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Tractor Transporting Discussion Forum

Electric Brakes problem

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bama ray

09-01-2011 05:31:27

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I have two trailers a 16 foot delta stock/horse trailer with brakes on both axles and a 18 lone wolf utility with brakes on one axle. When I pull with my 2010 f 150 with built in brake controler everthing works fine with both trailers all the time. When I pull with my 2003 f250 with a draw-tite controler the brakes on the stock trailer work fine all the time but the utility trailer brakes work some times and other time they do not. Any ideal what problem could be?

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09-08-2011 05:56:17

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 Re: Electric Brakes problem in reply to bama ray, 09-01-2011 05:31:27  
check grounds... 95% of e-brake proiblems i see are bad grounds.

most of my trucks I added a spade terminal connection to truck / traielr so i can double upt he grounding. this can be seen as brakes that pulse when turn signals or flashers are on.. etc.. etc..

double check with a set of jumper cables.. truck frame ground to trailer frame ground...


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charles todd

09-02-2011 18:53:05

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 Re: Electric Brakes problem in reply to ricky c, 09-01-2011 05:31:27  
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This is silly. Anytime one runs wires to the battery instead of the wiring harness provided to carry the load implies that there is a deficiency in the wiring of the tow vehicle.

If this it the case FIX THE PROBLEM. I have vehicles that are 32 years old and do not require by-passing the OEM wiring for functions that the OEM harness was designed for.

Sorry for the rant. But it bothers me when people wire their radios, CB's, horns, trailers, accessories, ect direct to the battery. It points out either lack of knowledge of wiring, problems, or laziness.

If the wiring is provided, use it. If it does not work, fix it. If it does not exist, make it.


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charles todd

09-01-2011 08:40:30

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 Re: Electric Brakes problem in reply to john_Bud, 09-01-2011 05:31:27  
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You hit the nail on the head. If the ground is not complete from the trailer plug to frame and frame to each brake, they will not work. A dead giveaway is at night you can see your lights "blink". That means the hitch is your ground. If you have brakes, the ground needs to be at least a 14 ga wire. Preferably 12 ga.


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09-01-2011 18:12:20

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 Re: Electric Brakes problem in reply to charles todd, 09-01-2011 08:40:30  
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09-01-2011 07:22:57

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 Re: Electric Brakes problem in reply to bama ray, 09-01-2011 05:31:27  
Both the 7-pin Pollack RV connector, and the 6-pin connector commonly found on older stock trailers have their own ground wires.

I suspect that grounding wire might be an issue on the utility trailer. It works on the F150 because you're using a different shank and ball that isn't as rusty, and it can get a good ground through the hitch. It works intermittently on the F250 because the shank needs to rattle into just the right position in the truck's receiver to make contact around the rust.

The most likely place for the ground to be a problem is where the white wire attaches to the frame of the trailer.

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09-02-2011 18:17:43

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 Re: Electric Brakes problem in reply to mkirsch, 09-01-2011 07:22:57  
you will have a lot less trouble if you run thet White wire to the NEG post on the battery.

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09-01-2011 06:52:21

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 Re: Electric Brakes problem in reply to John in La, 09-01-2011 05:31:27  
Are you sure you are getting a good ground on that one? I don't ground through the hitch. I run a ground wire.

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