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Old 02-08-2005, 09:34 AM   #1
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Brakesmart

Who has found the best price on a Brakesmart controller and wiring kit? The best that I have found is $350 and free shipping.
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Old 02-08-2005, 08:24 PM   #2
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Sounds about right. That's what I paid. If it makes you feel any better, one of the premium hitch companies sells essentially the same controller, for almost double that price.
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Old 04-27-2006, 09:13 PM   #3
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Need help from Brakesmart owners with elec/disk brakes

Pulled my AS out of storage today and tried my Brakesmart for the first time since I installed it during the winter. I don't seem to have trailer brakes with either the brakepedal or the brake controller manual button. I also don't hear the activator pump run when brakes are applied. I have power at the truck 7 plug for the battery feed and the brakecontroller shows the pressure with pedal depressed.
I saw a message 1 time out 3 when I plugged in the trailer that said "Elecdisk detected (or something like that)". I also had a message when I unplugged it 1 out 3 times that said "Trailer unplugged". What messages should I be getting when I plug in the trailer? The AS owners manual (2006 Classic) and Brakesmart instructions say power from the vehicle to the Actibrake feeds off the black wire and not the blue wire normally for brakecontrollers. I'm confused and don't know where to begin looking. When I put on the GM standard harness for the brakecontroller a couple months ago,I vaguely remember reading that I might need to put a fuse in to make the battery feed work yet I have power at the plug.
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Old 04-27-2006, 09:25 PM   #4
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Those messages are not familiar except the one when you unplug the trailer from the truck.

I suggest you call the customer service people at Brakesmart... it's been nearly two years, but when I was purchasing it and installing it, the guy behind the product was incredibly nice and very helpful.


Tom
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Old 04-28-2006, 05:49 AM   #5
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Rich, the BrakeSmart unit has been purchased by a new company called Dr. Performance. http://www.drperformance.com/products.html

You might give them a call and see if they can help. And yes, there is an extra fuse that needs to be installed under the hood of most GM trucks in the fuse box area on the drivers side.
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:07 AM   #6
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GM brake control harnesses

There are actually two different brake controller harnesses for GM trucks. The service people frequently do not know which one is to be used on which truck and the various types of controllers and it varies also whether you have one battery or two in the truck. The local Chevy dealer screwed up the installation and I had to find another one on the road when I discovered I had a problems and even he was only able to figure it out after I told him to read the special Engineering change Notice from GM. If you have only one battery, an extra special fuse must be installed.
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hookedonclassic
Pulled my AS out of storage today and tried my Brakesmart for the first time since I installed it during the winter. I don't seem to have trailer brakes with either the brakepedal or the brake controller manual button. I also don't hear the activator pump run when brakes are applied. I have power at the truck 7 plug for the battery feed and the brakecontroller shows the pressure with pedal depressed.
I saw a message 1 time out 3 when I plugged in the trailer that said "Elecdisk detected (or something like that)". I also had a message when I unplugged it 1 out 3 times that said "Trailer unplugged". What messages should I be getting when I plug in the trailer? The AS owners manual (2006 Classic) and Brakesmart instructions say power from the vehicle to the Actibrake feeds off the black wire and not the blue wire normally for brakecontrollers. I'm confused and don't know where to begin looking. When I put on the GM standard harness for the brakecontroller a couple months ago,I vaguely remember reading that I might need to put a fuse in to make the battery feed work yet I have power at the plug.
As a follow-up to the problem I was having above, the problem was not with the Brakesmart Controller but with the trailer brakes. It turned out that the hydr brake line between one of the wheels had rubbed against a tire and made a hole in it. The Actibrake system has a computer chip that made the brake system shut down rather than loose the brake fluid. This also caused the breakaway switch to not work as the breakaway system powers the Actibrake pump as well. Once the brakeline was fixed, both batteries needed to be disconnected and the power cord to the TV disconnected as well. This resets the Actibrake computer chip. If your AS has Hydr brakes, check to see if the lines between the wheels are tied up to prevent them from rubbing the tires. Everything was covered under warranty by AS. Dr. Performance, who sells the Brakesmart now, was very helpful including providing me the name and number of the fellow that invented the Brakesmart controller. He was able to answer any question I could pose.
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Old 06-26-2006, 01:12 PM   #8
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Brakesmart - my testimonial

After doing tons of research on various brake controllers, I decided to go with the Brakesmart, even though it seems a bit more expensive than most.

It was worth it!
The first vehicle I installed it in was my old 1988 Suburban Diesel. It went in without any problems. It also worked amazingly.
BEFORE I had the Brakesmart, I had the occasional problem of the trailer brakes locking up when slowing down at an intersection, and I couldn't seem to get it adjusted properly.

However, with the Brakesmart, right out of the box, braking was so smooth at gradual stops, and when I tested the brakes at higher speeds, the brakes were also very responsive.

The next vehicle I installed the Brakesmart in is my new 2006 Dodge Diesel, Megacab. (nice truck!)
Again, the Brakesmart went in with no problems. The dealership installed it free of charge. Although, the dealership claimed they could not find the t-connector for the senser, I walked into NAPA and had the part within a day, gave it to the dealership, and they finished the job.

With the Dodge, again the Brakesmart performed outstandingly. No problems, and the smoothest braking I have ever experienced. Both low speed braking came to a smooth stop, and jamming the brakes on at higher speeds activated the trailer brakes with the same firm braking power.

I also like the monitoring, that it tells you if you forgot to hook up your trailer brakes, when they are connected, braking pressure, etc.

I've never had any problems of any sort with this controller, and would thus highly recommend it. Thus far, I've travelled approximately 30,000 kilometers with this controller. About 10,000 being with my old truck, and about 20,000 with the new truck. Terrain has been varied, highways, steep mountain passes etc.
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Old 06-26-2006, 01:44 PM   #9
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Sensing brake pressure & the Jordan

I wish I'd done my "tons of research" (or joined this forum ) before buying my brake controller. I have the problem of brakes grabbing when "rolling" to a stop at traffic lights. Basicly I have to remember to adjust gain depending on highway or city driving speeds. Fortunately the digital readout takes the guess work out of this.

If I read the advertising copy correctly the BrakeSmart actually ties into the hydraulic system to read pressure? I thought only the factory installed systems did this. Anyway, without knowing how hard the TV brakes are applied there's no way I can see that a brake controller will work optimally in all conditions. The inertia controllers compensate to some extent but still have problems in some situations.

Another brake controller I found out about is the Jordan. From what I can tell it mechanically senses the movement of the brake pedal and adjusts the braking to the trailer accordingly. As far as I can tell this must have been the method used in the old purely elector mechanical controller in my parents '72 Pontiac station wagon. It had a knob that moved side to side when you stepped on the brake and turning the know adjusted the restance in line to the electric brakes. This old sytem worked extremely well; better than the computer controlled wonder we have now.

-Bernie
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:46 PM   #10
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Brakesmart - follow-up

I'm a computer geek, so I guess I'm for the computer controlled wonders of today! ....

A point with tieing into the hydraulic system, at first, the Dodge dealership had a coronary when I explained to them how this works.
However, after they realized that it is a sensor only, and that no brake fluid volume is displaced at all, they agreed to investigate it.
After their investigations, they agreed to install it without any issues.

I think that is the biggest key to it's smooth operation.
The brake controller uses a lot more inputs to calculate how much braking power it should be sending to the trailer.
It uses the wire attached to the brake whatchama-call-it to know when you are in fact stepping on the brake pedal, and combines this with the PSI input to know how hard to put the brakes on.

So far I've never needed to adjust it at all, even though it comes with the option. It seems to be pretty close to giving optimal braking under all conditions, in my opinion.

Thanks again,
Toby J. H.
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:20 PM   #11
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Brake controller fuse location

Hey Rich -- I have an '06 GMC Duramax so this may be completely different. My engine is an LBZ, which may be two generations beyond your '04. Not sure if that distinction follows thru to the fuse box.

My brake controller pigtail came with a 40A fuse that is circled in the photo below. One pic is the outside of the fuse case -- this is located just above the driver's side wheel enclosure, right behind that battery. I had my 2500 HD to the dealer for other service and asked the simple question about fuse location -- the answer was quick and free. Then I easily installed my pigtail and wired the brake controller. I really don't know how a non-GM mechanic would know this for sure.
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Old 07-09-2006, 04:24 PM   #12
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Brakesmart

Hi Bob. Didn't notice your posting until today. Been out for the last 5 days with our AS. I looked at my TV and I've got the same fuse as you circled. I read that a fuse comes with the harness so I'm assuming the dealer installed with my first brake controller. I put the Brakesmart on later and it's been a nice upgrade. Going to CO in 10 days. Rich
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