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Stabilitrak, traction Control, Towing, and terrible pulsing.

stabilitrack pulsing

Stabilitrak, traction Control, Towing, and terrible pulsing.

Postby SHNOOL [OP] » Mar 05 2012, 4:57pm

Ok, so I live on a mountain, at 2100feet elevation (small mountain)... the first leg of my weekend horse trips is to get the horses with the trailer. Empty I run at supposedly #8100, it's more likely #9000. Anyway... that first leg of the trip leaves me with a downgrade of 4-6% grade, over roughly 4 miles to the town below at 700feet elevation. The postings on this highway which is part of the PA turnpike exit for Wilkes-Barre has emergency escape ramps, and recommends trucks #21000 and greater reduce speed to 20mph before starting the downhill run. Sorry but this detail is necessary for my next questions. Keep in mind I have a PIN weight of around #2000 and also an additional #440 or so of water weight in the bed (water tank)... so #2400 in weight on the bed of the truck roughly (don't have a way to measure this, so I am guessing).. I have about 1" left before I hit the snubbers on my suspension at full load.

The truck (have only done it 3 times) has performed well going down this hill, downshifting and helping me brake to keep my speed down. However when I brake (there is a stop light halfway down the hill) harder than just slowing down (like to stop).. the front end pulses like there are bad rotors... REAL bad! Whole steering wheel shakes like mad (harder I press the pedal the worse it gets). Now I have 4200 miles on the truck and the rotors are fine (never does this even under hard braking without the trailer). I can slow more with e-brakes of course, and it goes away.

Ok what I think the problem is (and this is a huge stab)... I think Stabilitrack (traction control rather) thinks that that trailer is swaying. I know these trucks are built to pulse the antilock brakes in sequence to prevent trailer sway. It's a narrow window that I can try this, but I turned off all features Stabilitrack and traction control and I THINK it stopped it, but I cannot be sure. I think the front end is causing this, as the truck as SO much weight on it (near capacity), the font is submarining a bit, and the back end is really squashed (near capacity).

Anyone on here follow what I am saying? Now I am a HUGE advocate for this anti-sway feature, but if it is going to do this to me, I HAVE to turn it off, because slowing would be downright dangerous otherwise. I also might want to try stiffening up the suspension, which I am considering Timbrens or air bags anyway (as I've posted before).

OH, and a follow up, after an additional #2000 of weight IN the trailer, and 400 miles more round trip, it NEVER did it again, and I even turned the Stabilitrack and Traction Control features back on 20 more miles into the trip.
2011 Chevy Silverado 3500 LTZ, 4x4, dually, 3:73s, gooseneck, diesel goodness.
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Related Topics  Traction control/stabilitrak issue   Stabilitrak and Traction control issue   NNBS Traction control/Stabilitrak/ABS off?   Service stabilitrak and traction control after lift???   Traction Control, Stabilitrak & ABS Issue   Service Traction Control/Stabilitrak and P0305 at idle   Service Stabilitrak, service traction control ABS problems   O2 errors and now traction control and stability control?   traction control   traction control   traction control and ABS comes on   Traction Control Disable   Traction Control/Stabilitrack   Turning off the traction control 
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Re: Stabilitrak, traction Control, Towing, and terrible puls

Postby gsxr » Mar 06 2012, 1:54pm

I've had the same thing happen to me with cold brakes hauling my 5th(10k lbs). What I think the problem is, is cold brakes on the trailer not working so well causing push on the truck, and bouncing the rear end. Which probably sends the traction control into all kinds of fits.

What I've been doing is upping my brake control gain at the start of the trip, after everything gets warm I drop it down. I haven't really tested this on purpose but last friday I'm pretty sure I tested it pretty well. ~3 minutes after leaving the house, cruising down a hill at 40mph had to come to a stop, no issues.
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Re: Stabilitrak, traction Control, Towing, and terrible puls

Postby SHNOOL [OP] » Mar 12 2012, 2:53am

We just sorted it today... I had the amplification on the trailer brake controller too high for when it was empty. We dropped it half a point, and it stopped. We think it was causing some wheel hop. You would not think that'd happen in a #8000+ trailer.

But today I got to do that mountain with #2000 more in it... and left the settings as normal +3.0 on the brake controller. Worked great. I also got to do that same hill again, empty, and used +2.5, and again, no problem. I think we got it.

So SOUNDs VERY much like what you are saying gsxr, only opposite, but causing a similar problem.
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Re: Stabilitrak, traction Control, Towing, and terrible puls

Postby SHNOOL [OP] » Sep 04 2012, 4:43pm

I dug up my old thread because I've not really been able to pin this down.

I just upgraded my truck to timbrens all around. This beefs up the stiffness in the suspension nicely, and consequently raises the front end of the truck about 1.5 inches. But I'm still having some wobble as I apply brakes downhill in the truck with only partial load, at least ONLY on the hill right next to my house.

As stated by gsxr, it seems it's ONLY when the brakes on the trailer are cold. I live on a mountain, and our first trip is DOWN that mountain at 5-6% grade and 45mph. This is a nasty major highway, with truck escape ramps and everything so it isn't a hill to be taken lightly. There are just enough curves in the hill, that it starts to wobble (like warped rotors) real bad. The steering wheel shakes so hard it's crazy. I don't have warped rotors (less than 15k on them), and there is plenty of meat left in the pads, all the way around. I can apply the brakes manually to the trailer and add more trailer brake, to lower the wobble, but it continues until I let off the floor brake. I thought the timbrens would help, but have seemed to do nothing to correct the problem (likely unrelated to being near my max, I thought it was nose diving starting this, so figured more spring in the bed would level off the truck and put more weight back on the front)...

The interesting thing is once I've driven the truck a bit, I don't experience the problem again (a good thing, as I could see it leading to losing control - it's that bad).

My solution thusfar has been to tick off everyone behind me and keep speeds below 35 all the way down the hill, so if it wobbles real bad, it's less of an issue.. I can gear lower a bit and pull over if the worst happens.

Any ideas? I'm not convinced its stabilitrak though, as I've turned it completely off. I've tried ADDING more e-brake, and lowering e-brake and it continues regardless. The Timbrens were necessary on the truck so they weren't purchased exclusively for this (just figured it'd help either way and did not). I didn't like being NEAR capacity while trailering all the time, so I added them, to increase suspension room, while towing.
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Re: Stabilitrak, traction Control, Towing, and terrible puls

Postby jmcorp » Sep 05 2012, 3:29pm

Is this the same rig you had the trailer brake failure in? the one where everyone said check your brakes for warped rotors? did you take your rotors to a brake shop and have them turned just in case? i would have all the brakes checked. i might even replace them if you haven't since the trailer incedent.
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