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2nd-gen tow package: 7-blade "gray plug"???

Discussion in 'Towing' started by runderworld, May 17, 2013.

  1. May 17, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    runderworld [OP] Member

    Mar 17, 2013
    San Diego, CA
    08 DC TRD Sport (indigo,at)
    So this is my first question on the forums, as I've been very careful to search high and low for answers before asking. I haven't found anything after a month of scouring the web, so here goes:

    I live on the coast, where the salt air and water wreak havoc on metals/electronics. Back when when I bought my '08 DC Sport new, I neglected to put dialectric grease in the OEM 7-blade tow socket receptacle, where I keep a 7-to-4pin adapter plugged in to accommodate my 4-pin trailer wiring. So the copper corrosion started within months, but I didn't know any better and neglected it for years--until a few months ago, one of the 7 copper blades finally snapped off. Bummer.

    [OEM wiring harness and socket w/ removed "gray plug"]

    [receptacle w/ "gray plug" plugged in]

    I wanted to reduce the problem to its simplest form, so I took apart the receptacle (above) and found this "gray plug" (also above) connected directly to the wiring harness (close-up images shown below).

    ["gray plug" front (note one broken blade)]

    ["gray plug" rear]

    [empty receptacle where the "gray plug" would be plugged in]

    Now, I want to keep the 7-pin feature for electric brakes, should I ever need them in the future. With that said, there are several known options I have:

    - buy an EXTREMELY overpriced OEM replacement part ($175) => even though it's plug-n-play, NO THANKS.
    - splice in an aftermarket 7-blade+4-pin combo receptacle => simple, but not plug-n-play.
    - somehow solder a blade replacement in, attach the 4-pin adapter with plenty of dialectric grease, superglue it, and pray to God it holds together => cheap, sloppy, short-term, prone to failure, BUT by God, just maybe it will work... ;-)

    So based on that, here are my actual questions:

    Q1) Does anyone know if there is a replacement JUST for this simple OEM "gray plug"? (sorry, I don't know the proper term for this "plug", and haven't been able to find any info on it)

    Judging by the fact that Toyota only sells the entire harness (see the very first image), I suspect the answer is no. But maybe someone here might know or have had a similar experience...

    That would then bring me to my second question:

    Q2) Does anyone have the above "gray plug" they'd be willing to sell for a reasonable price? (I'm thinking someone who busted their OEM tow socket/bracket while wheeling, etc., or who otherwise swapped out that receptacle for something else?) No luck here at the local junkyards or on ebay.

    And finally, a third question:

    Q3) Anyone know of a different plug-n-play option to replace the OEM wire harness? (close-up photo of OEM female connector shown below)

    Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read this detailed set of questions. I would greatly appreciate any and all assistance you can provide. Maybe someone else has already traveled this road.

    Before I go the route of splicing in a new aftermarket receptacle, I'd really like to try to preserve the OEM tow wiring socket.

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