Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2008 Toyota Tundra

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


Today on our 2008 Toyota Tundra, we're going to take a look at and show you how to install the Tekonsha Prodigy P3. This is a proportional trailer brake controller that will work for one up to four axles. The part number is 90195. To ease the installation along, we're also going to be using the Tekonsha Plug-in Wiring Adapter for the electronic brake controllers, part number 3040-P. Now the Prodigy P3 is one of the most popular brake controllers that we offer. It offers a wide range of adjustability and it is proportional.

Now the proportional aspect means that there is a sensor in the brake controller and that's going to sense what the vehicle is doing. If we apply the brakes very rapidly in our vehicle, it's going to sense that and it's going to send that kind of braking power to the rear to our trailer. If it's more of just a slow stop, maybe we're coming up to some traffic and we see it ahead of time and if it's a slow stop, it's going to send that kind of braking force to our trailer. We're never overworking our trailer brakes to get our desired effect. The adjustability here on the side is going to allow you set the power or what's often referred to as the gain. That's the amount of braking power that's going to be going to our trailer.

The lower that we set our gain, that's going to be more applicable for light-weight trailers that we're hauling on more flat ground. As our gain increases, our trailer size is going to be getting bigger, so we need more breaking power or maybe even the same size trailer but we're taking it through a mountain pass or something and we want more braking power so we can have more control. This is a very easy and quick way to adjust it. We also have what's called a Boost Mode. Now the Boost Mode is going to set how quickly and how aggressively our brakes are applied. You can see now we've got a truck there with a small trailer.

That would be a setting for no boost. As the trailer gets larger, say we go into boost level 1. You can see now we're dealing with a truck with a tandem axle trailer. As we get into boost level 2, that trailer size is now up to a tandem gooseneck and then boost level 3 is going to be for a very large trailer. That's going to be in relation to the size of your vehicle.

That's going to help us when we get to the higher end of our truck safe load handling capability to keep everything under control and operating safely. It has a programmable user interface. This is going to allow us to set the brightness. This is going to allow us to change the color. We can even set a user-preferred setting so if there are 3 different people driving the truck, you can each have your own setting on how you want that braking to feel. If you look online, we have very, very positive reviews on the P3. It's easy to install and it's something that a lot of people really like the functionality and the adaptability of it because we can really fine tune it in. The manual override lever located here on the bottom is kind of like a pull-style. You'll notice this is going to go up to the maximum that we have set in our gain. If we have our gain set high, it's going to go closer to that higher number. As we bring our gain down, our manual override is then going to run up closer to what we've got our gain set at there. No matter, any time we have an emergency situation or we just want to apply the brakes on our trailer, will we have to worry about getting too excited or moving our lever too far, causing a lockup situation. Now we have great adjustability and mounting locations with the P3 as well. As long as we keep it directly in line with our direction of travel, we can mount it in just about a 360 degree path, so straight down, straight up. No matter where you decide you want to mount it, as long as you can mount it straight in line, it won't be an issue. We have internal safeguards built into the P3 here. One, after your truck has been shut off, it's automatically going to shut down after a period of time to help prevent battery rundown. It has a disconnect notification that will let you know in the event of an accidental disconnection from the back of the trailer. The internal safeguard is going to protect both our brake controller and any breakaway systems that we might have attached. Something else that really helps to protect our trailer as well is that the P3 is going to recognize when we are in a prolonged stop situation. Maybe we're sitting at a stop light or sitting in traffic for a while. It's gradually going to reduce the amount of braking force going to the back so we don't have to worry about overheating our components. Now the first thing we're going to do here is to get our pigtail installed. It's a pretty easy process. Something I like to do: We've got an additional ground wire here. This is going to give us an excellent grounding location. I want to do about maybe six inches from the end of it or seven to eight inches from the end of it, I'm just going to tape it off to the other coil there, the other loom that has the four wires in it. Its just going to help keep it neat when it's underneath our dashboard. Now we're going to look right behind the parking brake pedal here. We've got a panel here on the side. If we go right above that, there's going to be a large white plug. You'll see right here attached to the wire loom just behind that panel, that's going to be our plug, really easy to get to. We'll take our connector, slide it right on until we here that click. Now that part's done. We need to find a spot for our ground to go. Conveniently enough right here, we've got a stud. I see the ring terminal's just a little bit too small to slide on there so we're gong to be using one that's a little bit larger, just by replacing that. We'll snip that off and then you'll see a standard 10 to 12 gauge ring terminal. Twist that back and just flex it over there. It gives us a really good spot to crimp to. We're going to pull to make sure it's nice and secure and then we'll grab a long extension. We'll need about eight or nine inches of extension and a 12mm and then just right here on the bracket that mounts to the parking brake, I'm just going to loosen that nut up and take it off of there. The ring terminal can go on. We can replace that nut and just tighten it down. All right. Now from that point, I like to run it straight forward here. Right above it here, we'll find a wire loom that runs through there. That will be a really good point for us to anchor it out. It's going to keep it away from any of the moving parts here and keep it up out of the way of our feet. Now it's time for us to find a suitable mounting point here for our bracket. I'm going to check in behind our panel, of course, to make sure we don't have any wiring issues that we might run into. There's a buzzer right here. There's not one installed so there won't be any wiring behind that. There's a wire loom that runs down in this area but it's behind a piece of metal, so we really shouldn't have to worry about that, either. Let's just figure out where we want this to be. We want this to be out of the way as we're getting in and out. That's why I never go over on the left side of the dash here. You're always going to hit your knee on it over there. Of course, we want to make sure our pigtail is going to have the range to come up and plug in. That looks good there so I'm just going to remember that location. We're going to grab two of the self-tapping screws that are going to be provided with the kit, bring our bracket up and use our self-tappers there to secure it. Now we're ready to install the brake controller on our bracket. We can slide our plug right in the back there just like that. Then we'll align the holes that we've got on each side with one of the holes in our bracket and we can use the provided machine-style screws to get it secured in place. That's secure. You can see we're nice and solid there. We don't have much pigtail left over but it is a good idea just to zip-tie that off so we'll never have to worry about it hanging down. There's a little wire loom that runs up there that we ought to be able to connect to without any kind of issues. You also do have the option, if you'd like to clean up the look a little bit, to wrap this up with some black electrical tape. It will give it an appearance of just one wire rather than several there, but that's completely up to you. Now the P3 is going to constantly monitor the connection between the truck and the trailer. This is going to indicate to us that we've got a good connection. If that connection we're to fail, you see then that it's going to flash "no trailer connected" in red, indicating that we have an issue at the rear of the vehicle that needs to be addressed. Now as we manually override the brake controller, you'll see our needles gradually move up to full power. That indicates we've got power going through our 7-pole plug to our trailer. Now doing this at home, you can simply plug in your trailer and when you operate that manual override, you want to hear the brakes engage. With the controller working as it should, that's going to complete our installation of the Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Trailer Brake Controller, Part No. 90195, also using Part No. 3040-P, which is the Tekonsha Plug-In Wiring Adapter for electronic brake controllers, both on our 2008 Toyota Tundra.


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