Serious Explorations Ford Explorer and Ranger Message Board
#1 Resource for Ford Explorer and Ranger Owners - By Enthusiasts, for Enthusiasts.


Ford Explorer Generation Guide

EF Swag Store 2015 Ford Explorer Forums Elite Membership Chat Room My Posts Reviews Explorer Photo Gallery
Go Back   Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums "Serious Explorations" > Ford Explorer Ranger Repair - Troubleshooting - Modifications & Detailing Forums > Tow Rig Forum

Notices

Tow Rig Forum Towing, hauling, boats, campers, trailers etc... Trailer hitches, weight distribution, hitch ball, safety chains, tow bar and brake controllers. Discuss it all here!

'97 brake controller install

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-02-2011, 10:12 PM   #1
BK_89iX
CA
'97 SOHC
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 207

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
'97 brake controller install

Have a '97 SOHC V6 XLT with tow package (original owner).

Bought a 6x10 Haulmark trailer to get one or two motorcyles to the racetrack. Pic below. Used it for the first time the other day, about 80miles each direction. Seemed to work well. Kept OD off and speeds to <55mph.

I recognize that it would be prudent to add a brake controller. The trailer has an upgraded Dexter torsion axle and electric brakes + 7-pin connector. I have my eye on a Tekonsha P3.

Does the '97 Explorer have a pre-wired controller socket to tap into?? If not, any tips to share on installing a controller into this generation?

BK

BK_89iX is offline   Reply With Quote
( Join the Elite Explorers )

For only $20 per year you can become an Elite Explorer member. Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose and fix problems yourself, and learn which modifications really work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members can change the forum "styles" to eliminate most ads, including blue underlined links, and no ads on photos. Other benefits include the ability to store 1000 Private Messages, upload photo attachments directly to your posts and to our Photo Gallery and more. Join the Elite Explorers today.


Old 11-03-2011, 06:15 AM   #2
MountaineerGreen
Towing Moderator
North East Arkansas
 
MountaineerGreen's Avatar
2012 F150 4x4
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 7,518

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=176807

Its just a matter of running a wire from the brake controller to the back, a +12 wire from the battery. No biggie. You'll end up using 6 of the 7 pins, the 7th is backup lights, I don't know many trailers with backup lights.
MountaineerGreen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 10:29 AM   #3
thebrakeman
Canton, Michigan
2006 Mercury Mountaineer
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 770

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Good for you wanting to use those brakes! Tekonsha P2 or P3 are absolutely the best. Depends on what kind of screen you want, but you probably already know that.

I'm not sure when Ford started including the socket under the dash for the brake controller. But with the towing package, I'm sure you have that socket, or at least some bare/taped wires under the dash somewhere. You should not need to run any wiring.

I recommend you post the question in the 1995-2001 Explorer (2nd gen) section, since the presence and location of the brakes wires seems to change from generation to generation. For example, the socket was under the glove box for 3rd gen, but is next to the parking brake pedal on my 4th gen.

If you do end up needing to run wiring, I would recommend getting a kit (and maybe the controller) from etrailer.com. Either way, check them out. They have great video tutorials for installing brake controllers in various vehicles, including running wiring. I did a full wiring job for lights, brakes, and 12V charge line on my Chrysler minivan when we used it to tow a 3000 lb popup. If you are going to do this, I highly recommend you also install the 12V charge line to make it standard.




__________________
thebrakeman ('70)
DW ('71), DD ('99), DD ('01), DD ('05)
2006 Mountaineer Premier V8 AWD w/Tow Package, ScangaugeII
Cashmere/Camel Interior, navigation, power 3rd row
2004 Surveyor 261T Hybrid Travel Trailer (27 ft)
Equal-i-zer 10,000 lb 4-pt Sway Control WDH
thebrakeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 01:03 PM   #4
BK_89iX
CA
'97 SOHC
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 207

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Thanks, guys.

I see that the wiring is pretty basic, but I was hoping there was a connector hidden under the dash to use a Tekonsha "pigtail" for the inputs. I've seen conflicting vendor info on the application side. Will check in with the gen2 experts on this.

Spent a few hours reading through this sub-forum last night. I should do a fluid change, possibly install an updated valve body while I'm in there, definitely install a temp gauge in the pan, and consider adding a small B&M cooler to the existing aux cooler (if warranted by observed temps).

On the initial tow I did feel some lurching on certain freeway onramps, which I gather could have been incomplete TC lockup due to old fluid in the 5R55E. I changed it at 20k miles and it's now at 97k miles.

I was extremely happy that the differential I rebuilt a couple years ago and documented in the forum continues to function perfectly!

BK
BK_89iX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 12:04 PM   #5
BK_89iX
CA
'97 SOHC
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 207

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
The word back from the genII section was that there is no plug-in connector on this vintage Explorer (unlike the pickups) and it's simply a new wiring job. It turns out etrailer has an 11min video tutorial on a '96 Explorer using their wire kit and the Tekonsha P3. I was already considering that controller. Looks like a painless way to go about it. I bought my hitch from etrailer 10+ years ago and I'm happy to go back to them.

http://www.etrailer.com/p-ETBC7.html

BK
BK_89iX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 02:21 PM   #6
2000StreetRod
Greenville, SC
 
2000StreetRod's Avatar
2000 Sport SOHC 2WD
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,965

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
proportional controller

I've tried time delay controllers in the past and they are pathetic. In my opinion a proportional controller (uses a decelerometer) is the only type of brake controller worth installing. It works uphill, downhill, and level for light braking all the way to a panic stop. The only disadvantage is the sensor enclosure should be mounted in a horizontal position relative to the tow vehicle. About 10 years ago I was towing a 24 foot travel trailer (4,500 lbs) with my Tahoe on the freeway at 65 mph when a doe and fawn jumped out of the woods into my lane. I credit my Tekonsha brake controller with a safe panic stop.
2000StreetRod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 02:36 PM   #7
BK_89iX
CA
'97 SOHC
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 207

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
I'm in total agreement with respect to the brake controller. I plan to get the best. Not worth messing around with anything less when it comes to safety!

I was inspecting my newly acquired trailer today and I noticed the wiring to the brake drums is sub-standard, and one wire was even disconnected. I'll need to square that away. The trailer was retrofitted with a 3,500lb Dexter torsion axle + brakes at some point in its life. Anyone have some advice on the proper corrective steps or a generic wiring scheme?

BK



BK_89iX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 08:58 PM   #8
BK_89iX
CA
'97 SOHC
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 207

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Etrailer to the rescue again, so I'll address my own question. They have a video showing new trailer brake wiring. Simply wire the electromagnets in parallel with a single run of 10 gauge duplex wire. Makes sense now, given how the controllers + brakes function. I'm going to refresh most of the exterior wiring and connectors for peace of mind.

BK
BK_89iX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2011, 08:18 AM   #9
thebrakeman
Canton, Michigan
2006 Mercury Mountaineer
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 770

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
If it's new exposed wiring, just run it thru some of that plastic loom.

PS - That 4-flat-to-7-pin conversion kit (ETBC7) is the same kit that I used for my minivan a few years ago. Great kit. Take your time and think it thru. There are multiple ways to skin a cat, and you may prefer to run or attach a wire slightly different.




__________________
thebrakeman ('70)
DW ('71), DD ('99), DD ('01), DD ('05)
2006 Mountaineer Premier V8 AWD w/Tow Package, ScangaugeII
Cashmere/Camel Interior, navigation, power 3rd row
2004 Surveyor 261T Hybrid Travel Trailer (27 ft)
Equal-i-zer 10,000 lb 4-pt Sway Control WDH
thebrakeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2011, 12:22 PM   #10
BK_89iX
CA
'97 SOHC
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 207

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Yep, ordered the ETBC7 kit + Tekonsha P3, as well as a junction box and molded 7-pin connector with 8ft lead and new 10gauge jacketed wire for the brakes. Might as well start fresh! Will make a winter project out of it and plan carefully per your advice. Glad to hear the quality is good.

BK
BK_89iX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2011, 02:15 PM   #11
Al from SC
Harrogate, TN
98 XLT 4x4 4.0 SOHC
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 15

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Keep us informed

Be nice to see pics and get updates as you do it. Good luck
Al from SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 08:14 PM   #12
BK_89iX
CA
'97 SOHC
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 207

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Parts are on hand, but not yet installed.

Got the Aeroforce Tech scan gauge today. Seems to pick up the trans temp via OBDII just fine. The night pic below is after a few trips around the block. I like this thing!

BK

BK_89iX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 08:44 PM   #13
Texas97x
Fort Worth, Texas
'00 XLT 4x4, 95 XLT
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 112

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
How hard was it to install the Aeroforce? By the way I love your truck. My 97 looks almost exactly like it. I added the factory running boards a few years ago and I have different wheels now.
Texas97x is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 08:55 PM   #14
BK_89iX
CA
'97 SOHC
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 207

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
The temporary install was just a matter of plugging in the OBDII connector and specifying a few parameters to display using the two buttons. Probably 60 seconds tops. Have not yet opened the manual. Permanent install will come later after I decide where I want it to live.

Bought my '97 brand new in late '96 and got to spec out everything I wanted at the time - can't seem to let it go!

BK
BK_89iX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2011, 11:56 AM   #15
Texas97x
Fort Worth, Texas
'00 XLT 4x4, 95 XLT
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 112

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Do you have the blue or gray interior? I have blue but would love to have the gray.
Texas97x is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2012, 08:46 AM   #16
thebrakeman
Canton, Michigan
2006 Mercury Mountaineer
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 770

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Bump

Hey, BK,
How's this winter project going? It's March!!! hehehe




__________________
thebrakeman ('70)
DW ('71), DD ('99), DD ('01), DD ('05)
2006 Mountaineer Premier V8 AWD w/Tow Package, ScangaugeII
Cashmere/Camel Interior, navigation, power 3rd row
2004 Surveyor 261T Hybrid Travel Trailer (27 ft)
Equal-i-zer 10,000 lb 4-pt Sway Control WDH
thebrakeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2012, 10:06 AM   #17
BK_89iX
CA
'97 SOHC
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 207

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Pile o' parts still in a pile!

I really do need to get on this prior to April.

BK
BK_89iX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2012, 07:28 PM   #18
BK_89iX
CA
'97 SOHC
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 207

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Finally made some progress!

Didn't like the supplied thin bracket, so I drilled a large hole in the bumper and tapped the screw holes. Soldered the connections to the factory adapter.



Ran the 10ga duplex along the frame for aux power and brake power.



Mounted the fuses out of the way along the battery using existing holes/screws for the large black connector.



Came through the parking brake cable grommet to access the inside.



View from driver seat. It looks crooked in the pic, but it points straigt ahead. Seems to work!



Next up is to add a junction box to the trailer, rewire the trailer brakes and install the motorcycle mounts. And permanently mount the AeroForce gauge. And some transmission TLC....

BK

Last edited by BK_89iX; 05-08-2012 at 04:16 PM.
BK_89iX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2012, 04:12 PM   #19
BK_89iX
CA
'97 SOHC
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 207

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Ripped out the skanky wiring and did things up right.

BK

BK_89iX is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Suggest this thread to friends:

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trailer Brake Controllers Explained MountaineerGreen Tow Rig Forum 26 02-04-2014 12:30 AM
electric brake controller help gypse01 Tow Rig Forum 1 06-01-2011 08:02 PM
Help Troubleshooting High Mount Rear Brake Light 97 Explorer edlin02 Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers 5 07-31-2010 09:53 AM
Brake issues with 97 Explorer XLT 4x4 Advising Elf Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers 20 07-23-2010 09:11 AM
Delta Current Control Electric Fan Controller Install aldive Under the Hood 47 04-14-2008 12:53 PM



Join the "Elite Explorers" Today!



Search Explorer Forum


Top of Page

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:42 AM.



US Flag
We Support Our Troops!

Explore the site!


Copyright 2014 - 1996 Rick Horwitz Photography



Ford Motor Company is not involved in the management of this site in any way.



All tips on this site are for use at your own risk and discretion.

Modifying the suspension on any vehicle will cause changes to its handling characteristics.



Vendor Tools vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.