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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 1993 Chevrolet Suburban

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Chevrolet Suburban Brake Controller



Installation of a Brake Controller for a Trailer on a 1993 Chevy Suburban


Today we are going to be installing part number 90185, the Prodigy by Tekonsha, on a 1993 Chevrolet Suburban. We are also going to be using the Brake Control Installation Kit, part number ETBC7 as well. We are going to start at the rear of the vehicle and go ahead and install the 7-pole wiring adapter that is included in the ETBC7. We have already installed the 4-pole wiring harness under the vehicle, so that is going to be the basis of what the 7-pole is actually going to plug into. The installation kit also comes with a mounting bracket for the 7-pole. Typically, you would need to find a mounting point for the bracket itself, like on the bottom of the bumper, or somewhere of that sort. The hitch that we previously installed as well actually has a mounting bracket attached to it, so we are going to attach the 7-pole bracket there, and then mount the 7-pole inside of there. With the 7-pole attached and into position, we want to go ahead and make our connection with the existing 4-pole into the 7-pole here. These two wires here, the blue one and the black one, are going to be for the brake lead for the brake controller and then the hot lead that goes directly to the battery. And we are going to connect that to the double-bonded wire that came with the ETBC7. The purple wire here is for the reverse function on the 7-pole harness. If your trailer does not have reverse lights, you do not necessarily have to hook this one up - you can just kind of tape it up and out of the way. The white wire is for the ground, and that does need to be grounded directly to the frame here itself. I have an existing grounding point from the pre-existing 4-pole harness that we have in place so I am just going to use that one as well. We actually have put a smaller ring terminal on the white ground wire here to accommodate the smaller screw that I have used to attach the ground. OK, we are going to go ahead and attach the double-bonded wire that was provided in the ETBC7with the two wires on the 7-pole harness now. So I am going to strip back a little bit of the jacketing. And, as you can see inside the jacketing here, we have go two wires. We have got a white and a black. We are going to go ahead and use the white wire and connect it to the blue brake lead on the harness and we are just going to cut-connect black to black here.

OK, with those connections made, I am going to go ahead and tape them up, and I am going to go ahead and tape up the purple reverse light lead as well, and then we are going to go ahead and connect the 4-pole together as well. And then from there we are going to run the double-bonded wire all the way up to under the hood to where we are going to make our connections to the battery. Once our connections are made, I am going to go ahead and zip-tie the pieces together with the provided zip-ties to get them up and out of the way. OK, when routing the double-bonded wire up to the front, you want to make sure you avoid any pinching points anywhere near the suspension or hot spots where the wire can be melted. Typically when you get near the exhaust, that is a pretty hot point. And again, when we are routing up into the hood compartment, we want to make sure we avoid any pinch points or hot spots. With the wire routed into the vehicle now, we are going to go up under the hood and make our connections to the battery. OK, we are back up under the hood now, and you can see we have got the wire pulled up from the bottom side of the frame here. We need to route the two wires in different directions. The white wire is going to the blue outgoing wire on the brake controller, so it needs to go inside the cab. The black wire is going directly to the positive side of the battery, so that one actually needs to go to the left over here, over to the battery.

So at this point I am going to strip back the jacketing on the wire and separate the two and then run them to their destinations. And again, the white wire is going to go to the brake controller, so it needs to go inside the cab. The black wire is going to be routed to the battery. I am going to route it back behind the back side of the firewall here. And I am probably going to hide it behind this facing here. With the wire routed over here, I am going to go ahead and mount my circuit breakers onto the surface over here. The ETBC7 kit provides three circuit breakers: there is a 20- , a 30- , and a 40-amp. The hot lead that was coming from the back plug will need the 40-amp breaker, and for this particular brake control that we are going to be installing, it requires a 30-amp breaker. You want to check your directions to make sure which one you need. Some models use a 20-amp some models use a 30-amp. We are going to route these two side by side right here, and then I am going to go ahead and make my connection for my hot lead to the circuit breaker. Take note that the circuit breakers are labeled so you know which way the wires need to go. There is an accessory side, which this one is going to go to, that is leading back to the plug, and then there is a battery side, which obviously is going to connect directly to the battery. We are just going to loosely install this for the time being, and we are not going to make the connection directly to the battery as of yet. We will do that last, because we also need to run an extra set of wires over to this breaker here, the hot positive that are coming from the brake controller itself. So at this time we are going to go inside the cab and start making our connections to the brake controller.

We are going to go ahead and mount the Prodigy itself right in this area right here so that it is out of the way of your knee and your foot so you do not have to worry about hitting it, but it is also close enough where you can activate it by hand. Always make sure that you check behind the area that you are going to be drilling into to make sure there are no electrical components or anything that you are going to damage. All right, we have got the bracket secured into place. We are going to go ahead and mount the Prodigy now. OK, to locate the brake switch wire that is the outgoing hot wire when the brake pedal gets hit, we can actually find that wire. You can kind of see under here, under the dash area, there is a little junction point. Actually, the one on this particular model, it is the white wire that is on the far right-hand side. I found this out by using a probe tester here. You can see, that wire gets hot when I hit the brake pedal. There are a couple of other wires here that might also get hot, but they are actually your turn signal wires as well, so you want to make sure you do not tap into those, which are typically yellow and green. So again, the one we are looking for here is the white wire. So, using the provided quick splice that was with the ETBC7, I am going to go ahead and connect my red wire to that wire there. OK, and the next step after we have made our connection here is to route these three wires through the firewall to their proper connection points. Typically we want to look for an open grommet or possibly an existing hole to route the wires through. On this particular model, I was not able to find any, so I went ahead and I drilled a half-inch hole through the firewall here. And we are going to use that to run the wires through. If you remember from earlier, we have the white wire that is coming from the back plug that is going to be connected to the brake controller. We are going to go ahead and take that wire and bring it through here. And then on this side it is going to connect to the blue wire on the brake controller. The white and the black are the positive and ground for the brake controller. We are going to go ahead and take some extra wire and extend the length on these, because again, they are going to have to go through this firewall and all the way over to the battery. So right now I am going to go ahead and pull the white wire from the plug in the rear and bring it inside and connect it to the blue wire, and then extend these wires as well. With that connection made I am going to go ahead and extend these two wires. OK, and with those wires connected and extended now, we can route them through the firewall as well. We want to make sure that we. . . I am going to go ahead and route them up and over the wires here so they up and out of the way. OK, with all the wires routed back through the firewall, am just going to go ahead and tape up the excess and then zip-tie the excess wire up and out of the way here.

Back up under the hood now, you can see where our positive and our ground for the brake controller have come through the firewall here. I am going to go ahead and tape up the butt connectors here that have come through the firewall. Then we are going to route our wires across the back side of the firewall here over to our circuit breaker and then the battery itself. We are over here, back by the circuit breakers. At this point in time, we want to connect the black wire, which is the hot lead - we are going to connect that to the bottom side of the 30-amp circuit breaker. And the white wire itself, that goes directly to ground. You can either ground it directly to the ground post on the battery or there is also a factory ground on the side wall here, as well, which I am going to go ahead and use to connect it to. So I am going to go ahead and do that now. As you can see, I made a couple of extension pieces here that basically have a ring terminal on one side. And I am using a spade connector on the other side here. Obviously, this end is going to connect to the circuit breaker and both pieces need to be connected to the positive side of the battery. You can either use a ring terminal, like what is provided with the installation kit, or you can use a spade connector like I had. And you use one of these tap kits. And what this is, is basically - I am just going to loosen up the battery here - this cutout goes around the stud, like so. The spade connector will connect directly onto here. So we are going to go ahead and make our runs from each post now. OK, with those connections made, we just want to zip-tie up all the loose wires, and our installation is pretty much complete now.



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