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96 Trailer Wiring


Peter Griffin

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I am trying to wire a trailer to the truck. I have found the female connector under the bumper and purchased the Ford trailer wiring kit from the auto parts store. Every thing went together nicely but none of the lights work. The connector from the store has connectors on both ends shaped like a "t" and the truck only has one connector. Any one else run into this problem and is it the truck or the trailer. It went together much too easily to work fine. Thanks.
 

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Ranger379

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you might have got the wrong one. as long as your truck has the tow package all you should have to do is plug it in. you could check the fuse in the power distribution box under the hood. i blew mine one time so thats a possibility. check the ground wire on the trailer make sure its ok.
heres a link to the wireing kit your should have gotten, provided you have the trailer tow package, which most do.

there should be a cap/plug that covers the the tow package plug under the bumper. good luck

edit: helps if i give you the link haha

http://www.etrailer.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/dt/t1/18241.jpg
 


hotrod_ron

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So how do you know if you have a trailer package, i have O/D on and off..I have looked up under the rear of the truck, and cant find anything like what you guys are talking about....any hints would be cool....


1996 Sport, 2wd...4.0L OHV...thanks..

Ron
 


IZwack

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Disconnect everything and do a pin-out with a volt-meter, multimeter or a noid-light. Trace the voltages all the way back to the plug under the plug under the driver's side tail-light.

You don't need a tow-package to connect trailer lights. All Explorers come with a plug under the driver's side tail-light. All you need to do is find a wiring harness that will extend this plug to the bumper area and do the conversion to whatever type of plug you're using. The link to the picture Ranger379 posted is the harness that will extend the wires from the plug to the bumper area and adapt to a "4-way flat" connector. If you have a "T" looking connector (like the one pictured below), that wont fit into the "4-way flat".

 


hotrod_ron

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Well, i had got that extender...found the plug under the left side taillight, unplugged the connecter that was there(tag lights) and plugged in the extender part...i had no tag lights now...and the trailer lights didnt work right....and at night, i kept blowing fuses.....i was told by a hitch/trailer place that i needed a modulight adapter...70 bucks just for this part and i had to run a wire all the way to the battery.......they wanted 140 bucks to put it in.....i didnt do either and am still wondering what the hell im gonna do.
 


IZwack

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hotrod_ron >> The fact that the vehicle is blowing fuses means there's a short -- and chances are its the running lights wire thats shorting because this wire turns "on" when the parking lights or main lights are on at night. The running light wire is typically brown.

And you can get your tag-lights back, you just have to splice into the extender's brown runnight lights wire.
 


hotrod_ron

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it doesnt blow the fuse as soon as i turn the lights on....it takes a min or two....was told if it doesnt have the towing package that the stock wiring and lights will not carry the trailer lights as well...plus, we have amber turn signals...the modulight is supposed to convert those as well.....at any rate...I really thought this truck would be equiped with the towing package. If all I have to do is plug in this extender part...then where do my tag lights plug into?.....thanks again for any ideas and opinions.


Ron
 


IZwack

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hotrod_ron >> you may need to replace the fuse thats blowing with one thats rated for more amperage (since there's more lights now). You'll have to splice the tag-lights into the extender -- white wire is ground, brown is running - the rest you can figure out :)
 


Ranger379

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it doesnt blow the fuse as soon as i turn the lights on....it takes a min or two....was told if it doesnt have the towing package that the stock wiring and lights will not carry the trailer lights as well...plus, we have amber turn signals...the modulight is supposed to convert those as well.....at any rate...I really thought this truck would be equiped with the towing package. If all I have to do is plug in this extender part...then where do my tag lights plug into?.....thanks again for any ideas and opinions.


Ron
couple thoughts i had...
make sure u do have the tow package. i dont but there is still a plug under the bumper, its for the license plate lights.

that other wiring kit that has pig tails that plug into your tail lights and a wire that runs up to the battery IS JUNK.....JUNK!!!!
one was on my X when i got it, the box was melted lol
i put a new one on it (70 bucks) and after a couple uses it was fried (i have heard they dont last long at all, im not the only one) it worked fine except the little box thing was melted and when it melted. it melted the pos. battery wire and the tail light wire together. so anytime the trailer was plugged in the trailer tail lights where on no matter what.
my alternate solution was a cheaper kit that required more wiring
it was like 20-30 bucks at walmart except you had to splice the wires instead of plugging them into the tail lights. all you had to do was buy a test light and when you spliced the left turn signal you just had to grab the test light and turn on that turnsignal and probe the 2 wires and see what was the hot wire.

this may be your best soloution as it eliminates guess work lol.

i to put a bigger fuse in. also carry a spare fuse, and a second spare fuse rated higher just incase.


they are called Tail Light Converters
link:

http://www.etrailer.com/pc-VWH~118175.htm
 


chrisis

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i have a 96 explorer and i had to wire mine to tow a UHAUL before a month.

i tryied the T connector and it didn't work. if you have the towing package then you should have a connector at the right side of the rear bumper and is a female cup on it to protect it from rain etc.

then you have to buy the connector which looks like this http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=188735.

if you don't have this connector then you don't have the towing package and you must run wires from each tailight.
 


IZwack

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if you don't have this connector then you don't have the towing package and you must run wires from each tailight.
Not sure if that is true -- like I said, all Explorer's come with a plug up under the driver's side tail-light. The only thing that needs to be bought is an extension/adapter cable that will extend this plug and convert it to whatever trailer plug you want (round, flat, etc...). My '98 did not have a tow package (it didn't come with a hitch), and it had this plug. My brother's '97 also did not have a tow package and it also had this plug.
 


chrisis

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i'm not 100% sure, but i saw somewhere in my explorer's papers that the original buyer bought extra the towing package which includes 3.73 gear ratio and trailer wirring.

maybe is a 96 year think and after that they just include the plug to every explorer, but who knows. maybe even different dealerships offer different packages, but i would first try and see if i have the plug that they install it for trailer lights instead of trying to fry wires that they don't ment to take all this voltage.
 


hotrod_ron

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I will look up under my X again this coming weekend, get my multimeter out and run some tests......i agree that the wiring is not made to handle all the extra amperage draw that trailer lights will add, so I dont want to fry anything. thanks to all that offered help....ill report back when i figure it out....anyone else with any more thoughts, i would like to hear them...


Ron
 


gijoecam

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With or without the towing package, the wiring is there. There is absolutely no need to increase the fuse size. If it's blowing you either have too many lights connected, or one is shorting out. DO NOT replace the fuse with a higher rated one before first verifying it is the proper rating to begin with.

The trailer wiring runs via a separate loop triggered by the truck's wiring. The OEM trailer connectors are already wired to do what the modulight would do for you. There's no need for them on your vehicle.

With the trailer disconnected, you're not blowing fuses, right?

-Joe
 


KPT

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Not sure if that is true -- like I said, all Explorer's come with a plug up under the driver's side tail-light. The only thing that needs to be bought is an extension/adapter cable that will extend this plug and convert it to whatever trailer plug you want (round, flat, etc...). My '98 did not have a tow package (it didn't come with a hitch), and it had this plug. My brother's '97 also did not have a tow package and it also had this plug.
My 95 did not have the tow package. While it had this plug, the stock license plate lights plugged into it. Plugging the factory towing cable into it will blow the parking light fuse every time.

Also the tow package does not mean it comes with a hitch. My dad's 00 EB had the tow package but no hitch.
 


Peter Griffin

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Great advice guys, thanks. I have the plug under the bumper that looks like it will fit right into the connector that Ranger379 recomended. Does this mean that the truck came with the tow package? It is an extra harness that just sits there with out being used and there was a female cover on it.
Thanks again.
 


Ranger379

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It is an extra harness that just sits there with out being used and there was a female cover on it.
Thanks again.
Yes! its just a plug with a cap on it. its not being used.
 


gijoecam

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Does this mean that the truck came with the tow package? It is an extra harness that just sits there with out being used and there was a female cover on it.
Thanks again.
No, it does not mean you have the towing package. If it had the towing package, it would already have the harness installed. ALL 2nd gens come pre-wired for the TT package though. It's simply a matter of adding the harness for the lights.

-Joe
 


KPT

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No, it does not mean you have the towing package. If it had the towing package, it would already have the harness installed. ALL 2nd gens come pre-wired for the TT package though. It's simply a matter of adding the harness for the lights.

-Joe
I have seen two second gen's WITH the tow package and the harness came in a plastic bag in the jack storage compartment. Not all second gens are wired for the trailer package either. As I said above on mine the license plate lights plug into that jack and fuses will blow if I unplug those and plug a trailer adapter harness in there.
 

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gijoecam

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I have seen two second gen's WITH the tow package and the harness came in a plastic bag in the jack storage compartment.
Correct. The radio antenna comes in a package with the wheel center caps too. They all get dealer-installed at prep-time. (or at least they're supposed to)

Not all second gens are wired for the trailer package either. As I said above on mine the license plate lights plug into that jack and fuses will blow if I unplug those and plug a trailer adapter harness in there.
Sorry, I mis-spoke... All 97-01 Explorers are pre-wired for it with or without the trailer tow package. The 95-96 uses a slightly different wiring setup back there. The wiring you need is all there, but it would require de-pinning one connector and rearranging the wires to make it work, that's all. I don't know why they did it that way... it's odd.

-Joe
 


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