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Old 08-20-2014, 11:02 AM   #1
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Ford Explorer and LED Tail Lights

In the process of setting up a 2013 Ford Explorer as a toad. I'm running into a road block though with the LED tail lights. Anyone have first hand knowledge of how to wire these?

Thanks
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 37driver View Post
In the process of setting up a 2013 Ford Explorer as a toad. I'm running into a road block though with the LED tail lights. Anyone have first hand knowledge of how to wire these?
Thanks
37driver
"LED tail lights" are wired exactly the same as "incandescent taillights".
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:36 PM   #3
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Who ever supplied your base plate should be able to help. I would call them. A lot of the newer cars are running off a common bus which can make things more of a hassle.


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Old 08-20-2014, 11:30 PM   #4
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In the process of setting up a 2013 Ford Explorer as a toad. I'm running into a road block though with the LED tail lights. Anyone have first hand knowledge of how to wire these?

Thanks

37driver,
If I may ask, just what kind of "road blocks" are you encountering with the use of LED tail lights? Are you installing extra sockets in the tail light housings of your Explorer? Or, are you installing LED bulb replacements in the existing Explorer tail light sockets and, are having flashing (turn signal) problems? As has been suggested, some of the newer cars/trucks/jeeps/Suvs are utilizing what's called "Multi-plex" wiring or, otherwise known as "CAN-BUSS" systems. If one attempts to tie into a system using that technology, you can run into some pretty good problems.
Scott
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Old 08-25-2014, 12:21 AM   #5
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Sorry it took me so long to reply. I really don't want to cut into the car's wiring. It looks like there might be room in the tail light housing to install another bulb and run wiring from the coach. I was just wanting to know if anyone had done this on the Explorer.
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:09 PM   #6
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My Malibu has LED's and I used the diode kit. Yes, you have to cut the wiring but I soldered each connector rather than simply crimping.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:53 PM   #7
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Vette is so right, do not try to use those blue connectors to wire them up, if you can solder and heat shrink them to seal them up. They will be a better connection and be brighter....
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Old 01-21-2015, 02:22 PM   #8
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I installed independent tail/brake lights in my 2015 Ford Explorer. There is room in the housing to do this. However, the bulb is behind a clear portion of the lens so I had to use red bulbs. These are hard to find in incandescent so I went with red LED 1157 bulbs. Only problem with the LEDs is the turn signals flash in unison when either one is selected. However, if the headlights/taillights are ON, the turn signals work correctly. I've tried all manners of grounds & load resistors to no avail. Since we run with headlights ON anyway I finally decided it was OK. We use the Air Force One brake system so the stock brake lights come on in addition to the aux. bulbs I installed. System works great with that one little issue. Bugs me that I can't figure it out but like I said, it works.
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:06 PM   #9
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SafetySteve5,


I am planning on replacing my toad in the near future and considering the Explorer. Will probably buy a 2013 or 2014.
Any considerations I need to be aware of in going this route?
Are all drive systems flat towable?
Does the towed mileage register on the odometer?
Have you had or heard of anyone having any transmission issues when towing the Explorer?


Appreciate any comments you might have on this Toad.


Thanks,
David
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:25 AM   #10
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We are very happy with our 2015 Explorer as a toad. As already stated I wired independent tail/brake lights because I just didn't want to tap into the electronic systems on the toad. Ours is a front wheel drive. I believe the AWD is towable but it requires a different base plate (ours is Blue Ox BX2627). Best to find the Ford owners manual on-line and read directly about "recreational towing". The base plate install was not difficult. We also had to put a battery charge line from the coach to the battery as the battery in the toad would be DOA. With the ignition key in the ACC position AND everything turned OFF that can be turned OFF, there is still a drain on the battery. My umbilical is a 7 pin set-up so I had plenty of options for wires. Used one pin for a dedicated wire for a light on the dash of the coach that tells me my brakes in the toad have actually activated. Another for the 12 volt battery charge. No other issues with the Ford Explorer. No indications of any issues with the transmission so far.
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:28 AM   #11
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The mileage DOES NOT register on the odometer when towing the Explorer
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:47 AM   #12
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What auxiliary brake system do you use and would you choose it again?


Thanks,
David
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:56 AM   #13
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You can find the towing capabilities at Towing Guides | fleet.ford.com

I'm the OP and now have setting up two Explorers under my belt, the wife totaled the 2013 three weeks after installing the baseplate and wiring. Be sure to call your insurance company and make sure that your towing equipment is covered. I had to eat the original baseplate and wiring.

All of the current Explorers from 2011 to present, fwd and awd, are four down towable. 2011 thru 2014 use two different baseplates, one for vehicles with adaptive cruise control (BX2627) and one for those without (BX2632). 2015 models use the same baseplate (BX2632). I used the BX8848 wiring kit on both.

Installation of the baseplate isn't that hard, just time consuming. The three hours for installation stated in the instructions is wildly optimistic. It requires some cutting and drilling. Let me know if you plan on doing it yourself and I'll give you some tips that will avoid a few headaches.

The wiring is fairly simple, I used the four diodes included in the kit. I only wired the tail lights and turn signals as the Air Force One brake system actuates the brake lights using the brake pedal. I used the Toad Charge to keep the battery charged while towing.

It's a great vehicle to tow with no issues. We replaced the 2013 with a new 2015 after seeing the damage that was done during my wife's accident and the fact that she walked away uninjured with only bruising and soreness from the belts. She fell asleep, went off the shoulder and down a 15' embankment and through numerous trees. The impact was violent enough to rip the right front suspension and wheel assembly off of the car.
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:04 PM   #14
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I drilled holes in lenses on my 2010 and 2011 jeep wranglers inese were about 40 bux if you mess 1 up when I got the explorer priced a lens about $350.00 so drilling was out ,I didn't want to tie into wiring because of warranty issues so I went with harbor freight magnetic tow lights about 40 bux with coupon, been towing 3 years on the ex with no issues we usually get a new car every couple years but my wife likes the expolorer and some of the cars I do like are not toadable so we may have this 1 another year or 2
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