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Trailer Wiring Harness Installation - 2008 Ford Escape

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How to Install a Trailer Wiring Harness on a 2008 Ford Escape

Today on this 2008 Ford Escape with tow package we will be installing wiring harness part number 118251. We are underneath the vehicle just on the driver side right behind the bumper. The plug in we are looking for to plug our wiring harness into is located right here. Most Escapes will have this plug here but if you do not have a tow package it likely will not be active. All we need to do is take and press the button on the top and that will allow us to unplug the harness away from the cap. We can then take our wiring harness and plug them together. 00:29

From there all we need to do is route the 4-pole over to the center of the vehicle and I am going to route it behind these fascia tabs and then just tie it off at the trailer hitch and your installation is complete. If you come back to the plug you can remount using the old hanger here. What we want to do is take and pull that out from the sheet metal and we can take a flat headed screw driver and we want to pry underneath the end part just enough so it releases off of the little tab built into the cap. Slide it out the back side. Look on the back side of the wiring harness and it has got the same type of set up that we just removed this from and just slide it right through the groove down into position. Now it is ready to be mounted back up into place. That will conclude the installation of wiring harness part number 118251 on a 2008 Ford Escape.

Murray C.


Hi There: I have a 2008 Ford Escape WITHOUT a tow package and was wondered how to wire a 4 prong connection from the trailer to the Ford?Kindest Regards,Murray

Patrick B.


You will just need a different harness than what is in the video you were looking at. You will need part 118551 that will connect to the back of the tail lights, and you will need to run a power wire up to the engine compartment where you will attach it to the positive battery terminal. Check out the attached links.

Mike R.


In the text above it states that most escapes have the plug located underneath the vehicle on the driver side right behind the bumper, but if you dont have the tow package, it likely wont be active. How do you make it active?

Patrick B.


There are different solutions that we have seen for activating an in-active tow package port. Sometimes it is a series of fuses and relays that have to be installed in fuse blocks or power distribution blocks inside the cab and inside the engine bay. Other vehicles have required jumper harnesses to be installed into the factory wiring harness in various locations. Still others require a computer re-flash at the dealership and they typically charge a fee for this. There are still some options where the port cannot be activated once the vehicle is built. The only reason it is there is because it is less costly to build one or two main electrical harness for a vehicle and activate the portions according to the order/build sheet rather than building multiple harness that have different features. On your Escape, we have not established a method for activating the tow package port on a vehicle that was not equipped with the tow-prep package from the assembly plant. In our shop, we will use the kit that plugs into the rear of the tail lights, part 118551. I have added links to the part and a video of the installation on a 2008 Escape.

Info for this part was:

Employee Zack K
Video Edited:
Zack K
Employee Andrew K
Video Edited:
Andrew K
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Nicholas E
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Employee Randy B
Test Fit:
Randy B
Employee Cole B
Installed by:
Cole B

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