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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2012 Chevrolet Express Van

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How to Install the Trailer Brake Controller on a 2012 Chevrolet Express Van


Speaker: Today on our 2012 Chevrolet Express Van we'll be installing the Hopkins InSIGHT Flex-Mounted Trailer Brake Controller, Part Number HM47297. Now let's go ahead and go over a few features in how the brake controller works. We have our slide here which is the manual override. There's a single button over here on the left hand side, it's a sensitivity button. There are seven different settings that basically tell the controller how aggressively you want the brakes applied. The two buttons over here on the right hand side are what adjust the power output going back to the trailer brakes. The top button lowers the power setting and the bottom button will increase the amount of maximum power that can go back to your trailer brakes.

It will go from 0 to 99. Let's go ahead and first point out the factory wiring that we'll be connecting to. It's the bundle of four wires right here, up underneath the driver's side. Now we're going to go ahead and choose the location to mount our flex display. This is the little box that will give you the digital read-out. Now that we have our location chosen here on the dash we're going to go ahead and route our wire down between the dash and the door seal.

We'll go ahead and use a small plastic trim panel tool to help route our wire down. If you don't have one of this a small flathead screwdriver will work just as well. Now that we have our wire pulled up underneath the dash we can leave it there for now because we'll be later connecting it in with a Smart-box. Next we're going to need to choose our location for the flex controller. Here's what our flex controller looks like and it does come with a mounting plate that just snaps on to the back side, line up the pads and put it in place. This mounting plate here will allow it to mount on a curved surface if need be.

We're actually going to put it right here, which is pretty flat. It will also allow you to use some self-tapping screws in these three holes if you don't want to use the two-sided adhesive that comes with the kit. Go ahead and put our backing plate on. It will be right in this area right here. We'll then go ahead and take our wire here, we're going to route it up underneath the dash to the same area that we did the other one, where we'll be later connecting it in with the Smart-box. This right here is the Smart-box. You have to mount this either on the kick panel here or on the center console but it needs to be level and it needs to be facing towards the front of the vehicle like this.

Now over here, you have to make sure that it also clears the emergency brake pedal, which if we mount it down in this location it will. Now that we have the location picked out to mount the Smart-box we're going to go ahead and set that aside for now and make our connections in with the factory wiring harness first. It will make things a little bit easier. Now heres the wiring harness that comes with the brake controller that we'll be attaching to the factory harness. This end here will connect to the Smart-box and these four wires here will connect to our factory wiring harness using some butt connectors. We're going to go ahead and strip the wires back and add our butt connectors in out here to make it a little easier. To do that we'll simply strip some wire back and then crimp the butt connector in place. We're going to go ahead and snip off the taped off ends of the factory wiring harness that we pointed out earlier they're mounted up underneath the driver's side dash here. The red wire with the white stripe, the power wire, from the factory wiring harness, we'll be connecting that with the black wire on the brake controller. This larger dark blue wire here on the factory wiring harness we'll connect in with the blue wire on the brake controller harness. Next the black wire from the factory wiring harness will connect to the white wire on our brake controller harness. This is the ground wire. The blue wire with the white stripe is the brake signal. It's what tells the brake controller to turn on because the brake pedal has been pressed. That wire will connect here with the red wire on the brake controller harness. Now with all of our connections are made we'll go ahead and tape them up using some electric tape. To make things a little easier we're going to go ahead and plug our connections in here to the Smart-box before we actually mount the Smart-box. We'll go ahead and take the wire here from the flex controller, slide it in, you push it down, a little tab there will click into place. This little tab right here. Then go ahead and take the flex display connection point, put it here in the middle one. Same process, just push it in and it will lock into place. We'll go ahead and connect the four wires here, factory wiring harness to the four wires coming out of the back of the Smart-box. We'll line up the wiring harness and again there's a little locking tab. Push it together and make sure the locking tab goes all the way in. Now, you can either choose to mount the Smart-box here with the supplied adhesive squares or some of the little self-tapping screws that come with the kit as well. We're going to go ahead and mount the Smart-box using the self-tapping screws. Now that we have the Smart-box mounted we'll go ahead and use some zip ties to secure up any excess wire here underneath the dash. Now that we've secured our access wire we'll go ahead and trim off any excess zip tie.Next we're going to go ahead and clean the area that . We're going to use a two-sided tape to adhere our flex mount, as well as our flex display, with a little bit of rubbing alcohol. Next, we'll go ahead and take one of the squares of the two-sided adhesive, peel of the backing and adhere here to our flex display. Then go ahead and peel the other side off, then go ahead and press firmly down on the dash, securing the flex display to it. Now because we're going to go ahead and use the two-sided tape here on our flex controller we're going to go ahead and pull this backing plate off because we won't need it because this section here is pretty flat. Now we'll go ahead and repeat the same process by using some rubbing alcohol to clean the surface first. We'll just adhere our two-sided tape to the back of the flex controller and then we'll mount it directly to the dash. That will do it for our installation of the Hopkins InSIGHT Flex-Mount Trailer Brake Controller Part Number HM47297 on our 2012 Chevrolet Express Van. .


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