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Old 03-06-2016, 10:12 AM   #1
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Wiring - Electric Brakes Car Trailer

New to the forum! Hope I am in a good thread!

I just got a car trailer for my jeep. This trailer is pretty nice, and it has electronic brakes. I have never dealt much with the wiring of trailers especially electronic brakes.

The thing is, my jeep, I got second hand and it is all set up for towing, including the electronic brake controller.

I am lost, however, because I have no clue how they wired the plugs on this jeep, and what plug is for the electronic brakes, and what harness I need for the trailer because it does not have one!!

Pictures below of the wires. The trailer has one plug for lights (works), then it has a set of 3 wires, and the battery, for the electronic brakes??

Then, my jeep has two plugs that both seem to be lights but I don't know, one of them will run the lights (working). Then I have this one odd plug (needs to be replaced) that was possibly for the brakes??

I am trying to get the brakes on this trailer functional, and I am all prepped to order wiring harnesses and get-r-done; I have no clue where to start.

I read about electronic brakes and I understand the tether, the battery, and basic functionality, but I am lost in the wiring. Any help will be incredibly appreciated!
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:17 AM   #2
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Picture 1: Lights plug on trailer working
Picture 2,3: 3 wires on trailer / tether / battery
Picture 4: Jeep Lights working
Picture 5: Jeep Lights?? Unknown
Picture 6,7,8: Unknown plug in general
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:18 AM   #3
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My guess:

The unknown plug is for different trailers, the three wires are main / with one black lead from tether the ground (4) to go to the secondary light plug on jeep?? IDK!
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:28 AM   #4
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Welcome to iRV2.

The Jeep and trailer should have been wired with a 7 prong plug . The connector with the corrosion would have been to the factory installed 7 prong trailer connector, and just plugged into the back of the connector housing.
Someone has messed with the factory set up and run unnecessary wires on the Jeep.
Check out this web site for proper wiring instructions.
From the pictures, I think you're going to end up re-doing both the Jeep and trailer for proper operation.

Trailer Wiring Diagrams | etrailer.com
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Welcome to iRV2.

The Jeep and trailer should have been wired with a 7 prong plug . The connector with the corrosion would have been to the factory installed 7 prong trailer connector, and just plugged into the back of the connector housing.
Someone has messed with the factory set up and run unnecessary wires on the Jeep.
Check out this web site for proper wiring instructions.
From the pictures, I think you're going to end up re-doing both the Jeep and trailer for proper operation.

Trailer Wiring Diagrams | etrailer.com

I found this video, and I think this is what they tried to do with the jeep. It looks like they wired the lights and brakes separate??

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Old 03-06-2016, 10:47 AM   #6
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I didn't listen to the audio , but a tune came to mind while watching

Mic.. Key.. Mouse
Multiple connections to a trailer , PARTICULARLY , if there is a chance they could be mixed up while connecting for towing, is a recipe for trouble.
Pick up the correct 7 pin connectors and do it right.
There is a reason the 7 pin connectors are the trailer towing industry standard, to prevent problems when hooking up to different trailers.
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
I didn't listen to the audio , but a tune came to mind while watching

Mic.. Key.. Mouse
Multiple connections to a trailer , PARTICULARLY , if there is a chance they could be mixed up while connecting for towing, is a recipe for trouble.
Pick up the correct 7 pin connectors and do it right.
There is a reason the 7 pin connectors are the trailer towing industry standard, to prevent problems when hooking up to different trailers.
I understand that Skip - I am not trying to make it simply work, I am trying to understand it. I have been observing the link you sent. I cannot find the same 7 pin connector. The last video I watched were here. Can you link me to the proper 7-pin connectors I should purchase for both the jeep and the trailer?

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Old 03-06-2016, 11:04 AM   #8
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You know what Skip. Never mind. I will figure it out myself. The "Mic.. Key.. Mouse" reference has ticked me off. I am a Jr. CIS/ISS major and have done mechanics my whole life. The assumption I might puff my pipe and whistle around is offensive.

Thank you for the help you provided.
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Old 03-06-2016, 11:14 AM   #9
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wiring

in most setups trailers with electric brakes use a round 7 connector plug. you say the jeep has a brake controller was it oem or an after market addon? if factory go to e-trailer or a similar retailer for an adaptor harness. if addon look around for 1 wire that was added which would be to run the brakes
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Old 03-06-2016, 11:16 AM   #10
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in most setups trailers with electric brakes use a round 7 connector plug. you say the jeep has a brake controller was it oem or an after market addon? if factory go to e-trailer or a similar retailer for an adaptor harness. if addon look around for 1 wire that was added which would be to run the brakes
It is certainly an aftermarket addon. Now that I look into it more, and study the E-trailer diagrams, I am understanding it more. I am probably going to rewire it all - seems simple enough.
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:05 PM   #11
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I am pretty sure this is the kit that was installed. I am going to check the light system to see. But I imagine this might sum up some of the confusion about this 'custom job'.. not that I have figured it out fully, just getting closer.

2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Tow Bar Wiring - TrailerMate
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nedly View Post
You know what Skip. Never mind. I will figure it out myself. The "Mic.. Key.. Mouse" reference has ticked me off. I am a Jr. CIS/ISS major and have done mechanics my whole life. The assumption I might puff my pipe and whistle around is offensive.

Thank you for the help you provided.
I'm sorry , you've interpreted my comments the way you have.
I was directing that comment at the information shown in the video, and like I said , I didn't listen to the audio. Just showing an electronic trailer brake controller and a 4 wire connector in the same frame was enough to have me shaking my head.
JMHO: The video , by not showing the correct, industry standard, hook up between a tow vehicle and trailer ; through a 7 pin connector; for lights and electric trailer brakes. is miss-information and should be removed from the internet. But we all know how often that happens.
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Old 03-07-2016, 05:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I'm sorry , you've interpreted my comments the way you have.
I was directing that comment at the information shown in the video, and like I said , I didn't listen to the audio. Just showing an electronic trailer brake controller and a 4 wire connector in the same frame was enough to have me shaking my head.
JMHO: The video , by not showing the correct, industry standard, hook up between a tow vehicle and trailer ; through a 7 pin connector; for lights and electric trailer brakes. is miss-information and should be removed from the internet. But we all know how often that happens.
Skip, I apologize for misunderstanding. I see what you mean now. For me, I have no clue this youtube guy's advice is junk because I am a novice. I thought maybe this were in regard to me looking up these youtube videos.

Right now I have determined my plan of action to replace the stock harness on the jeep that is corroded - I get activity on the lines so they seem to be ok. I am then going to be rid of the extras on the jeep that is not needed. Then I am going to rewire the trailer to meet the jeeps plugs. Right now it seems like I have a lot to work with and it will be manipulating the things I have and purchasing a couple of harness'.

Thank you everyone for your help. The Etrailer site has also been a huge help.
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Old 03-07-2016, 06:15 PM   #14
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Nedley-

I don't have a Jeep, and I don't see which model Jeep you have in your posts. Nonetheless, following up on Skip426's post #4 I took a guess and looked up a factory-to-7-pin adapter for a 2007 Jeep Liberty, on etrailer. Here is the link.

I may be incorrect, so confirm the following for yourself.

What this adapter is meant to do is to plug into the factory plug (your photos 6, 7 and 8) and give you an industry-standard 7-pin hitch receptacle to mount on or near the bumper. Ford did the same for many years- pre-wiring, but not providing the 7-pin receptacle, thereby saving the company a few bucks on the chance the buyer didn't want to tow anything.

Assuming that the plug and its wiring are not corroded beyond use, and once you find the correct adapter for your Jeep, and assuming the wiring from the front of the Jeep to the plug is intact (and all fuses and relays in place and working), then buying and plugging-in the adapter should get the Jeep wiring completely ready to attach to your trailer.

You probably already figured all this out already, though!
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