Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2016 Ford Transit T350

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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 2016 Ford Transit T350

Speaker 1: Today, in our 2016 Ford Transit 350, we'll be having a look at and showing you how to install the Curt Triflex trailer brake controller, part number C51140. To ease our installation, we'll also be using the Curt Trailer Brake Controller Wiring Adapter, part number C51515 with the E-trailer ETBC7 kit.Now, this is a proportional brake controller, and what that means is that as we're slowing down gradually in our vehicle, the brakes on our trailer will be applied in an equaled manner. As opposed to a time delayed brake controller, where there is a time delay of the brakes being applied, and you can't have a little bit of power being applied. It's either all or nothing, depending on how you have it set. These will gradually start to apply the brakes, so you have a smooth and safe stop.One thing that sets this brake controller apart from others on the market is how easy it is to operate. It does everything that you need it to do, but yet, it has very simple and easy to use controls, so it doesn't confuse you.

These two dots here mean we have a proper connection with our trailer. We've already plugged into our trailer, so we can go over some of the features.We have three buttons on our controller that we need to concern ourselves with. The top one here, this knob towards the left side of it . this is what controls our power levels. It'll start all the way at .6, and we can go all the way up to 9.9, which is maximum brake power being applied to our trailer brakes.

It's a good idea to set it someplace in the middle, and you can adjust as needed from there. So, about four and a half is a good starting point for you. Now, off to the left, we have a manual brake override switch. The further you push it, the more power's being applied to your trailer brakes.Now, this will only apply the trailer brakes, so it doesn't matter if your foot is on your vehicle's brake pedal or not. This is great for a jack knife situation, when the trailer starts to step out to the side on you.

You can bring it back in line by applying the brakes on the trailer, using the brake controller. It'll slow it down and bring it back behind your vehicle.On the very far left side of our brake controller, toward the back of it, we have a slider adjuster knob here. And, this adjusts the sensitivity of our brake controller so the brakes will be applied quicker and more aggressively, depending on how we have it set. There are 9 sensitivity level settings. You can see, as we move up, we'll go from level one and work our way up towards nine.

Just dial it down for right now so we can adjust it as we feel necessary.And now that we've gone over some features, we'll show you how to get it installed. The first thing we need to do is mount our seven-way bracket. On our bumper support beam right here, this is a great spot. So, we'll hold it up into place, make a couple marks with a paint marker . now we'll take a small drill bit, line up where we made our marks, and drill a hole. Since we're drilling in the metal right above our face, we wanna make sure we're wearing safety glasses. Now, we'll take our bracket, place it over our holes, take our machine head screws, go up through the hole . where our screws come up, we'll drop a flat washer on, followed by a star-lock washer, and we'll thread on a nut. We'll hold the nut still with a wrench, and we'll tighten the screw up with a phillips screwdriver.Here's what it looks like with the hardware in place. Now, we'll take our seven-way slider wires through the gap. Slide the seven-way onto the bracket, and we'll secure it with the provided hardware. Now, we'll hold the nut still while we tighten the screw, and we'll do the same for all four of our screws.Okay. Now, we have a couple different options here. Our seven-way connector can just plug into the back of our existing four-pole flat wiring on our vehicle. But, this is just an invitation to get corrosion and a short circuit from moisture getting inside. So, what I like to do is cut off our four-pole connectors. We also get rid of the excess slack in our wires by doing this. We'll separate our four wires. And, we'll strip back the insulation from our four on our existing four-pole flat wiring. We'll do the same for the three wires off of our new seven-way. Take our white wire, which is our ground wire . measure off about the same length. Cut off the excess, and we'll strip that back, too. Now, we'll take some blue heat-shrink butt connectors, which we have available on our website. These are for 14- to 16-gauge wires. These will provide a better seal because they seal up against the elements when you shrink them with a heat gun. Crimp these on each of our four wires.Okay. Once we have a butt connector on each of our four wires, we can now match them up color-for-color. Now, our blue wires for the output for our electric trailer brakes . we're gonna cut off the factory crimped standard butt connector. Do the same for the black wire, which is our constant 12 volt power. Strip back some insulation from both ends. And, we'll replace these with 12- to 10-gauge heat shrink butt connectors. They're yellow. We have these on our website. Our purple wire here is for reverse input or reverse output. You may need this if you're towing a boat trailer that has a reverse solenoid for hydraulic serge brakes. In our instance, we're not gonna be needing it. So, we'll just cut off the excess, and still have some left in case we ever decide to go back and install it.We went ahead and took some electrical tape, and wrapped up our wires, making sure we covered up the purple wire to protect it, just to the end of our butt connectors. Now, we'll take a gray duplex wire. We'll take a utility knife . go right in the middle. Make sure we don't cut the wires inside. Peel back the outer cover, and we'll find a black and a white wire inside. And, I'll strip back the black wire, and the white wire. Now, I'll take our black wire, put it in the butt connector for our black wire. Crimp it. And, the white wire will go to our butt connector for our blue wire. Now, we'll use a heat gun to shrink down all of our butt connectors.Now, we'll finish up this part of the install by continuing to wrap it up with some electrical tape. This will just help better conceal our wires, and better protect them from the elements. We went ahead and routed our duplex wire towards the front of our vehicle. Runs along side our driver's side frame, and we have it secured in several spots to a factory wiring harness with zip ties. Goes over our rear axle. Made sure we avoided any moving parts or sources of heat. By following the factory wiring harness, we knew we would be safe. Goes to the side of our gas tank, still following the wiring harness. Now, we are at the end of our firewall. So, we can grab the wire, and just put it into our engine bay, where we will grab it from underneath the hood, and bring it up into our engine bay.We secured our wire up to our power wire that goes into our fuse box with a zip tie. Now, we'll take our utility knife, and we will separate our duplex wire just like we did on the back. Now, our white wire from our duplex wire . we need to get this inside of our firewall. We're gonna do that by going through this grommet on the driver's side of our firewall, right next to our brake booster. We'll make a small notch in it with our utility knife. Make sure we go through both layers, and we'll push the wire through. Now, pull our white wire the rest of the way through our firewall.Alright, so we're underneath our dash now. We're gonna cut off the excess of our white wire, strip back some insulation, take one of our yellow butt connectors that comes with our kit, stick it on the wire, and crimp it down. Now, we'll take our brake control harness adapter, take our blue wire, strip back a little insulation from it . we'll stick that into our butt connector, and crimp it.Now, in order to install our brake controller, we need to access our brake light switch. It's really easy to get to if you remove this panel that's below our steering column. In order to do that, just grab by the steering column, and pull back. Now, we need to test our brake light switch to figure out which wire has power going through it only when the brake pedal is depressed. That's the cold side of your switch. So, we'll do what's called a back probe. Now, we don't pierce any of the wires. And, I'll start with this purple and white wire. And, as I press on the brake pedal, we can tell that is our cold side for our brake light switch. So, that's where we're going to make our connection with.So, it's this purple and white wire here that's all the way off to the left. Now, we'll make the connection to the purple and white wire with the red wire of our brake controller harness. And, we'll do that using our quick connector that's designed to splice into our factory wiring. So, we'll slide our quick connector over the wire, making sure it's in one of the grooves, and we'll take our red wire, slide it into the other groove, making sure that it's gonna be past the point here, the metal tab. And, I'll squeeze the metal tab onto our two wires. Okay, with that squeezed down, we'll now close the connector until it snaps into place. And, here's what it looks like once we have it connected.These are our two circuit breakers that we're gonna be using. Our kit comes with three. But, we'll be using the 40 amp and the 30 amp. We need to find a place to mount these. Right on top of the support here will be a great spot. It'll be out of the way for when the hood closes, and won't make any contact with it. We'll just secure these into place with the provided self-tapping screws. Okay, our black wire here . this goes back to our constant 12-volt on our seven-way. We need to connect this to our auxiliary side, which is the silver side on our 40-amp breaker. So, we'll measure off how much we need, cut off the excess, strip back some insulation, take one of our small, yellow ring terminals, place it on the wire, remove the nut, place it on, reinstall the nut. Now, take one of the ends of our excess flash wire, strip off some insulation, take another one of our small, yellow ring terminals, crimp it into place, and this will go to the other break for the auxiliary side, the silver side.Now, we'll pass the other end of that black wire through our firewall, through the same grommet that we did our white wire earlier. Now, we'll grab the wire from our grommet, and pull it the rest of the way in. Now, we'll measure off how much we're gonna need of that black wire, cut off the excess, strip back some insulation now, place on the yellow butt connector, crimp it in place, take the end of our black wire from our brake controller harness, strip back some insulation from it, crimp it . okay, now we'll take our leftover white wire, strip off the insulation from one end, take one of our larger diameter yellow ring terminals, and we'll crimp it onto the wire.Now, we need to attach this white wire to our vehicle's chassis ground. Ideally, we'd like to attach this directly to the negative post on our battery to provide a ground for our brake controller. But, our battery is located in an inaccessible position, and this is actually the batter cable ground point for our vehicle anyway. So, it's still going there in a round about way. We'll just remove this factory ground bolt right here. It's an 8 mm, and place our ring terminal underneath that bolt as we reinstall it.Now, the other end of our ground wire will pass through our firewall the same way as we've done our other two wires. We'll pull that wire through our firewall now. We'll cut off our excess now, strip back some insulation, take one of our yellow butt connectors, crimp it down . and we have one final wire left on our brake controller adapter . the white wire. Place it into the other end of the butt connector. Crimp it. Okay, now we'll take one end of our leftover black wire, strip off some insulation, take one of our small ring terminals, crimp it into place, and we'll attach this to the bronze side or copper side of one of our breakers. It doesn't matter which one. We need to do the same for both of these.Now, we need to connect this to a positive 12-volt source that's connected directly to our battery. This is our vehicle's jump spot post. So, this is a perfect spot to do it. We'll take our wire . there's a gap underneath. So, we pass the wire up. It comes out. We'll measure off how much we're gonna need. Cut off the excess. Take one of our large ring terminals, and we'll crimp it down. We'll take our leftover black wire, and we'll repeat the same process for the other breaker. Now, we'll tighten down all the nuts fully with a wrench for our breakers.Okay. Now, we'll remove this nut, and place our two terminals underneath, and reinstall the nut. It's a 15 mm nut. Okay, now, in order to get these ring terminals to fit over our stud since the the stud it just slightly bigger than the ring terminals, we'll cut it, and then it'll bend apart a little bit, and it'll go over. Do the same for the other one. Now, we're gonna install the nut.Now, we'll close up the cover for our jump start post. Now, we can reinstall our lower dash panel. Now, we need to mount our brake controller bracket to our dash. We'll do it right about in this area here using the provided self-tapping screws. Plug our brake controller into our harness adapter. Now, we will mount our brake controller to our bracket using the provided screws. Use a phillips screwdriver to tighten these down fully. We went ahead and zip tied all of our wires underneath the dash so that these aren't gonna interfere with our feet as we're driving, or get stuck in the pedals.And, that completes our look at and installation of the Curt Triflex Trailer Break Controller, part number C51140 on our 2016 Ford Transit 350.

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Info for these parts were:

Video by:
Andrew K
Video by:
Joshua S
Installed by:
Jeff D
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Test Fit:
Shane T
Test Fit:
Brent H
Test Fit:
David F
Test Fit:
Ryan G
Video Edited:
Andrew L
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Video Edited:
Sue W
Video Edited:
Chris R

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