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Old 12-31-2008, 06:43 AM   #1
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Chevrolet integrated brake control

Anyone have a chevy with the integrated controller? Is it any good? Just bought a new chevy with out a controller and I am wondering if i can or should get the chevy controller installed.
Greg
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:37 AM   #2
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My comment come from experience with GM products and their electrical systems.

Generally GM uses the smallest wire diameter they can get away with for a given circuit. There for I would not trust them for anything as critical as trailer brakes.

Take a look at the 3rd page in my truck web site, noted in my signature, to see what a 34 fter did to the head light switch and then think about it.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:42 AM   #3
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I have an '08 GMC 2500 diesel with factory built-in brake controller. It works like a dream. It (and I think the FoMoCo factory unit is the same) directly reads master brake cylinder presssure, so rather than measuring deceleration and attempting to translate that into trailer brake application, it reads how hard the driver is trying to stop and goes from there.

But I don't know whether it's available after-market, because of the direct master cylinder pressure-reading transducer and is built into dashboard and reads out its level of output thorugh the Driver Information Center in the instrument cluster.

One other caveat: I have drum brakes ... rumor is that it does not mate well with Kodiak disc brakes.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:50 AM   #4
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Sort of off subject, but I added my Prodigy to my '07 GMC truck, which was wired for the unit, and like Howie says, the wires were minimum sized. However, I've not had any trouble with it.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:09 AM   #5
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The 2007 GM Intergrated brake control will not work the disc brakes on the new Classic Airstreams...GM sent out a bulletin on it and a diagram of how you have to disable the factory brake control and install a new after market controller such as the Prodigy or Hayes Genesis...there is some re-wiring that needs to be done so, if anyone needs the bulletin I can send it to them.

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Old 12-31-2008, 10:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
My comment come from experience with GM products and their electrical systems.

Generally GM uses the smallest wire diameter they can get away with for a given circuit. There for I would not trust them for anything as critical as trailer brakes.

Take a look at the 3rd page in my truck web site, noted in my signature, to see what a 34 fter did to the head light switch and then think about it.
I think most automakers do the same thing....my simple answer was to go full LED lighting on the exterior of the trailer...running lights, (tail lights were factory). Power draw is significantly reduced compared to incandescent bulbs and will not overload the circuits on the electrical light circuits on the tow vehicle. You could in essence put 3x the lights on the outside of the trailer using LEDs and not be up to the power draw of the standard fixtures on the outside using standard incandescent bulbs.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gparker View Post
Anyone have a chevy with the integrated controller? Is it any good? Just bought a new chevy with out a controller and I am wondering if i can or should get the chevy controller installed.
Greg
Greg,

I have that feature in a 2008 2500HD that I just bought. When I was shopping around for this vehicle, I saw several examples on lots, some with the brake controller, some without. I wanted the brake controller as I liked the fact that it tied directly with the TV's hydraulic system to sense brake pressure.

What I was told (and I'm not 100% sure it is so) is that this feature was a factory installation only and that GMC did not permit installation by its dealers.


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Old 12-31-2008, 01:35 PM   #8
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I think most automakers do the same thing....my simple answer was to go full LED lighting on the exterior of the trailer...running lights, (tail lights were factory).
Yes I have gone fully LEDs on the trailer exterior lights and relayed them off the trailer batteries. This was after I had melted 2 head light switches.

The Auto fog lights mounted in the wheel wells used as backup lights are also relayed off the trailer batteries.

As for the brakes I ran #10 wire back from the controller to the trailer plug on all my TVs to reduce voltage drop within the truck.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:54 PM   #9
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I also bought a 2007 Chevy 2500 diesel with the brake controller installed, I checked with the salesman to verify that it would work with disc brakes. After buying the truck I found out it didn't. The dealer had to disable the factory controller and install my Prodigy. It works fine.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:29 PM   #10
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I find it interesting that the current GM brake controller works off the brake system hydraulic pressure, which is how the first controllers that I had worked way back in the 70's. The pressure would push a piston out, which would make electrical contact on a variable, wire wound, resistor. The harder you pushed on the peddle, the farther the piston would come out, making the resistance the least. They actually worked pretty well, all considering.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:54 PM   #11
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I also bought a 2007 Chevy 2500 diesel with the brake controller installed, I checked with the salesman to verify that it would work with disc brakes. After buying the truck I found out it didn't. The dealer had to disable the factory controller and install my Prodigy. It works fine.
When I was buying my truck recently, I was quite amazed (I guess I shouldn't have been) by the amount of misinformation I was given by different salespeople (Not only GM) - outlandish figures for tow ratings, etc. etc.

I'm not sure if it was a case of intentional lies, more likely I suppose just not knowing and telling you what they think you want to hear and not really caring a whole lot whether it is good or bad info as you likely won't (or can't) do anything about it after the fact anyway!

You really have to do your own homework! On a few points I wanted to better understand, I even went to GM's website figuring I could get the right answers from the technical people at GM.

All they did was to refer me to my local dealer who they assured me could answer all my questions! The whole process sure didn't inspire a whole lot of confidence & I was getting so P'd off I came very close to forgetting about GM!

Having said that, I'm pretty happy with the new truck - just hope they stay in business for a while considering the extended warranty I bought!
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
My comment come from experience with GM products and their electrical systems.

Generally GM uses the smallest wire diameter they can get away with for a given circuit. There for I would not trust them for anything as critical as trailer brakes.

Take a look at the 3rd page in my truck web site, noted in my signature, to see what a 34 fter did to the head light switch and then think about it.
Your information is not current, although it may be correct for the 1997 truck noted in your signature. GM's current full size trucks (Silverado, Sierra, Suburban, Esacalade et. al.) do not directly control trailer lights with the headlight switch. There is a computer and relays in the various trailer lighting circuits. The headlight switch merely sends a low power signal to the computer. It has to be that way to support the automatic light control feature that is standard on these models.

And all GM trailer lighting wires and fuses are correctly sized to handle the currents drawn by normal trailer light and trailer brake setups. Now if you've added extra lamps, you might end up blowing fuses . . .

That said, you can always reduce the voltage drop to trailer lamps and trailer brakes by running larger wires if you wish.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:46 PM   #13
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can't do it

Well I was told by the dealer that they could not add the brake controller. I didn't have time to get into the why of it all, but I will start researching the other controllers and go from there. Guess I have some reading to do. Thanks for your info.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:49 PM   #14
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Greg,

If your new Chevy came with the towing package, it should already be wired for an electric controller. My '07 GMC was and installing the Prodigy was a snap.
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