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Need to wire 7 pin plug on '06

Hello,
I have an 06 XLT with the "standard" tow package (1.25"), but I need to wire a brake control with a 7 pin plug. Are all of the extra (required) wires already run? I noticed a heavy guage blue wire (Brakes?) that seems to be unused, but I need 1 more (Battery charge?). I think there were only 6 used on my last truck (center pin not used). For some reason I think that when I bought my camper that the trailer dealer ran 3 additional wires back from the controller. Was one a heavier ground to handle the additional current from the brakes?

Thanks for any help.
James
 
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MountaineerGreen

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Hello,
I have an 06 XLT with the "standard" tow package (1.25"), but I need to wire a brake control with a 7 pin plug. Are all of the extra (required) wires already run? I noticed a heavy guage blue wire (Brakes?) that seems to be unused, but I need 1 more (Battery charge?). I think there were only 6 used on my last truck (center pin not used). For some reason I think that when I bought my camper that the trailer dealer ran 3 additional wires back from the controller. Was one a heavier ground to handle the additional current from the brakes?

Thanks for any help.
James

I doubt your explorer has the wiring already in place, especially if you don't have the 7 prong plug out back.

I installed a brake controller on mine fairly recently. There is a heavy blue wire that activates the brakes, a wire to charge the battery or supply power to the trailer. I think there is one other wire for reverse lights if you want to hook it up. I opted not to connect it as my TT doesn't use it.

What is it you are towing with the 1.25" hitch that requires a 7 prong plug?

www.etrailer.com has a great explanation of any and all towing questions.
 
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Jimmer06

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I'm towing a 2600 pound tent trailer. I think here in Canada, all trailers over a certain size (or at least campers) need electric brakes.

I saw a heavt blue wire at the back that was not connected to anything (idn't even have the insulation cut back), I figured that it was the same wiring harness on all explorers, at least on the 06+.

James
 
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MountaineerGreen

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Well, its possible that your truck is prewired then. Look around under the dash for a six wire plug hanging there. Vendors are making custom brake controllers that connect right in to that plug, no wiring needed. You may have to add a few relays under the hood or dash though, I'd suggest you check your owners manual.
 
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GCH

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Hi Jimmer06,

I'm currently doing the same exact thing thing on an 03. I have learned there is a pre-wired connector just under the passenger rear taillight. It's where your current 4 pin plug harness connects. It's suposed to already be wired for full 7 pin function, so you can unhook the 4-pin and hook up the 7-pin. Dealer has the 7-pin harness but wants $120. I am looking for a better price. Try e-trailer.com.

There are some trailer wiring fuses in the power distribution box under the hood. On my 03, they are already in place. You can check your owners manual to find out which ones they are and if they are present. But there are also some relays in a box that is somewhere on the "passenger rear quarter trim" which I can not find so far. The relays are for the charge line and the back up lights -- back up lights are on the center pin of the 7 pin round connector. Those relays may or may not already be installed in that box. Don't know yet. I am thinking of pulling the right rear tailight assembly to see if I can see it that way. otherwise, i will hook up the wires and see if it works before I try to pull out the plastic trim pannel... Don't want to crack the plastic...

Let me know if you learn any more usefull info about this.

-- GCH
 
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GCH

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Oh yeah -- one other thing. On an 03, and so probably also on an 06, the brake controller will be pre-wired and a connector is under the dash. Some say it is to the left of the glove box, best accessed by popping out the glove box and letting it hang. On my 03, I think it is mounted just beneith the stearing wheel and very easy to get to. Have to wait until I get the pigtail to see if it fits that connector. That connector may be something else... Check e-trailer.com for the correct pigtail that ties into it. They also have great prices on controlers.
 
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Jimmer06

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Thanks for the info... As soon as the weather gets better I'll have a look. I was just talking to the dealer and the parts guy thought that there was a 7 pin harness that could just be plugged in. I didn't beleive him, but now that you also tell me this, it may in fact be there. Which would be fantastic.

I'll keep you posted if I am able to get this going in the next few weeks.

James
 
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GCH

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Summary 02-05 Explorer Trailer Wiring

I have continued to learn about the topic -- adapting 02 and newer Explorers for 7-pin trailer wiring. Much of what I have learned came from this forem by searching old posts. To help the next person who comes along, I now share what I have learned.

The 02 to 05 Explorers are pre-wired for 7-pin trailer wiring. I assume 06 and 07 probably are as well.

The stock 02 -05 Explorer comes with a 1.25 inch class 2 reciever hitch. It is easy to install a 2 inch, class 3 reciever hitch. Good looking after market units are availible from on-line retailers for just over $100. They bolt right on. This gives the added benifit of now having both types on your rig. One can for instance, tow a trailer with the class 3 reciever and have a bike rack mounted on the class 2 at the same time.

The stock 02-05 Explorer comes with a 4-pin trailer wiring plug. If you follow that wire to just under the passenger side tailight, you see a connector there. From this connector on, the Explorer is fully 7-wire trailer ready. So, just get the correct harness and plug it in -- presto, 7-pin ready. The harness is Ford part number 3C5Z13A576BA. MSRP for that is $123.68. However, it can be purchased for less finding on-line discount Ford part dealers. I found one for about $86.00 plus shipping. But to me, that is too much. I am searching junk yards for a wrecked unit that has the 7-pin harness. If I don't find one, I will use a 4-pin to 7-pin adapter from Wallmart ($25). It plugs into the 4-pin connector then has 3 other wires I will need to splice in and one ground connection to bolt to chassis ground. This would give me both 4-pin and 7-pin connectors at the rear of my trailer, which is nice. I already pulled the plug loose from under my taillight. The connector slides off the little plastic thing. Or you can pull the little plastic thing off the mounts by prying with a big screw driver. It's held on with 2 of those plastic-ribbed screw like things, and if you are not too rough, you will be able to put it back in place with no damage. The connector has a little slot on one side where you stick a screw driver to get it open, but be carefull. What you have to do is get your screw driver under a little metal spring clip in that slot. Then the connector comes apart pretty easily. Look in the slot that invites a screw driver with a bright light and you will see the little metal clip.

Fuses and relays: There is a fuse box in the engine compartment. And there is a relay box behind the passenger side plastic trim pannel in your cargo area. Open the tailgate. Look to the right. That big plastic pannel hides this relay box. The relay box is actually just in front of the tailight. The good news is, I think all the fuses and relays are already there on all units. My 03 has the fuses in place under the hood. I looked at the relay box in a junkyard unit -- 02 Explorer stock with no tow package, just the class 2 stuff that comes standard. The trim pannel was already pulled loose. It looks to me like the relays are already there. I'll report back on this thread if I find that is not the case. The bad news is, if we have to install the relays, then it seems like one has to pull the plastic pannel part way out, which is a bit tricky to do without braking it if one does not know the tricks -- which I do not... Maybe if the right rear tailight is removed, then the relay box will come out for access easily. If needed, I will try that. But I am optimistic (hopefull) that the relays are already in place.

Electric trailer brake controler: Again, the 02-05 Explorers are already pre-wired! There is a connector behind the glovebox. To get at it, one needs to drop the glove box down. This is easy to do, just open the glove box and then press in on the sides of the compartment -- you know, the place that holds stuff. You will see that there are like 2 pins on the sides. Just press enough that these pins clear the dashboard and the glove box will open all the way and hang down. Now you can see some wiring and connectors. Look around in there, you will find an unused connector. This is the electric brake connector. On mine, it was taped to a wire bundle on the left and towards the rear, close to the firewall. Electric brake controllers do not automatically match to this connector, but on e-trailer.com for example, they sell the pig-tail harness with the connector that plugs into this one for $10. On that web sight, when you find electric brake controllers, the wiring adapters are linked easy to find.

From e-trailer.com I ordered a class 3 reciver hitch, $119. A Tekonsha powertrack electronic brake controller. $59.95. And the adapter for the brake controller to fit the Explorer OEM wiring, $10.00. Shipping was 0.99.

Unfortunately, that 7-pin harness on the back seems only a Ford item, and I am not finding one in a wrecking yard. So, its the $25.00 Walmart item and a little splicing. If I don't post here again, it means the fuses and relays are all present. Otherwise, I'll report that.

OK -- Ive done my work here. Hope whoever needs this information finds it usefull!
 
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MountaineerGreen

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