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 08-21-2006, 07:48 Post: 133540
beagle

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 Electric Brake Controler

We have a "Brake Force" controler on a 2004 Silverado 1500. The truck waas equiped with the Trailer Package, which meant it was pre-wired for the brake controler. Just plug in into the panel box under the dash.

When the controler was first installed, the green LED light (indicating power) would only come on when the brake was used, but the contoller worked fine. This summer, a power wire rubbed againt the trailer frame and shorted, blowing the electric brake fuse in the truck. Replaced the fuse, now the contrler green power light is on all the time, but the trailer brakes won't actuate from the brake pedal. If we use the manual overide slide switch, the brakes work.

We are puzzled. Anyone know why the trailer brakes won't engage when the brake pedal is pressed. They worked before the short and fuse replacement. Now they only work with the manual overide switch. We tried a different controler box. Same results.

Help if you can. Thanks






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 08-21-2006, 09:00 Post: 133545
Murf



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 Electric Brake Controler

You have a short to ground in the brake wiring to the trailer.

The green light indicates only that the 'live' (power) lead from the controller ends in a ground back to the vehicle, i.e. that the circuit is complete.

It has no way of knowing that the ground is properly functioning brakes or just a short.

The reason switching controllers didn't work is that the same defective wiring was connected to both controllers.

Manual over-ride works because the electricity in such case takes the short partially, and the brakes partially.

Best of luck.






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 08-21-2006, 09:44 Post: 133550
beagle

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 Electric Brake Controler

Thanks Murf. Suspected a short, but we had already fixed the short to the brake actuator. If I understand your post, you are saying there is a short in the trailer wiring. The green controller light is on whether the trailer is plugged in or not. According to the "Brake Force" literature, the light is supposed to be on all the time. The odd part is that the green light was never on when the controler was working, now i'ts on all the time, and doesn't work.

Electrical problems are a real joy. There are no simple ones.

Thanks again.






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 08-21-2006, 10:53 Post: 133551
Murf



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 Electric Brake Controler

Hang on a second, something doesn't sound right.

The green light should always be on *only* when a trailer is plugged in, and go out when not.

The light is a visual check that the trailer is plugged in and the wiring is forming a complete circuit. That way if you're cruising down the Interstate with a trailer out back and you look down and see NO green light, you know there's a problem *before* you get on the binders and get a big surprise.

If the light is on all the time, with or without a trailer, then the short is in the trucks wiring, if it is on anly when the trailer is plugged in, then the short to ground is in the trailer.

Which is it in your case?






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 08-21-2006, 11:12 Post: 133552
beagle

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On all the time, trailer or not. But the "Brake Force" literature seems to indicate that that is the way it should be. Gives you stuff like "only draws 6 milliamps and would take 6 months to drain your battery"

When it was working, I could get the green light to "flash" just before the brake power indicating lights would start. It wasn't on all the time, trailer or not. When you pushed the brake pedal, it would flash green before the brake power indicating lights would start kicking in. Fixed the short at the brake actuator, changed the fuse in the truck brake controller circuit, now it's on all the time, trailer or not, but doesn't actuate the brakes automatically.

There is also a short circuit indicator light (red LED) on the controller. It indicated the short at the actuator. Since fixing the short, no red light indication.

Yikes..........






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 08-21-2006, 12:30 Post: 133553
Murf



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 Electric Brake Controler

All is not lost, I found your controller on the Northern Tool website, and they had a short blurb that makes more sense.

"Smart LED light indicates power to control (green), electronic brake wiring short circuit (red) and level of power to trailer (changing gradually from green to orange)."

I'm used to the Reese equivalent that works a little differently.

So, having said that, it appears that the green light should indeed be on all the time, regardless of a trailer. That being the case, if the supply is not being interupted, I would have to say there is some form of fault in the controller itself.

Have you checked that the basic settings, especially the levelling adjustment is correct?






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 08-21-2006, 14:32 Post: 133554
beagle

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Checked the level adjustment (which is the troubleshooting guide answer) and even changed it out for another controller, same results.

I'm beginning to think that the harness may not be compatable with the controller. There was a harness that came with the truck, but of course, didn't use it. Used the harness that came with the controller. I'm thinking that the circuit that us supposed to actuate the breaks (timing circuit) when the break light circuit is hot isn't hooked up properly.

The crazy thing is that this all worked fine when the green light wasn't on, before the short and the replaced fuse. The pedal actuated the trailer brakes when all that was happening.

What the..............?






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 08-21-2006, 14:49 Post: 133555
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 Electric Brake Controler

Based upon the age of your truck, I would look for a corroded wire connection underneath. Could be the trailer also. Those push in and pinch types are convenient but don't always hold tight. Great places for corrosion giving you connection and then no connection or not for full amp draw. Test meters have a hard time picking those up.






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 08-21-2006, 15:09 Post: 133556
beagle

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Thanks, never thought of a 2004 as an older truck. All the trailer harness wiring is factory. Never had a splice piece in it.

I will have them check the trailer. It's only three months old, but you know how trailers are put together. We heavility reinforced the trailer the day we brought it in. Could be something in the wiring on the trailer, but not a short that the contrller can detect.

Thanks again.






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 08-21-2006, 16:08 Post: 133557
earthwrks

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 Electric Brake Controler

I used to buy those expensive controllers. Had so many problems with them that I bought a $50 one at Walmart and have had no problems. It got to the point where I kept a spare in the gove box.

Also, I bought a new equipment trailer three years ago. Used it about a year and it seemed the brakes just weren't doing their job. Turns out the brakes were not adjusted at all, and the biggie----only one brake magnet was connected.






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