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Old 03-29-2012, 09:18 AM   #1
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2012 Explorer Installation

For those contemplating installing a tow set-up in a new Explorer, here's some information that might help. FYI, my Explorer is a FWD car. I installed the following:

Roadmaster brackets: This was pretty easy. I did have to gring down the lower extension on the Explorer's front frame rails wher the Roadmaster brackets attach. I may have been able to force the mounting bolts through without doing this, but why not make it easy. You may have to trim the front facia on the back side just below the towbar mounts. You'll know when you go to put the facia back on. If trimming is necessary the lower fascia bolts won't align.

SMI Air Force One: This too was pretty easy. The challenge is always how and where to mount the controller and enter the passenger compartment. I installed the controller in the driver's side wheel wheel. You can see it mounted in the attached phot. I also use the optional air pressure sensor to activate the light to show the system in use. You can see this illustrated at the yellow arrow. It's ty-wrapped on the backside of the mount. The red arrow points to where the air line and electrical cable enter the frame rails. Entering the passenger compartment was at first a challenge. The Explorer has a double firewall, so I ruled out going through the firewall. I drilled a hole in the driver's side floorpan between where the emergency brake cable goes through the floor and the door. Once the electrical cable and air line were secured I sealed this hole with Black RTV. This makes for an easy install and offers good protection to the air and electrical lines. The AF1 plunger was mounted to the brake pedal and I used an existing mounting bolt to attach the steel cable. The panel that is between the dash and the floor that you removed to access this area can not be put back on. I have not noticed any increase in road noise as a result of removing this panel. The break-away switch was bolted to the center of the span directly to the Roadmaster structure. FWIW, the AF1 brake activation light is mounted on the dash of my coach and I use the otherwise unused brake controller pin on the 6 pin connector to the tow vehicle.

Lights: I made all Explorer lighting connections above the driver's side kick panel. The attached shows which Explorer wires to use. I used 4 blocking diodes, given the Explorer's turn signal bulbs are not the same as the brake bulbs. I had to install a 2 wire to 3 wire converter because of the separate turn signal and brake bulbs. This is mounted behind the driver's side kick panel. All wires used lead to the Body Control Module mounted above driver's side kick panel. Keep in mind that there may be a second wire on the same connector with the same color code. It will just be a different gauge. Make sure you ID both before cutting. Also, it's really tight trying to work up in this area, but it can be done.

I hope this helps,

Gil
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #2
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Gil, just curious, did you have to have the Neutral Tow Kit installed on your 2012 Explorer
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:12 PM   #3
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Jerry, as far as I know there is no neutral tow kit for the new Explorer. It can be towed wheels down as delivered.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:09 PM   #4
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Love my Explorer, may be time to trade up as I have had problems with NTK a couple of times. I found that the trouble always happens after using 4WD so don't use it any more.
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