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Trailer Wiring Harness Installation - 2015 Ford Escape

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How to Install a Trailer Wiring Harness on a 2015 Ford Escape


Today on our 2015 Ford Escape we'll be installing the Tow Ready T-One vehicle wiring harness with 4-pole flat trailer connector, part number 118566. Now to begin our install we're first going to go ahead and open up the rear hitch. Once we have the rear hitch open we need to remove both taillight assemblies. Each taillight assembly has two fastener covers and then two fasteners underneath, so keep in mind each process we do here to one side will get repeated identically on the opposite side. I'm going to use a small pick to remove the fastener cover. You could also use a small flat blade screwdriver.

Then once we have the two fasteners exposed we'll go ahead and remove them. We'll pull the taillight assembly back away from the rear of the vehicle, being careful not to break any of the alignment tabs underneath. We can see the alignment tabs underneath. Next we're going to go ahead and remove the taillight assembly. To do that we'll press on the connector lock separating the two connection points. I'm going to set the taillight assembly aside for reinstallation later.

Now with the driver side done I'll move over to the passenger side and repeat the same process. We're going to go ahead and remove a couple of the rear fascia fasteners to make it easier for routing our wiring. We'll do that for both sides. Note, also on each side we have a push pin fastener here. If we remove this plastic push pin fastener it gives us just a little more operating room. Now in order to get our wiring connected here to the manufacturer's, we need to feed it behind the rear fascia from underneath.

To help get it into position we're going to use a pull wire, which could be a stiff piece of wire, or in this case, we're just going to use a piece of air tubing. Now we've got our pull wire in place so that we can attach our yellow and brown wire connector to it and pull it up behind the driver side taillight assembly. Before I do that, to make it easier to install my power wire that will attach to the black wire coming from our converter box to the extra length of black wire provided with the install kit, we'll go ahead and secure the two together now. We'll use the yellow butt connector provided with our install kit, with the butt connector over the pigtail coming from the converter box, and secure it, and then attach our power wire, or the extra length of power wire provided with the install kit, to the other side of the butt connector. Now once these two connection points are good and secured I recommend to wrap them up with some black electrical tape to help keep them free from dirt, dust, debris and moisture. Now with that connection point done I'm going to go ahead and take our yellow and brown wire t-connector, attach it to our pull wire we fed from behind the taillight assembly with the black electrical tape. This will help assist us in getting it up into position behind the taillight.

Now we'll pull out on the rear fascia and pull our wire up into position. Once we have it in place we'll remove the tape and we can attach it to the manufacturer's wiring. We'll take the t-connector that matches the manufacturer's connection, plugging one side into the manufacturer's wiring, the other side into the taillight assembly. We can then go ahead and reinstall our driver side taillight assembly. We can also reinstall the fascia fasteners. Once our taillight fasteners are reinstalled, we'll put our caps back in place and we can move back underneath the vehicle so that we can route our green wire connector over to the passenger side and repeat the same process. Now keep in mind when routing your wiring to stay away from any moving components such as steering or suspension, or excessive heat such as exhaust. We'll now take the green and red wire t-connector and route it over to the passenger side. Again, once we have our wiring over here on the passenger side we'll use our pull wire by running it down behind the fascia, securing our t-connector to it, and then pulling the wiring up behind the passenger side taillight assembly. Plug the new t-connector into the manufacturer's wiring and the other side into the taillight. Note, as you can see, we've got a little bit of extra wire here on the passenger side, so using the zip tie provided, we'll secure the excess wiring off to the manufacturer's wiring. I'll cut off the excess from the zip tie, which will clean up the install look and get it out of our way. Then we can go ahead and put the taillight back in place and reinstall our fasteners. Next we're going to come back to the converter box and mount it to the body of the vehicle. When mounting it, we're looking for a flat, clean location, preferably sheet metal. We don't have a lot of great options for mounting our box, but we'll go ahead and remove the two-way adhesive and attach it here to the underside of the vehicle. Then we're going to use a long zip tie to help secure it. Run the zip tie around the box, through the pre-drilled hole here in the body of the vehicle, and just cinch it down. Then we can take the white wire coming from the box with the pre-attached ring terminal. It's going to be the ground wire for our converter box. We're going to run it here to the body of the vehicle. Note, we're looking for an area where the sheet metal doubles up for a good secure ground. We do not want to go into the floor board of the vehicle. We'll use the self-tapping screw provided to secure the ring terminal. Now once we have the ring terminal secured, take our 4-pole harness coming from the converter box and route it over towards the center of the vehicle and ultimately to our hitch. Then we can use the cap that's attached here to the 4-pole to secure it to our chain hold down. Now I'm going to take some of the zip ties provided with our install kit and secure my wiring here behind the rear bumper. Now the remaining wire we need to route is our power wire, which is going to go up and over the frame, up and over the bumper support, and then down the frame. Again, keep in mind when routing your wires, stay away from any moving components such as steering or suspension, or excessive heat such as the exhaust. As we route the power wire we'll also secure it as necessary. We're ultimately routing it up towards the firewall to the top of the engine component, and then to our battery. Again utilizing our pull wire to route through the sub-frame channel, I'll then take the power wire, attach it to the pull wire, help pull it into place. Again, I'm going to use my pull wire to help run up the fire wall to the top of the engine component. Now once we get our power wire here to the top of the engine compartment, I can remove the pull wire. We're going to set that aside for a minute, as we need to open up the battery box to access the positive battery post. Now once we have the battery cover removed, here we have the positive battery post. Now this style, the nut is not designed to be completely removed. What we'll need to do is loosen the nut, cut a ring terminal to fit over the post, and then resecure the nut. Now that we've got figured out where we're going to attach our power wire to, we need to install the inline fuse holder. We'll go ahead and cut the power wire to length, removing the excess, and strip it back. Then I'll prep the fuse holder. We'll take the fuse holder. I'm going to cut it so that I have one side longer than the other so that my fuse holder will sit inside the battery box. This side of our fuse holder will get the ring terminal, and the other side will get the butt connector so we can attach it to the power wire. Once again, once we secure the butt connection we're going to go ahead and wrap it up with some black electrical tape to help keep it free from dirt, dust, debris, and moisture. Then we can take our ring terminal and attach it to the positive battery post. Again, to do that we're going to back off the nut here for the positive battery post terminal, take our ring terminal, putting a small opening in it just large enough to fit over the post, slide it into position, and then resecure the nut. Our fuse holder will get the 15-amp fuse provided with the install kit. Put the cap on the fuse holder. Then we can just take the fuse holder and tuck it in next to the battery inside the battery box. Then I'll secure the wiring all to the manufacturer's battery cable. Then once we have everything installed and secured, we can reinstall the battery box cover. Once we have everything installed and secured we'll go ahead and test our new 4-flat trailer connector. We'll take our test light, putting our clamp on the white wire terminal, and then test the brown wire terminal for our running light circuit. Then we'll test the yellow wire terminal for the driver side turn signal and brake, and our green wire terminal for the passenger side turn signal and brake. There you have it for the install, operation, and testing of our Tow Ready T-One vehicle wiring harness with 4-pole flat trailer connector, part number 118566, on our 2015 Ford Escape. .


Ron

1/28/2019

Why is it necessary to run wires to the battery for power when you already have power from the vehicles brakes and turn signal wires? I have wired other vehicles and that step was unnecessary on them.

Etrailer Expert

Heather A.

1/28/2019

Newer model vehicles often use high-efficiency LED-type lighting. This wiring is not always able to handle the extra current drawn by the trailer lights. When this is the case the wiring harness will need a powered converter. This 4-way connector with a powered converter draws the actual power for the lights from the vehicle battery, and not through the car's own wiring.

Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Nicholas E
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F
Employee Cole B
Installed by:
Cole B
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y

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