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2012 towing harness install

78383 Views 78 Replies 54 Participants Last post by  Lyninsky
I bought a 2012 EX-L with 4WD assuming that the "tow ready 4WD" meant that you plugged in a 7 blade connector in the back and wired a brake controller up front and you were done. I found that Honda has a 34 step process to install the wiring harness and its a huge endeavor.
however from this link:
http://www.piloteers.org/forums/82-2012-pilot/30682-trailer-wiring-harness.html
wahlct Figured out a better way to get it installed without ripping out the back seat :rolleyes:
its about a 2 beer job.

the back view of the cargo area with the two cubby holes where a majority of the work is done:


inside the aft cubby hole is another cubby hole


inside of there:



closeup:

The holes on the left side of the insulation is where the control module bolts to. the bolts are 10mm socket, I had a little trouble with a 3/8 drive socket on the top bolt, but a 1/4" socket drive worked perfect. the rectangle on the right is where the wire clip snaps into the frame.

installed: (refer back to this picture later, because the cable at the bottom comes off the relay box)


the kit has one part called the control unit harness. look in the relay box, install the two relays, snap the cover on, and then move to the little cubby hole forward of the one you have been working with. Basically there is nothing in there except a dead ended plug and a seat belt looking tab.


The control unit harness provided in the kit has two connectors on the harness. connect the plug with the one that matches the socket in this hole, and thread the smaller cable behind the plastic column between the cubby holes then slide the relay box over the tab, and it snaps into place:


you already bolted the module to the frame, so just plug in the loose end of the new cable you threaded through between the cubbies to the module you installed earlier, press the wire clip into the hole in the body and add a zip tie to bundle it all together with the yellow wires to look like picture #5 above

next you have to take a razor or whatever tool you want to knock out the piece of plastic in the bumper (by far the longest most tedious part of the entire install), and then mount the 7 blade connector to the bumper with the provided socket bracket:

from the front of the bumper:


unclip the dummy plug from the factory harness, plug in the wire from the trailer socket harness:

the picture above is the dummy plug from the factory. it has to come off to install the socket harness. its a bit of a PITA because the release for the dummy plug is on the aft end of the vehicle and you cant see the little clip to try and manipulate it. I took the whole theing down from the frame and got the dummy plug off the harness, and clipped it all back into place. I got lucky the clip didn't break.


pop the hood, install the 30 amp fuse and you are done.

it does help to have the pdf file to assist with identifying the parts and understanding what goes where, but skip all the BS about ripping the seatbelts and side panels out of the vehicle.

http://www.collegehillshonda.com/instructions/pilot/2012/08l91.pdf

ok maybe it was a 3.5 beer job because the dummy plug got me pretty frustrated.


also, the kit has the adapter for the dashboard plug to install the electric brake controller. I threw it in the glovebox for next weeks entertainment.
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Thanks for making this easy

Thanks to everyone who posted advice on this topic. I just got done installing a 7-pin on my 2013 LX. I ordered teh harness from e-trailer.com (about $90) and the metal mounting bracket (about $5). The pictures and advice made everything really easy. The mounting of the relay in the Fuse Aux box took 10 seconds. Connecting the socket to the wiring under the bumper was much easier thanks to the advice about the clip releases. The hardest part of the whole process was mounting the metal bracket to the frame. It would really help if I had a longer drill bit (say 8-10"). Because I only had a 4" drill bit, I had to drill the holes at a bit of an angle. Not really an issue, though, as they are still mounted firmly. Great advice from everyone. Thanks.
 

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I still haven't mounted my metal bracket... I've pulled twice now with the thing mounted only to the plastic. I will get around to it... just been busy with the garden and springtime household duties.
 

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Yep, just installed the T-One kit, and the lack of the 7-pin connector and control box brackets is irritating! It will still work I'm sure, but now I wish I'd considered the OEM Honda kit with the exact fit parts more carefully. Also, a guy in a video on youtube said the Honda kit comes with the brake controller harness too. If true, that reduces the price difference between the Honda and cheapie kits.

s10texan
 

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Hi all - Great thread. Just bout a 2013 EX-L and I got the 4-pin kit referenced in this thread from etrailers. One question - why does the original post in this thread have a second black box installed behind the rear storage panel? It seems like I only need to install the black box from the kit in the forward panel and and pig tail and I'm done?
Thanks!
 

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Quick sanity check (on this old thread). I have a 2015 Pilot EX AWD. I was under the impression that all 2012 - 2015 AWD Pilots came with the ATF cooler, and that all I had to do to be ready to tow is install the wiring harness (and optional brake controller). However, my local Honda dealer is insisting that the ATF cooler is an optional add-on.

Can someone clarify---do the AWD 2015s come with the ATF cooler pre-installed?
 

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Quick sanity check (on this old thread). I have a 2015 Pilot EX AWD. I was under the impression that all 2012 - 2015 AWD Pilots came with the ATF cooler, and that all I had to do to be ready to tow is install the wiring harness (and optional brake controller). However, my local Honda dealer is insisting that the ATF cooler is an optional add-on.

Can someone clarify---do the AWD 2015s come with the ATF cooler pre-installed?
I think you are correct. When you go to Honda's accessory page, it says the ATF cooler, part # 06255-RN0-315 is for 2WD Pilots.
 

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Quick sanity check (on this old thread). I have a 2015 Pilot EX AWD. I was under the impression that all 2012 - 2015 AWD Pilots came with the ATF cooler, and that all I had to do to be ready to tow is install the wiring harness (and optional brake controller). However, my local Honda dealer is insisting that the ATF cooler is an optional add-on.

Can someone clarify---do the AWD 2015s come with the ATF cooler pre-installed?
My understanding is that it's standard on the AWD Pilots. That's why they have the higher tow rating.
 

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To confirm, you're all right---it has the ATF cooler. I confirmed with my own eyes, as did the dealer tech. The parts sales manager; however, was convinced he needed to sell me an ATF cooler. "The best price he could give me" on the wiring harness was $220 + 9.5% sales tax.

I opted to order the part for $175 shipped online and install it myself rather than supporting the clueless and questionably honest dealer parts division.

Thank you to all on this thread!!!
 

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Thanks for this thread. Got the OEM kit for $100 & free shipping on eBay. With the tips on this page I did the install myself. Toughest parts were mounting the top bolt on the controller unit bracket, and reaching the connector and placing wire ties in the small fuse access hole.
 

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Thanks for the post! I just went into Honda & ordered the OEM parts for $175 instead of the $225 they wanted just by showing them what Amazon was charging. Going back tomorrow to pick up & install before we pick up our new camper!
 

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Thanks, everyone! Just installed the OEM kit (ordered from Bernardi) tonight on my '15 SE AWD. There were a few tight squeezes, but the approach in this thread is miles easier than the one in the official instructions. It's definitely a DIY project if you own a socket wrench and a utility knife.

The internet is a blessed thing. :)
 

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The OEM kit should come with a pigtail for trailer brakes if you are running them. I'm not so my pigtail just went in to the cargo hold for now.
 

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Factory installed wiring question

I have a 2014 EX-L that came off the lot ready to tow. This past week my brake and signal lights stopped working on the trailer and using a tester I can tell the issue (for once) is not the trailer but rather the Honda - no power coming back when the brakes are pressed or signals engaged. The running lights/taillights do still work. I'm assuming there is a fuse or relay somewhere that I just cannot locate. Any advice?
Thanks
 

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Hi,

I added light wiring today to my 2013 Pilot with the help of this guide and a couple or You Tube videos. Everything was pretty easy. The hardest part was getting the dummy cap off of the existing plug. I guess it was tight from being on there for about 6 years. But I got it.

It was pretty chilly, in the upper 40s, and I was working outside. Brrr.

Thanks,
Glenn
 

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Installed the OEM wiring harnesses, fuses and relay today. Car is a 2013 awd. YouTube made it relatively straight forward as my harnesses came with no instructions. Used a cutting bit and sanding drum in a Dremel to create the harness mount opening near the hitch receiver. Separating the pre-existing wiring from the vehicle and moving it outboard of the exhaust facilitated easier cap removal. However, it re-mounts at an angle that creates tension on the newly installed exterior harness...not very reassuring from a longevity point of view.
 

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2015 Honda Pilot Ex-l 4wd modern steel metallic
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ou can buy an adapter that includes built-in wiring test lights on the end of the adapter at Walmart or Harbor Freight for about $10
So I have the 4 flat pin and I can just get an adapter if I want to use a 7 pin? There is no fuse problems? I got the wire harness from Amazon it is Curt brand. 4 pin. Also is there a bracket out there that has a way to put both in it.
Quick sanity check (on this old thread). I have a 2015 Pilot EX AWD. I was under the impression that all 2012 - 2015 AWD Pilots came with the ATF cooler, and that all I had to do to be ready to tow is install the wiring harness (and optional brake controller). However, my local Honda dealer is insisting that the ATF cooler is an optional add-on.

Can someone clarify---do the AWD 2015s come with the ATF cooler pre-installed?
I to have the 2015 EX-L 4wd and was wondering about the cooler. Can someone point in the direction of where it might be located if it is installed?
 
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