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How I found the brake controller connector

106796 Views 128 Replies 65 Participants Last post by  Trfcrx7
I hope this post helps save someone the four hours I spent locating the connector.

The dealer was kind enough to provide a technical bulletin that showed the location of the pre wired brake controller connector. I dropped the panel under the steering column and contorted myself into a position to look up under the dash. Nothing visible, no connector, no foam cylinder, nada. Next I popped off the fuse box cover, and took out the two screws holding the fuse box in place. It obligingly flopped out of the way allowing a good look under the dash and best of all, no need for a chiropractor afterwards. Still nothing. Another two hours went by scouring the forums for help, looking at the technical bulletin, and skinning knuckles with hand under the dash. Still no joy. Had I not already owned a P3, I would have gladly opted for the RF option at this point, but I knew it had to be there somewhere. Eventually with my hand trough the fuse box hole, I found something with my figer tips completely hidden from view that was soft and squishy, foam like, and on further probing had wires coming out of it. Could this be it? I wiggled and tugged gently and was able to tease the foam out of its hiding place. I was then able to push back the foam enough to see the elusive connector. Oh joy, four hours later I had found it. Some people have described it as just being there dangling under the dash. Others swear they don't have one. I think a lot of cases might be like mine. I think an assembler, robot or human, probably doesn't know about the connector, or what it does, or maybe doesn't care. It then just gets stuffed up under the dash during assembly and sometimes ends up stuck way out of the way. I have attached some pictures that might help others in this same position. For me, if I looked up under the dash to where I eventually found the controller connector, there was a plastic wiring connector, that had a purple flash on it, above which the controller connector had been hidden completely out of view.

Now I need to go buy the VW mating connector and wires to complete the job, because the connector really doesn't have enough slack to allow any other type of connection to be made, and I think chopping the connector off would be a huge mistake. BTW if anyone is looking for a good location for a controller, on the flat dash panel under the light switch ssem to work. Care needs to be taken because behind there is a plastic duct part of the climate control system, and making holes in it accidentally would not be the best idea. Fortunately the left half of the lower dash panel has two screws holding it, one inside the fuse box cavity the other on the bottom edge. Remove the screws and pry it out gently but firmly to disengage the poppit connectors. This panel has a spot just below the light switch where there is about 0.25 inch clearance with the underlying dash panel. It's possible to drill a small pilot hole and insert short (0.375 inch) self tapping screws to hold the mounting bracket. A set square can be used to align the bracket with the left edge of the panel as there are precious few parallel or square lines on the panel to make a good alignment otherwise. When the panel is put back in position the unit will be nicely aligned facing forwards and horizontally even as required by most controllers. The controller is easy to see and operate in this position and even my long legs do not come close to hitting it either entering the vehicle, or sitting with a my left foot on the kick plate. The only possible drawback of this location would be the unit getting splashed by water on a rainy day.

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I have been under my dash twice looking for mine and I still cant find it. Thanks for the insight that it may still be up there.
I don't think you are alone after all the threads I read while trying to find mine. I don't know if the 2009 is built the same as the 2012 but my guess is that it probably is. If you look in my picture taken through the fuse box hole there is an aluminium collapsible strut that looks like a concertina. It was up and behind the end of that strut stuffed behind another electrical connector and some other felt padding. I could never see it until I had pulled it out with my fingers. I found it by feel alone. The foam around the connector felt different to the tape wrapped wiring harnesses. The only trouble was it was hard to tell from the felt pad that it was wedged under.
This is very good info, thank you for sharing!!



I now have it all wired up and working. My trailer drives way better behind the Touareg than my old Toyota Previa :D Visibilty when backing up is also better as the Toaureg is wider than the trailer.

I just wired the factory prewired brake controller plug directly to the Prodigy P3 without any relay. It works just fine. I tested the electrical signal on the brake sensor line and it's a very low 70mV without the brake pedal pressed. It's worth noting there is no output signal on this line until the trailer is actually connected. This confirms that the brake controller pre-wire is only usable if you went with the VW factory wiring for the trailer.

See attached pic. Tongue weight is around 450lbs and the trailer and car are nicely level using the factory ball mount. All up weight on the trailer is around 2600lbs.

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It's worth noting there is no output signal on this line until the trailer is actually connected. This confirms that the brake controller pre-wire is only usable if you went with the VW factory wiring for the trailer.
Spot on however you can cheat if you have an after market lamp controller, as I did until I swapped it out for the real thing. All you do is connect the brake lamp output signal from the after market controller to the signal wire on the green colored connector in the right rear quarter panel. This green connector is the feed back to the dashboard ( as well as the return feed to the trailer brakes)

Stuart...
VW Mating Connector for Brake Controller

Tekonsha Tech Bulletin TB0021 Issue Date: Jan 21, 2009

This bulletin is all about installing a brake controller into a Touareg.

VW Connector Housing 1J0-972-782
Wire/Terminal Assembly 00-979-228 Qty 2

Makes installation easy and proper. (:)
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I now have it all wired up and working. My trailer drives way better behind the Touareg than my old Toyota Previa :D Visibilty when backing up is also better as the Toaureg is wider than the trailer.

I just wired the factory prewired brake controller plug directly to the Prodigy P3 without any relay. It works just fine. I tested the electrical signal on the brake sensor line and it's a very low 70mV without the brake pedal pressed. It's worth noting there is no output signal on this line until the trailer is actually connected. This confirms that the brake controller pre-wire is only usable if you went with the VW factory wiring for the trailer.

See attached pic. Tongue weight is around 450lbs and the trailer and car are nicely level using the factory ball mount. All up weight on the trailer is around 2600lbs.
I've seen the bolded statement a few times -- could you elaborate? Do you mean to say that with only factory installed hitch and wiring is the brake controller pre-wire usable? Is it also usable if I had my VW dealer install the VW hitch and VW hitch electrics kit?

Thanks in advance.
I hope this post helps save someone the four hours I spent locating the connector.

The dealer was kind enough to provide a technical bulletin that showed the location of the pre wired brake controller connector. I dropped the panel under the steering column and contorted myself into a position to look up under the dash. Nothing visible, no connector, no foam cylinder, nada. Next I popped off the fuse box cover, and took out the two screws holding the fuse box in place. It obligingly flopped out of the way allowing a good look under the dash and best of all, no need for a chiropractor afterwards. Still nothing. Another two hours went by scouring the forums for help, looking at the technical bulletin, and skinning knuckles with hand under the dash. Still no joy. Had I not already owned a P3, I would have gladly opted for the RF option at this point, but I knew it had to be there somewhere. Eventually with my hand trough the fuse box hole, I found something with my figer tips completely hidden from view that was soft and squishy, foam like, and on further probing had wires coming out of it. Could this be it? I wiggled and tugged gently and was able to tease the foam out of its hiding place. I was then able to push back the foam enough to see the elusive connector. Oh joy, four hours later I had found it. Some people have described it as just being there dangling under the dash. Others swear they don't have one. I think a lot of cases might be like mine. I think an assembler, robot or human, probably doesn't know about the connector, or what it does, or maybe doesn't care. It then just gets stuffed up under the dash during assembly and sometimes ends up stuck way out of the way. I have attached some pictures that might help others in this same position. For me, if I looked up under the dash to where I eventually found the controller connector, there was a plastic wiring connector, that had a purple flash on it, above which the controller connector had been hidden completely out of view.

Now I need to go buy the VW mating connector and wires to complete the job, because the connector really doesn't have enough slack to allow any other type of connection to be made, and I think chopping the connector off would be a huge mistake. BTW if anyone is looking for a good location for a controller, on the flat dash panel under the light switch ssem to work. Care needs to be taken because behind there is a plastic duct part of the climate control system, and making holes in it accidentally would not be the best idea. Fortunately the left half of the lower dash panel has two screws holding it, one inside the fuse box cavity the other on the bottom edge. Remove the screws and pry it out gently but firmly to disengage the poppit connectors. This panel has a spot just below the light switch where there is about 0.25 inch clearance with the underlying dash panel. It's possible to drill a small pilot hole and insert short (0.375 inch) self tapping screws to hold the mounting bracket. A set square can be used to align the bracket with the left edge of the panel as there are precious few parallel or square lines on the panel to make a good alignment otherwise. When the panel is put back in position the unit will be nicely aligned facing forwards and horizontally even as required by most controllers. The controller is easy to see and operate in this position and even my long legs do not come close to hitting it either entering the vehicle, or sitting with a my left foot on the kick plate. The only possible drawback of this location would be the unit getting splashed by water on a rainy day.
can you tell me if you used electrical relay in this install ?
Thanks
can you tell me if you used electrical relay in this install ?
Thanks
Yes, you need to use an electrical relay in the install, it needs to be run off an ignition switched circuit.
In Post #5 of this thread TX-1 already stated he did not use the relay. I am also not using the relay, but I have an older simpler controller, not a Prodigy P3. My controller is working just fine without the relay on a 2013 TDI Touareg.
In Post #5 of this thread TX-1 already stated he did not use the relay. I am also not using the relay, but I have an older simpler controller, not a Prodigy P3. My controller is working just fine without the relay on a 2013 TDI Touareg.
Is your controller on and running 24/7 when the ignition is turned off?
The LED on the unit is not illuminated when the ignition is off. This is true when the trailer is attached and detached. Please keep in mind this may only be true with my particular controller (Tekonsha AccuTrac). UHaul also had some of these controllers with their label on it and I believe there may be a couple of other labels on these same controllers as well.

As with any electrical device that is attached, but not "on", there may be a small drain on the battery, but in general I don't believe the unit is on an running.
Pig Tail

What are you using to connect the P3 to the harness? what adapter do you use. I am currently trying to have one installed and cannot find an adapter to connect the P3 to the wiring harness.
There don't seem to be any ready made "pig tail" adapters for the Touaregs, if you read back a few postings in this thread you will find the part numbers of the 4 pin VW connector and the VW connector wires (with pins) that you need. Then you use the generic lead that comes with the P3, following the Tekonsha bulletin referred to earlier.
I found it, too (thanks to your instructions)

I tell you, this forum is SO valuable. The combined knowledge here far exceeds that of the dealers. Without tx-1 I would never have found that devilishly hidden connector.

Anyway, I now have a Prodigy P2 and the specified connector and wires. How did you determine which terminal on the prodigy to connect to which on the VW connector? My Prodigy is a P2, not a P3, so it may be different, so I need the methodology. Thanks again, tx-1.

I now have it all wired up and working. My trailer drives way better behind the Touareg than my old Toyota Previa :D Visibilty when backing up is also better as the Toaureg is wider than the trailer.

I just wired the factory prewired brake controller plug directly to the Prodigy P3 without any relay. It works just fine. I tested the electrical signal on the brake sensor line and it's a very low 70mV without the brake pedal pressed. It's worth noting there is no output signal on this line until the trailer is actually connected. This confirms that the brake controller pre-wire is only usable if you went with the VW factory wiring for the trailer.

See attached pic. Tongue weight is around 450lbs and the trailer and car are nicely level using the factory ball mount. All up weight on the trailer is around 2600lbs.
Again, read, study and inwardly digest this, Tekonsha Tech Bulletin TB0021 Issue Date: Jan 21, 2009, it has the wiring colour codes.
Dealer Helped

Hi all,
I spent 3 hours looking for the connector. Ended up taking it to the dealer and they spent another 3 hours. Had to take the cluster out to find it. The connector was wrapped around a post and the tech could hardly reach it. Once he found it he used the listed connector and all went well! I am going to hook up my trailer Sunday and will test everything then.
Michael
I am sorry all you electrical experts out there but I don't understand this relay business. I have read a lot and I think if I understand what I need on my 2013 because the brake sensing comes internally from electronics rather than a switch like the 2010 and earlier models means that I do NOT need to make up this relay for a Prodigy P3 brake controller. I have asked Tekonsha but no advice as yet. I will be trying it like. On the other hand it sounds like the relay is to only allow power to the P3 from an energized line when turned on.... Can anyone explain what and how this crazy relay when installed works??? Thanks. Cant find anything from VW
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