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BuoyChaser
07-30-2006, 10:32 PM
trying to find out how easy it is to add a brake control to my CRD for towing...do we really need one of these for the MC trailer???certainly recommended for the horse trailer with electronic brakes and was told to have a "Brake Control" installed, particularly a digital one, but not sure if this is an easy plug-n-play from Jeep...

any suggestions, i've checked Reese and Draw-Tite and of course they have plenty of different models to choose from, but which is the best option???
http://www.draw-tite.com/

Brake controls are designed to apply the brakes of the towed vehicle (trailer). There are three types of brake controls on the market today timed, inertia, and proportional. Another type of braking system that is used for trailers is a breakaway kit.

Timed Controls
Timed based controls generate an output signal that increases over a period of time. The time based controls apply braking power at the fixed rate that is not proportional to the pressure applied to the brake pedal.

Inertia Controls
Inertia based controls work very much like Timed based control in that they apply braking power at a preset rate during normal stopping conditions with one very important difference. Inertia controls have a patented "Automatic Over-Ride" system with a separate power supply for unexpected high speed stops.

Proportional Controls
Proportional based controls offer a smooth braking response to almost any stop. Through the use of a sensing device, the brake control can determine the tow vehicle's rate of deceleration and then apply the trailer brakes to match. In other words, Proportional controls deliver power to the trailer brakes in direct relationship to the actual physical deceleration of the tow vehicle.

Breakaway Kit
A breakaway kit is designed to apply to trailer electric brakes in the event that the trailer becomes disconnected from the hitch while in motion. This kit is required in many of the States and Provinces.

Workin' 4 Toys
07-30-2006, 11:02 PM
Tekonsha - Prodigy........:toast:

BuoyChaser
07-30-2006, 11:16 PM
Tekonsha - Prodigy........:toast:
funny, everyone else says this one too...like someone asking, what ski boat do you recommend...the best one out there, 197!!!

bigmac
07-30-2006, 11:18 PM
Tekonsha - Prodigy........:toast:Yes, Tekonsha Prodigy.

I'd far rather have electric brakes on my MC trailer than the..uh...poorly implemented surge brakes that are on it, but I tow the thing about 20 miles/year so such a conversion isn't remotely feasible.

For trailers with electric brakes,the Tekonsha Prodigy (http://www.tekonsha.com/prodig.html) is a great device. I've had one on my GMC for pulling a big horse trailer for years. A lot of places sell it with a custom plug-and-play harness, but I have no idea if the CRD has the appropriate harness under the dash and a 7 wire receptacle. If it does, and it's the same as the 1996-2006 Dodge harness, installation of the controller is about a 5 minute job. If not, you'll have the same wiring you'd have with any other (lesser) controller

BuoyChaser
07-30-2006, 11:21 PM
manufacturer's site http://www.tekonsha.com/prodig.html

BuoyChaser
07-30-2006, 11:23 PM
Yes, Tekonsha Prodigy.

I'd far rather have electric brakes on my MC trailer than the..uh...poorly implemented surge brakes that are on it, but I tow the thing about 20 miles/year so such a conversion isn't remotely feasible.

For trailers with electric brakes,the Tekonsha Prodigy (http://www.tekonsha.com/prodig.html) is a great device. I've had one on my GMC for pulling a big horse trailer for years. A lot of places sell it with a custom plug-and-play harness, but I have no idea if the CRD has the appropriate harness under the dash and a 7 wire receptacle. If it does, and it's the same as the 1996-2006 Dodge harness, installation of the controller is about a 5 minute job. If not, you'll have the same wiring you'd have with any other (lesser) controller
hmmmm, so wondered if the doged receptable would work since they don't list Jeep http://www.tekonsha.com/tbsabrakeconwireharn.html

BuoyChaser
07-30-2006, 11:29 PM
A lot of places sell it with a custom plug-and-play harness, but I have no idea if the CRD has the appropriate harness under the dash and a 7 wire receptacle. If it does, and it's the same as the 1996-2006 Dodge harness, installation of the controller is about a 5 minute job. If not, you'll have the same wiring you'd have with any other (lesser) controller
wonder who would know if this dodge controller will work, hate to order it if it doesn't...

bigmac
07-30-2006, 11:33 PM
hmmmm, so wondered if the doged receptable would work since they don't list Jeep http://www.tekonsha.com/tbsabrakeconwireharn.html

My GMC's with towing package have always come with a pigtail wrapped up in the glove box. It has the plug for the under-dash connector on it with bare wires at the other end ready to be spliced to the pigtail that comes with the Prodigy, and an elaborate-but-accurate color coding chart. At some point around 2003, GM changed the wiring, although still used the same plug, but the Prodigy instructions described how to rewire the plug connectors on the GM-specific harness they supplied.

If the Jeep has an under-dash connector, I'd bet it was the same as Dodge, but I'd check with the Jeep dealer and find out.

Workin' 4 Toys
07-30-2006, 11:38 PM
Ford is the same way, direct connect plug under the dash.
Read the warning about locations.
Do not install near cb radios, cell phones, etc....Electrical disturbances.
BTW, why was that funny I said the TP?
Would you rather I would send you to something substandard ie. Bu' type controller? Just say so next time...:rolleyes:

BuoyChaser
07-30-2006, 11:38 PM
no surprise the dealer said nothing to be about needing this controller, but the horse trailer dealer certainly did!!!

Workin' 4 Toys
07-30-2006, 11:40 PM
This is where my last one came from (http://www.etrailer.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=E&Product_Code=90185&Category_Code=BC)

bigmac
07-30-2006, 11:42 PM
wonder who would know if this dodge controller will work, hate to order it if it doesn't...The plug under the dash is just a convenience, making the install plug-and-play. The question isn't whether or not the Dodge connector will work, it's whether or not your Jeep even has a brake controller connector. If it does, it will either be the Dodge connector, or it will be a connector you can buy from the Jeep dealer. If it doesn't, you'll have to run your own wiring, which you'll have to do for ANY contoller if there's no under-dash plug.

To be clear, the Prodigy isn't specific to any vehicle, only the plug is. It comes with bare wires hanging out of the back, assuming you're going to wire from scratch, but if it's feasible, you can unplug those bare wires and plug in the custom harness specific to your own vehicle.

Workin' 4 Toys
07-30-2006, 11:47 PM
Speaking of plug and play, if they installed that hitch for you, I'd have to think it came with the wiring for a plug right.
If nothing else, Perhaps JEEP has a connector for under the dash you may be missing rather than if the truck is factory ordered with a tow package.

6ballsisall
07-30-2006, 11:52 PM
As said above Tekonsha Prodigy most definetely. It's the only way to travel :cool:

Be cautious with your CRD. You might have the pulling power but i'd be nervous pulling a horse trailer around with that little guy. A horse shifting their weight can really mess with you especially in a short wheel base with limited vehicle braking power.

bigmac
07-30-2006, 11:54 PM
Speaking of plug and play, if they installed that hitch for you, I'd have to think it came with the wiring for a plug right.
If nothing else, Perhaps JEEP has a connector for under the dash you may be missing rather than if the truck is factory ordered with a tow package.

I don't know about Jeeps, but GMs without the tow package still have the under-dash controller plug, and the seven trailer wires pigtailed up at the rear bumper, but they don't throw in the under-dash pigtail - you have to buy that separate. If you order the tow package, it includes that pigtail, the hitch AND they go ahead and wire those 7 wires into an appropriate connector socket. BC's horse trailer will need that 7 wire round receptacle installed too.

No way I'd pull a horse trailer without a weight-distributing hitch. That would be dangerous in the extreme IMHO.

Workin' 4 Toys
07-30-2006, 11:55 PM
If you have never seen one operate, you just don't know what you are missing.
I have sold SEVERAL people on them after seeing how they work.
Adjustability is almost infinite.

BuoyChaser
07-31-2006, 12:01 AM
here's some great info passed on to me http://www.jeepkj.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1691

Workin' 4 Toys
07-31-2006, 12:08 AM
So what Mopar Harness do you need? This is the main harness for the round seven hookup. 82207248 Trailer Tow Wiring Harness Kit, with 7-way round connector, plugs directly into the vehicle wiring, for vehicles without overhead console, also order PN 82207620 below. Now is when I pray that you have an overhead console because life is easier for you! As mentioned in the product description if you don't have the overhead console you also need to order the supplemental harness PN 82207620, like I did. (If you're in the this group, I'll refer to you as one of the "Chosen Few" for future reference. And being one of the "Chosen Few" is definitely not a bonus in this writeup). If you're like me, then get ready to become familiar with the removal of ALL the interior trim pieces on the right side of your Libby in addition to parts of your dash.
The two Mopar installs are the same, exept for the fact that those with the supplemental harness (The Chosen Few) just have an additional harness to install. Both will come with directions from Mopar.
And I thought having the connector under the dash was easy.....:rolleyes:

BuoyChaser
07-31-2006, 12:11 AM
i'm totally confused, are you???

Workin' 4 Toys
07-31-2006, 12:12 AM
i'm totally confused, are you???
After reading SOME of that, I was ready to go out and rip the interior of my truck out to see if I could find a blue wire...:rolleyes:

Does your truck have a 7 wire round plug? Dealer installed or you?

BuoyChaser
07-31-2006, 07:24 AM
After reading SOME of that, I was ready to go out and rip the interior of my truck out to see if I could find a blue wire...:rolleyes:

Does your truck have a 7 wire round plug? Dealer installed or you?
yahhh, my dealer installed the 7 wire round plug...took him 2hrs to do it, so they said...

Workin' 4 Toys
07-31-2006, 11:27 AM
yahhh, my dealer installed the 7 wire round plug...took him 2hrs to do it, so they said...
That would tell me, they don't have "quick-connect" plugs to make installation easy. OR they installed that harness you do need......:confused:
Now its at least as clear as mud...:rolleyes:

BuoyChaser
07-31-2006, 02:41 PM
That would tell me, they don't have "quick-connect" plugs to make installation easy. OR they installed that harness you do need......:confused:
Now its at least as clear as mud...:rolleyes:
got a response from manufacturer Tekonsha, along with the attached wiring diagram:

"Thank you for contacting Tekonsha Technical Service. There won't be
a plug-n-play type wiring harness for this vehicle. Jeep stopped
offering a tow plug in their vehicles back in 2002. What they did do
was, run a light blue wire for the electric trailer brakes. This wire is
lactated behind the driver side kick panel. You will connect the blue
wire from the controller to this wire, and then you will have to hard
wire the remaining wires from the controller into the vehicle. Attached
is a wiring diagram which will explain how to do this. If I can be of
any other help let me know, thank you and have a great day."

Amber Olmsted
Technical Assistant
Cequent Electrical Products
(888) 785-5832
Fax (517) 767-4707

peterb
08-01-2006, 12:09 AM
I own a shop in Metro Detroit that along with other vehicle accessories, we install hitches, brake controllers, etc.

In my experiences, just about any controller in cab will do... they all basically do the same thing. The primary notible difference is if you want a visual digital display to tell you what the brake setting for the trailer is set at... in other words, how much pressure is applied to the trailer brakes. The heavier the load, the more pressure required to stop.

Basically a controller sends a voltage level to the electric trailer brakes based on the setting of the controller. With most controllers, no matter how hard, quick, etc .... you stop on the peddle, the setting on the control sends the set "pressure" (volts) to the trailer brakes. It's really pretty basic.

If your vehicle has the pigtail tucked up under the bumper that has more than 4 wires (typically 7), then you may be prewired for trailer brakes... at least prewired from front of cab to rear of bumper.

The jumper that some have referred to allows you to plug into this wire up under the dash easily and connect it to the brake control unit you need to purchase and mount.

Of the 7 wires typical in a standard configuration, 4 are the same as a four wire flat connector (ground, left brake, right brake, & running lights). One wire is for the brakes, typically blue, and the other two vary... one is typically a 12v hot (when engine running) and the other backup lights. The last two aren't needed by most boat trailers.

If you have to manually wire a brake controller, you can top the basic 4 of the taillights, run a 10-12 guage wire from under the dash to the back and that is it. Hook the brake controller up as the directions specify (hot, ground, brake peddle and the wire you ran). Wire up the appropriate pins on the 7 way plug and your done. You don't need the extra wires.

Hope this helps.

Pete

BuoyChaser
08-01-2006, 07:38 AM
I own a shop in Metro Detroit that along with other vehicle accessories, we install hitches, brake controllers, etc.

In my experiences, just about any controller in cab will do... they all basically do the same thing. The primary notible difference is if you want a visual digital display to tell you what the brake setting for the trailer is set at... in other words, how much pressure is applied to the trailer brakes. The heavier the load, the more pressure required to stop.

Basically a controller sends a voltage level to the electric trailer brakes based on the setting of the controller. With most controllers, no matter how hard, quick, etc .... you stop on the peddle, the setting on the control sends the set "pressure" (volts) to the trailer brakes. It's really pretty basic.

If your vehicle has the pigtail tucked up under the bumper that has more than 4 wires (typically 7), then you may be prewired for trailer brakes... at least prewired from front of cab to rear of bumper.

The jumper that some have referred to allows you to plug into this wire up under the dash easily and connect it to the brake control unit you need to purchase and mount.

Of the 7 wires typical in a standard configuration, 4 are the same as a four wire flat connector (ground, left brake, right brake, & running lights). One wire is for the brakes, typically blue, and the other two vary... one is typically a 12v hot (when engine running) and the other backup lights. The last two aren't needed by most boat trailers.

If you have to manually wire a brake controller, you can top the basic 4 of the taillights, run a 10-12 guage wire from under the dash to the back and that is it. Hook the brake controller up as the directions specify (hot, ground, brake peddle and the wire you ran). Wire up the appropriate pins on the 7 way plug and your done. You don't need the extra wires.

Hope this helps.

Pete
thanks for the tips...i've thought about taking it to a local trailer place for hook-up, but have a couple buddies convinced they'll thoroughly enjoy tearing up my new interior in search of the "blue" wire...

what is the going rate to have a unit like this installed???would you recommend the Tekonsha Prodigy???

peterb
08-01-2006, 10:35 AM
The Prodigy uses a counterbalance weight if I am not mistaken to tell how fast you are applying brakes and automatically adjusts the breakpressure to the trailer (voltage) accordingly. Tekonsha has been around along time and make some excellent units.

Based on what Tekonsha tech said, you'd almost have to assume that the factory ran that light blue wire into the drivers kick panel. In case your unaware, that is the plastic trim on the side of your vehicle next to the brake pedal under your dash (or next to the emergency brake pedal if your vehicle has one). It is usually held in with pushpins or clips and careful prying can usually remove it. If the wire is there, it most likely will be a pigtailed wire coiled up and probably taped off.

I would recommend starting at the dealer installed 7way plug. Peal back the tape or whatever they used on the end until you find the wiring connections. Typically, 7way plugs are pigtailed into existing wire. Trace the BLUE wire to where it connects to another wire and verify what color you are looking for when you get up front.

Once you have located the wire that was run up front, your almost done. Run that wire to the appropriate wire on the brake controller, typically blue as well. Hook up the ground to a metal location under the dash. Hook up 12v power. And finally, tap into the power wire going to the break pedal. You can figure out which one it is with a 12v test probe and carefully pierce the insulation.

That's it.

To test everything, put your 12v test light on the appropriate pin in the 7way trailer plug and ground the other end of the test light. If wired properly, looking "into" the plug after lifting the door you will see a notch. With the notch UP, the appropriate pin is the lower right one.

Have someone step on the brakes and see if the test light illuminates. There is a wheel on the top of the unit that manually adjusts the "pressure". While holding the brakes or the manual switch on the controller, spin the wheel. The test light will dim and brighten accordingly.

It may sound confusing or hassle, but in reality it isn't. A 12volt test probe, some wire clips (usually provided with the unit), some basic tools and some common sense and you should be able to do it in under an hour.



As for how much to have this done... we charge $25-50 to do the install if the 7way is in place and the wires are run. If we have to spend time trying to find or fix someone elses work (other that factory), then it turns into t & m... time & materials.

Most brake control units are $80-$150 depending on manufacturer, quality, features, etc.

bigmac
08-01-2006, 10:59 AM
I originally had some controller, which brand I can't remember (but it was well known and not particularly cheap), that I bought at some RV store. What I remember about it is that even with the pre-wired plug in my GMC, installing the thing was difficult because of its mounting bracket and the limits on how angled it could be mounted. The most vivid memory of it is setting it up with the trailer attached, and the numerous times the trailers wheels locked as I was trying to find the right level of breaking, and the significant difference in that setting between two horses in the trailer and no horses. Obviously, it was a problem because I could not take a chance on locking the trailer brakes with two horses in the trailer, so I always ended up under-breaking with a fully loaded trailer.

With the Prodigy, all of those issues went away. If you're hauling livestock, accurate and non-dangerous trailer braking is very important and I would definitely spend the money to get the best controller available. They are definitely NOT all created equal. They do all "basically do the same thing", but the ease and accuracy of doing that varies widely, and IMHO, it would be a huge mistake to just go buy any old controller or to tell an installer to just slap one in.

peterb
08-01-2006, 11:11 AM
Bigmac is right, finding a decent mounting location, proper angle, within reach in case of emergency needs, etc can be the hardest thing about installing a controller.

And he is also right that they are not equal... Do you need the most expensive on the market? Probably not. Should you get the best buy possible on a unit? Probably not. Are some better than others? Depends on what features you are looking for, but probably so.

Best recommendation I have after 27 years in this business... stick with a brand name, Tekonsha, Reese, Drawtite (same company as Reese), etc. Should for a mid priced range around $100-$125 and you should be ok. I always state, you get what you pay for.... if most decent ones are around $125 and you find one for $50, where did they skimp to offer that price.

As for higher end or more features... someone is always trying to "recreate the wheel" and often adds so many features or new improvements that for most users isn't necessary or overkill. Besides, in my opinion, that is just one more thing to go wrong on the unit.

"Joe Skier" who pulls a skiboat vs "Joe farmer" who carries livestock vs "Joe Construction worker" who is pulling an excavator is going to have different needs most likely although the main goal is to stop the trailer.

bigmac
08-01-2006, 11:53 AM
As for higher end or more features... someone is always trying to "recreate the wheel" and often adds so many features or new improvements that for most users isn't necessary or overkill. Besides, in my opinion, that is just one more thing to go wrong on the unit.



Yeh, I agree with that. There's a nice happy medium in there. More money often means just more features, not more quality, safety, or ease of use.