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2011 & Newer Explorer Discuss the all new redesigned Ford Explorer

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Old 03-21-2014, 05:43 PM
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2014 Explorer 3.5 prewired for trailer brakes

Hi,

Need to know if the 2014 Explorer with a 3.5l (non ecoboost) is pre wired from the factory for a brake controller? My wife took it in to get a hitch and 7 pin plug put on, but they cannot figure out if it is pre wired for a controller, and the Ford dealer in town will not tell them where the wiring is, or if it is there.

I am trying to deal with this from overseas, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Jamie
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:47 PM
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My advice is to take it to a different place - both a dealer and a hitch installer - worries me if they are not competent to figure it out...
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:49 PM
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Well, she already has an appointment at a different place, but I want to know if this is actually pre wired, or if Ford is actually putting different harnesses in different vehicles. I am mad beyond belief that we spent over 30k on this car from that dealer, and now we cant get a simple answer from the dealership over it. Believe me, when I get home they will hear about it. I have already tried to email them, as I was going to have them do the work, but they quit responding to me.
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Old 03-22-2014, 07:10 PM
PupnDuck PupnDuck is offline
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The following is from the 2014 Explorer Shop Manual and as you can see it isn't as simple as just bolting up a hitch and splicing a couple of wires.

Also, the factory hitch gets you an oil cooler.

Trailer Lamps
Overview

The trailer tow system consists of the following components:

Trailer tow connector
Trailer tow relays
TBC module (if equipped)
BCM
Vehicles not equipped with trailer tow require a Ford authorized accessory kit to add this option. Adding bulbs/lighting to existing circuits can cause the BCM to shut down the circuit and set a DTC due to the unexpected current flow.

When the vehicle's rear stop/turn, parking lamps or reversing are illuminated, voltage is also supplied to a corresponding trailer tow relay located in the BJB .

Vehicles with a class III hitch are equipped with circuitry to support an aftermarket TBC module and provide voltage to the trailer tow connector when the ignition is in RUN for trailer battery charging.

System Operation


Trailer Electric Brakes

If equipped with a class III trailer hitch, circuitry is provided to support the installation of an aftermarket TBC module (installed by the customer). To support the aftermarket TBC module, the vehicle circuitry only supplies voltage, ground, stoplamp switch input and a brake controlling circuit to the trailer tow connector. The trailer electric brakes themselves are controlled by the aftermarket trailer brake controller and not the vehicle itself.

Trailer Battery Charging

The trailer tow battery charge relay is controlled by the output from the RUN/START relay. When the ignition is in ACCESSORY or RUN and the BCM detects a low voltage concern, the BCM disables the RUN/START relay.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:04 PM
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The problem is that my dealer is an idiot, I am out of the country, and the hitch place cant figure it out. I actually emailed the dealer about adding the whole tow package and never got a response. My wife called and they said they would call her back, that also never happened.

$30 something thousand on a car and cant even get a phone call or email back. Ridiculous. I wish there was another dealer close to handle this, but there is not. Besides, it's not like my wife has all the time in the world to run all over hell and back to do this either. She has a full time job and two kids she is raising without me.

Ok, so that rant is over for now. Can all of that hardware be added after the fact, or is the harness in the car different based on if it has a tow package/does not have a tow package as it goes down the line? If it is a matter of plug and play modules to make it work, I am fine with that and will find a way to make it work. If it is a completely different harness and simply will not work, we are getting rid of this car and getting out of Fords. I have had them since I was 16 and this whole deal has left a very sour taste in my mouth.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:44 PM
PupnDuck PupnDuck is offline
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Here's what I've been able to figure out from looking at the shop manual and the Ford Parts web site.

The basic harness is the same on all 2014 Explorer Sports. You'll need a bunch of additional relays in the battery junction box under the hood. One for left turn, one for right turn, one for parking lamp, one for backup lights, and one for battery charge.

If you need trailer brakes you'll have to buy your own trailer brake controller; however the connector for it is already present under the dash above the area of the gas pedal. That would be the easy part.

You'll need the 4 and 7 pin harnesses which will plug into the existing harness at the rear of the vehicle. Of course you'll also need the hitch.

The factory installation includes an engine oil cooler. Considering that the twin turbos on the Sport already beat the crap out of the oil, unless you only intend to tow in the dead of winter you'd probably need to add either the Ford oil cooler with all its associated air ducts or an aftermarket oil cooler which usually mounts in front of the radiator. Not an ideal solution.

And although I couldn't find a reference to it in the shop manual, based on how everything else on the vehicle is monitored by the Body Control Module I would imagine there will need to be a firmware update so that the BCM doesn't shut down the lighting when it sees the additional current draw.

When I bought my 2014 I had to special order it. Not a single dealer I visited had an in stock vehicle with a Class 3 hitch. They all told me that it just wasn't a popular option among the type of people who bought new Explorers. Of course, virtually every Explorer on the lot had both a sun roof and adaptive cruise control. I wanted neither. I had one dealer tell me that they had "a guy" that could install a hitch on one of their in stock vehicles. When I asked about the oil cooler I got a vacant stare followed by the statement that it wasn't really needed. When I asked if they would put in writing the fact that the hitch installed by their "guy" would not void Ford's warranty you can guess the answer. Instead I found a dealer that would work with me and would order a vehicle configured however I wanted it.

Bottom line appears to be that if you want to do it right, you'll need to find a cooperative dealer and it's going to cost you.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:49 AM
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From what I am being told, the relays are already in the box under the hood. BTW, this is a non ecoboost engine, so no turbo's. Just an Explorer XLT 3.5L.

I should find out more this week. I am trying to work this between worrying about my deployment.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:37 PM
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I hope your information is correct but I just can't see any car company sticking a hundred bucks worth of relays into a vehicle that serve no purpose.

If all else fails, call Ford Customer Relations at 800-392-3673. Explain what you have and what you want to do. Have your VIN handy. I've always found them to be extremely nice and very helpful. They can also run interference between you and your dealer. I've found the dealership tends to pay attention when MOTHER calls.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:37 PM
 
 
 
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