Today we are going to show you part number 90185 from Tekonsha. This is their Prodigy controller right here. This is actually Tekonshas most popular brake controller, the Prodigy. And this is what you get in the box. Obviously you get the brake controller itself. Then you get the pocket that holds the brake controller especially if you have to transport it between 2 different vehicles. You also get the permanent mounting bracket which is actually nice and takes up less room. You also get the hardware to install the brake controller to the dash and to the bracket. A few butt connectors are in there to use for any wire connections. Speaking of wiring, it comes with a universal wiring harness that will plug into the back of the brake controller then you run your lines to the various circuits in the vehicle. Also to help you out it comes with a little informational DVD.
What we will show you next is the actual pocket that you can install on the vehicle, it actually mounts up like this. The brake control simply just slides inside. Spread the little clips out a little bit and it goes into the screw holes and that pretty much holds everything in place. On the backside here is where the harness plugs into. It is pretty simple. Slip it underneath the holder and you just push it together and it snaps in place. So in other words, if your are going to go ahead and share this brake controller between two different vehicles, you just simply take it our of the pocket, pull it out of the pocket, and take the harness back off of this little clip that is kind of hard to see. Pull that clip back and it pops off. And then this stays in your truck and the brake controller stays out of the way when you are not using it. Next we will show you the unit in operation.
That means, obviously, it is not hooked up to a trailer. And what this does is actually send out a trace current all the time looking for a connection. It does not take much current, it is real slight and it will never drain down the battery. Once you do have a trailer hooked up, it will show a C for connection. That tells you you have a solid connection between your trailer brakes and everything should be working fine. And with talking about the power settings and the gain, that is controlled by this knob right here. And what you can do is put it over to the middle here and you can spool it towards the front of the vehicle, that will be basically full on, and then rotate it back towards the rear of your vehicle, towards the driver seat. And then, you can spool it down all the way to basically nothing. Basically, you want to set to probably somewhere in the middle, like around six. And then you take your trailer, hook it up, go on a back road somewhere or a big packing lot and take a few test runs. If you need more power you can spin the wheel up. Basically you want to spin it up before a brake or right before the wheels actually lock up. And then, if it locks up at the original setting, then you just spool it back down just a little bit. And then again you want to get it right before lock up. And then you leave your setting alone and basically the brake controller takes care of the rest.
And when installing the brake controller, you have about 70 degrees of movement. So it can be from about roughly about here to about here of angle you have to install on the brake controller. And if you do go past these angles you will see two bars flashing at the bottom there, that tells you that it is pointing down too far. The same thing will apply if you put it up too far, we will say about 90 degrees. It will take a few seconds to show the bars on top too. And then to show you how this works, basically the brake controller works by inertia. There is a little pendulum of movement inside here that actually, when you hit your brakes, it actually slides to the front of the vehicle. The more that pendulum moves towards the front, the more power this brake controller puts out. And then, say you hit your brakes pretty hard it is going to apply the brakes pretty hard.
If you let off the brakes gradually, this will follow in turn. When you hit your brakes, if you have one of the boost settings set on it, it will come on. Again it will say like B2, it will come on 25 percent, almost instantly. And then, it will hold that power for a second and then it will revert back to inertia so you have smooth braking until you come to a complete stop. The boost setting is really nice if you want the brake controller to activate the brake, or the truck actually does a lot of its own braking power. It is kind of hard to show the inertia activated on this brake controller but we will try. Basically, we will just move it a little bit, make the pendulum work and you can see how it puts out numbers and goes back to zero once it is stopped. So you are connected and then you hit your brakes and it is saying zero right now because it does not sense anything. And then, when you back up, it will fill up a little bit with numbers and then go back to zero. And there you have it for part number 90185, the Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller.
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 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.
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.