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Old 07-04-2017, 08:35 PM   #1
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1961 26' Overlander
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HELP F150 brake controller works on manual but not with the pedal

We wired up a new round 7-pin plug to our 1961 Overlander and everything works except the brakes. Brand new Dexter axles. The trailer is on jack stands and when I spin a wheel the manual slide on the F-150 factory brake controller stops the wheels. When I use the pedal it does not. Even if I put the gain all the way to max 10 the pedal will not stop the wheels but as soon as I slide the manual controller they stop. Thanks in advance for any help with this.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:12 PM   #2
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Hi

Which year is your F-150 and what towing options do you have? Depending on options, you may have a few steps involved in setting the trailer up.

Bob
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:15 PM   #3
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Some brake controllers will apply no current to the brakes while the tv is at 0 mph. Try it while underway.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:17 AM   #4
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Are the shoes correctly adjusted? New may not mean adjusted. If I'm close I'll be as surprised as you.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:34 AM   #5
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This from the 2016 F150 owner manual.

"Points to Remember

Note: Do not attempt removal of the trailer brake controller without consulting the Workshop Manual. Damage to the unit may result.
Adjust gain setting before using the trailer brake controller for the first time.
Adjust gain setting, using the procedure above, whenever road, weather and trailer or vehicle loading conditions change from when the gain was initially set.
Only use the manual control lever for proper adjustment of the gain during trailer setup. Misuse, such as application during trailer sway, could cause instability of trailer or tow vehicle.
Avoid towing in adverse weather conditions. The trailer brake controller does not provide anti-lock control of the trailer wheels. Trailer wheels can lock up on slippery surfaces, resulting in reduced stability of trailer and tow vehicle.
The trailer brake controller is equipped with a feature that reduces output at vehicle speeds below 11 mph (18 km/h) so trailer and vehicle braking is not jerky or harsh. This feature is only available when applying the brakes using your vehicle's brake pedal, not the controller.
The controller interacts with the brake control system and powertrain control system of your vehicle to provide the best performance on different road conditions.
Your vehicle's brake system and the trailer brake system work independently of each other. Changing the gain setting on the controller does not affect the operation of your vehicle's brakes whether you attach a trailer or not.
When you switch the engine off, the controller output is disabled and the display and module shut down. The controller module and display turn on when you switch the ignition on.
The trailer brake controller is only a factory-installed or dealer-installed item. Ford is not responsible for warranty or performance of the controller due to misuse or customer installation."

...and I'd bet the output is zero amps at 0 mph. That's the way GM does it.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:34 AM   #6
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Is that the factory OEM brake controller?
I understand they had problems.
Many folks just add a outboard controller, like the Tekonsa.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:40 AM   #7
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Is that the factory OEM brake controller?
I understand they had problems.
Many folks just add a outboard controller, like the Tekonsa.
If this is a "static" test (as it sounds like, the truck is parked and the OP is testing the brakes on the trailer by hand) then the OEM brake controller is working as designed. The truck is stationary therefore applying the service brake doesn't energize the trailer brakes. See dznfog's post of an excerpt of the manual above.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:31 PM   #8
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For some reason I have to have my F150 headlights turned on for the F150 brake controller to work on the AS.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:43 PM   #9
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For some reason I have to have my F150 headlights turned on for the F150 brake controller to work on the AS.
Is this the factory integrated trailer brake controller? Or an aftermarket one?

If factory, what year?
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:18 PM   #10
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As per some of the previous posts it is probably working as designed. Test it by applying breaks while under way and the gain set to ten and you should see the trailer tires brake and skid on the gravel.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:40 PM   #11
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I think the brake controller on your truck is a proportional brake controller. As the truck is moving the controller senses the movement through a pendulum. The faster you are going the farther the pendulum swings back. When you apply the brakes the pendulum will swing forward. The harder you apply the brakes the farther it will swing forward. The farther the pendulum swings forward the harder the trailer brakes are applied. Applying the vehicle brakes at a standstill will not cause any braking on the trailer but the manual will work. Take it out for a trial run, should work then.
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Old 07-07-2017, 07:16 AM   #12
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This is a 2017 F150 with the max tow package factory integrated brake controller. I also had trouble with the 7 pin connector seating properly and staying connected. I figured it out because my AS backup camera only works when my head lights are on so it was easy to check when I received the "no trailer connected" message. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:27 PM   #13
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Thank you for all the replies. I was hoping to test it all while still on the stands but I'll get out and drive it. It is the factory ford installed controller and based on the responses I gotta get it rolling on the road. Thanks
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:36 PM   #14
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Thank you for all the replies. I was hoping to test it all while still on the stands but I'll get out and drive it. It is the factory ford installed controller and based on the responses I gotta get it rolling on the road. Thanks
I don't know how many years back this setting goes, but I think all the 2015+ F150s have it. It's only visible while the trailer is connected. There's a setting for how aggressively the truck leads with the signal to the trailer brakes and it's not named well. It's named "Brake Effort" if memory serves, which makes me think of how much effort is required but really is how much effort the truck is going to exert on the trailer brakes. I have mine set at "High" or "Medium" (I honestly can't remember which, I tinkered with it when first towing my trailer, found which one I liked best and haven't looked back... it's definitely not "Low" which is the default.) It works very much like the "Boost" feature of a Prodigy P3 controller.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:43 PM   #15
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Hi

With the full tow package, as soon as you plug in the trailer and start things up, it will get into a bunch of yack on the screen about setting up the trailer. If you go through it, it will enable a bunch of things associated with the trailer. Each time you re-plug in the trailer and start things up it should tell you that the trailer is connected on the same main screen. Just as before, if it does not do that ... things aren't hooked up.

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