Brake Controller wiring for a 2017 Ford Explorer - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 01-27-2019, 06:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: North Bend, Washington
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Brake Controller wiring for a 2017 Ford Explorer

I spent today installing a 7 pin wiring harness and the brake controller wiring in my 2017 Ford Explorer. Upon putting the 30A brake controller fuse into the engine fuse box, I noticed that there is only a single blade in the fuse receptacle where all the other similar fuses (J-style) have two blades.

Parts of my wiring related to brake lights, turn signals, and running lights function, but I'm not getting 12V power to the contoller harness or the 7 pin in back.

I suspect there is something between my battery and fuse box that I don't have (hence the missing fuse blade), but haven't been able to identify what that would be (and don't have the correct language for a successful online search).

Do any of you fine folk have suggestions that might get me situated?

Thanks in advance for any guidance!
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:46 PM   #2
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Do you have the relays in the required positions?

According to the fuse information section near the end of the 2015 Explorer manual (the year I happen to have on file), the relevant fuse/relay panel positions includes #12, "Trailer tow battery charge relay"... in addition to the 30 amp fuses in #24 (for "Trailer tow battery charge") and #3 (for "Trailer brake control module"). There are also relays and fuses for the trailer lights, but you must have those because the lights work.

If you don't have the relays, perhaps you have a wiring harness which is missing some connections, including the pin for that fuse. Does the vehicle have the optional (but included in some trim and engine combinations) "Class III Trailer Tow Package"?
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:48 PM   #3
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Good guidance!

Looks like I've got 2 of the necessary fuses missing. One for the battery charge relay and one for brake controller, which would totally align with the stuff that isn't working.

Next up is to get fuses, and based upon only having a single terminal in each of those two spots, I bet I get to add a couple terminals to the fuse block. Here's hoping the terminal I do have is the harness-half!
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Old 01-29-2019, 11:50 AM   #4
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In past tow wiring projects for my vehicles and others, I've found that, if the vehicle did not have the mfr's tow package option, the fuse panel sometimes had the pin from the main wiring loom in the fuse panel, but had only the space for the secondary pin or terminal that would connect to the trailer wiring, but no metal terminal or clip. This sounds like that situation, in which case some jury rigging may be in order.

What we have done before is connect wiring to the single pin in the fuse block using a male spade, then connect to our trailer wiring, but have an in-time fuse for circuit protection for each circuit; relays were used as necessary for current overload protection as well.
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