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Tekonsha ZCI Circuit Protected Vehicle Wiring Harness Installation - 2018 Audi Q7

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How to Install the Tekonsha ZCI Circuit Protected Vehicle Wiring Harness on a 2018 Audi Q7

Hi there Audi owners today in your 2017 Audi Q7, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install Tekonsha ZCI four-pole flat connector trailer wiring system. We're going to look at some of the features first, so stick around towards the end, and then we're going to do the installation with you. And this is what our wiring looks like when it's installed. You almost can't even tell that it's there because it's going to be completely hidden on your Q7. When you open up the lift gate, there's an access panel located on the inside right here. And if we open that up, our wiring is located inside.

With the system our wiring is always going to be inside the vehicle. So this way we can be sure that it's protected against the elements when we're not using it.And when we are ready to use it, we can simply unravel it. The cover can be put back in place and it'll just pinch out the end there and that's fine. When we close the lift gate, it's fine as well that we pinch it against the weatherstripping. It's not going to cause any damage.

You just want to say off to either the passenger or driver's side to avoid the striker in the middle. Now that we've got a draped out the back, we can plug it into our trailer and we're ready to hit the road. This wiring system is going to provide your standard four pole flat connection, which provides all of your lighting signals, which includes your left turn signal, right turn signal, tail lamps, and brake lamps. This will keep you DOT compliant in all states and ensure that everybody behind you knows your intentions when you're going down the road.One of the best parts about this system is that is a completely spliceless system. There's no tapping into any of your factory wiring.

The ZCI setup uses inductive clamps, that clamp around your turn brake and tail lamp signal circuits. And when it sees current flowing through these circuits, the module knows which input it's receiving, and then it outputs the exact same signal on your four-pole flat connector, providing the same signal that your vehicle is without ever having to actually touch any of the wiring. And another thing I really like is that the module that produces all the signals that send to your trailer are produced by that module and all the current that comes from it is from a separate power circuit that's run. So this way, none of your vehicles wiring is tapped into your trailer wiring whatsoever.So if you have a short on your trailer, nothing will be effected except for your ZCI wiring. The wiring is fuse protected.

So you'll find a fuse next to your battery. So if you do have any faults on your trailer, it'll just open that fuse. You can replace the fuse to repair your wiring system. Once you fix the wiring on your trailer and plug it back up, and you're ready to hit the road again, now that we've gone over some of the features, let's go over the installation together so you can have the confidence to do it at home. The only thing I want to recommend is that if you have a 48 volt system on your Q7, that you seek out professional service to get it done, as it could be a safety concern, doing it at home. If you're unsure whether or not you have a 12 volt or 48 volt system, you can contact your dealer to find out that information.We'll begin our installation with our lift gate open, and we'll need to remove the entire paneling here across our lift gate. To do so, we're going to use a plastic trim panel tool. We'll start at one corner and we're just going to start popping the paneling out. We don't want to pop it out too far though, because there are electrical connectors underneath and we don't want to damage any of them. So we're just gently going to be working our way around, lowering it down little by little disconnecting connectors as we go. Once you've got all the clips disconnected and your panels loose, we can disconnect any electrical wires that may be present. You may need a screwdriver to disconnect some of these connectors, as the tabs are quite small and kind of lower the lift gate down a little bit here to make it a little easier to access. We also have connectors here for the lights, don't forget those. And there are also very small on their connector tab. So you will likely need a screwdriver to release these as well. Don't forget the ones on the other side.And once all of our electrical connectors are disconnected, we can set our panel aside. Now with our cover completely off, we can access our wiring here at the back. And this is your tail light connector right here, this small little four wire connector. And there's another small tab that we're going to press so we can release it and it's very tiny. So you're probably going to need a screwdriver to press it and we can get it disconnected. Once we get it disconnected, we'll want to strip back some of the sheathing here just to make a little bit more room for the ZCI connectors that we're going to snap around it. What's nice about the ZCI is that we don't actually have to splice into any of this wiring, so there's no real modifications done to the vehicle. So if we we're to have any electrical issues or anything like that in the future, we know it's not going to void our warranty because we didn't actually tap into anything here.Now you've got enough room to clip our connectors on. We're going to separate out the wires and there are four here. This is the passenger side, and there is numbers on the back of the connector here. They're very small, but if you look in the top left or the top right corner, you'll see a number. It says one on this side and it says four right there on this side. Pin one is the brown wire here and that's your ground. We won't be using that. And then just goes across, so two, three and four. Pin two is going to be our tail light circuit. And this is kind of a light blue color, or maybe a gray. Pin three is going to be our turn circuit for the right side and this is a light blue and black or possibly a gray and black, and our last wire here is going to be black with a blue stripe. That's going to be our stop circuit.We can now take our connectors with the labels for the right turn, stop and tail from our new harness. And that's going to be these little guys right here. They open up and all we're going to do is we're going to clip our connectors over the wires, but we want these arrows to follow the direction of the load. So since current's going to be flowing this way into the light, we're going to go that direction with our wiring. So we're just going to take the one labeled tail here. We know that it's pin two. So we're going to take our pin two circuit, set it between the grooves on both the front and the back, and then snap it down. We're then going to do the same thing with the right turn, which is pin three, the next wire down.And then lastly, we're going to do that for our stop circuit, which is pin four the blue and the black wire. We can then plug our wiring back in. And then we're going to move over to the driver's side disconnect that connector just like on the other side, we'll use our screwdriver to help us disconnect the electrical connector. And we're only concerned on this side with the turn circuit. So number one is brown, which is ground we don't need, two is tail and four was stop. So, that leaves pin three here to be the one that we're going to hook on. We're going to have to strip back some of that sheathing, just like we did on the other side, before we can make our connection.Okay, now we've got it moved back. We'll just take our connector, again point the arrow towards the load, which is our connector there and snap it around that pin three wire. Which is a white wire, looks like it does have a gray stripe on it as well, white with a gray stripe. We can then plug this connector back in. And at this point we're going to clean up our wiring, kind of get it all bundled up and it's attached to our factory wiring back here. So once I get all that cleaned up, because we've got plenty of excess here that we don't need we'll then mount our module and get our ground wire hooked up. Real quick before we zip tie up the wiring while everything's still a little bit loose where we can access everything, we're going to take the foam strips that come in our kit, peel off the adhesive backing. And these are just going to wrap around each of your connectors.So we're going to get that wire to where it's in both slots, place our foam on and just wrap around our connector. This ensures that it doesn't come disconnected or anything like that, and also prevents any vibrations or rattles that it might occur. So we're going to do that to each of our circuits now. I've gone ahead and zip tied up the bulk wiring here. We're going to be placing our module very close to this behind our panel here. So we're going to take the adhesive that comes in our kit, peel off the backing, put it on the back of our module. Then we'll peel off the other side of the backing and we're going to be placing it just above this wiring here. We want to make sure that our wiring doesn't cover up any of the slots you see, because that's where our clips go to put our panel back on. So we're just going to kind of sneak it in just above the factory wiring, but just below this wiring here, so that way this isn't going to interfere.And we're just going to press it in place right there and then we can finish zip tying up the wiring so that'll do the driver's side, just wanting to get the passenger side done so we didn't have all this mess while we we're getting our module mounted. Now let's route this wire over and zip tied to that factory wiring as I do so. Next we'll hook up our ground wire that's the thick white wire that comes off your module. It has a ring terminal pre-attached to it. And we're going to just run it right into the paneling here using the included self-tapping screw. So you want to check to make sure there's nothing behind it. There's really nothing behind this open cabinet right there. So we'll just feed it through and then run it inWe can now hook up our power wire. That's the black wire coming off of your module. This needs to be extended and routed up to your battery. You get plenty of wire included with your kit to make that extension. So we're going to strip back the included extra wire. And then I like to strip back the wire here. It does come pre-stripped but I like to have just a little bit more to work with, and then we're going to crimp it using the included heat shrink butt connectors. We'll use the included heat shrink butt connectors to connect our black wire. And after you crimp it onto your excess wire that we're going to be rerouting up to the battery. Just go to the wire coming off the module and connect it there.Now this is a heat shrink butt connector. So we're going to go ahead and shrink it down. It's not really necessary to, since it is inside the vehicle, but since it is provided, we'll go ahead and do so. We're now going to take this wire and route it up to the battery. I'm going to go ahead and route it now and then I'll show you the path that I took to get it there. We took the black wire, then route it up to our factory wire here, we followed the factory wire down, zip tying it along the way.We did have to remove a cover that was here. This cover just pulls off. Just kind of like our paneling. This one's not nearly as held on as tight, so you can just grab it and just give it a pull and just kind of peel it off. It's just a couple of clips that hold it in those slots. So we just continued routing it down here. We want to make sure that we stay on the inside. I'm going to add one more zip tie there just to ensure that it stays with this wire because we want it to move with that factory wiring as the lift gate opens and closes. From there, we tucked it in and you can just reach here and you can kind of just pull down a little bit, just poke your wiring in the plastic trim panel tool works really good to just kind of poke that wire in.Once we get around here, we hit our window and we just do the same thing at the window there. We just keep poking the wiring up, up, up. You can actually see just a little bit of it right there, where it's sticking out and you can see here with this trim panel tool, you can just use it and just poke it right up in there. And this is basically all we did all the way around is just poke this in the seam. And once we get to the front of the window, we just go around this pillar. And just like we did on the window, we just poke the wire in between the seam going around. So we came around the outside here, just poking it in. And then once we got there, we did the same thing, poking it in, down along the seam here.Then we went around and poked it there. This panel actually does pop out kind of easily. So we did pop this one out because we do run the wire down on the other side. And it's going to just pull right out it's very easy to pull it out and it just snaps back in when you're all done. When we pull it out, this little space here, we poke the wire behind that space and we just snap the piece back in place. We routed it all the way down just kind of pulling out on these panels just a little bit, just enough to where we could poke the wire down in between. If your weatherstripping gets kind of caught like this after you're done, you can take your trim panel tool and just run it down the scene like that. And it will smooth it back out.If we continue all the way down underneath this paneling and this one here comes up pretty easy too. If you come up here to the front and you can just pull up on it and that's how we got this one up just to continue working it down. Once we got it to the front here, underneath this panel right here. If you pull up on this, you have to remove your format if you have one in place, this just moves over and your battery's right there and then there's our wiring. Now we've got our wire routed here to the battery. We're going to pull up the covers to our battery positive, where we're going to be making our connections. So this one here just pops up, got a couple of pins here that just hold it into the battery. And we can just pull that and set it aside. And we can flip up the cover here. There's a release tab right there. You just press on that.And then you can flip it up. And now we have access to our battery. We're going to be connecting it to the battery post directly because all of these are a few circuits we don't really necessarily want to tap into a few circuit. So we're just going to connect directly here. We'll start by preparing our fuse harness they have pre-stripped ends already on them. One side is going to get the ring terminal that comes in your kit. And the other side is going to get the other heat shrink butt connector that comes included with your kit.We'll then disconnect the battery positive using our 10 millimeter wrench. When loosening up this nut, you may notice that it's very tight. A lot of these nuts are crimped to make them stay tight so they don't come all the way off. You can force it off, but it can be difficult. So rather than fighting it, once you loosen the nut up like this, we'll take the end of our ring terminal. And we're just going to make a small cut in the end. Just enough for our ring terminal to slide over the nut. And this way you can sit down in between. We can then tighten it back down. With the fuse wire connected to the battery, we can then cut off the excess black wire that we routed up. We'll strip back that black wire and we're going to connect it to the butt connector that we already attached to our fuse harness.And then since it is a heat shrink butt connector, we'll go ahead and shrink it down. So we're going to turn our car on and we're going to turn all the lights off, make sure that they're all off. So that way there's no inputs going to the system. So it can't accidentally determine the incorrect input. Now that we're in that state, we can put the fuse in and this starts our programming mode. We'll then start activating the lights in a specific order, starting with the tail lights. We're going to do this for about five seconds and we'll turn those off and brake lights for five seconds. Left turn. And then finally the right turn.I also wanted to note that in order for all of this to work, you also have to have your lift gate close because when the lift gate's open the vehicle doesn't send any signals to the lights at the back. So also make sure your lift gate is closed. And now with everything programmed, we can go back to our lift gate. We're going to open it up, drape our four-pole wire at the back and then close the lift gate and it's normal for it to be pinching the lift gate here. That's the normal operation when you're going to use it. We'll then plug our tester in and verify that all of our signals are actually being output on our four-pole. So you want to make sure you have your left turn signal, right turn signal, tail lamps and brake lamps.And now with everything installed, we are ready to re-install our panels in reverse order how we removed them. I just wanted to show you here are four-pole that we we're just testing. When we go to put our panel back together, you do need to have a place to store your four-pole connector. And we're going to be putting that in your panel right here. We turn this and open it. We can see that there's plenty of room in there to store our wiring. And there's also holes that are already pre-cut into this panel, so we can easily feed the wiring in from behind to this when we're putting this panel back on. Now that we've got this panel back on, we can take our wiring. We're just going to fold it up. And I like to use the dust cap as kind of like a rubber band to hold everything together.We're just wrapping it around the wires after coiling them up and with a snap cap on that'll hold that in place. And then we can just shut the door and we are good to go. We'll then come up to our battery compartment here. We're going to clean everything up, up here as well. Due to your extra wiring in here, the panels may not fit quite the same as they used to. There might be a little bit of a bump there for some of the wiring to pass through. And we can slide our full cover on and re-install our formats. And that completes our look at the Tekonsha ZCI four-pole flat trailer wiring on our 2018 Audi Q7 (silence).

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