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Old 07-09-2019, 09:48 PM   #1
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Got a new Toad!

My 2014 Explorer Sport turned 100K and my Ford extended warranty was ending, so I decided to upgrade. The Explorer gave us good service and towed very well behind the Seneca. Decided on a 2019 Ford Edge ST, picked it up last week. It has a 2.7L twin turbo V-6 Ecoboost, it motivates very well! Maybe a little quicker than the old Sport which was no slouch itself. Plus the ST has all the latest safety doodads, it practically can drive itself!

Finished installing the Blue Ox baseplate kit today, it went very smoothly Hardest part was drilling the bumper support to install a couple of 1/2" bolts. That steel is hard! All other drilling was easy comparatively. The kit is very well designed and fit like a glove.

Found an easy place in the firewall to bring in power and the breakaway wiring for the EvenBrake, have to finish that part and then wire the tail lights tomorrow. Plus I have to paint those bolts that retain the lighting receptacle, they stick out like a sore thumb!

Funniest part of it all is my wife. She has seen it before several times, but she is still amazed that I take apart a perfectly good brand new vehicle and do this to it. She periodically sticks her head out into the garage (after she gets home from work), looks at my progress, then shakes her head and goes back into house.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:34 AM   #2
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I was wondering about the AWD system and how it would deal with the flat towing. Do you have any concerns with the car putting mileage on it while you are towing since it has to be in accessory when towing? I looked up in the owners manual and it says don't exceed 65mph?
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:52 AM   #3
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I was wondering about the AWD system and how it would deal with the flat towing. Do you have any concerns with the car putting mileage on it while you are towing since it has to be in accessory when towing? I looked up in the owners manual and it says don't exceed 65mph?
When towing it doesn't put any miles on the odometer, but obviously the drivetrain is accumulating miles/wear. My previous vehicle was a 2014 Ford Explorer Sport (3.5L twin turbo EcoBoost V-6) and its drivetrain layout was very similar to the new Edge. We drug our Explorer at least 30K miles in its life without any issues, same speed restrictions. With my Explorer I changed the transmission fluid, PTU oil, and rear differential oil every 30K miles. When I did they all looked good coming out. Plan to do the same thing with the new ST.

I also have a 100K Ford extended service plan so if I do have issues later on it is on them since it is approved for flat towing, minus my $100 deductible after the basic warranty is up.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:24 PM   #4
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Thumbs up

Nice!
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:31 PM   #5
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I didn't know the Ford was towable. That is an awesome choice. Other than the normal tow bar brackets and light wiring, what has to be done to tow an AWD Ford.

I love my Jeep Cherokee as a toad, but am concerned as to what will be available in the years to come.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:37 PM   #6
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Congratulations on the new ride Rob. Very nice looking. Enjoy it.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:57 PM   #7
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Well done! I am amazed that you got all that plastic off the front of the toad without issue.
I wimped out with my Colorado. Took it to a local body shop. They had the tow plate on in about 3 hours and cost me just a shade north of 200 bucks.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:11 PM   #8
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I didn't know the Ford was towable. That is an awesome choice. Other than the normal tow bar brackets and light wiring, what has to be done to tow an AWD Ford.

I love my Jeep Cherokee as a toad, but am concerned as to what will be available in the years to come.
The Edge ST cannot be towed on a dolly, it has to be towed 4-down or on a trailer. There is a procedure to disable "park" which must be accomplished prior to towing. Lastly, you have to disconnect the battery while towing. I am expecting my Roadmaster battery disconnect system tomorrow, it looks like it should be a relatively easy install. Just throw a switch and vehicle power off. I will wire my Even Brake power supply to the "always hot" side of the battery. My charge line from the Seneca will also go there to keep the battery charged while traveling. Like my (former) Explorer Sport you have to run the engine for 5 minutes prior to towing. Then at arrival (or every 6 hours of tow time) you reconnect the battery and idle it for 5 minutes again. You also are supposed to keep it at 65 mph or less.

I am doing everything myself, I have done installs on 5 of our vehicles over the years plus I have done some for friends. Today I wrapped up the tow wiring. Yesterday the front fascia was off, today it was the rear to get to the tail light wiring. All together now!

It does seem the pool of towable vehicles is diminishing. I actually wanted the 2020 Explorer ST, but despite early assurances it would be towable it is not at this time. Oh well!
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ender on the road View Post
Well done! I am amazed that you got all that plastic off the front of the toad without issue.
I wimped out with my Colorado. Took it to a local body shop. They had the tow plate on in about 3 hours and cost me just a shade north of 200 bucks.
Today it was the rear fascia to wire the lights. It was actually quite easy to get off and back on. I just wish it wasn't 90 outside while I work!
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:09 AM   #10
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Nice ride, Rob! I have to admit, those photos are Freaking me out a little. I have to do this sometime soon, too. I have a 2017 Grand Cherokee Limited to flat tow behind the Seneca. Do I have to do this level of surgery as well? Iím set that Blue Ox is the way to go but...

:-)

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Old 07-11-2019, 04:23 AM   #11
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Nice ride, Rob! I have to admit, those photos are Freaking me out a little. I have to do this sometime soon, too. I have a 2017 Grand Cherokee Limited to flat tow behind the Seneca. Do I have to do this level of surgery as well? Iím set that Blue Ox is the way to go but...

:-)

Aaron
I can't say what it takes on the Grand Cherokee, but I did my 2016 Cherokee Trailhawk and let me tell you, etrailer video's are your friend. If it is anything like my Cherokee, you will need a couple of tools to make it as easy as possible. A set of trim removal tools will help with the push pins, of which there are many. Lot's of Blue (Green?) Masking tape to mask off the seams so that you don't scratch anything. I didn't do this and was fortunate but if I had to do it again, I would. A good torque wrench.

I used the Blue Ox brackets and they installed easily. Don't be afraid to pull on the facia when all the bolts/screws/push pins are removed....it will pop off.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:04 AM   #12
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Nice ride, Rob! I have to admit, those photos are Freaking me out a little. I have to do this sometime soon, too. I have a 2017 Grand Cherokee Limited to flat tow behind the Seneca. Do I have to do this level of surgery as well? Iím set that Blue Ox is the way to go but...

:-)

Aaron
As mentioned, online videos can be helpful and plentiful if you have a more "common" toad. The Edge ST brackets are new so there wasn't much help out there. But I can say the Blue Ox instructions were pretty thorough. They also give an estimated "installation requirement" on their website, the more difficult the higher the number. You can download the instructions and go through to help figure out whether you want to tackle it or not.

What their instructions don't tell you are what it takes to do the "other" stuff like installing lighting, toad brake wiring, and battery disconnects. That stuff can take even longer than the baseplate installation. There are hard ways and there are easier ways to do the lighting and wiring, I chose the hard way. To the untrained eye my wiring looks like Ford did it, but it added several hours to my project. I put it together with Weather Pack connectors so I can easily disconnect and troubleshoot it later. But properly crimped common connectors will work well too.

I have helped friends who had their installs done "professionally". Lighting wouldn't work; bad crimp job in one case and another was the lighting wiring harness pinched by the suspension. I reworked them and they have been reliable ever since. And the place they had theirs done had a lift, I'm on my back with the car on ramps!

If you do it yourself you have no one else to blame. That can be a good thing or a bad thing!
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Robbbyr View Post
As mentioned, online videos can be helpful and plentiful if you have a more "common" toad. The Edge ST brackets are new so there wasn't much help out there. But I can say the Blue Ox instructions were pretty thorough. They also give an estimated "installation requirement" on their website, the more difficult the higher the number. You can download the instructions and go through to help figure out whether you want to tackle it or not.

What their instructions don't tell you are what it takes to do the "other" stuff like installing lighting, toad brake wiring, and battery disconnects. That stuff can take even longer than the baseplate installation. There are hard ways and there are easier ways to do the lighting and wiring, I chose the hard way. To the untrained eye my wiring looks like Ford did it, but it added several hours to my project. I put it together with Weather Pack connectors so I can easily disconnect and troubleshoot it later. But properly crimped common connectors will work well too.

I have helped friends who had their installs done "professionally". Lighting wouldn't work; bad crimp job in one case and another was the lighting wiring harness pinched by the suspension. I reworked them and they have been reliable ever since. And the place they had theirs done had a lift, I'm on my back with the car on ramps!

If you do it yourself you have no one else to blame. That can be a good thing or a bad thing!
So true. I found a nice video on the install for my exact model. That helps! Will tackle it with a friend.

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Old 07-13-2019, 01:33 PM   #14
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I'm thinking about buying a 2019 Ford Edge ST also.

Let me know how it works out.
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:02 PM   #15
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Today it was the rear fascia to wire the lights. It was actually quite easy to get off and back on. I just wish it wasn't 90 outside while I work!
My gosh... do you have to route a wiring harness under the chassis to the rear of the vehicle too? I am totally taken back by the disassembly required. THANK YOU for sharing this, and the pictures that spells out the amount of work required.

Stacy and I have sometimes contemplated setting up our 2010 Equinox for flat towing... It was paid off years ago, factory approved for flat towing and there are lots of them being used as toads with an assortment of towing options available.


After viewing all of this, I think we are staying with our current setup. We can load it on our trailer in 12 minutes and be on the road today.
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:53 PM   #16
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I'm thinking about buying a 2019 Ford Edge ST also.

Let me know how it works out.
Everything complete, it is ready to go. Going to do a short "tow test" tomorrow!

Something not entirely clear in some of the towing guides regarding the Edge ST is disconnecting the battery before towing. Two main reasons it is necessary to disconnect the battery according to my information - 1. The EPAS or electric power assist steering; 2. The electric parking brake. Disconnecting the battery eliminates issues with those items.

Ford says in the owner's manual the last step in initiating the towing process is to disconnect the negative battery cable. However per Ford it doesn't matter which cable is disconnected,they just recommend the negative for safety reasons to prevent arcing if you hit the tool on something. I installed the Roadmaster 766 battery disconnect switch using it to interrupt the positive cable connection. I also wired a power connection from the "hot side" of the battery switch to feed power inside for my Even Brake system. Also connected is the charge line from the Seneca, so even when the battery is disconnected it is being kept charged.

Where I deviated from standard was the location I chose for the the activation switch for the battery disconnect. If it is mounted inside the cabin (per the Roadmaster instructions) there is no way to use the fob to lock/unlock the doors once you shut off the battery. So I mounted a waterproof switch out behind the grille near the driver side headlight. Very stealthy is I do say so. So my procedure will be: Complete all the setup steps inside, exit the vehicle and close the door, lock it with the fob, then go press the switch in the grille. All battery power cut off for towing. When at destination first step is hit the switch restoring power then can use the fob to unlock the door to finish the disconnect steps.

I will report back on how it does!
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Old 07-13-2019, 03:03 PM   #17
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I like the concept what you did here... What is the current capacity of that relay?

Can it withstand the current load of the starting cycle? What if two relay's were installed in parallel?
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Old 07-13-2019, 03:08 PM   #18
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My gosh... do you have to route a wiring harness under the chassis to the rear of the vehicle too? I am totally taken back by the disassembly required. THANK YOU for sharing this, and the pictures that spells out the amount of work required.
I did route a harness from the tow connection up front to the rear to feed the Ford tailights. It is connected via diodes to prevent backfeeding the car's systems. I took great care running my harness, unless you were Ford you wouldn't know it wasn't part of the original car. But as you know from my other posts I am particular like that.

I actually like tearing into things, and there are (usually) no leftover parts!
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Old 07-13-2019, 03:19 PM   #19
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I like the concept what you did here... What is the current capacity of that relay?

Can it withstand the current load of the starting cycle? What if two relay's were installed in parallel?
It is a kit from Roadmaster specifically designed to withstand starting amps. It is a latching solenoid; it holds its last state until power is applied to its coil again. Roadmaster cautions it is not for diesels due to their higher starting amp requirements. There are probably thousands of these systems out there in use.

Plus if it ever failed I can use the emergency key to get into the car via the hidden lock in the door handle. Then I can pop the hood and with a 1/2"wrench tie the two cables together to bypass the solenoid. Voila, back in business!
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:58 PM   #20
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Successful towing test completed, went very well. Don't even have to adjust my hitch drop, towbar is level after installation.

Pre-towing procedure not too difficult, first run car for five minutes to circulate transmission fluid. Shut engine off, set electric parking brake, disengage transmission park mode, release parking brake, lock car, engage battery cutout switch to kill all power. Tow away! Reverse procedure at destination.
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