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Roadmaster Universal Diode Wiring Kit Installation - 2017 Ford F-150

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How to Install the Roadmaster Universal Diode Wiring Kit on a 2017 Ford F-150


Hello neighbors. It's Brad here at etrailer, and today we're taking a look and installing the Roadmaster Diode Wiring Kit on a 2017 Ford F-150. Now this is gonna be available in a few different configurations. On the wiring itself, you're gonna have bare with no connector, a four pole as well as a six pole. Now, as far as your umbilical connection, you're also gonna be able to get that in a straight cable, a coiled cable, as well as a hybrid cable. Now there's five main components when flat towing a vehicle.

And the first one we'll start off on the vehicle side is gonna be the base plate. And the base plate is where you actually attach to the frame or the bumper supports of the vehicle, creating a sturdy mount for your tow bar to attach. And that's gonna be our second component. The tow bar, creates the connection point between the towed vehicle and the RV. You're also gonna have your diode wiring, which is gonna transfer the turn signals, running lights and brake lights, as well as sometimes 12 volt sources from our RV to the towed vehicle.

And that way people behind you know what you're actually doing when you're turning and braking. You're also gonna have your safety cables here. And just in case of an accidental disconnect, that's gonna make sure that this stays attached. Now, if a catastrophic disconnect happens, you're also gonna have your supplemental breaking system. And what that's gonna do is going to slow and stop the vehicle when the brakes are applied on the RV, but you also have a breakaway switch here included with that breaking system.

So if that disconnect happens, it's gonna pull this pin, applying the brakes on the vehicle. That way it's not rolling down the highway. And when you flat tow your vehicle, it essentially becomes a trailer behind your RV. And just as a trailer would have trailer lights, you're gonna want to do the same with your vehicle. That way the people behind you know what you're doing.

Now, many times you can get magnetic lights that stick on the vehicle, but on a truck like this, that's not so easy. And that's really just one more component to have to tow around and hook up. Once you have your diode wiring installed, you'll see it's gonna mimic the lights, the running lights, the brake lights, and the turn signals of your RV. So that way, when you plug in, you're ready to have your lights working properly. Now those signals are transferred from the RV with our seven pole here, going back to our six pole mounted here on the vehicle. So, really a lot of this installation is just making sure we tie into our taillights with those diodes and running our wiring up here to make that connection. Now, as far as installation goes, it's pretty simple to do. You are gonna be tying into your factory taillights and you just kind of make a few quick splices with some spade connectors, and you're gonna run some wire up to the front, but we're gonna take a look at that and get your diode wiring installed. Now, if you've installed your base plate, you wanna make sure that you leave that bumper off. It makes running the wires quite a bit easier. And when you mount your six pole, you're gonna actually need to feed the wires through the bumper and then attach it. So, having your bumper off is gonna make the wiring a lot easier to not only run, but also mount up. To begin our installation, we're gonna start by taking our spool of our wire, and we're gonna just put it at the front here. I'm gonna leave myself just a little bit of extra, because eventually we're gonna be tying into our six pole. Now we're gonna be routing this back to the taillights. And part of this is really just making sure that we're not making contact with anything that's gonna be moving such as suspension or drive train or anything hot that can damage the wire. So I've gone ahead and actually ran it through this frame rail. And the way I did that, I just took some airline tubing that I had extra of, but really you can use anything. That's a, you know, something to feed this wire through. And really the reason I did this is because to route it over, I really couldn't find a nice way to do it and putting it in the frame rail means that it is protected. So you can kind of see that I fed it through here. So I've actually routed it through here. And I've just put a little bit of wire loom just to kind of protect those wires from rubbing against any of the metal and throughout the rest of it, I've really just used a lot of the factory wiring harnesses or loom, or even some of the brackets for the brake cables to attach it. So I pretty much just routed it on the top of the frame rail and brought it over here. And this is gonna make it easier on you because you're not gonna have to be completely under. You can actually just kind of follow where we have our brake line brackets. Now don't zip tie it to the brake lines. Those are hard lines. You don't want those to get damaged. So using the brackets here, there is an opening to put your zip ties. So, maybe every foot or whatever you deem necessary, any turn, throw a zip tie on there, just to kind of keep it on there. Now this point in between the frame rail and the fuel tank, you can kind of see, I routed it here, went over this center support. And then just following again, that wire loom here made my way to the back. Now you might notice that I only have two wires here. And the reason being is our brown and yellow are going to be going to our driver's side taillight. I've peeled back the white wire quite far, and I put a ground screw into the frame, and we're gonna see that kind of back a little bit, just kind of right before the fuel tank. I mounted this up. The reason I peeled that white wire back is to gain quite a bit of extra wire as we're gonna be using that to jump over to our other taillight. So having that extra white wire makes it a lot easier than having to extend wires. I also split my green wire over and I kind of just ran it in this little, little spot here using the actual holes as well as some of the wire loom there to attach it. And then I have it just kind of hanging on our passenger side because this is gonna tie into the passenger light. So now that we have these split up and we have our extra white wire from that ground wire, we can start putting our diodes in. So now we're gonna need to remove our taillight here on the driver's side. And this is gonna be an eight millimeter socket to get these bolts out. And then our taillight should come out fairly easy. Sometimes there's some, some clips that will hold it in. So a little wiggling back and forth allows this to separate here. We got a bottom clip here. And then what we're gonna do is take our wiring plug here and just separate it from the tail light. And we're gonna be tying into these wires. So what we need to do is actually peel back this wire loom, as well as the tape. And I'm gonna go back pretty far. It just makes it a little bit easier to get those diodes in place. And that way you still have movement to plug it back into the tail light. So I'm gonna go ahead and get this all peeled back, just being careful. You don't want to cut any of the wires while doing this, but you may need to take a razor blade to kind of get some of this tape off. So we've got our insulation kind of taken off here. And what we're looking for is the stop and turn light, as well as the running lights on here. And you can actually test it with an electrical tester here, just running through the light sequence and finding which pin it's in and the corresponding wire, but I've gone ahead and saved you that trouble. So the wires that we're looking for blue, and there's a small gray stripe on there, and then we're also gonna grab the gray with the orange. That's kind of wrapped around here by this purple with orange. So I'm gonna kind of just kind of separate these out a little bit. And what I'm do is make a cut right here on both of them. And that should be far enough back that we can get our diodes in easily and still have enough room to work around with our plug. So I'm gonna separate this guy and unravel it, making it a little bit easier for us on both ends. So our diode's gonna just kind of jump these together, but we'll need to actually put spade connectors on all of these ends. So I'm gonna go ahead and strip these back a little bit. Now these are pretty small wires. So just take your time here. You wanna make sure that you have nice and good contact, so we'll get all four of these stripped back, and then you can go ahead and grab a diode, and we're gonna just take our spade connectors here off, And then we'll just go ahead and get our spade connectors put on all four of these. Now, since they are kind of smaller wires, something I suggest if you strip it back just a little bit more and kind of bend the end, that's gonna probably give it a little bit better bite when you crimp it down, you don't have to do that. I think it just gives it just a little more secure of a fit in there. So we'll go ahead and do that to all of our wires and get these crimped down. Now, something else I suggest is when you do crimp them down, just give it a slight tug just to make sure that it's really in place, but also, so it doesn't come loose over time, just like that. So now we can take our diode that we've taken our spade connectors off and we can go ahead and put the plug side here. This is gonna be out. So we wanna make sure that these ones plug into that single out. We'll take another diode and do the same here, and then just take the corresponding wire and you can put it on either terminal here. It does not matter. So we'll just put our blue and gray with our blue and gray here. And then I'll do the same with our gray and orange. And at this point we need to actually pull up our yellow and brown wire. So I'm gonna go ahead and get an airline tube. You can kind of use anything like a string or whatever to kind of reach down, just to feed those wires up. You could probably do it by hand too. Just seeing that there is an opening. So let's get these wires pulled up. So I have my yellow and brown pulled up. I'm also gonna take my white wire and feed this down, and this is gonna be a jumper wire for our running lights circuit. It's gonna go over to the passenger. So I'm just gonna pull this down and get our, all of our wires kind of the same length. So now I'm gonna just cut off the extra excess wire that we have here, and I'm gonna go ahead and strip all these back. And now this is where it gets slightly different. Our white being the jumper wire is gonna need to go with the brown wire and we're gonna be using the yellow spade connector. You're gonna see that there's one of them and it's just a larger diameter for the gauge of wire because we have two of 'em here. So what we'll do is just twist these up and put our yellow spade connector right there. And then we'll put a blue on our yellow. So our yellow is going to be the left turn signal here. So we need to tie this in with the gray and orange. So I'll just go ahead and plug that in here. And then our yellow is going to go with our blue and gray here. Might get a little tight here. You can see just the spade connectors there. So just gotta be patient. You don't wanna break the diode, but once we have these all plugged in, what I'm gonna do is kind of just tidy this up and also just make sure that there's no stress on these wires. So putting a little electrical tape before and after the connections, and then we're gonna zip tie these up. Now there is double sided tape here, so you can stick those together and kind of tie your wires in and then zip tie it up, put a little bit of tape, and then that should be good. Now to be a little bit more clear, it is a gray with brown wire here, not with the gray with orange, and you can see they're pretty similar looking and the best way to make sure that you have the proper one is on your pins. While testing, you can find that the second and third pin are gonna be the ones that we tie into. So double check that because they do look very similar, especially if you don't have proper lighting. So just make sure that it's these two that you're tying into. So you can see, I've just kind of made those connections there and then just zip tied this up to kind of keep it from moving. So now really at this point, we can go ahead and plug our taillight back in. And you can just kind of tuck your diodes kind of in this pocket here. And that way you can get your taillight back in. And then since we saw our wiring, our green running over already, we're gonna route our white wire that we created as a jumper and run it at the same kind of the same path. And that way we make it over to our passenger side, where we'll remove our taillight and continue on installation. Now here on our passenger side, you're gonna see, we have our purple and orange wire. Now there are actually two purple and orange wires. So you're gonna want to kind of look here at your plug and it's gonna be your second pin. And there's also gonna be the blue and gray that we're tying into. You're gonna see that these are next to each other. So that's how, you know, you have the proper ones. So just follow that wire and make sure that you're cutting into the proper one. From there, you'll make your connections. Your green wires, which is gonna be your turn signal, goes to the purple and orange. And then your white jumper wire that you had for your running lights from the other side is gonna tie into the blue and gray. Now with everything buttoned up, we can get our taillight back in. Now I did run a little bit of extra tape here and that's because you have this little strut for the tailgate to drop down. So you wanna make sure that that's not getting caught. There's also this clip here that goes on to the side. I'd suggest putting that in there. That way it's not gonna pinch those wires. So let's get this back in place. And then we can head up to the front of the vehicle and we're gonna get our wires attached into our six pole. Now up front, this is where we're gonna be taking our wires and connecting to our six pole. But in order to do that, we're gonna need to put our bumper back on. That way we can kind of get it fed in and we can mount up our brackets. But you'll see, this is our diode wiring. I also am doing a charge line on this vehicle, and that's something I suggest during a flat tow, you might wanna throw this in. And what that's gonna do is just give you 12 volt power and it's going to charge the vehicle's battery while towing. And that way, when you get to your destination, you're not having to jump your vehicle. And some of them actually have to stay in the accessory mode for tow mode, and that can kill the battery while going down the road. So now we're gonna get our bumper back up in the reverse order that we took it off. We're just gonna make sure that we feed our wires through here. And really what we're trying to do is get these studs started. There's also the studs on the bumper that go through that will be tightening those up. But if we can get these hand tightened, that's gonna get us in a good position. I'm gonna take my wires and just kind of feed 'em through where the base plate arms are located. And then raise this in place. We're gonna get these studs aligned here. So it does have a plate. And it's possible that these will kind of move on you. So you may have to push it from the back end to kind of get these, to pull back up. But if we get a few threads on here, it's at least gonna hold it in place. So I'm just gonna hand tighten this one on. Now, another thing you're gonna want to make sure you do when putting your bumper back on is plugging in your fog lamps. So make sure you get those plugged in as well. As far as mounting up your wiring, your six pole here, you can kind of pick a few different places. In fact, it comes with a bracket. So if your state doesn't require a license plate, you can absolutely get away by putting it in the center here and mounting it up. But this one does have a front plate. So I've used this plastic cover here and I've just drilled an inch and a quarter whole saw hole here. And that's gonna allow us to put our plug in place, but we're gonna need to feed the wires through, make that attachment that way it can sit on there. So what I've done is taken our boot and slid that on there. And I'm just gonna slide this back a little bit here, and I'm gonna go ahead and cut my wires back to the same length as my red wire here. Now, again, you may or may not have that red wire if you have a charge line, but we're just gonna cut this back and then separate our wires up. And I just peel back maybe about two or three inches here. That's gonna make it a lot easier to just work with our individual wires. And then we're gonna want to strip all of these back. So I suggest having a little bit of extra wire, it's gonna be a little bit easier to make these connections here. I'm kind of working with what I got here, but we're gonna make the connections on our little spots here. And you're gonna see there is a small Phillips screw. And what I'm gonna do is actually back these out. Now, you don't wanna take 'em out completely because they're kind of tricky to get back in. But as I open this up, it's just gonna make a spot for that wire to go in, and this is what's gonna hold that wire in place once we tighten it. And there's actually gonna be corresponding letters that will say where these need to go. And so we're just gonna be matching those up. So we have a GD for ground, an LT for left turn signal, an RT for right turn signal. We have TM for tail markers. And then we also have this center section. This is gonna be for our 12 volt power supply. So that's gonna be where our charge line goes. So I'm gonna leave. There's an S here. We're not gonna be using that here. So I'm gonna leave that one closed up. The rest of them, I'm gonna open. And then I'm gonna get my corresponding wires in here. So starting off, we can go ahead and put our ground in. So white goes to GD. Just make sure you have a nice clean end to put in there. And then once sliding it on there, you're just gonna kind of tighten this down. Now, you don't have to get too crazy here. You want it snug, but if you over tighten, it can actually damage those wires. Okay. So now that I have 'em attached, I'm just gonna run through the colors and the corresponding letters. So in the center section here, we have our red wire and that's gonna be this long one here. And that's just gonna be our 12 volt power supply for that charge line. Now, here I have RT, which is gonna be our green wire, and that's gonna be our right turn signal. LT is gonna be our yellow and that's our left turn. GD is gonna be our white and that's our ground. And then we also have our TM, which is gonna be our ground, which is our tail marker lights. So now what I'm gonna do here is kind of push this back in place. And then I'm just gonna take a little bit of dielectric grease. And I'm just gonna kind of put 'em here in the terminals. Just kind of goop this up and that's just gonna help keep these wires. You having the longest life possible without breaking down. It's just a little added protection. Now if you need some dielectric grease, we actually have some here available at etrailer. And then with our grease in there, we'll go ahead and get our boot on. So just slide that over. And then for another little added protection here, we're just going to put some electrical tape around this, and that's just gonna create a nice seal that way water doesn't get in there and break those wires down as well. So I have my electrical tape around here. Now I'm gonna place my plastic back in, so it should fit really nice here. Now you might also see, I have a whole cut here for our breakaway switch, and I've just mounted it to a bracket. And this is just gonna allow this cable to pass through and we'll be able to hook up to our breakaway switch. Now we are using an air force one, so it's an air break. I've also run our airline over so we can put our fitting here. So again, if you don't have a license plate, you're gonna have a lot of real estate to work with. Otherwise this may be the best spot for you. Something else that I will say can help quite a bit is if these metal clips came off of the plastic and they're stuck in the bumper, you can pinch the two tabs and pull these out just by kind of squeezing them. It can be a little tricky. So if you need to get some pliers, you can, and you're gonna want to get these on the plastic. It's gonna make it a lot easier because there's teeth that bite into the plastic. And it's really hard to just slide the plastic onto it. So you're gonna want to get these on. So I actually had to go back, pry these open, to get them to bite on, and that way we'll be able to pop this back in place, cause otherwise it's gonna be pretty tough to get this to stick in, nice and flush. So now I have this in place and it's pretty tight, but we're gonna need to put our self tapping screws here and that's gonna hold it in permanently. And then we can test to make sure our lights are working. So now we're gonna test our lights to make sure that they're working. Now, I'm using a test box, but you can actually hook it up to your RV and run it to the light sequence all the same. So starting with my running lights, I'm then gonna swap to my left turn signal. Now I'll do my right turn signal. And then finally my brake lights. And that was a look in installation of the Roadmaster Diode Wiring Kit on a 2017 Ford F-150..


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