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installation instructions And specs For complete information.
Item # 90185
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Proportional brake controller automatically levels when mounted within a 70-degree vertical range. Includes digital display, 3 boost levels, battery protection and continuous diagnostics. Easily transfer between different automobiles. and using this brake controller simple and easy. You get high performance for a low price!
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. Just set the initial power level, select a boost setting, and you're good to go.
As long as the Prodigy controller is mounted properly and is pointed in the direction of travel, it will sense - via an internal inertia sensor - 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.
Aside from smoother, more efficient braking, Tekonsha's Prodigy brake controller also offers a boost feature that gives you more initial braking power for those times when you're towing heavy loads. You can switch boost levels so that the power output to your trailer brakes automatically starts out at either 13 percent or 25 percent of the predetermined power setting.
So, if you boost the initial power so that your trailer brakes activate with 25 percent of the overall intensity at the start, the brakes will reach maximum braking faster. 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.
If your trailer weighs less than your tow vehicle, no boost is needed. But if you wish to set the boost so that your trailer leads the braking of your towing setup, you can select level B1. The following table gives an indication of when you might use the different boost levels and the power increases that they offer.
|Approximate Gross Trailer Weight||Boost Level||Increase in Initial Power Output|
|Less than tow vehicle GVW||B1||13%|
|Equal to tow vehicle GVW||B1 or B2||13% or 25%|
|Up to 25% more than tow vehicle GVW||B2 or B3*||25%|
|Up to 40% more than tow vehicle GVW||B3*||25%|
*Both B2 and B3 offer a 25-percent boost in initial power. But the braking curve for B3 is more aggressive than that of B2. This means that, even though you will start out with the same intensity when using these boost levels, you will get an overall more aggressive braking experience with the higher level. So if you use B3, you will reach maximum braking sooner than if you use B2.
The Prodigy offers advanced safety features to prevent damage to various components of your towing setup. When the controller is not in use, it will be in power-saving mode. In this setting, the power draw falls to only 3.6 milliamps, minimizing drain on your vehicle's battery.
When you stop at red lights, or any time that your truck and trailer are at a standstill with the brakes applied for more than 5 seconds, the Prodigy's "hold" feature will activate. When this happens, the power output to your trailer's brakes will be reduced to just 25 percent of the preset power setting so that the brakes will not overheat.
If ever there is a time that you need to brake your trailer separately from your tow vehicle - when traveling down a steep incline, for example - the manual override lever is easily accessible. Pushing this lever engages the brakes on your trailer with full power. In addition, when you activate this override, the brake lights on your trailer will illuminate, properly warning those behind you of the braking action of your rig.
In addition to all of those safety features listed above, the Prodigy offers diagnostics such as:
The self-leveling feature of the Prodigy ensures that the brake controller continues to function even as you drive up steep hills or through the mountains. Simply mount it in your cab at a vertical angle that is between 0 degrees (level) and 70 degrees, and the controller will level itself automatically.
Note: The Prodigy must be mounted on a level horizontal (side-to-side) plane and must be lined up with the direction of travel for the internal sensor to function properly.
Installation is a snap. After mounting the Prodigy unit in your cab using the included pocket mount, hardwire one end of the included pigtail harness directly into your vehicle. The other end plugs into the brake controller. To transfer the Prodigy to another vehicle or to remove it for storage, just unplug the unit and slide it out of the pocket mount.
For even easier installation, a vehicle-specific wiring adapter (sold separately) is available for most newer trucks and SUVs. One end of the custom adapter plugs into your vehicle, and the other end plugs into the controller - no hardwiring required.
Note: If a custom brake-control wiring adapter is not available for your vehicle, one of the following will be required:
20-Amp circuit breaker (9506P - sold separately) for 2- to 4-brake applications
30-Amp circuit breaker (38630 - sold separately) for 6- to 8-brake applications
See also 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.
Video of Tekonsha Prodigy Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Proportional
Videos are provided As a guide only. Refer To manufacturer
installation instructions And specs For complete information.
Today we are going to show you part number 90185 from Tekonsha. This is their Prodigy controller right here. This is actually Tekonshas most popular brake controller, the Prodigy. And this is what you get in the box. Obviously you get the brake controller itself. Then you get the pocket that holds the brake controller especially if you have to transport it between 2 different vehicles. You also get the permanent mounting bracket which is actually nice and takes up less room. You also get the hardware to install the brake controller to the dash and to the bracket. A few butt connectors are in there to use for any wire connections. Speaking of wiring, it comes with a universal wiring harness that will plug into the back of the brake controller then you run your lines to the various circuits in the vehicle. Also to help you out it comes with a little informational DVD.
What we will show you next is the actual pocket that you can install on the vehicle, it actually mounts up like this. The brake control simply just slides inside. Spread the little clips out a little bit and it goes into the screw holes and that pretty much holds everything in place. On the backside here is where the harness plugs into. It is pretty simple. Slip it underneath the holder and you just push it together and it snaps in place. So in other words, if your are going to go ahead and share this brake controller between two different vehicles, you just simply take it our of the pocket, pull it out of the pocket, and take the harness back off of this little clip that is kind of hard to see. Pull that clip back and it pops off. And then this stays in your truck and the brake controller stays out of the way when you are not using it. Next we will show you the unit in operation.
That means, obviously, it is not hooked up to a trailer. And what this does is actually send out a trace current all the time looking for a connection. It does not take much current, it is real slight and it will never drain down the battery. Once you do have a trailer hooked up, it will show a C for connection. That tells you you have a solid connection between your trailer brakes and everything should be working fine. And with talking about the power settings and the gain, that is controlled by this knob right here. And what you can do is put it over to the middle here and you can spool it towards the front of the vehicle, that will be basically full on, and then rotate it back towards the rear of your vehicle, towards the driver seat. And then, you can spool it down all the way to basically nothing. Basically, you want to set to probably somewhere in the middle, like around six. And then you take your trailer, hook it up, go on a back road somewhere or a big packing lot and take a few test runs. If you need more power you can spin the wheel up. Basically you want to spin it up before a brake or right before the wheels actually lock up. And then, if it locks up at the original setting, then you just spool it back down just a little bit. And then again you want to get it right before lock up. And then you leave your setting alone and basically the brake controller takes care of the rest.
And when installing the brake controller, you have about 70 degrees of movement. So it can be from about roughly about here to about here of angle you have to install on the brake controller. And if you do go past these angles you will see two bars flashing at the bottom there, that tells you that it is pointing down too far. The same thing will apply if you put it up too far, we will say about 90 degrees. It will take a few seconds to show the bars on top too. And then to show you how this works, basically the brake controller works by inertia. There is a little pendulum of movement inside here that actually, when you hit your brakes, it actually slides to the front of the vehicle. The more that pendulum moves towards the front, the more power this brake controller puts out. And then, say you hit your brakes pretty hard it is going to apply the brakes pretty hard.
If you let off the brakes gradually, this will follow in turn. When you hit your brakes, if you have one of the boost settings set on it, it will come on. Again it will say like B2, it will come on 25 percent, almost instantly. And then, it will hold that power for a second and then it will revert back to inertia so you have smooth braking until you come to a complete stop. The boost setting is really nice if you want the brake controller to activate the brake, or the truck actually does a lot of its own braking power. It is kind of hard to show the inertia activated on this brake controller but we will try. Basically, we will just move it a little bit, make the pendulum work and you can see how it puts out numbers and goes back to zero once it is stopped. So you are connected and then you hit your brakes and it is saying zero right now because it does not sense anything. And then, when you back up, it will fill up a little bit with numbers and then go back to zero. And there you have it for part number 90185, the Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller.
Average Customer Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (159 Customer Reviews)Proportional brake controller automatically levels when mounted within a 70-degree vertical range. Includes digital display, 3 boost levels, battery protection and continuous diagnostics. Easily transfer between different automobiles. and using this brake controller simple and easy. You get high performance for a low price!
by: John R.03/01/2008
Easy, reliable, and intuitive I had never towed a trailer before and I knew nothing about trailer brakes before I bought the Prodigy. The installation is straightforward. Run power to the unit from battery through 30A breaker, hook into the brake switch wire, connect to ground (preferably direct to negative battery terminal) and one wire to the trailer connector. Calibration and setup is quick and easy. It can be mounted at an angle and does not need to be level or adjusted to level. Tells you what's wrong if something's not working. Braking is smooth and consistent, proportional to the vehicle. No tricky wiring or weird contraptions for reversing. Can be moved from one car to another with a replacement pocket and wire harness. I don't know how it could be much better unless it did the driving for you. My only gripe, and it's a very small one, is that the adjustment wheel you use to set the braking level can be a little touchy. This is a very good brake controller for only a little more than a time-delay or weight-driven type, so I don't know why you would even want one of those. Buy the Prodigy instead and get the best attributes of them all. 648
Great purchase! I have never had trailer brakes before, my neighbor let me use his enclosed tandem axle trailer to pull behind my 2003 ford ranger 4wd ext cab. The trailer has brakes on it. He told me i could pull it without using the brakes but that it takes longer to get it stopped and even worse when loaded down. I am so glad I spent my money to get this and a install kit to put this on my truck. It made a huge difference in pulling it especially loaded up. It is also nice to use the trailer seperate brake to slow down faster if needed, this was something my neighbor showed me. If the trailer has brakes on it, be sure to get a good controller, dont be cheap! its worth the money!! Take your time to install it! You can be just as professional as the shops that charge a bunch to do the same work. 2293
by: Allan L.05/07/2010
Great product, easy to install I purchased a Tekonsha Prodigy for my 2009 Ford Ranger Sport. I installed it in a couple of hours by myself following the included guide. I had to do a little homework, the brake switch wire colours (Violet/White)for the 2009+ Rangers are different than the earlier models. I used a digital voltmeter to be sure I was using correct wire from the brake switch. The 2009+ Rangers only come with a factory four wire trailer connector, however the install went flawless following the included directions on additional wires to run to my 7 pin adaptor I bought separately. I saved nearly $100 ordering it through the US with the exchange rate at par on the CDN dollar. I am very satisfied with my purchase and look forward to pulling my new tent trailer. Thanks ETrailer! 3013
by: Glenn G.08/09/2016
Haven't had the chance to use it a lot this past year, but when I did it performed great. My heaviest load was just over 10,000 pounds. That tow was for approximately 156 miles. I didn't have any trouble making the correct setting for braking. Very easy to use. Settings worked perfect. There was hardly any braking use on my half ton pickup, the trailer took care of it. The reviews I read before purchasing the Tekonsha Prodigy Brake Controller were very good and that's the reason I made the purchase. I'm glad I did. I would most certainly recommend it. 281925
What a difference! I tow a 5x8 utility trailer with a Subaru Legacy sedan...I only pulled it once before installing the Prodigy, and I'll never go back! Once it's installed, the Prodigy is very easy to adjust on the fly and works amazingly well! It's a relatively small unit, and doesnt look out of place in the car. I was nervous about it draining the battery because I only use the trailer a few times a month... but i've had no problem at all...it shuts itself off after 15 minutes of not touching the brakes. Great stuff, look no further! 2713
by: Rick V03/22/2009
great product !!!!!! I recently purchased a hitch for my 2009 Nissan Frontier and the installation was a breeze. I decided to order the Podigy brake controller and do it myself. The truck did not have factory tow package, therefore was not prewired. I was a little worried because the truck was BRAND NEW. Everything went smooth. You customer support was great (Pat C).Videos helped too. These people know how to get it done. Iwill be back to E-Trailer for all my needs. Thanks again. AAAAA++++++++ Service 1668
by: Ronny G.01/29/2010
great website videos After searching the web for brake controllers,stumbled upon your website,after selecting prodogy brake controller,very clear and simple video played explaining installation on my truck! viewed ratings and testimonies,stopped shopping and ordered.You guys deserve my business, was leary about getting a book with universal instuctions, with this video knowledge a cave man can do it.Thanks again. 2671
by: Michael B.08/05/2009
Saved my butt! Second time towing the camper (Starcraft Antigua 215SB w/ 2005 Trailblazer) the idiot in front of me slammed on his brakes because he missed his turn. I thought there was 0% chance I would make the stop. I would say this unit stopped me as well as the truck would have stopped not towing anything. This works extremely well and was very simple to install myself. Highly recommended. 2212
Excellent 2005 Town&Country&1999 PALOMINO MUSTANG-SL &SC -Easy install, I did drill a hole where the jack is kept to feed the brake harness up. Setup was easy and using it was a breeze. Going down the mountains in VT and NH stopping for road work at the bottom.The prodigy worked well helping stop the popup. You can really feel the difference. The price was easy on the wallet too. 2224
by: Joe G.03/30/2012
Super easy to install and adjust. I would recommend this brake control to anyone. The pigtail adapter to the 4runner connector saved A BUNCH of tedious work. Also, having installed a few accessories in my truck lately and having to make some SWAG about how to proceed, I was pleasantly surprised by the clarity and completeness of the Prodigy installation and operation manual. 35688
The best I have ever owned This is by far the best brake controller I have ever used. I have been using it for 3 months and it has been completely reliable so far. It is very easy to use and it brakes very well and without any tendency to lock up at all. There are many other controllers that are less expensive but the performance of this unit make it money well spent. 2381
I recieved my brake controller within a few days of placing my order. I have ordered several items from etrailer and have not found any disapointments. I will continue to keep my buisness with etrailer, since I have just recieved this today, I have not yet installed it. I checked everything over and I have all I need to install the controller. It should be a breeze. 174681
by: John C.04/09/2009
Best brake for your buck! I have a 5500lbs camper trailer which I pull with my Toyota Tacoma Prerunner w/TRD package. This product is great. Smooth stop, no jerking or overload on truck. Once I had someone walk out in front of me about 30yards and I was going 45mph. Hit the brakes and I hardly felt the trailer behind me, good smooth stop without hitting the idiot! 1720
by: Fritz H.04/22/2013
Just received my Prodegy 2 Trailer Brake Controller. Very well packaged and the quality of product exceeded my expectations. Haven't yet installed it so may check back after that in a few weeks. I enjoyed my buying experience with etrailer.com. Keep up the good work with top products at below average pricing and easy on-line purchasing. Fritz H. - Napa, CA 77274
by: Fred C12/30/2015
Found website info to be very detailed and informational. Didn't know much about trailer brake controllers despite being a big rug truck driver. Site was one stop shopping and I purchased the prodigy p2 which coincidentally all my buddies have including my installer. Another sign of good info as site said it was the most popular unit and it proved true. 234539
I have had 4 of these controllers on various trucks, RV's, and SUV's. They work great, can be mounted at different angles, and can handle heat. I mounted one on the dash so I could see but it is directly in the sun. They all still work great and are easy to adjust... Oh... E-Trailer also rocks. Never had an issue and they do what they say... 270420
Best braking system ever This is the best braking system I have ever had. It's good to drive with confidence. I was hauling the trailer one sunny afternoon and I guess not paying attention. My wife yelled that the vehicle ahead of us had stopped. I slammed on the brakes and came to a commanding stop. Nothing like driving with the best. 2472
by: Mike S.08/30/2009
Far superior to timed units. Connections very straight-foward, quick setup and learning curve. Performance is nothing short of wonderful! I have been using Activator II controllers until now, I will never go back to a timed unit again. I really have nothing negative at this point to say, just returned from 1400 miles of towing. 2325
I think the plethora of videos, and helpful online diagrams sold me on etrailer.com, the product installed easily with the plug and play adapter. Shipped and arrived within 3 days. Happy with etrailer, and the trailer brake controller I bought. This Prodigy controller is the best one I have used to date. 31435
by: Korey P.05/04/2011
I use the Prodigy brake controller on multiple different trailers. On all my trips and vacations I have yet to have a single issue. Keeping the instruction manual handy for quick set up would be my only recommendation. Other than that there is nothing more to worry about. Just enjoy. 12847
by: Darin B06/17/2007
This brake controller rocks I replaced a Reese Brakeman Compact with the Prodigy. No comparison. Prodigy is proportional and shows me the voltage being sent to the trailer. Braking is smoother and I have much more control over how the brakes get applied. I feel much safer towing now. 238
by: Greg p03/07/2011
I have not installed the brake regulators yet but the price was great and I purchased one for my truck and one for my brother in laws truck. The video of the installation process and showing where to find all the wires makes me very comfortable about installing it myself . 8724
quality piece. the manual leaver feels really will made. the screen is bright. the electrical plug on the back fits well. this is my first trailer brake controller with a boost function. i love it. works great for my 4 brake trailer running at max rated load. 58386
by: Mark D07/12/2013
My hats off to E-trailer and their true professional care they provided through emails, tracking numbers and follow-up. I have yet to test the brake controller out, but I do know that this product was the easiest plug and play device i have ever installed. 89131
Easy all the way round I tow a 30ft 5th wheel and a 6x12 work trailer. I like that it will let you if you have a trailer brake problem, like shoes worn out or a broken wire. Easy adjust for in traffic or on the freeway. Great all round controller. 501
by: Adam H.04/01/2009
Excellent Product!! This is the best brake controller that I have ever used. The installation was a breeze, very easy to set up and use. I would recommend to anyone who wants a great break controller. I would not use any other controller. 1701
Tekonsha Prodigy works. My second unit. Absolutely no problems.I did not install this unit. I didn't want the hassle of dealing with the switch on the brake pedal column I paid the dealer $90.00 to install.Everything came out perfect. 2158
No problem install Solid performance and clear instructions for installation. I sweated it for a week efore getting started but it turned out to be just as explained in the documentation. Unit has performed for 1 year w/o a problem. 1717
Maybe I missed something but apparently there was a separate wiring harness that plugs in (easy peasy lemon squeezy) Had to research and order it and pay extra S&H. Other than that, seams like a good product. 131088
by: Bob Smith08/17/2009
Best!! This is my 3rd controller of this type on the 4th vehicle over the years. Two or three of my radio buds have bought them and like me, think there are the only brake controller worth anything. Thanks!! 2255
by: Patricia B07/20/2014
Bought this controller to tow my vintage Airstream Argosy. Using the videos posted by etrailer.com I was able to install it into my GMC Sierra myself. It works really well and I am a satisfied customer. 142305
Product was easy to install and has worked flawlessly ever since. It was installed on a trailer that is used daily. I would recommend this product to anyone who is the market for this type of product. 346875
The controler and pars arrived as expected and will not be installed for another few weeks. I will know better at that time if I made a good choice. I do not expect any problems with this product. 54596
Great Product, the online installation video was rite on target as viewed. it took me 20 min's to install my new Prodigy Trailer Brake Controller, would recommend Etrailer to all my friends. 71699
Easy to install What difference switching from a time delay controller to a proportional one. I probably took years off my brake linings with the time delay. Installation was easy. 3089
get this controller! easy install,plug ad play on my 02 Tahoe. Then just one connector and it goes in our RV, the features are better than any other controller I have come across. 2422
With the help of your great video library I was able to install a brake controller and wiring harness myself. All the products were of high quality and arrived quickly. 8867
by: Mike Horn05/13/2011
Great unit. Used to pull 32' with my 06 Durango. This thing worked flawlessly! Oh, and since this was the first time I used one, it was idiot proof too! 13818
Great product lets you see on. I have used one for years and it tells you when the plug is pulled out and level of braking going to the trailer. 1828
Excellent product. Easy to install with easy to follow instructions and works wonderfully. I've bookmarked this site for future products... 131181
by: Harry A10/02/2014
Got just what I ordered on time would buy again. Gor a Prodigy 2 brake controller just what I needed for my hydoelectrict drakes 154136
by: Kevin C01/14/2011
Electric brake awesome controller, very easy install 10 mins top, no photos yet e trailer has great service and fast shipping 5467
by: Steve H01/26/2010
Look No Further!!! Excellent product, works perfectly. Just buy it and forget about comparing others controllers to this one. 2665
by: gil crooker08/01/2010
the installation video i watch the installation video. and in mins i was back on the road. the video was real helpful. 3306
by: Jeff D10/08/2012
Easy install and use on my Nissan Armada. Works great and very comfortable pulling my Kodiak Skamper 235 now! 56705
by: Willy F05/18/2011
the product works like a dream and is easy to read - ordering was easy and shipping was expeditious - thanks 14633
by: Robert E11/03/2013
The Prodigy controler is a great product.This was the easiest after market product if have ever installed. 106108
Ordering was easy and price protection garantee was honored. I would definitely give etrailer my businees. 15049
by: harold w03/29/2009
great Have pull alot of trailers. this is the best brake system and easiest installatian i have every done! 1691
by: Craig e06/11/2016
Brake controller works fantastic good product would do business with these people again and will do so. 260378
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