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Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2008 Toyota Tacoma

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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 2008 Toyota Tacoma

Today in our 2008 Toyota Tacoma, we're going to be taking a look at and installing the Tekonsha Primus IQ Trailer Brake Controller, part number TK90160. Now, it is a proportional brake controller, which means it's going to automatically activate our trailer brakes with the same amount of pressure that our vehicle is slowing down. Since it is a proportional it's going to activate immediately and there's not going to be any pause like with time delayed brake controllers. It's going to feature three different boost settings if we push this button right here. We're going to have boost one, boost two and boost three. Each letting you adjust the initial braking power and aggressiveness. When we are at a stop light as well our brake controller's actually going to prevent the trailer brakes from overheating by reducing the power output to them during prolonged stops. It has this slider bar here, that's for the main override.

In an emergency situation, you can have max power all at once. This blue knob here is going to be our inaudible 00:01:07. Now if we hit the manual override button, we can see that it goes all the way down to zero, and then we can actually go all the way up to 11. We'll be able to fine tune our braking on our trailer however we may like it, and depending on the load that we're carrying. We may need to set it down on a little bit lower, or we may need a lot of braking power and some extra boost to go with it. Now one of the really nice features of this brake controller is that it does allow us to see on the display that we are hooked up to our trailer.

That's what the C is there on the display. If something we're to happen and we didn't realize, if our trailer came disconnected, we can see on the display that the C goes away and it actually becomes an NC for Not Connected. Now that we've gone over some of the features and benefits of our brake controller, let's show you how to get it installed. To help us get our brake controller installed, we're going to be using part number ETBC7. It comes with everything you see here, minus these two butt connectors. The butt connectors they give us in our kit I'm going to be replacing with heat shrink butt connectors.

Anytime you see me using a yellow heat shrink butt connector like this one here. You can pick some up on our website using part number DW05745-5. Anytime you see me using a blue butt connector, this is also a heat shrink butt connector. You can pick some up on our website using part number DW05744-5. The first part of our installation is we're going to need to find a spot to mount our seven pull here. Luckily we already have a bracket mounted to our hitch.

All we need to do is mount our seven pull bracket to that. Then feed our wires through and we can attached our seven pull plug to our bracket. If we take our bracket and we put it over top and line up the holes, we can start putting in our hardware that comes in our kit. First we're going to take our Philips head screw, and we're going to go through our bracket and line up the holes on our existing bracket on our hitch. Then we take a flat washer and we're going to put that on first. Then we're going to come back with a star washer. Then finally we're going to follow it up with the hex nut. Now we can get the other bolt through and put all the rest of our hardware in place. Now, with our seven pull bracket mounted, I'm going to take the wires I'm going to feed them up through my bracket here. I'm going to place my seven pull the way the holes line up. I'm going to come back and I'm going to take my flathead screw, put it through making sure that it comes through my plate all the way on the back. Then I'm going to follow it up with a lock nut on the back. Once I get these loosely in place, I'm going to go ahead and do the same thing for all the remaining hardware on my seven pull socket. Now with all of them in place, we can go ahead and start tightening up our hardware. To begin our connections, I do want to mention, that in order for our brake controller and our seven way to work properly we are going to have to have a functioning four pull flat already installed on our vehicle. If you don't have one you can pick one up on our website using part number 118496 for your Tacoma. We can take the end of our four pull coming from our seven way. We're going to plug it into our existing four pull. But before we do I'm going to take a little bit of dielectric grease and I'm going to put it in my connections. That's just going to help save the corrosion build up and help keep moisture out. If you don't have any of this you can pick some up on our website using part number 11755. I'm just going to plug my four pull into the existing connector. Now I'm actually going to take a zip tie and zip tie it together. Put a little bit of electrical tape that way it's a semi-permanent connection. But if for any reason we do need to disconnect it we can just cut the zip tie. We need to find a suitable spot for our ground. I'm just going to run my ground right here to the frame. I'm going to take one of the provided self taping screws and screw it into place. Now the three wires we should have left will be our blue wire, our black wire, and a purple wire. Now in our application we're not going to be using a reverse light on our trailer and that's what the purple' wires for. We're going to leave this alone for right now. Our black and blue wire need to be run up to the front of the vehicle. I'm going to cut these butt connectors off, replace them with the heat shrink ones, and then I'll show you what wires we need to attach to here. Now if we come to our gray duplex wire that comes in our ETBC7 kit. We're going to come to the end and we're actually going to split the gray sheathing around the wire. But you want to be extra careful not to cut through the wire. I'd typically recommend just getting razor knife. It helps if you put it on a flat surface. You can kind of see the outline of a wire inside. You just want to go right in the middle and you just want to cut a little bit open so you can peel it back. Right now we just need enough to get access so that we can strip back each end of our wire here. We're going to strip back both ends of this wire. Now the black wire we're going to go ahead and clamp onto the other black wire coming off of our seven pull. The white wire we're going to connect to the blue wire coming off our seven pull. As I mentioned before these are heat shrink butt connectors. We're going to be using a heat gun to shrink them down. I just want to mention that if you are using a lighter or any open flame to apply heat to these you want to be extra careful not to burn or char the connector or the wire itself. We're going to go ahead and start running my gray wire up to the front of the truck. Now everybody is going to route this a little bit differently. Give me a minute and I'll show you how I did mine. I just ran my wire over my spare tire. I went over all my braces. I came down right here by my fuel sink. Ran it along the frame rail. String of the zip ties along the way. Going through my cross number. Still staying along the frame rail. Then I actually zip tied it against my lines here to keep it away from the exhaust. I went up behind my heat shield here. I ran my wire up and actually have it coming on the outside of my frame. I dropped down an airline tube. You can use whatever you need. We have an airline tube or a coat hanger. Basically anything that's going to keep it's shape. I ran it from up top down. Then I taped it to my wire so I can pull my wire up to the battery in the engine compartment. We're going to pull our wire up and make sure we pull all the excess slack out. I'm going to go ahead and pull our airline tube off. Now if we come to the end of our duplex wire. We're going to need to split it open just like we did before. But this time we're going to split back as much as we can. Now that we have the sheathing cut off for most of our wire we're going to need to find a spot to mount our breaker. I'm going to pick right here on my fender wheel because it's not going to interfere with anything and I got plenty of room to put both my breakers there. Now the first breaker we're going to mount is going to be a 40 amp breaker. It's going to be using two of the supplied self taping screws. I'm going to mount it right here. Now with our breaker mounted I'm going to bring our attention to the black wire. Now we're going to cut this pretty closely. I maybe have a little bit of extra room. Right about here would be a good point so that we can reach our breaker. We're going to go ahead and cut our wire and strip back the end. I do want to mention we want to hold on to the extra wire that we cut off because we will be reusing it. Let me strip back the end on our wire. We can take one of the ring terminals provided in our kit. We're going to curve it into place. You want to make sure that you grab the smaller of the two ring terminals. It's going to be the one that's going to fit right over the terminal and your breaker. Now if we come back to the extra piece of wire that we just cut off, black wire here, we're going to need to have a length of wire that's going to go from our breaker to our battery. That seems to be plenty right there. We can go ahead and cut it. Strip both ends. Again, hold onto your extra black wire. We can strip back both ends on here. We're going to put another ring terminal, a small one, on one end of here. Finally on the other end of our free wire here we're going to install another ring terminal. But this time we're going to be taking the larger of the two and we'll curve it into place. Now we can come back to our breaker. We want to make sure that we're hooking this up correctly. If you look on the breaker themselves it's going to have little markings on each post. Now the copper or brass colored post is going to be the one that's labeled BAT. That's going to run from the breaker to the battery. The other one is labeled AUX for auxiliary. That's where we're going to run our wire that came from the back we're going to put it on the silver post. We can go ahead and take the screws off, slide the one from the back on the silver post. Place our nut. Then we can take our other wire picking that off the copper post. Take the small ring terminal. Slide it over the copper post, replace the nut. Now if we go into our battery and take the cover off. We're going to loosen up this nut right here. I'm going to go ahead and put my large ring terminal around that and replace the bolt. We're using a 12 mm socket to remove the nut on my battery terminal. We can go ahead and place our ring terminal over and replace our nut. With those connections made we can go ahead and tighten up the nuts on our breakers. We'll be using a 3A socket to do that. We are going to need to get our white wire into the inside of our vehicle. If we look down right next to our brake booster here we're going to have our grommet from the factory right here. You can actually just push it to the side and we should be able to take our airline tube that we used to pull our wire up. We should be able to get it inside that grommet. Just pull the grommet to the side and push our airline in. Keep feeding it until we know that it comes out in the cab of our truck. We're going to take our white wire. I'm actually going to push a little bit of my wire into my airline tube. Before I take this up, I do want to mention, we're going to take that loose black wire that we cut and the excess that we have left. I'm going to tape all of this together just like that and we're going to pull it through our cab. When we do we want to make sure that we still have a little bit of black wire exposed and sticking out on the engine side of our truck. That's all taped up. I'm going to move to the inside of the truck and pull this through. My airline tube came out here. It's going to be extremely hard to see but where the grommet is is actually up a little bit behind the carpet. Which is okay because it's not going to effect anything and it's not getting in the way. We can go ahead and start pulling our wire through. Go ahead and remove our tape. Your ready to make our connection for our brake controller inside the cab. If we focus on our white wire here. If you remember this wire we hooked up to the blue wire at the back of our seven way. We're going to make sure we have enough room to mount wherever we want to mount our brake controller. That should be plenty of wire right about here. I'm going to cut my white wire. I'm going to strip it back. Again, I want to remind you, we just cut this white wire but we need to hold onto this excess wire because we will be reusing it again also. We're going to take a yellow heat shrink butt connector put it on the end of the wire. Now if we take our brake 00:16:16 controller plug and harness. We're going to take the blue wire and we're going to put it into that butt connector. Our black wire that we ran from the engine compartment that the other ends still free. We're going to strip back this wire and put a yellow heat shrink butt connector at the end of it. Now we can take our black wire on our brake controller harness and we're going to connect it into the other end of our butt connector. Finally we're going to take one more yellow butt connector and we're going to connect it to the white wire off of our brake controller harness and curve if into place. Now we're going to take that excess white wire that we had from before. We're going to strip back one end of it and attach it to the white wire with our butt connector. We're going to need to our white wire, the one that we attach to the white wire on our breaker inaudible 00:17:37 harness. We're going to need to get his back into the engine bay and we're going to ground it directly to the battery. We're going to use the same method we did before with the fish flyer or the airline tube that came through that grommet. I'm going to tape it here and get it back into my engine bay. Now we have our white wire pull through. I'm going to go ahead and cut the excess off. I'm actually going to ground it right here on this frame point that's grounded right to the battery. Cut the excess wire off and strip back the end of it. Then we can take our large ring terminal and crimp it into place. Now remember using a 10 mm socket to remove this ground point. You're going to replace the bolts and tighten everything back down. We're going to need to run power to our brake controller itself. In our application we're going to be putting in the 20 amp circuit breaker. Again we're just going to be using the self tapping screws that they provided in the kit. I'm going to mount it right next to my other breaker just to make things a little easy on myself. Now we're goin to need to cut just enough to reach our breaker. I'm going to strip back the end of it and put on a small ring terminal just like we did with the other breaker. Remove the nut off the silver post. Now we can take the excess piece of wire that we had and we're going to strip back one end. We're going to put a small ring terminal on there as well. Now we can come to the copper post. Remove the nut. Install our ring terminal and replace the nut. We're going to need to run this wire over to our battery as well. Just want to make sure we have enough room. Cut off the excess wire. Strip it back and then we can put a large ring terminal on the end of that. I'm going to take the nut off my battery post. Take my ring terminal and install it. We're going to tighten up the terminals on our circuit breaker. If we move to the inside of our truck. Right here our brake pedal. If we look at the back. Right here is going to be our brake switch. Now we're going to need to cut back the shaving here so that we can access our wires. We're going to need to find 12 volt power source that's only on when we apply the brakes. That's going to be the cold side of our brake switch. Once we find out what wire that goes to we're going to be connecting our red wire from our brake controller harness to that wire. If you give me a minute I'm going to go ahead and test these. I'll let you know which wire it is. As you can see here I have my tester on this blue wire. I don't have any power. If I'm pushing my brake I get power. This blue wire coming off of my brake switch. That's the wire I'm going to want to use to attach to the red wire on my brake control harness. In some cases it may be easier to cut the wire and put in a few butt connectors, and actually extend the wire down so you'll have a little bit more room to work with. I'll go ahead and end up doing that. That way you'll have a little better picture of what's going on. Here I have some extra wire laying around. I went ahead and cut my cold side of my brake switch then I just extended my wires so it'll be easier to work with, and for you at home to see. Now I'm going to take one end of my brake switch, along with the red wire from my brake controller harness. I'm going to twist them together. I'm going to take a yellow butt connector and I'm going to crimp onto one end. On the other end I'm going to attach the wire to my brake switch. Now that we have all of our connections made we need to find a spot to mount our brake controller. With the included bracket and supplied screws I think this would be a good spot. It'll be out of the way enough that we won't have to worry about it interfering with our pedals. But at the same time still be able to see the display and reach all of our controls right here. We can take our bracket and just get a general idea of where we want it to be. Then we're going to take the provided screws. We're going to drill them into place. With the remaining screws if we look on the side here we're going to line up this portion of our brake controller. We're going to get the desired angle that we want. If we look at the side of our bracket here we're going to have several holes and different options to put our screws through. Once we do we don't want to go too tight. We just want enough until it's nice and snug, and we can lock it down. We're going to repeat that and put all the other remaining screws into our brake controller and bracket. Now all we have to do is plug our brake controller in, and zip tie and tidy up all our wires. The wire loom 00:24:15 that comes in our kit around our wires from our brake controller. I'm actually going to cut off some of the excess. Then I'm going to tuck my wires under my dash and zip tie them up out of the way. Put a little bit of electrical tape on my loom. I got my tester plugged up. After I cleaned up all my wires underneath. But now I'm going to run up to the front. I'm going to make sure that all my lights are working properly. I can even check to make sure that my brakes are working and my brake controller is going to have that sweep when I hit the manual override. I'm going to put the tester down. I'm going to run upfront and start running the lights. If I turn on my head lights we can see that we have our clearance lights working. Now if I turn on my left turn signal we can see that's working as well as the right. The brakes. The brakes working. Now we're going to try our brakes with our turn signal. Everything looks really good there. Now if we put our attention to the needle where it says brake voltage and brake power up there. We're going to see if I hit the manual override on my brake controller. We're going to be able to watch that needle move and start to engage. Now that we know everything's working properly we're ready to hit the road. That'll finish up our look at the Tekonsha Primus IQ Trailer Brake Controller, part number TK90160 on our 2008 Toyota Tacoma.

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Info for this part was:

Test Fit:
Joe V
Video Edited:
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
Test Fit:
Brent H
Test Fit:
Shane H
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Robert C

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