Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2016 Chevrolet Express Van

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How to Install the Trailer Brake Controller on a 2016 Chevrolet Express Van


Speaker 1: Today on our 2016 Chevrolet Express we're gonna be installing the Tekonsha Primus trailer brake controller, part number TK90160. The Primus is gonna provide all of your necessary features for your entry level brake controller system. This is gonna more stripped down compared to some of your other models, it's only gonna have your primary functions that's necessary. It's got a digital display versus other models that may have an LCD however this one will still be able to provide you with diagnostic features as well as displaying voltage to your trailer during braking.It provides a proportional braking system so the harder you brake the harder your trailer brakes will brake. This also works with the momentum of the vehicle so as it detects more momentum it does apply harder brakes in the back to stop your trailer at the same rate as your vehicle. There's no level adjustment required unlike some other models that may require you to drive the vehicle and set your level adjustment before the proportional braking will work properly.

This model also doesn't need to be mounted completely flat, it can be mounted anywhere from zero to 90 degrees from a vertical plane. As you can see here ours is about a 45.Setting the boost mode gives the user the ability to apply more initial trailer braking power when towing heavier trailer loads. The wheel on the left is a sensitivity adjustment, this will allow you to customize it based on the load on your trailer. The heavier your load you can bring up the sensitivity and a lighter load you can lower it down that way you've got the optimal feel at all times. It can be removed and stored easily by removing it from the bracket and disconnecting the connector on the back.

Now you can store it in your glove box or inside, however you need to keep it safe and secure.If your vehicle didn't already have a seven-pole connector you can install one using part number ETBC7, that's what we use to run this vehicle and it provided all the necessary hardware, wiring, and connections to get our brake controller up and running and connected to our trailer. There's also a four-pole connector on here, when you have a trailer that doesn't need the brakes and just has a four-pole connection for lights.Now that we've gone over some of the features let's show you how to get it installed. Before you begin your installation you need to make sure you have either a working four-pole connector so you can use ETBC7 kit and also that it's run outside the vehicle or a working seven-pole connector. If you already have a working seven-pole connector you can just hook up your brake controller. In our case here we have a four-pole so we're gonna be using the ETBC7 to get a working seven way.To help us mount our seven way connector we're gonna use assistance from the Curt long bracket, part number C57202.

To attach the long bracket we'll just use the included hose clamp, you can tighten this down with a flat bladed screw driver or an eight millimeter socket. You can trim off any excess with a pair of snips. Mount your seven way bracket to your long bracket using the hardware provided in the Curt kit then tighten these down with a flat bladed screwdriver, Philips head screwdriver. You can hold the back with a 10 millimeter wrench. Slide your seven way connector under your bracket using the hardware in the ETBC7 kit, guide the long, flathead screws through the connector, and you can tighten these down with a flat bladed screwdriver and if necessary an eight millimeter wrench or socket.Connect the vehicle four-pole connector to the seven-pole connectors four-pole connector and then tidy up your wiring a bit.

Now the ETBC7 kit does come with butt connectors however they aren't heat shrink and since these are gonna live outside the vehicle we're gonna cut these off and replace them with heat shrink butt connectors, you can pick some of these up at etrailer.com. Strip back some of the wiring, slide on your new heat shrink butt connector, and crimp it down. Now we're gonna mount our ground wire, we're just gonna drill right onto our lower body panel on the drivers side. We did that using the self tapping screws provided in our kit. Now we just tied up our purple connector here, this is for our reverse lamps so we're not gonna be hooking that up on this vehicle but if you wanted to you could hook that up to your reverse lamp circuit.We're gonna take the gray harness in our kit, we're gonna strip back a little bit of that gray sheathing to expose our black and white wire. We're gonna connect our black wire to the black wire on our seven-pole and the white wire to the blue wire on our seven-pole and we'll be running these to the front and we'll show you how we routed that after we get it done. We went ahead and routed our wiring up on top of the frame and then just followed our factory wiring all the way to the front. If possible it's best to follow your factory wiring because that's already gonna be in a location where it's not gonna be susceptible to damage from a moving object or heat such as your exhaust, other moving objects can be steering or suspension components. We just followed it right along, zip tying it to the harness as went to make sure it stays in place. When you get up here you can zip tie it to the harness and stick your excess, tuck it up in there.Now due to the short lengths of the hood there's a good chance that you can just reach in and grab the wire that you tucked up in there. If your reach is a little bit too short you can use a piece of airline or a coat hanger under the object, feed it down, tape it to the wire, and then pull it back up. Now we're gonna mount our circuit breakers, we're gonna mount the 30 amp circuit breaker here and we're gonna mount that 40 amp circuit breaker there. We're gonna use our self tapping screws provided in our ETBC7 kit to do this.With our circuit breakers connected we can strip back our gray wire, we just want to cut this wire back to expose the white and black wires underneath so we can route those to the appropriate location. Now the black wire we ran up from the back is gonna go to our 40 amp circuit breaker on our silver stud. I'm just gonna go ahead and cut it, give it a little bit of excess so we have some for the future if we need it. Strip some wire back and crimp on one of the small ring terminals from our kit and slide that on there and then tighten this down using a three-eighths socket or wrench.We're gonna go ahead and remove the grommet located here so we can run our wires through. Just slide your screwdriver behind it and pry outward. Now route your white wire over and tuck it in through that hole. Once you've got it in you can go on the inside and pull it all the way through. Now look down below and you'll see your wire, just pull it on through. Now the white wire we just ran in is your brake controller wire, we want to go ahead and mark that because we'll be running other wires in the vehicle that may also be white so we're just gonna put some black tape around it so we know that this is our brake controller wire.Now we need to run our brake signal wire. Our brake signal is gonna come from fuse 68 in the fuse box so we're gonna use part number F2526 to tap into that circuit and run it into the vehicle. If there wasn't enough wire included in your kit you can get some more at etrailer.com using part number 16-1-1, we're gonna need about five or six feet to go from our fuse inside of our vehicle to reach our control box. We're gonna go ahead and crimp this now as it's more difficult once it's located in the fuse box.We removed fuse 68, set it into our adapter here, and we just slide our adapter while we remove that fuse. When standing in front of the vehicle looking down into your open fuse box it is the bottom row, third from the left, that will be fuse 68. You can also find this on the label written on the lid of your fuse box cover. Now you'll need to cut out a small section from your fuse box lid for the wire to poke through. Now run your red wire over to the grommet hole that we opened up before and poke it on through. Now go ahead and grab your red wire and pull it on through.Now we need to run power and ground to our brake controller. It's a good idea to order some extra wire as your kit will likely not have enough for longer vans, you can get some of this with part number ETBCXW. Now we've gone ahead and stripped some of our wire back, we're gonna be connecting our white wire to ground and our black wire's gonna be going to power which will be coming from one of our circuit breakers we mounted before. Go ahead and strip back some of your white wire and crimp on one of the large eyelet connectors. We're gonna follow our cable down and go right here to the body so that way it's connected directly to our large battery cable. Go ahead and remove the bolt with a 10 millimeter socket, slide the bolt through your large eyelet, and then feed the eyelet on the battery cable ground. You can go ahead and route the remaining wire over to your grommet and it's best to just follow your factory wiring.Now we're gonna mount our black wire to our 30 amp circuit breaker silver stud. Go ahead and strip some back, crimp on your small eyelet connector connected to the silver stud. Go ahead and tighten it down with a three-eighths inch wrench or socket. Now route the rest of it inside your grommet hole that you opened up before. Once you get it poked through you can pull it in from the inside.We now have all of our wire run for our brake controller so you can go ahead and make a slit in your grommet and reinstall it. Slide your grommet over your wires and then poke it back in. Go ahead and grab your wires and trim to the same length. If you cut off the black tape on your marked brake controller wire just make sure you re-tape that wire. The black wire is gonna connect to our black wire that we ran from our battery positive circuit breaker, the white wire is gonna go to the white wire that we ran in from ground, the blue wire is gonna connect to our brake controller signal wire, this is gonna be the white wire that we ran in and wrapped in black tape, and our red wire is gonna connect to our brake signal which is the fuse that we tapped into and the red wire that we ran in. Just go ahead and butt connect those together now using the butt connectors provided in your kit, since these are inside the vehicle these don't need to be supplemented with the heat shrink series.Next we're gonna mount our brake controller. The most appropriate location is gonna determine on the driver of the vehicle. It's best that you take a seat in the drivers location, figure out what works best for you. See over here it may get in the way of your foot although it is typically mounted on the lower right side. On this vehicle though to prevent it from contacting your foot while driving we're gonna bring it a little closer to the center. Mount the bracket using the self tapping screws provided with your brake controller, slide your brake controller into place until it clips into your bracket, and make sure to tuck your wiring up and out of the way of your pedals and plug them into the back of your controller. With it all plugged in go back, tidy up your wires, and make sure everything stays zip tied out of the way.Now we need to run power to our circuit breakers using some of the excess black wire from our kit. Go ahead and cut that directly in half as you should have enough length and strip back both ends on each piece of wire. Then you're gonna put a small eyelet connector on each end of the wire and then on the other end of each wire you're gonna put a large eyelet connector. You're gonna connect the small eyelet to the copper stud on your circuit breaker and then tighten it down with a three-eighths inch wrench or socket and do the same thing with your other wire using the small eyelet end. We're then gonna connect both large eyelets of each wire with our battery positive wire located on our fuse box. If you're standing in front of the vehicle this is gonna be the one closer to the cab of the vehicle. You can loosen that nut using a 10 millimeter socket or wrench and tighten them back down with your 10 millimeter socket, then put your plastic cover back in place.With all of our circuits connected and everything powered up we're ready to test it out. We'll do this back at our seven-pole connector. Our left turn, right turn, taillights, brake lights, power, and brake controller. That competes our installation of the Tekonsha Primus trailer brake controller on our 2016 Chevrolet Express.


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