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Old 05-06-2012, 09:50 PM   #1
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Dexter EH-1600 Brake Actuator

My 2008 Classic 31 has the Dexter actuator after the Actibrake unit failed. We recently replaced our tow vehicle with a 2012 F-250 Ford. The brakes worked fine with the gain set at 5.5. on our first pull of about 500 miles. On my second pull the trailer brakes would not work when we started home. I bled the brakes thinking I may have some air in the system but it failed to make a change. The pump runs. Is there a chance the unit does not work with the Ford controller?
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:50 AM   #2
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The user manual for my Carisle 1600 actuator said to set the Ford ITBC in my 2010 F250 no lower than 6.5 for the actuator to work properly. My guess is that if the actuator pump is running you should have some pressure? I run between 6.5 and 7. Much higher than that and I'll lay rubber.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:16 AM   #3
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I spoke with a Dexter engineer, and he told me that actuator is definitely compatible with the '12 FORD integrated brake controller.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:21 AM   #4
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We pulled about 500 miles with our 2012 E-350, IBC. Brakes were a little slow to respond, compared to our Tekonsha P3... I figured it was the lack of 'boost' option.

Somebody at the other arr-vee forums told me that IBC needs to be set for electric/hydraulic. There's nothing in the owners manual, so I'm not sure if that's accurate or not.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:13 AM   #5
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I just hooked up to the old tow vehicle (Exp) which has a Prodigy controller and the brakes work fine. Guess that rules out the actuator. I'll hook back up to the F-250 and make one more check and then call the Ford dealer. Thanks for the info.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:30 AM   #6
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My 2010 F250 manuel said that the IBC would not work with the electric hydraulic so I had a P3 installed. Ford had to disable the IBC which was pretty easy for them to do.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woosch View Post
My 2010 F250 manuel said that the IBC would not work with the electric hydraulic so I had a P3 installed. Ford had to disable the IBC which was pretty easy for them to do.
I haven't looked into this, because we don't typically tow with the E-350, but I assumed the IBC was simply plugged into the controller bus plug under the dash... so installing an aftermarket was no different than without the factory IBC.
Do you know what the dealer did, exactly?
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:18 AM   #8
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Hooked the F-250 back up to the trailer and worked the brakes in the driveway. Started out well but started to brake less and less the more I worked it. Finally got where the brakes would hardly hold.... Even at full gain. Guess I will call Ford and Dexter.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:23 PM   #9
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Went to the dealer today and learned what is not in the owners manual. You have to go to your settings and either select electric or electric over hydraulic. Mine was found to be set on electric. I have a car hauler also so I'll have to remember to switch back. Also, it took some time to find someone at the dealer who knew what to do. Thanks to all for the help.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:41 AM   #10
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Well..changing to the electric/hydraulic mode made no difference at all. We pulled out of the drive for a week long camping trip last month and when I tested the brakes with the manual override the trailer would not brake at all. There was some braking once we got on the road. I had to set the gain up to 9.5 and after releasing the truck brakes I could feel a slight change when the trailer brakes released. I've told the Ford dealer I'm going to put in a aftermarket controller if we cannot get this sorted out. They have tested their system and says it is working fine. I can hook up to my old vehicle with the Prodigy controller and it works fine. I can pull the breakaway switch and the brakes lock up. I would say it is no doubt it is in the trucks IBC system. A few more checks and I'm going to switch to the Prodigy.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:46 AM   #11
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Do the brakes hold firm when you pull the breakaway switch? If so you can eliminate the trailer as an issue, I think. If no, you can probably eliminate the truck as the issue.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:02 PM   #12
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Yes..when I pulled the breakaway switch the trailer brakes locked up. I put the truck in gear and was unable to move it with little force. Re-instated the breakaway switch and the brakes would no longer hold. Dexter engineer told me to verify the 12+ volts to the blue wire at the actuator. I did that. I've been told on the Ford truck forum that you also need to check the amps. I have yet to do that. I'm thinking the issue is with the trucks IBC.. yet Ford checked it out and said there were no problems. I may have to take the truck and trailer hitched to the dealer to show them what little brakes I have.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:15 PM   #13
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Could you have an issue with the umbilical......either the connections or the cable itself?
Try measuring the voltage and amperage at the connection to the actuator as well as at the truck's rear connector.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:22 PM   #14
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If you have a Classic 31, I would expect a higher gain. It is a heavy trailer.
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