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Old 10-04-2017, 08:36 AM   #1
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1969 18' Caravel
Ashland , Virginia
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Electric Brake Controller Comparison

Our current car (1988 Jeep Wagoneer) is fitted with a factory towing package. The electric brake controller is set up as such: there is a hydraulic line leading to it from the brake master cylinder and there is a lighted lever/knob on its front to allow the manual application of the trailer brakes. From what I can discern, this set-up determines how much braking force is sent to the trailer by how much pressure is applied to the brake pedal. Unlike the Hayes-Lemmerz brake controller on our previous wagon -- which was strictly electric -- there is not a 'fine tune adjustment' wheel to adjust how much braking is applied, or not applied, to the trailer.

I retained the full electric set-up from our old car anticipating that our next vehicle may not be so equipped. Now that I find it is, I am still considering replacing the hydraulic/electric system with the fully electric one. So here is the question for this 'thread' and for those with more towing experience than me: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:49 AM   #2
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1995 25' Excella
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My truck had an old style Kelsey Hayes controller that was tapped into the hydraulic line. It had this sliding resistor thing bolted to the fender under the hood that you slide back and forth to adjust for a heavier or lighter trailer. The set up worked good once it was adjusted....A few years ago, I put on a Prodigy P3. I can fine tune it from the drivers seat on the fly, plus it has different settings and options where as the old controller really had none.... I wouldn't go back.
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:39 AM   #3
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Any chance to identify your current controller by brand and model?
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Old 10-04-2017, 01:08 PM   #4
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If the controller works, why replace it? People pay big $$$ for proportional controllers that tie into the hydraulics.

The prodigy’s a close second with the inertial sensing, but still no where near as good as a direct brake sense.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:13 AM   #5
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1996 25' Excella
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Usually brake control systems have both voltage control to limit the amount of braking applied at the trailer wheels and also a threshold setting to determine what time delay you want before the brakes kick in.
On my Jordan I usually run 8-10 volts full braking power, but it does not have a time delay...it jumps in at 2 volts after a small amount of truck brakes are applied. Jordan controllers get a bit touchy after a few years...need contacts cleaned

Doesn't sound like the Jeep system has any Time Delay, but like my Jordan it applies increasing voltage according to brake pedal pressure. The dial restricts the maximum voltage so you don't get lock up at low pressure brake force.
Years Ago CanAm supplied the Jordan....thinking is that you want more trailer braking the harder you push the pedal. It works on the brake pedal stroke which pulls a magnet through a sensor coil in the controller
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