electric trailer brake control install - Club Touareg Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-10-2015 Thread Starter
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electric trailer brake control install

How do I install in my 2014 Touareg with trailer package. Plug and play ???
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-10-2015
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Garage
Try the search function. This is probably the most discussed subject on this forum.

2008 V6 TDI, with the following Retrofitted Items:
ACC, Front & Side Assist, Paddle Shift, Towbar & Trailer Module, Fiscon Bluetooth. Reversing Camera, Front Fog Lamps, Redarc TowPro Brake Controller, T1 Door Warning Lamps, T1 Under Seat Drawer, Alloy Skid Plate, 5ton Winch, Cayenne Front and Rear Sway Bars, Tuned by Oettinger, Retrofitted 6 Piston Brembo Front Brake Callipers, Sports Steering Wheel, TPMS (OEM), Dual Batteries
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-10-2015 Thread Starter
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I have tried the search. I need more info where to find the connector under the steering wheel.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-11-2015
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Search: "2014 brake controller install"

I cut & paste 1 post from that thread. But if you search and scroll to this post it as pictures.

Shared post from 'Club Touareg' by Anubus from thread '2014 Brake Controller Install':

Well, it's taken me awhile to get back to posting. I can report success getting my 2014 TDI ready for, and actually towing. We traded in our 2013 Airstream Sport 16' for a 2014 Airstream 25FB -- had to have more space. Our vision is to spend extended time in it, weeks then expanding to months. A requirement was that the tow vehicle had to double as my commute vehicle as well. We both work and live in a condo with garage parking. No space (or money) for a dedicated tow vehicle. Plus the typical tow vehicles I see used are enormous! We needed something more reasonable in size and comfortable for long trips. The tow rating and comfort of the TDI combined with its great pulling engine made it a good choice. The torque is, well, amazing. The 6 cylinder turbo charged Diesel pulls great and is economical for the commute. I've had it 2 months now and can report a remarkable 30 to 32 MPG on the highway. That drops to 16 or 17 when towing, still not bad. More experience may reveal more accurate numbers. Anyway, time to report on getting it ready for towing.

Our TDI came with the class III hitch package factory installed. This simplifies things a great deal. The biggest help is the wiring. There is a 7 wire connector already mounted and ready to go plus a connector for a brake controller available under the dash, though hard to find. More on this below. I originally bought, and was ready to use, a Prodigy RF controller just to relieve headaches of dealing with the wiring of a standard controller. The folks at Colonial Airstream suggested this as an option as well, particularly if you don't have the factory pre-wire. However, apparently the factory prewire does a couple things for you. I have heard unconfirmed reports that with a factory hitch install there is a vehicle computer firmware flash upgrade that, among other things, changes the transmission shifting profile when it senses a connected trailer. I can confirm that it does,in fact, disable the auto opening of the back hatch when connected. This helps avoid the possibility of striking the tailer as the hatch swings open. All good reasons to use the pre-wire if you have it. Based on this information, I decided to try and use the Prodigy Primus IQ [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...s?ie=UTF8&me=] wired controller I already owned. Since I had the Prodigy RF controller ready new in the box as a backup, I dove in.

First order of business -- find the brake controller connector! Anyone who has done any forum research knows this is tricky. Volkswagen hides it very well. My dealership (as others have reported) was completely clueless about any towing information. In fact, they tried to convince me that a brake controller was already included. This is not only not true, it is dangerous information! The very useful information posted JSFcheck here [https://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/f7...ll-35416.html] and SteveK-O [https://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/f6...on-47687.html] were a big help! Removing the cover under the drivers’s side dash needed a Torx 20 bit. The Touareg includes a Torx driver with the hitch tool set, but it's not the right size for these fasteners. Fortunately, I had one already included with another screw driver set. I used it to remove the two fasteners holding the plastic piece under the steering wheel. The front of this panel, nearest the firewall, is held in place by a couple duck bill plastic pieces. With some jockeying, it slides right out. On my TDI, this plastic panel has the OBD connector and a foot-well light mounted on it with wires going to the vehicle. I carefully unsnapped each of these and set the panel aside. Then on my back with a flashlight, I peered deep up into the depths of the under dash area and, after almost giving up, I noticed the cylindrical gray foam covered connector tucked up, almost beyond reach. If I hadn't known to look for the gray foam I never would have found it! Thanks to many other posters for this hint. You can see this foam barely visible in my picture.

My TDI also has a large (about 6"x6"x2") black plastic electronics box mounted right in the way of getting access to this connector. It's visible just to the right in the picture. It looked too hard to remove so I left it there. With it in place, I could either look and see what I was doing or reach up with my hands, but not both. Challenging! I was able to pull the connector out of its hiding and roll back the foam to reveal the 4 pin connector others have described, all by feel with one hand. Unfortunately, Volkswagen made the wires short so that I could only pull it about halfway down. This meant I still had to reach almost a foot up under the dash to get a hand on it. Not easy!

The best way to mate to this connector is with Volkswagen connector parts. It is possible to do it with individual blade connectors. I actually did it that way first and it worked but it was an enormous pain and easy to make a mistake. I strongly recommend getting the connector. Some have reported trouble finding it from Volkswagen. I found them from ECS Tuning. Fortunately they had them in stock and shipped fast. They are ECS part numbers ES1009146 [http://www.ecstuning.com/ES1009146/] for the pigtail (order two of these) and ES311294 [http://www.ecstuning.com/ES311294/] for the connector housing. I got mine in 3 days with normal shipping.

The two pigtail leads have a connector on each end. Snipping them in half gave me four pigtails. I then spliced the four pigtails to my brake controller's wires using crimp connectors from a kit I had purchased at Walmart that had a crimping tool and connectors. The blade connectors snapped firmly into the connector housing. I checked the placement of the connectors in the housing with the color coding between the brake controller and the TDI's wiring many times to make sure it was right. I used information from a couple places but best is the Tekonsha bulletin [https://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/at...&d=1289097989] mention in several forums. It’s old but still seems appropriate. Getting this wrong will most certainly cause damage to the controller, or the car. The connector housing has two fold in wings the snap in place to keep the blade connectors snug.

It was then a pleasure to reach the connector up and snap it into place. I pulled the foam sleeve back over the connector. I suspect its purpose is to keep the connector from rattling. A nice touch as I know that would drive me nuts.

Now I could connect my brake controller and try towing the trailer to make sure it all worked. It did! I've had a lot of experience with this controller on our Murano towing the 16' Sport so I knew what to look for on the indicator. The trailer lights all worked, the indicator showed connected, and it reported the voltage numbers it was sending to the brakes correctly. Most importantly the brakes worked correctly. Note, I DID NOT include the relay in the brake line as other posters have reported. The only anomaly I have noticed so far is that with vehicle lights turned off, the trailer lights on our 16' Sport will blink every few seconds with a very sort duration flash. The Airstream has all LED lights and this may have something to do with it. If I were to hazard a guess, I might think this is the Touareg's vehicle computer sending a brief voltage pulse to the trailer lights to see if there is a trailer connected. Seems a reasonable explanation but I have no idea if it is correct. I've seen references by other posters talking about a resistor to help the TDI’s computer sense the correct voltage. I will keep an eye on this and see if it changes when I start towing our new 25FB. This is minor and does not bother me, so I plan to ignore it (at least for now). Now that I knew my Prodigy Pimus IQ worked, I returned the expensive RF controller to Amazon for a full refund.

Next I spent quite a bit of time considering exactly where to mount the controller. I hated the thought of drilling holes in my brand new TDI. I knew it had to be done and I wanted to get it right. I considered 4 things. First the length of the leads I had remaining meant I had to mount it somewhere from the left side to directly under the steering column. Next I wanted to make sure my legs wouldn't hit it (I have long legs). I also wanted the display to be clearly visible and the controls easily accessible while driving. Apparently some other Touaregs come with knee airbags. This would complicate mounting positions. Fortunately mine does not have these. Finally, the two sheet metal screws have sharp points. I wanted to ensure they did not pierce any wires of other things when I fastened it in place. I found a good spot just left of center, marked the spot with a sharpie. I then held my breath and drilled two 1/16” holes. I screwed the bracket in place, connected the controller and reinstalled the cover panel. The controller seems to be in a good spot. I can see the display through the steering wheel while driving and easily reach the controls with my left hand, and my legs do not bump it while driving or getting in and out.

Quite the adventure but I am now very satisfied with the mounting and integration of the brake controller in the TDI. Last month we hooked up our 2013 Airstream Sport 16' and towed it up to Colonial Airstream to trade it in on our new 25FB Flying Cloud. We are looking forward to years of touring the country with this combination. Last weekend we headed out to the Shenandoah to join the Memorial Day crowds for the unofficial start to summer!

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post #5 of 15 Old 07-17-2015 Thread Starter
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Thanks found it. You were right hard to find. I don't think they want us to tow trailers now to find a controller and mirrors. Any suggestions?
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-17-2015
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Moodog,
I ended up reading a ton of posts and reviews about mirrors, brake controllers, weight distributing hitches, and weigh scales. Then if that isnt enough, it sounds like there isnt consesus on weight distributing hitches, or the need for a brake controller... some posters have reported that dealers have told them brake controllers arent necessary. Ive got everything I need on order, and dont anticipate any problems. If I cant find the pig tale wire wrapped in foam under my dash, I'll use a camera snake to hopefully find it. One would think some of the dealers would have this topic a little more ironed out. Dont some vehicles have factory brake controllers already installed? One nice thing about not installed is you can go pick out what you want
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-17-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moodog View Post
Thanks found it. You were right hard to find. I don't think they want us to tow trailers now to find a controller and mirrors. Any suggestions?
I am using these mirrors. Awesome adjustability and viewing

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...GMAEQQZFJWJ67D

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post #8 of 15 Old 07-17-2015
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Ebg18t,
Those are the mirrors I ordered too. One reviewer on amazon mentioned they use some type of thin rubber pad around the mirror grippers. Do you recommend something like this?
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-17-2015
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Quite a few people on here have used Milenco mirrors and been very happy with them.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-17-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixitforgood View Post
Ebg18t, Those are the mirrors I ordered too. One reviewer on amazon mentioned they use some type of thin rubber pad around the mirror grippers. Do you recommend something like this?
I'm not. I installed them as is out of the box. The bottom adjustment pad actually has a soft rubber pad integrated.

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