Redarc Brake controller install

SBSYNCRO

Active member
Has anyone installed a redarc controller? I’ve got the factory 7-pin harness sitting in a box and a Redarc and I’m planning out the install but the instructions are confusing me a bit.

1. The Mopar harness appears to NOT carry the brake switch signal, only the “blue wire” that activates the Redarc controller. This giant bundle of wire and connectors all just to bring a single wire up to the dash? (Assuming I don’t care about the charging wire).

2. The wiring diagram for the Redarc (for CAN bus vehicles) indicates that it needs (+) and (-), the blue wire from the harness and also a “brake light switch” connection. Does this mean that in addition to the blue wire from the Mopar harness I also have to hack into the Jeep’s brake light switch? Ugh, why bother with the 7-pin harness at all? - the charging wire is a joke (maybe good for 5-10 amps at best).

If I’m looking at this correctly I think I will skip the Mopar harness and just use an adapter from the factory 4-pin connector to a 7-pin connector and run a separate blue wire and a much larger awg charging wire....

Am I right on this? Any experience you can share would be most welcome. Thanks!


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I share your pain! I have just finished installing a brake controller and Mopar harness. Mine was not a Redarc, but I had the same issues/struggles.

1. I too questioned the Mopar harness and it's "need", but since I already had it I elected to use it. In theory, the 4 pin AND the 7 pin will still function (I've not tested that yet) and given that we will have one trailer with each connector (one with brakes) I just went this way.
2. Yes, you will need to connect the controller as you describe. The wire you are looking for to trigger the controller is White/Tan and can be found down at the brake switch above the pedal.
3. I found it MUCH easier (although still tight quarters) to gain access by pulling the trim panel from under the steering column and the metal plate that is underneath that trim panel (two bolts and self explanatory when you see it).
4. The wiring from the switch will come toward the driver's seat (away from the firewall) and then up. There is where I unwrapped a bit of the tape wrap to expose the White/Tan wire and tap onto it.
5. The other thing you are looking for is a 1" or so diameter membrane covered hole/port through the fire wall to run the wires. It is high on the firewall and to the outside of the tub. Also pretty easy to locate.

For the time being I ran +/- and the blue wire over to the battery. The Mopar harness will come up in that area. I will be adding an S Tech switch set up, and will revert to "powering" the controller through that so I can switch it on and off as needed. I don't want to run any risk of parasitic draw on the battery, so this might be overkill but will work and be a protected circuit. My controller is mounted overhead near the rearview mirror.

Good Luck. It's not difficult, just time consuming to do a clean install.
 

SBSYNCRO

Active member
Thanks for the detailed info. One of my additional challenges is that I have a manual trans so that nice big grommet in the firewall is already used by the clutch... :(. I also have an ARB compressor on an EVO bracket that blocks access so that will have to come out too.

I’m picking up a Turtleback trailer this weekend 9 hours away in AZ and hope to get this wired up in time!


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Thanks for the detailed info. One of my additional challenges is that I have a manual trans so that nice big grommet in the firewall is already used by the clutch... :(. I also have an ARB compressor on an EVO bracket that blocks access so that will have to come out too.

I’m picking up a Turtleback trailer this weekend 9 hours away in AZ and hope to get this wired up in time!


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I was SUPPOSED to be getting my new Teardrop in AZ at the end of the month but just found out yesterday that it's "several weeks" out due to supply chain crap! Oh well. I think there is another place to get through the firewall higher up and more inboard, but for me it's blocked by part of the breakaway braking system that came on my JKU....good luck!
 

SBSYNCRO

Active member
Doh. I'm DEEP into this (parts all over the driveway, trying to get it done for a departure tomorrow) and just realized that this #*$(*&^ Redarc controller requires a separate proprietary harness. It won't accept regular spade terminals. I(#$*#$*& Now I have to have a harness shipped to my destination and leave everything loose until I get it. What a pain. WHY would they not always include a generic harness... Sheesh!
 
Well, that sucks! Breathe deep, it will be awesome once you're done. The modern world of buying stuff and the mfgs trying to save a buck or increase profits is a pain in the ******.
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
I’ve felt similar pain. I used a different brand controller, but was also confused by the WTF moment of realizing that the Jeep 7 pin only had the blue brake actuator wire and didn’t actually provide jack in the way of power to a controller, or brake signal to a controller. I didn’t want to deal with brake signal from under the dash, possibly jacking up my steering column wiring, so I tapped the wire going to the brake signal relay in the drivers side fender well. I’ll probably pay a corrosion price someday, but it seemed better to keep as much outside the firewall as possible. Overall, it sucked, but it works really well!

and if I was doing it again, I would build my own 7 pin rear harness, using one of the 4/7 dual plug units. Lesson learned. Lesson shared.
 

yfarm

Observer
Have a 2013 JKUR, had 4 pin, ran 10ga fused charging wire and direct fused feed for controller,took feed off brake switch works great, used 7 pin plug that plugs into 4 pin for tail lights turn signals and brake light.
 

SBSYNCRO

Active member
Yea, in retrospect I think I could have built a much better harness from scratch myself, but I'd already purchased the MOPAR harness *assuming* that it would be well thought-out (you know what they say about "assume")... LIve & learn. Hopefully someone else will read this some day and follow a different path. The connectors on the MOPAR harness almost make it worth the purchase price. It might have been good to just cut them off and use them in a custom harness, with a brake switch lead running up along with the blue wire and an 8 AWG power wire run up to the battery with a 30 amp breaker... Next time <sigh>

BTW, I did find that unplugging the driver's side door and removing the retention strap from the hook, thereby allowing the door to open all the way back on itself helped tremendously in providing access under the dash. Still a major PITA though.
 
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Kmrtnsn

Explorer
I did this install recently. Disconnecting the the whole switch from the brake pedal helps immensely. Also, I mounted the controller box to that plate described above with the switch on that kick panel to the right of the steering column. I lined up the switch with that deep gap you’ll see once the kick panel is removed. Remember to reset the switch plunger when you reinstall the switch. I found that Posi-Taps are the easiest way to tap into that tan/white wire.


 

Kmrtnsn

Explorer
Yea, in retrospect I think I could have built a much better harness from scratch myself, but I'd already purchased the MOPAR harness *assuming* that it would be well thought-out (you know what they say about "assume")... LIve & learn. Hopefully someone else will read this some day and follow a different path. The connectors on the MOPAR harness almost make it worth the purchase price. It might have been good to just cut them off and use them in a custom harness, with a brake switch lead running up along with the blue wire and an 8 AWG power wire run up to the battery with a 30 amp breaker... Next time <sigh>

BTW, I did find that unplugging the driver's side door and removing the retention strap from the hook, thereby allowing the door to open all the way back on itself helped tremendously in providing access under the dash. Still a major PITA though.
Did your mirror dent the hood cowl?
 

Utah KJ

Explorer
I installed one, with the existing factory harness, I have a WK tho.. the brake wire was in a loop taped to a harness at the firewall.
 

SBSYNCRO

Active member
I did this install recently. Disconnecting the the whole switch from the brake pedal helps immensely. Also, I mounted the controller box to that plate described above with the switch on that kick panel to the right of the steering column. I lined up the switch with that deep gap you’ll see once the kick panel is removed. Remember to reset the switch plunger when you reinstall the switch. I found that Posi-Taps are the easiest way to tap into that tan/white wire.


Hmmm. Interesting - never seen those before. I used the regular splice that most auto stereo installers use (which I DETEST using) but getting in there with a soldering iron was a no-go. Agree about disconnecting the brake switch (I actually removed the plate its mounted on and disconnected the plug). Made it a bit easier, to be sure.

Did your mirror dent the hood cowl?
I hope not! (i don't think so, but I was very gentle with it)

I installed one, with the existing factory harness, I have a WK tho.. the brake wire was in a loop taped to a harness at the firewall.
Wouldn't that just make sense on EVERY vehicle that might some day tow something? Every other utility vehicle I have owned has had some sort of provision for splicing into the brake line but apparently not Jeeps JKs....
 

SBSYNCRO

Active member
So I just finished my first trip with the trailer and the brake controller all hooked up. For those of you using the Redarc, is it normal for it to be in "calibration mode" for the entire duration of a three day trip that covered about 300 miles on the freeway and about 40 miles on one lane dirt roads + off road? Every time I get in and drive it is still flashing blue and green. Maybe I need to hook up the trailer and just go to a parking lot and do some "emergency braking maneuvers" to get it to calibrate?
 

Paddler Ed

Adventurer
So I just finished my first trip with the trailer and the brake controller all hooked up. For those of you using the Redarc, is it normal for it to be in "calibration mode" for the entire duration of a three day trip that covered about 300 miles on the freeway and about 40 miles on one lane dirt roads + off road? Every time I get in and drive it is still flashing blue and green. Maybe I need to hook up the trailer and just go to a parking lot and do some "emergency braking maneuvers" to get it to calibrate?
I've just done 600km with ours, and ours has only just finished calibration - we were mainly on highways, so I think we only braked 5-8 times each way. It does nomrally take a few good runs through town to wake it up.

When it's being slow calibrating, I just set it to manual mode and use it that way until it's calibrated completely.
 
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