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Brake controller in a 1st gen 2004

Discussion in 'Towing' started by custom1, May 6, 2012.

  1. May 6, 2012 at 8:52 AM
    #1
    custom1

    custom1 [OP] Member

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    I have an 04 3.4 auto. It came with a hitch and the green fan and a 4 pin connector. 5000# rating. I want to add a brake controller. I have added the 7 pin connector, just need to run the wires back for the controller and constant 12v.

    I would like to see where you guy's mount a brake controller in your 1st gen and what kind you have, timed or momentum. Pics would be great. I saw in the towing bible that the Activator III was recommended.

    Also what wire do I need to find to trigger the controller?

    I want to get a small camper. Was looking at a Jayco 23B. They are about 4000# empty. Does anyone tow something similar? It sounds a little heavy. I may end up settling on a 19' one. Really like the floor plan on the 23B though. Like this. http://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2004...23-B-102337665 Maybe I'll start another thread asking what you guy's tow with your 1st gens.

    John
     
  2. May 6, 2012 at 2:04 PM
    #2
    misterdmac

    misterdmac Well-Known Member

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  3. May 6, 2012 at 6:08 PM
    #3
    custom1

    custom1 [OP] Member

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    That link doesn't work. What is the name of the thread? I put brake controller in the search and get 5 pages of stuff to look at and none seam to be for gen 1.
     
  4. May 26, 2012 at 8:58 PM
    #4
    custom1

    custom1 [OP] Member

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    Ok. Here is what I did. I decided I wanted a proportional controller. I settled on the Tekonsha Primus. It has all the controls on the front and is fairly small. Got a decent price of about $75 on amazon.

    [​IMG]

    I was going to put it where the ashtray is, but got to looking and decided to try it above the emergency brake. It's a tight fit, but will work. To make as much space as possible, I made some spacers out of some washers and shimmed the brake handle down to the very bottom of the hole in the plastic. you can see the two bolts in this pic where I added the washers.

    [​IMG]

    I cut slots in them so I didn't have to remove the bolts.

    [​IMG]

    I think I used three washers under each bolt. That gives you about 1/2 or 3/4 inch more room above the handle.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can still get your hand on top of the brake handle but it is easier to just pull it from the bottom.

    The handle turns to release with enough clearance.

    [​IMG]

    I had already bought a 7 pin plug at Lowes before I saw the one recommended in the Towing Bible thread. It was only $15 but doesn't have the 4 pin connector as part of it. I rigged it so I can use both, my original 4 pin or the 7 pin. I just mounted the 7 pin where the factory 4 pin was and made a mount on the side of that to mount the original 4 pin. I can use the factory flat 4 by simply unplugging the 7 pin from it.

    [​IMG]

    I ran 10 gauge wires back for the controller and 12 volt power. I have the controller powered through a 20 amp circuit breaker and the 12 volt power through a 40 amp breaker and a relay so it will only be on when the ignition is on. I just have to find a good switched wire to power the relay. Any ideas on that?? I was thinking the 12 volt power outlets on the dash but maybe there is somewhere under the hood to tap into?

    Also what is normally in the two blank spaces to the right of the power outlets from the factory?

    [​IMG]

    I general there doesn't seem to be a lot of info on towing with a 1st gen. Hope this helps someone else that is trying to do this.

    Is there a thread dedicated to what people tow with a 1st gen? I never could get that link above to work.
     
  5. Jun 2, 2012 at 5:11 PM
    #5
    bryntowin

    bryntowin Member

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    i have the same truck most of the info is all here it takes longer to find......my truck has the orange fan bummer......i installed the wiring and brake controller i didnt run a hot wire to charge anything i am worried about my alternator not keeping up with two batterys extra lights extra brakes i also installed a tranny cooler i just drove around the neighborhood getting my brakes set up and am heading out on monday to go camping good oh i am towing a 07 fleetwood arcadia dry 3200# gross 4000#
    good luck

    im not sure what wire you are talking about but if it is the one to active the brakes it is up above your brake pad i believe it was white and green just use a test light and poke a wire until your light comes on when you push the brake down and wire that to your controller i actually mounted mine the same way you did other then i am a hillbilly and just zip tied it to the ebrake handle never use it had one seize up on me once........
     
  6. Jun 3, 2012 at 8:00 AM
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    custom1

    custom1 [OP] Member

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    bryntowin, I did find the right wire. It is Green with a white stripe. Don't have a trailer yet to test it with. I am looking at a couple trailers that are around 3800# dry. You will have to let me know how your truck handles the 3200#s. Maybe post a pic of your rig.
    I may do some research into if there is a larger capacity factory alternator I could swap easily. Maybe one off a newer Tacoma would fit?

    John
     
  7. Jun 8, 2012 at 10:07 AM
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    bryntowin

    bryntowin Member

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    the trip went good i dont have any pics to post but if you look up an 07 fleetwood arcadia tent trailer you will see what i towed it is a high wall type it pulled good it was super windy and didnt have much sway i would image with a hard trailer you would have to get a weight distrubator hitch i went up some big hills and the 3.4 was pretty weak i think the newer toyotas have a bigger engine i was probably about 3800# -4000# loaded up i dont know that i would want to pull to much more my trailer brakes worked good and i think the tranny cooler helps with the big hills i burnt alot of fuel its not so bad on flat terrian but the hills really sucked the fuel i used a little yamaha 1000w generator to charge the batttery a couple hours a day i didnt wire a hot wire to the trailer
     
  8. Jun 19, 2012 at 9:42 PM
    #8
    SkiprJohn

    SkiprJohn Member

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    I joined this forum just to find out which brake wire I needed to tap into for my Tekonsha P2 hookup. I'll give the green with the white stripe a go.

    I don't know how I was supposed to reach up there to get a test light to the wires in order to test them. How'd you do it? I took the bottom of the dash off and the heater vent tube and still couldn't wiggle my old bod in there with more than a couple fingers. I did get the switch unplugged and will probably have just enough room to put a connector there but what a pain.

    By the way. I mounted the controller where the ashtray was. I haven't used an ashtray since the 80s so didn't think I needed it.

    Thanks again,

    John
     
  9. Jun 20, 2012 at 7:11 AM
    #9
    custom1

    custom1 [OP] Member

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    Welcome John, I'm fairly certain that it is the green wire with a white stripe. I used a meter with a pointy probe to pierce the jacket of the wire(while it is still hooked to the switch), and with the key on pushed the brake and see if you get 12v. Then after I was sure I had the wire that was only hot with the brake on I used one of those quick connectors to attach the wire from the brake controller. I think I had to remove some wire wrap between the plug and where those wires go into the harness. Not a lot of length to work with, maybe 3 or 4 inches, but it fit.

    I know what you mean about trying to work under the dash. At 51 with bifocals it is not the same as I remember when I hooked my first 8track up at 15 or 16 LOL. And a 71 Ford LTD has more room to lay on the floor too.:rolleyes:
     
  10. Jun 20, 2012 at 7:34 AM
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    custom1

    custom1 [OP] Member

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    Thanks for the report. I read this a while ago and thought I replied to you but must have forgot.
    I borrowed my FIL's flatbed car hauler last week and went for a test run for an hour or so. He says it weighs about 2800#. The Taco did pretty well with that. I got a chance to a least dial in the brake controller and try some hills around here. Right now I'm trying to find a camper that has the most amenities with the lightest weight. Trying to stay at 32-3600lbs.
     
  11. Jun 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM
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    bryntowin

    bryntowin Member

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    went out agian and the highway i had to go on just happened to have a race....i hate people....so i was on the brakes for a long time and at a stand still anyways my truck shut off.... and from what i could figure is that i was using too much power and the alternator couldnt keep up i ended up on the side of the road idling and charging back up i just turned my trailer brakes to zero and everything was fine i could be wrong but that is what i think happened by the way my tent trialer has a shitter/shower hot water heater fridge oven/stove heater etc bascially the same as a hard trialer but its lighter and not as tall making it easyier to pull but the down fall is it is still a tent trailler but that might be something you want to check out not for everyone later
     
  12. Jun 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM
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    SkiprJohn

    SkiprJohn Member

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    I use my trailer to haul around a little John Deere 790 tractor with a bucket. It weighs about 4500 lbs and the trailer weighs about 1800. My elevation gain to the farm lot is 1200 feet in 8 miles. Some of the steeper hills I have to shift down to 3rd but can pull most of it in 4th or 5th. Coming down is when I need brakes.
    One tough little truck. It is a 4 cyl. I decided to comply with the new law here which requires trailer brakes on tandem axle trailers. I think its a good idea. Hope I get the right wire. Why the dickens do they have so many wires on that switch anyway?
    kind regards,
    John
     
  13. Jun 20, 2012 at 4:36 PM
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    SkiprJohn

    SkiprJohn Member

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    Ok, got the red wire attached to the green wire with the white stripe and when I press on the brake pedal with the key on the ammeter says I've got power. Thanks to you folks I got that wire done. Now I need to do the rest of the wiring.

    I wanted to get the squirming around in the area where we normally keep our feet (bilge) before I got after the rest of it. That was tough. If I were 3 feet tall and had a prehensile tail or a couple more hands it would have been easier.

    kind regards,

    John
     
  14. Jun 21, 2012 at 8:55 AM
    #14
    custom1

    custom1 [OP] Member

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    I'm going to take a guess and say you probably have a timed brake controller. When you have to sit still with the brake on the controller is going to max output as long as the brake is on. A proportional controller may help some as once you are stopped it backs off to a smaller output. You may have to try to jamb a larger capacity battery in there and a higher output alt. I've been reading about the alt swaps on here recently. Not sure if I need to do that yet.
     
  15. Jun 21, 2012 at 1:13 PM
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    bryntowin

    bryntowin Member

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    ya you are right......i dont tow enough to worry about the battery and alternater swap maybe when they go to shit i will but for now i will just turn my trailer brakes down or off if i am in a traffic jam thats one thing nice about wyoming you dont have all the people to fight my problem was i got suckered into going to utah...........
     
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