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Old 05-12-2016, 09:02 AM   #1
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Brake Controller Issue - Help!

Hi everyone,

When I picked up my camper, I had an old Tekonsha brake controller from my Jeep that I moved to my 2011 Ford F-150. I hooked it up and had control through the manual setting, but not with the brakes. No problem to me just for bringing it home. Well, about 5 miles down the road, the whole thing crapped out on me and I brought it over 2 mountains with no trailer brakes. (My truck did so well, I'm incredibly happy with it!). I figured the old TBC was just that, old.

I just purchased a new TBC along with the idiot proof plug and play. Last night I hooked it all up and had the same issue. Manual control was there, but not through the brakes.
I checked the fuses. Interior fuse was fine, one fuse under the hood was blown and relay under hood was fine. I replaced the bad fuse, no change with issue.

I believe this is an issue with the truck, but hoping someone here may have some experience with this. I did some research today and here's what I have found:

1) It's possible the Ford dealer has to 'sync' the TBC with the truck's computer.
2) It's possible the truck has to be moving at least more than 11mph in order to send power to the TBC through the brake pedal - that somehow the truck knows it's not moving.

Thoughts? Anyone have experience with this? I am two weeks out of my warranty on the truck, so I'm not sure the dealer with handle the issue gracefully. If it's an easy fix, I'm happy to do it myself. Wiring/electrical is not my forte, so I'm grateful for any and all input on this.

Thank you!
k~
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:57 AM   #2
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Yeah, this sounds like a truck issue. I'd take it to the Ford dealer and explain it to them.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:13 PM   #3
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The modern controllers work on movement they are activated by deceleration rate. Does your controller show number when you step on the brake? I doubt there is any thing wrong with the truck there is only one wire connected to the socket on the truck it only gets a signal from the brake controller nothing else. I would jack up your trailer with all the wheels off the ground and pull the emergency pin and see if all the wheels lock up.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerin_o View Post
..
1) It's possible the Ford dealer has to 'sync' the TBC with the truck's computer.....
No, there is no "sync" required for an add on controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by kerin_o View Post
..
2) It's possible the truck has to be moving at least more than 11mph in order to send power to the TBC through the brake pedal - that somehow the truck knows it's not moving. ..
That is only true for the "built-in" brake controller like the one JohnB has.

Make sure you are using the Tekonsha 3036-P Brake Control Wiring Adapter for Ford, NOT the Tekonsha 3034-P Brake Control Wiring Adapter for Ford.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:45 AM   #5
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Have some one check your brake lights on the truck, the controller does get a signal from the truck brake light circuit so if they don't work the trailer brake automatic control will not. The camper also is connected to the truck wiring brake light circuit but other than a short in the wiring that has no effect but if there is it will cause problems with the truck brake signal it may have blown a fuse for the brake lights. You should get some indication on the controller when you step on the brakes even sitting still.
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:40 AM   #6
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That is only true for the "built-in" brake controller like the one JohnB has.

Make sure you are using the Tekonsha 3036-P Brake Control Wiring Adapter for Ford, NOT the Tekonsha 3034-P Brake Control Wiring Adapter for Ford.[/QUOTE]

So the movement issue is only on OEM units. Got it. This is an Activator I unit I purchased. The wiring is the correct wiring for this truck. I think it's a fuse or relay issue. The under the hood fuse was blown, I picked up a replacement and will play with it this week. It could be a relay as well...
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:23 PM   #7
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No, the after market controllers relay on a brake signal that is the only way it knows that the brakes are being applied. The same holds true for the built in units they both need a brake signal and it's done through the brake light circuit. One of the wires in the after market controller goes to the truck brake light wiring it's part of a standard tow package when you plug it in it is connecting to the internal truck brake wiring. The Tekonsha controller should have a read out usually when no trailer is connected it will say"nc" once you step on the brakes it should give you some reading like 1.4 or some thing that is coming from the brake light circuit if there is no indication then some thing is up with the brake light circuit. One of the wires going to your controller should have power when the break is depressed.
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:16 PM   #8
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Did you increase setting on the brake control to make brakes work? If controller is werkin manual the setting might be low for proper regulation by controller.
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gene
That is only true for the "built-in" brake controller like the one JohnB has.

Make sure you are using the Tekonsha 3036-P Brake Control Wiring Adapter for Ford, NOT the Tekonsha 3034-P Brake Control Wiring Adapter for Ford.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerin_o View Post
So the movement issue is only on OEM units. Got it. This is an Activator I unit I purchased. The wiring is the correct wiring for this truck. I think it's a fuse or relay issue. The under the hood fuse was blown, I picked up a replacement and will play with it this week. It could be a relay as well...

To help better, please tell us the brand and model of the new controller you have? Along with the part number of the cable.

This started with a Tekonosha
Tekonsha - Brake Controllers

And now you mentioned an Activator unit.
Draw-Tite - Timed Controllers

Cequent owns a lot of brands now.

You said a fuse was blown, what is the name the truck uses for that fuse?

As Gene said, my 2005 F350 had the first integrated Ford brake controller offered. They goofed and had a speed intergration program that the manual button will not work unless you are above a certain speed. They got so many complaints from this with guys trying to do a drag test on a 5th wheel and local state inspections trying to use the manual button to test the brakes, they changed that feature half way through the 2005 model year. Aside from that mix up, this controller works great. It gets it signal off of pressure transducer mounted on the master cylinder and has at least 25 plus wires on the back of it connecting to the main truck computer.

What you are describing is more of a standard after market brake controller. We really need to know which model, make and part number. My original old timed based Reese Activator brake controller got it's signal off the brake pedal switch. When you step on the pedal, that switch powers up the truck brake lights and the timing circuit in the brake controller. Once it times out, then it sends power to the trailer brakes through the same blue wire the manual button uses. A very simple system. If that is the timed based controller you are referring too, it sounds like the plug and play cable you are using may not be connecting to the brake pedal switch signal for some reason. If you have a 12 volt test light or meter, you can test the place you are plugging into with the controller plug and play cable if it is sending any power. Put test light on the correct pin, press the brake pedal and see if it lights. If it does not, the controller is not going to work.

This can then sort out if the truck is sending the correct signal.

Hope this helps
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