey duplex cable, push it through the grommet from inside out into the engine compartment where it'll ultimately run to our breaker and a battery or vehicle ground. Now with our wires run in the cab of the vehicle, it's a good time to mount the brake controller. To mount our brake controller we'll use the self tapping screws and bracket provided with the brake controller. We're going to attach the brake controller bracket directly to the knee bolster here on the passenger side of our steering wheel. Now before I mount the brake controller to the bracket, we'll install the pig tail into the back of the brake controller. I'll go ahead and wrap it up with some black electrical tape before I install it. By wrapping it up with the black electrical tape it'll help clean up our install look, bundle our wires together, provide a little protection for the wires. I don't have to go all the way but we will go about 3/4. Make sure we've got enough to get our wiring behind the dash and out of sight. This is another area you could also use the wire loom provided with the install kit. Next we'll take the brake controller pig tail and plug it into the back of the brake controller. Then we can mount our brake controller using the pre-drilled slots in the bracket and our brake controller. With the brake controller mounted we can go ahead and start making our connection with the brake controller pig tail. We'll start with the red wire. The red wire will need to be attached directly to the manufacturer's brake switch signal that is hot, only when the brake pedal is depressed. Using our test light we can identify this wire. I'll ground the test light directly to the fire wall, then that probe to the brake switch 00:11:40. With the key ignition on our ping probed and we're pressing the brake pedal, it'll trigger our wire. This will be our brake switch signal that we'll attach to the red wire. To attach our red wire to the manufacturer's wire we'll need to remove some of the black electrical tape that has it bundled up. I'll separate it out a little, slide the quick splice connector over the manufacturer's wire and then the red wire into position. Once in place we'll go ahead and crimp it down. Once we have it crimped down we'll close the clasp and that will complete our connection. With the three remaining wires from our brake controller pig tail, we'll start with the blue wire. The blue wire will match the blue wire that comes from our 7-pole connector and is the power to our trailer braking. The white wire is the one we attached to the blue wire at the 7-pole connector and ultimately ran into the cabin of the vehicle. I'm going to go ahead and trim off some of the excess from both sides of the wire, strip back both wires and use one of the butt connectors provided with the install kit to attach them together. Next we'll take the grey duplex cable that was left over from our 7-pole connector run, strip back and expose the black and white wires underneath and utilize them for power and ground, matching color for color, from the brake controller pig tail. Now with the grey duplex cable exposed and stripped back I'll go ahead and strip back the wires coming from the brake controller pig tail and then use the butt connectors provided to secure them to our grey duplex cable wiring. With all our connections made here in our engine compartment we can go ahead and finish wrapping up our wires with some black electrical tape to cover up our connection point, to help keep them free from dirt, dust, debris and moisture. Additionally we'll secure the wire as necessary up underneath the dash and then move back to the engine compartment. Now that we're back in the engine compartment we'll take our grey duplex cable that's the power and ground for our brake controller and route it to it's longest point which will be here at the manufacture ground 00:14:37. Then I'll go ahead and mark the wire and cut off the excess. Holding it in position we'll again mark where the power wire will need to go to our brake controller and strip back the grey duplex cable, separating the white and black wires. We'll remove the excess sheathing, then take the white wire, strip it back and add a large ring terminal. Now we'll go ahead and remove the ground stud, install the ring terminal, then re-secure the manufacturer's ground stud. Then I'll take my power wire, mark my length, strip it back and add a small ring terminal creating our power wire for our brake controller and again attaching it to the silver side of the breaker, securing it with the star washer and nut. We'll use our remaining wire left over from the grey duplex cable for the copper side of our breakers to the positive battery terminal. We'll take both ends of our hot lead runs, strip them back and add small ring terminals. You can then take those ring terminals and attach them to the copper side of each breaker. We'll go ahead and secure it with the star washer and nut, and then tighten down all four posts of our breakers. Then we'll take the remaining portion of our power wire, route the two hot leads following the manufacturer's wiring to our positive battery post where we can cut it to length and add two large ring terminals. Now we're ready to attach our ring terminals to the positive battery post. However the nut on the positive battery post stud is not designed to come all the way off. We'll back it off enough that we can get our ring terminals in after we cut a small slice in the ring terminal, just enough to fit over the stud. We'll do this to both ring terminals. Once we have them cut we'll slide them onto the stud and then we can tighten it back down. Once we have the power wires attached we can put out positive battery post cap back into place. Once you're finished making the connections we'll go ahead and secure the wiring as necessary with the zip ties and then cut off the excess from the zip ties to clean up the install look. Now with all our wires connected and secured we can see we have power going to our brake controller. After we plug in our trailer brakes we can see we have a trailer brake connection. Then when we remove the trailer brake connector from our 7-pole connector we'll get an NC showing no trailer connection. Now that we know our new brake controller works we're ready to hit the road. That does it for the install of the Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Brake Controller part number 90195 in conjunction with the etrailer brake controller install kit part number ETBC7 on our 2008 Ford Ranger. .


Gerald K.

10/6/2020

If using "the purple wire is used for a reverse taillight circuit".. With 2 LED lights mounted at rear Ranger bumper and 2 LED lights at rear of trailer. all 4 lights grounded to their vehicle and powered by the purple wire. purple/white wire to wire in shift control, reverse trigger wire. do I need to add a ground wire at front of Ranger? I would think not, but thought I should ask.

Etrailer Expert

Jon G.

10/6/2020

You don't need to add another ground wire on your Ranger. Sounds like you have everything wired up correctly!

Gerald K.

10/6/2020

thx

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