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Old 06-13-2006, 06:10 PM
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Default electric brakes

My name should be Murphy I spend lots of time recovering from his little jokes.

I have a 12k pound flatbed trailer one and a half years old with about 1500 miles on it. The last time I tried to use it it didn't seem to have brakes....that is untill I put the turn signal on and then the wheels started sending smoke signals So I fixed the truck/trailer elec. connector... a screw had fallen out. The brakes haven't worked since.

Anyone got any ideas ??? The wires to all the brakes look good. I don't know what to check next. Does the break away battery need to be good for the regular aspect of the brakes to work ? It is a little low...10.5 volts

Thanks for any help
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: electric brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixie
My name should be Murphy I spend lots of time recovering from his little jokes.

I am not sure I can help you much on your trailer but I can help you with your name. However, since I am already married that might be a problem. But I did help my wife become "Murphy" and we spend lots of time recovering also from his jokes also.


Now to your brakes problem, I am wondering if when you hit the turn signal and your brakes engaged if you didn't short out or blow a fuse. I would get a volt meter and check the wiring on your vehicle first and check all terminals. Then I would make sure there was not a fuse on the trailer some place. As far as the back up battery I don't think that has to be in good shape to make things work. There has been many times that I have taken my trailers in for general check up and they have said you back up battery is completely dead but yet the brakes worked. Your battery back only engages the brakes when you pull the safety switch. Check your controller and make sure there isn't a fuse there also. I know mine has a red light that comes on when I hit the brakes which tells me at least the controller is sending out a signal for the brake.

Good luck I hope you find your problem.


Murph
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Old 06-13-2006, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: electric brakes

Thanks, Murph

I have 3 vehicles with controllers and that trailer doesn't work with any of them but another trailer with brakes does. The little green light on the control box comes on but that's all.

I've never heard of there being a fuse on the trailer part of the system ???

Thanks for the reassurance about the break away brake battery.
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Old 06-13-2006, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: electric brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixie
Thanks, Murph

I have 3 vehicles with controllers and that trailer doesn't work with any of them but another trailer with brakes does. The little green light on the control box comes on but that's all.

I've never heard of there being a fuse on the trailer part of the system ???

Thanks for the reassurance about the break away brake battery.
Wow....what a coincidence. I just came inside frome stringing all new wires for my horse trailer! The lights are all very eratic, and IMHO it is much easier to just strip it all out and re-wire it.

I can definitely tell you that there are no fuses on my trailer that I have found so far.

I do believe though that your breakaway battery is showing exceptionally low voltage, and I would suggest replacing it as soon as you get a chance.

Are you sure the shoes aren't jsut worn out? If they were perhaps engaged while driving due to the miswiring, they might be engaging, just not be effective.
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: electric brakes

Check the ground connection between the trailer & the truck. My equipment trailer brakes act up every now & then & it's usually the ground terminal that's under a bolt on the trailer frame thats causing it.
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Old 06-20-2006, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: electric brakes

You aren't going to believe this. When I opened the trailer connector, the wires were all scrambled. Not just the Big Tex standard mix-up but totally switched around. I can only guess that someone borrowed the trailer... or tried to... and rewired it to match thier truck....Not that I leant it to anyone ....

But since I had tried it on 3 of my trucks, I now have 3 fried controllers. I finally got the trailer working again and learned ALOT about electric brakes. I've replaced one controller, so far. As soon as the Dakota comes back from having the sensors and computer replaced, it will need a controller.

Cost me incl. damage to Dodge electronics $1500

Moral: Lock your trailers up. Meatheads are everywhere
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Old 06-20-2006, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: electric brakes

Wow bummer.

What type of brake controllers are you using? I'm upgrading to a Jordan unit today (the shop just called to say it was done). I got tired of the cheap-o units that are hard to keep adjusted. I looked at the Tekonsha Prodigy too, and people seem to really like them but heard they have some issues with VW wiring so I shied away from it. The Jordan doesn't suffer from some of the problems and seems to be considered both simple and yet a premium type unit. If I like the Jordan on the Touareg, I may swap one onto the Chevy too.

Here is a link to Jordan's website. http://www.jordanbrake.com/
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Old 06-20-2006, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: electric brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Skurka
I'm upgrading to a Jordan unit today (the shop just called to say it was done).
Interesting...I am looking for a controller, and had not heard of Jordan before. What advantages do you see with the cable link of the Jordan vs. the inertial systems that are prevalant?
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Old 06-20-2006, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: electric brakes

Inertial systems don't work well on bumpy roads, down inclines/declines, etc. Some of the very good inertial systems compensate for inclines/declines but not for bumps.

I looked around for a PREMIUM brake controller. I asked for the VERY BEST. I kept getting 2 recommendations. Jordan was almost always #2. The other brand was almost always #1, but was not in production anymore and was about $350. I can't remember the name of the company that made it, but it was bought out and undergoing a change of ownership and moving production facilities and they had no clue when they would be back in production so it made it a moot point.

I also had a lot of people recommend Teknosha, it seems to be the most common of the better units out there. Everyone sells them. Nobody can say bad things about them. But the people who haul trailers for a living were swearing by Jordan and the other brand I can't recall. For the minor price difference, I went with Jordan. At retail it cost about $10 or $15 more than the Teknosha Prodigy. Ebay often has them cheaper. For $15 I figured it was well worth it to get the best I could find.
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: electric brakes

I ran into Jordan brand during my search on the internet for wiring information. I'm going to try one. The ones I've had were Tekonsha Voyager and a Draw-tite. The one I just got is a Tekonsha Voyager XL. They have worked fine for me even on rough roads but I know to turn them back a bit.

I might buy a Prodigy for one truck because it would be fun to see the voltage output and it's rumored to be more "roast proof"

Is that the only Jordan model that they make, Bob ?
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: electric brakes

Pixie, the only model that Jordan makes is the Ultima.

BTW, it does have an LED voltage output that lights up when you apply the brakes.

And for anyone thinking of towing with a VW Touareg, think again. They are an electronic nightmare. I really like my VW. It drives great. And for a little SUV it has a 7700# towing capacity. But I've had minor problems with the dealer installed wiring all along. I just found out that I don't have brake lights, don't have left turn signals and don't have running lights. So I'll be back at the dealer to get them to fix their wiring before I can actually test the Jordan.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: electric brakes

BIMP!

Hey Bob, how's the testing going with the new Jordan controller? My new truck needs a controller, and I am still interested in your personal experiences with this unit.
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Old 11-12-2006, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: electric brakes

I love the Jordan but took it off my VW, it is going to be put on my Mountaineer. Unless the local UHaul shop can figure it out.

VWs have some odd electrical issues and they are compounded when using a trailer with LED lights. The VW Touareg message boards are full of issues discussing LED trailer lights, brake controllers and the idiot lights on the Touaregs. UHaul actually made a special part for VW/Audi/Porsches for connecting to a trailer with LEDs.

So to make a frustrating story short, the Jordan is a dream, it is the smoothest controller I've ever used and at this point I'm hoping that UHaul can use it with their LED interface, but if they can't then I'm going with a Uhaul controller on my VW and moving the Jordan to the Mountaineer because the cheap-o controller on the Mountaineer died earlier this fall.

I used the Jordan with the Touareg to bring home my Jeepster from central Indiana, over hills, on the interstate, through towns, light and heavy traffic. The Touareg is my best tow vehicle by far (beats the Chevy pick up too) despite having only a 6 cylinder engine. The combination Touareg and Jordan made for an effortless tow. But the Jordan kept the emergency flasher blinking the entire trip due to some VW electrical issue.
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