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RedArc Tow Pro Elite install in 2nd Gen

Discussion in 'Towing' started by 1 Bored Clerk, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. Jul 12, 2020 at 5:44 PM
    #1
    1 Bored Clerk

    1 Bored Clerk [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I recently bought a small trailer for dirt bikes and home projects. Silly considering I own a truck but my truck can no longer do truck stuff because it's a camper now. I got my small trailer with trailer brakes because long downhills with my loaded truck already tax the brakes (going to upgrade to 4runmer front brakes this year). So I need a brake controller. The Tow Pro Elite from RedArc looked like the solution that fit best for me. Mainly the simple install and seamless integration.

    Here's the trailer
    IMG_20200609_130943.jpg
    Iron Eagle 5x8. 2825lb payload capacity. 3500lb axle with electric trailer brakes. Have already used it quite a lot for dirt bikes and concrete and rented tools. It's great! Love the drop down ramp.

    I started the brake controller install today
    IMG_20200617_092631.jpg
    Main brain. This gets hidden under the dash.
    IMG_20200617_092619.jpg
    This is the control interface. The only thing you see or touch is the small knob.

    IMG_20200711_100221.jpg
    I wanted to mount the control interface in one of the unused switch plate locations under the climate controls on my 2013 TRD OR. RedArc sells a switch mount that slots right in place and it's already designed to accept the Tow Pro Elite interface. Saves me time customizing the switch blank. That would have been a sucky job as there is a lot of plastic that would need to be removed.

    IMG_20200711_100341.jpg
    IMG_20200711_100327.jpg
    See! Nice exact fit.

    IMG_20200712_164512.jpg
    You do have to widen the opening back inside the recess a little for the body of the controller to slide through. Not much though. This sort of looks hack in the photo but that's mostly the fuzziness of files plastic and the fact that the edge of the plastic was notched and I didnt need to file that much off. I did the minimum.

    IMG_20200712_164938.jpg
    Running the RJ45 style cable to the driver's area was a little but of a hassle. There is a lot of interfering plastic in the area. Plenty of room behind the switches but not much room to pass anything through to the left. Removing the climate control panel (super easy) gave me a better view. Going up and to the left saw the cable going right through a natural opening into the driver side dash area.

    IMG_20200712_165004.jpg
    Hook up the cable to the controller and snap it in place.

    IMG_20200712_165025.jpg
    Now turn the shaft of the adjuster know fully counter-clockwise before pushing the knob on. Zero gotta be at zero!

    IMG_20200712_165601.jpg
    Boom! Control interface installed.

    IMG_20200712_165552.jpg
    Looks good to me.

    Next up is the main brain and it's wiring. I need to find a suitable location under the dash then get the wiring dialed. The Tow Pro came with the wiring and plug for its end and I bought a vehicle specific plug/wiring from Tekonsha for the vehicle side. Should be easy. Hopefully I'll get that done tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
    Heyyo_Friday, po35042 and SC3 like this.
  2. Jul 16, 2020 at 5:50 PM
    #2
    GT3North

    GT3North Well-Known Member

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    Nice install. Love that controller.
     
    1 Bored Clerk[OP] likes this.
  3. Jul 16, 2020 at 5:59 PM
    #3
    Babybluetaco

    Babybluetaco Well-Known Member

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    Subd. Wanting to put brakes on my 6.5x10

    C2F09099-8201-4002-894C-83FFFE2B30E8.jpg
     
    GT3North and 1 Bored Clerk[OP] like this.
  4. Jul 16, 2020 at 7:38 PM
    #4
    1 Bored Clerk

    1 Bored Clerk [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I've got another project brewing that will require some dash disassembly so I'm kind of waiting for that the finish this up. Soon!
     
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  5. Jul 19, 2020 at 3:57 PM
    #5
    1 Bored Clerk

    1 Bored Clerk [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So, I tore copious amounts of my interior apart looking for a reasonable place to mount the brains of the controller. There isn't much space anywhere that didn't seem to either compromise access to other OEM components or expose the controller to high heat (transmission tunnel).

    IMG_20200719_144740.jpg
    We're going to focus on this area. There are pickets of space that fit the controller perfectly. One on each side of the stereo.

    IMG_20200719_144745.jpg
    Two strips of VHB tape on the backside...

    IMG_20200719_144748.jpg
    One on the front side.

    IMG_20200719_145002.jpg
    IMG_20200719_145009.jpg
    Slide the controller into this space. It's tough because the available space is the same width as the controller with tape on both sides. And now both sides are very sticky. I was able to get it worked in there and it appears very secure as it's always under a small bit of pressure. If you're confused about where this space is, here's a quick description: between the wall of the radio slot in the dash and the HVAC outlet to the left of the radio.

    I used a Tekonsha adapter that plugs right into the factory trailer brake plug on 2nd gen Tacoma's that are equipped with the tow package, which my 2013 TRD OR is. That pigtail terminates in bare wire ends. The plug that came with the RedArc also terminates in bare wire. And both plugs terminate with the same color wires in the same wire gauge...convenient! A little butt connector action with some heat shrink and loom sleeve for good measure and you have a nice harness. I left it full length and ended up with about 8" more length than I needed but that was easy to loop and ziptie to a metal bracket. I ran the wiring up over the top of everything just under the dash cover. Easy and plenty of room. The RJ45 plug ran up from the switch I had already installed earlier up where the 4wd selector is. Also much too long so I wound it up and ziptied it to the harness for the 4wd selector.

    This looks really complicated but it takes about 10 minutes to access all of the wiring and components once you're familiar with how it goes together. This was the best location I could find that allowed ready access to the plugs as well as wire routing.

    Now I just need to let the ol girl learn her orientation then do some towing! I've actually been towing really often lately. One load of 40 bags of concrete would have been excellent to see the effects of the trailer brakes. Next time!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
    Heyyo_Friday and po35042 like this.
  6. Jul 30, 2020 at 9:30 PM
    #6
    po35042

    po35042 Well-Known Member

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    Camper Shell w/roof rack, Bed stiffeners, Step Bars
    Thanks for this, Great write up and pics. I have been eyeballing the same controller.
     
    1 Bored Clerk[OP] likes this.
  7. Jul 30, 2020 at 10:13 PM
    #7
    1 Bored Clerk

    1 Bored Clerk [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So far so good with the controller and install. I like how integrated it appears and it keeps the interior of the truck looking clean and free of clutter.
     
  8. Apr 30, 2021 at 9:30 PM
    #8
    stickyTaco

    stickyTaco Fuck Cancer

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    Thanks for the writeup. Mine is going in this weekend hopefully.
     
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  9. Oct 23, 2022 at 6:27 AM
    #9
    Moto_dj

    Moto_dj Well-Known Member

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    Nice install! I have this controller as well and have been very happy with it...been working great for a few years now.

    Installed mine in a little different spot because I didn't want to take up a switch blank.

    DSC_0330.jpg

    DSC_0329.jpg
     
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  10. Dec 4, 2022 at 6:03 PM
    #10
    clenkeit

    clenkeit Well-Known Member

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    Haven't seen many other 2nd gen installs of the RedArc so figured I would add an update here for how I'm doing mine. I bought my RedArc second hand from a 3rd gen owner and it included the wiring harness which I wasn't sure if it was going to be compatible with my 2nd gen or not. It wasn't.

    On the left is the OEM 2nd Gen Tacoma trailer brake wiring harness (p/n 82132-0C010) that comes with tow pkg equipped vehicles. On the right is the RedArc wiring harness for a 3rd gen. As you can see, the connectors (the white ones) are a completely different style, so there's no way the harness for the RedArc is going to plug into a 2nd gen.
    0A5C5FB3-C9B7-4044-8B7E-A2A6FCD1DFF7_1_105_c.jpg


    Here's another close up. 3rd Gen (RedArc harness) on the left, 2nd gen (OEM harness) on the right.
    99F4F160-5D1C-4313-AB00-CC36B8906EC6_1_105_c.jpg

    2E326287-BF1B-483D-8E01-55A646E397EB_1_105_c.jpg


    But, luckily the pins used are identical and it's just the connector that differs. Which means you can easily swap and re-pin these connectors. In order to do so, start by disconnecting the "lock" mechanism holding the pins in place. Both connectors have the same style. Just put a small screwdriver or pick into the recess, as shown, to pop up the "lock". This piece doesn't come out, it just pops up ~2-3mm.
    830E3E1F-AED3-4995-BF7F-BA52EA58A1BC_1_105_c.jpg


    Next, remove the pins themselves. Similarly, use a pick or small screwdriver to bend back the little tab which holds each pin in place. Same concept for both the smaller and larger pins.
    44B7C0CA-17D8-4EC5-B470-E48C93E3240E_1_105_c.jpg


    Then, you just swap it over. In order to make sure I didn't make a mistake I would de-pin one wire and then re-pin it rather than removing all wires at once. Here's what it looked like after I'd swapped two pins over to the 2nd gen connector. The two wires/pins (red and black) you see above the connectors are the two which I removed from the 2nd gen connector and you can see I moved 2 wires from the RedArc harness over to the 2nd gen connector. The wire colors don't match, as you can see here, so I used some wiring diagrams (see below) to ensure I was putting the pins in the right locations.
    2853B6CB-8CE3-4C07-97B9-F1C2CE71A2D7_1_105_c.jpg

    43FD26A6-0746-4814-AD2B-4096AB67EDB1_1_105_c.jpg

    7338103B-DF87-42B7-BC9B-C626D8017AFD_1_105_c.jpg


    Once all pins were swapped over I was left with the 2nd gen connector now attached to the RedArc harness, a lone 3rd gen connector and all of the wiring from my OEM 2nd gen harness adapter.
    FBECE3DC-6199-475B-8C82-15946715D435_1_105_c.jpg


    So there you have it. If you have your factory trailer brake wiring harness adapter you can buy the 3rd gen ready kit from RedArc, make this simple modification and you've got a plug and play setup with no cutting or splicing of wires.
     
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  11. Dec 4, 2022 at 6:14 PM
    #11
    Heyyo_Friday

    Heyyo_Friday Will post memes for truck parts

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    You're an absolute God for figuring this out. This is going to save me so much time whenever I get around to buying a control. Thank you:bowdown:
     
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  12. Dec 4, 2022 at 6:32 PM
    #12
    EMR

    EMR Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up. I love my Redarc brake controller. Honestly the hardest part was finding the darn plug hidden in the OEM harness under the dash.
     
  13. Feb 1, 2023 at 8:03 PM
    #13
    roary_tubbs

    roary_tubbs Active Member

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  14. Feb 1, 2023 at 8:36 PM
    #14
    1 Bored Clerk

    1 Bored Clerk [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I think I bought mine from ETrailer.com. there is the controller, the wiring harness to connect to the factory Toyota tow package, and the little knov surround that fits in a Toyota switch blank. That knob surround came directly from RedArc I think. It's been a while.
     
  15. Feb 2, 2023 at 8:29 AM
    #15
    mic_sierra

    mic_sierra Toshiba HDDVD is the future

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    For those with a 3rd Gen here is my Redarc Tow pro Elite writeup w/ pics. `10,000 miles towing full time without issue.
     
  16. Feb 2, 2023 at 10:01 AM
    #16
    clenkeit

    clenkeit Well-Known Member

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    If you get the harness for the 3rd gen directly from RedArc then you can do the modification I outlined in my post (assuming you have the factory trailer brake adapter that came with your truck or bought it separately). I bought mine used but it's exactly the same as the kit you can get from Redarc with the 3rd gen specific wiring.

    If you buy the adapter from Etrailer which 1 Bored Clerk mentioned then you'll need to splice that harness into generic wiring harness that comes with the RedArc.
     
  17. Feb 6, 2023 at 7:19 PM
    #17
    roary_tubbs

    roary_tubbs Active Member

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    Thanks! Where did you put the brown and green wires? Are those no longer needed?
     
  18. Feb 7, 2023 at 7:34 AM
    #18
    clenkeit

    clenkeit Well-Known Member

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    ALL wires were removed from the original 2nd gen tow harness and are not used/needed. This includes Red, Blk/Red, Grn, Grn/Wht, & Brn.

    Wire Color from RedArc ---connects to---> Terminal from 2nd Gen Plug (original wire color):
    BLK (Input Power) ---> BLK/RED (Battery Feed)
    BLU (Brake Output) ---> RED (Feed from Brake Controller)
    RED (Brake Lights) ---> GRN/WHT (Stop Lamp Switch)
    WHT (Ground) ---> BRN (Trailer Ground)
    n/a (unused) ---> GRN (Headlamp switch)

    I'm not terribly familiar with trailers or trailer brakes so the GRN (headlamp switch) wire was a bit baffling to me. I don't understand why the trailer brake system would involve the headlight switch at all as the brakes should function the same regardless of whether the headlights were on or off. The only thing I can think is that the OEM wire harness is setup for a controller which has a lighted screen/display which is designed to dim when the headlights are turned on the same way your head unit will dim when the lights are turned on. Either way, the Redarc I installed did not require this 5th wire.
     
  19. Feb 10, 2023 at 8:41 AM
    #19
    roary_tubbs

    roary_tubbs Active Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to write this up. I actually found a wiring harness from Redarc for the 2nd gen Tacoma. I also bought their mounting bracket and mounted the brain under my cup holder. Was real easy the part that took the longest was taking off all the plastic.
     
  20. Feb 10, 2023 at 9:57 AM
    #20
    clenkeit

    clenkeit Well-Known Member

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    Do you have any more info/pics or part numbers? When I was looking before there weren't any 2nd gen specific parts available from Redarc.
     

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