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Trailer Wiring Harness Installation - 2016 Ford Explorer

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How to Install a Trailer Wiring Harness on a 2016 Ford Explorer


Today on our 2016 Ford Explorer we'll be showing you how to install the tow ready T1 vehicle wiring harness with 4 pole flat trailer connector, part number 118540. Our 2016 Ford Explorer here is actually a really simple job to install trailer wiring. We have this quick connect harness here that plugs directly in line with the factory tow wiring on the passenger side of the vehicle. Just to the right of the muffler there's a connector right here. We'll just press in on the locking tab, pull down. We'll take our tow ready wiring harness, we'll take the female end and plug it in this side here which goes towards the front of the vehicle.

Push it into place until it clicks. We'll take the male end and plug it in towards the end near the back. Just like that. We'll take the already loomed 00:01:02 wire with the 4 pole flat and we'll route it towards the center of your bumper behind the bumper cover. Now before we start securing our 4 pole flat trailer connector behind the bumper, we're going to secure it to the trailer hitch with a couple brackets. This bracket here is available on our website as part number 18140.

The 4 pole flat bracket that can attach to it is part number 18144, also available on our website. This will help provide a cleaner installation so you don't have to worry about wires dangling below your vehicle. It'll give you a permanent place to connect your trailer to. We'll take the clamp that holds the larger bracket to the tube of the receiver. Using a 5/16 nut driver we'll undo the clamp, install it onto our bracket, go over the tube of our receiver. Reinsert the clamp together, give it a couple turns by hand first.

Grab our nut driver again. We want to get it as close to the receiver tube as possible while still having room to get our safety chains in and insert our hitch pin. Because our hitch angles up here a little bit we'll just get it right to where it starts to angle and secure it into place, trying to make sure the bracket stays level too. That's nice and solid. Now we can take a pair of tin snips and cut off the excess of our host clamp.

Try to bend it up towards the tube of the receiver too, just so you don't potentially run your hand against a sharp edge. Let's take our bracket, line up which holes it goes into, which case is the middle one. We're going to put it on the bottom and take the Philips screw, go from the bottom and we'll stick our nut on top. This nut has a built in lock washer. We'll thread on our inaudible 00:03:25 hood like so, get it started. We'll do the same for the other one. Using a 3/8 wrench we'll hold a nut into place and take our Philips screw driver and run up the screws all the way. Slug 00:03:44 it down. The lock nut will keep it from backing out. You can see we have a nice solid connection for our 4 pole flat to rest into. Take our 4 pole flat from the back side and push it through. You may need to pull it through with a pair of tires because it's a pretty tight fit. Once the ridge of the connector right here is in front of the tab on the bracket it'll be secure in place. We can take our dust cap and slide it over the connector like so. Now we can secure all the wires up behind the bumper. Route the excess wire back over to where our module is like so. We will start securing it in place with zip ties, making sure we have all the excess. We'll take the harness where it goes over the muffler on the right side and secure it to the tube of our hitch on the top just to give us a little more clearance away from the hot exhaust. We'll take our excess loop that we have over here and pull it back on itself like so. Insert a zip tie to the factory wiring harness again. Now we will cut off our excess zip ties just so they don't hang down below the vehicle. That will complete our installation. We'll take our dust cover off and we'll test the functions of our 4 way flat trailer connector with a trailer tester here. We have these available on our website as part number I26. We'll insert it and run our functions. With our headlights on on our Ford Explorer you can see the tail light function on our trailer is functioning. Now I'll do a left turn signal. You can see that starts to flash. I'll do a right turn signal. You can see the light for that wire starts to flash. Now we'll test the brakes. You'll notice that both the left and the right turn signals function as the brake lights on our trailer. That completes the installation of the tow ready T1 vehicle wiring harness with 4 pole flat trailer connector. Part number 118540 on our 2016 Ford Explorer.


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Info for this part was:

Test Fit:
Joe V
Video Edited:
Zack K
Video by:
Andrew K
Installed by:
Jeff D
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Video Edited:
Andrew L
Video Edited:
Kathleen M
Video Edited:
Chris R
Video by:
Zach D
Test Fit:
Brent H
Test Fit:
Shane H

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