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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
questions for the vehicle/electric/wiring guys:

wells cargo trailer with stock dexter torflex 5200# axle with 12 x 2" electric brakes (brakes put on after), prodigy brake controller in van, factory tow package, round 7pin plug

had trailer new since mid '07 , brakes worked beautiflully, thanx to prodigy controller, even prior to prodigy controller I had a timed controller, either way the brakes did what they were supposed to do, occasional adjustments at the hubs, no prob

earlier this spring, I was getting eratic/locking braking in one wheel, since loader has been in a perment state of mob/demobilization most of the year, I just dialed down the output, made a few adjustments, and kept on going.

rewind back to when I installed brakes. I got a 7 pin pigtail from trailer store, swapped out flat 4 for 7 round, I soldered/heat shrinked everything, and I ran 2 pieces of 10 gauge tinned marine wire soldered/shrinked at pigtail/veh ground back to frame near each hub, 10 gauge marine crimp ring terminal also soldered and tapped into frame

so back in like july or aug, I was doing a little maint. adjusted drums, get the output setting on controller right again, but got very weak breaking even with output maxed out,

figgured the magnets were just toast, so got new mags and pads, goto install and upon taking drums apart, the magnets and pads were normal and in beautiful condition, no reason to change, but I changed em anyway. Put it all back together, adjust roadtest, weak weak weak even with output maxed out???

just dialed it down again and forgot about it, so lately i've been doing some maintainence again, adjust drums, road test/set output, either weak and or driverside locking up regardless of output:censored:

before I start throwing money at this, anything I'm missing, ground??? possible controller malfunction??? advice
tia
 

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The Deck Guy
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The ground can be the devil on a trailer. It will do weird things.

To isolate the controller issue, have someone manual actuate the brakes via the controller via the spring loaded level on top while you are looking at the hubs. You should be able to see the brakes moving in the drum as it moves.

Failing that, I would call Tekonsha and ask their techs. Failing that, call etrailer.com and ask them.
 

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Are you sure the brakes are wired to the controller? It almost sounds like you're wired into the brake lights.

And you have a poor ground
 

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I always start with the easy stuff first:
Pull out the truck side plug and check to be sure all wiring is in good condition, if any of it is corroded, cut the wires back and if necessary install a new truck side plug...this way you KNOW the truck plug is'nt the problem.

Next look at the trailer plug side, which if it's an 07 should not be an issue unless it's in an abusive environment.

I ALWAYS run multiple ground on both truck and trailer side...you cannot have enough ground points, so dont rely soley on the truck plug connection for it.

Then since you've already replaced the shoes/magnets....did you pull the adjustiers apart, wire wheel them, then put anti seize on the threads and thread it back together? Many times the adjusters rust up and dont allow the pads to stay close enough to the drum so the throw gets too short to really put a bind inside the drum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
anti, no everythings hooked up right, was working great, after sitting idle last winter started noticing/acting up in spring

good advice guys, I didn't even touch the adjusters, but i'll try cleaning them up and putting on new ring terminals at the frame. does it matter what wire is what on the magnets, both green??? idunno
thx again
 

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anti, no everythings hooked up right, was working great, after sitting idle last winter started noticing/acting up in spring

good advice guys, I didn't even touch the adjusters, but i'll try cleaning them up and putting on new ring terminals at the frame. does it matter what wire is what on the magnets, both green??? idunno
thx again
Wires dont mean a thing. Keep in mind for the future, price out the COMPLETE backing plate. I used to be a supervisor for an OTR repair shop and we also haulmark/wells cargo/featherlite trailers so we did a TON of trailer service/repairs on these small ones. It was more cost effective for the customer to get complete backing plates swapped out vs having our guys pull them completely apart and replace guts since usually if the shoes were in need of replacement, so were the magnets/adjusters/hardware...so speed wise it was faster taking off 4 nuts and clipping 2 wires vs completely redoing the parts.

The magnet does'nt care which wire you hook to what...once it engergizes it pulls over regardless.

So long as you got it tore down it's worth doing new seals and check/replace/repack bearings..also check the races since salty climates will start to degrade them if seals are failing. When we did the adjusters we'd tighten them up so they just started to drag, and then we had a rolling test station so we could plug the truck or trailer into it and activate certain functions, so we'd obviously turn the brake circuit on and final adjust from there when they were energized...with the tire MOUNTED so you can really put some force to try and turn it.
 

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Contractor
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I upgraded to a P3 and man that's a great controller-the difference between the old time delay and the P3 is astonishing...for me anyway. You can observe the power (V or A-can't recall) from the control unit. the P3 makes it easy to compensate for brake wear by increasing the voltage with the push of a button on the controller.

if it's your ground, turn on the lights and observe the trailer lights when applying the brakes. if poor ground, they'll dim (assuming standard ground install). if you want to rull out ground contact from hitch- unhitch trailer for troubleshooting purposes but keep plug attached. seems my ground lasts about one year on my older vechiles...just noticed it a few nights ago w/ no rear lights until the hitch made the ground contact :-(
 

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Check your wires on the trailer. I have a car hauler that gave some erratic braking on one side and it turned out there was a small worn spot on the insulation and sometimes the brakes worked on that side sometimes they didn't. Cut the wire, spliced it back together and put a wire clamp on it so it wouldn't flop around anymore and no more problems.
 
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