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Cant Find trailer plug

so from what i have been reading, explorers have trailer plug whether you have a tow package or not and that wire is suppose to be tucked under the bumper. unfortunately, i cannot find mine anywhere. i have slid under the explorer and searched the entire bumper for it and well its not there.

was wondering if anyone could point me in some kind of direction? maybe im just not looking in the right spot or something.
 
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solitary ogre

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'91 explorer, '88 bll
my '91 has one on the left rear frame rail just ahead of the spring shackle and another on the left inner front fender under the master cylinder. both have dust caps on them.
 
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bigpanis

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i dont see one around the spring shackle but thank you for your input
 
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dogfriend

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On a 97, it should be behind the rear bumper, just to the right (passenger) side of the license plate. It will be a round connector that doesn't connect to anything. You need an adapter harness to convert from the round connector to a normal flat 4 connector that you would plug into the trailer.
 

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bigpanis

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well you dont bs around with information. thanks for detailed description i appreciate the blatantness, honestly. alright well i crawled under there with flashlight and looked and still there is only the line running to the 2 license plate lights. other then that, nothing.

any other possible ideas? maybe i just got one of the junk explorers haha
 
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dogfriend

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All I can tell you is that my 97 has the connector and that is where I found it. :p:
 
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FordLover

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well you dont bs around with information. thanks for detailed description i appreciate the blatantness, honestly. alright well i crawled under there with flashlight and looked and still there is only the line running to the 2 license plate lights. other then that, nothing.

any other possible ideas? maybe i just got one of the junk explorers haha

If the explorer has a tow package, the connector will be near the back side of the licenseplate.
If it doesn't have a tow package, I believe by 97 or 98 they started placing the wiring connector under the tail light. The connector was directly under the tail light on my mothers 2000 mountaineer (no tow package). Had a blue dust cap protecting the round connector. I got the ~2 foot long adapter harness that has the flat four connector on one end, and the round plug on the other.
 
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TexanF250

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Were you able to find it? I am wanting to add a trailer light connector to mine and I found this thread. Mine does not have the tow package (96 Explorer Sport 4WD)
 
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TexanF250

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I managed to find the plug for the trailer wiring. It was located behind the brake/tail light. However, unlike most Explorers mine was not blanked off with a rubber plug. Instead mine has the wire harness for the license plate lights plugged into it. It does have the wires for the trailer in the upstream side of the plug though. When I checked the trailer wire pins on the plug to verify they had power, I found that they did not. After some investigation, I discovered that the Left Turn Trailer Lamp Relay, the Right Turn Trailer Lamp Relay, and the 30AMP Fuse for the Trailer PArking Lights and Turn Signals had never been installed by Ford. The slots for them were there and they were hot but the relays and fuses were never installed. Took care of that and now I have power to the trailer wire pins at the rear plug.

Now comes the next problem. The pins in my connector are wired differently than in a 4-door Explorer and nobody makes a T-Connector for the set-up on an Explorer Sport. At least I am 95%certain of this. I called both Hoppy and Hidden Hitch and was told that the only solution for me will be the $50.00+ kit with the convertor that requires running a 12GA wire up to the battery to power the converter. I really do not want to go this route but .....

I did find an old stock Reese T-Connector for the Explorer and an old Stock Hoppy T-connector for sale but I do not know if they are wired for the Sport. Should know more on Monday.

If anyobdy has wire a Sport with a T-connector, please let me know.
 
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zjrog

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Its behind the bumper passenger side on my 94 also. And I do have the 4 pin flat adapter...
 
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TexanF250

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Sorry about the length of the post but here goes:

I found the plug as mentioned above and I was provided a link for a Hoppy T-connector. Right now the probblem I have is that I really need to know which wire from the flat 4 connector goes to which pin on the Hoppy adaptor (Hoppy P/N 40325) to be certain it is the correct plug.

I looked into this problem in a bit more detail today. I discovered that the plug I had located which the license place light wiring harness plugs into is in fact the trailer lighting plug as well. It is an 8 pin plug. The license plate wire harness that plugs into it only has two wires, a purple/white to provide power (12V) to the license plate lights lights and a black wire for the ground to the license plate lights. The other 6 pins on the license plate light wire harness plug are blank.

The upstream plug that the license plate wire harness plugs into has five wires going into it. The purple wire and black wire for the license plate lights, a yellow (LH turn signal/brake light), green (RH turn signal/brake light) and a brown/white (trailer running/parking lights). So clearly this plug must have been intended to serve as the connection for the trailer lights as well as the license plate lights. The only way to make this work would be with a T-type connector like the Hopy T-type connctor (Hoppy P/N - 40325).

Once I figured this out, I pulled the connector apart and used a multi-meter the check for power at the trailer light pins on the upstream connector. Nothing. Dead as a door nail. I only had power to the pin for the license plate lights and I had continuity at the pin for the ground.

Wondering why they would wire the vehicle with dead wires, I began looking for the fuse locations. I discovered that the 15A fuse for the trailer lights in the fuse box inside the vehicle on the driver's side of the dash was there and it was good. I then discovred that there is a big 30Amp fuse in the main engine compartment fuse/relay box and it was not there. Fortunately, the clips are there and one side had 12V. The owners manual says that this fuse is for the trailer parking lamps and the trailer turn signal lamps. I bought the proper fuse and installed it. Checked the plug again. Now I had 12V to the pin for the license plate lights and 12V to the pin for the trailer running lights but still no juice for either turn signal/brake light. At least I was making some progress.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that there is another relay box screwed in to the drivers side inner fender right next to the battery and it contains two relays for the trailer turn signal lamps. When I opened the box up, I discovered that these two relays were not there. Another trip to the parts store to buy the relays. Counter guy tries telling me that they don't make turn signal relays, only flashers. Fortunately I brought the owners manual with me to show him he was wrong. Turns out they did have the relays listed in their system and he had two in stock. Installed the relays and I now have power to all of the pins on the upstream plug. Big time progress!!! (or so I thought)

Now for the part where I am currently stuck. I can find T-Type connectors that will physically fit this plug. My problem has been finding a T-type connector where the wiring internal to the T-type plug connector matches what I have. For example, I found a T-type connector for a 93 - 99 Ranger (Hoppy Wiring Kit - P/N 40215) that physically fits but the pins on the Hoppy plug are wired opposite hand to what I have on my vehicle. For instance, if the upper left hand pin on mine is for the yellow (LH turn signal/brake), the T-Connector is wired so that this wire needs to be on the upper right hand pin of the upstream plug in order to provide power for this wire on the flat four connector. Hope that makes sense.

The only connector with a flat 4 connector that I could find for a 96 Explorer was a pig tail type that would plug diectly into the upstream plug and had a pig tail with a flat 4 connector on it. Problem with this is that it does not provide any means to reconnect my license plate light harness back in to the system. Also, I am almost certain that the wire arrangement to the individual pins on this connector is different than what is on my vehicle. I found a photo on another thread on this forum of the plug with the rubber boot from a 4-door Explorer that I believe this pig tail type connector is wired for and designed to plug into. The yellow, brown, green, and ground wires are all arranged differently than they are on my upstream plug.

I also found the trailer wiring kits that come with the converter boxes on them and require running a separate wire up to the battery to provide a constant 12V to the converter. These kits use a collection of T-conectors to tap into the various lights on my vehicle. This set-up would probably work but I really don't want to run the wire up to the battery and have a potentilal full time draw on the system and a poorly protected constant 12V wire that might cause some problems down the road. I suppose I could run the wire internally but it will be a minor P.I.T.A. that I would prefer to avoid particularly since it is pretty clear that Ford intended me to tap in off of that plug behind the drivers side brake/tail light lens. Unless my luck were to change, it is a pretty safe bet that I would bust one of the interiror panels in the process of running this wire internally.

My guess is that the Sport was wired differently than the 4-doors for some stupid reason. That said, Ford must have made a T-connector for this vehicle at some point but none can be found in their parts system now. I called both Hoppy and Drawtite to ask them about a T-connector. The Hoppy guy said that the only connector they had for a 96 Explorer was the one with the pig tail and that they did not have a T-type connector. Clearly this is not correct as the link you provided would indicate that they do (or at least did at one time) make a T-type connector for a 96 Explorer. I found one on Ebay with the part number you provided in the link and I bought it. It should be here some time next week.

If anyone has one of these T-conectors and can do a quick continuity test to determine which pin on the 8-pin plug corresponds to each of the four wires on the flat four connector, I would be eternally grateful. This would at least let me know that I have the correct one coming.

Also, if anyone has set up a 96 Explorer Sport or similar year for towing lights, I would be interested to hear how you did it.

Thanks for reading all of this.
__________________
2003 F-250SD, 6.0 PSD
2008 Lincoln MKX
1996 Explorer Sport
1950 F1 (4 ea.)
1949 F2
1948 F6
1950 F6
 
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Doomie17

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so on 2000 explorer xlt where would it be at
 
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TexanF250

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so on 2000 explorer xlt where would it be at

The answer is "it depends".

I managed to get this figured out on mine and now know more about it than I ever cared to know. If your Explorer came with the tow package, there will be a connector with a rubber boot covering up the end up under the bumper somewhere. Others have reported finding it jammed up around the spare tire. Your vehicle would have come with the plug connector/adaptor/pig tail that would convert this plug connector to a flat four trailer wire conneector.
If you cannot find the pigtail connector (it is often fould inside the jack storage compartment, could also be in the glove box), they are readily available from the auto parts store.

If you do not have the trailer tow package, you will need to tee into the plug comnnector located behind the drivers side tail light. Hoppy and Reese both make this T-connector although they will tell you that they do not if you call them to ask. I have a spare Reese T-connector I would be willing to sell if you need it. Tou will need to check the triler wire pins at that connection to se if you have any poiwer to them. If you do not, there is a big 30A fuse in the main engine compartment fuse box that you will need to install. There are also two relays you will need to install for the trailer turn signals in the small relay box located on the left front inner fender right behind the battery. Your auot parts store may try to tell you that they do not make trailer turn signal relays (this hapened to me). I made him look it up anyway and low and behold they had two in stock. That should get you triler light poser to that plug. IF you can locate a Ford wiring diagram, this plug is C402.

Hope this helps. If you need more information, please ask.
 
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Alpha_Geek

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Anyone had luck with any Hoppy T adapter and a non-tow package 99 2 door Ex?

Thanks!

Addendum-

No T kit will work on a 99 with no factory towing kit, they just aren't wired that way.

I found the round connector behind my driver side tail light assembly.

It had no cover, and the click-to lock latch on it was gone and the connector had some evidence of trauma. From a test fit, it looked like the Hoppy 40915 connector designated for this model with tow kit would connect and have a correct wiring sequence, albeit a bit short on the wire length.

Closer examination revealed that one wire was broken at the connector, further increasing my suspicion of an... unfortunate event occurring while the vehicle was in motion in its past.

Spliced in with colors matching the Hoppy wire harness, verified function.

Lessons learned:

1. Make sure trailer wiring is cable tied securely up and out of the reach of stuff passing under your vehicle.

2. Make sure your wiring is done in such a way that if a cable us pulled on, a connector seperates before your wiring harness is damaged.

3. On a 99 2 door Explorer, the color code of the trailer harness connector behind the drivers side tail light matches the Hoppy 4 fire code.
 
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TexanF250

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Anyone had luck with any Hoppy T adapter and a non-tow package 99 2 door Ex?

Thanks!

Addendum-

No T kit will work on a 99 with no factory towing kit, they just aren't wired that way.

I found the round connector behind my driver side tail light assembly.

It had no cover, and the click-to lock latch on it was gone and the connector had some evidence of trauma. From a test fit, it looked like the Hoppy 40915 connector designated for this model with tow kit would connect and have a correct wiring sequence, albeit a bit short on the wire length.

Closer examination revealed that one wire was broken at the connector, further increasing my suspicion of an... unfortunate event occurring while the vehicle was in motion in its past.

Spliced in with colors matching the Hoppy wire harness, verified function.

Lessons learned:

1. Make sure trailer wiring is cable tied securely up and out of the reach of stuff passing under your vehicle.

2. Make sure your wiring is done in such a way that if a cable us pulled on, a connector seperates before your wiring harness is damaged.

3. On a 99 2 door Explorer, the color code of the trailer harness connector behind the drivers side tail light matches the Hoppy 4 fire code.

You can use a Hoppy/Reese/HiddenHitch T-Connector whether or not you have the trailer towing package. Your truck is wired for the trailer wires whether you have the tow package or not. I just did my 96 Explorer 2-door. See my previous post.

You cannot use the pigtail type connector at the plug located behind the left tail light. It must be a T-connector and it must be for the Explorer. Trying to use one for a Ranger will not work. It will fit the connector but the Ranger T-conector is wired oppostie hand from the Explorer. The model year range is 1995-2000.
 
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RickOTR

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Chuck10

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I want to hook up my trailer (carries a 14' john boat). I found a round connector near my left tail light and also one on my right. Here's my rookie question; can I just pick one? Or do I have purchase and adapter that will employ both connectors? Thanks for any input.
 
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TexanF250

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I want to hook up my trailer (carries a 14' john boat). I found a round connector near my left tail light and also one on my right. Here's my rookie question; can I just pick one? Or do I have purchase and adapter that will employ both connectors? Thanks for any input.

Tee into the one on the driver's side. It does matter.
 
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moexplorer97

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Silverblade

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wouldnt you want to hook it to the passenger side, as per the diagram posted at the top?

I bought a connector yesterday, oem ford part to connect a trailer. On the diagram it came with it said to plug into drivers side, which i did. The only thing coming out of the drivers side was the lights for the licence plate, so i disconnected those and ran it anyways. I have no running lights, left signal does nothing, right signal = hazards and brake lights work. I will try looking for a connection on the passenger side as per the diagram, hopefully I dont need new relays and connectors.
 
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