Electric Brake Problem

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by genexxa, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. genexxa

    genexxa New Member

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    Hi,

    I have a major problem with my electric brake... they don't brake at all. First I want to understand something. Yesterday I went out to check the voltage on my car plug to make sure everything is ok with the plug. Result I got 8.39v (blue wire) while pressing brake pedal. Is this normal or should I get 12v. My understanding is that the voltage should varie according to my brake controller settings... am I right?

    Next step is to check the wiring on the pop itself and the fuses.

    Thank you guys!
     
  2. IVBENS

    IVBENS New Member

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    you are getting voltage at the car plug, but do you know if it is present in or past the pup plug? I have a tester with a sharp point and was able to pierce the sheathing on the pup harness and was able to check the blue wire in it for voltage.
     
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Do not bother to check the fuses .... they have nothing to do with the brakes. Does your controller have a read out saying the trailer is connected, better ones do. The 8 volts should be OK it varies with motion, load, grade ...etc. Check the blue wire at the pup plug and then the blue wires at the drums under the pup. Don't forget ..... your will need a good ground, with a good size wire to complete the circuit.
     
  4. genexxa

    genexxa New Member

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    yes my controller is telling me that a trailer is connected. I'll check if I get voltage at the drums and also check the ground.

    Thanks for your help guys!
     
  5. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    It sounds like to me that electrically the brakes or at least one is OK ............. check brake condition and adjustment ...... apply the brakes with the wheels off the ground and check for drag.
     
  6. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    Hi,

    You should check the voltage with the manual brake control switch on your controller...full on should ramp up to 12V +/- a bit. If your running lights and turn signals work on the trailer, your ground is most likely fine.


    Are you hearing a 'clunk' at the trailer tires when you activate the brakes? My guess is you have a break in the line somewhere between the trailer's pigtail and the brake hubs. If the wire checks out, you might have bad magnets in the brakes themselves.

    Todd
     
  7. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    The brake magnet will draw about 3 amps for full power, so a single axle = 6 amps for sure. There will be a certain loss of the 12V power from the battery source through the wiring and connections. Since you know your getting power at the coupler connection point the next place to check is for the brakes themselves.

    When the tow vehicle brakes are applied, can you hear a clicking sound at the trailer brakes ...?
     
  8. genexxa

    genexxa New Member

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    This is what I'm also guessing for now!
     
  9. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    If you had a break in the wire it would show .......... not connected....
     
  10. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    ^^^^^^^X2. It would not show a connection. I had a break in my line, and it showed NC on my break controller. I think the problem is with the brakes themselves....either need a major adjustment or in need of replacing.
     
  11. BajaPup

    BajaPup New Member

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    To simply check if the brakes function at all, disconnect the trailer from the TV and pull the breakaway switch plug. Assuming you have a breakaway switch and a battery to power the brakes, you should hear both brakes actuate.

    You have to disconnect the trailer from the TV to prevent damage to the brake controller. BTW, exactly what brake controller do you have? Is this a new installation, or has this setup been functioning properly before this?
     
  12. JT2

    JT2 Member

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    Well, yes, you MAY have a break in the hot wire to the brakes, but I think it would be unusual on a camper that was not abused and received moderate care. The wires are usually run and secured fairly well on and below the trailer.

    In my experience, the elec. brake faults on our PUP have always related to either 1) poor shoe to drum adjustment or 2) bad grounding between the TV and the trailer. In this case I'd go after the ground circuit first. (Since the brakes worked before, they're probably still close to properly adjusted...)
     
  13. BajaPup

    BajaPup New Member

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    He hasn't said that the brakes have ever worked properly before.

    As you said, I'd look for a ground problem first. If the TV-Pup ground path has been relying on the ball, I'd fix that now and wire it through the 7-pole plug.
     
  14. genexxa

    genexxa New Member

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    If I had a ground problem, my brake controller wouldn't indicate ''connected'' when my pop is connected, right?
     
  15. BajaPup

    BajaPup New Member

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    Maybe, maybe not. If you had a barely functional ground path, I think it's possible your controller would show "connected", but there may not be enough current flowwing through the ground to actuate the brakes.

    What brake controller do you have?

    Are you relying on the coupler-ball for a ground path, or is it wired through the 7-pole plug?

    Were you able to get the brakes to actuate using the breakaway switch as I described earlier?

    Have the electric brakes ever worked properly with this TV-camper combination? The reason I ask is that someone recently installed an electric brake controller, only to learn their Pup had hydraulic surge brakes.
     
  16. jbarz73

    jbarz73 New Member

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    My wires go along the axle from one side to the other. They are "secured" to the axle with plastic zip-ties. That reminds me, I noticed my brake wire sagging fairly low between the zip-ties after our last trip. I need to check that out before our upcoming trip.
     
  17. genexxa

    genexxa New Member

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  18. BajaPup

    BajaPup New Member

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    Have the electric brakes ever worked properly with this TV-camper combination?

    Is the Pup's battery holding a full charge?

    If everything was working properly in the past, and the Pup's battery should've been able to power the brakes through the breakaway switch, I'd check for damaged wiring under the trailer.
     
  19. genexxa

    genexxa New Member

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    I bought the pop at the end of last summer and same problem since day 1. I was first thinking about the adjustment but here I am!

    edit: and by the way the battery is fine
     
  20. BajaPup

    BajaPup New Member

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    Sounds like a basic wiring issue with the brake assemblies themselves. At this point, I'd pull the drums and inspect everything while repacking the bearings. They probably need some attention, too.

    It's a pain on my phone, so I won't find it for you, but search etrailer for electric brake articles and videos. They usually have very helpful stuff on repairs and inspections.
     

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