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Old 12-07-2022, 06:27 AM   #1
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(HELP) Ford OEM Brake controller replacement

Has anyone installed an aftermarket brake controller on a 2019 or newer F150 or Expedition which already has an OEM brake controller installed? I have a 2022 Expedition with a factory controller. The thing has multiple settings programmed all from the touchscreen. It’s a very nice system if it “worked!!!”, which mine doesn’t.
Before responding, know this:
1. I received the truck new on November 7th.
2. Im traveling on the road and need it corrected asap!
3. I checked voltage on the trucks 7 pin. (12.3 when controller is squeezed manually, 2.2volts when you step on the brake)
4. Yes, gain and effort are set correctly.
5. I have visited 2 dealers who both say “it checks out”
6. They admitted their equipment reads communication signals, not voltage. ”SERIOUSLY…THATS CHECKED OUT!!!”
7. Ford had a recall on brake controllers earlier this year for the same exact symptoms.
8. My truck was built after the recall and came from the factory with the latest update.
9. They are telling me it must be my trailer. When I ask why the voltage diiffers from squeezing the trigger and standing on the brake, they have no answer. I did get one of the techs to admit 2.3volts won't engage trailer brakes.
10. Unfortunately, I can't get the dealers to help. They keep telling me “it checks out”
11. I would like to replace the controller with an aftermarket, as long as doing so doesn't screw up any other functionality, warranty, etc.
Last option: I might need a lawyer.
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Old 12-07-2022, 06:53 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by s1000pre View Post
Has anyone installed an aftermarket brake controller on a 2019 or newer F150 or Expedition which already has an OEM brake controller installed? I have a 2022 Expedition with a factory controller. The thing has multiple settings programmed all from the touchscreen. It’s a very nice system if it “worked!!!”, which mine doesn’t.
Before responding, know this:
1. I received the truck new on November 7th.
2. Im traveling on the road and need it corrected asap!
3. I checked voltage on the trucks 7 pin. (12.3 when controller is squeezed manually, 2.2volts when you step on the brake)
4. Yes, gain and effort are set correctly.
5. I have visited 2 dealers who both say “it checks out”
6. They admitted their equipment reads communication signals, not voltage. ”SERIOUSLY…THATS CHECKED OUT!!!”
7. Ford had a recall on brake controllers earlier this year for the same exact symptoms.
8. My truck was built after the recall and came from the factory with the latest update.
9. They are telling me it must be my trailer. When I ask why the voltage diiffers from squeezing the trigger and standing on the brake, they have no answer. I did get one of the techs to admit 2.3volts won't engage trailer brakes.
10. Unfortunately, I can't get the dealers to help. They keep telling me “it checks out”
11. I would like to replace the controller with an aftermarket, as long as doing so doesn't screw up any other functionality, warranty, etc.
Last option: I might need a lawyer.
What happens when the gain is maxxed out?

Voltage drops of 12.3 to 2.2 usually mean there is a poor connection or some enormous load is being attached to the circuit.

It is highly unlikely an aftermarket brake controller would screw up any functionality of the trailer brake system. Especially when you are saying the brake control function is already screwed up. I would want to look at a wiring diagram before doing repairs. And that IS at the dealership.

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Old 12-07-2022, 07:03 AM   #3
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(HELP) Ford OEM Brake controller replacement

Sorry no proof in hand just two ideas.

1. The body controller knows the truck is not moving during this static test and it thinks no need to apply brakes.

comment has no proof citations too early for that.
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Old 12-07-2022, 07:29 AM   #4
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My gain is now at 10, I had it at 8.5. Adjusting the gain makes no difference. When I squeeze the controller while traveling down the road, the trailer brakes engage to the point of slowing my TV, that’s how we have made it this far. With my F150 and gain set high, I could feel the trailer pulling on the truck when I applied the brake. When I apply the brakes now, the trailer pushes my TV, I have nothing.
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Old 12-07-2022, 07:31 AM   #5
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Sorry no proof in hand just two ideas.

1. The body controller knows the truck is not moving during this static test and it thinks no need to apply brakes.

comment has no proof citations too early for that.
Good point, headed to HD for wire and alligator clips to extend my mulimeters reach. I'll test voltage while driving.
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Old 12-07-2022, 07:41 AM   #6
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I have one of the Easylog USB voltage recorders to help diagnose problems like this.



https://www.lascarelectronics.com/da...rrent?type=usb


Home Depot and wire extension would certainly be faster



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Old 12-07-2022, 09:02 AM   #7
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Test Complete

While driving over 30mph gain set to 10
Squeezing the controller 13.84
Stepping on the brake fairly aggressively 5.8
Stepping on the brake approaching a stoplight, 3.18

Test videos:
Hard braking:
https://youtube.com/shorts/1X8aZkVvzwg?feature=share
Approaching stoplight:
https://youtube.com/shorts/FhTHr95aSr4?feature=share
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Old 12-07-2022, 09:23 AM   #8
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Curious w/o watching your videos. Can you confirm the theory of a it’s not moving why provide braking power unnecessarily for your truck/controller?
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Old 12-07-2022, 09:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action View Post
What happens when the gain is maxxed out?

Voltage drops of 12.3 to 2.2 usually mean there is a poor connection or some enormous load is being attached to the circuit.

It is highly unlikely an aftermarket brake controller would screw up any functionality of the trailer brake system. Especially when you are saying the brake control function is already screwed up. I would want to look at a wiring diagram before doing repairs. And that IS at the dealership.

Action
Another posible plus...an aftermarket BC will likely be wired to the brake light switch which guarantees trailer activation BEFORE TV, (very important)

I believe Ford may have given the new vehicles a higher IQ than needed, hence all the recalls.

Bob
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Old 12-07-2022, 09:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Curious w/o watching your videos. Can you confirm the theory of a it’s not moving why provide braking power unnecessarily for your truck/controller?
I'm not quite understanding your question.
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Old 12-07-2022, 10:16 AM   #11
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Replaced mine with a Tekonsha P3

I have a 2015 F-150 and the factory brake controller would not work with my 2008 Classic. I had the dealership test it and and replace the 7 pin connector on the truck and tested fine, but still wouldn't engage the brakes on the trailer and I kept getting the dreaded "Trailer Disconnected" message. I installed a Tekonsha P3 and everything has been great ever since.
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Old 12-07-2022, 11:01 AM   #12
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The brake controller in my 2019 F250 works a lot better than the one in my 2010 F150 did. My neighbor has the same model F 250 and when either one of us crosses the same RR tracks in Evadale we get the Trailer Disconnected warning. Could the microwave towers along the tracks be causing this? Maybe a close encounter of the third kind?
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Old 12-07-2022, 11:08 AM   #13
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I installed a Tekonsha P3 and everything has been great ever since.

This is the controller I use on my '06 Navigator. Works well. However the vehicle technology from 16 years previous is likely to have chnaged a lot. Which is why I did not mention sooner.


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Old 12-07-2022, 11:09 AM   #14
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Looks like your controller is working just fine. I would check the adjustments on your trailer brakes.
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Old 12-11-2022, 02:00 PM   #15
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Stewart,

While I do not have an easy answer I have some information. I had a 2014 Ram with an Ecodiesel and the built in brake controller. It was always anemic in terms of slowing the trailer down.

I like you was trying to measure the applied brake voltage on the connector plug on my vehicle (wife depressing brake pedal while measured) but that is not a valid measurement. This is because the braking voltage is determined by the actual vehicle speed (computer) along with your foot applied pedal position. The truck knows it is not moving and it will NOT apply a full 12 V or anything close to that.

This was extremely frustrating as I could never determine a way to measure this while moving. In my case I was able to hand adjust each drum brake on the trailer for a slight improvement.

Replacing my TV with an older Dodge ('04 2500 w/ Cummins 24V diesel) that has an after market controller improved trailer braking further.

In trying to find a better solution I did research after market controllers for my Dodge but the modern design was not wired for an aftermarket controller and did not have a plug for it under the dash.

Many years ago I did hard wire a brake controller on a Toyota TV ('96) that did not have a plug under the dash. While not impossible, it took nearly a whole day. The most difficult part was running a fairly large diameter wire from the controller, through the dash, then all the way back to the plug connector. This is the wire that carries the voltage (more importantly current) to the plug connector. It can be done, it will take some time. You may also be able to find the large diameter wire that is currently being used by the built in controller but disconnecting is likely to produce errors in the vehicle computer.

Sorry no easy answer but perhaps this information may help you.

Cheers, Doug
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Old 12-13-2022, 05:53 AM   #16
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Nice job on the instrumented testing. I love hard data.

Here's a couple of ideas for other tests. You should be able to modulate the voltage of brakes using the hand controller, it can't just be on or off. It would be interesting to repeat the test, only this time have your wife using only the hand controller apply ~6v and see if you can feel the drag coming from the trailer brakes. Then repeat, this time stopping at what you feel is a reasonable deceleration using only the hand controller and read the voltage required.

Is it possible that your trailer brake setup just needs more max voltage then the "generic" setup programmed into the Ford controller? Seems like there should be a "max value" that is programmable in addition to "gain". The gain probably changes to slope of the line from zero to max value. - Mark
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Old 12-13-2022, 07:34 AM   #17
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Nice job on the instrumented testing. I love hard data.

Here's a couple of ideas for other tests. You should be able to modulate the voltage of brakes using the hand controller, it can't just be on or off. It would be interesting to repeat the test, only this time have your wife using only the hand controller apply ~6v and see if you can feel the drag coming from the trailer brakes. Then repeat, this time stopping at what you feel is a reasonable deceleration using only the hand controller and read the voltage required.

Is it possible that your trailer brake setup just needs more max voltage then the "generic" setup programmed into the Ford controller? Seems like there should be a "max value" that is programmable in addition to "gain". The gain probably changes to slope of the line from zero to max value. - Mark

Thanks for the suggestion. We actually did what you are recommending. Squeezing the controller ever so slightly engages the trailer brakes like an on off switch.
Controller:
We made our way down to Key Largo yesterday. I spent nearly the entire time driving through a city with my finger on the right side of the manual trigger. I would roll my finger left to slightly engage the brakes anytime I needed them.
Brake pedal:
Nothing for the first 1 or 2 seconds. Eventually I feel slight braking after holding my foot on the pedal slowing to a stoplight. That’s the 3-5 volts I see when I tested with the volt meter. Nowhere near enough to slow the trailer.
Issue:
Its all ford! This past spring, Ford issued a recall on 700k vehicles, including F series and Expeditions for this same issue I’m experiencing with the brake controller. My 2021 F150 had the same issues only it was included in the recall. All vehicles built since prior to mid spring “have the update”. Two dealers now have told me there is nothing they can do. It must be my trailer. This is the same exact response I got from two dealers last year with my F150. Only three months later, they issued a recall correcting the problem. My goal with this post is to find others experiencing the same issue on later builds. We need another recall. We are full time on the road with a brand new vehicle, and no trailer brakes. The new vehicles are all integrated, I can’t add an aftermarket controller without destroying my Ford warranty. I have posted a complaint with the NHTSA, more complaints will hopefully get the ball rolling faster.

I live that the dealers won’t type “trailer brake issue” on the paperwork. My service receipts read “electrical work”
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Old 12-13-2022, 07:53 AM   #18
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Every Ford dealership has a Ford Company representative to deal with warranty claims. Find out who that is and talk to him or her about your problem.
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Old 12-13-2022, 08:18 AM   #19
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The new vehicles are all integrated, I can’t add an aftermarket controller without destroying my Ford warranty. I have posted a complaint with the NHTSA, more complaints will hopefully get the ball rolling faster.
Things that owners do to their new vehicles do not ¨destroy¨ the new vehicle warranty.

It is only if that change that is done changes or impacts or harms a Ford installed part. You add a trailer controller and there is an excessive gap in the right door causing a whistling. The adjustment to align the door is going to be covered under the warranty.

Now if you get in a collision by hitting a vehicle in front of you and it is discovered you have trailer brakes that are not correctly working, you have liability for the damage.

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Old 12-13-2022, 08:23 AM   #20
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Dexter publishes current draw specifications for their brake magnets.

If you apply 12VDC directly to the brake circuit via the 7 way and MEASURE the current draw. If it meets specs then wiring and magnets are in specs. This test requires measuring voltage and amp draw, period. Then you go back to the TV controller.
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