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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 08-21-2013, 04:36 PM
test1328 test1328 is offline
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90 F250 Towing & electric brakes

I have a 1990 F250HD regular cab, 351 engine, manual trans and I have need to tow a trailer that has electric brakes. I've never had to pull one with brakes before and all I have is a 4 pin connector for the trailer. I bought this truck new in 1990 and know it has the towing package but I don't know if the towing package included provisions for electric brakes. Can anyone tell me? Also, does it have connections for the brake controller anywhere or will I have to run the wire for this myself? If it does have connections for the controller, can you tell me where I can find it (under the hood or inside the cab by the brake pedal)? Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:46 PM
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Is there a factory 7 pin electrical connector? If so the wire should be in the harness, & you will have to find the wires under dash if like most trucks I have dealt with with factory 7 pin connectors.

Craig
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:02 PM
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No, there is no factory 7 pin electrical connector; that's what I need to install. There never was a 7 pin connector as is commonly standard nowdays. As it came from the factory back then, they didn't even include a Class III receiver hitch on trucks, let alone SUVs. I put the Class III/IV hitch on myself years later. The factory tow package, as I recall, was simply a wire harness that came separately in a box which I connected myself many, many years ago. I used those wires to wire the 4 pin trailer connection. The tow package wire harness may have all the necessary wires, but I haven't really looked that close and know they won't be labeled. I was just hoping someone here might know already and could give me a head start.

Last edited by test1328; 08-21-2013 at 06:25 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:22 PM
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Most electric brake controllers already come with harness included for the truck in the package. I don't believe ford setup for electric brakes on the trucks. I know my dad had the 90 F250 HD diesel and we had to wire everything for the truck. We finally converted the electric trailers we had over to surge brake systems, We found those worked much better.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:09 PM
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I dont believe the trucks were wired for an electric brake controller till 92. If that is the case you will need to wire your truck.

You will need...
-12v FUSED power into the cab to power the controller(go right from battery)

-A Ground wire(do NOT go to the dash)

-A trigger wire. typically right off the brake light switch harness(make sure you dont tap into the constant hot)

-Last, a wire to run from the controller to the back of the truck and into a plug(5,6 or 7 pin. What ever your trailer has)

For a brake controller, I recommend a MAXXBRAKE. It has a sensor on the master cylinder that tells the controller how much brake power to send to the trailer. It is the MOST basic thing and it works the BEST. It is how the 05+ trucks come from the factory
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by test1328 View Post
I bought this truck new in 1990 and know it has the towing package but I don't know if the towing package included provisions for electric brakes.
Then the factory tow package was just a receiver hitch. Brad is right I was thinking back to my Ranger's with tow packages. I had to buy that plug that plugged into the taillight harness for my lights then had to add everything else.
So you will have to buy a plug in for lights, add your other wires to a 7 pin connector.
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:19 AM
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Thanks for the help everyone. I'll get to work wiring it.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:53 PM
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About a month ago a guy was asking a similar question. Here's a link to that thread. It might help you out too.
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/12...y-97-f350.html
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:14 PM
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Thanks for that Bob, I appreciate you pointing that out. I believe I have all of the wires needed at the rear of my truck already from the original towing package wiring harness, but I have to check it out to be sure this weekend. One thing I found that might help others and make it easier is this package from etrailer if you already have the 4 wire connection: Universal Installation Kit for Trailer Brake Controller - 7-Way RV and 4-Way Flat - 10 Gauge Wires etrailer Accessories and Parts ETBC7 This also has all the wire, breakers, etc. that you need. If you don't have the 4 wire connection, they can help you out with that as well. They also have a pretty good wiring diagram and video.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:47 PM
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If you already have a 4 pin adapter on your truck then why don't you just get a connector to convert to a 7 pin? Something like this maybe?

Reese Towpower/6 pole round pin to 4 flat adapter (74605) | Trailer Wiring Adapter | AutoZone.com
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:59 PM
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Mike, that would work probably for controlling the braking lights and driving lights, but you wouldn't have the wires for the electric brakes, marker lights, etc. I need the full 7 pin (plus the brake controller) to control the electric brakes.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by test1328 View Post
Thanks for that Bob, I appreciate you pointing that out. I believe I have all of the wires needed at the rear of my truck already from the original towing package wiring harness, but I have to check it out to be sure this weekend. One thing I found that might help others and make it easier is this package from etrailer if you already have the 4 wire connection: Universal Installation Kit for Trailer Brake Controller - 7-Way RV and 4-Way Flat - 10 Gauge Wires etrailer Accessories and Parts ETBC7 This also has all the wire, breakers, etc. that you need. If you don't have the 4 wire connection, they can help you out with that as well. They also have a pretty good wiring diagram and video.
IIRC back in the day(your truck) did NOT have any provisions for wiring a trailer.(not till 92 was factory wiring available) Hell, a Hitch was not even offered from the factory untill the 97 F150s and 99 Superdutys.

All a "towing Pkg" was, was heavier springs and a better trans cooler(in autos).

You NEED to run a wire from a brake controller to the rear of the truck. The lighting wires can all be "T'd" from the taillight harness
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:10 AM
 
 
 
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