1. Brake Controller
  2. Curt
  3. Proportional Controller
  4. Electric
  5. Electric over Hydraulic
  6. Up to 4 Axles
Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Proportional - Dash Mount

Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Proportional - Dash Mount

Item # C51170
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Brake Controller
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Brake Controller C51170 - Electric,Electric over Hydraulic - Curt
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Proportional brake controller installs anywhere in your cab and at any orientation. User-friendly, dash-mounted control knob with 10 tri-color LEDs creates a clean, OEM look. Easily adjust braking output, switch between modes, and view diagnostics. Call 800-298-8924 to order Curt brake controller part number C51170 or order online at etrailer.com. Free expert support on all Curt products. Guaranteed Lowest Price and Fastest Shipping for Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Proportional - Dash Mount. Brake Controller reviews from real customers.
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  • Reviews (36)
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Curt Brake Controller - C51170

  • Curt
  • Proportional Controller
  • Electric
  • Electric over Hydraulic
  • Up to 4 Axles
  • Hidden
  • Automatic Leveling
  • Dash-Mounted Knob
  • 360 Degrees

Proportional brake controller installs anywhere in your cab and at any orientation. User-friendly, dash-mounted control knob with 10 tri-color LEDs creates a clean, OEM look. Easily adjust braking output, switch between modes, and view diagnostics.


  • Brake controller activates trailer brakes in proportion to your vehicle's braking action
    • Automatically adjusts trailer's braking based on deceleration of tow vehicle
    • Activates immediately - no pausing like with time-delayed brake controllers
  • Push-button rotary control knob mounts on your dash for easy access and a clean appearance
    • Allows for convenient braking output and sensitivity adjustment
    • Equipped with 10 tri-color LEDs to display settings and diagnostics
    • Provides easily accessible manual override - just press knob to activate
  • Main module mounts out of sight and at any orientation
    • No more banging your knee on a bulky controller
    • No interference with airbags or other vehicle accessories
  • Triple-axis accelerometer is highly responsive to ensure smooth, uniform stopping action
    • Allows unit to automatically level and calibrate
  • Manual override functions as time-based for a slow reduction in trailer braking
  • Compatible with ABS brakes, cruise control, low-voltage, and pulse width modulation (PWM) systems
  • Multiple mounting options - choose between drill-mount or adhesive-mount
    • Mounting hardware and adhesive pads included
  • Plug-in, vehicle-specific brake-control adapter (sold separately) can be used for certain applications to reduce installation time
  • Assembled in the USA


  • Application: trailers with up to 4 axles (8 brake assemblies)
    • Designed for use with electric or electric-over-hydraulic trailer brakes
    • Works with 12-volt vehicle electrical systems
  • Main module dimensions: 3" long x 3-1/2" wide x 7/8" tall
    • Horizontal distance between mounting holes (center to center): 3/4"
    • Vertical distance between mounting holes (center to center): 2-3/4"
  • Control knob diameter:
    • Base diameter: 1-3/4"
    • Knob diameter: 1"
  • Control knob overall height: 1-1/2"
  • Full length of wiring harnesses when connected: 48"
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Spectrum Dimensions

Whether you're a seasonal or weekend tower, you'll appreciate the out-of-the-way, easy-mount design and factory appearance of the Spectrum brake controller. The rotary knob allows for convenient adjustment, and it is lined with sleek, multi-color LEDs that provide valuable diagnostics.

Proportional Braking

With a proportional brake controller, you can get heavy-duty emergency braking, general braking, or slow-to-an-idle braking for your trailer automatically. The intensity with which your trailer brakes are activated and the rate at which they are applied are dependent on the deceleration of your tow vehicle. This means that, unlike time-delay controllers - which send the same amount of preset power to your trailer brakes every time - proportional controllers are able to adapt to every braking situation differently. So, if you slam on the brakes in your truck, your trailer brakes will activate with that same extreme intensity. And if you merely slow down as you approach a red light, your trailer will gradually brake in the same manner.

Once the Spectrum is mounted, it will sense - via an internal 3-axis accelerometer - how your tow vehicle brakes. This inertia-based sensor responds to the deceleration of your tow vehicle as you brake by signaling the controller to send out enough power to your trailer brakes so that they are activated with an intensity that matches. The result is uniform braking across your towing setup. No push-pull action - just smooth, proportional braking every time.

How to Use the Spectrum Brake Control

The Spectrum provides the smooth, precise braking action that you've come to expect from Curt brake controllers while allowing you to maintain the from-the-factory look of your vehicle. Make all of your braking adjustments from the dash-mounted rotary knob, which is equipped with 10 tri-color LEDs for simple monitoring. The LED lights change color to display different information about the controller, including which of the 4 operating modes is selected and multiple diagnostic indicator sequences.

Spectrum Control Knob

To switch between modes, press the control button in the center of the knob.

Spectrum Modes and Functions

Output: The output mode lets you adjust the maximum amount of power that will be applied to your trailer's brakes. You will need to adjust the output during the initial setup, but following that, you should only need to adjust the output control when the trailer load changes, if you switch trailers, or when road conditions change. Optimum output should cause your trailer brakes to function effectively without locking up.

Sensitivity: In sensitivity mode, you can fine-tune the power by adjusting the sensitivity of the internal sensor to get either more or less aggressive braking.

Boost the setting to get your trailer brakes to activate with more intensity right off the bat. This means that they will also reach maximum braking faster simply because they will start out at that higher intensity. This is particularly beneficial if you are towing a heavy load because the intensity required to stop that load may be far greater than that needed to halt your vehicle. Therefore, sending out more initial power to the trailer brakes - and causing them to reach maximum braking faster - allows you to better control the trailer so that it doesn't push your tow vehicle before coming to a complete stop.

You may need to adjust the sensitivity to accommodate for driver preference, trailer load changes, or changing road conditions.

Manual Control: Press and hold the button on the knob to activate the manual override.

Manual control mode is used to activate the trailer brakes independently of your tow vehicle. Doing this can have several advantages. Slowing the trailer down a bit as you travel can help to pull the trailer back in line behind your tow vehicle when you experience sway. You can also use the manual override to achieve a slow reduction in speed by creating just enough drag to slow your entire setup using only the trailer brakes. In addition, the manual override can help prevent a jackknife situation by limiting the momentum of your heavy trailer as you travel down steep hills.

When the manual control is pushed, the brake control will ramp up the trailer brakes until the maximum power output set is reached. If you realize that you need more power immediately, turn the control knob clockwise to reach maximum power faster.

The maximum power for the manual override can be chosen during installation via a small switch at the rear of the unit. The brake control unit is factory-set with the switch in the "ON" position, which allows 100% trailer braking power when manual control mode is actuated, regardless of the output control setting. When the switch is in the "OFF" position, the maximum override braking power will be determined by the output control setting.

The state of California requires that your trailer's brake lights illuminate when the manual override on your electric brake controller is activated. Therefore, to comply with state regulations, the Curt Spectrum offers a brake light activation feature. A small switch at the rear of the unit controls the unit's brake light activation feature, and it is factory-set in the "ON" position.

Simple, Out-of-the-Way Installation

Long gone are the days of knocking your knees on your brake controller. The 2-piece Spectrum can be installed nearly anywhere, and at any orientation.

Spectrum Control Knob LEDs Illuminated

First, determine your preferred location for the control knob. This is where you'll make braking adjustments, so it will need to be easily accessible while you're driving. Whether the knob is installed in a blank panel switch, on an open area of your center console, or somewhere on your dashboard, the simple, subtle design will provide a clean, uncluttered look. And the knob sits flush against any flat surface with no parts protruding behind the mounting location. This means that there is less chance of interference with wires and instrumentation behind your dash or console, so you have more mounting options than you might with other similar brake controllers.

Spectrum Control Unit Mounted Under Dash

Once you have determined where to mount the control knob, you'll need to find a good place to install the main unit. The only mounting restriction for the unit is that the included 4' long plug-in cable must be able to reach between the main unit and the knob.

The triple-axis motion-sensing accelerometer that is inside the main unit detects the inertia of your vehicle and trailer, and it uses this information to recognize the direction of travel and any change in position. Because this feature can read the direction of travel, the main unit can be mounted at any orientation for greater flexibility.

If your vehicle already has a plug-in brake controller wiring harness, just connect the main control module to it. Otherwise, you will need to purchase a vehicle-specific wiring harness (sold separately) to plug into. If a harness is unavailable for your vehicle, hardwiring will be necessary.

Both the control knob and main module can be mounted using the included hardware or adhesive pads for fast and easy installation.

For assistance in properly wiring the Curt Spectrum, please refer to the diagram below:

Spectrum Wiring Diagram

Installation Accessories

See etrailer.com's exclusive 7- and 4-way brake-control installation kit (ETBC7 - sold separately) if you don't already have a 7-way plug at the back of your vehicle.

Note: If a custom brake control wiring adapter is not available for your vehicle, a 30-amp circuit breaker (sold separately) may be required for installation.

51170 Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller

Installation Details C51170 Installation instructions

California residents: click here

Video of Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Proportional - Dash Mount

Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information.

Video Transcript for Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller Review

Speaker 1: Today we're gonna be taking a look at Curt Spectrum trailer brake controller, part number C51170. What's really great about this brake controller compared to others on the market, is its remote mounted control knob. Cause many brake controllers, you're limited to the location where you can mount it because of its large size. And they also have many orientations in which they need to be mounted. With this option, the control module can be mounted behind the dash, hidden away at the appropriate location, and you can have your remote mounted controls that you need to access in any location that you want. It really opens up the options for you.And since it's just a control knob with the LEDs, it's much more pleasing to the eye.

So it'll look great installed in your vehicle as well. There are a couple different options you can use to get your Curt control module plugged in. You could use Curt's quick plug with pigtail connector, like we have here, which is part number 51515. Or you could use Curt's universal brake controller wiring, which is part number C51500. With this brake controller, you can pull a trailer that has up to four axles.

It offers highly responsive, smooth stops using a triple axis motion-sensing accelerometer.It's compatible with both low voltage or pulse width modulating systems. It's also compatible with ABS and cruise control. There are several modes for customizing its operation to your specific vehicle and trailer. Here we're on our brightness mode, which allows you to adjust how bright the knob is. So if you have it mounted in a higher location or it's kinda hitting you in the eye You can turn that down so it's not so bright at night.

Or you can brighten it up during the day if it's in a dim location and you're having a hard time to see.To switch modes, you simply press on the button. For now, in our output mode, with green being the lowest output, red being the highest. The higher the output, the more voltage is sent back to your trailer to apply the brakes harder. We'll press the mode again and now we're in our sensitivity mode. This mode affects how sensitive the proportional accelerometer is gonna be when applying the brakes on your trailer.

And lastly, we have manual mode. This mode is accessed by holding down the knob and rotating it. Here you can manually apply the brakes on the trailer.Just press the button and it'll apply the brakes. Twisting the knob will allow you to adjust how much. When your trailer becomes disconnected, it will flash blue on each side of the knob. And when you connect your trailer, it flashes green indicating its initial set up and calibration, so it's ready to go. The wiring harness between the remote mounted control knob and the control module measures 48". So it'll give you a wide variety of locations where you can mount your control knob quite a distance away from its control box.And we're comparing this to other remote mounted control braking systems such as ones from Redarc. This one can be completely drill free as it's attached with adhesive pads and the wiring can be just tucked away down the seam. So no drilling is required, so you don't have to worry about affecting any of the panels inside your vehicle. Now before you decide to install a trailer brake controller on your vehicle, you do wanna make sure that you've got yourself a seven pole connector. This vehicle's already got one installed. If you don't have a seven pole connector on your vehicle You can install one with part number ETBC7. This will come with all the wiring and the seven pole connector to get it installed on your vehicle.Here we have everything that comes included with our kit. We'll have our brake controller module, our remote mounted module control knob. On our control knob we already have the sticky pad mounting bracket. Also included is a screw mount bracket that can be clipped onto the knob. We have the connector end that we'll place over here. Two different sticky pads, one round for the sticky pad knob and one square for our module. And you also receive a bolt and jam nut if you decide to go with the screw mounted option.And that completes our look at Curt Spectrum trailer brake controller, part number C51170.

Customer Reviews

Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Proportional - Dash Mount - C51170

Average Customer Rating:  4.6 out of 5 stars   (36 Customer Reviews)

Proportional brake controller installs anywhere in your cab and at any orientation. User-friendly, dash-mounted control knob with 10 tri-color LEDs creates a clean, OEM look. Easily adjust braking output, switch between modes, and view diagnostics.

- C51170

After knocking my knee into my brake control for the last 20 years with the new GMC Savana I wanted something a little different. Technology has moved trailer brakes forward quite a bit and Etrailer has an immense amount of information! I original looked at the Tekonsha Prodigy RF Wireless Trailer Brake Controller but it would take up a valuable power outlet with the control unit but it's kind of trailer specific as the control mounts to the trailer you never know when you might have to tow another trailer and was leery of the control wandering around the console, Next up was the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Trailer Brake Controller but did not like the control mounting options. Then ran across the Tuson DirecLink Lite Trailer Brake Controller crazy amounts of technology in this unit but again concerns over the remote so after lots of head scratching the Curt Spectrum seemed like the best choice. Easy install very small control box mounted easily with the included double stick tape under the dash. I moved my traction control button to the left where a blank filler was you have to cut a little piece of it off to get it into the hole as the are "keyed" to specific locations I guess but worked perfectly! I left enough slack in the connection so I can simply disconnect the harness if I am not towing for awhile as the blue indicator lights come on every time you hit the brake if its disconnected. Just installed it so I will send an update after our first trip with the new rig but I'm thinking it will work as described. Thanks again etrailer fast shipping great information!!!! 597075

It has worked out great, I have over 4,000 miles of towing with it highly recommend it!!
Bob I - 01/13/2020


- C51170

I really like the finished look of this controller after it is installed (see before and after pictures attached)! I also like being able to finely tune it to my need using the power output and sensitivity adjustments. I do have a minor issue with connecting a trailer to my 2020 Jeep Gladiator, though. If I connect the trailer while the engine is running, the electronic stability control and engine start/stop services on the truck disable themselves. Turning the ignition all the way off an on again resolves the issue, as does having the engine off when I connect the trailer. Aside from that minor inconvenience, this controller works admirably and I would buy it for other vehicles. Installing was simple with the adapter for factory wiring. The most difficult part was identifying the location for the knob and taking the dash apart to install it properly. The finished appearance is clean and the only visible aspect of the entire system is the control knob. With the sensitivity and power controls on mid-level, the trailer tires were skidding on quick stops. Tuning the settings to have less sensitivity and less power quickly corrected that issue. I am quite happy with this controller! 727307

- C51170

Nice brake controller with hide-away module. Perfect fit for my Airstream Sprinter. Used the original clip location in climate control panel for controller location. Some modifications required but well worth the effort. 732487

- C51170

Works good so far. My only complaint is, when trailer is not connected the blue LEDs still light up every time you hit the brakes, which is pretty bright inside the cab at night. 725121

- C51170

Great Product! Easy to install with several installation options. Sensor box mounts anywhere with double sided tape. Control knob has several mounting options. Purchased it to drive across country to pick up a travel trailer. Temporary installation went easy and first time connection to the trailer had no problems. Instruction book was good and comes with a quick reference card to keep in the glove box. The only anomaly was that the cruise control on the vehicle (2007 Toyota Tundra) did not work when the trailer was connected. There are two switches on the sensor box though, one of which is to enable control of the tow vehicle brake lights by the trailer brake controller. Apparently when the switch is in the default position (control enabled), the unit puts out a voltage which makes the Toyota cruise control think the vehicle brake pedal is being pressed which automatically disengages the cruise control. Moving the switch to the other position solved the problem and cruise control works fine. Having that switch in the off position does not really have significant impact as I would not see that feature being used very often - the controller will not activate the tow vehicle brake lights when the manual control is pressed. You might use that to counter some sway event ( applying the trailer brakes only) but I hope that is something you do not have to do very often or hopefully never! It works as well as I could imagine any unit would - you can't really tell you are pulling a trailer when adjusted. Plus you won't mash your knees on some clunky box mounted to the bottom of the dash! Hopefully it is the last one I ever buy! 727768

- C51170

I knew I wanted to have something like this due to the look, function and size. The package was small. Installed pretty easily with minimal headaches. I just watched the videos online to see how others did it and how to steer away from making damaging mistakes. The booklet was also very helpful to make everything fit as it should while putting the steps in order. As I pull a trailer 90% of the time, I wanted something to have the easy manipulation for the brakes yet have an aesthetically pleasing look. This does just that. Brakes on one setting. Adjustable on two other settings. Very quick. Although I did have to play with the settings to make sure it wasn’t jerking me in my seat every time I pushed the brake pedal, after a day, smooth sailing. I do recommend you seriously think about this brake controller. Ease of install and the application is perfect. 724750

- C51170

Quick and easy install with the custom wiring adapter. Looks great too. 704629

- C51170

Great product. Easy to install. Easy to setup and program. 574466

- C51170

We needed a brake controller for a Jeep Wrangler JL. If you've never been in one before, there is not a lot of space around the driver, so it would have been difficult to install a traditional brake controller where it wouldn't get in the way of legs. This was perfect. I really like that you have the option to mount the control knob over a hole if you want a clean installation with the wire hidden behind the dashboard, or to just use provided adhesive if you don't mind seeing the wire but don't want to drill a hole. (If you go the adhesive route, note that I'm not sure how easy it is to remove the adhesive. We drilled a hole.) If you do go the drilled-hole route, it does make installation more involved than most brake controllers. You probably have to remove trim panels from the dashboard to run the wire from the knob to the main box. But that's simply the price you pay for clean installation, and you can avoid that hassle if you go the adhesive route. The main box is very easy to mount. There are no restrictions on orientation and the box is fairly small, so it's easy to just screw or zip-tie it to anything up under the dashboard (so long as it's mounted securely--you don't want it to bounce or shake). As for ease of use: With just one knob and a few lights, it's not as dead simple as most brake controllers, but it's still pretty easy. Definitely easier than it seemed after I read the manual. Here's how it works: Pressing the knob cycles through the adjustment settings. There are three settings, and the color tells you which one you are on. White means you are adjusting brightness, bluish-pinkish means the sensitivity, and greenish-yellowish means the maximum braking level. Then tap your brakes (or wait 10 seconds) to go back to normal mode. Hold the knob to manually activate the brakes. That's really all there is to it. One minor quibble: I noticed that the lights sometimes get a bit "confused" and one of them will stay lit up in a random color. When this happens, the brakes themselves are working fine, it's just the light is mistakenly lit. Tapping the brakes fixes it. My only other complaint is that the lights are pretty bright at night. There is a brightness adjust setting, but even at the lowest setting it's still pretty bright. It doesn't bother me much, but my father-in-law does find it annoying. Overall, it's a very nice product. 707361

- C51170

Ordered about 1 year ago. It has worked great. Looks great and easy to install. Takes a little getting use to it. Looks very stylish in my 2013 Ram. It goes perfect with the inside trim. 699336

- C51170

When installing the control knob I could not use the screw mount base. The epoxy ( or what ever it is) on the back of the knob assembly that covers the wire connection kept the knob from snapping into the mount. I had to use the other mount to install the knob, hopefully it will stay in place. 655996

- C51170

Fits perfect if you want the more factory install look. Easy to mount and the control box is out of site with nothing to bash you knee into under the dash. Haven’t hauled my trailer yet but, I like how clean the finished product looks 642918

- C51170

Decided I wanted a high quality brake controller without the clunky box on the dash and this seemed like the best out there. Super easy install. I bought the extra cable for my Silverado and it all plugged in perfectly. I saw somebody complain about tiny connectors. Don't listen to them. This thing is excellent and the quality is clearly top tier. The set up was a breeze and on our first trip out I got it dialed in with no problems. Works better than my previous controller by far. 637364

- C51170

I could not have imagined an easier, and more sleek, trailer brake controller to install. I put this into our 2019 4Runner, and it looks great, and I am not hitting my knee on the old style controller like we had in our previous tow vehicle. With the additional wiring harness that etrailer sells for the 4Runner it was simple plug and play. No need to struggle with finding correct wire lengths, just used some zip ties to have everything be tidy and clean. Thanks etrailer! 611935

- C51170

I've I stalked it but haven't used it yet because I thought the right adapter came with. I like the sleek fit to it so nothings hitting my knees etc. I recommend the design I stall forsure. Not sure how good it works yet like I said. I have a 2006 ford f150 fx4. 568517

For your 2006 Ford F150, youd need the # C51322
Curt Custom Wiring Adapter for Trailer Brake Controllers - Dual Plug In
wiring harness. This will allow a plug and play installation. Once end will plug into the brake controller unit, the other into the gray tow package plug shown in the photo you provided.
-- Mike L - 09/25/2018


- C51170

Honda Ridgeline 2019 Install Plan to tow an RPOD 195 Travel Trailer as soon as I pick it up Simple Installation Didn't need to remove dash to install, as free space behind this location. Knob on lower left of Dash. Module Tie Wrapped to the Parking Brake Bracket under the Dash. Used the C51392 Wiring adapter to connect the Brake Controller to the Truck. Pictures of Dash Install only. Haven't functionally tested yet as I am waiting on Delivery of the Trailer. 616735

- C51170

I could have bought for the same price the one that plugs in series between your 7-way, but I liked the more permanent solution and didn't want to control it from my smartphone. Very pleased with the factory like look in my Nissan PRO4-X. 681352

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Great product and easy to install with harness, looks OEM stock! 660129

- C51170

No trouble hooking it up with the plug and play connector,took about 1/2 hr and works great 638208

- C51170

Purchased this controller for use on my 2017 Toyota Tundra. It looks great after the install. I took a couple of hours to get it in from box opening to completion (with frequent distractions from children) but the manual was great and installation went smoothly. To clarify the issue with the blue lights I’ve seen as a complaint. When you start the car, it goes through it’s calibration procedure. If no trailer is attached, it blinks the two blue LEDs for a bit saying no trailer is detected. If you touch the brake pedals those blinking lights turn off. While you’re driving no lights are on. Then, every time you push the brakes the two blue LEDs turn on while the brake pedal is depressed to say you’re braking and it doesn’t detect a trailer. Honestly, I’m glad for those lights because if my trailer was connected and I saw those lights while braking I’d know there was something wrong with the connection. I put my unit directly to the left of the steering wheel so I’ll only see the lights when I lean over and look yet it’s easily accessible while in the drivers seat. Everyone was telling me to grab a P2 or P3, I’m glad I didn’t listen. This is nicely out of the way, easily accessible, clean and simple, and very capable unit with all the necessary capabilities one needs in a brake controller. 749473

- C51170

Was an easy install for my 2018 Grand Cherokee with the addition of the specific cable adapter. I was able to secure the main unit under the dash on-top of the diagnostic port bracket and then run the wire for the dial up the drivers side of the dash so that it is concealed once the door is closed. The dial now sits on-top of the left side of the dash by the windshield pillar. I wanted to make this a temporary install incase I traded the truck in the near future. I have not hooked up a trailer yet so can not give a review on how well it works. 574127

- C51170

I was looking for a unit that was out of way and would look like it belonged in the cab of the Chevy Colorado pickup. The Curt Spectrum control was easy to install under the dash and out of the way. The LED knob went on the dash with the wires going through the dash out of sight. 557904

- C51170

2019 Honda Ridgeline RTL AWD— The Curt Spectrum C51170 controller and harness C51392 was exactly as I had read it would be! All connections hooked up as described and all connectors fit! The knob works as described but I have yet to hook up trailer to get response from the accelerometer! I’m sure the quality shown it will work fine! Only problem I had was access under the dash. Thanks Bill and etrailer! Pictures attached! 647206

- C51170

The rep was very Knowledgeable about the brakes. It arrived fast! 750017

- C51170

Haven’t towed with it yet but fairly simple install with detailed instructions on truck specific on etrailer 747662

Show More Reviews

Ask the Experts about this Curt Brake Controller

  • Comparing the Curt Spectrum Brake Controller to Redarc Tow-Pro Elite
    By all accounts the Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller # C51170 works well and is easy to use and install on most vehicles. It is a brand new item so not a lot of feedback has come in on it. I did learn a few things though after speaking with our install team about this controller. First, compared to the Redarc controller # 331-EBRH-ACCV2, the Curt Spectrum is easier to install. It can be surface mounted meaning that drilling is not necessarily required (depends on how you run the...
    view full answer...
  • Comparing the Curt Spectrum Brake Controller and Redarc Tow-Pro Elite for a 2016 Audi Q5
    Both the Curt Spectrum # C51170 and the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite # 331-EBRH-ACCV2 are excellent brake controller options for your 2016 Audi Q5 but in comparison I recommend going with the Tow-Pro Elite over the Spectrum. Although both controllers can be used as proportional brake controllers (they activate your trailer brakes at the same time and with the same intensity as the brakes on your Q5) the Tow-Pro Elite can also be switched to "User Control" mode which means your trailer brakes...
    view full answer...
  • Parts Needed to Install Curt Spectrum Brake Controller in 2019 Toyota Tacoma
    Your 2019 Toyota Tacoma has a plug and play style of brake controller install port under the dash which will easily allow you to install the Curt Spectrum part # C51170. All you need is the adapter part # C51455. To reach the connector, first locate the notch in the access panel in the center of the dash, near the driver's side. Using a trim panel puller, carefully pry the panel out and undo the locking tabs to remove the panel. You will find the mating connector behind this portion...
    view full answer...
  • Easy to Install Brake Controller Recommendation for 2020 Jeep Gladiator
    For your 2020 Jeep Gladiator there is one brake controller that's going to provide a simple and easy install and that's the Curt Mobile Echo part # C51180. This basically just plugs into the 7-way of the vehicle and once synced to your phone is ready to go with one of the most advanced brake controllers out there. The Spectrum # C51170 would require hardwiring as there isn't an easy brake controller install port under the dash of your vehicle. I attached a review video for the Echo...
    view full answer...
  • Is Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller a Good Option for 2018 Chevy Silverado 1500
    The Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller # C51170 is a great choice for a brake controller in your 2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 because it is easy to use with the control knob you referenced and is a proportional controller so you will get smooth braking. To install it in your '18 Silverado you would also need the Curt Custom Wiring Adapter # C51451. The only other brake controller I recommend checking out is the Curt Echo Mobile Trailer Brake Controller # C51180 because this is even...
    view full answer...
  • Curt Brake Controller Plug for a 2020 Ford Explorer
    Yes, the Curt Custom Wiring Adapter for Trailer Brake Controllers part # C51322 will allow you to use a Curt brake controller like the Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller part # C51170 on a 2020 Ford Explorer (All Models). I checked with Curt just to confirm that the Curt Custom Wiring Adapter for Trailer Brake Controllers is indeed correct for a 2020 Ford Explorer so you can be confident this is the correct harness. The plug will be located under the driver dash, near the center...
    view full answer...
  • Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller on a 2019 Subaru Ascent
    You will have to hardwire the Curt Spectrum Brake Controller part # C51170 to your 2019 Subaru Outback Wagon but it is a pretty simple process. You will need to first start with a 4-way confirmed as a fit for your vehicle. For that you'd want the Tekonsha part # 118467 which is a plug and play style of install. From there you would need to convert the 4-way to a 7-way so that you can install the brake controller. For that you will want the Brake Controller Install Kit and 7-Way Adapter...
    view full answer...
  • What Install Harness is Needed for Curt Spectrum in 2019 Chevy Suburban
    The install harness you need for the Curt Spectrum part # C51170 in your 2019 Chevy Suburban is the part # C51451 which plugs directly into the port on your vehicle and then into this controller for a simple install.
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  • Length of the Curt Spectrum Brake Controller Wiring
    The Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller # C51170 has a wiring harness that is 48 inches long between the knob and the concealed box. I reached out to the manufacturer to confirm that measurement for you. If you have the factory 7-way on your 2016 Honda Pilot then you will simply use the Custom wiring harness # C51392 which has a 24 inch length to connect your controller to your factory wiring harness. If you do not have the factory 7-way, then you will want the universal wiring...
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  • Can Curt Spectrum Brake Controller Install in 2011 Ford F-350 with Integrated Brake Controller
    The Ford factory brake controller that is in the dash does not have to be removed. You will need to unplug the connector under the dash and plug in the # C51432 adapter for the Curt Spectrum brake controller # C51170 to the factory brake controller plug behind the dash. The vehicle will need the computer flashed so it will keep from searching for the connection to the OEM brake controller in the future, eliminating any fault codes. This will usually have to be done at the Ford Dealer.
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  • Is There a Way To Turn the Light Off On the Curt Spectrum While Not Towing
    The Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller part # C51170 will illuminate even without a trailer connected that is correct. If you don't wish to see this light each time you hitch the brakes without a trailer attached then you will either need to mount the control knob in a location that is still within reach but not in direct eyesight or you can unplug the harness that connects the control knob to the control box. I cannot recommend you splice into any of the wires to make your own sort...
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  • Wiring Harness for Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller on 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
    The correct adapter for the Curt Spectrum # C51170 trailer brake controller on your 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is Wiring Adapter for Curt Trailer Brake Controllers # C51515. One end of this adapter will plug into your Spectrum brake controller and the other end will splice into your Jeep's brake controller wiring; you can use Butt Connectors # 05731-5 to help make this connection. I have added a link to a video review of Adapter # C51515 for you to check out as well.
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  • Recommended Brake Controller for a 2018 Thor Ace Motorhome
    For your 2018 Thor Ace Motorhome, I recommend using the Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller part # C51170. The reason for this is because this unit is composed of two main parts, the control box and the output knob. The control box gets mounted out of site and then the output knob will get installed up on your dash for easy use and a very aesthetically pleasing look. The color output of the knob also helps with ease of use. Since your motorhome is on a Ford F-53 chassis, you can use...
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  • Installing Brake Controller on 2020 Jeep Gladiator without Splicing Into Brake Light Switch Wire
    As of this writing (10-2019) there is not yet a brake controller plug-in adapter available that allows for a plug-and-play installation on your 2020 Jeep Gladiator. With that being said, there are still a couple of ways you can install a brake controller (depending on the model controller) even if you aren't showing power on the brake light switch wire with the brake pedal depressed. First, to install a traditional brake controller like the excellent Curt Spectrum # C51170 you were...
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  • Brake Controller Solution for 2010 Lexus GX-460 That Does Not Require Modifying Dash
    Before getting into install locations for the knob of the Curt Spectrum part # C51170 you might be best off with the Curt Echo Mobile brake controller part # C51180 instead as this controller plugs into the 7-way at the rear of your vehicle and once you sync your phone to it you are ready to tow without needing to wire anything or modify your vehicle in any way. But back to the knob location for the Spectrum...you could mount it near the AC controls on the center console like in the...
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  • Comparing Curt Spectrum and Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Brake Controllers for a 2019 Audi Q5
    I would be happy to compare the Curt Spectrum # C51170 with part # C51515 and Redarc Tow-Pro Elite # 331-EBRH-ACCV2 brake controllers as well as make a recommendation for your 2019 Audi Q5. To establish a starting point, both controllers are unique when compared to standard brake controllers because they can be mounted virtually anywhere. This is due to the box that the control knob connects to which can sense the direction of movement without having to be in a specific orientation....
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  • Trailer Disconnected Indictor When Trailer Is Disconnected From Curt Spectrum Brake Controller
    I will be happy to assist you with the issue you are having with the Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller # C51170. I reached out to my contact at Curt and they indicated that the disconnected light only comes on when you hit the brakes with your trailer disconnected. Curt advised that there is no way to disable this feature without disconnecting the entire unit.
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  • Dimension of Bracket for Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller
    I went out to our warehouse to measure the bracket for the Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller # C51170 that you referenced and found that it has an outside diameter of just under 2 inches (1-15/16 inches to be exact). I have attached the image you sent with this dimension labeled that you can also use for reference.
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  • Choosing Curt C51170 Spectrum or Redarc 331-EBRH-ACCV2 Tow Pro Brake Controller for 2019 Audi Q5
    The controllers are fairly similar in that they're designed so that the user interface is very unobtrusive. No more ugly box hanging on the underside of the dash that you can bang your knee on. Both controllers use a small knob that can be mounted pretty much wherever it would be within the driver's reach. Now, for the differences. The control knob of the # C51170 is quite a bit larger than that of the Redarc # 331-EBRH-ACCV2 Tow Pro Elite, and it surface mounts. The Redarc would require...
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  • Does Curt TriFlex Plug Into 2007 Chevy TrailBlazer
    Even if your 2007 Chevy TrailBlazer has a factory 7-way there is not a plug underneath the dash for a trailer brake controller such as the Curt Spectrum # C51170; you will need to hardwire it with Wiring Adapter # C51515 though the wires will already be run if you have the factory 7-way (you should already have a factory 4-way). If you do not have the factory 7-way you will need to add the Universal Installation Kit for Trailer Brake Controllers # ETBC7. I've added a link on installation...
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  • Do Curt Spectrum and Redarc Tow Pro Elite Brake Controllers Have Boost Settings
    Actually the Curt Spectrum # C51170 that you referenced does have a boost feature that makes the braking action more aggressive using the sensitivity setting. In the second row of the picture I attached you can see this setting. The further into the red section you set the controller the more aggressive the braking action will be when sensing braking action. To switch between modes basically you just will press the center section until you see the three blue and three red lights that...
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  • Brake Controller Recommendation More Reliable than Curt Spectrum
    Curt should cover that. But the Curt controllers in general are just less reliable than the P2 part # 90885 that you mentioned. If I was going to recommend you the best option I'd say go back to the P2, see if Curt might warranty the controller, and then sell it used.
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  • Dimensions of Components in Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller C51170
    On the Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller # C51170 the round base of the rotary knob component measures 1-3/4-inches in diameter and has a depth of 1-1/2-inches. The main control box component measures 3 x 3-1/2-inches overall and has mounting holes spaced apart on center at 3/4 x 2-3/4-inches. I made a photo with these dimensions which is linked for you. The Spectrum does have a 10-LED display but the controller output is not limited to only 10 specific power and boost settings.
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  • Can Trailer Brake Controller be Used on Harley Davidson Motorcycle Pulling Small Trailer
    The Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller # C51170 can be absolutely be used with your Harley pulling a small trailer for your pups (and in the process making your wife happy). Normally with a motorcycle you want to use a time-delayed controller like the Curt Discovery # C51120 but since the Spectrum's main unit can be mounted at any angle, this is one of the proportional controllers that can be used so long as you can find a good mounting point for both the main unit and the control...
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  • Do the Lights Flash on the Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller with Trailer Unconnected
    The two blue lights (see photo) on each side of the Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller part # C51170 will only display when a trailer is disconnected and the brake pedal is applied. You cannot turn this feature off but you can dim it with the included dimmer feature. You can also mount the knob out of direct eyesight which is more or less what it is designed for. If you can tell me what vehicle you will be installing the Spectrum brake controller on, I would be glad to check if...
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  • Recommendation Between the Prodigy P3 and Curt Spectrum Brake Controllers for a 2008 Infiniti QX56
    Both the Tekonsha Prodigy P3 # 90195 with the Adapter # 3050-P and the Curt Spectrum # C51170 with the Adapter # C51382 are excellent brake controllers and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend either one for you to use with your 2008 Infiniti QX56. Even though they are both electric brake controllers the P3 is more of a traditional controller while the Spectrum is a new style of brake controller. Ultimately I recommend going with the Spectrum over the P3 because you can install it just about...
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  • Do I Need a Brake Controller for a 2007 Chevy Tahoe with Tow Package Towing a 2017 Jayco Baja
    Assuming your trailer has brakes, you may still need a brake controller. GM started putting factory brake controllers in their trucks and SUVs in 2007, but it was an option. The factory brake controller did not come standard with the tow package. If you have a factory brake controller, you will see a black square with a horizontal lever and two buttons (+ and -) just below your light controls to the left of your steering wheel. If you don't have that, then you will need to add a brake...
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  • Electric Trailer Brake Controller and Wiring Harness for 2015 Toyota Tacoma
    To use the Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller # C51170 on your 2015 Toyota Tacoma, you will want the Curt Custom Wiring Adapter # C51362. It sounds like you may have a pigtail harness like # 3040-S with exposed wires on one end and this adapter plug for under your dash on the other. If that is the case you may use that, but you will need to then use butt connectors and cut the quick connect end of your brake controller. I've attached a couple videos to assist.
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  • Curt Spectrum Brake Controller Install 2018 Nissan Armada with Factory Tow Prep
    In order to use your Curt Spectrum Trailer Brake Controller part # C51170 in your 2018 Nissan Armada you need the Curt Custom Wiring Adapter part # C51382. One end plugs into your Spectrum Brake Controller while the other plugs into the factory harness located under the driver side dash, to right side of the steering column and above the accelerator. I included a photo of another brake controller harness being plugged into a similar Armada and some video reviews of the brake controller...
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  • Installation Of Curt Spectrum # C51170 Brake Controller On 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI
    The Curt Spectrum Brake Controller, part # C51170, will work for your 2010 Volkswagen Golf. With limited space, the option of three separate components can prove to be a benefit. It features seven sensitivity levels that allow you to adjust the braking power and aggressiveness, and has a built-in, slide-style manual override. Mounting hardware is included with this brake controller. There are a couple of other things needed to complete the brake controller installation. You will need...
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Info for this part was:

Expert Research:
Mike L
Expert Research:
Michael H
Expert Research:
Jameson C
Expert Research:
John H
Expert Research:
Adam R
Edited by:
Lindsey S
Video by:
Joshua S
Video by:
Chris R
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Installed by:
Cole B
Test Fit:
David F
Test Fit:
Ryan G
Written by:
Kristina F
Updated by:
Isabelle B

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