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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 1999 Chevrolet Suburban

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Chevrolet Suburban Brake Controller



Installation of a Trailer Brake Controller on a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban


Alright, today on this 1999 Chevrolet Suburban we are going to install part number 5500 from Draw-Tite, the Activator II Brake Controller. To help us with our install we are also going to use part number ETBC7. To get ready to install our parts we are going to work with a factory tow package that is already on the vehicle. We need to get our wires loosened up so we can work with them. Now the two wires we are going to cut right behind the hitch, right next to the wire harness will be for our brake control output and our power supply. Our orange wire will be for our 12 volt power supply and then our blue wire will be for our output for our brake controller. Now we will go ahead and free the wires up for our running lights, turn signals, and brake lights and our ground.

Now after our wires are freed up for our turn signals we will go ahead and route them over behind the bumper along for our first two wires. To get our 7 pole connector ready we will go ahead and cut the 4 pole connector off and then we will go ahead and bundle our wires together and use some alum 0:00:59 material to help keep it nice and neat and then we will go ahead and pull out our wires and strip the wires back. Now the ETBC7 kit does not come up with enough butt connectors so we will use some extra ones. For the larger wires we are using the butt connector part number 05732-2 and for our smaller wires we are using part number 05730-5. Our 7 pole connector ready to go, we will go ahead and route it over the hitch first and pull it down to give us some more working room. Starting with our blue and orange wires, our blue wire will go to blue and our orange wire will go to black. Okay, now we will go to the second harness for the lights and the ground.

We will hook up our white wire to white for ground and then dark green to green, brown to brown, and yellow to yellow. Our purple wire is for reverse lights on a 7 pole connector so that will connect up to the light green wire on our wire harness on our truck. Okay, now we got all our connections made. We will go ahead and tape them up to keep them all together and help seal them up. Now we are going to take our 7 pole wire harness and pull it back away from the bumper a little bit. Now we will have room to install our 7 pole connector bracket.

We are going to simply install it straight to the bumper using the provided self-tacking screws. Then we will go ahead and install the 7 pole connector into the bracket and install it with the provided hardware. That finishes it for our work at the back end of the truck. Now we will go underneath the hood and we will go ahead and pull out the wires for our tow package there. They will just be the orange and blue wires. Now in this instance we can actually see the two wires, a lot of the times the wires are covered up with electric tape and you have to peel back the electric tape to get access to them. Well, we can see them pretty good here so we will go ahead and use a piece of wire and help pull them loose a little bit and break them free from electrical tape.

We will go ahead and cut off the remnants, then route our wires up to fuse block. Now our orange wire has a ring terminal so you can go ahead and connect that up to our 12 volt power supply right off the fuse block. Now this does not come with a nut so to help pull it in place we are going to use part number 185917. This is an 8mm nut with a 1.25 thread pitch. Our next part is go ahead and run power from the inside of the vehicle to the outside of the vehicle. So that means we are going to have to drill a hole in the firewall. To drill our hole we are going to use a snap bushing, part number SWC8055. We will go ahead and drill out a hole 9/16, then go ahead and push it into place. Then we can go ahead and run our wires. We will be using a length of grey cable that comes with the ETBC7 kit to run from the inside to the outside. To connect up to our brake controller we are going to use part number 20127. This wire harness will plug into the socket that is inaudible 0:03:51 to the wires of the brake controller. So we will go ahead and match up our wires color to color, white for ground and black for power. We will set that aside for now. Then we will go ahead and take our blue wire from the factory tow package and run that through our grommet. Then we will take our grey cable and run it from the inside to the outside. Then we will take up all our extra slack. Then we can go ahead and start making some final connections underneath the dash. We will go ahead and connect our two blue wires together for brake control output and that red wire will get connected to the cold side of the brake switch. That means it gets hot when we press the brake pedal. So we will go ahead and test our wires that come out of the brake switch. Now we will go ahead and test our white wire, which will be our brake light switch and its only active when we hit our brake pedal. So we will go ahead and take our red wire and connect up to the white wire using the quick splice connector that comes with the ETBC7 kit. Now we will go ahead and leave our wire harness alone for now and then we will go install our brake controller. We will take a bracket and screw it to the bottom of the dash. Then attach the brake controller to the wire harness, they just plug together and then we will attach the brake controller to the dashboard. And then we will go ahead and take up all our wires. Once our wires to our brake control are secured our last two connections will be back underneath the hood. We will go ahead and take our grey wire and run it to our location for our ground. That will be our longest run, and then we will cut off our excess. Then we will go ahead and remove the grey sheath. On both wires we will add ring terminals. With both ring terminals installed we will take our black wire connected to the backside of a power distribution box. Then we will go ahead and use another 8mm nut. We will go ahead and secure it and then we will go back to our white wire and run over to your thunder well, now using the large ground screw that comes with the ETBC7 kit we will go ahead and run it straight into the fender. Now we will want to make sure this is good and tight. Everything is connected up now, lets go ahead and try it out. Without a trailer hooked up we will hit the manual override and we can test for power. We should see a small dot. Now we will go ahead and plug a trailer into the back. Then we hit the manual override, we can see how the numbers scale up from 0 to 10. Then we will go ahead and try to foot brake and you can see how it will scale up from 0 all the way up to the pre-set limit. The limits controlled by the knob on the left-hand side. And that will finish it for our install of the Draw-Tite Activator II Brake Controller part number 5500 on our 1999 Chevrolet Suburban. .



Info for these parts were:


Test Fit:
Joe V

Video Edited:
Zack K

Video Edited:
Andrew K

Video Edited:
Dustin K

Video by:
Joshua S

Test Fit:
Nicholas E

Video by:
Andrew L

Video Edited:
Mike H

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