Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2002 GMC Sierra

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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 2002 GMC Sierra

Today on our 2002 GMC 2500, we going to be showing you how to install the Hopkins InSIGHT. This is a Proportional Flex-Mount Trailer Brake Controller for one up to four axles. We're also going to be using the Hopkins Plug-In Simple Brake Wiring Adapter, part# HM47795. The nice feature of the InSIGHT is that it constantly monitors our trailer, to make sure we have a proper connection. With the trailer plugged in, you'll see this small LED light is going to come on. As long as that's on, you know you've got a good connection with your trailer. If it we're to come loose or wiggle out, for some reason, you'll see that light then goes off. As you see here, our display is going to indicate, in percentage, how of the gain that we've got set we're actually using.

The higher the percentage goes, the more the braking amount that we've got set, we're actually using. Our manual override lever is going to allow us to quickly apply brakes to our trailer in an emergency situation. The further we pull that lever over, the more the braking force that we've got set, we're using. You can see here, to raise the braking force, we simply tap the plus button, and to reduce it, we hit our minus button. As you can see, this is going to go up in increments of five. The small grey button that's on the bottom, in the position that we have it mounted here, this is going to be our sensitivity setting. The sensitivity settings will be one through seven, and that's going to set how quickly, and how aggressively the brakes on our trailer activate. The nice thing about the adjustable gain is that this is going to allow us to set up our brake controller for every unique situation that we get in.

Simply by adjusting these levels, we're going to be able to set that exactly where we need it to get the right weight. To go one step further, with the sensitivity setting that we have here on the bottom, we can fine tune that to get the braking response that we're comfortable with, or that we want from our trailer. The smart box that we've mounted here, this is what does all the work. This is acting as a proportional brake controller that has a sensor mounted right inside of it. If we hit our brakes lightly, this is going to apply light brakes to our trailer. If we hit them hard in an emergency situation, then we're going to have heavier braking force going back to our trailer.

The great benefit to these is, unlike a time delay brake controller, this is going to send instant feedback back to our trailer and get our brakes working very quickly for us. This has internal fail safes set up. One would be, when your plug comes out, the lights going to go off on the display and indicate that. It's also going to offer protection for both our vehicle and our brake controller, to keep those electrical systems working properly. To protect our trailer, during prolonged stops, it's actually going to reduce the amount of braking force that's going to our trailer, so if we're sitting at a long stop, we won't have to worry about overheating. Here's what our InSIGHT kit is going to consist of. We're going to have our smart box.

This takes the place of the brake controller, this has the proportional sensors in it. This is going to do all of our functions for us. We are going to have a flex display. This is going to allow us to mount this pretty much anywhere we want. This is going to be our flex control. This is going to act just like the manual override lever on a standard brake controller. Here we've got our plus and our minus for our gain, and on the other side we've got our sensitivity settings. To help us with mounting these, we're going to have some zip ties. We've also got some self tapping screws and some double stick tape. We're also going to have instructions for that, and it's going to come with a hard wire kit. This would be a pig tail that you could hard wire into your vehicle's wiring harness as it sits. We're going to be replacing that with our Hopkins Plug-in Simple kit. This is going to offer us a plug to go directly into our factory harness. It's going to come with one wire that's not attached, currently. For our application it needs to go in the A slot, so if we have the push tab on the bottom, it's going to go in the top, right hand slot. I'm going to slide it in with the rounded edge facing the middle, and just push it in till it clicks. Now that connection is ready, it'll work with our '02. The first thing we want to do is figure out where we're going to be mounting our three components, and we want to make sure that our four foot leads are actually going to get us there. As you can see here with the flex mount, you can really adjust that to about any angle, so that usually is a really good location for mounting, unless your customer has requested something different. We're going to clean that off really well with some rubbing alcohol. We'll also clean off the flex display here, itself. We'll take our foam tape, this is double side it. We'll adhere that right to the back of the mount, there. Really press it on to make sure it sticks good. Position it where we want it, and then it's just a matter of pressing down firmly on it for twenty or thirty seconds, to make sure it gets a really good stick. On this side, we're going to pull out on this little panel here, on the bottom, you can see that slides out pretty easily. If we look behind there, we'll have the two Phillips screws. Let's back those out, and we'll route our wire right behind that panel, and it really won't be very noticeable. I'm just going to run this right down near our parking break now, that way we can put our screws back in, put our cover back on, and then we can deal with routing that further once we get underneath there. Now we've got our flex control here. As you can see, there is an old break controller mounted here. We can mount this upright, just like that. We can mount it side to side. It really doesn't matter how you want to mount it. I think, in this application, our customer would probably want it mounted like that, so we can kind of camouflage those old holes. That's where we're going to put it, just like that. We'll just take our mounting bracket there, get it leveled out, and we can use a couple of self tapping screws that are provided to get it secure. Now we'll take our controller, slide that right on. As you can see, it's going to give us a good fit. You can actually pop it off if you want to remove it, or tuck it away, but typically, and what we're going to do is kind of run our wire down here, so it's a little bit more of a permanent install. That's going to slide right into that gap and go right down, and then we'll run this over these support brackets down here, again, over here towards our emergency brake area. We'll use a couple of our provided zip ties here to get this secured off. That should give us good slack there. You can see right here is where I'm going to go right over the top, here. That's getting us down here in the general vicinity. I'm going to secure this one over here a little bit. That way it's not going to be anywhere near where the mechanism for our parking brake is. Now it's time to get our pigtail hooked up, so for that, we just want to take this plastic nut that's on this cover, we'll take that off. Kind of pull out on the side, take that off. The brown end of that pigtail is going to go right up top here. You can see we've got one slot here for a plug, it's going to go just to the right of that one, in the second slot. Push it in until you hear it click, and you should be able to pull on it without it coming back out. Now our cover is going to go right back into place. Push that nut back on there, we're back nice and secure, and that will give us plenty of room to get down here. I think this is going to be the area where we're going to mount that brake controller, but I want to pull this panel off and mount it to it. I don't want to mount it while it's in the car, in case there's any electronics back there. We'll take our smart box there and just figure out where we can position it so it will be kind of out of the way as much as possible. We need to mount this either to the kick panel or to the center console. We want this to be running in the direction of travel. Once we have our position picked out there, a couple of marks, as long as we know where the top holes are we'll know where the bottom holes are, and we'll pull this panel out. Just going to pull up on this door sill a little bit. Get it back about that much, you'll see where the end of that panel is. We'll just kind of pull out and back on that panel. There you can see are the electronics that you do not want to drill into. Where these come through here on the back side, I'm just going to trim those off a little bit, so we won't have to worry about that wiring. We can start making some connections, here. You see, we're going to have two different sizes of plug ins, one that's going to go in here, and then the larger one goes in the middle slot, like that. Of course, the adapter we installed, that's going to go into the brake controller itself just like that, and hear that click. I think it's a good idea, at this point, to just kind of get all these wires together, and tape up that first section. That way you don't have multiple different color wires hanging down, and it won't look too messy. Now we'll bring our side panel back into place here. Looks like it's going to work out really well for us. Just pop that threshold back into place. As for our wiring, we're just going to tuck that right back, and right over top of that box that we opened up there, and then all the excess wire, we can bundle up here at the top, and we'll also zip tie it back, so we don't have to worry about it coming up and interfering with our parking brake. Here you'll see, as we activate our manual override level, the higher we go, the further our needles move, indicating more braking force, and then as we slowly reduce it you'll see the needles go down, indicating less. With everything working as it should, that's going to complete our installation of the Hopkins InSIGHT, a Flex-Mount Proportional Trailer Brake Controller for one up to four Axles, part# HM47297. Also using the Hopkins Plug-in Simple Brake Wiring Adapter, part# HM47795.

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