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Old 02-23-2007, 08:37 PM   #1
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Exclamation Help!! Disc brakes aren't working!!

We're on our way to the Newport rally and have had to stop short. We have hydraulic disc brakes (Kodiak) and the actibrake actuator. Last night the brakes worked fine. Today I tested the brake-away, by unplugging from the truck and pulling the pin for less than one minute. The pump went on and then turned off after replacing the pin. We then hitched up and left and had no brakes.

Took the trailer to the RV repair. Fuse fine, power to everything, but the pump was not turning on the brakes when applying the TV brakes.

The repair guy bled the brakes (again) and replaced fluid and we then had brakes!!

However 2 hours later we have no brakes but the pump is working. When the brakes are depressed the actibrake runs. But the brake controller, when using the manual over-ride, does not activate the brakes. My husband tried to bleed the brakes twice, but no results. There was air in the lines both times. He bled the brakes while I stepped on the brake.

Everything has power & the controller's display is functioning.
Please help with any suggestions!!!! We'll check back in later, as the wi-fi we're using is not at our campsite !!!

Thanks!!!
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:06 PM   #2
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I hope you did not pull the pin to test your breakaway with the truck wiring connected.

That can trash your brake controller by feeding the voltage through it backwards.

That could be your problem. If you have a 12v test light you can put it on the brake pin on the 7-way plug on your truck and see if it glows brighter when you press the brake petal.
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:09 PM   #3
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May not be the same problem but I had a leak in brake line which caused the computer chip in the activator to shut down so it won't pump all the fluid out. I had a line the factory didn't secure between the tires and it rubbed a hole in the line. I didn't have brakes in any function that I tried. Hope it helps.
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:20 PM   #4
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hi sequoiacoast...

who did the kodiak/actibrake install?

are the brakes working at speeds above 2-3 mph? or at any speed?

is this only an issue at a complete stop?

clearly you need a competent technician to sort out your problem....

anything we offer over the web is suspect at best and dangerous at the worst.

however....

IF the brakes were bleed and fluid reloaded correctly,
AND another air bubble developed in the line after just a little use...

that sure reads like a leak somewhere.

if no fluid leaks are found (in lines/joints or at the brake) then air could be happening at the main fluid reservoir (the actibrake box) or the pump in the box.

again this issue needs to be carefully analized...

may take a day or 2 with the service department.

please let us know the outcome.

cheers
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Old 02-24-2007, 09:55 AM   #5
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air in line ...

even after bleeding makes me suspect a leak. Check those double flairs for leaks. Failing that, perhaps the controller may have a defect in the master cylinder?

Bummer - hope you figure it out.
Marc
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:35 PM   #6
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We did not pull the brake-away with the pig tail connected. The RV place used the brake-away to bleed the brakes (we watched that the pig tail was not plugged in). He also checked fuses and 12-volt tested- he said everything had power. After he bled the brakes they worked. However when I checked the fluid level, it was not filled to the correct level- it was too low (at the bottom of the filler tube/ not to within 3/8ths like the manual says).

We decided this was the problem and perhaps why more air was getting in, and why they quit working. So we bled the brakes using the trucks brake, not the brake-away. This morning we used the brake-away, as did the RV guy, thinking maybe we needed more pressurized pumping(?).

But still no results. And no RV place is open.

Questions:

- IF it has worked in the past, would that rule out an incorrect wiring of the actibrake. Specifically, the manual says to run the blue wire to the brake orifice on the pigtail. And that this is a unique situation to disc brakes - could the actibrake be incorrectly wired to the brake controller but have worked before???????
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Old 02-24-2007, 02:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoiacoast

Questions:

- IF it has worked in the past, would that rule out an incorrect wiring of the actibrake. Specifically, the manual says to run the blue wire to the brake orifice on the pigtail. And that this is a unique situation to disc brakes - could the actibrake be incorrectly wired to the brake controller but have worked before???????
The EH actuators need a constant power source, as well as a control voltage from the brake controller.
It also requires a solid ground to function properly.
The blue wire from the nrake controller is sufficient for the magnets on electric brakes, but not to power the actibrake by itself. Make sure the power and ground from the battery to the EH brake unit is bullet proof. Ihave attached a diagram for you.
Of course there is always a chance of a defective or intermittant EH unit, especially if there is not a visible leak anywhere.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf install-man04.pdf (754.5 KB, 213 views)
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hookedonclassic
May not be the same problem but I had a leak in brake line which caused the computer chip in the activator to shut down so it won't pump all the fluid out. I had a line the factory didn't secure between the tires and it rubbed a hole in the line. I didn't have brakes in any function that I tried. Hope it helps.

What happened to fix it? Did you have to send the unit back?
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:22 AM   #9
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Trying to gain some clarity....

I'm trying to trace the umbilical connections to the various wires under the airstream.

From the umbilical, runs the yellow brake wire. The yellow was attached to the old brake-away. The yellow is visible at the inspection area in the belly, and is spliced in many ways.

Does the yellow become the black that powers the electric brakes?

The umbilical diagram shows the black plug wire as back-up lights.

I don't have back-up lights, is this wire just taped to the rear skin, in case of up-grade?

The ground wire of the umbilical, does it run to the frame, or is it the wire that comes through the rear interior skin, along with a red, that connects to the 12v fuse box?

And is the red the charge line (which in my case starts as a blue center wire?)

The rest of the wires, for lights, I see and understand.

Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoiacoast
I'm trying to trace the umbilical connections to the various wires under the airstream.

From the umbilical, runs the yellow brake wire. The yellow was attached to the old brake-away. The yellow is visible at the inspection area in the belly, and is spliced in many ways.

Does the yellow become the black that powers the electric brakes?

The umbilical diagram shows the black plug wire as back-up lights.

I don't have back-up lights, is this wire just taped to the rear skin, in case of up-grade?

The ground wire of the umbilical, does it run to the frame, or is it the wire that comes through the rear interior skin, along with a red, that connects to the 12v fuse box?

And is the red the charge line (which in my case starts as a blue center wire?)

The rest of the wires, for lights, I see and understand.

Thanks!
Here is a little help from Airstream:
Airstream :: Customer Services

But, in general, the charge wire from the umbilical should go to the battery. The charge wire should connect to the breakaway switch as well, to one side. The other side of the breakaway wires should connect to the wire that normally feeds the electric brakes. In case of catastrophic events, the pin gets pulled from the breakaway switch, and the battery inside the coach should activate the brakes full on.
The backup light wire might well be taped inside the skin for retrofitting.
The other lights and signals etc. are not in question, I guess.

It is hard to say from reading your text, but it looks as though the yellow does become the black that powers the brakes.
Check the breakaway switch,and see if one side is wired to the charge line.
Also, the ground ( important) shoud connect tot he shell or frame at some point.
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:44 AM   #11
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Off the top of my head the actibrake ground is run to the grounding bus (?) on the fuse panel, and not to the trailer frame. The only ground running to the frame is from the 110v breaker box.

Could this be it? The brake-away orange is run form actibrake to brakeaway, and the other (brown) is hooked into the 12v fuse panel.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:03 PM   #12
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This issue is too important/dangerous/involved for you to try and solve it via forums posts, in my opinion. You need professional help, by someone that really knows trailer electrics, and has experience with electric over hydraulic systems. I do not know anyone in your area to recommend, unfortunately.
The color codes in older trailers are often inconsistent. My trailer had original wiring that was all kinds of colors, none of which corresponded to a norm. The grounding wire shold have asolid connection to the shell, frame, or both.
Anyways, our area has all sorts of professional trailer shops, but that's too far for you, I assume.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:17 PM   #13
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I definately agree. I am not going to attempt to fix this myself. I just want to arm myself with some "knowledge" with which to decern if the RV repair shop is doing an OK job.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:22 PM   #14
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What area are you in?

Are you back in CA or still in Newport OR?
Marc
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