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Old 08-26-2015, 04:08 PM   #1
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Advice on how to set Ram Factory Brake Controller

I've a new 2015 Ram 1500 with ecodiesel. Any help as to how/where to set the factory brake controller. The gain setting is different than the controller in my last TV. That was a %. Thanks
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:54 PM   #2
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The gain is set by the + & - under the squeeze control on the dash to the right of the steering wheel. Press the + to increase gain & - to decrease.

The RAM has the ability to tow 4 different trailers using the preset brake feature in the radio control screen. What I mean is you can tow a boat, utility trailer, Airstream or maybe a single horse trailer without having to adjust gain or type of brakes on any given trailer. To get to this feature you get into your radio screen computer, go to settings & scroll to brake control, you'll see Trailer 1, Trailer 2, Trailer 3 & 4. Touch the one you want to use (highlight). You'll see it's set to "Light Electric" , touch that & select "Heavy Electric " for your Airstream as you're pull a heavy trailer. If you were to leave it in light electric it is almost useless because of the trailer weight, that is for a light utility trailers. There is also hydraulic setting that don't apply to Airstream. Now you can adjust the gain as needed.
It sounds confusing but it really isn't, one into that screen it's quite simple.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:01 PM   #3
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Note that the Dodge built in brake controller is completely incompatible with the Titan Brake Rite II SD electric/hydraulic disc brake controller which we installed along with a disc brake conversion on our Classic. We had to install a Tuson DirecLink NE brake controller and completely bypass the factory brake system. That is not hard to do, if needed.

We also ran two dedicated #10 copper wires from the battery through two 30 amp circuit breakers on the firewall. One wire continued to the seven point plug in the back of the truck for powering the trailer and charging the trailer battery(s). The other wire went under the dash to the DirecLink NE and then continued with that device's output to the brake wire connection on the seven wire connector.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:11 AM   #4
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I just set my Ram 2500 CTD IBTC last week. My Classic 25fb has the Dexter brake controller but there is a trailer magnet wired in parallel from the previous owner. I initially set the controller to Electric over Hydraulic and when I pulled the trailer out of storage I used the manual control to test the brakes. No reaction from the trailer brakes. I set the controller to electric only. I think I have it set to the Light Electric since the owners manual shows my trailer weight is within that Light range. This time as slowly drove down the storage access road the manual lever activated the trailer brakes. I set the gain to 9 and tested with the foot brake and it seemed excessive compared to my Tundra setup. Just driving around the storage facility I settled on 8.5. I couldn't take it on the open road as my Equalizer shank was too high and the trailer tongue was too high.

I may test with the trailer magnet disconnected to see if Electric over Hydraulic setting works. The Dexter actuator is only 2 years old and is still a current model.

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Old 08-27-2015, 09:50 AM   #5
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I'm using Heavy Electric with the gain at 4.5 for my 28' International.
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Old 08-27-2015, 10:06 AM   #6
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So with heavy settings you typically will use less gain. It might be handy to have more gain available.

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Old 08-27-2015, 12:01 PM   #7
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If you have electric trailer brakes, and your trailer is less than 10,000 lbs. the RAM manual recommends 'Light Electric' setting. Over 10k then Heavy Electric. I use 8.0 gain on average with 25' 2016 FC rear birth, towing with 2015 RAM 4WD 5.7 liter and air suspension . I will tune between 7.5 and 8.5 depending on wet, dry, city, highway and steep grade mountains. PS: this is for a fully loaded trailer weight of 7,100 pounds per truck scale.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:30 PM   #8
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:31 PM   #9
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You folks mention the manual? It's not in my owners manual, is there another manual? Thanks for the info, it helps and makes sense. Jeff
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:04 PM   #10
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I downloaded the 2015 Ram 1500/2500/3500 manual. Page 657. Starting and Operating, Trailer Towing, Towing Requirements, Integrated Trailer Brake Module.

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Old 08-27-2015, 03:33 PM   #11
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I know Ram says with trailers under 10,000 lbs to use light electric, but I was having a tough time dialing in the right setting. Seemed much easier to me with Heavy Electric.
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Old 08-27-2015, 03:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtwind View Post
You folks mention the manual? It's not in my owners manual, is there another manual? Thanks for the info, it helps and makes sense. Jeff
My truck came with the User Guide, but not the full set of manuals. You can request a set and they will send them to the original owner.
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Old 08-27-2015, 03:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtwind View Post
You folks mention the manual? It's not in my owners manual, is there another manual? Thanks for the info, it helps and makes sense. Jeff

Go to the RAM site. You will have to surf around or just google RAM 1500 manuals and you will find it. I never read the paper manual, the down loaded one is far more extensive. Approx. 900+ pages.
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Old 08-27-2015, 08:32 PM   #14
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I am using the same settings as GWG for my '15 Classic and a 2500 Ram W/Cummins: Heavy Electric 5.5. Just back from 2 weeks out to the Black Hills from NC. No braking issues whatsoever....but then the Cummins has exhaust braking and MAN does it make a difference in how much (or even IF) you need to use your TV/TT brakes.
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan-B View Post
If you have electric trailer brakes, and your trailer is less than 10,000 lbs. the RAM manual recommends 'Light Electric' setting. Over 10k then Heavy Electric. I use 8.0 gain on average with 25' 2016 FC rear birth, towing with 2015 RAM 4WD 5.7 liter and air suspension . I will tune between 7.5 and 8.5 depending on wet, dry, city, highway and steep grade mountains. PS: this is for a fully loaded trailer weight of 7,100 pounds per truck scale.
I notice that when using light electric & 10 gain my AS still has very little stopping power. In heavy electric & 5 gain it's a whole different situation.
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:24 AM   #16
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If one has a trailer with a disc brake conversion, some brands of brake hydraulic pumps and controller (like the Titan BrakeRite II SD) are incompatible with any of the built in brake controllers installed by Chevy/GMC, Ford or Dodge.

We used a simple bypass to take the factory brake controller off line so it will not throw error codes and installed a Tuson DirecLInk NE brake controller that plugs into the trucks data port instead of using acceleration or motion devices.

We cut the blue wire associated with the factory brake controller and insulated both ends of the wire. Thus the truck is unaware of a plug in the seven way plug and does not throw a code. The tow/haul switch on the Dodge dash controls the engine parameters for towing or non-towing.

Dodge used fairly light gage wiring harness going back to the seven way plug on the back of the truck. We installed two #10 copper wires from one of the batteries to two 30 amp auto reset circuit breakers on the firewall. One wire continued back to the sevenway plug to provide power to the trailer (and in our case also the hydraulic pump) that will also charge the battery. The other wire went under the dash to the Tuson DirecLink as it's power and continued to the sevenway plug as both power and brake signals for the hydraulic pump control circuitry.
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I notice that when using light electric & 10 gain my AS still has very little stopping power. In heavy electric & 5 gain it's a whole different situation.
If you have used a Ford integrated controller the RAM functions braking in a much different manner than the RAM, at low speeds . Since I own both. In fact when I bought the 2015 RAM I thought I had a controller issue. Typically you set a baseline controller going 15-20mph, let off the gas, manually close the controller, add gain till trailer brakes lock up... Then repeat reducing gain till tires don't lock up. With the Ford controller this works great as a base line. With the RAM 1500, trailer weight 7,100lbs ( even with Heavey Electric gain 10) you can't lock them up) you can't lock the trailers tires. I repeated the perceived issue with another RAM 1500 and my trailer, same, no skid. RAM and my dealer both hooked electronics to measure power to the trailer brakes, both measured perfect to specification. It was puzzling since once you take the trailer out and test braking in all other conditions, it stops on the dime and works perfectly. What I finally learned is the RAM controller knows the inertia and relative speed, and unless you are pulling an empty flat bed) you will probably not be able to lock up your trailer tires (by design). I just finished a 5,000 out west mountain trip through WY, ID and MT. All back rounds and up to 8% grades ( didn't know 8% grades existed). The braking performance with the Ram controller worked as well as my F-250 Ford. Took me awhile to trust it, since so use to a Ford controller, but soon liked it better since I didn't have to reduce the gain as much in slow in town driving conditions. Enjoy, it is actually working correctly!
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Old 08-30-2015, 06:53 PM   #18
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Hi, That's helpful and makes sense with what I've discovered but, how did you determine gain? Jeff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan-B View Post
If you have used a Ford integrated controller the RAM functions braking in a much different manner than the RAM, at low speeds . Since I own both. In fact when I bought the 2015 RAM I thought I had a controller issue. Typically you set a baseline controller going 15-20mph, let off the gas, manually close the controller, add gain till trailer brakes lock up... Then repeat reducing gain till tires don't lock up. With the Ford controller this works great as a base line. With the RAM 1500, trailer weight 7,100lbs ( even with Heavey Electric gain 10) you can't lock them up) you can't lock the trailers tires. I repeated the perceived issue with another RAM 1500 and my trailer, same, no skid. RAM and my dealer both hooked electronics to measure power to the trailer brakes, both measured perfect to specification. It was puzzling since once you take the trailer out and test braking in all other conditions, it stops on the dime and works perfectly. What I finally learned is the RAM controller knows the inertia and relative speed, and unless you are pulling an empty flat bed) you will probably not be able to lock up your trailer tires (by design). I just finished a 5,000 out west mountain trip through WY, ID and MT. All back rounds and up to 8% grades ( didn't know 8% grades existed). The braking performance with the Ram controller worked as well as my F-250 Ford. Took me awhile to trust it, since so use to a Ford controller, but soon liked it better since I didn't have to reduce the gain as much in slow in town driving conditions. Enjoy, it is actually working correctly!
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:30 PM   #19
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It comes with experience and taking your new rig out on back roads and testing them out in all stopping conditions. When you have adjusted to what feels good, no obvious trailer slamming your stops, trailer tires not skidding etc, then you have a good baseline to work from. Remember when conditions change, especially on wet black asphalt, you might have to reduce gain a point or point and a half to keep trailer from skidding. Leave your vehicle windows down so you can listen to your trailer tires when testing, the noise they make will tell you a lot.

Also remember when you do your testing, if your trailer was empty, when it and your vehicle is loaded down you might have to add a half or so more gain. Trial and error and experience you will get the feel of it.

The modern controllers, like the one on your RAM, are pretty smart and know and measure the inertia during stopping. So, the faster you travel, with respect to how much you are applying brakes, it will increase the gain to your trailer more aggressively. Same goes for slower speeds and gentle stops, it delivers a less aggressive gain. Much nicer than the old days.

As I mentioned earlier for my heavy loaded 25 FC (7,100 pds) I have my Ram 1500 set on Light Electric and average gain setting 8. Have only used 8.5 for long 7% grades and when empty or wet conditions I run 7.5. On gravel I was using 5.5.

Your rig might act much differently than mine so start slow and test your way up the speed tests. Hope this helped.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:41 AM   #20
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Thanks Greg!
QUOTE=Plan-B;1677231]It comes with experience and taking your new rig out on back roads and testing them out in all stopping conditions. When you have adjusted to what feels good, no obvious trailer slamming your stops, trailer tires not skidding etc, then you have a good baseline to work from. Remember when conditions change, especially on wet black asphalt, you might have to reduce gain a point or point and a half to keep trailer from skidding. Leave your vehicle windows down so you can listen to your trailer tires when testing, the noise they make will tell you a lot.

Also remember when you do your testing, if your trailer was empty, when it and your vehicle is loaded down you might have to add a half or so more gain. Trial and error and experience you will get the feel of it.

The modern controllers, like the one on your RAM, are pretty smart and know and measure the inertia during stopping. So, the faster you travel, with respect to how much you are applying brakes, it will increase the gain to your trailer more aggressively. Same goes for slower speeds and gentle stops, it delivers a less aggressive gain. Much nicer than the old days.

As I mentioned earlier for my heavy loaded 25 FC (7,100 pds) I have my Ram 1500 set on Light Electric and average gain setting 8. Have only used 8.5 for long 7% grades and when empty or wet conditions I run 7.5. On gravel I was using 5.5.

Your rig might act much differently than mine so start slow and test your way up the speed tests. Hope this helped.[/QUOTE]
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