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Add Class 3 To V8

pzy3339

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On a V8 without the tow package what do I need to add to get a fully operational 7 pin trailer plug with a brake controller?

Thanks
 
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pzy3339

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I looked under the dash and I see a grey female plug above the parking brake. Is that the brake controller plug?
 
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MotorCityFats13

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do you mean up by the fuse box? or right in front of the pull handle for the parking break because that is the OBDII data port.... because I think I saw a plug up by the fuse box or the left kick panel near the parking break foot pedal
 
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pzy3339

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do you mean up by the fuse box? or right in front of the pull handle for the parking break because that is the OBDII data port.... because I think I saw a plug up by the fuse box or the left kick panel near the parking break foot pedal

Not the OBDII port, its near the fuse box. Small, pretty much square and grey. It looks like they designed that part of the dash with a spot to mount a brake controller too so I think that must be it.
 
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MotorCityFats13

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that is the plug I saw when I was tapping in to give my aftermarket headunit Retained accessory power.... I was thinking what the hell is that plug for... lol
 
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michael loibl

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Yes the gray plug, which I believe has room for six wires but should only have four or five wires in it. Walmart sells the adapter to fit that gray plug and convert it to the brake controller harness for about $14, or you can just cut and splice if you prefer. I bought the plug and it worked perfectly on my 2006 V6. I then ran a fused wire from battery positive to the trailer hitch for battery charging circuit. I also tapped into the existing for wire harness
 
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thebrakeman

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Yes, that plug has room for 6 wires (2x3), but should only have 4 wires installed. I wasn't sure if non-HD-tow package trucks were pre-wired for brakes. That's great that they are. You may, however, need to install a fuse and/or relay in the engine compartment (?).

You will then need to look for a connector at the rear to add the 7-pin Bargman connector itself. Take a look at my recent thread where I had to replace my 7-pin connector after light collision damage: Link to thread in Towing Section

If you can find that, then all you need to do is purchase a 7-pin connector with a pigtail long enough to reach that point. Take a look at etrailer.com for options.
 
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thebrakeman

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Be aware, however, that your title to this thread is a bit misleading.

Your V8 truck (w/o HD towing package) is rated for 3500 lbs max towing, which is Class 2. Adding trailer brakes is not enough to get you a class 3 rating. That is, adding trailer brakes alone does not increase your max tow rating.

The good thing is that an axle ratio upgrade was not part of the HD tow package starting in '06. All V8 trucks are good with the stock 3.55 axles, because of the 6-speed trans. HD tow package did not include any additional trans or engine cooling, either.

But to get past the 3500 lbs rating, you also need (in addition to the trailer brakes):
-Class 3 receiver. Note that your 1¼" Class II receiver is a welded member of the structural frame. You can't/shouldn't attempt to remove and replace it. You would need to install a bolt-on Class III receiver underneath the Class II bumper unit. If you intend to go beyond 5000lbs loaded trailer (Class IV), be sure the hitch indicates what you need, up to 7400lbs (which is the max rating for V8 trucks with HD package).
-WDH if TW exceeds 500 lbs (a 4000 lbs trailer could easily exceed 500 lbs TW).

Give then above info, I do not understand why they did not include the HD tow package on all V8 trucks:
a. There can't be any difference in price between the 2 welded receivers.
b. WDH is a user add-on either way.
c. No difference in axle, engine, or transmission setup/cooling.

The only additional cost is the 7-pin/4-pin combination connector. Should have been standard on V8 models.
 
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pzy3339

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Be aware, however, that your title to this thread is a bit misleading.

Your V8 truck (w/o HD towing package) is rated for 3500 lbs max towing, which is Class 2. Adding trailer brakes is not enough to get you a class 3 rating. That is, adding trailer brakes alone does not increase your max tow rating.

The good thing is that an axle ratio upgrade was not part of the HD tow package starting in '06. All V8 trucks are good with the stock 3.55 axles, because of the 6-speed trans. HD tow package did not include any additional trans or engine cooling, either.

But to get past the 3500 lbs rating, you also need (in addition to the trailer brakes):
-Class 3 receiver. Note that your 1¼" Class II receiver is a welded member of the structural frame. You can't/shouldn't attempt to remove and replace it. You would need to install a bolt-on Class III receiver underneath the Class II bumper unit. If you intend to go beyond 5000lbs loaded trailer (Class IV), be sure the hitch indicates what you need, up to 7400lbs (which is the max rating for V8 trucks with HD package).
-WDH if TW exceeds 500 lbs (a 4000 lbs trailer could easily exceed 500 lbs TW).

Give then above info, I do not understand why they did not include the HD tow package on all V8 trucks:
a. There can't be any difference in price between the 2 welded receivers.
b. WDH is a user add-on either way.
c. No difference in axle, engine, or transmission setup/cooling.

The only additional cost is the 7-pin/4-pin combination connector. Should have been standard on V8 models.

I probably should have indicated I do intend to add a bolt on 2" receiver. Below the stock one. This thread is intended to answer any and all questions with respect to the electrical aspect of getting a 7 pin outlet 100% operational without the need to drill a hole through the firewall like the brake controller install manuals tell you to do. This is not required since the truck is prewired for the controller.


So far what I have read(2 of you on this thread and someone else on another) claims plugging in to the stock brake controller outlet under the dash will get 6 of 7 wires operational if you plug into the stock connectors behind the bumper.

The 7th being a 12 volt lead that would need to be run from the battery, or fuse block, in the engine bay. Why that would be the case eludes me and I would love to know if that is true. Maybe there is just a fuse missing and the wiring is all there??
 
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pzy3339

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So true though, why not just give all V8s class III. I would think the difference in cost for making both variants would be more than the difference in cost of materials at the factory.
 
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96firephoenix

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-Class 3 receiver. Note that your 1¼" Class II receiver is a welded member of the structural frame.
you surea about that? that may be something that changed with the 4th gens, but on my 3rd gen, they both bolt with 3 on each side of the outer frame rails.

On the third gen, the swap is thus:
obtain Class 3 hitch with 7-pin connector and wire from junkyard
Remove bumper cover
remove class 2 and unplug 4-flat connector/lead
Install class 3 with 7-pin
install bumper cover.

I would think that 4th gen wouldn't be too different.
 
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pzy3339

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I cant find a harness that plugs into the connectors behind the bumper. The 4 flat plugs into one and the second is just sitting there. I am assuming that is the plug adding the reverse lights, what would be the lead wire for power, and the trailer brake controller wire.

Anyone know where I can get a harness that plugs into both like a factory 7 pin connector would?
 
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pzy3339

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you surea about that? that may be something that changed with the 4th gens, but on my 3rd gen, they both bolt with 3 on each side of the outer frame rails.

On the third gen, the swap is thus:
obtain Class 3 hitch with 7-pin connector and wire from junkyard
Remove bumper cover
remove class 2 and unplug 4-flat connector/lead
Install class 3 with 7-pin
install bumper cover.

I would think that 4th gen wouldn't be too different.

What he said is true. It is essentially a cross member at the rear of the frame with a receiver within.
 
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96firephoenix

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Who was right? me in that it is bolted on or the other guy in that it is welded on?

Anyone know where I can get a harness that plugs into both like a factory 7 pin connector would?

junkyard? ebay?
 
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pzy3339

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Who was right? me in that it is bolted on or the other guy in that it is welded on?



junkyard? ebay?

its welded. part of the frame. no reason to cut it out, there are bolt ons that put the 2" right under the factory 1-1/4".

if you watch the video you can see where it is welded to the ends of the frame rails.

http://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Ford/Explorer/2006/13112.html?vehicleid=2006300530


you can buy the cross member with the hitch from ford, either in class II or class III configurations, but its over $700 and would be way more work.
 
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pzy3339

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96firephoenix

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its welded. part of the frame. no reason to cut it out, there are bolt ons that put the 2" right under the factory 1-1/4".

if you watch the video you can see where it is welded to the ends of the frame rails.

http://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Ford/Explorer/2006/13112.html?vehicleid=2006300530

MMK... Just curious, are you using the 0:59 mark as an indicator? My 2002 looks like that underneath, and I assure you mine is bolted. Source for this statement is that I have the 2" one sitting in my garage.

Hurts nothing to look and be sure.


Keep an eye peeled - if weather permits, I'm gonna put my 2" receiver on tomorrow, and you'll see what I mean on the 2002.
 
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jrk2585

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I was also told that with the 6 speed trany not to tow in OD.
 
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96firephoenix

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Anyone know if the factory tow package for the 06 included an auxiliary transmission cooler?

Would be worth adding if you want to help your transmission out.
 
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pzy3339

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I was also told that with the 6 speed trany not to tow in OD.

You should never tow anything heavy in OD with any transmission unless it is specifically designed for it.
 
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