Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2013 Dodge Durango

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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 2013 Dodge Durango


Today on our 2013 Dodge Durango, we're going to look at, then show you how to install the Draw Tite Activator IV. This is a time-delayed trailer brake controller for one up to four axles. Part number on it is 5504. We're also using the Tekonsha Plug-In Wiring Adapter, part number 3045-P. Here's the Activator IV all installed on our dash. As you can see, we've got a couple of easy to get to buttons here on the top, an easy to read LED display, and this time controlled brake controller has full adjust-ability to really allow you to customize this for your trailer. To start with something that's common, it's going to be gain on all brake controllers.

Right now we've got it set at max power of ten. By hitting the down button, we're going to turn this down. This is going to reduce the maximum amount of braking force that can be sent to the rear. So if you're hauling a light weight trailer, or if the roads are a little bit slippery, so you don't want a maximum braking power going to to the back, we can turn that down. Then no matter if we activate it with our foot brake or with our lever brake, it's only going to go to the maximum that we have set. The sync, what this does, you can see we've got multiple adjustments.

This is going to allow us to go from basically zero to nine. So we're going to have ten different settings that we can dial this up to, raise our gain up, so we can get a good demonstration of it. Let's just take the gain to max. Now I have to turn on the car, and it's going to beep. You'll have to bear with me; I'll try to speak up.

So now when we apply our brakes with the sync in the low setting like it is . You see how that slowly progresses up to whatever our maximum output number is. Currently it's ten. If we had this set to five, it's going to slowly progress up to five, and then it's going to stop. Turn that back up. Now if we turn our sync setting up, let's say we go all the way up to high power, it's going to go up very quickly and very aggressively, to provide full power back to the rear.

See how that really builds up a lot quicker than it did, and then we'll have full adjustment kind of anywhere in between there incrementally to fine tune it to the occasion. This is going to allow you to override that sync setting. So maybe you've got it set real low, so it's going to gradually apply the brakes kind of like this. Well if you need to, in an emergency situation, you reach down here and grab a handful, and get those brakes applied to whatever you've got your maximum setting to. Another great thing about the time delayed system is of course, we can mount this in any location we want. If you don't want controls or this lever, you can mount it up underneath the dash. It really doesn't matter other than getting to your buttons and stuff. That way you can kind of fine tune it and adjust it for each trailer. Whether upside down, sideways, backwards, it's limitless as far as the mounting options that you'll have. Now our installation's going to begin by removing this. It's kind of like a decorative, or a cosmetic cover that's underneath the dash here. There's a couple of push pin fasteners that we'll take out. That should just come down out of the way for us, and that allows us access right up under the dash. Set that aside. If we want to, we can certainly reinstall this. If not, we don't have to. Now here's our parking brake lever. It comes up to a little white panel here. Right above that, we're going to see our gray connector. That's what we'll plug into our pigtail. To release it, there's a little catch here on the bottom. We'll pull down on that, and then just give it a push rearward and get it slid off. Once we've got that tab released, we'll just kind of push it forward slightly, and there you see it's going to come right off there and be accessible. You see that little tab is going to be located right there. You just want to pull down on that tab, and then that will allow you to slide it forward and out. Now we can take the end of the pigtail. It will only slide in one way. Slide that in; you want to hear it click, and then we'll push and pull just to make sure that it's nice and secure. Now our pigtail handle, let's get our bracket in place. I'm going to use this mounting location right here. I really like it. It's convenient. It's out of the way. It's easy to get to. You can choose to come out on this lip here. You can wrap up really limitless options as far as mounting is your concern. I'd stay away from this left side of the dash, because when you get out, your knee kind of comes over this way. You might have some interference. If you want to drill holes in your dash here, perfect. I prefer not to, that's why I stick it underneath here. It's also going to give us a nice clean look. Once installed, all of our wiring can be tucked up and hidden out of the way. Now we're just using two of the self-tapping screws that we're provided to mount our bracket, and we'll use two more of them to secure the actual controller to our bracket. All right, that's really nice and secure. Now let's grab our controller. We're just going to plug that into the pigtail we installed, give it a couple push-pulls, make sure everything's nice and secure, and now let's bring our controller up. We'll have a set of holes here at the bottom or at the top. I don't think the tops of the holes are going to work for me, because I've got to tuck it under the dash, so I'm going to use the bottom set. Let's get that one started, and now I'll get the other side started. Now we want our buttons here where we can reach them. So depending on the size of your finger, if you got a little more of the pudgy sausage fingers, those will be about right for me. If you have a little bit skinnier fingers, maybe you can tuck it up a little bit more. Now just for grins, this is up out of the way pretty nicely back here, but it's making contact with the steering shaft, so let's move that around a little bit. Up here just a little higher on the steering shaft, it doesn't rotate or move when you turn the vehicle, so it gives us a really nice mounting location. We'll take a zip tie and go up and around that, also bring that around our wiring and secure it. I'm going to pull out a little slack, because we don't want any tension here in between the controller and our zip tie. Now we'll go in and trim any excess off that we might have had. There we go. Everything's nice and tight. Then if our pigtails still kind of over . If it's in the way, there's a nice little cubby hole right over here. Tuck that in. It's nice and deep. It can really hold that, so we won't have to mess with it. It gives it a really nice, clean look. With everything working properly, that's going to complete today's installation of the Draw Tite Activator IV, part number 5504, also using the Tekonsha Plug-In Wiring Adapter, part number 3045-P on our 2013 Dodge Durango. .


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