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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Today on our 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, we're going to take a look at, and also show you how to install, the Tekonsha Primus IQ Proportional Trailer Brake Controller. This is going to work for 1, up to 3, axles. Its part number is TK90160. We're also going to using the Tekonsha Plug-In Wiring Adapter for the Electric Brake Controllers, part number 3016. The button on top is going to allow us to change what's called the boost mode. This is going to be the quickness and aggressiveness in which our brakes are applied. When we have a smaller trailer in relation to our truck, we'll probably have our boost mode here where it's no boost at all.

As that trailer size gets greater, we can increase that all the way up to boost mode 3. That's going to be the quickest and most aggressive application of our brakes. Here on the side, we've got our adjustable gain. We turn that all the way down just registering 0, and we can adjust that up by the 10th of a digit. The higher that number goes, the more braking power is going to be sent to the rear of the vehicle there. Again, for heavier trailers, this is going to need to be higher.

On smaller trailers, we can adjust that lower. The manual override lever when applied is only going to go up to the preset gain that we have dialed in, so we'll never have to worry about it even in a sway situation where we'd need to apply the brakes. We're not going to over do it and cause a lockup on those braking wheels on our trailer. That's really nice. The Primus IQ is a really good brake controller. As we said, it's going to work for up to 3 axles, so that would be a 6 total brake assemblies. It's designed as a proportional system, so it's going to brake in proportion to your vehicle.

As we apply the brakes in the truck, the accelerometer, or the sensor inside, picks up on that and starts sending braking power to the trailer. The benefit to that over a time-delayed system is that we don't have to wait for that to slowly ramp up. This is going to give us the braking force that we need as soon as we need it. If we're going into just the standard stop, pulling up to a stop light, it's going to give us minimal braking forces because it can sense that. On the other hand, if it's an emergency situation and we really stand on the brakes in the truck trying to get it halted, it also senses that and it's going to send the maximum output that we've got dialed in back to the trailer helping to get everything slowed down appropriately. Our manual override lever, you can see here, is easy to get to.

We can use this to apply just a little bit of braking force. As we go up, it's going to go all the way up to the maximum that we have set with our gain dial. A few other safeguards of the Primus IQ are going to be short protection. The brake controller is going to protect itself from any shorts or anything that we might get from our trailer. Also, in the event of a prolonged stop, we pull up to a stop light, we've been sitting there for an extended period of time, the Primus IQ is slowly going to reduce the amount of braking power that's being sent to the brakes themselves to help reduce any kind of overheating issues. Here's what our Primus IQ kit is going to look like. We're going to have the brake controller itself. Got our bracket that allows for easy removal. Then we've got our more permanently fixed bracket. A customer decided he wants to go that route, which I do like these. I like the way they mount up. Most of the time you're not going to be removing and putting your brake controller back in. That's going to be up to you. It also has pigtail here that you can use to hardwire into your vehicle. But on our Silverado, it's been prewired for use with a brake controller. What we're going to use is part number 3016. This is going to plug right into our factory connection. It's going to give us all of the input and all of the feeds that we need to get the information back through the blue wire to our trailer to activate the brakes. Also, it's going to give us our ground, the stop light signal, and also our power. Inaudible 00:04:01 is going to come with 6 self-tapping screws. It's all you need to get it installed. We're going to be using a bit driver, 1/4" bit, and also I've got a small ratcheting 1/4" drive. You could use a 1/4" open-end box wrench as well if there's any tight areas in there where you need to operate. Let's head underneath the dashboard now, and we'll get it installed. To begin our installation, we need to find our factory port to plug in our pigtail here. We just want to go to the just of the brake pedal slightly, and there's going to be a black box her on the backside. On that, there's going to be a couple of tabs here. It's indicated where the locks are. We've got two on this side. There'd be one on the other side. We just want to pull out on those tabs. You just got to . Kind of opens up there. This one on the inside can be a little tricky to get to. You may have to use a flat-blade screwdriver for it. We'll just pull that down and off and we'll see our connection point. Our plugin is going to be located right here. You see you've got large white plug, green plug. There's a larger opening here, or you may have something plugged in there, but it will be right above it, right there. The white end is going to plug in. You want the locking tab to be facing the driver's side of the vehicle. We can slide it into position. You just want to push that in until you hear it click, and then you should be able to pull out on that plug without it coming out. We'll be in good shape there. Now I like to just guide my wire right up like that. Then when we put that cover back on, it's going to be exposed out of the top. You can see that cover, it's not closed on the top. That will be a great area to get our wiring out of that panel. Now we just give that cover lined back up with those locking tab marks. Just press in. It's going to clip right on there. We're going to be mounting our controller right up there, so that's going to be kind of visible. We're going to wrap this up a little bit with some electrical tape just to keep it nice and neat looking. All right, I'll just kind of mock up our controller here right where we want it. It looks like right there is going to be a good spot. When we position our bracket, you can see there's a oval-shaped hole and 3 round holes and one longer oval shaped. You want that to be towards the back. We'll just use the self-tapping screws and just get it secured. You just want to run these in there until they're snug. You can see that's going to be a nice, solid, secure bracket. See on the side of the controller here, if you're using the metal bracket you're going to use the 2 holes to secure it. If you're using the plastic bracket, it's going to clip into one of those 3 slots. Just depending on your application, that's where those will go. In our case, we're going to align the holes with the hole in the bracket. Now as we get this secured, we'll want to do it in all 4 locations there. Once we've got that in, we just need to plug in our pigtail. It's going to go right in the back. The tab is going to go up. Plug that in. We've got an NC flashing there. That's going to indicate that we do have power coming to it, so we won't have to worry about any additional connections or hookups to make. At this point, we're ready to plug in our trailer, see it operate, and start enjoying our truck. We'll run a test on it just to make sure it's putting out power back to the 7-way plugs which we can show you now. Now you can see when plug in our trailer, in our case the trailer tester, it's going to show that we do in fact have a trailer connected. A nice safeguard built in is that in the event that does become disconnected, notice how that screen is going to change indicating NC kind of flashes at you. It's going to let us know we need to go back and address the connection between our truck and trailer. Here you'll see the test. We'll just use our manual override lever. You can see how that's going to work as we give it more and more pressure. It's going to bring both our voltage and our current up higher and higher which will be activating our brakes. You will see here we do have just a little bit of excess pigtail. What I'm going to do is just draw that back. Up here it's plenty far out of the way. Just going to zip tie it right off to another wire when it's up here. With everything working proper, that completes our installation of the Tekonsha Primus IQ, part number TK90160, on our 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 15000.

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Info for this part was:

Test Fit:
Joe V
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Zack K
Video Edited:
Andrew K
Installed by:
Jeff D
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Joshua S
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
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Jacob T
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Andrew L
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Kathleen M
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Mike H
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Dustin K
Installed by:
Cole B
Test Fit:
Shane T
Test Fit:
Alan C
Video Edited:
Sue W
Test Fit:
Randy B
Video Edited:
Chris R
Test Fit:
Jared G
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Zach D
Test Fit:
Andrew S
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Brent H
Test Fit:
Shane H
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Robert C

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