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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 1990 Dodge Ram Pickup

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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 1990 Dodge Ram Pickup


Today on this 1990 Dodge Ram Pickup we are going to be installing Prodigy brake controller part number 90185 along with brake controller wiring kit part number ETBC7. We are going to start our installation back here at the rear of the vehicle and we are going to install our 7-pole at the rear first. The first thing we want to do is mount the bracket for the 7-pole. This particular vehicle has a nice large bumper that we can drill into. You just want to find a nice mounting location. Mark the holes and drill those out. I am just going to be using some self tapping screws to accomplish this. You can also drill 1/ 4 inch hole out if you like and use the provided hardware down through the bumper. Next we are going to take the 7-pole adapter from the ETBC7. Mount it on to the bracket and we are going to be doing that using the provided hardware. The next step is to merge up the 4-pole end on our 7 and 4 way adapter to the existing 4-pole that is on the vehicle. If you do not have an existing 4-pole you will need to add that on as well. However, this existing 4-pole unfortunately is not compatible with our 4-pole that we have on our adapter so what I am going to have to do is cut the ends off and wire them in direct. 01:14

The wiring looks a little different but it is pretty much the same. What we have got here is the striped green wire and we are going to mount that to our green wire. We have got a striped yellow wire that is going to go the yellow wire and a striped brown wire to go to the brown wire. These are also labeled on this particular harness too telling us which one is which. Next we will take the two wires here on our 7-pole adapter, the blue and the black, and we are going to connect those to the double bonded wire that is provided with the ETBC7 kit. Inside of there you can see there are two wires. There is a white and a black so we are going to strip back a little bit of the jacketing to expose those two wires. What we will do is connect the black to the black and the white to the blue. You can see we have got two wires left over. We have got this white wire with a ring terminal on it. This is our ground wire. We are going to need to ground this to the frame or to the under body somewhere and we have got our purple wire with a connector on it. This lead is for reverse lights. If your trailer does not have reverse lights you do not have to worry about hooking this up. For the time being we are going to tape this off because we do not need to use it and we will ground this to the vehicle. The ring terminal that comes on here is a little larger than what I am going to use. I am going to be using a self tapping screw to hook it in so I am going to cut this off and put a smaller terminal on there. 02:39

With all of our connections made we just want to tape them up. Next we are going to take our double bonded wire and we are going to mount it all the way up to the driver side frame rail up under the hood where we are going to connect the black wire to our battery. We are going to take the white wire and mount it inside the cab where it is going to hook to the brake controller. When routing the wire up we want to make sure we avoid any possible hot spots or pinch points that could damage our wire. We are up underneath the hood now and you can see we have got our double bonded wire routed all the way up to the battery. We are next going to mount to the breakers for the hot wire on our double bonded wire but also for the power lead for our brake controller. Our ETBC7 kit comes with three breakers. 20 amp, 30 amp, and a 40 amp. The 40 amp breaker is going to be for our hot lead that came all the way back from the plug. We are either only going to use the 20 or 30 amp breaker and that is depending on the brake controller that you are going to be using. The Prodigy requires a 30 amp breaker so that is what we are going to be using. You do want to make note on the breaker as well that each post is labeled. One is labeled auxiliary and one is labeled battery. You want the auxiliary side to go to the out going portion. The battery side obviously going to the battery. What we are going to do is mount those over on the side wall. We are going to mount those next. We are going to mount those using the self tapping screws that are provided in the ETBC7 kit. Next I am going to figure out how much lead I need to just get to my breaker. I am going to cut our double bonded wire and strip back the jacketing. You can see I stripped off some of the jacketing on the black wire. We are going to add one of the smaller ring terminals that are provided with our ETBC7 kit and crimp that on. We are going to mount that to the auxiliary post on our 40 amp breaker. The white wire is going to be our outgoing wire from our brake controller that went back to our plug. We are going to leave that open ended for the time being. We are going to take a piece of wire and route it out from the brake controller and make a connection there. We are kind of done underneath the hood. What we are going to do is take the extra length of double bonded wire that we have left over. We are now going to use these as the hot and ground wires from our brake controller going out to our battery. Lets go inside he cab and start mounting our brake controller next. Inside the cab we are going to mount the bracket to hold our Prodigy in place. 05:14

The Prodigy comes with two different brackets. It comes with a traditional bracket that has screws that mount the Prodigy to it on the side or we have got the pocket like the one I am holding right here that allows you to quickly disconnect the Prodigy if you want to move it from vehicle to vehicle. Instead of having mounting screws on the side it actually has clips that hold the Prodigy in place. All you have to do is unclip it and pull it out. You can see at the top we have got multiple mounting holes. We just want to figure out which two we want to use. We are probably going to use two of the outer ones. Here on the dash area of the dodge we have got plenty of mounting room. You usually want to mount it in that area. It can be easily accessed by the driver but also does not interfere with the driver. You want to make sure when you are mounting the pocket that it is in a straight line with the braking of he vehicle. You do not want to rotate it either side to side. It will interfere with the proportional sensor that is built into the Prodigy. Just take the wiring harness that is included with the Prodigy and we are going to take and wire in the wires. What we have got here is a red, a white, a blue, and a black. The black and the white are our hot and our ground for our brake controller. The black being the hot and the white being the ground. As stated earlier, we are going to take the extra lead of double bonded wire and connect to those two. Run it through the fire wall and connect it to the battery. We have got the blue wire which is the outgoing wire that we had already routed from the back so what we need to do is extend this. Take it through the fire wall as well and hook it to the white wire that we had left open ended earlier What I am going to do is take that additional piece of 12 gauge of blue wire and hook it to this to accomplish that. We have got the red wire here and that is actually the activating wire for our brake controller. What we need to do is hook that in to the cold side of the brake switch and essentially we are going to hook it into the wire that gets hot when we press the brake pedal. Next we are going to test for the cold side wire on the brake switch. The brake switch is not very accessible on this vehicle but if you follow up to the top of the brake pedal itself and look just towards the steering column you can see the brake switch and it has got four wires coming out of it. It looks like that wire that we are looking for is the solid white wire. You can see when I test it and hit the brake pedal my tester gets active. With our connections made we just want to tape those up. We are going to take a quick splice and apply it over the top of this wire and connect our red wire directly to it. With our connection made to our brake switch we are now going to take the double bonded wire and our blue wire and route it through the fire wall. We need to find a grommet or knock out of sorts and if you look just left of the steering column there is a nice big grommet. This one has actually already been cut a little bit. If you do not have an existing cut in it you can probably just put a slice in there and you can route your wires through there. We are going to do that next. 07:51

With our wires routed through the fire wall now I am over to the breakers that we mounted earlier. We are going to start by taking the blue wire connecting to the white wire that we had existing from earlier and we are just going to be using one of the butt connectors provided with the ETBC7 kit. We just want to tape up our connection when we are done. Next we will take the hot and the ground from the brake controller and we are going to take the hot wire and hook it to the 30 amp breaker that we mounted earlier. The white wire we are going to take directly to the negative terminal in the battery. Determine the length that you need to get to the breaker then you can cut that down. Add another one of the small ring terminals that are provided with the ETBC7 kit. Take the nuts off of the two bottom posts of our breakers as well because we are going to run those wires next. For the time being I am going to take the white wire for our ground and continue routing it over to the battery and we will add the connector for it in just a second. Then I am going to take the extra piece of black wire that we had leftover from our cut. Cut it in half and make two leads to go to the positive terminal. One for the power lead to the plug and then one for the brake controller. To both of the positive leads and for the ground wire we are going to add the larger ring terminal and then finally we just want to take our terminals off of the battery and make our connections. Then we just want to connect up any loose wires that we may have left over underneath the hood. We will go back inside and make our final connection to the brake controller. Inside the cab the final step is to plug the harness into the back of the Prodigy. You can see with that installed we have got an NC flashing on the brake controller and that indicates that we do not have a connection to a trailer. It is going to blink for a few seconds and then it is going to go to a solid two dots indicating that we still do not have a trailer activated. When we press our brake pedal we are not going to have anything showing on the Prodigy. If we use the slide bar we still get the NC showing no connection. With our trailer plugged in now we have got a C indicated on the Prodigy telling us that we have made a connection now. Now when we hit our brake pedal we will get our numeric output. The same with the manual slide bar. With that, that will conclude the installation of Prodigy part number 90185 along with brake controller wiring kit part number ETBC7 on a 1990 Dodge Ram Pickup.


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