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1st gen brake controller

Discussion in 'Towing' started by Shikkapow, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Jan 5, 2012 at 6:20 PM
    #1
    Shikkapow

    Shikkapow [OP] Active Member

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    I recently bought a Popup that has electric brakes (my old one used the standard 4 blade towing harness) and I want to go ahead and install a controller. the dry weight of the camper is 1700# so it isn't much more than my old one, but since I have the option, I would be better served to install the controller.

    I checked out the towing bible but on the '01 it doesn't have the towing harness pre wired so I'll be splicing and running wires to the battery.

    Do I have any options to run wires to the fuse panel? there is a blank in the panel marked "power" that doesnt have a fuse but rated for 30A.


    is there a guide for wiring one of these on a 1st gen tacoma?

    There is now....




    thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jan 5, 2012 at 9:20 PM
    #2
    Shikkapow

    Shikkapow [OP] Active Member

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    ok so I couldn't find anything here or on the intranetz, so I'll try and post a step by step.

    2001 4x4 5 speed 2.7l Tacoma with a flat four trailer light pigtail on the back of the truck.



    I'll do my best to take photos as I go along..

    first I removed the lower dash board. 10mm socket and a phillips head screw driver.
    I had to disengage the hood latch to get the panel out of the way (I have to drive it to work tomorrow so it will be a 3-4 day process).

    Looking at the brake pedal and track it upwards to find the switch.
    [​IMG]
    this is the view looking up from the open drivers side door.

    closer view of the switch (yes I own large dogs, and yes they shed quite a bit)

    [​IMG]

    I took the wire loom off and pulled the connector out of the seat and used a multimeter to figure out that the green wire with the white stripe is the cold side of the brake light I don't have a manual or wiring diagram for the truck so it was trial and error)

    [​IMG]

    and that is about as far as I got tonight. I still haven't decided if I want to run the power all the way to the battery or do a little more digging to see if there isn't an empty 20 amp slot in the fuse panel.

    I have an el-cheapo controller since the trailer isn't much more weight than my old 1987 jayco , but since it has the brakes, i'll wire it.
     
  3. Jan 7, 2012 at 8:48 PM
    #3
    Shikkapow

    Shikkapow [OP] Active Member

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    I decided to run a hot wire to the controller from the battery, so it isn't switched. I'll update tomorrow if my truck won't start because the controller drained the battery.

    I found the grommet on the far left of the fire wall to the left of the clutch. I cut a *small* slit in the rubber and slid the 12 ga wire through for power (rated for a 20A fuse so I wouldn't recommend going any smaller than 12 gauge wire)
    [​IMG]
    And from the engine side, its just below & outboard of the master cylinder
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I just picked off the bolt on the positive side, put a crimp ring on the wire and tightened it back up.
    I then spent the next 20 minutes cleaning the battery terminals. [​IMG]

    I chose a solid state controller because the trailer I am towing currently is pretty light and I didnt want to deal with a pendulum switch and leveling etc etc. so i installed it vertically below the e-brake.
    [​IMG]
    I picked that spot because there is metal reinforcement behind the plastic, so I just drilled a small hole, lined up the mount and used self tapping screws to mount it solidly.

    I connected the hot wire from the battery & grounded the controller to the screw that mounts the OBD socket. (ground is the large white wire)

    [​IMG]
    Just a note, the new wires aren't zip tied to the e-brake channel, I didnt like the idea of something getting bound up up there, that one zip tie is just bundling, and not zipped to the e-brake.


    The trailer brake wire was pretty easy. I started in the back of the truck, tied the wire to the trailer hitch and ran it forward along with the factory brake wire harness. I came into the cab along with the factory wires in the same way I went through the firewall. Just below the drivers seat there is another grommet.
    [​IMG]
    I slit a *small* hole and pushed the wire through..
    [​IMG]

    I removed the four phillips screws that hold down the molding and ran the wire along the factory loom. I threaded the wire forward and brought it out just behind the fuse panel. Following the factory loom I crossed from left to right and crimped the connection to the controller. alot of the wiring up there lays against the vent to avoid all the moving parts, so I just followed the engineers ideas, and kept everything reasonably tight, It should be fine.

    For the control wire, I again used 12 gauge wire.

    Back by the bumper I had the standard four flat connection already installed for a few years
    [​IMG]

    I bought this adapter:
    https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbm=shop&q=hopkins+47185&aq=f
    for $25, it came with mounting hardware and is already set up if you have the flat four installed.
    I drilled pilot holes and used self tapping screws to mount the bracket to the bumper and started the wiring.

    there were a few extra wires (battery charger, and reverse disconnect) that I just cut back (leave yourself 6 inches or so just in case....) and bundled out of the way.
    The trailer brake wire from the control box, I just crimped to the blue wire on the adapter. The white I grounded to the frame (in the same hole I used on the original flat 4 harness) and plugged the old flat four into the adapter. it was nice because the run, turn and brake lights were already part of the old flat four. the only connection I had to make was the long wire from the brake controller, and the ground.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and thats it.

    I'm taking it on a trip this weekend and have no idea if the trailer brakes even work. I can hear the solenoids whining when the trailer is hooked up, but I haven't taken it on a test run yet. The voltage on the trailer brake wire varies with the levels on the controller so I know it is all working right, I just hope the trailer side is good to go .
     
  4. Jan 8, 2012 at 10:22 AM
    #4
    StaticFilter

    StaticFilter Well-Known Member

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    Lifted, N-Fab steps, Roof rack light bar, Grill guard, Volant Snorkel (not installed ye)
    Ooooh subbed for future use. Great writeup!
     
  5. Jan 10, 2012 at 6:51 PM
    #5
    Shikkapow

    Shikkapow [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks.


    and as an update the controller I used hasn't killed the battery, and works like a champ. if you hit the emergency o-$hit button it will lock up the trailer wheels, and the truck and trailer brake lights come on. the test run around the neighborhood was a success.



    Im towing it 3 hours next weekend, I hope it all goes well.
     
  6. Jan 11, 2012 at 8:00 AM
    #6
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    Hitch and wiring, aux back-up light, rear strobe lights, radio and underseat sub.
    Nice write up!

    There are some suggestions I have:
    Put all your wires in wire loom. Without it, you wires will eventually wear through and ground out. This is especially true where they are tied to the frame.
    Looks like you need to change your hitch height. Looks a little low on the hitch side.
    You may want to relocate the plug to a less exposed location. I have taken mine out with snowpiles and other obstacles. I intend to put mine inside the cross-frame portion of the hitch's square tube. It may require longer trailer wires though.
     
  7. Jan 11, 2012 at 9:31 PM
    #7
    Shikkapow

    Shikkapow [OP] Active Member

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    The original picture was they day I bought it and was towing it home. I had an old jayco with gocart wheels and needed a 4" drop.
    Im actually going with a 3/4" rise now. its a little high empty, but loaded down with camping gear I think it will either be level, or just a tad high.. I bought a chicom harbor freight 0" drop as well, but I feel better with the other hitch. I wont know until I load it, so I have both ready to go on camp day.

    I did put everything back into wraps, I just didnt think to add it to the write up.

    and Im stationed in Louisiana :frusty:

    im not too worried about snow drifts.
     
  8. Jan 12, 2012 at 9:17 AM
    #8
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    I noticed your location, but didn't know if you wheeled. I have ripped one off on a driveway apron. Hell, I drug the reciever on that driveway too.
    It was just a suggestion. No need to bang your head against a wall;)
     
  9. Jan 12, 2012 at 9:11 PM
    #9
    Shikkapow

    Shikkapow [OP] Active Member

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    Apparently you have never been to Louisiana.
     
  10. Jan 13, 2012 at 4:03 AM
    #10
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    New Orleans in 98 and lived in Biloxi for 9 months. What's your point:confused:
     
  11. Jan 13, 2012 at 4:13 AM
    #11
    4x4jeep

    4x4jeep Well-Known Member

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    Umm Louisiana kinda sucks is what I think he means haha
     
  12. Jan 23, 2012 at 8:39 PM
    #12
    Shikkapow

    Shikkapow [OP] Active Member

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    What he said. New Orleans for a weekend and nine months anywhere isnt the same as being stuck in hell for 3 years. 159 and a wake up, but who is counting :rolleyes:



    the brake controller worked fine as did the 3/4" rise, unfortunately the brakes on the trailer went to hell about half way through the trip. at some point they came on and wouldn't turn off. I think its the return springs in the trailer brakes and not the controller because the voltage does what its supposed to back on the trailer.

    another weekend project....
     
  13. Jun 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM
    #13
    SkiprJohn

    SkiprJohn Member

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    Shell
    Thanks for the great photos and write-up. I wish I had found this thread before yesterday when I hooked up some wires and ran wires here and there. Would have helped a lot. I got the black, white and blue wire through the very same grommet you used. Now I know I could have run the blue wire through a grommet in the floor.
    Still going to be working on it today. I'm terribly slow on these projects.

    Your photos were absolutely great.

    kind regards,

    John
     
  14. Jul 15, 2014 at 4:02 PM
    #14
    desertdawg

    desertdawg Member

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    Thank you for the excellent photos and instructions. I realize you wrote it quite a while ago, but of course it's just as helpful today to people such as myself who have never done it before. I just started today and had a real game finding the green wire\white wire as I could not pull out that little white plug from the brake switch. I presume there was a release clip on it but couldn't squeeze and pull at the same time. Longer thinner fingers might have helped! I was able to locate and tap into it in the wire loom that goes under the carpet cover on the doorsill. I will resume with the rest another day, but that should be easier (I hope)
     
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