ParkLiner & Ford Escape - Page 6 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-23-2015, 09:22 AM   #71
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Last night my thing was to make sure I had the cold wire of the brake pedal hooked to my red wire coming from the controller. I ran a ground from the engine compartment, and stuck the pointy end of my 12V tester into the connector from the brake pedal wire to the controller (red) wire. Nothing until I depressed the brake pedal, then the light came on. So, I know (again) that I have the correct wire from the brake wire harness.

Next?

Frank
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:30 AM   #72
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Norm, Radio Shack here has 10 ohm resistors, but none with more than a 1/2 watt rating. Would that work, or should I see if they have a 25 ohm with a higher watt rating? I have to hurry, as they're closing at the end of the month here.

Thanks. I need to figure something out!

Frank

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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
There are four Prodigy wires.

Black is +12 vdc
White is ground
Blue goes to the trailer brakes
Red goes to the tow vehicle brakes depressed switch.

The controller should see the trailers brakes with or without the brake (red wire) connected.

I connected a spare brake coil across the two pins of my tow vehicle, on my connector the two pins at the bottom of the connector. The 'c' came right up on the Prodigy display without doing anything.

Just about any resistor will work, 10-25 ohms. The wattage is not critical. It will just burn out after a while if it's too low.

If the c comes on it means the two connectors, ie. trailer and tow vehicle are not wired the same.

If the c does not come on try the test at the Prodigy's connector.

If you have some one watch the prodigy's display you can skip the resistor and just quickly short the two pins, You may not get the 'c' but you will get an overload signal showing the wires are there and work.

Be sure you know which two wires are the brake and ground on your trailer connector.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:20 AM   #73
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I would check the actual voltage on the brake line. Your voltage may be too low. Allot of cars have reduced wire sizes and added relays to carry the real power instead of large heavy wires running all through the harness these days.

Check the voltage on the same line you used in the truck and compare it to the voltage in your Escape. You may just be tapped into a low voltage signal wire and not a true power wire. Are your brake lights LED or incandescent on that Escape?

I was looking at your generic instructions on your P3 and it has a diagnostic screen telling voltage when hooked up. If you know you have voltage on the line and the unit in your truck works properly so you know the box is good then the issues must be in the brake signal wire in your escape. I assume you have a separate harness between the truck and your escape and you just plug in each harness to the prodigy when you swap. I would suspect a bad connector or broken wire in the plug at the prodigy on the escape side. Trace the wire from the brake switch unplugged from the prodigy and check for voltage with the brake pressed at the unplugged connector at the prodigy end. If you have voltage I suspect the pin is spread too loose or maybe pushed back inside the connector. There must be a reason that it isn't making connection.

If there is continuity between the brake and the prodigy when plugged in you should see voltage on your diagnostic screen on your prodigy.
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:29 AM   #74
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Let's go over this bit by bit.

I can try and measure voltage on the brake wire. I need to also study my Prodigy instructions, see if I can glean anything I may have missed.

I did not "use" any lines in the truck. There was a plug under the dash to hook the controller to, and I got the right harness from NAPA to do that. Out back, I just separated the wiring harness, inserted a "T" connector and had my 7 pin plug. Works seamlessly with the F150. I am continually at a loss why Ford did not make this 7 pin thing easier with a vehicle they promote with 3500# tow capacity. Gee.

I have two Prodigy harnesses. One that just plugs in under the dash of the F150 and stays there, and one that had wires to be attached for the Escape. The one for the Escape I have already swapped out once (along with the 7 pin plug out back) just to make sure it wasn't a plug. Nothing changes.

I'll try and do some voltage checking tonight.

In the meantime, I'm in the process of rebuilding two boat trailers and my hot rod. Money from selling the boat trailers goes towards the hot rod rebuild. I have my hands full, but I want to get this Escape 7 pin wiring thing dealt with soon. I have to be close!

Thanks,

Frank

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
I would check the actual voltage on the brake line. Your voltage may be too low. Allot of cars have reduced wire sizes and added relays to carry the real power instead of large heavy wires running all through the harness these days.

Check the voltage on the same line you used in the truck and compare it to the voltage in your Escape. You may just be tapped into a low voltage signal wire and not a true power wire. Are your brake lights LED or incandescent on that Escape?

I was looking at your generic instructions on your P3 and it has a diagnostic screen telling voltage when hooked up. If you know you have voltage on the line and the unit in your truck works properly so you know the box is good then the issues must be in the brake signal wire in your escape. I assume you have a separate harness between the truck and your escape and you just plug in each harness to the prodigy when you swap. I would suspect a bad connector or broken wire in the plug at the prodigy on the escape side. Trace the wire from the brake switch unplugged from the prodigy and check for voltage with the brake pressed at the unplugged connector at the prodigy end. If you have voltage I suspect the pin is spread too loose or maybe pushed back inside the connector. There must be a reason that it isn't making connection.

If there is continuity between the brake and the prodigy when plugged in you should see voltage on your diagnostic screen on your prodigy.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:15 PM   #75
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You're all gonna laugh at this one. Norm figured it out. The Escape is wired correctly, but the brake connection and ground connection on the 7 pins are reversed. I.e., I need to either swap the F150 and Parkliner plugs to match the Escape, or swap the two bottom connections on the Escape and be done with it.

A lot of testing of the Escape went on before we got to this place, but it was Norm that figured it out. My sincere appreciation to all who offered suggestions!

Frank
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:51 PM   #76
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The rest of the story

The Prodigy controllers check for the presence of the brake coils, basically the integrity of the wiring from the Prodigy controller all the way thru the brake coils by sending a small current continuously through the brake coils. The current is so small that it does not activate the brake's coil.

By reversing the brake and chassis ground wire, both ends of the brake coil are connected to chassis ground and no current can flow therefore the controller assumes correctly no effective connection.

Frank found that when he connected a resistor between the brake pin and chassis ground pin at the tow vehicle connector, the Prodigy controller worked. This indicated it had to be a wiring problem and probably in the tow vehicle connector since the trailer worked with his Ford Pickup.

A nice problem with a happy ending for Frank. And why is Radio SHack going out of business, we all need resistors.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:15 PM   #77
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Way to go Norm.

Glad it worked out for you Frank. I think I would have given up long ago and switched to a wireless controller.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:35 PM   #78
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Who installed that plug on the Escape? The dealer?
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:38 PM   #79
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Frank, I'm not an electrician by any means, but I'm still trying to sort out something about your wiring problem (now solved!). Did you do all of your initial diagnostics with the camper hitched to the tow vehicle? If so, then that means the camper and tow vehicle shared at least somewhat of a common grounding through their hitch contact. And I'm guessing that's the case or your clearance lights wouldn't even have worked without a functional ground wire connection. Is that right, and does that make sense? If so, and if the frame of the camper was already somewhat grounded to the tow vehicle through their common hitch contact, then when you stepped on the brake, you were sending electricity from the tow vehicle into the ground wire of the camper, which in turn is likely attached directly to the frame of the camper as part of the grounding of the camper's wiring system. If true, then this all means that you would essentially create a "dead short" every time you stepped on the brakes. And if that is right, then shouldn't that have blown a fuse somewhere each time you stepped on the brakes? Again, I really don't know if my thought process above even makes sense. I'm just curious to know what I'm missing in all this. You never know when I might need to know this stuff. Anyway, I'm glad you finally have it figured out and know what needs to be done to fix it... Dale
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:02 AM   #80
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Frank, you made the same mistake over and over every time you checked the wiring. Been there, donevthat. Welcome to the club!

Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
The Prodigy controllers check for the presence of the brake coils, basically the integrity of the wiring from the Prodigy controller all the way thru the brake coils by sending a small current continuously through the brake coils. The current is so small that it does not activate the brake's coil.
Mine pulses. If I sit quietly in my trailer I can hear it. Made me smile when I figured that's what it was.

Quote:
By reversing the brake and chassis ground wire, both ends of the brake coil are connected to chassis ground and no current can flow therefore the controller assumes correctly no effective connection.
You lost me here. Shorting the coil I would expect more current not less. I think there is more going on. The folks who designed these controllers did some clever stuff. My guess is they pulse to preserve the battery. During the pulse they sense the resulting current. If it falls outside of a window, too much or too little the controller indicates the fault, i..e. NC. This would give a more accurate representation of the condition of the brake circuit.

Another possibility is, as Dale suggests, crossing grounds would disrupt the light circuits and perhaps disabling the brake pedal signal when connected. In any case a good puzzle for sure. Raz
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:43 AM   #81
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the rest of the story continued.

I had some similar thoughts. I suspect swapping these two leads will fix the problem. There is no doubt that the controller works correctly when a faux set of brakes are created using a resistor,

Reversing the brake line and chassis ground must means that trailer and tow vehicle are not purely connected to chassis ground but rather connected to ground thru the brake coils. Based on Frank's comments the brake and turn signals worked, not brightly I would expect unless they are LEDs.

With the current wiring, the brake line would now be connected to the trailer's chassis ground. This might look like a short or not depending if the chassis of the trailer and tow vehicle are in contact and how good the contact is.

it may be of interest to know that you can short the brake line directly to chassis ground and not blow out the fuse. Before I had a resistor equivalent, I shorted them together and received some kind of overload signal on the controller. I suspect that the current sensing circuit used to test for the presence of the brakes also protects against short circuits.

All in all this kind of wiring mistake, no matter who did it, is easy to make. If this doesn't totally fix the problem I may have to visit Frank.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:54 AM   #82
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Good Luck Frank I hope you can get this figured out . We have the snoozy with a 4 pin no prodigy no brake wires etc etc just an easy surge brake application no muss no fuss . We were thinking of getting a bigger camper and the ford escape i might have to rethink my options the snoozy uses the KISS system .Jim
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:38 AM   #83
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The kiss system has disadvantages. There's no way to operate the trailer brakes independently.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:05 AM   #84
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When we bought the trailer, we set up the F150 to go get it. The F150 did not have a hitch or plug, but it was incredibly easy to do. Went to NJ, got the trailer, everything worked fine.

Got the ETBC7 kit from etrailer for the Escape. Wired everything correctly, but could not find trailer brakes. Turned out the ETBC7 was not wired pin-for-pin like the plug on the F150 that worked with the trailer. On the ETBC7, the ground (white) and trailer brakes (blue) were swapped. But, the wiring on the ETBC7 (Escape) matched pictures I found on the web of 7 pin connectors. So something is fishy, but I am not sure what. Nevertheless, I will swap the white and blue wires on the Escape tonight or in the a.m. tomorrow and see what happens.

This has been very frustrating to me, in part because 12V wiring is usually my forte. Follow the instructions, make good connections, make sure you have a good ground - I have never had trouble with 12V stuff. I've done oodles and oodles of it over the decades, including wiring my hot rod with no problems. So no, I do not take stuff like this to a shop, or have someone else do it. Having said that, I sure do appreciate Norm's help here, as I might still be scratching my head over this.

Frank
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