The trailer I’m purchasing has trailer brakes. I’m not sure when trailer brakes become necessary on trailers, but I’m guessing it’s when you jump from one axle to two. The weight of the trailer increases and the load capacity increases as well. With trailer brakes, your towing safety increases exponentially.
When I was up at B&B trailer sales, I talked to the guy who works there for some time about brake controllers. He mentioned two he liked; the CURT TriFlex and the Tekonsha P3. The Tekonsha was a bit more expensive, but from what he said and from what I read online, it’s the one you really want to purchase and use. More features, simpler setup, etc…
Earlier this week, I did a little comparison shopping online and eventually purchased the Tekonsha controller from ecustomhitch through Amazon. I got it for $144 and figured I’d save some money and install it myself. The installation is fairly simple. I found a few videos online that covered the entire process. Since I ordered the controller coupled with the wiring harness for my 2008 Ford F-250 Super Duty, I thought it would be smooth sailing.
I received the controller yesterday and headed out to the truck for the install. I took pictures along the way to post on this blog. Unfortunately, I ran into a bit of a hiccup.
I’m going to post half of the rather simple installation process below. I had to stop right after I ran the wiring harness though the dash and after I hooked it up because once I did and turned the ignition key, I got an error indicator light and the truck wouldn’t start. There was also no power to the controller. After some research online, I realized that ecustomhitch sent out the wrong wiring harness. Apparently, the “Super Duty” in my truck matters. Super Duty’s require a slightly modified harness than other Ford trucks and vans. I contacted them last night about the error and they shipped a new one this morning. I initially received a “3036” harness when I need the “3034-P.”
The photos below include some pretty decent shots of what you need to do if you’d like to run a brake controller wiring harness for something like a Ford F-250. You need to remove the auxiliary adapter panel, the center coin panel (where the factory brake controller would be, if I had one) and the cigarette lighter panel. The factory connection for the brake controller is plugged into the back of the coin panel. Unplug it and plug it into either the pigtail plug your truck came with or the custom wiring harness you purchased with your controller. Then, run it through and connect it to the controller. I’m going to post a “Part 2” to this post once I receive the correct harness and I finish the install. For now, enjoy these pictures.
Please find Part 2 of this install here.
Part 2 of the Brake Controller Installation
Just this morning, I received the correct wiring harness for my Tekonsha brake controller. As I mentioned earlier, I initially received the wrong one. With the new harness in hand, I was able to easily finish installing what I needed to install.
It’s very simple to complete a task like this. Simply remove a few panels in the dashboard, slide the wiring harness through the guts of what’s inside, drill a few holes to hold the controller bracket in place, attach the controller to the bracket and then connect the harness to the controller. Lucky for you, I took some pictures of part 1 and then some more of part 2. If you have any questions about what you see, please ask in the comment section below.
I haven’t configured the controller yet. When I get around to doing that after I receive the trailer, I’ll most likely write about post about that as well. Until then, enjoy what’s below.