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Old 10-08-2008, 01:43 PM   #1
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luckyva
Brake Controller

Ok, so I decided to return '08 Tundra and bought a '06 F-150 Lariat. I need a brake controller. It is not pre-wired. My local RV service place want $335 (including an $89 Brakeforce controller) to put one in. That works out to about $250 in labor. Sounds insane.

Any thoughts on doing it myself?

Thank you!
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:17 PM   #2
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I think you made an excellent move, but that's me. Anyway, the F150 may have come with a tow package. Check to see if it has a reciever, wiring plugs and auto trans cooler. If it has the tow package it came with a wiring harness, to splice to the brake controller wires, and a relay in a clear plastic bag. There will also be instructions with this package.
If someone has had a controller mounted in the truck, these items will be in place under the dash and in the fuse/relay box. First check to see if this package is present in the glove box. Then check under the dash to see if there is evidence of the brake controller being mounted under the dash.
I went with a Tekonsha Prodigy and I bought a Tekonska F150 harness so I could have a 1 piece harness instead of splicing wires. The both were about $120 and it took me well under an hour including drilling holes, attaching the harness and mounting the controller.
Caution: Look at the fine print in the install instructions, I believe that you are supposed to disconnect the vehicle battery before you hook up the controller wires. After the controller is hooked up put the Negative lead back on the battery. Double check the instructions as it was a year ago when I did the install. Follow the controller instructions on how to set braking levels and you should be set. Double check everything!
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:22 PM   #3
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I find it amazing that a 2006 Ford F150 does not have wiring for a trailer. My 1999 Chevy had the wires run all the way back. They did have to run a separate line back for the brakes, IIRC.

My friend's 1997 Ford Van has 7-wire all the way back. They just needed an adapter for under the dash (connecting the controller) and an adapter in the rear (for the 7-pin plug). Charged him $100 for that. He already had the brake controller.

The local Camping World wanted to charge him ~$275 for the same thing.
He went to a local trailer/hitch place instead.

You might try shopping around for a similar shop near you that does hitches. They will do as good a job and maybe charge less than the specialty shop.
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:13 PM   #4
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Rick:

Thanks for the response. It does not have the wiring package you mentioned; although I think I will call a dealer and get one. I looked at a 2008, too, and it had the wire package in the door pocket. I picked it up and looked at it and wondered what it was for.....

Thank you!

Paul
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:16 PM   #5
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Oh, it does have the towing package evidenced by the tranny cooler. I called Ford today and verified that and they are sending me a copy of the window sticker for my records.
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:19 PM   #6
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Thanks, Dave. I took your advice and found a place that will install for $35! HA! What a deal!
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:26 PM   #7
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How do you go about getting a copy of the window sticker? When I've asked before, they've said there's no way to get a replacement.

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Old 10-08-2008, 06:03 PM   #8
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Jon, it's not "the" window sticker, but a fairly decent printout off the computer that looks like a photocopy of the original would. You just need the serial no. A service dept. that won't print it is being a bit lame in my opinion.

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Old 10-08-2008, 06:25 PM   #9
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Welcome to Michigan

I do have the Oasis report...is this any different than the first bit of that? It does tell the engine, tranny, rear end, paint, interior, radio option, production date, tires, etc. But, there are no prices, which is really what I was hoping to see...what it originally retailed for (even though I'm sure Hertz paid much less)

Jon

P.S. Thanks Rick!
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:33 PM   #10
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Jon:

I'm glad you asked for those Oasis reports when you did. I quit the dealer last April! The report that you get from the service department is a basic report. As I remember, the Oasis has the serial numbers of the engine trans and even the tires! The Oasis is the most detailed report. I don't know of a source for window stickers for modern vehicles but there are for antiques. Now that I know that you're looking for that I'll let you know if I find a source for a modern vehicle window sticker. Hold on to the Oasis reports because they may be useful to make up a window sticker!

Paul:

That wire and relay package should definitely be available at the dealer at minimum cost. They normally leave the package in a door pocket or glove compartment, as you found out. Remember the previous owner may have installed the relay and wire already so check the relay box and the wiring.

dkasten:

If you order the towing package on any truck you get the package, which includes all the wiring. If you don't order the package you don't get the wiring or any other components of the package. There are people that order trucks that don't want a towing package. I would not be one of them.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:37 PM   #11
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Re: Brake Controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyva
Ok, so I decided to return '08 Tundra and bought a '06 F-150 Lariat. I need a brake controller. It is not pre-wired. My local RV service place want $335 (including an $89 Brakeforce controller) to put one in. That works out to about $250 in labor. Sounds insane.

Any thoughts on doing it myself?

Thank you!
Hi Paul

An $89 Brakeforce sold by the dealer. Heads up. I have not looked up that controller but for that price, odds are it is a time based controller.

For TT's, I recommend you get a proportional based controller. They alter the braking power proportional to the amount of stopping power of the TV at most any speed.

The time based ones are just that. They hook to the brake pedal stop light switch and when ever the brake lights come on it sends a timed amount of power ramp up to the brakes. You tweak the setting for highway speeds to be just right, then it sends you thru the wind shield jerking at slow speeds. Or you set it at low speeds and then the truck brakes are stopping the trailer as it is not power full enough.

Spend another $30 to $40 and get a proportional controller, the first time. The Priodgy is very common and well liked. I used to have the Jordan but then they sold to Camco and I have not yet seen them for sale.

$250 to install, well if you have no wring skills, shop around. If you have some limited wiring skills, you can do this.

Good luck

John
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:58 PM   #12
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Ditto on the proportional. They are well worth it.

I've never heard of a newer Ford truck, besides the '05 and up SD's, that don't have a EBC plug.

One advantage to getting a proportional controller, a Tekonsha product to be exact (Primus, Prodigy, or P3), is you can get a pre-made harness so you just plug it into the controller and plug it into your truck. The plug should be gray in color and rectangular shaped on the truck, and have 6 prongs. It should be by the steering column, but there's a possiblity it's behind the glovebox and you'll have to pull out the center console area and run the wires. Either way a harness should fit and work well. Then all you have to do is mount the controller itself. You can drill two holes in the dash like a lot of people do, or if you have a pocket in the dash, you can velcro it in like I did. The Tekonsha kits should come with mounting brackets and screws for mounting.

Jon
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:35 PM   #13
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Prodigy = Awesome

You will not be happy with a $89 cheapie from the dealer. Prodigys are selling for $100 or less on ebay, brand new in the box from reputable dealers. They come with a generic harness and all the instructions necessary to connect them to your TV if you don't have the factory wiring. If you find you have the factory harness, get the Tekonsha harness for your vehicle, too. Then it is plug and play. You'll spend more time mounting it than you will wiring it. I got mine last winter for $111 on ebay, but that included the Dodge specific harness and free shipping plus the full Prodigy with generic harness and mounting stuff.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:06 PM   #14
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Jon:

To get a list of your vehicle's specs, call Ford at 800.392.3673, give them the VIN and ask for a "build sheet." While you are on the line, register as the owner of the vehicle so you can be notified of any service issues. Also, ask about recalls to date to make sure vechicle is safe.
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