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Old 12-19-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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Trailer Brake Controller

We got our 2013 33.2 2 weeks ago. Since I'll be using it to pull a race car trailer I started planning to install my trailer brake controller.

First, I asked the service manager at CW if the Freightliner chassis came pre-wired from the factory for trailer brakes. He said "no". Since every other MH I've owned did come pre-wired I didn't believe him. I started rooting around behind the removable panel by the drivers left foot and sure enough there is a 6 pin plug there. It had an empty mating connector on it too. I called Freightliner to confirm this was the trailer brake plug, it was, and they gave me the part number for the wiring harness that fits this plug and attaches to your brake controller. I also asked them for the pin out info for each of the 6 wires.

I then called the local Freightliner dealer to buy one of the wiring harnesses and found out they wanted $150 for this! None of the brake controller companies make a harness to fit the Freightliner plug (they usually cost $12-$15) but I hate to cut plugs off and butt splice wires.

Long story short I figured out the plug that Freightliner is using is a Delphi 6 pin 30 amp connector. If yours doesnt come with an empty plug from the factory you can get them from Mouserelectronics.com. If you got the empty plug from the factory you just need the pins that crimp onto the wires then insert into the back of the empty plug. You need 2 different size of pins since 2 of the wires are large gauge (normally go on the BLACK and BLUE wires) and 2 are smaller Usually the WHITE and RED wires). You need 2 of each size but get extras in case you screw up crimping one. They are 25 cents each. The part numbers are:

829-12084586 * 12084586-L * MALE TIN 280 SERIES (Need at least 2)

829-12020116-L * 12020116-L * TERM M/P 280 ML (need at least 2)

If you need the blank plug ($1) the part number is:

829-12064754 * 12064754 * 6P MALE BLACK

The first set of numbers is the Mouser Electronics part number, the second set is the Delphi part number, then the description. You may be able to find these locally to avoid shipping charges when ordering online.

You can buy the really expensive special crimp tool to put these terminals on or you can put them on using a small pair of needle nose pliers if you do it carefully. There are 2 sets of crimp "teeth" on the terminal, 1 set grab the bare conductor the other set grab the insulation. You strip only 1/4" of insulation from the wire. Insert it into the terminal and carefully fold over then crimp down the teeth that grab the bare conductor. Do the same for the teeth that grab the insulation. Crimp everything tight enough so the wire cant be pulled out of the terminal easy, but dont squash them so wide that they wont fit into the plastic plug. When the terminals are crimped onto all 4 wires, you insert the terminals into the back of the black plug. The terminal will only insert fully one way. Push them in until you hear a "click" that locks them into place. You can carefuuly grab the tang sticking through the plug and use your needle nose to pull a terminal into place until it clicks. They should go in easy and lock into place unless you flattened the crimps out too much and made them a little wide. If so, just squeeze them with the needle nose and narrow them up a bit. If you want to put a small drop of solder on the connector you can do that too, but be careful not to put a big blob on that will prevent the terminal from locking into place.

Here is the wiring pin out information from Freightliner for the plug:

A - Red/White 36G* to RED Brake Signal;
B - Brown 29A to ----- Brake Controller lighting (normally not used);
C - Red/White 36T to BLUE Output to trailer brakes;
D - Red 14 to BLACK Constant 30amp fused 12v from coach;
E - Black -- to WHITE Chassis ground or battery negative
F - Pink 52J to ------ Ignition switched 12v

Using the first line as an example, the info breaks down like this: "A" is the position where the wire goes into the plug. If you look closely at the blank plug you will see A B C molded on one side and D E F on the other side. Each letter corresponds to a pin hole in the plug.

"Red/White" is the color of the wire on the factory harness.

"36G*" is a number embossed every 6" on the factory harness wire.

"to RED" is the color of wire from your brake controller that will go in to this pin position on the plug. Note-The assumption here is your brake controller uses the most standard wire color coding which is RED, WHITE, BLUE and BLACK. Be sure and confirm that. If the colors are different just make sure the function you plug into each position is correct.

"Brake Signal" is the function for this wire. If you hook a 12v test light to this pin on the factory harness, it wil come on only when the brake pedal is depressed.

Note-The other wire position "F-Pink" gives you ignition switched 12v. While not typically used for trailer brake controllers it may be used for some of the electronic control devices used when flat towing toads. Its also useful for other purposes, I used this position to turn my GPS on and off. You may want to go ahead and get enough pins so you can install a wire for this and for B-Brown in case you want to use them in the future. Just be sure and tape off any bare ends.

I included some pictures to make it even easier. NOTE-DO NOT USE THE WIRE COLORS IN MY PICTURE AS A GUIDE FOR HOOKING UP YOUR PLUG. I DID NOT HAVE ALL OF THE RIGHT COLOR WIRE AVAILABLE SO USE THE COLOR CODES ABOVE.

This is actually a very easy mod to do and takes about 10 minutes to build. It took a lot longer to do this write up and take pictures than it takes to build the plug. You can of course just cut off the factory plug and butt splice wires to it but this approach gives you a nice factory look and makes it easier to remove the controller if you want to put it in another vehicle.

Picture 1- shows the crimp pins, large ones on the left smaller ones on the right.
Picture 2-Remove this much insulation, about 1/4"
Picture 3-Insert the wire like this. The first set of crimp "teeth" grab the bare conductor, the second set of crimp "teeth" grab the insulation
Picture 4-What it should look like when properly crimped
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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Here are some more photos.

Picture 1- Shows what the blank plug looks like from several angles.

Picture 2-Shows what it looks like with the wires inserted. NOTE-DO NOT USE THE WIRE COLORS IN THIS PHOTO AS A GUIDE TO ASSEMBLE YOUR PLUG. I DID NOT HAVE ALL OF THE RIGHT COLORS OF WIRE AVAILABLE WHEN I ASSEMBLED THIS.

Picture 3-Shows how the pins should look when your plug is assembled.

Picture 4-Shows the completed jumper harness with the new (Black) plug on one end and the trailer brake controller plug (grey) on the other end.

I hope this is helpful for everyone.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:25 PM   #3
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Excellent information...thanks!
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