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Needing to install full tow kit - Need help on OEM brake controller

 
Old 02-10-2017, 09:06 AM
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Default Needing to install full tow kit - Need help on OEM brake controller

I just inherited my parents 25' camper and need to install the full kit on my truck. I have a 2014 F150 XLT (ecoboost) and all I have at the moment is the factory 4-pin plug at the rear. No receiver, 7-pin, or brake controller.

I ordered a class IV hitch and the wiring harness for a 7-pin adapter (all from etrailer.com). All that is left before I install is a brake controller. I have been looking around and found on ebay the OEM brake controller that fits in the cubby just below the 4WD selector ****. It looks nice and I would prefer to use that, but is my truck ok with it? Not sure if I need to install any extra fuses, if the wiring harness is already available back there, and if I need any further parts to install it.

If its going to be a major headache, I am just going to get an aftermarket brake controller. I will just screw it in down by my right knee and be done with it, but they are rather unsightly there.

Thanks in advance for any info! I can post pictures of my set up if needed or get any further information.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:37 AM
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I was in the same boat as you a few years back and this is what I found.


On my truck it came with only a 4 pin connector and no hitch. Obviously no tow package either.

I installed the TBC and the Ford 4/7 plug that connects above the spare tire (the flat 4 pin was connected here, remove that). I went with the Ford 4/7 plug to try to maintain as much OEM as I could to insure compatibility.

Dealer flash for the TBC to work and I'm all good.

Here's what you need to do.

First you will need to see if you have the connector for the TBC behind the cubby hole. Some have found it plugged into the back of the cubby and some, such as myself, found it tapped somewhere around the steering column.

If you have that the move on to step 2.

You need to drop your spare and do some searching. The Ford 4/7 plug has an electrical connection that plugs in above the spare tire location. Now from a few months of research I did when I was where you're at there can be either 3 or 6 wires leading in to the harness that comes from the front of the truck (6 or 3 only because the ground comes from the 4/7 plug and attached to the frame before the harness connection).

In my findings, if your truck came from the factory with only the flat 4 pin plug for bumper pulling then the harness from the front of the truck only needs 3 wires.

This is the fun part......

For whatever reason some trucks have the 6 wire harness from the front to over the spare tire location. There is no way to find this out with VIN # or model # or anything along that line. There is no rule to say what your truck was to come with (ie. luck of the draw). The only way to find out is drop your spare, find the connector and count how many wires lead in to the "truck" end of that connector.

There really is no pattern as to which trucks have the ability to install the Ford TBC. Seen bare bones trim levels that have the wiring and seen top of the line without.

It does seem the only pattern I found was an XLT or up has about a 90% chance of having the option but still is a crap shoot. Also a Dearborn made truck might have a better chance then a Kansas City made one.

Good luck
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by EventHorizon View Post
I was in the same boat as you a few years back and this is what I found.


On my truck it came with only a 4 pin connector and no hitch. Obviously no tow package either.

I installed the TBC and the Ford 4/7 plug that connects above the spare tire (the flat 4 pin was connected here, remove that). I went with the Ford 4/7 plug to try to maintain as much OEM as I could to insure compatibility.

Dealer flash for the TBC to work and I'm all good.

Here's what you need to do.

First you will need to see if you have the connector for the TBC behind the cubby hole. Some have found it plugged into the back of the cubby and some, such as myself, found it tapped somewhere around the steering column.

If you have that the move on to step 2.

You need to drop your spare and do some searching. The Ford 4/7 plug has an electrical connection that plugs in above the spare tire location. Now from a few months of research I did when I was where you're at there can be either 3 or 6 wires leading in to the harness that comes from the front of the truck (6 or 3 only because the ground comes from the 4/7 plug and attached to the frame before the harness connection).

In my findings, if your truck came from the factory with only the flat 4 pin plug for bumper pulling then the harness from the front of the truck only needs 3 wires.

This is the fun part......

For whatever reason some trucks have the 6 wire harness from the front to over the spare tire location. There is no way to find this out with VIN # or model # or anything along that line. There is no rule to say what your truck was to come with (ie. luck of the draw). The only way to find out is drop your spare, find the connector and count how many wires lead in to the "truck" end of that connector.

There really is no pattern as to which trucks have the ability to install the Ford TBC. Seen bare bones trim levels that have the wiring and seen top of the line without.

It does seem the only pattern I found was an XLT or up has about a 90% chance of having the option but still is a crap shoot. Also a Dearborn made truck might have a better chance then a Kansas City made one.

Good luck
This is awesome information - thank you very much!

I also got the 4/7 plug for the rear, the one that you screw in right at the factory flat 4-plug.

Now to probe a little further (and this may be obvious to a non layman), but would the OEM brake controller only work with the 6 wires coming into the harness, or if my truck has the 3 can I still install it without much effort? If I need to run wires all over the truck, then I will probably just get the aftermarket.

I asked the guys at the local ford dealer about flashing the TBC, and they said it would be about $50...not a bad way to go if I can.

My truck sounds exactly like yours, but with all the snow we just got in MA, I can't go out there and drop the spare.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by throwaway View Post
Now to probe a little further (and this may be obvious to a non layman), but would the OEM brake controller only work with the 6 wires coming into the harness, or if my truck has the 3 can I still install it without much effort? If I need to run wires all over the truck, then I will probably just get the aftermarket.
Can't say for sure but I would assume that if you only have the 3 wire harness above the spare then the Ford TBC will not work right away. You could run wires from the front to the rear for the extra 3 if you want, I know one guy on here did.


Check this thread out for more info
https://www.f150forum.com/f82/added-...workie-339498/




There's also countless other threads on this if you search.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:43 AM
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You need six wires, well really five. The additional wires are for the TBC, 12 VDC Aux and backup lights. Most trailers don't have backup lights so you don't need this one. The 12V Aux line is used to keep the trailer battery maintained.

To get back to your question. If you have a 3 wire harness you would need to run two more wires from the front of the truck to the back connector. For the 12 V Aux line you will also need a 30 or 40 amp circuit breaker and I recommend a relay. Without the relay you will need to disconnect the trailer each time you stop to prevent TV battery drain.

If you have a six wire setup in addition the the OEM TBC I believe you will need to install a relay and fuse in the fuse block to complete the install. The owners manual should tell you which ones and where they are located in the block.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:52 AM
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Something else came to mind. I would check for a TBC connector in the dash regardless of the wiring harness installed. If you don't have one there is no advantage to using the OEM controller as you still have to tap into the brake pedal wiring or put in factory wiring. If you have the connector and 3-wire harness you will still need to run two more wires to the back of the truck.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:54 AM
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Multiple posts on installing an OEM brake controller, which then interfaces with truck's computer, and flashing it for free with FORScan.
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:41 PM
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Thanks for the input - I did a search Friday afternoon and obtained a plethora of information!

Looked up at the spare tire connection in my truck and I have the 6 wires (2014 Ford F150 - Kentucky Plant), and there is the harness right behind the cubby for the TBC.

Ordered all my parts and will update after install....thanks again.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:15 AM
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Don't forget the auxiliary transmission cooler.

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