Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan

content loading



Customers compare 39523 to these similar products




Products Featured in this Video



How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan


Today on our 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan we'll be installing a Tekonsha PowerTrac Electronic Brake Controller, part number 39523. To ease our installation we'll be installing our brake controller with our 7-Way Adapter Kit, part number ETBC7. Here's what our brake controller looks like installed. As you can see, it's a nice, slimline design, very simple to operate, and easy to use. This will easily allow us to control trailer brakes on trailers that have up to two axles, making our Caravan a more suitable tow vehicle. This LED, when we don't a trailer connected, there is nothing displayed there. It's just off.

When we have a trailer connected, we know we that have a functioning brake system when the green light is displayed. When your brakes are applied, you can see that it changes color to let you know that the brakes are working. Now this is a time delay brake controller versus one that has an inertia switch built inside of it. Because it's time delay this will allow us to mount it at any angle wherever we want inside of our vehicle. Now I want to point out a couple of things here. When we dial down our power of a brakes, when we slide our knob over here for manual override, you can see that our color of the light doesn't change.

This is letting us know how much power is being applied. When it's green there's very little power being applied. When we move the knob up, you can see it goes to a yellow color, then orange, then a red. The darker a color, the more intensity and power is being sent to the brakes in your trailer, giving you more aggressive braking. A good suggestion to start with our brakes in the orange position.

That's right in the middle. That'll give you a good starting point. You can adjust it down or up to suit your needs or driving style. Now what sets this apart from other brake controllers on the market, besides the fact it's a time delay unit, is this is a very simple to operate unit. There's no buttons. All you have is your power adjustment knob, and your manual override, giving you what you need in order to tow a trailer with up to two axles with electric brakes.

Now that we've gone over some of the features of our brake controller, we'll show you how to install it. To begin our installation today we need to find a place to mount our 7-pole. We'll be using one of our long brackets here. It's part number 18136. This will allow us to attach to our hitch using a provided clamp. We'll get that started and we'll tighten down our clamp. Our clamp uses a 5/16 socket and we'll use a 5/16 nut driver. We'll take our 7-pole and our bracket for our 7-pole, slide the wires through the hole, insert it into position, and secure it to the bracket with the provided hardware. With all of our hardware tightened down we'll slide this onto our bracket that we installed, and secure it with the provided hardware. We'll have a flat washer on the bottom, followed by a lock washer, and then a nut. Now where our 4-pole flat connector is on the back of our 7-way, let's cut that off. We'll take our existing 4-pole flat trailer wiring here and measure off about how much we're going to need, and we'll cut off our connector here too. We'll separate all four of our wires. We have our two wires here, our white wire is our ground wire coming from our connector. We'll cut off the excess here. Our purple wire here is for our reverse light input. We're not going to be using this here today so we're just going to cut this back off a little short, and we'll tape up with our wiring bundle, just to protect it, and now we'll tape it all up together with the rest of our wires. We'll feed our wires through this hole in our bracket here now. Pull on up. Now let's strip off some insulation from all our wires that we cut off from our connectors. This white wire here, we'll strip off a little bit more than the rest. This is on the side from our 4-pole flat that was already on our vehicle. We'll start off by putting some heat shrink butt connectors on our end closest to our 7-Way. We'll be using blue ones, which are for 14 to 16 gauge on the smaller diameter wires, and our ground wire, we'll be using one that's yellow. This for 10 to 12 gauge wire. Now we'll start connecting them color for color. Our white wire is our ground on the side from our existing 4-pole flat wiring from when we cut off excess. We'll just twist this together, fold it back in half because this is going to a thicker wire on our 7-way. This will help bite into there easier. Now we'll take our gray duplex wire that comes with our kit, take a utility knife with a sharp blade and we'll go right down the middle from one end of the wire, and you'll find there's two wires inside, a black and a white one. We'll just make sure cut off the covering. Now we'll strip back the insulation from both ends. We'll attach this into our 7-Way. We'll try to match it up as color for color as possible, so black will go to black. This will be for our power wire that will charge our battery in our trailer. Our blue wire is our brake output wire. This will go to the white wire. Okay, now we use a heat gun and heat shrink our butt connectors. You can also use a lighter to do this. Just make sure you don't make direct contact with the flame. Now we'll just hide all the wires with some electrical tape here to help better protect it, and help prevent us from seeing any colored wire from underneath our vehicle. We took our gray duplex wire, which will supply our brake signal, and our power wire to our 7-way, ran into the front of the vehicle, making sure we avoided any moving parts such as the suspension, or any sources of heat such as the exhaust. We went between the hitch and our stow and go seating area here, secured to this bracket for our brake line, secured it here to this bracket for our sub frame, went above our rear suspension here, went over our rear shock mount, and then down, and we went through this hole here for our parking brake cable bracket, and we secure it to our parking brake cable. We don't have to worry about the cable moving. It won't. We just secured it along this, up to the front of the vehicle, down to where our front sub frame is, went over this bracket here where it's at our fire wall now. We'll drop a pull wire from the engine bay and bring this on up into our engine compartment. Here's our pull wire we dropped down. We taped the end of our duplex wiring to that. Take our pull wire and we'll pull it up. Now we'll take our utility knife here and we'll separate our duplex wiring like we did earlier. All the way down the very end of it. With that split all the way down now, we'll just remove the gray outer covering. Now we need to find a place to mount our circuit breakers. Our two circuit breakers in questions, we're using a 40 amp circuit breaker to supply power to our 7-way in the back, and we use a 30 amp to supply power to our brake controller inside the vehicle. We're going to place these right about here on our windshield cowl. They'll be protected and not in the way of our battery or our fuse box should we ever need to gain access. We'll secure them into place with our self-tapping screws. Our black wire, again, this is going to our 40 amp breaker, this is going to connect to the auxiliary side of our breaker. This is the one that's silver. Our gold side is our side that goes to the battery on our vehicle. Let's measure off as much wire as we need. Cut off the excess. We'll strip off the insulation, and we'll attach one of our yellow, small ring terminals. Crimp that down in place. I'll remove our nut here. Slide our terminal over the stud and re-secure the nut. Let's do it finger tight for now. We'll tighten all these back up here once we're done with the install. We poked a pull wire through our fire wall grommet right behind our battery to the side of our brake booster. Now we'll grab our pull wire and pull out a little bit more. We'll tape our wire to it that's going inside the firewall. Here's our pull wire. Our white wire, this is going to our brake controller's blue wire. I'll tape this to this, and pull it through our fire wall. Here's our white wire inside the firewall. Our white wire here, we'll measure off how much you're going to need, and cut off the excess. We'll strip off some of our insulation, and we'll stick on one of our yellow butt connectors, and we'll crimp that one. Now we'll take our brake controller here, and this connector here, we'll just cut it off. Our blue wire is our brake output wire. We'll strip off some of the insulation from it, and we'll stick it in the other end of our white wire here, and we'll crimp it down. Our white wire on the brake controller unit itself is our ground. Let's strip off some of the insulation from it, attach a butt connector to it. Now our excess white wire that we just cut off, we'll strip off one end of the insulation from it, and we'll stick on to the other end of the ground off the brake controller, and we'll crimp that down. We'll pass the remainder of the white wire through the fire wall in the same location that our other white wire went through. Now we'll go underneath the engine compartment and pull that through. Grab our white wire now, pull it through, making sure we leave enough slack on the inside. Now we'll cut off our excess white wire. We'll be attaching this directly to the negative terminal on our battery, which is the side closest to the fire wall. Strip off some of the insulation, and we'll attach one of our larger diameter ring terminals to it. We'll just set it aside for the time being. Now our excess black wire that we had, we'll strip off some insulation, place on a butt connector and we'll crimp it down. This will go the black wire on our brake controller, which has our power supply to it. I'll strip off some insulation from it, and then we'll attach that wire as well. Then we'll feed the end of the black wire through our fire wall like we did the other two, from inside out. There's our black wire. We'll just pull the slack out now making sure we leave enough inside the vehicle. We'll measure off how much wire we're going to need to connect to the silver side of our 30 amp breaker right here. We'll strip off the insulation and attach a small ring terminal to it. Now we can find the cold side of our brake pedal switch. This is the wire that only has power going to it when the brake pedal is depressed. We have our test light hooked up to it. The wire that we're going after here is a green and white wire. It's this one right here, closest to the fire wall. It's green and white. All right, to make this easier to work with, we'll grab our brake pedal switch and pull back, and disconnect it. Now we have some more room to connect our wiring. We'll take our little quick connector here, I'll slide it over the wire. With that slid on all the way now, we need to get an extension wire. Just use some 16 gage wiring we have laying around. You'll need about two feet in order to do this. We'll slide our wiring on in, and take our pliers and we'll cramp our connector closed. With that crimped down all the way, we'll take our connector here, close it up. Now I'll plug our stop light switch back in. All right, once it snaps back in we're good to go. Let's strip off the insulation from the two ends of our red wires now, and we'll connect them together with the butt connector. With all our connections made inside the vehicle we can now wrap it up with some electrical tape to help hide the colored wires. Now we need to find a place to mount our brake controller. Right here to the right side of our dash is a perfect spot. Make sure we have enough slack for our cables to do that. Once we have it in the right position where we want it, we'll slide it down and secure our bracket to the dash with the provided self-tapping screws. They're a 1/4". Now we'll just slide our brake controller into the bracket and secure it with the provided screws. Now we'll take our leftover black wire here and make connections from our circuit breakers here and here to the positive side of our battery. Take a breaker, the gold or copper colored side. Now we're going to make this so we can actually easily remove our battery if we need to, so we'll just wrap around the side of it. I put a large ring terminal on it. Take our left over wire now, strip off one end, place a small ring terminal on, and we'll crimp it down. We'll attach that to the side of our final breaker. Measure off how much wire we'll need and we'll cut off the excess. Place on our large ring terminal and we'll crimp it down. Now that we have all the connections made to our breakers we'll tighten down the nuts fully using a 10mm socket. We'll do our battery connections from our breaker first. A 10mm socket right here, we're going to remove this 10mm nut. We'll place on both of our terminals that go to our breakers, and we'll replace our nut, and we'll snug that down. Now we'll do our negative. Same process. Originally we we're going to attach our ground wire directly to the negative terminal on our battery posts, but I found that there's two factory ground positions right here. We'll use these instead because it's less things going to our battery. Put one on the stud and re-secure the nut. That completes our installation of Tekonsha PowerTrac Electronic Brake Controller, part number 39523 on our 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan.


Questions and Comments about this Video

add comment

Info for this part was:

Test Fit:
Joe V
Test Fit:
Andrew K
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Test Fit:
Alan C
Test Fit:
Randy B
Test Fit:
Jared G
Test Fit:
Brent H
Test Fit:
David F
Video Edited:
Zack K
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Video Edited:
Kathleen M
Video Edited:
Mike H
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Video Edited:
Chris R
Video by:
Andrew K
Video by:
Joshua S
Video by:
Andrew L
Video by:
Kathleen M
Video by:
Dustin K
Video by:
Chris R
Installed by:
Cole B

At etrailer.com we provide the best information available about the products we sell. We take the quality of our information seriously so that you can get the right part the first time. Let us know if anything is missing or if you have any questions.