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Old 03-28-2016, 09:50 AM   #1
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Electric brake control harness in E-450

Has anyone had any luck finding a factory installed harness plug in their newer E-450 Chassis to plug an electric brake controller (like a Tekonsha P3) directly into?

eTrailer says in a couple of different places that there should be one behind the center part of the dash that this connector will plug right into.

https://www.etrailer.com/p-3034-P.html

I pulled the engine cover on my 2016 E-450 completely out last week and only found this connector up there behind the cetner of the dash, which doesn't match the 3034P plug.



Somewhere I saw that some chassis have a black plug and need a different harness, I think for a Superduty chassis...but I can not seem to find that link again for some reason and the guy at eTrailer didn't know anything about it either.

eTrailer had me look up above e-brake pedal for the grey one also, no luck. Lastly, after I left where the RV is stored they said in some instances....it's under the driver seat also.

My next step unless a better ideal is found before then is to start back at the 7 pin connector, see if there is a wire attached to the brake wire pin...then try to follow it forward. Surely there is but at this point who knows. Hopefully one of you has tried to do the same and can hold my hand to save some time.

Thanks,
Lance
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:20 AM   #2
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Just so I can find it again later and in case anyone else is looking for it, I found this diagram for the trailer tow wiring on the E-series Body Builders layout book.

https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas...iring_v1-0.pdf

Page 13 and 14 deal with the factory trailer tow wiring on the 2015
E-Series chassis.

I will take this with me the next time I visit our RV to see if it helps find said connectors.
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Old 03-28-2016, 11:52 AM   #3
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LSVLance-

At some point, Ford moved the electric brake controller plug from the steering column (left side) to behind a plastic panel in the dash, above and to the right of the steering wheel. I understand they did this so they could start providing a factory-installed brake controller.

On your Body Builders Layout Book reference, the diagram on sheet 14 is of the back of the dashboard, looking from passenger side to driver side, and slightly upwards. I know it's a weird viewpoint. Anyway, the thing immediately above the connector is a removeable plastic pocket/tray. If you pop that pocket/tray out of the dash, the connector is plugged into it (to keep it from flopping around).

There have been some recent posts with pictures (I think), but that should get you started.

If you look in a manual, you might see instructions for a factory-installed controller, and that will show you where the pocket/tray is.

Here's a link to a picture of a E-series cutaway dash. You can see the pocket immediately above the dash vent to the right of the steering wheel.

Here's a link to an eBay page where supposedly Ford OEM controllers are for sale. Can't say they would fit your E-series, though.
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:28 PM   #4
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There is a little place in the dash to store coins, upper center dash to the right of the steering wheel. The factory plug is connected to the back of that. Pop that cubby hole/coin box out and disconnect factory plug.
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:12 PM   #5
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Thanks all... So what exactly does it take to pop that coin holder out? I tried grabbing it from the sides and pulling today but was afraid of breaking something. If I knew where the locking tabs were, I could pull right there instead of just anywhere. It seems in there pretty tight.



I thought I was onto something when I was down there. I found this plug under the dash which looked to be the one my harness would plug into.


I unwrapped the tape on the wires coming from it and found just these 3 wires that headed up to the middle part of the dash. So I pulled the engine cover again and traced those threes wires to the 3 real small wires butt connected to them...which lead directly to the coin tray cubby above the radio.



After I couldn't get the cubby out, I tried to plug my harness into the plug under the dash, but alas, it was different after all. I crawled under the back and noticed that all 7 wires from the plug are connected to a harness under the back which confirmed my suspension that the van chassis is wired for a brake controller, now I just need to figure out how to get that cubby loose from the dash without braking anything.

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Old 03-28-2016, 04:59 PM   #6
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Go to your tool box and grab the M.A.N. jk, should just pop out, it snaps into place. I think I used a 2 thin screw drivers, one to pry out slightly and the other to push plastic tab.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:03 PM   #7
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lol... I already used my M.A.N. to un-clip the console piece that hangs on the engine cover and broke the clip at the bottom of it in the process. At least my wife won't be able to see that damage unless she tries to remove the console piece herself.

Who here liked things better when cars were put together with nuts and bolts, not plastic clips?

I'll try to pop it out next time i'm down there. Thanks.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:58 PM   #8
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A picture to whet your appetite. Still looking for the "procedure" I thought I read somewhere.

<edit>
Found prior thread- "milasman" offering encouragement, as he does with this thread, starting after this post.</edit>
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:18 PM   #9
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Thanks... Might try again tomorrow if I get down that way. Sure beats hardwiring from scratch...
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:29 AM   #10
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Okay, time to put a cap on this...

I was able to get the coin tray out without damage and just like everyone said, the factory installed electric brake control harness was sitting right behind said tray. From then on it was about a 10 minute job to finish installing the brake controller.

Here is a picture of the 2016 dash where Ford moved the coin tray to up above the radio.



Here are where the tabs are on the tray that need to be released before tray will come out. Three along the top, two along the bottom. They do NOT release easily the first time.

Top


Bottom


Sides have no tabs but are easiest to get putty knife or screwdriver under to get started.



Here is where I mounted my Tekonsha.


I used 4 long wood screws to attach the bracket to the foam behind the panel. It seems pretty secure now, time will tell if they hold tight in there. An easier fix may be to just buy the Ford brake controller and put it in place of the coin tray, but this also requires a reflash of the ECM. Personally, I like that tray as a place to keep my sunglasses and cell phone.

Hopefully this will help others doing the same upgrade. Now, I just need to get out and test it.
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Old 03-31-2016, 10:00 PM   #11
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Just a heads up, the OEM Ford factory brake control will not work with the 2016 E-450. I installed one, took it my local Ford dealer to have it flashed, and they could not get it to recognize it in the computer. The dealer called Ford hotline, and was told do not attempt to override the computer in order to get the OEM controller to work. There is an option to upgrade your driver instrument panel, but I didn't want to spend several hundreds of dollars just for the brake control. As much as I wanted to make the OEM work, I opted for the Prodigy P2.
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Old 03-31-2016, 10:12 PM   #12
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Prodigy P2, awesome controller, works for me because I can move it from vehicle to vehicle.
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Old 04-02-2016, 04:08 PM   #13
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Put 70 pounds of air in my Firestone RideRite air bags, swapped to a 8" drop from 4" drop draw bar and moved the car back 4" on the trailer. Net result was 180# from the rear axle to the front axle leaving me a 280# cushion on the rear tire capacity. I think I'll try to forgo the weight distribution hitch on the trailer for now. It tows great, drove about 25 miles at highway speeds into a 25 MPH head\cross wind and it handled things very well.






The electric brake controller worked great on the way home...for a little while...then it looked like it was disconnected...then it came back on but wouldn't work automatically, but would work if I pressed the lever manually. I then discovered on the scales that the shift lever wouldn't move out of Park without me pressing the lever on the Tekonsha...and the brake lights quit working.

I'm assuming I blew a fuse for the brake lights somehow. About to go try to find that. The brake lights come on when the lever on the Tekonsha is pressed though, that's the weird thing.

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