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Where is the brake controller cable / plug?

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by dco43054, August 8, 2016.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

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    For the 2011, I was able to look up under the dash with a flashlight and easily see the trailer tow connector, cut a little piece of tape, and free it up.

    Yesterday, I thought I'd hook up the trailer tow connector before I actually needed to tow my trailer that has electric brakes. I found on my 2016, there is now a plastic "valance" on the driver's side where there was not one on my 2011, so you can't easily see up underneath.

    Before I contort myself into the footwell looking for the cable, can anyone confirm the cable is in the same place as it previously? It looks like I may need to remove the valance to gain access, but if I don't have to, didn't want to.

    Thanks
     
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  3. jmr061

    jmr061 Well-Known Member

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    Service manual describes it as "behind left hand side of instrument panel, below steering column" and "near LH kick panel." Hope that helps.
     
  4. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks - I'll take a look. I was guessing it would not have moved too far.

    I'm just wondering about the reason for the new under dash valance. Seems like another piece of plastic and just makes it harder to reach everything underneath.
     
  5. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Although I'm not positive, I think that 'valance' was added on the 2013 models. Don't know the reason for it.

    Peter
     
  6. brierleydt88

    brierleydt88 New Member

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    Did you have any luck finding the wiring harness? I've removed the panel on my '17 but haven't been able to find anything that's not plugged into something else.
     
  7. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't crawled under there yet. It's a pain in the back. My latest thought is to use my iPhone and iPad and do video exploration before climbing underneath.

    On the 2011, it was taped to another bunch of wires.
     
  8. brierleydt88

    brierleydt88 New Member

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    It really is a pain... I was under there for a good 15 minutes and couldn't find it.

    I didn't remove the plastic panel completely, either, because one side of it is held on by a plastic grommet that will likely need to be replaced if taken off. I just removed the two 7mm screws and swung it out of the way as best I could.

    I might just take it in to my dealer and have them plug the wire harness in.
     
  9. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, the secret is to look for the tape holding the wires to the other wires in the harness.

    As noted, it should be on the left side of the steering column.
     
  10. Robo44

    Robo44 New Member

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    I have a 2017 XLT with a tow package an had a devil or a time finding the brake control harness connector. After 3 dealers, 1 tow hitch specialist and the internet, I successfully found the connector.

    1 Drivers side there is the plastic cover under the steering wheel. Unscrew the 2 bolts holding this on and remove.
    2. Carefully remove the plastic cover, there are clips in or near the corners
    3. Once removed you will see a metal panel, this is help on by 4 bolts. unscrew the bolds an you will have full access to the steering colum area.
    4. Tie-Wrapped just in front you will see a empty plastic connector, that is your brake control connector.
    5. Connect your controller harness, and reverse the assembly of the metal plate and plastic panel

    Hope this helps
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

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    My back thanks you for the pics. I haven't dug mine out yet. Didn't feel like laying in the footwell just yet, and feeling around didn't turn it up.
     
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  12. Robo44

    Robo44 New Member

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  13. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

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    Found it. Thanks everyone.

    All I had to do was remove the valance. Two screws with 7mm head and then pop off the panel. Two tabs in the bottom and two in the top. After doing that, I could clearly see the connector on the right side of the steering column, just behind the position of the valance. It is mounted to a metal piece under the dash. I had the vehicle up on ramps after changing my oil and was sitting on my rolling shop stool, and it was really easy to see at that level.

    I looked at the wires in my cable and in the connector and used that to judge the plug alignment. Then I just reached up under the dash and plugged it in . Easy peasy when you know where to look for it.

    I haven't permanently routed the cable, but I will when I have some time. For now, it's there if I need it.

    Thanks again everyone!
     
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  14. tedingraham

    tedingraham New Member

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    What brake controller did you install?
     
  15. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

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    I have an existing Tekonsha controller. I used it in my last Explorer as well. I don't remember the model number. They have a few with different features. The one I have is fully electronic. I mount it with velcro on the lower left of the dash when I need to use it. If I used it more often, I'd do something more permanent.
     
  16. Linux3

    Linux3 New Member

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    OK, I mounted mine on the far right. I can see and manually activate it with my right hand and it's out of the way of my right leg.
    We should post pictures. I was kinda unsure just where to put it.
     
  17. cbx1047

    cbx1047 Active Member

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    I have a 2015 Explorer with factory tow package. The trailer I am looking at requires a brake control installed. Does anyone know if there is a plug under the drivers side dash that you can just plug into? The Ford website says that there is a plug there for trailer brakes, but that might be just for there trucks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: July 11, 2017
  18. 613GT500

    613GT500 Well-Known Member

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  19. Artracing

    Artracing New Member

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    i bought new 2019 Explorer xlt with factory class 3 hitch.
    Dealer doesn’t know where the electric brake controller plug is located.
    I looked under center column where my F150 was but can’t find it

    Rob
     
  20. seville009

    seville009 New Member

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  21. gtxjoe

    gtxjoe New Member

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    I did the brake controller install this weekend on a 2017 explorer. Remove two 7mm screws for the plastic panel under the steering wheel. Pull the panel off. Remove the metal shield held on by 4 10mm screws. Brake controller connector (gray)
    is just above the brake and accelerator pedal.

    C474D090-70F1-4337-A777-9B69AF6635DA.jpeg
     
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