Nissan 7-Pin Wiring Kit
WHY? If you're going to tow a trailer you'll need to have have a connection for its lights (and brakes, if so equipped). The most commonly used are a flat 4-pin connector and a round 7-pin connector. I highly suggest that you install the 7-pin type; an inexpensive adapter will enable you to connect to 4-pin wiring should you need it. I also suggest that you purchase the wiring kit from Nissan (part # 999T8-BR20). Some aftermarket vendors will sell you a wiring harness for your truck, but they don't include the relays needed to make the lighting work properly. You can buy this kit from any Nissan dealer and from many sources online. I found mine at an eBay vendor named nissanhawk, a long-time respected eBay seller. The price was definitely reasonable--$66 plus free shipping. I paid online via Paypal.
SERVICE. EXCELLENT. I received an email confirmation after placing the order, together with shipping information. The kit arrived at the door three days after purchase, which I consider to be fantastic. Everything arrived in the original packaging and appeared to be in good shape. There were no instructions included with the kit, but there was a link to the Nissan website where they could be found (link listed below).
INSTALLATION. Medium difficulty, a little more so if you are using an aftermarket hitch; more on that later. This job could be accomplished by an owner with modest mechanical skills and required only basic hand tools to do the electrical work. Installation of the harnesses and relays took me about 30 minutes, while mounting the connector to the bumper took me a little over an hour. Here's the process:
1. Download the installation instructions from my site here. First, you'll need to remove the passenger side door sill plate and the side kick panel. Nothing tricky here--they just snap in place so pull them off.
2. Prepare the relay harness. Three relays are included in the kit; if you have a manual transmission truck, plug all three into the harness. If you have an automatic, just use two of the relays; the instructions will tell you which slots to use. You can see that my truck is an automatic:
When the relays are in place, wrap them in the provided foam tape to protect them and keep them in place:
3. Now for the tough job--the relay harness needs to be plugged into the inline connector located behind the passenger side kick panel. It is a white connector that is hidden behind several others in the area; I found mine back near the firewall, taped to another bundle of wires with white tape. I couldn't get a good pic, but the shot below will give you some idea of what to look for:
Plug the relay harness into the inline connector. Use the included zip-ties to secure the bundle to the other wires and tuck them in so the kick panel will cover them.
4. Replace the kick panel and the sill plate and you're ready to move to the rear of the truck.
5. Locate the two inline connectors attached to the driver's side of the frame in the rear. They look like this:
Using a small screwdriver, Push in the tabs on the sides of the connectors and remove the dummy plugs. Plug in the two connectors on the end of the terminal harness; it will be obvious where to place them, and you can't connect them in the wrong place. Secure the harness by plugging the back of the wire tie into a hole in the frame rail as shown on the left of the pic:
6. If you have a Nissan hitch, the rest of the process is very easy. Slip the terminal connector into the notch in the bracket attached to the hitch and secure it with the two M6 bolts and nuts supplied with the kit. Use one of the supplied zip-ties to secure the wiring harness to the hitch and you're done! If you have an aftermarket hitch, read on.
7. No matter what type of hitch you are using, you might want to consider locating the terminal connector somewhere other than on a bracket hanging below the hitch; it's very vulnerable there and can be damaged or even scraped off even if you aren't a radical off-roader. There are a number of options, but I like to have the connector installed in the rear bumper itself--by the licence plate. That's the location of choice for several other manufacturers, and it works well there. You'll need to drill a large hole in the bumper; that's a scary proposition for some owners, but it's not as hard to accomplish as you might think. Want to try? Read on.
8. You'll need a good power drill and a bimetal hole saw. I used a 2-1/8" saw, available at your local home improvement store for $12-15. You can use a 2-1/4" saw, but any larger and you'll likely make a hole that is too large. You can use a cordless drill, but it should be a larger model with plenty of torque. My Makita 18v drill worked just fine:
Take the time to use mask off the connector location; it takes
only a few minutes and will protect your chrome from accidents:
10. It's more precise to drill a small pilot hole, so I used a 1/8" bit to make a hole in the center of the area:
11. Now it's time to drag out the heavy artillery. I used a 1/4" pilot bit with my hole saw and enlarged the pilot hole. When the pilot bit is through the bumper and the hole saw engages the metal, work carefully to keep the saw flush with the bumper. If you have a new saw, it will cut through the bumper in only a minute or two. Take just a few minutes to clean up the opening and spray it with a little paint to keep the bare metal from rusting:
12. Now we'll need to get the terminal connector through the hole, and that will require some more work. First we'll need to disassemble the harness. Begin by removing the protective shield; it's done by opening two clips:
13. Now you can unplug the wiring harness from the terminal connector:
14. Now for a little detail work. We need to get the terminal connector through the hole we've just drilled and it won't fit because there are some plastic tabs on the back that are designed to hold it in place in the OEM hitch bracket. These tabs will have to be removed, and there are many ways to do it. I used a bench grinder and a Dremel tool, but other owners have just hacked them off with a pair of diagonal clippers. Just be careful that you don't go too far and damage the case of the connector. Once you've trimmed the connector, slip it into the hole in the bumper; mine took a slight tap with a rubber mallet. Hold the connector in the place you want it mounted and mark the location of the mounting holes. Remove the connector from the large hole and drill out the 1/4" mounting holes:
15. Remove the masking tape from the bumper and clean up the area. Slip the terminal connector back into the hole and secure it using the two M6 bolts and nuts supplied with the kit. Now go to the back of the bumper and reconnect the harness to the back of the terminal connector. Replace the protective shield you removed in step #12. You're done!
RESULTS. Nice. The connector is in a safe place and the installation looks like it was done at the factory.