How to Install 7 Way Trailer Wiring on a 1997 Ford F-150

Question:

THE 118242 DOESNT LOOK LIKE THE ONE UNDER MY TRUCK. I HAVE A 1997 F150 IT HAS A GRAY CONNECTOR WITH 4 WIRES AT BOTH ENDS and A BLACK CONNECTOR WITH 2 WIRES THAT ARE ORANGE and BLUE THAT ARE SEPERATE.DO I JUST SPLICE INTO THESE? ALL ADVISE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED.THANKS

Expert Reply:

It sounds like your 1997 F-150 does not have the tow package wiring so the wiring harness # 118242 will not work on your truck.

To install a 7-Way trailer connector at the back of your truck, you will need to start with a working 4-Way connector, # 18252, or # 118344 if you have a stepside. If you need to splice to connect the 4-Way, use a circuit tester to splice to the appropriate wires you found at the connector on the frame rail. If you have a 4-Way connector at the rear of your truck you will not need those items.

Next, test the orange wire that you found. If it has 12 volt constant power you can use this wire for your 12 volt connection to the 7-Way connector. Now check under the dash of your 1997 Ford. If you find a female brake controller connection port that matches the connector on the brake controller wiring harness, # 3035-S, you can do a continuity test on the blue wire at the connector and the back of the vehicle to be sure it is the electric brake output wire. If these tests prove out, you can use the 4 Pole to 7 Pole adapter, # 37185, and splice the wires at the rear without running additional wires to the front. We have a video showing this type of installation on a 1999 model, see link.

If the wires do not test properly or you do not have a brake controller connection port under the dash, you will need to use the brake controller installation kit, # ETBC7, to complete the wiring for the 7-Way connector at the rear of your truck. We have detailed instructions, see link, for wiring the brake controller installation kit, and I linked a video installation that should be helpful also.

expert reply by:
Robert G

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