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Old    clint_h            05-15-2003, 1:27 PM Reply   
For all wiring gurus out there. What is the easiest way to go from 4 way to 5 way. What is the 5th wire I need (the one that releases the brakes). Any idea where it can be found and what color it would be on an explorer.

Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       05-15-2003, 1:31 PM Reply   
logic would say it is the wire that powers the reverse lights in the tail lamps. i spliced into these wires on my '94 F150 and they did not seem to turn off the brakes on my trailer. I have to put a jumper from the running lights to the 5th spot on the plug every time i want to back it in the garage. I would appreciate any insight here too so I can hook mine up right.
Old    hydrotek            05-15-2003, 1:38 PM Reply   
its Gene. How are the lights working for you? I am in OKlahoma but he is correct. the 5th wire is for the reverse lights. you can by pass though if you need immediate movement of the trailer.
Old     (whit)      Join Date: Feb 2001       05-15-2003, 1:54 PM Reply   
Ranger boats sells the round plug to a five prong plug for about $20. That is the easiest solution--plugs right into the Exploder trailer plug.

The fifth wire is reverse and does dual duty of releasing the brakes. If you don't have the five prong plug you can take a piece of wire about two inches long and connect the wire for your parking lights to the fifth post. (I think the parking lights are the second prong.) This will allow you to turn on your brakes and release the brakes. The only problem with this solution is if you leave the wire in place and drive at night--your boat is going to have no brakes--a very bad thing if your boat weights a few tons...

Other solutions are to stick a nickel where the brake actuator slides back an forth in the in tongue. There should also be a release button on the bottom of the tongue--I've seen folks tape the button in the up position.

Get the five prong plug--your life will be much easier.
Old    jmccallum            05-15-2003, 1:55 PM Reply   
For the first year, I just left the fifth wire hanging. When I backed up I opened the brake line (my trailer has a coupler to allow the tongue to be removed... the trailer's not my wife's)

The next year I just hooked the wire up to the reverse light in my van. Works great and a lot easier that playing with the coupler.
Old    clint_h            05-15-2003, 1:56 PM Reply   
I was wondering the other day if you had made it back to the homeland. How is the new job? Don't have the light's up yet - how bad is that. I've actually been waiting for a set of speakers for the tower so I could do the lights and speakers at the same time. The speakers came in on Tuesday. I've got to go trailer the boat, which brought me to this question. The boyz at TX MC showed me how to make the 4 way work, but I wanted to get a permanent fix.

So if I find the wire that powers the reverse lights I should be good to go?
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       05-15-2003, 1:59 PM Reply   
A quick temporary trick is to take the four wire connector and reverse it leaving the ground hanging off. This will power up the reverse lights. On newer cars you can purchase looms specific to install a 7 pin connector or just install the back-up light.
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       05-15-2003, 2:03 PM Reply   
As they said, it is the reverse light wire that you will need to release the brakes for reverse. In the meantime, a little trick I learned if you only have a four-prong plug is to unplug it, flip one side 180 degree and plug it back in when you want to back up. Because of the way the plugs are shaped, you'll only be putting three prongs together, but it will put power to the brakes to release them.
Old    fff88            05-15-2003, 2:15 PM Reply   
Do the brakes still function when towing if you use a 4 instead of 5.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       05-15-2003, 2:33 PM Reply   
the brakes still function, it just makes it real hard to back up because you are fighting your brakes on the trailer.
Old    sickboy            05-15-2003, 2:35 PM Reply   
Frank- On your trailer, they're surge brakes, so they should still work. The 5th wire (AFAIK) is just to release the brakes while in reverse.

Old     (captainfreedom)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-15-2003, 3:11 PM Reply   
I blew out my solenoid in my trailer due to backing up without the 5th wire. I was just too lazy a few times to put the block in there to open the brakes when moving the boat with my other rig. $100 later, I learned my lesson.

Peter and Dave, great suggestion! I wouldn't have thought of that. Much easier than trying to keep that block in there when using a friends rig to tow and back up the boat.

Clint, go to any auto store and they have converters that go from 4 pin to 5 pin. If you have the round 7 pin connector, just buy the adapter that is 7 to 5 pin instead of 7 to 4 pin.
Old    fff88            05-15-2003, 3:33 PM Reply   
Old     (joesell)      Join Date: Apr 2001       05-15-2003, 4:32 PM Reply   
To add to peter and dave's suggestion, You need to have your headlights on when you do the plug flip trick or it won't work.
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       05-15-2003, 5:44 PM Reply   
Oh yeah! Thanks Joe. The headlights do need to be on. Minor details....LOL
Old     (airfreak)      Join Date: Jul 2001       05-15-2003, 6:49 PM Reply   
If you added a hitch and bought one of those eazy adaptor that plugs into your truck's wiring as a tee so you don't need to cut wires. Then the four wires that are picked up by the harness give you what you need. These usually have a harness that plugs in at each tail light and comes to the center of the vehicle( 4 wires). Then you have a 4 wire plug that you attach to reach past the bumper. The important part to note, is this final 4 wire plug has the white wire mounted to your frame for a ground. It does not connect to the harness that connected to the tail lights. The backup wire that is not picked in the harness can provide you with a place to tap into. At least that where I got mine. Left the 4 plug and added the five plug by slicing into the harness.
Old    kmc            05-16-2003, 10:49 AM Reply   
Another "quick fix" is to wire a toggle switch under the dash that will send power through a single wire back to the trailer. Bring your brake release wire up along the harness to the 4 prong plug & put a quick disconnect end on it. Put a quick disconnect on the other end of the wire coming from the switch so it can be plugged & unplugged at the same time you do the trailer plug. Then, all you need to do when you want to release the breaks is flip the switch. Just don't forget to turn it off after you backup so you have your breaks again.
Old    clint_h            05-16-2003, 11:02 AM Reply   
That quick fix sounds much more difficult than just finding and tapping into the reverse light wire!
Old     (prostar205v)      Join Date: Aug 2002       05-19-2003, 1:44 PM Reply   
I have a Navigator and finally fiqured out that the front fuse panel under the hood needed a relay. The wiring was correct and the 7 to 5 plug I puirchased for 7.00 works fine. I located the relay in a bag in the jack compartment. Once I plugged the relay in I had reverse lights.
Old     (mossy44)      Join Date: Oct 2001       05-19-2003, 2:24 PM Reply   
i had this same problem with my hummer. they had it for a week and when we went to pick it up, he told us what he had done to fix it. we were pissed. it turns out that we have fog lights as an accessory. he unplugged the fog lights and hooked up the correct wire so that my trailer brakes would work. he said there was no way possible to have them both working as there is not enough wired into the hummer for it to handle both. there are only 5 wires, and when we added the fog lights, they were the 5th wire.

my father said "you mean to tell me i spend 50 grand on what you call a heavy duty suv, and its not heavy duty? thousands of other trucks and suv's out there can do it, but this hummer cant?" the guy didnt really know what to say. he said the next time we bring it in, he will fix it to where they both work. probably just splice into the reverse lights like you all are talking about, but the fact that he had it for a week and just decided to take the shortcut was kinda annoying.
Old    turtle            05-19-2003, 6:52 PM Reply   
I took a test light under my truck and found the reverse light wire. I than added a single wire up to the 4 plug and put a connector on the end that goes on the 5 plug.
Old    hockeyruss            05-20-2003, 6:33 AM Reply   
I built one for my 2002 Silverado for about $15 bucks, it was easy, I found the wiring on the internet. I can put up a pic later if anyone wants to see it. I paid $10 for the 7 way plug and 4 and change for the 5 way flat.
Old    samcdog            05-20-2003, 7:49 AM Reply   
I have an Explorer and I tied into the left reverse light and everything works great. Took about 30 min to go from a 4 to a 5 flat. Took about an hour to find the 5 flat harness in town and after hooking it up figured out the wires on the harness didn't match up with the wires on the trailer harness. I had to swap the turn signal wires, but it works great now (green to yellow and yellow to green).


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