Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2014 Dodge Durango

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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 2014 Dodge Durango

Today on our 2014 Dodge Durango, we're going to take a look at and also show you how to install the Draw-tite Activator 4. This is a time delayed, trailer brake controller that'll work for one of the four axles. Part number is 5504. We're also going to be using the Tekonsha Plug-In Wiring Adapter, part number 3045-P. The Draw-tite Activator 4 is going to be a time delayed brake controller set up. What that means is when we hit the brakes on our vehicle the brake controller is going to pick up on that and it's going to bring up the brakes on our trailer in a specified kind of a time.

We're going to time delay it fast and so it's slowly going to ramp that up. That speed is going to be dependent on how we got our sink set. You can see we've got two buttons up here in the top, plus and minus. The higher we go on that sink setting, the quicker and more aggressively our brakes are going to engage. See we can bring that down. That allows us to fine tune this for the trailer itself.

Basically, the size and the weight of the trailer in relation to the size and weight of your vehicle. We also have a gain adjustment here. You can see those are adjustable in half number increments. That allows us to fine tune for the terrain. It also allows us to fine tune the amount of braking power that we're sending back to our trailer.

On lighter trailers we want our gain to be adjusted lower. If we're on flat terrain we want our gain to be adjusted lower. As we start to raise that gain, our trailer weight is going to get heavier and heavier and our terrain is going to become more hilly. That's the amount of power being sent back to the trailer. You want to be just enough where it's not going to actually lock up the tires on the trailer, which can cause flat spotting. Get a nice manual override lever here.

As you can see we bring that all the way over maxed out and it's going to go right up to whatever we've got the maximum gain set up. In an emergency if we need to apply those trailer brake without applying the brakes in the car, we can pull that over. It's going to go right up to what we've got set and that's going to prevent us overpowering the tires on the trailer and locking them up. Another benefit of a time delayed brake controller is that you don't have to worry about mounting angles. These could be mounted in any position in any configuration. You just really want to keep in mind, you want it to be close enough where it's in arms reach and you can operate your manual override. For the first step in our installation is going to find the plug underneath the dashboard that matches our 3045-P. As you can see this is going to have a plug that will go right into the connection in the brake controller. It's going to come right from our factory connector, which this will plug into. To find that we need to look up here behind the emergency brake petal. Some vehicles are going to have a felt panel down here. You can kind of see it here. We're going to get this pulled down and out of the way. We've got two push fasteners. We've got one located right here. If we come over there would be another one right here in this area. To remove these I'm going to use a trim panel tool. You can also use a screw driver. You just want to get in behind the head of it there. Just pull down. See there. We'll pull that down and out of the way. May have a little plug here for the light. Just take that off. We'll set this aside for now. If you look right back there, it's going to be our plug. There's a zip tie holding it in place there. Let's trim that so we can get it angled up here, so we can work with it. There we go. On the back side of that plug, or right above where that plug as located, that's our brake pedal arm. We don't want to get anything back behind there so we're going to run our plug. Our brake controller's going to be going over here on the right side the steering wheel so we know we want our plug over in this location. I'm going to run this up over a few of the braces that are up here on the dashboard that way you'll have plenty of support. Got a few things we can zip tie too off of up here. That floor vent would be a good area to use there. Back on this side we're just going to plug in our two connectors. Then I'm going to bring it up and we can zip tie it off right to this wire loop. We'll bring out as much as we need here of our pig tail to make a connection with our brake controller an then we can zip tie it off right underneath here so the vent for the floor heat or for the heat that hits your feet. I'm going to go right around that using a pretty good length of zip tie and once we have that where we can get to it you see we can pull out some or be able to bring out back just depending on how our connection needs to be. We'll want that to come out there and then we can put the panel back in that we removed out earlier. All right that should work out real well for us. This is what our bracket is going to look like that we'll use to install the brake controller on our dashboard. Here's where the previous brake controller was installed. You want to kind of stay over on the right side of the dashboard. You can mount it on the left side, but when you get in and out, you run the risk of bumping your leg on it. We're going to mount right up there where the old one was. There's a little bit of a difference in those panels, so we're going to be using those small, flat washers to help accommodate for that. Then we can take our provided hardware or self-tapping screws. We can get those started there and thread it in. Now they give us a great, solid attachment point. At that point we'll bring in our brake controller. You'll have to decide whether you want it to be on the bottom set of holes or on the top set of holes. It looks like the upper set of mounting holes here give us just enough room to slide our fingers in there and get to those adjustments, so I'm going to set it there to keep it as far away from our legs as possible. Your application may be a little bit different. What I like to do is a use a little bit of electrical tape here and just wrap up the wires coming out of the controller. That's going to give us a cleaner look rather than having four different color wires, we'll just have one black wire running down. You want to simply plug those together. Just touch your manual override lever there. Make sure it's working. Then we can tuck these right back up underneath that panel. With everything working as it should, that's going to complete our installation of the Draw-tite Activator 4 trailer brake controller part number 5504. Also using the Tekonsha Plug-In Wiring Adapter, part number 3054-P, both on our 2014 Dodge Durango.

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