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Problems with factory brake controller

Problems with factory brake controller

Postby cumminsmannow [OP] » Jan 22 2013, 12:49pm

I finally pulled the bobcat trailer this morning to work and had my first experience with the factory installed brake controller.
I had one in my last truck (dodge) but this is my first gm one.
When i hooked the trailer up the controller showed up on the dic like i figured it would. BUT it doesnt show any output. I turned the gain all the way up and even used the johnny bar and still no output. Wtf am i doing wrong or could the controller be messed up.
It was too cold this morning (-17) to mess with it, I went to work anyway with the empty trailer and used a different truck to tow the trailer.
Here is what it says:
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Re: Problems with factory brake controller

Postby Z15 » Jan 22 2013, 4:02pm

I think its working normal, your output shows 6 bars. You were expecting a digital output in the form of a number?


Here is what is says in my owners manual....


TRAILER OUTPUT: This is
displayed any time a trailer with
electric brakes is connected. Output
to the electric brakes is based on
the amount of vehicle braking
present and relative to the Trailer
Gain setting. Output is displayed
from 0 to 10 bars for each gain
setting.
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Re: Problems with factory brake controller

Postby TJEli » Jan 22 2013, 4:15pm

Those aren't the bars. Its not working correctly and I think its in the trailer. Does the bobcat trailer have electric over hydraulic brakes by any chance?

Also, is your brake control power lead hooked up properly under the hood?

-Eli
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Problems with factory brake controller

Postby cumminsmannow [OP] » Jan 22 2013, 4:25pm

Z15, i wasnt really expecting anything. It was my first shot at a factory chevy brake controller. I had no idea what it would do. And it is not the trailer it got hooked up to a truck with a prodigy controller and worked fine.
Eli you are correct that the dashes are not the readout.
I got it to work after some searching elsewhere that the truck gets angry if you hook up a trailer while the truck is running. I hooked it back up and shut the truck off and restarted it and everything was fine. So i guess there was nothing wrong with either the truck or trailer for the most part. But in my mind how many of you shut the truck off when hooking up to a trailer? I cant think of one instance where i shut it off to hook up.
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Re: Problems with factory brake controller

Postby TJEli » Jan 22 2013, 4:46pm

Glad it works now. I do plug mine in all the time with the truck running though and it works fine.

The only thing I meant by "in the trailer" was if the trailer had electric over hydraulic brakes. Our integrated controlers do not read enough resistance on these systems because there are no brake magnets. This causes them to not work properly. (there is a work-around for it though)

-Eli
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Re: Problems with factory brake controller

Postby FR8TRN » Jan 22 2013, 4:53pm

TJEli wrote:Glad it works now. I do plug mine in all the time with the truck running though and it works fine.

The only thing I meant by "in the trailer" was if the trailer had electric over hydraulic brakes. Our integrated controlers do not read enough resistance on these systems because there are no brake magnets. This causes them to not work properly. (there is a work-around for it though)

-Eli


Come on now, don't say something like that and then not tell us what it is.......you just know we are gonna run into the situation at some point.....whats the work around??
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Re: Problems with factory brake controller

Postby TJEli » Jan 22 2013, 5:08pm

First of all these brake systems are usually only found on heavy, high end 5th wheels, horse trailers, etc. They are usually disc brakes. Unless you pull trailers like these you may never run into this.

The short answer is to...

Make sure your 12v feed is connected under hood. The trailer needs this (or a battery) to run the hydraulic pump.

Get a couple of brake magnets and wire them together in parallel. At the pump in the trailer,find the blue wire (0-10V electric brake wire) and splice it in one side of the magnets. Connect other side to white wire. Hook up the truck and test.

Most aftermarket controllers will automatically detect these brake systems and work fine. There are also adaptors on the market that do the same thing as the magnets.

If you ever run into this there is lots of information out there that is more detailed than what I wrote here.

-Eli
Last edited by TJEli on Jan 22 2013, 5:20pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Problems with factory brake controller

Postby FR8TRN » Jan 22 2013, 5:18pm

TJEli wrote:
If you ever run into this there is lots of information out there that is more detailed than what I wrote here.

-Eli


Appreciate you taking the time.....doubt I'll run into a 5th wheel with my 1500, but I have seen the electric/hydraulic on other trailers before.
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Problems with factory brake controller

Postby cumminsmannow [OP] » Jan 22 2013, 8:56pm

Sorry i forgot to answer that. It doesnt have elec/hyd brakes although the next trailer we get will have them. So much easier than these stupid magnet setups.
I had it on my last big trailer 45' flatbed gn trailer and loved it. After spending a ton of money fixing the crappy magnet brakes a couple of times i finally spent the big money and put the elec/hyd drums on it. And never once had a problem with them. And tons more braking power for the big loads!
Thanks for all the help and info on the magnet trick, i may have to do that on the next trailer.
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Re: Problems with factory brake controller

Postby steved » Jan 24 2013, 4:02pm

You could probably do the same thing with a simple resistor...just read the Ohms from a brake magnet, and find a corresponding resistor...probably be a lot smaller and cheaper than a brake magnet.

I've never had issues with magnetic brakes per say, but the wiring on trailers is marginally adequate at best in most cases. I find that redoing all the electrical connections (solder/heat shrink versus crimps) will solve almost all trailer related issues.

FWIW, I have two trailers and neither one gives me issues if I plug in while the truck is running...
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