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Old 12-14-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
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'05 Ford factory brake controller question

We have an '05 F350 CC short box with the factory brake controller. Kitty was told by Ford, that the BC would only activate the trailer brakes above 10MPH. Either with the manual slider, or the brake pedal...

We're getting the 5th wheel on Thursday and plan on using our Reese 16,000lb slider hitch with it. I got to reading the Reese instructions as well as THIS page and both said basically the same thing..

" Manual sliders require the vehicle to stop, lever moved, hitch slid to the maneuver position by holding the 5th wheel in place by the manual operator on the brake controller and the TV moved in the direction of the transition (forward or reverse)."

I've towed the 320 with this truck and know that the factory brake controller doesn't do anything below 10MPH. How am I supposed to actuate the slider hitch, without the trailer brakes???

Gary
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:48 PM   #2
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Does the manual lever not even work below 10? I can see where the controller wouldn't work with the service brakes in normal operation below 10 to prevent wheel lockup on slippery surfaces such as grass. I know that when I pull my trailer out in the summer storage position, it's on grass and I slow down to make a tight turn and because I'm going downhill a bit and it's grass, so it's a bit uneven, I've had a wheel lockup before. I would think that the manual lever would still work though, regardless of the speed. I do know that on the newer ones (aka 2010), they do lock at zero, because I locked the brakes on the fifth wheel and put it in drive to make sure the hitch was locked. So maybe they'd have a way to reprogram it or something to make it work all the time.

Jon
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:21 PM   #3
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Gary

What build date is Kitty's truck?

Mine won't work on the manual lever either at less then I think 15 mph. There is some date in March of 05 that Ford got so many complaints that they changed to to work normal.

So any 2005 prior to that date in March 2005 came with the non locking at slow spped version. I tore my truck apart trying to figure out what I only got 2.5 volts out the back with the manual lever as I was trying to do a drag test. Then I went on Ford Trucks.com and found the reason. It's made that way.

I even printed off an offical statment you can take in for trailer inspection explaining to the inpector that they cannot use the manual lever to test the brakes, they have to use the breakaway. As they would fail inspection every time.

I have heard some complained enough that dealers did upgrade to the newer version. Since I did not buy mine new, I did not try.

Ford did this to help stop the jerking at slow speed. You get very little braking even thru the foot pedal less then 10 to 15 mph. Look at the litte bar graph. Yes basically the truck is stopping the load.

Howwer if you are going fast and brake, then I think it keep it on hard all the way to a stop. I "thought" I saw it that way.

John
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:25 PM   #4
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Re: '05 Ford factory brake controller question

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMD_Driver

I've towed the 320 with this truck and know that the factory brake controller doesn't do anything below 10MPH. How am I supposed to actuate the slider hitch, without the trailer brakes???

Gary
Maybe, Maybe as a last resort to get it to work, pull the emerg, break away. BUT pull the 7 wire out first. I know a pain in the foot but it's Tuesday and getting it sorted out might be an issue by Thursday.

A call to the local Ford dealer "might" have a fix for this. It has happend before.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:10 AM   #5
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For the relatively small cost I think I'd ditch the factory controller in favor of a Prodigy?
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihsolutions
For the relatively small cost I think I'd ditch the factory controller in favor of a Prodigy?
Hi Jeff, while the first version of Tow Command has this 1 issue, the rest of it is bare none light years ahead of the aftermarket contollers. Maybe the Brakesmart comes close but even it is not intergrated into the the enitre truck and ABS sysem. Plus it will cost you Ford tech time to undo all the intergration alrams it has into the computer system of the truck. When you pull the plug, the dash lights up with lots of messages.... I did not even know they existed...

Have to find a work around. The controller is that good. Some how others have overcome this problem, just I stopped digging once I knew the issue and I could get around it. Doing a drag test on a 5er is something Ford just plain missed the boat on. Why and how??? Ford might come thru and give an upgrade. It only takes about 10 minutes if that to pop the old one out and put a new one in. That is after you spent the 45 minutes understanding how in the world the thing goes in the dash...

I'll do some more digging too as I would like to get that drag test feature back even on a TT.

John
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:19 AM   #7
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My truck was built in Jan. '05, I purchased it brand new in I believe April '05, and even back then I went to my Ford stealer and complained and got told that was the way it was designed to work. SO, I guess once again a follow up call to the stealer and progress up the line 'til someone will pay attention. I was always just told "that is how it is designed to operate".

But, have to deal with KD today, her gums are bleeding and have vet app. at 10, looks like she might need a dental & some teeth removed. My poor baby, she has never had really good teeth (common among greyhounds).

Well, gotta get ready to head to vet for first opinion.

Kitty
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanyonkitty
My truck was built in Jan. '05, I purchased it brand new in I believe April '05, and even back then I went to my Ford stealer and complained and got told that was the way it was designed to work. SO, I guess once again a follow up call to the stealer and progress up the line 'til someone will pay attention. I was always just told "that is how it is designed to operate".

Kitty
Kitty, your vintage and mine are the same then. And actually the Stealer in April of 2005 was being truthful (as one can be) The upgrades would of started shipping in around April of 2005 and may not have been in force until mid 2005. Now if a complaint came in late 2005, then this was known enough that the upgrade or fix could occur if the truck owner complained enough.

Hope all comes out OK with KD.

John
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:21 PM   #9
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Kitty and Gary

John

Here I found this, print it out and put it in your truck in case you get pulled over for a spot check inspection. I have a copy in mine. This is suppose to help with inspections as it is posted by an independent safety organization. I got this tip from the Ford Trucks forum.

CVSA Tow Command bulliten

Came from here http://www.cvsa.org/programs/nas_bulletins.aspx

I'm still digging for more.

John
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:18 PM   #10
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Re: '05 Ford factory brake controller question

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMD_Driver
... How am I supposed to actuate the slider hitch, without the trailer brakes???
Gary

I manual way is possibly to use wheel chucks to hold the 5ver in place when actuating the slider hitch.

Hutch
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:04 PM   #11
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Poor KD Let us know how she's doing.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweety
Poor KD Let us know how she's doing.
She's sore, but was still very happy to see me/us and still had to give me kisses when I got home...
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:02 PM   #13
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Re: '05 Ford factory brake controller question

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTHutch
Quote:
Originally Posted by EMD_Driver
... How am I supposed to actuate the slider hitch, without the trailer brakes???
Gary

I manual way is possibly to use wheel chucks to hold the 5ver in place when actuating the slider hitch.

Hutch
That's a couple extra times getting in/out of the truck.. I don't think they even considered 5th wheel trailers, when they programmed the brains in these things...
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:23 PM   #14
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Gary

Did some more digging and found this.

TSB's on this

Quote:
18630 2005 SUPER DUTY F-SERIES - NORMAL OUTPUT VOLTAGE FOR A MANUAL APPLY FROM THE FORD TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER - SERVICE TIP
THE VOLTAGE OUTPUT FOR MANUAL TRAILER BRAKE APPLICATION FROM THE FACTORY INSTALLED TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER ON 2005 F-SUPER DUTY VEHICLES IS IN TWO DIFFERENT RANGES, BASED ON BUILD DATE. THE NORMAL OUTPUT VOLTAGE FOR A FULL MANUAL APPLY (MANUAL ACTIVATOR LEVER SLID FULLY TO THE LEFT, GAIN SETTING OF 10, VEHICLE NOT MOVING) IS 1-3 VOLTS ON VEHICLES BUILT BEFORE 3/23/05, AND IS GREATER THAN 10 VOLTS ON VEHICLES BUILT AFTER 3/23/05. BRAKE PEDAL BASED OUTPUT FROM THE CONTROLLER IS THE SAME REGARDLESS OF BUILD DATE. DO NOT REPLACE THE CONTROLLER IF IT IS PROVIDING VOLTAGE OUTPUT IN THE CORRECT RANGE BASED ON BUILD DATE. REFER TO SECTION 206-10 OF THE WORKSHOP MANUAL FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 05/26/2005
---------------------------------------------------------------------
18531 2005 F-SUPER DUTY - KIT AVAILABLE FOR DEALER INSTALLATION OF TOWCOMMAND SYSTEM
TO INSTALL A TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER ON A 2005 F-SUPER DUTY THAT WAS NOT ORIGINALLY EQUIPPED FROM THE FACTORY, ORDER KIT 5C3Z-19H332-AA FOR ALL GAS ENGINE SINGLE REAR WHEEL APPLICATIONS; OR ORDER KIT 5C3Z-19H332-BA FOR ALL DIESEL ENGINE AND DUAL REAR WHEEL APPLICATIONS. FOLLOW THE INSTALLATION PROCEDURES IN THE INSTRUCTION SHEET INCLUDED IN THE KIT. REFERENCE SECTION 206-10 OF THE 2005 WORKSHOP MANUAL FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IF NEEDED.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 04/07/2005

----------------------------------------------------------------------

18472 2005 F-SUPER DUTY - DEALER INSTALLATION OF TOWCOMMAND SYSTEM - SERVICE TIP
IF A TOWCOMMAND SYSTEM TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER IS DEALER-INSTALLED ON A 2005 F-SUPER DUTY THAT DID NOT COME FROM THE FACTORY WITH THE TOWCOMMAND SYSTEM, THE CONTROLLER MAY NOT OPERATE AND FUNCTION AS DESIGNED UNLESS A BRAKE PRESSURE TRANSDUCER EQUIPPED MASTER CYLINDER IS INSTALLED AND THE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER IS RECONFIGURED. TO CONFIGURE THE CLUSTER USING WDS (CANNOT USE NGS): IDENTIFY VEHICLE; SELECT TOOLBOX ICON; FROM LIST ON LEFT SIDE OF SCREEN SELECT 'MODULE PROGRAMMING' AND HIT TICK BUTTON; SELECT THE PROGRAMMABLE PARAMETER ITEM AND A SUB-MENU WILL APPEAR. IN THIS SUB-MENU, SELECT 'PERSONALITY' AND HIT TICK BUTTON; SELECT 'TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER' THEN SELECT 'EQUIPPED'. MASTER CYLINDER INSTALLATION AND CLUSTER RECONFIGURATION TO COMPLETE DEALER-INSTALLATION OF THE TOWCOMMAND SYSTEM ARE NOT WARRANTABLE.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 03/15/2005
-------------------------------------------------------------------
18253 2005 SUPER DUTY F-SERIES - AFTERMARKET TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER INSTALLATION - SERVICE TIP
THE CONNECTION POINTS FOR AN AFTERMARKET TRAILER BRAKE SYSTEM ON A 2005 SUPER DUTY F-SERIES ARE THE SAME AS PRIOR MODEL YEARS. THE AFTERMARKET TRAILER BRAKE CONNECTOR (VEHICLE SIDE) IS MOUNTED TO THE BACK OF THE STORAGE BIN TO THE RIGHT OF THE STEERING COLUMN BELOW THE RADIO. THE LOWER PANEL BELOW THE RADIO MAY NEED TO BE REMOVED TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE CONNECTOR. THE BLUNT CUT HARNESS (BRAKE CONTROLLER SIDE) IS LOCATED IN THE GLOVE BOX. IF A CUSTOMER WANTS TO INSTALL AN AFTERMARKET TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER ON A VEHICLE EQUIPPED WITH A FACTORY INSTALLED CONTROLLER, THE FACTORY INSTALLED CONTROLLER MUST BE LEFT INTACT AND THE AFTERMARKET CONTROLLER INSTALLED COMPLETELY SEPARATELY. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, REFERENCE WORKSHOP MANUAL SECTION 206-10.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 10/21/2004
I have not found anyone that has a fix for this other then upgrading the controller. However that last bulletin about installing an aftermarket one in conjuntion with the factory one has opened up some thoughts. A thought is to create a proper rated 3 way switch in the brake power feed line in the truck. For TV stand still manual, flip the spring returned switch to on and get full brakes. Then in normal positon it uses the tow command. I'm going to look more into this as it is by far cheaper then a new Ford controller. I just have to find the right 30 amp rated 3 way spring return switch. And maybe something to get down to 10 volts in place of 13.6.

I did find one site selling new controller. Also to note there is a complete conversion kit for the 2005 that never had one installed. It had more parts including the master cylinder sensors and a few other things

We only need the actual controller. If it gets to this I found this site.

Ford Tow Command at Power Stroke Shop

I have never dealt with these guys, just found them on the web off of a hit on the Ford Truck forum. I would call and make sure it is only the controller.

Seems gas and Diesel are different controller. 1 may be a combo controller.

It looks like pulling the Emergency breakaway away with the 7 wire up plugged or wheel chocks might be you only quick option.

John
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:28 AM   #15
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That's interesting John, our Ex was built 3/17/05. I always wished they extended the Tow Command option to that, but now I think I might be a bit glad.

Based on the end of our VIN, I think the SD ones follow the same sequence, so this change probably takes place when they go to D00000 or D00001. Ours is C93XXX, so maybe they did build that many over the course of a few days.

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Old 12-16-2009, 03:49 PM   #16
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Maybe you could find one from a 2006 or newer at a junk yard.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 264SRinPA
Maybe you could find one from a 2006 or newer at a junk yard.
Good point! Thanks, I had forgot about that route
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:11 PM   #18
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Gary

Well how do you do the drag test on the 1st hook up? How did it go?

John
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Gary

Well how do you do the drag test on the 1st hook up? How did it go?

John
Well... The salesman started off my first 5'er hitching, by pulling the release lever while I was backing under the thing. I immediately stopped and got out of the truck. I told him that Reese's instructions stated that the release lever was only intended for releasing the kingpin. He said that he had never heard that and had seen it done before. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and tried it with the lever pulled.. Needless to say, it didn't work.

I got out of the truck to check a few things and when I got back in, I decided to check the pull test out. Turned out that the salesman had put the landing gear up already! I ended up putting a chock under one of the tires and trying it VERY easily!

Once I was certain that the hitch was properly secure, I tried the pull test with the brake controller only. I set it to 10 and let off the brake. I could feel a drag, but not much of one. I guess for the time being, I'll have to rely on the chocks for the pull tests. I will also have to get some wheel chocks made up, as I don't want to risk damaging the BAL between-the-wheel chocks. I goofed with them on the 320 one time and had a heck of a time getting them out.
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