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Thread: Electric Brake Controller

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Perth
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    143

    Electric Brake Controller

    Anyone fitted an electric brake controller to a Disco Sport yet?

    The LR towbar wiring loom already has the wiring for one, and I'm hoping there's also a take-off from the battery and brake pedal pre-wired so I just have to plug in the controller. However, when I mentioned it to the dealer he said they install new wiring from scratch from battery, to brake controller, and then all the way to the back of the car. Now, not only is this unnecessary extra cost, but seems ridiculous to rip up the trim from front to rear if there's already wiring in there?

    So, my questions...

    Has anyone else had one fitted, and is the wiring already done so it's a simple plug & play?

    Did you get it done by the dealer or somewhere else?

    There doesn't seem an obvious out of the way place to mount the controller - where did you put it?

    Any recommendations of brand & model of controller?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Geelong Victoria
    Posts
    940
    Quote Originally Posted by Mamil View Post
    Anyone fitted an electric brake controller to a Disco Sport yet?

    The LR towbar wiring loom already has the wiring for one, and I'm hoping there's also a take-off from the battery and brake pedal pre-wired so I just have to plug in the controller. However, when I mentioned it to the dealer he said they install new wiring from scratch from battery, to brake controller, and then all the way to the back of the car. Now, not only is this unnecessary extra cost, but seems ridiculous to rip up the trim from front to rear if there's already wiring in there?

    So, my questions...

    Has anyone else had one fitted, and is the wiring already done so it's a simple plug & play?

    Did you get it done by the dealer or somewhere else?

    There doesn't seem an obvious out of the way place to mount the controller - where did you put it?

    Any recommendations of brand & model of controller?

    Thanks.
    I had a Redarc brake controller installed by a local auto elec here in Geelong. They came up with a pretty neat place to mount the controller, though I would suggest the other side of the storage opening would be better - I have to move my knee to see it. They installed wiring back to the battery.

    ds-electric-brake-controller-mount.jpg

    The unit did its job well when we towed the caravan from Geelong to Kennet River and back. Lots of hilly, twisty bits. No problems. The Redarc is easy to use and does its job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Perth
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    143
    Quote Originally Posted by willem View Post
    I had a Redarc brake controller installed by a local auto elec here in Geelong. They came up with a pretty neat place to mount the controller, though I would suggest the other side of the storage opening would be better - I have to move my knee to see it. They installed wiring back to the battery.
    Thanks Willem. So it sounds like there isn't anything pre-wired from battery to behind the dash to power the controller then. But did your auto sparky have to run anything from controller back to the towbar, or did he pick up the blue brake controller wire from the wiring loom somewhere at the front of the car?

    Also, can't tell from your picture, but is that just the adjustment knob mounted there, with the actual controller box hidden somewhere behind the dash? The controllers I've seen are much bigger than yours looks?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Geelong Victoria
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamil View Post
    Thanks Willem. So it sounds like there isn't anything pre-wired from battery to behind the dash to power the controller then. But did your auto sparky have to run anything from controller back to the towbar, or did he pick up the blue brake controller wire from the wiring loom somewhere at the front of the car?

    Also, can't tell from your picture, but is that just the adjustment knob mounted there, with the actual controller box hidden somewhere behind the dash? The controllers I've seen are much bigger than yours looks?

    Thanks.

    That's the adjustment knob. It's mounted on a small aluminium bracket. I don't know where they stowed the head unit. I'll ask the sparky next time I see him about the wiring.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Forrestfield WA
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    1,305
    The Redarc TowPro is a good unit for LR's. The main box can go anywhere, as long as it is mounted rigidly. You only need access to the knob.

    There won't be any wiring. They don't have brake controllers in the UK. If the DS is anything like the D4, the factory wiring will have the brake controller pin connected to the tail lights as per the UK standard. I'm not getting a tow bar on mine so I don't know much about the DS tow wiring but the D4 has no provision for trailer brakes as I indicated.
    Bob

    2010 D4 3.0TDV6 SE, ediff, LLAMS, 5 x GOE wheels, LT285/60R18 BFG K02's, GOE Compressor Guard, LR Tank, Mitch Hitch, ECB Bull Bar, Kaymar Rear Bar, Traxide, Safari Snorkel.
    2019 Discovery 5 SD6 SE, 20 inch wheels, 275/55R20 Nitto Grappler G2 tyres

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Perth
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    Well I've had some fun today! As I'm on holiday I thought I'd look into this brake controller thing a bit by going to a few "experts" - another dealer, two of the big 4WD accessory shops, and two local auto-sparkys.

    To cut a long story short, the dealer wasn't interested, and the other four all recommended the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite same as Bob and Willem. However, none of them had ever fitted one to a Disco Sport (though two claimed to have, but on further questioning it turns out was a Disco 3 or 4 instead), and all confirmed what my first dealer had told me that you need to run all new wiring, some said through the car by removing trim, and others under the car to avoid this. Prices varied quite a bit from $550 to $850 for supply and fitting.

    TBH none of them particularly inspired confidence that I should trust them with the job, nothing specific, they just didn't seem to be able to give straight answers to quite simple questions.

    So I came home and decided to do a bit of research for myself. First thing I found was the LR wiring diagram for the Disco Sport Australian Towing Electrics - 417-01 Trailer Socket Australia (5 seat).pdf

    You can see from this that the blue "service brakes" wire seems to go from the trailer socket to a box labelled "Module - Trailer brake controller". Not only that, but the same module also has connections to a fused 30Amp supply from the battery, a ground lead, and a feed from the brake circuit - in fact everything you need for an electric brake controller.
    Getting excited now, I had a rummage around behind the panel in the driver's footwell, and sure enough I came across this plug dangling down which had all the wires as specified in the wiring diagram running to it

    IMG_20170410_194130.jpg

    So looks like LR have thoughtfully provided all the connections ready to plug in an electric brake controller. Unbelievable that none of the "experts" I talked to (including my dealer) knew this, and wanted to run completely new wiring

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Forrestfield WA
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    I doubt that there are many used for towing and most would assume like me that the wiring was as crap as it is for the D4!

    Good to know that it is better. Maybe there is hope that the D5 will also have Australianised wiring.

    Was that loom factory fitted or part of a tow pack?

    Where did you get the wiring diagram?
    Bob

    2010 D4 3.0TDV6 SE, ediff, LLAMS, 5 x GOE wheels, LT285/60R18 BFG K02's, GOE Compressor Guard, LR Tank, Mitch Hitch, ECB Bull Bar, Kaymar Rear Bar, Traxide, Safari Snorkel.
    2019 Discovery 5 SD6 SE, 20 inch wheels, 275/55R20 Nitto Grappler G2 tyres

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobD View Post
    I doubt that there are many used for towing and most would assume like me that the wiring was as crap as it is for the D4!

    Good to know that it is better. Maybe there is hope that the D5 will also have Australianised wiring.

    Was that loom factory fitted or part of a tow pack?

    Where did you get the wiring diagram?
    Hi Bob, yes it seems like LR are getting a bit more sophisticated in their approach, offering specific pre-wired systems for different markets. And if the DS has it I see no reason why the D5 wouldn't.

    The wiring for the brake controller, and all the feeds required for an Australian twelve pin flat tow socket (which includes a hot wire and an ignition switched supply for caravan batteries, fridges and the like) were already pre-wired on the car. I did purchase the LR towbar and wiring electrics, but the dealer just had to plug into a connector already in the spare wheel well and mount the 12 pin socket on the rear of the car. Does make a bit of a mockery of the amount the dealer charges for wiring up these things considering most of it is already installed at the factory!

    The wiring diagram comes from the DS workshop manual, which you can access (together with lots of other useful stuff) via LRs online information portal called "Topix" Browser not supported (edit: don't know why it's saying "browser not supported", but the link still seems to work if you click on it!)

  9. #9
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    Jun 2016
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    Perth
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    And here's the icing on the cake!

    My original dealer who I asked for a quote to fit the controller a week ago has finally come back to me just now with a price of $1200, because they "have to run new wiring from front to rear of the vehicle and remove and refit all the interior trims"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Queensland
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    1
    Have you had the controller installed as yet? Was it as simple as just connecting to the plug you found in the drivers footwell? Thanks

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