Roadmaster Universal Diode Wiring Kit Installation - 2016 Chevrolet Colorado

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How to Install the Roadmaster Universal Diode Wiring Kit on a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado


Rob: Rob here at etrailer.com and today you're going to be taking a look at the Roadmaster Hy-Power diode wiring kit on our 2016 Chevrolet Colorado. Now, if you want to tow your Colorado behind your motor home, lights are going to be an important thing. You need to be safe when we're going down the road, so everybody behind us knows if we're slowing down, changing lanes or turning. Now, we've all seen those lights, those magnetic lights on the road when somebody's towing something. Just be two magnetic lights stuck to the back of the vehicle. Now, those work, don't get me wrong, but it's a bit of a hassle.

Every time I want to tow something, we have to set them up, run that wire all the way to the front of our truck and then hook up to the back of our motor home. Not to mention, once we get where we're going, if we want to go out to eat or anything else, we have to take those off, find somewhere to put them, and then we can drive our Colorado. And then again when we want to tow them, we have to set all that back up again.But our diodes are going to completely get rid of that. It's a one-time installation, so we're not going to have to worry about it ever again. Once they're in, our truck will act normal when we're driving it, or whenever we're towing it, our lights are going to mimic what's on our motor home so we can be safe going down the road.

Now, the way the diodes are going to accomplish that is they're actually going to tie in behind our factory taillights so that we can use the factory bulbs to get the signals out. Now, there are other options on the market like a bulb and socket kit, but that's going to require you to drill a hole and actually add another bolt into your taillight. Now, the benefit of those is that it's going to completely bypass the electrical system, but we're having to drill a hole. With our diodes, we do have to tap into the electrical system, but it's going to help prevent any kind of damage to it. Because if there's any kind of problem on the motor home end, or we may get some backfeeding, our diodes are going to prevent it from going into the electrical system on our Colorado and protect it.One thing to keep in mind, our diodes do come with everything you need to get the back of the truck hooked up, because it's not going to come with a plug or the cable to connect the motor home to the truck.

Now, there are diode kits that come with everything included or you can get a plug separately as well as the cable. Just keep in mind whenever you're looking at cables, if you have a tow bar that has channels in it, I would definitely recommend a straight cable. That way, you can route it through those channels and have a really nice clean appearance and keep it from dragging. If you don't have the channels on your tow bar, you probably want to go with the coiled cable so you can get the same type of effect of keeping it off the ground, but we're not going to be able to get it through those channels since they don't exist.Now, it can be a little overwhelming, with the how many things we need, making sure we get the right stuff, but we'll go over each components so you can have the confidence to make sure that you have everything you need so we can enjoy our trip. There are going to be five main components of a safe, complete flat tow setup.

The first one is going to be our base plate. Our base plate is going to give us a solid attachment point so we can tow our Colorado down the road. Second component is going to be our tow bar. Now, obviously that's going to be what hooks up to the base plate and the motor home, so it makes that connection. Next, we're going to have our safety cables. That's going to be a secondary safety device in case our tow bar fails.Then we're going to have our braking system, which that's going to allow our Colorado to slow itself down rather than relying on the motor home since we're adding so much weight to the back of it. Finally, we'll have our tow bar wiring. Now, this is going to allow us to transfer all the signals from our motor home to our Colorado. So whether we're changing lanes, slowing down or getting off the highway, everybody will know what's going on. Now, as far as the installation goes on our Colorado, it is very straightforward. Just going to have to run a wire from the front of our truck all the way back to the taillights, and luckily for us, Chevy has made the color coding on the back of our taillights extremely easy to get to. In fact, let's go ahead and do it together.To begin your installation, you want to start out at the front of your Colorado. Now, I do want to mention that we have our fascia removed and that's because we just got done installing our base plate, which would be a really good time to do your wiring and any other components you're going to be doing on your truck. But you want to figure out a general area where you're going to mount your wiring and start it there. Then we're going to run it all the way to the back of the truck so we can meet up with our taillights. So right here, I just started having it come down to the lower section of the grill right above our tow hook area, and I routed it towards the driver's side. Then I went behind the headlight here up into the engine bay.Then I just ran my wire along the fender well here. I left a little bit of slack because in our case, the braking system is going to tie into our wiring, so I left a little loop right here. Then I came back towards the edge of the firewall and I dropped it down so I could run it along the frame on the outside. When I dropped down, I actually came to the outside of our frame rail, went around this front body mount, and I started running it along the frame, zip-tying it to the existing wiring that's already up there, making sure I go over the body mount, so it's as high up as possible. I got to about on my fuel tank towards the back of it, went towards the inside of the frame, started running it along and you can see it right next to the fuel tank up high, started running it towards the back, and then once I got back towards my rear tire and the spare tire here, I shot it to the outside of the frame, giving myself an anchor point right at the top.Now, on our wiring, it's going to have four separate wires that are all attached together. We need to separate them so we have four individual wires, and we want to separate them all the way back to the last anchor points you have. Easiest way to do that is just take a pair of cutters and go right in between the wires. Try and being careful not to cut into the wire itself. Just want to separate them enough. So, we can grab a hold of it and we'll just start pulling them apart until we have four separate wires. You want to go as high as you can and get all the slack to that last anchor point.Now we're going to open up our tailgate to expose the two screws that are holding taillight in place. You're going to pull them out. So we'll grab a Phillips screwdriver. We'll have one towards the top and then one towards the bottom. Then once you have both of those removed, you want to grab the taillight and you want to pull straight back as much as you can. You don't want to go too much side to side because there are some alignment pins that we don't want those to break. Sometimes the pins can get stuck. But again, you don't want to twist too much. Just want to pull straight back.Once you have it removed, we're going to disconnect all of our lights so we can set the taillight housing aside. We just want to twist counter-clockwise. It'll unlock it, and we're going to remove the bolts. Now, there's going to be a clip holding on the wire to the housing. You just take a screwdriver and you just want to slide it off. We're going to set the taillight aside. Now, we're going to repeat the entire process over on the passenger side as well.Now that both taillights are removed, I went ahead and turn on my taillights. We can see that the bulbs are coming on and we want to find which wire controls my taillight signal. Since I can see that the upper and lower bulb actually have the same color wires, I'm going to come farther back downstream from the bulbs. I'm going to open up the loom here and expose the wires on the inside. We know that it has to be either the orange, gray, or black wire, because the yellow wire is actually going to our reverse light, so we know it's not that one. So, I'm going to go ahead and test my gray and my orange wire to see which one's getting a signal for our taillight circuit.We can see I'm getting a constant 12 volt power signal from my orange wire, so we know that's the taillight signal. I'm going to go ahead and turn my taillights off and have an assistant press on the brakes so we can verify the correct wire for our brake signal. So if I test my gray wire, we can see that I'm getting a signal as long as the brakes are on. So, our orange wire is going to be our taillight signal and our gray wire is going to be our brake and our left hand turn signal. We're going to go ahead and repeat the same process on the other side and verify the color of the wires over there.Now, since we're on the driver's side, we want to start with our brown and our yellow wire, and we need to get it up to this area so we can make our connections at the back of the taillight. If we looked down, you can actually see the ground through here. So what I'm going to do is I'm just going to come underneath my truck and reach up and push my hand through so I can grab the wire and pull the slack up. Make sure all the slack is up top here. Now, it's not a bad idea if you want to go ahead and anchor it off somewhere, either to the existing wiring or to the inside here. That way our wire doesn't fall down and we know all the slack's up top.We'll start with our turn signal. Remember, it should be the gray wire. We're going to go ahead and cut that wire in half. You want to come downstream a little bit from the plug or any of the bulbs and we'll cut that wire in half, and we're going to strip back both ends. Then you want to grab one of the diodes that has all blue spade terminals on it and just want to grab two. Doesn't really matter which ones they are. We'll slide our spade terminal right over the end of our bare wire, and we're going to crimp it in place. We're going to take our diode, we'll remove the last one, and if we look at it, we're going to have two terminals that are on the inside and one terminal on the output side. The one terminal on the output side is going to go closest to the bulb. So plug that one in and we'll take the other end of our gray wire. We're going to plug it into one of the input terminals. Doesn't matter which one. Just want to make sure it's fully secure.Since that's our turn signal, going to estimate about how much yellow wire we're going to need. I like to give myself a little bit of extra just for slack and movement. We'll go ahead and cut it. Strip back the end. Going to put our last spade terminal on this wire. Then finally, this one is just going to plug in right next to the other input. That'll take up the last spot. So once you're done wiring everything up, this is what it should look like for your left hand turn signal diode.Now for our taillight signal, it's going to be relatively the same. You wan to cut it in half, and want to strip back the end of each wire. Except this time, we want to grab the diode that has two blue terminals and one yellow terminal. We're going to use the two blue ones now. Those are going to go on to our taillight wire just like the other one. Slide it over and crimp them in place. We'll grab our diode and it's going to go in just the same way. One closest to the bulb go to the out terminal, and the other one's going to go into the in terminal. Again, we'll estimate about how much brown wire we need. We'll cut it, except this time we want to hold onto the excess. We're going to strip back the end of the excess wire as well as the wire coming from the bottom of the truck. We're going to combine these two wires together and we'll take the yellow spade terminal, it's just a little bit bigger. Make it easier to put two wires in there and we'll crimp it in place.Then this wire is just going to plug into the other in terminal on our diode. And then the excess brown wire here is going to get sent back down and meet up with our green wire and go over the passenger side, and we're going to hook up everything exactly the same. Just keep in mind, you may need to pick up a little more brown wire, because there's really not a whole lot leftover here. But that all just depends on how you route it. But if you do need some 16 gauge wire, you can pick it up here at etrailer.com using part number 16-1, and that'll be 16 gauge foot wire by the foot.Over on the passenger side, we just ran our green and our brown wire along the back of the hitch and came up the same way we did on the driver's side. When we connected everything, fortunately all the color wires are exactly the same. So, our gray wire is still going to be our turn and brake signal, and our orange wire is still going to be our taillight signal, and our diodes are going to hook up the same way they did on the other side. With the diodes all hooked up, you can start putting the bolts back into the sockets, and put the housing back in place as well. Going to want to tuck everything back in there, make sure those pins line up properly and push it in and replace the hardware.Our last connection is going to be our white wire. This is going to be our ground wire, so we want to put it somewhere, either a factory ground, or directly going into the frame. I'm going to go ahead and trim off the excess wire here. I'm going to strip back the end of it. Then I'll grab a small ring terminal out of our kit, slide it over the bare end of our wire. We'll crimp it in place. And we can grab the included self tapping screw. You want to grab a quarter inch nut driver. I'm just going to go right into the bottom of the frame right here. You want to make sure that screw is tight and then the ring terminal's not moving like this. So I'm going to tighten up a little more, but you want to be careful not to strip out a self tapping screw.One thing to keep in mind is that our diode does not come with a plug or the cable to hook up our motor home to our Colorado. We're going to be using the Roadmaster seven wire to six wire straight cable that also comes with the vehicle and plug as well as a bracket to mount it up. So, we'll show you how we're going to mount it. We're going to be mounting ours right here on the metal bumper beam right here. But since everything's going to be kind of in the way and it's going to be very difficult to bolt this to the bumper beam, what I'm going to do is I'm actually going to remove this shroud right here. It's going to have a couple of push pins going along the top, so I'll take a flat blade screwdriver. We're going to come to the center of the push pin. You want to pry the center out first. That'll take some of the tension off. And then once you have the center pulled out, you want to come to the outer section and pull the base out. If the center comes out completely, that's all right, because we can always slide it back in. But we're going to have three going across the front here. We're going to remove all of these so we can pull this shroud off.Then we'll pull on that panel. Now, on the very edge here, this is going to have a clip that it goes into, and sometimes it does get stuck. It's a little bit of a pain to get these loose, but you can take a screwdriver, start prying on it a little bit, try to wiggle it loose until you can get it to pop out, and we're going to remove the panel completely. Now, we used a short bracket here. We have a band clamp wrapping around the bumper beam. and we attached or six-way bracket to it so we could mount our plug. So, we'll go ahead and start wiring everything up in. We want to grab our plug. I'm going to remove the boot. Just going to slide the wires through and for now, I'm just going to push it towards the back so it's out of the way.But if we look at the back of our plug here, each one of these terminals is going to be labeled. So if we start at the top, it'll say TM for trailer marker. That's going to be our brown wire. Move to the side here, it'll say GD for ground. That's going to be our white wire. LT for left turn, our yellow wire, and RT for right turn. That's going to be our green wire. Now, the center pin is going to be your auxiliary power source. So, if you have a 12 volt power source you want to hook in, that'll go to the center pin. And then finally the last pin on the side is going to be labeled S, and that's for your electric brakes. We're going to go ahead and separate our wires and get everything hooked up.We'll separate our wires a little bit, just a few inches, and then we'll strip back the end of each one. Going to grab a small Phillips Screwdriver and we're going to loosen up the terminals. But when you do that, you don't want to take the screw completely out because it is really small and very easy to lose. So, since we're at the top, we'll grab our brown wire, make sure we get all the copper strands into the terminal, then we'll tighten up our set screw. I like to leave a little bit of copper right at the top just, so I know that the set screw's not going to cause any kind of connection issues if it we're to hit the installation. Now, we're just going to go through and connect the rest of our wires.Once you have all your wires hooked up, going to take the dust cover, slide it back on, and I like to take some electrical tape. I'm actually going to wrap the entire back of the plug. It'll help keep the boot in place, but it's also going to protect the wires on the inside, hopefully preventing any kind of moisture or debris from getting inside the connector. And then I like to wrap the wire as well, that way it's not showing through the grill. We don't want to have those brightly colored wires on the front of our truck.Now I'm just going to use the screws and nuts that came with my short bracket to mount everything up. These screws are black, so it'll help hide it a little bit better than brightly colored stainless steel screws. Now that everything's mounted up, we can go ahead and put the air deflector back in. Just going to have to work around everything, and get it to clip back into place. Then we can put all our push pin fasteners back, and with these, when you put them in, you want to make sure you put the base in first, then you'll slide the middle section in to lock it down.Now that we have our wiring on, we're going to be adding a braking system to our flat tow setup. So before we put our fascia on, we're going to put all the components on necessary and then we're going to finish up by putting the fascia on. Now that the front of our Colorado is taken care of, we need to wire up our cord. Now, it's a straight cord and it is designed to go through the channels on your tow bars, so it has a nice clean appearance and it keeps everything off the ground. So, if you have the channels in your tow bar, you definitely want to run it through before you wire it up, because the plug for the car end is not going to fit inside those channels.So we'll take the end with the free wires and we're going to go through one of the arms. Just kind of want to think about where it's going to be coming out, if it's on the driver side or the passenger side and go through the appropriate arm, and just start feeding it through until we can get it to come out the other end. I'm just going to give myself plenty of slack so I have plenty of wire to work with and I can grab the end. We need to grab the plug part and a small screwdriver. At the very back, there's going to be a large screw. If we look into the opening, there's a little gate in there and that's just to keep the wires in place once we get it in. But we want to loosen that up so we have plenty of room, but you don't want to remove it. You just want to loosen it up so it's open and the gate's not going to get in the way.Then if we move forward on the plug, we'll have a very small Phillips screw. We're going to pull that out and you want to be extremely careful when you remove this screw because it is extremely small and very easy to lose. Once we pull it out, we're going to grab the black section of the plug and we'll pull it out completely, set it down for now, and then we're going to take the wires and we're going to pass them through the silver part of our plug. And for now, we just let it go so it's out of the way.If we look at the back of the terminals, each one of these is going to be labeled, so want to make sure we put the correct color wire in each one of these. This one right here at the top is going to be labeled T for trailer marker. Then if we move over, we'll have a larger one that's going to be labeled G for ground. That'll be our white wire. We'll move over. The next one here is going to be labeled L for left turn. That's going to be our yellow wire. We'll have R for right turn. That'll be our green wire, and this one over here we labeled S, and that's going to be our electric brake signal. That'll be our blue wire. And then finally, the center pin is going to be our black wire. That's our auxiliary power source.So we just want to go through and take a small screwdriver. We're going to loosen up the set screws inside. You don't need to remove them all the way; just loosen them up enough to we can get a wire inside. Since I grabbed to terminal labeled G, I'll take my white wire, make sure that the wire gets fully inserted. Then let's tighten up the set screw, and we're going to repeat that for all of our remaining wires until we have them all connected.Once you have all your wires in and you know they're nice and secure, we'll take the cover for our plug. We're going to slide it back over the wires. We're going to make sure that hole lines up with the screw hole and then we'll take that real small screw and we'll put it back in place. We can move back to where the gate was and you can see how it's going to grab the coating on the wire here and that'll help keep it from pulling the connections out further up. So I just want to tighten this up just until it makes contact and it's nice and snug. We don't need to bear down on it because we don't want to crush the wire; we just want to make it to where it's going to grab, have a little bit of pressure on it.Now we'll go ahead and plug our six way into the front of our truck and our seven way into the back of our motor home, and we can test all our wires out and make sure everything's working properly. It's a good idea to get an extra set of hands so they can help verify that the lights are working. And that way, it'll prevent you from having to run back and forth between the truck and the motor home. We already went ahead and tested them all, and as you can see, we have our turn signals working as well as our taillights. So we're going to continue hooking up the rest of our flat tow setup and then we're going to hit the road. But that'll finish up your look at the Roadmaster Hy-Power diode wiring kit on our 2016 Chevrolet Colorado.


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