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Old 03-11-2005, 06:39 PM   #1
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Disc Brake owners

Techonsha's catalog #95000, on page A-2, states in bold print, the following information about their Prodigy Brake controller.

NOTE: Not designed for use with electric/hydraulic trailer brake systems.


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Old 03-11-2005, 07:30 PM   #2
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andy,

so what is the best controller for those who have disk brakes?

good old fashioned kelsey hayes with the brake line tap?

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Old 03-11-2005, 07:56 PM   #3
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Linear?

I would think a linear pressure controller woul dbe great for disc brakes.
either a Jordan, with the cable on the brake pedal, or one of the ones with a brake fluid pressure sensor.
I imagine that the Prodigy is not suitable because of it's boost modes.
I imagine the boost modes locking up disc brakes momentarily every time you hit the brakes.
But then,as usual, I could be totally wrong.
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:59 PM   #4
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Andy recommended the Hayes-Lemmerz Energize III for my '77 Excella 500 HydraVac disc brake system. I purchased the brake controller from him and it has worked just fine. I'm not sure what he recommends for the newer disc brake systems.
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Old 03-11-2005, 08:39 PM   #5
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Masterbrake makes a brake controller that tees into the brake line. It works with their brand of hydraulic pump, but I don't know about the Actibrake system.

http://www.masterbrake.com/brakesmart.html
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Old 03-12-2005, 12:20 PM   #6
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Installing a "T" in hydraulic brake lines has been illegal for many years. If I recall, it's been outlawed for over 30 years.

Any high quality "inertia" type electronic brake controller will work with the Actibrake, as per actibrake.

Andy
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Old 03-12-2005, 12:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Techonsha's catalog #95000, on page A-2, states in bold print, the following information about their Prodigy Brake controller.

NOTE: Not designed for use with electric/hydraulic trailer brake systems.


Andy
Which AS trailers have disc brakes installed? We purchased a 2005 28' CCD and it states on the mfg's standard items sheet it has 12" electric drum brakes, which I assume it to mean that it does not have disc brakes. We have a Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller on our TV. I'm not familiar with all the brake terminology. Please clarify!
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Old 03-12-2005, 01:15 PM   #8
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Jordandvm.

Your trailer has electric brakes.

The Prodogy controller will work OK for your trailer.

Airstream says they are installing disc brakes as standard equipment, as of February 1st, this year, on the larger trailers.

Airstream had as an option, disc brakes from the late 70's to the early 80's.

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Old 03-12-2005, 01:38 PM   #9
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Installing a "T" in hydraulic brake lines has been illegal for many years. If I recall, it's been outlawed for over 30 years.

Andy
You don't understand the concept. The 'tee' in the brake line is to install a small transducer, which signals the controller to apply a proportional signal to the brakes.

I think this is a more direct, faster response than depending on a pendulum.

This is similar to the new Ford 'Tow Command' system, built by Tekonsha.
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:00 PM   #10
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I'm sure Andy fully understands the concept. He was right in the middle of the disc brake movement of the 70's.

The old brake controllers monitored the tow vehicle's brake pressure and supplied a proportional electrical current to the synchronizing valve on the tongue of the 70's trailers. Adapter tees, available for numerous vehicles, were installed in the port servicing the rear wheels at the hydraulic unit under the hood of the vehicle. I'd say that improper installation or improper maintenance may have caused vehicle manufacturers or DOT to take a dim view of this concept but it does work if properly installed.
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:12 PM   #11
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Craig,

I don't think you looked at the Brakesmart controller either. It's not the same as the old Kelsey Hayes controllers (yeah, I had one).

This is 'new technology'. I don't think it's illegal.
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:16 PM   #12
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my owners manual for my silverado states you may tap into the brake system if the following requirements are met:

the trailer parts can withstand 3000 psi

the trailers brake system will use less than 0.02 cubic inch of fluid from your trucks brake system.

in otherwords, don't!

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Old 03-12-2005, 02:32 PM   #13
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I would say that the transducer would be a better idea than the old hydraulic line through the firewall and connected to the brake controller inside the vehicle. The question is, how much brake fluid is displaced from the system when acting on the transducer. If less than the amount johnhd mentions then you are probably OK. The potential for a "unqualified" mechanic installing the transducer in the system where it later leaks is the variable here. If I had the system, and I have been wondering just how good it is, I would make sure someone who knew what they were doing (and would back up their work) installed it. I have heard good things about MasterBrake and BrakeSmart but have not personally seen one or driven a TV with one installed. Heck, it might be the best thing going if installed correctly. You gotta know that the vehicle manufacturer has no control over the new addition and would not even look at a claim involving brakes should something happen.
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:39 PM   #14
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Craig,

I don't know what the displacement is, but I use similar transducers im my practice and the displacement can be less than .02 ci.

Obviously, an unqualified mechanic can screw up the installation of just about anything.
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
Craig,

I don't think you looked at the Brakesmart controller either. It's not the same as the old Kelsey Hayes controllers (yeah, I had one).

This is 'new technology'. I don't think it's illegal.
Mark,
I've looked at the advertisements and the installation instructions of the new units. While you might have been pointing out to Andy that the new technology allows for less to go wrong with the extra plumbing, I was just mentioning that improper installation could cause either system to let you down. I'm just curious how many accident claims Caravanner Insurance or Andy ever investigated where leaks from that old system were the cause?
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Old 03-12-2005, 03:34 PM   #16
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Craig,

My experience with the old Kelsey Hayes brake controllers was that they had a built in failure mode detector.

When they leak you know about it immediately, because your left knee is wet from leaking brake fluid. If you don't fix it immediately, your shoe fills up with brake fluid and you make a squishing sound when you walk.
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Old 03-12-2005, 03:47 PM   #17
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The new Hensley dosen't require you to tap into the brake line. A friend has one and likes it but the cost is $500.00 Canadian. Marvin
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:33 PM   #18
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The only info I can find on the Hensley "Tru-Control" brake controller is that it was a private label Brakesmart, made for Hensley. One guy didn't like the orange color, made to match the Hensley hitch.

The cost is VERY high for a Brakesmart, I think around $350 USD.
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Old 03-12-2005, 08:40 PM   #19
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The 1990 installation manual for my "old" Kelsey Hayes hydraulic/electric brake controller states that "All Kelsey hydraulic actuated electric brakes controllers require less than .02 cubic inches (0.3 cubic centimeters) of fluid from the master cylinder. The actuating cylinder is rated for 5000 psi." Also that it is compatable with anti-lock brakes on trucks and vans, and gives a T fitting chart for 1990 and older vehicles.

This was less than 16 years ago. I wonder if K-H was unaware that it had been illegal to install their controllers for over 14 years when they printed these instructions.

Neal
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Old 03-12-2005, 09:01 PM   #20
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Keep in mind that the early Kelsey-Hayes controllers required a sizeable amount of brake fluid. While I have no idea of the actual volume, it was enough to physically move the lever on the controller. The lever, in turn, would actuate the brakes.

I feel quite certain that later-day controllers that tap into the hydraulics are exactly like Don in Minnetonka outlined.

But it sure was cool in the old days watching the lever move in proportion to how hard the brake pedal was pushed.

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