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Roadmaster Universal Diode Wiring Kit Installation - 2013 Ford Explorer

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How to Install the Roadmaster Universal Diode Wiring Kit on a 2013 Ford Explorer


Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today on our 2013 Ford Explorer, we're gonna be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Roadmaster Diode Wiring Kit for towed vehicles. So before we get too carried away, kind of talking about the wiring and how it's gonna work and things of that nature, I figured it'd be be just to kinda touch base and refresh ourselves on the main components that we're gonna need to Flat Tow our Ford down the road in the first place. The main components are gonna consist of five different things. So first one being your Base Plate. And what that's gonna do is provide us with a solid and reliable attachment point, that way we can hook our Tow Bar up.

Tow Bar is gonna be the second component. And this is gonna be the physical link that actually connects the front of your SUV to the back of your Motorhome. Third main component, that's gonna be Safety Cables and these are pretty straightforward. These are there in the event of, and unlike the disconnect, is there to keep everything connected together. The fourth main component will be Tow Bar Wiring.

And what this is gonna do is transfer the lighting functions from the back of your coach to the back of your Ford, keeping you safe and legal. And last but not least the fifth main component will be a Supplemental Braking System. And what this is gonna do is apply the brakes in your Explorer whenever you hit the brakes in your Motorhome, helping to bring you to a more complete and predictable stop. And this is a perfect example on how the Tow Bar Wiring or Diode Wiring is gonna be working. So we've got our left turn signal going on Motorhome and it's being sent back here to our vehicle.

So everything's gonna match up and people are gonna know what to expect whenever they're following behind you. Now, in terms of other options, as far as getting lighting back here, you know, there's a couple, the other one is Magnetic Lighting and it works fine. I'm really not a huge fan of it though because you are gonna have to set it up and disassemble it every time you wanna Flat Tow. That's not the case with this one. Once it's installed, it's there.

It's ready to be hooked up. Essentially you just have to plug in a cable and it looks factory. You know, it utilizes your lights already and everything. With the Magnetic Lighting, you gotta set it up, run, you know, drap your wires all the way up to the back of your Motorhome, plug it in. Then when you're done, undo it all. And then not to mention storage, right And storage is really important when you're over the road. If you can eliminate having one extra box of stuff, it's worth it in my opinion. So, you know, diodes, I always like to recommend them. If you can use 'em, that's what I always recommend 'cause they just work, you know We've done a ton of them here, personally as well. I've probably put in, not even, not even kidding probably close to a hundred of these hits and really haven't ran into any issues at all with 'em. So really reliable and we've had a lot of good luck with them. It's not at the front, you know, whenever you are ready to use it you're just gonna take your cable whenever you're ready to Flat Tow rather. You're gonna take your cable, plug it in up front. And the other end of the cable is gonna go to your Motorhomes connector. And that's really all there's to. That's all you have to do. Once you do that, all the lights are gonna work and everything. Speaking of cables though, there's several different kits that you can use. And all of 'em are kind of purpose built for a couple of different situations. The kit that we have here today, this is a Coiled Cable. And I mean, this'll work in any situation. This is the one that our customer just happened to want. But generally speaking, if you look at our Tow Bar here, there's channels, right And the sides of it, and those are there for your lateral cable and your safety cables to run through. So if you have the opportunity to get a kit that has straight cables, as long as your Tow Bar has channels, that's what I'd recommend. And there's a couple different options. So one of 'em is just a straight cable. 6-Way round, 7-Way round on the Motorhome side, you'd run this through and utilize those channels. And then there's a hybrid kit. Same thing, seven to six, but straight. And then the piece on the Motorhome side has some coil action going on there. And you would use this one, I like to recommend this one if you have a really long Tow Bar or let's say if you have a high, low adapter in between your Tow Bar and your Motorhomes Hitch and you have a really good distance in between your towed vehicle and and your Motorhome. This one's got a little bit of extra length. So yeah, that's where this one would really come into play. Like I said, the coiled type, one you can use if anything but I always recommend these if your Tow Bar does not have the channels. And 'cause obviously if your Tow Bar don't have the channels then you can't run anything through it, right And being coiled, that's gonna help keep it up off the ground when you're going straight and then obviously stretch out when you take those wide turns. So this one's a seven to six as well. There's also a kit that has the coiled cable. This one's a seven to 4-Way around though. Really aren't too popular, but you know it's available if that's what you're trying to go with or if you're existing setup you already have some parts or whatever. And then there's this one. This one probably is the least popular at least from what I've seen. It's just a 4-Way Flat Connector to a 4-Way Flat if your Motorhome does not have a 7-Way. So maybe if you have an older Motorhome or something, this is always an option for you as well. And then you have the kits that I like to just call 'em kind of the bare bones kits. You get a bundle of wiring and your diodes and the couple connectors, a couple small things. You do not get the plug or a cable. And you would want to use that kit if you had like a premier Tow Bar. For example, the one that kind of comes to my mind is the Nighthawk. A lot of those really high end Tow Bars are going to come with a cable and a Connector plug. So if that's what you have, you just want the bare bones kit 'cause you don't need to buy extra cables and stuff you already have, right So there's a handful of different kits available. And I just wanted to kind of mention that, go over that. That way we can make sure you get what you actually need on the first time. So when it comes to wiring, you know, really not a whole lot to it. You want something that's gonna work, be easy to use and know what you actually need to get and what's gonna work with your particular setup. So hopefully this video kinda clear things up a little bit, give you some perspective and helps you figure out what's gonna be the right setup for you. Now, as far as getting this installed, it's not that it's really confusing by any means, it's time consuming though. Just having to run wires from the front, all the way to the back and do all that just takes up some time. So be prepared to spend a little while on it to get it all set up. But as long as you stay focused, really shouldn't give you too many issues. Speaking of that, if you wanna see how that's done, feel free to hang around. We'll go ahead and I'll wire everything up together now. To begin our installation we're gonna be here at the front of our vehicle. And obviously we have the facial and everything removed. And that's because we're doing this as the same time that we did our Base Plate and it's a lot more room to work. And first thing you wanna do is take your wiring and just run the end of it over here to where your mounting bracket's gonna be. So here's how I fashioned our bracket. This is called the No-Drill Short Bracket, just kind of clamps around the Base Plate. So we have a few different things going on here. This is gonna be the wiring for our diodes. And while we're in here, we're also gonna do the wiring for our charge line and the wire for our braking system. That's what this is here. Just kind of trying to think ahead and only have to get in here one time. That said, we're gonna take our dust cover, slide that over the wire and then Diode Wiring. I'm going to split the ends. So just kind of carefully cut in between the ends of the wire, excuse me. And we're just gonna separate 'em a few inches. So, and what I like to do is just kind of cut the ends off, give us a fresh start here and then we're gonna strip back the ends of the insulation. About that far should do the trick. So once you have these strip back, we can give 'em a good twist. That'll help ensure that we get a little bit better connection, not just having loose single wires in the back of our plug. And then we can actually grab the Connector Plug. So for our Diode Wiring, we're gonna be using four. We're gonna have this one here labeled TM for Tail Lights. So the Brown Wire will go to it. You just wanna back that set screw out enough to get the wire in, but try not to pull it all the way out. Let's see here, this one, label GD for Ground. So the White Wire will go to it. Same deal here. We'll just back then out a little ways. This one will be labeled LT for Left Turn. So the Yellow Wire will go into it. And then this one will be RT for Right Turn and the Green Wire will go there. So with that done, we'll grab the appropriate wire, place it into the terminal, simply tighten on a set screw. Gonna do the same thing for our remaining wires. So once you have those wires hooked up for your Diode Wiring, this is how it's gonna look. So once all your wires are hooked up, you can take your dust cover, put that in place. And then at the very end, once everything works, if you wanna put some grease or seal it or anything in there, you can. So I'd like to wait till the end though if you need to get in there and repair something, not a big mess. But go ahead and get this secured. Now we need to route our wiring up into the engine compartment. So things right out there, the connector plug along the backside of a Base Plate it uses Zip Tie there to keep it tight. Right through here there's a little air dam deal there. I just drill the small hole on it, kind of just to clean it up. So rods are there, right up through there. And then kind of comes up. And almost behind her headlight where then it goes up into the engine compartment. And there is where it all comes out. Once you have your Diode Wiring into the engine compartment, you need to run it through and drop it down to the underside of your vehicle. So here's where I continue to route our wire, just kinda along the side of our battery there, bringing it back through here and dropped it essentially straight down along our firewall to the underside of our Explorer. It's not underneath the vehicle, here's where our wiring drops down. When you're doing this, I know there's a lot going on but do your best to avoid any hot or moving parts. You can use some Zip Ties, keep the wiring secure. But with that in mind, I ran it over through here and we actually have, it looks like a little frame support or something but I was able to run our wire through it and kind of see a piece of it there. Comes out of the frame support and then I just pushed it into our frame rail, runs along and it comes down along with our fuel tank strap. And it runs up and over our sub-frame. So it kind of goes over and then starts to kind of veer over to the driver's side a little bit 'cause you can see maybe a little piece in it there. And in order, it just continues along on that side of our muffler. And right here it's kinda where our wires start to merge. So what you're gonna do is separate the Yellow and Brown Wire from the rest of the harness, all right. And then that leaves you with a Green and White Wire. And then what you're gonna also do is take another piece of White Wire. So this is a piece of laying around but you're probably gonna need maybe your 10 foot probably. And this one end will run up with our Yellow and Brown Wire into the driver's side to light pocket. The other end of your extra White Wire is gonna run over to the passenger side with our Green Wire. So that's kind of touch base when we have our extra White Wire, which is this one here. The original White Wire that you ran all the way to the back here into Green Wires. So those are all gonna get routed up through here. The White Wire that we routed all the way back here from the very front, I struck the insulation back on that. And we're gonna crimp on a ring terminal and ground this, probably here in this area eventually. But we'll just continue routing our actual White Wire and the Green Wire for now. So just continues along through here where it drops down right here. And eventually these are gonna run up into the passenger side Tail Light pocket. So what all this wiring hanging, but before we go back up top, let's get our Ground Wire connected. Back up to our Ground Wire here. We're gonna take that ring terminal we talked about, slide that on and crimp it down. I'm gonna use the provided self tapping screw. To get it secured, you wanna secure this to a thick piece of metal that'll provide us with a good ground. All right. So up top, now we can get our Tail Lights removed to get 'em unhooked and get our wiring up here unhooked and everything else. So we have these two covers. You can pop these off, just take a Flathead screwdriver, something and just kind of pry 'em off there. That'll expose an eight millimeter head bolt, pull those out. You can grab the Tail Light, mark it back and slide it off. Be careful with these 'cause sometimes this part can get hung up. And if you start, you know, ramming it back and forth a lot of times you can break this thin plastic, super thin. So be careful, if you have to, if it's stuck, you use a palm of your hand and kinda, you know, hit it like that, some forward pressure while you're pulling. And what helps sometimes too, if you just sprays soapy water in behind here, kinda get it lubricated a little bit. But once you get it out, we'll go ahead and disconnect it. So in our case, we have these quarter turn bolts, you just rotate 'em a quarter turn, it'll pop out. One plug you push down on that tab, pull it out and you can set our light off to the side and repeat the same process to get the other one removed. So now we need to get our wiring up inside of the Tail Light pocket. So what you can do, I just have a thick piece of wire here. You can use like a piece of tubing or a coat hanger even, push it through this opening in the Tail Light pocket, and you can reach up and kind of grab it and pull it down from the bottom. And you can tape your wires to it and then just heat 'em up. Inside here, I kind of doubled that wire back so it's a little bit thicker. This is kind of a tight opening, but you can use a little pry action here to get it open out. You can go ahead and feed these wires up where we need 'em and do the same thing on the other side. So what I did was just take our wiring and just kind of cut at the length. We obviously didn't need a bunch extra and then I strip back all the insulation ends. The Brown Wire and the White Wire, what we're gonna do is twist these ends together. So you wanna make sure they're nice and tight. And on that one you're gonna take the Yellow Spade Terminal, place it over both ends, curb it down. For the Yellow Wire and matter of fact, all the remaining wires, you already use the Blue Colored Spade Terminal. We'll put that on that in. And then we can start to look at our factory wires here. So there was some tape on 'em. I took it off to make it easier to work with. And what we we're looking for was the stoplight or Brake Light signal as well as the Running Light signal, the Tail Light signal. And that happens to be this Brown colored wire and this Yellow colored wire. The Brown colored wire, that is going to be your Stop Light signal and the Yellow colored wire, that's gonna be your Tail Light signal. So we'll go about halfway down. The Yellow one actually breaks off into two yellows. So pay attention to that. You wanna cut into the single strand here about halfway down or so. We're gonna cut 'em and then strip back all the ends of insulation. We're gonna twist the wire and all the ends are gonna receive one of these Blue Terminals here. We'll kind of just go through these one by one until we get 'em all done. So once we have all the ends crimped on, we can take our diodes and we're gonna go color for color. So then closest to the plug, you're gonna take the side that says out with a single diode, plug that in. Same deal for our Yellow Wire. And then the side that says in, so there's gonna be two, take the corresponding colors. So obviously yellow to yellow and brown to brown. And with yellow being our Tail Light signal. Don't mix us up here, it's easy to do that since we have a Yellow Wire. But with the factory yellow being the Tail Light signal, you wanna take the terminal that has a White and Brown Wire and then plug that in and the Yellow Wire will go to the factory Brown Wire. So that's how those are gonna look. And once you have 'em hooked up, then we can grab our Tail Light and get it all plugged back in. Once you got your Tail Light in your hand, you wanna secure these. So I think what we're gonna do is peel that packing paper off each diode, just stick 'em together. Then I'm just gonna zip tie this to the rest of the bundle of the wire. It's not a lot of room in these Tail Light pockets to do anything too fancy, but this will be just fine. Now we're able to get everything pulled back in. And over here on the passenger side, you essentially did the same exact thing. Even the factory wire colors are the same and share the same function. So really the only difference is the new wires that you ran. Since the Brown Wire was for our Stop Lights, that means our new Green Wire goes to that diode and with the factory yellow being our Tail Light single, our White Wire goes there. So same deal. Again, once you're hooked up you can simply reinstall the light. Now that's a good idea to test rewiring to make sure that it's working properly. So here at the front, I just hooked up to a Test Box which will simulate our Motorhome and we'll turn on our Tail Lights, try our left turn signal, our right turn signal and our Brake Lights. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Roadmaster Diode Wiring Kit for towed vehicles on our 2013 Ford Explorer..


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