Today we are going to cover a frequently asked question. It really turns up a lot. And actually it is easier than you think. Basically, if you have a pickup and you got a tow package with it and you got one of these wire harnesses that plug underneath the dash and plugs into your brake controller, you might have five or sometimes even more wires coming off of it. And you notice that your brake controller only uses four. We have got one over here, we will show you, that has just the four wires and what do you do with the extra wires? The short answer is do not worry about it, because the brake controller has all that it needs from these four wires.
To give you an idea of what is going on, most of the time these harnesses are labeled as to what color does what. So this one will say TO TRAILER ELECTRIC BRAKE. That means that this is going out to the trailer itself. So if you look on the your brake controller, it is going to be the blue wire here, so those match up together just like that. The next one is labeled GROUND, so you go to the wire harness on your brake controller and find the one that is labeled GROUND in this case it is going to be white, also. And then the next wire, here, we do not have a label because the label fell off, but this is the 12 volt power supply wire here. A lot of times the brake controllers come with a little handy card that tells you what does what on the OEM harnesses, also. The thicker wire is usually going to be your power supply. So that would go to black, the 12 volt power supply wire on the brake controller.
Then you have the two wires left, the green and the brown. The green is labeled STOP LAMP, so that will go to the stop lamp circuit on your brake controller, which in our case will be red. And then you have the extra wire here, which is labeled ILLUMINATION FEED. Basically, this comes on when you turn on your running lights. So if you have something you need to power on the inside of your vehicle, for running lights you could possibly use this. But for towing purposes, I do not really know really what you could use this for no brake controller ever uses this. So basically all you do is just fold it back out of the way, tape it up so it doesnt short out against anything, and do not worry about it.
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Alright, today on this 2009 Ford F-150 we are going to diagnose a brake controller problem. Now we can use these steps on any brake controller that is on the market to verify if it is working or not. Now our brake controller is already telling us that it has an error message. It is flashing an Er on top. Usually it means an internal problem. We tested our trailer so we know it is good. So, it is not that. So first off we will make sure we have a constant 12 volt power supply. We will check the black wire first. OK, we are good there. Now we will try our red wire for our brake signal. OK, that is good there. Now we will try our blue wire and that will be our output. So we should have output on this wire whenever we hit the foot brake or the manual override. OK, we get nothing on the foot brake and nothing on the manual override. So definitely the error is internal and this brake controller does have to be replaced.
All right what we are going to do on this install is the reverse light lead to our electrical connector. For instance on a 5-pole you can use this on a boat trailer that has a reverse lock out for hydraulic brakes on it. Also you can use on a 7-pole application the trailer may have reverse lights on the back of it. Some RVs have a reverse light hook up on the back of it. I will show you the basic generic steps of how it is installed. 00:22
Today we are going to talk about the two main kinds of brake controllers, the proportional and the time delay. The two we have here are the Journey HD and the Draw-Tite Activator II. These are what you call the time delay brake controllers. Basically what happens is that when you hit the brakes, they come on at a certain speed that you set on the brake controller. Like on this one here, we have a sync switch here that controls how fast it comes on and then this knob here controls how much power it takes to stop the trailer. Basically you hit your foot brake and it comes on at the rate you determine and at how much power you have set aside for it, and then it stays there until you completely let off the brake.
Today we are going to cover a few notes on testing an electronic brake controller. What we are going to cover here is going to apply to virtually all brake controllers. Basically, if you run into a problem where you think your brake controller is not working, well, it could be a the brake controller or it could be something in the truck itself, in the connector or c it actually could be problems in the trailer. What we are going to show you today is how to look for problems that will either rule out the brake controller or make sure that it is the brake controllers fault. Just like any electronic devices, they seem to have a limited lifespan some will work for years and some will not. But this way you can also verify that it is working good.
Today we are going to show how to remove the break shoes on a typical electric break axle, this one in particular is a twelve inch drum. We are using that one because it is large and easy to see. This applies to virtually all electric brakes from this size on up and down to the smaller sizes. We will go over how it comes apart and the tools you will need to do it with.