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Old 09-24-2012, 07:25 PM   #1
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Acti-brake pump noise

We have a 2008 classic that has disc brakes, and an Acti-brake accuator pump located in the small a-frame compartment.

Recently, when we connected the trailer power to the Excursion we immediately heard a steady thumping noise. We quickly determined that it was coming from this pump. (By the way this passed the recall inspection a couple of years ago and the fluid, etc. are still fine.)

We pumped the car brakes, then "flipped" the brake controller in the car and the thumping stopped. We went on our trip. No more problems until we backed into our RV garage, parked and turned off the car. Thumping started again and again a flip of the contoller stopped it.

Nothing else seems to be a problem. Has anyone experienced this? Any ideas would be very welcome.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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Strictly a guess... since a "toying" with the controller stops the unwanted current supply (apparently), I would first suspect the controller may have a bad "switch" where there is an intermittent apply signal rapidly pulsing the pump motor on and off.

I suppose a board issue in the Actibrake could cause the same thing, but I suspect that toying with the controller wouldn't consistently stop the unwanted activation.
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:57 AM   #3
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Does your Excursion have the Ford factory installed controller? I have a similar situation with my F150 & Ford brake controller. What do you mean by "flipping" the controller?
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:05 AM   #4
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The ex never came with a factory controller. Make sure whatever controller you have is set for electric over hydraulic type brakes.
Many controllers when set to electric will have a sensing circuit to detect the presence of brakes ie actually being plugged in. Most owners manuals outline the very simple procedure.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:23 AM   #5
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The "thump" is caused by the Actibrake receiving a small amount of current which causes it to very briefly activate. We experienced this as well with a Nissan Armada and Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller, once every few minutes. As AtomicNo13 pointed out, a "test pulse" sent by the brake controller will cause this.

If you can correct this by changing settings on the brake controller, great.

Personally I wouldn't trust an Actibrake again. I had three of them, and all failed without warning (this was before the recall finally identified the major source of problems). We switched to a Dexter and it has been trouble-free for two years so far. The Dexter also doesn't have the "thump" issue, at least with our brake controller.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:25 AM   #6
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Indeed Actibrake=bad!

I have a Carlisle 1600....

Many 10s of thousands of trouble free silky smooth braking.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:25 AM   #7
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The AS dealer instructed me to use the electric setting. I did try electric over hydraulic, but the intermittent noise continued. What does flipping the controller mean?
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:56 PM   #8
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I have done some research on the Ford controllers. The earlier (2008-2010) factory installed ones had a lot of incompatibility issues with various actuators. Although my 2013 F150 was equipped with tow package, I had to add the controller and went with a Ford unit to ensure it would interact with the truck electronics. Since it is a parts purchase, it very well may be an older controller which is incompatible with the AS actuator. There are several adapters available to solver the problem, which are less expensive than a new contoller and way less than an actuator. When the AS is out of storage in the Spring, I will see what actuator is in it, and try the adapter.
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