brake controller - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-20-2012, 11:06 AM   #15
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I have a 2004 jeep grand cherokee with a factory tow package and 7 pin connector is it possible i do not need an add on controller?
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:04 PM   #16
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Possible, but not likely. If there is not a controller either built in to the instrument panel or hanging underneath you need to buy one. Since it is pre-wired, you may be able to buy a plug in that greatly simplifies the installation. I'd look at etrailer and see what is available for your vehicle.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinco View Post
I have a 2004 jeep grand cherokee with a factory tow package and 7 pin connector is it possible i do not need an add on controller?
If there's no controller in the cockpit area, either a previous owner took it with him or there never was one installed. It's a separate unit, usually mounted on the dash.

The "factory tow package" setup doesn't always denote anything more than a live connection for turn/tail/stop lights. The presence of a seven-pin connector is very common even when brake/ charge/backup light connections are inactive.
A few minutes with an electrical tester can probably tell you which of those 7 pins are "live", and which if any are "dormant".

Francesca
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinco View Post
I have a 2004 jeep grand cherokee with a factory tow package and 7 pin connector is it possible i do not need an add on controller?
For my 2005 Dakota all I had to do was install a brake controller and plug in a cable from the controller to a connector under the dash. Since both are Chrysler products, you can probably do the same thing.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:19 AM   #19
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Thank you! mine just has a blue wire hanging down that says trailer brakes. I should just pay the $200 but i think i can do it, if i can figure out the cold side of the brake switch, run the wires to the battery and put in a circut breaker. Any body done this themselves?
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:59 AM   #20
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.......... Any body done this themselves?

Yes. Not rocket surgery, but it takes a little electrical competence. As I mentioned, you may be able to buy a plug in if most of the wiring is already there.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:31 PM   #21
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Sorry if I'm hi-jacking here. I hear a lot of people talking about the newer Tekonsa or Prodigy and wanted to know what you think of a Kelsey Hayes brake controller? I have an older model with the hydraulic tie into the tow vehicle. I have gotten a few sideways looks when I explain it to people, and I don't know if it's because people haven't heard of it or because of the way it hooks up to the TUG.

Two things:
1) They aren't sold any more so no newbies are going to be able to go out and get one.
2) I have used this model in the past with work trucks for many miles of safe stopping.

My experience with it is that it is a simple mechanical design with no fancy gizmos to help out towing or break down. Just curious if anyone else had used one or had any incites to add beyond the obvious "you cut into your brake lines???!!!"

Jason
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:34 PM   #22
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Aren't those for use with hydraulic and/or air brakes- or is there a Kelsey-Hayes for electric brakes, too?

Francesca
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:42 PM   #23
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Prodigy P2 is on sale(black friday sale) at CamperWorld this weekend.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:04 PM   #24
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............
1) They aren't sold any more so no newbies are going to be able to go out and get one.............Jason
I think these were an early attempt to get braking proportionality. The newer models are able to do that with a microchip and an accelerometer. I'm sure these were great and I think the new OEM installed brake controllers operate on a similar principle (monitoring line pressure).
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:24 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverGhost View Post
... wanted to know what you think of a Kelsey Hayes brake controller? I have an older model with the hydraulic tie into the tow vehicle...

My experience with it is that it is a simple mechanical design with no fancy gizmos to help out towing or break down. Just curious if anyone else had used one or had any incites to add beyond the obvious "you cut into your brake lines???!!!"
I have no personal experience with these. but I'm familiar with the design. Insights? See below...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Aren't those for use with hydraulic and/or air brakes- or is there a Kelsey-Hayes for electric brakes, too?
While there are many Kelsey-Hayes products and that probably includes systems to run hydraulic or air brakes on the trailer, there are electric brake controllers which work as described by Jason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
I think these were an early attempt to get braking proportionality. The newer models are able to do that with a microchip and an accelerometer. I'm sure these were great and I think the new OEM installed brake controllers operate on a similar principle (monitoring line pressure).
I agree that this is a generation of technology which appeared before accelerometer-based systems, but it is not obsolete. Accelerometer-based systems work in proportion to the rate of deceleration. while the type Jason describes works in proportion to the pressure in the tug's braking system; both are proportional, but they are proportional to fundamentally different inputs.

There are at least two other proportional controller designs which respond in proportion to the driver's use of the tug's brake pedal:
  • Jordan Ultima - connected by a mechanical cable to the pedal arm (I don't know if this is still in production)
  • SensaBrake - uses a presssure-sensitive pad on the pedal under the driver's foot (this system is intended to run hydraulic trailer brakes with air power; I only mention it because of the pedal-force input method)

Yes, I have read that the current pickup OEM controllers use brake system line pressure as their primary input.

The problem with the traditional pressure-input controller is that the volume of brake fluid which moves in and out of the controller in operation can interfere with brake system operation. Modern vehicle manuals typically warn that this is not acceptable, and the OEM systems are obviously designed and tested specifically to work in the vehicles in which they are offered.

A characteristic that one should be aware of is that if you lock up the tug's brakes and keep pushing harder, the hydraulic system will apply proportionately more power to the trailer brakes and likely lock them up, while an acceleration-input system will not brake any harder because of that pedal pressure so trailer brake lockup is less likely. An OEM system is aware of the ABS system state, so it can avoid this problem.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:57 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
While there are many Kelsey-Hayes products and that probably includes systems to run hydraulic or air brakes on the trailer, there are electric brake controllers which work as described by Jason.

Jason describes his controller as:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverGhost View Post
I have an older model with the hydraulic tie into the tow vehicle.
Jason
Which is what led to my question.... is it your opinion that the hydraulically-connected Kelsey-Hayes that he's asking about will work for electric brakes?

Francesca
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:42 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverGhost View Post
Sorry if I'm hi-jacking here. I hear a lot of people talking about the newer Tekonsa or Prodigy and wanted to know what you think of a Kelsey Hayes brake controller? I have an older model with the hydraulic tie into the tow vehicle. I have gotten a few sideways looks when I explain it to people, and I don't know if it's because people haven't heard of it or because of the way it hooks up to the TUG.

Two things:
1) They aren't sold any more so no newbies are going to be able to go out and get one.
2) I have used this model in the past with work trucks for many miles of safe stopping.

My experience with it is that it is a simple mechanical design with no fancy gizmos to help out towing or break down. Just curious if anyone else had used one or had any incites to add beyond the obvious "you cut into your brake lines???!!!"

Jason
Cutting into the brake lines is one of the problems. Another leak point in your brake hydraulic system. You can't move the controller easily from one tow to another. (I have two vehicles I can tow with. Each has a bracket and connector for the P2). The P2 will activate the trailer brakes sooner, you don't have to wait for pressure to build, as soon as the brake lights come on the trailer starts braking.

It was an early brake controller, but not as good or as safe as a newer unit.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:52 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post

Jason describes his controller as...

Which is what led to my question.... is it your opinion that the hydraulically-connected Kelsey-Hayes that he's asking about will work for electric brakes?

Francesca
Okay, one more time more clearly:
Jason describes a controller which is connected to the tug's hydraulic brake system for input, and I assume that he meant to imply that it produces an output to electric trailer brakes.
So, yes to Francesca's question. Sorry for the confusion!

If that's clear, I'll muddy the situation again: it appears that at some point in history, some trailers had hydraulic brakes that were actually connected directly to the tug's hydraulic brake system. Dexter documents show this system, with a 1960's or 1970's looking truck as the tug. The idea of this scares me, it would certainly not be acceptable to any current tow vehicle manufacturer, and I am assuming (always risky, but seems reasonable in this case) that Jason isn't talking about this setup at all... it wouldn't have a "controller".

The old mechanical design of (Kelsey-Hayses or otherwise) hydraulic-to-electric controller is just a hydraulic cylinder pushing against a spring to move the same lever as used for manual control, which turns a rheostat or potentiometer (essentially, a volume control). No electronics at all, which is the simplicity that Jason finds desirable. To move that control is a significant amount of motion, so some brake fluid volume is involved. In contrast, the pressure sensor of a modern electronic system wouldn't affect the hydraulics of the brake system to nearly the same extent, if at all.
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