Trailer Brake controller - Land Rover Discovery Sport Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-25-2017, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Trailer Brake controller

Has anybody installed a trailer brake controller and if so what did you use?
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-22-2018, 11:51 PM
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Installed REDARC Tow-Pro Elite trailer brake controller

As you may already know, the Discovery Sport is pre-wired for 7-pin, braked trailer electrics. This feature is unlocked with the OEM trailer electrics and a trailer brake controller. The maximum towing capacity realized with an OEM hitch.
I installed the OEM hitch several months ago (see other posts) and installed a trailer brake controller the other day. I wanted to show you the install of that brake controller.
Firstly, I located the trailer-brake socket under the dash, just behind the OBD socket.

This happens to be the same connector that Ford and Land Rover use on other models (although eTrailer has thus-far failed to include the DS in their harness specs). I used a Curt model C51322 vehicle-specific adapter from eTrailer.

Thereís not a lot of room for an under-dash brake controller, so I bought an Australian-made RedArc Tow-Pro Elite brake controller with a remotely-controlled head unit from eTrailer. Model # EBRH-ACCV2. This came with its own wiring harness. I cut the ĎCurtí connector off of my Curt wiring harness and spliced on the RedArc harness using butt connectors and wrapping in some cable shielding from Oreileyís.


I want the knob easily accessible and visible, with a clean, integrated look. I donít want that knob dangling around like an amateurish dongle. So I started poking around and consulting documents I saved from a prior Topix subscription. I decided pretty quick that the dash was off-limits. So I looked at some clean real-estate by the gear-shift knob. I did some research and found you just simply ďpullĒ the whole console cover off. Start pulling near the storage box under the arm rest and work your way towards the front of the vehicle, detaching the two wiring harnesses once all the clips are disengaged.

I found the area just back and left of the emergency brake was best-suited for the remote head as far as depth, accessibility, and ease of fitment are concerned.

Also, there was a cavity under the cubby behind the shift knob that I was able to screw the main unit to a stationary plastic brace. In order to get access and get the wiring harness under there, I took the two bolts out of the panel on the side of the floor console and just popped it off, which gave me good sight and access to that cavity.


I had to remove the shift mechanism and hack a little bit of the emergency brake bracket off for proper fitment.
Measured, transferred measurements, crossed fingers, and drilled hole. But, should have measured thrice. **** it!! Was just a few millimeters too-far back. The head unit didnít clear the cup holder box.


For damage control, I flipped over the little gray head unit bezel and moved it towards the front of the vehicle enough to cover the previous hole and clear the cup holder box. Traced it with a pencil. Used a small grinding stone with my Dremel to make the new piece of the new circle and it mounted fine.

To be safe, I pulled the cup holder box and ground off the high points with that grinding stone to ensure clearance.

Also, the plastic was a little too thick so I ground it a little thinner to give plenty of clearance once the knob was attached.

For Godís sake, put the hole HERE:

Everything went together nicely and the wires tucked away just fine. I got a cheap 7-pin tester and all the functions give the correct signal:
Left-turn, Right-Turn, Running Light, 12V power, Reverse light, Rear-fog light.
All set to get the old lady that pontoon boat sheís been buggin me about!

Hope that all helps de-mystify the whole DiscoSport trailer brake thing.
NOTE::: The RedArc cable that connects the head unit to the main unit is an RJ45 cable with a 90-degree bend in one end. The bend didnít work for me so I used another RJ45 cable we had laying around (as per RedArc instructions). Came with our old router I think.
NOTE::: There is an extra pin in the trailer brake socket coming from the vehicle that the trailer brake controller doesnít use. I donít know what this is, but it doesnít seem to hinder function. Please enlighten me if you know what thatís all about. I havenít investigated further.

Cheers!
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-24-2018, 08:32 AM
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NOTE::: There is an extra pin in the trailer brake socket coming from the vehicle that the trailer brake controller doesnít use. I donít know what this is, but it doesnít seem to hinder function. Please enlighten me if you know what thatís all about. I havenít investigated further.

Cheers!
That's a feed from your running lights, so a brake controller can have an illuminated dial that comes on with the car's lights.

Nice install by the way, although I don't think I would have been brave enough to attack the plastic trim as aggressively as you did!
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-24-2018, 11:21 PM
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Thanks for the details and the photos. I was having trouble locating the brake-controller connection socket/plug under the dash. Now I know what to look for and where.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-26-2018, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by vvarma View Post
Thanks for the details and the photos. I was having trouble locating the brake-controller connection socket/plug under the dash. Now I know what to look for and where.
Found the brake controller plug socket under the dash. Connected a Tekonsha brake controller (Prodigy P2) using the Tekonsha Ford brake control harness (3035-P) which plugged right into the vehicle's brake controller plug/socket. Pretty straightforward job once you find the brake controller plug socket under the dash. Have also got the factory OEM harness for the 7 pin electrics which is simple plug and play into the connector located inside the boot floor (above the spare wheel).
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-14-2019, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by vvarma View Post
Found the brake controller plug socket under the dash. Connected a Tekonsha brake controller (Prodigy P2) using the Tekonsha Ford brake control harness (3035-P) which plugged right into the vehicle's brake controller plug/socket. Pretty straightforward job once you find the brake controller plug socket under the dash. Have also got the factory OEM harness for the 7 pin electrics which is simple plug and play into the connector located inside the boot floor (above the spare wheel).
I'm looking to attempt this as well. With this break controller and the oem harness for 7 way, did you still have to take it to the dealer to have it reprogrammed? Would you mind putting the link to the OEM 7 way harness on here or the part number. I have a 2015 Discovery sport 5 seater. Thank you!
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-14-2019, 06:45 PM
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I believe the part you're looking for is VPLCT0183 (TowBar Electrics NAS, 5-door). I did a big post where I installed the towbar and the electrics myself, you should look it up! I did have my car programmed for it, but I honestly don't know what all it unlocked. I think it'll run you one hour of labor, but they owed me a favor during a routine service and programmed it on the house. I imagine it unlocked the stuff having to do with that sticker that goes on your trailer that your car can track when you're backing up, but I haven't used. Hope that helps!!
post #8 of 9 Old 08-15-2019, 08:08 AM
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I believe the part you're looking for is VPLCT0183 (TowBar Electrics NAS, 5-door). I did a big post where I installed the towbar and the electrics myself, you should look it up! I did have my car programmed for it, but I honestly don't know what all it unlocked. I think it'll run you one hour of labor, but they owed me a favor during a routine service and programmed it on the house. I imagine it unlocked the stuff having to do with that sticker that goes on your trailer that your car can track when you're backing up, but I haven't used. Hope that helps!!
Thanks Dhargis. I'm curious, do you know if the trailer lights and brake controller worked, prior to any programming by the dealer?
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-16-2019, 10:19 AM
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No Sweat! I didnt' tow anything before I got it programmed, but I know the four-flat and the 7-way lights worked because I have a tester that tests the signal for both, but as far as the back-up assist and anti-sway features that are programmed in the ECU, I'm not sure. But the lights themselves and the 12V hot on the 7-way did work right after install.
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