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A 355nation How To presented by
Reverendbiker

Project Name
How To install a Tekonsha Electric Brake Controller

Project Description
Pre-production literature indicated that the new Colorado would be equipped with a factory-installed brake controller, but that appears to be an error as mine arrived with no sign of one. Typical of new model introductions, the aftermarket hasn't caught up yet and I couldn't locate a source that could supply a brake controller with Colorado-specific wiring. I will need this truck to haul a hay trailer with electric brakes so a controller is a necessity. I had a Tekonsha Power Track Unit (pictured below) on hand, so I set out to get it wired up for use. This how-to can possibly be used to wire a different controller up as well.

Skill Level
Moderate

Project Vehicle
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Colorado
Year: 2015
Engine: V6
Power windows: Yes
Sun Roof: No

Tools Needed
Wire crimps, wires, wire loom, electrical tape

Project Time
Less than an hour

Project Cost
Various wires and loom - ~$20
The version used in this how-to can be found for about $45


First and foremost, as with all electrical work on any vehicle, take the appropriate safety measures and disconnect the negative side of the battery while conducting this wiring.


The good folks at Tekonsha didn't have a wiring harness available, but they told me that they believed the necessary wires would be tucked in behind the driver's side kick panel. I have owned other vehicles that had a controller connecter hidden somewhere so I went looking for one. Here's how the process went.

I removed the sill plate/kick panel by pulling back the rubber seal sliding a screwdriver under the plastic sill plate. Lifting gently will pull the unit away from the body. This will expose a wiring harness behind the kick panel, next to the parking brake. I gently pulled the wiring harness away from the body and found the electric controller wiring bundled there, taped to some other wires. There was no plastic connector; all the wires were loose and tipped with a plastic coating. Look for a small bundle of 4 wires:



After testing each of the wires I found the following applications: Red/Green--battery feed, Black--ground, White/Blue--stop light signal, and Blue--trailer brake output. To connect my Tekonsha unit I simply needed to splice each of its four leads to the four wires behind the kick panel. The leads on the controller are red, blue, black and white so I rounded up some 14-gauge wire of each color to make up the harness:



I stripped the ends of each wire and spliced a 5' length of 14-gauge wire using Posi-Lock connectors; I prefer them to crimp connectors and they are easy to remove if I ever install a Chevy factory unit. For Tekonsha owners only: connect the red/green wire to the black controller wire, the black wire to the white controller wire, the white/blue wire to the red controller wire and the blue to the blue controller wire. Your controller may vary. To make a neater installation I enclosed the wires in a 5' length of plastic conduit:



I carefully tucked the connectors into the wiring behind the kick panel and routed the conduit up behind the dashboard:



Replace the kick panel and connect the harness to your controller. I still haven't decided where to mount mine, so for the time behing it resides in the front change tray:



One final note: If you aren't getting power from the red/green wire, check the fuse box in the engine compartment. Fuse F27 (see pic) is dedicated to the brake controller; my truck had a fuse in place, but I don't know about trucks that are not equipped with the towing package.



RESULTS: An integrated controller would have been nice, but $20 worth of parts and my old controller got me in business in less than an hour. Gotta go haul some hay!
 
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