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Old 09-22-2008, 09:16 AM   #15
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HowieE

Will check these voltages next time we move on (2.1/2 weeks). Not sure of TV to socket wire size and plug to Actibrake wire size but both are the heaviest wires in harness and fitted with 30 amp inline fuse. Active Technology manual does not specify current draw.

John
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:36 AM   #16
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Other Brake Problems

I have had a problem with Actibrake and Ford controllers on two TV's now.
When braking a "Trailer Disconnected" signal appears on my dashboard control panel. Just recently I seem to notice that it happens as I release the brake pedal. This occurred on occasion on my '05 F-250 but now on my '08 F-250 it occurs more frequently.

It has been looked at by the dealer with several calls to Kodiac/Actibrake and to Ford with no resolution. I think I have proper braking but the experience can be a bit unnerving.

Any ideas?
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:56 PM   #17
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...When braking a "Trailer Disconnected" signal appears on my dashboard control panel...
i experienced this a few times.

the resolution was cleaning the 7 pin connector contacts...

AND adjusting a couple of the female contacts for tighter fit.

the 7 pin connector we have (with flimsy contacts) isn't the best one...

there is a replacement 7 pin plug with really TIGHT-TIGHT fittings available...

it may be worth the expense and effort use, if cleaning alone doesn't solve the issue.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
i experienced this a few times.

the resolution was cleaning the 7 pin connector contacts...

AND adjusting a couple of the female contacts for tighter fit.

the 7 pin connector we have (with flimsy contacts) isn't the best one...

there is a replacement 7 pin plug with really TIGHT-TIGHT fittings available...

it may be worth the expense and effort use, if cleaning alone doesn't solve the issue.

cheers
2air'
2air

Question. Is the modulated signal for the brakes still feed back on the normal brake pin location on the 7 pin connector and POWER for the actuator sent back separately on the center pin?

If so I still think the problem is voltage drop over the length and connections of the harness.

Having had this type of problem, as noted above, on high power consumption items I would power the actuator off the trailer batteries and only have the modulated signal come from the TV
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:03 PM   #19
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hi howieE...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
...Question. Is the modulated signal for the brakes still feed back on the normal brake pin location on the 7 pin connector and POWER for the actuator sent back separately on the center pin?...
yes i think so.

as to the voltage drop issue, i've not checked it and don't know if a/s or actibrake has either...

it should be noted that the factory only used actibrake ONE year on new classics...

they currently use the dexter system at the factory on classics,

while the SERVICE CENTER and many dealers use the kodiak/actibrake setup...

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:04 PM   #20
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Update - Discovered my Chev. TV still had the "dummy" factory installed fuse that powers the B+ pin on my plug, e.g., no power to the trailer batteries. The Actibrake has been working directly off the trailer batteries for the past 300 miles. I relayed this to the dealer, he charged the batteries, and, darn, the problem is still there. We were hoping it was just a low voltage issue. By the way, our 2008 Classic came with factory installed Actibrake system. I hope this brake setup isn't going to prove to be a problem.

Terry
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:55 PM   #21
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that blank fuse thing has gotten a lot of folks here, dumb move on ge'em part to NOT use real fuses.

sorry for the confusion in my last post...

the actibrake "controller unit/reservoir" is still in use, it's the brake caliper that's different.

kodiak single piston models were used in 05, but NOW they are using dexter dual piston? calipers, i think.

so terry, your trailer has dexter axles, dexter hubs and dexter brake calipers, right?

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:44 PM   #22
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Terry,

Surprised that your Actibrake has been working off the trailer batteries, our 2007 Classic has B+ (charge lead) pin direct to Actibrake from tow vehicle. According to latest A/S wiring schematic Actibrake does not work off trailer batteries only 7 pin connector.

Our system-Dexter axles & hubs, Dexter fixed caliper 4 pistons per end and new style Actibrake actuator, i.e. not plastic rectangular but alloy base/reservoir and plastic motor/PCB housing on top. Still having problems with drag after release of tow vehicle brakes.

Went for a cruise Sunday on our new Harley Fatboy, 1100 miles on clock, broke down miles from anywhere. Jammed up gearbox. What a year we are having!!

John & Carole
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:33 PM   #23
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Sorry to hear about the Harley breakdown. My A/S dealer told me today Actibrake is sending a replacement unit. They think it's an issue with the pump's pressure relief system caused by contaminated Hyd. fluid. We'll see. My brake setup, as yours, is all Dexter. Hmmm, my Actibrake setup was working fine for 300+ miles with no power to the B+ pin. I'll post an update when we get the new Actibrake unit installed.

Terry
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:41 PM   #24
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We just picked up our A/S with the newly replaced (and updated) Actibrake unit. So far it's working fine. The Actibrake tech's seem to think there was a partial blockage in the pressure relief valve on the old unit.

Terry
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:03 PM   #25
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Trailer brake problems

Hi Terry,
It's good to hear your trailer brakes are fixed and thanks for letting us know the outcome. It's encouraging to know that this problem can be rectified.
We are now 6 months on from original troubles and our third brake actuator but hopefully this system will now work. If it doesn't, we know that the truck will stop the trailer without brakes so long as we keep out of the hills!!

All the best, John & Carole
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:37 PM   #26
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Stephenson

I was just reviewing this post and have a question.

All comments so far have had to do with the activator or electrical. Has anyone looked at the calipers themselves to see if they are freely moving to the relaxed position when the brakes are released. They only move a fraction but they have to move enough to release pressure on the brake pads.

To check this you would have to remove the caliper from it's mounting and remove the brake line. With your hands pressing on the center of the caliper piston see if there is a mechanical bind when compressing the caliper. Point the line hole away from you as you will squirt oil. Without the line attached they should move freely. You would only have the resistance of the O ring on the piston against the wall. It might pay to open the calipers and see if there is any sign of a bind on the caliper bore.

Three activator and still having the problems causes me to want to look elsewhere.
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:59 AM   #27
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Trailer brake problems

HowieE

Many thanks for your concerns - yes I have checked all the mechanical side of the braking system. In fact the calipers were the first thing I looked at when the brakes were dragging on and overheating. The Dexter axles fitted to our Classic have fixed calipers, therefore only the 4 pistons and 2 brake pads per axle end move back into the caliper. The pads were tight on the discs when overheating occurred but released when the hubs and discs cooled down. I went round all four wheels when cold and could move every pad - they were all loose and rattled inside the retaining pin.

On our latest trip two weeks ago (only 70 miles) everything was working ok, although there is still a delay when releasing brake pedal and the actuator motor stopping, but no excessively hot trailer brakes. I have backed off the initial braking from l5 to 10% on our Hayes Genesis brake controller and will see how this goes on our next trip a week on Sunday.

I have lost all confidence in this system and drive as though the trailer has no brakes, i.e. cautiously.

John
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Old 12-13-2008, 02:22 PM   #28
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More trailer brake problems!!!

Since our third brake actuator was fitted by dealer back in September, we have travelled only 200 miles visiting five campgrounds. Today, Sat 13 (is this significant?) hitched up to set off for Xmas and New Year at campground near Plymouth, southern England and had to travel 40 miles without brakes again. The last actuator had burnt out circuit board. Looks as though this has happened again. Power to everything - no blown fuses - dead actuator no. 3. Is our dealer, Airstream or Actibrake missing something.

Totally pissed off with this braking system. Anyone know if I can fit electric brakes without replacing axles, i.e. backplates and drums to existing stub axles and using our wheels. I'd gladly spend money converting the system to have peace of mind.

The exporting dealer in Florida is totally ignoring our English importing dealer.

Help, John
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