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Old 04-18-2005, 02:56 AM   #1
Montana_3359
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2005 F250 Brake Controller

We picked up our new 3500RL Sat and was checking out the brake system. It will work when I depressthe brakes, but when I slide the slide bar over it doesn't seem to put enough pressure on the brakes of the trailer. Is there something I am missing with the Ford onboard brake controller.
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Old 04-18-2005, 03:55 AM   #2
sreigle
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We've used several controllers with two Montanas and never have been able to lock the brakes up totally using the slider no matter how much we adjusted the controller. I guess it's the weight of the trailer (just a guess). Is this what you're seeing or does it just not stop quickly enough?

We've put about 3,000 miles towing the Montana with the '05 Ford and I think I finally have the controller set where it works best for us. Ours is set on 8.0. I had it on 7.5 but did a panic stop (traffic light changed on a downgrade at 60 mph) and didn't think I had the brakes tight enough so changed to 8.0. That seems much better. Your 3500RL is a bit lighter than ours so yours might work better at a lower setting but you'll have to experiment a little with it. It always took me awhile to get the brake setting where I wanted it no matter what controller we were using. This one sure is smooth when it is set right, though.

If I missed your point, please post back.
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Old 04-18-2005, 04:09 AM   #3
Montana_3359
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Thanks for the reply, it just seemed like the slider would hold the TV and trailer or slow it up when you put it in drive with out touching the gas. I had to chock the trailer to get the hitch to slide back when I was going to maneuver. You could see the higher pressure if you apply the brakes. I started off with the setting in 7.5. still playing with it.
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Old 04-18-2005, 04:15 PM   #4
sreigle
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It should hold it enough for you to slide the slider unless the slider is very difficult to slide. That's how I slide ours. Originally I couldn't do that because the slider was rather balky. A good friend got out his can of dry-slide lubricant and sprayed the heck out of the rails and down in every open area he could find in the slider towers. Voila', now it slides easily and I can do it as noted above. Also, no more crash-bang when the slider finally pops and slides back or forward. It used to give me a headache when it crashed so hard. Now it usually will slide without giving the engine any throttle above idle. Is your slider tough to break loose?
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:32 AM   #5
Montana_3359
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Thans for the advise. im going to get the brakes on the trailer re adjusted this week it just doest seem to hold. I'm going to lube the slider, hate the banging sound also.
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Old 04-19-2005, 04:52 PM   #6
Montana_1240
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When I had our 3380, and now with the 3475, I can slow my 2005 F-350 down a lot, and lock the tires on the trailer up if on loose ground, with the Integrated Brake Controllerís slide switch. (I was able to do the same with most settings on the Prodigy controller I had in the 2002 F-350.)

On pavement, though, I have it set to just about the highest, because thatís where I can panic stop if need be, still without locking the rigís tires on the pavement.

If you canít get the trailerís tires to slow you down by sliding the slide switch on the controller, either the controllerís not furnishing enough juice, or the trailerís brakes do need adjusting.

I donít know about sliding hitches, however, because both my F-350s were long beds.

Good luck!

Steve
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Old 04-22-2005, 03:47 PM   #7
trukdoc
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Trailer brakes are "electromagnetic" meaning when you use the brakes or manually put on the trailer brakes which sends current to the magnet which must grap a surface inside the drum and the turning motion of the wheel with the magnet holding to the drum supplies the force to the brakes. With that said you must be rolling to get the brakes to work. There is a newer unit out that uses an electric actuator to modulate disk brakes, last word I hear is that it is not quite perfected yet. Great when working though and brakes will lock up at a standstill.
I have also had a little problem with my sliding hitch especially when the slope of the ground is not in the right direction, a slight tap on the accelerator will get the hitch to slide. Notice I said a slight tap on the accelerator, I can just see in my head the aftermath of my words being taken out of contex!
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Old 04-23-2005, 08:25 AM   #8
sreigle
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Gyro, what setting do you use on your integrated brake controller? Your Montana probably weighs roughly the same as ours.

I also read that the new integrated brake controller on the '05 Fords does not work with disc brakes so an aftermarket controller would be needed in that case.
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Old 04-23-2005, 04:39 PM   #9
Montana_1240
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by sreigle

Gyro, what setting do you use on your integrated brake controller? Your Montana probably weighs roughly the same as ours.

I also read that the new integrated brake controller on the '05 Fords does not work with disc brakes so an aftermarket controller would be needed in that case.
Steve,

I just went out and checked, and see that I've been using the highest setting, (10,) on the '05 Ford's controller.

We don't have discs on the '05 3475. Still drums.

Steve
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Old 04-25-2005, 08:36 AM   #10
Montana_3359
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Thanks for all the reply's, I checked with the service tech where we bought the camper, and he said the controller was only putting out 2.4 volts when the slider was fully depressed. He stated that it needed to be 12 volts. The Ford dealer said it should put out at least 8 volts when fully depressed. going to get them to look at it friday.
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:29 PM   #11
Native Tex
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Guys this is interesting conversation for sure. I have not had any problem with ours at this point. I run mine around 7.5 settings and brother it will lock it down in a hurry. it is so superior to anything I have ever used. I would suggest a good multi-meter be a part of all RVers took kit.
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Old 04-25-2005, 04:50 PM   #12
sreigle
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Gyro, 10.0 might be the best setting for your setup, I really don't know. But I do want to pass on what I learned from our Montana dealer last summer when we had him check the brakes. At that time we had the prior truck and were using the Prodigy controller. He told me the linings were only half worn (20k to 25k miles) but had heat stress cracks. He also said the magnets were worn at nearly a 45 degree angle and were close to getting to that point where they'd not release after braking. He told me the cause was I was cranking the controller down too hard, too much braking from the trailer. I had the prodigy up around 8.0. I experimented and backed it down to around 7.0 or 7.2 (forgot already). I know those numbers don't relate to the Ford controller but just wanted to let you know that too much braking on the trailer can be a bad thing too, apparently. Just thought I'd mention this in case it would save you some braking grief later on.
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Old 04-26-2005, 05:23 PM   #13
Montana_1240
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Steve,

I'd love to take a look at the drums, shoes, and magnets on the fiver, someday. You may be right. I set it to 9.5, before we left South Carolina. And was still able to stop it in order to turn into this park in North Carolina. The entrance had snuck up on us!

I've browsed the manuals that come with the axles and brakes. I better check them better, to try to judge whether I have it set too tight, still. Though I didn't lock up the wheels when on both sand, and grass, sliding the lever full over.

I'm still trying to imagine adjusting the fiver brakes. I used to have to adjust my old vehicles' brakes, when I was a teen. But I had a jack and they didn't have two wheels in line!

Steve
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Old 04-27-2005, 04:30 PM   #14
sreigle
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Steve, they adjust just like those old vehicles you and I used to adjust ourselves. Same starwheel and everything. And I had the same problem trying to remember which way to move the starwheel. Did the same trick of turning it one way while spinning the wheel to see if it's tightening or loosening. Just jack up one wheel at a time with the jack where the spring attaches to the axle.

One hint, though. If you have a kingpin stabilizer in place, remove it first. Otherwise it does bad things to the stabilizer and costs money to fix or replace. Sigh. Next time I'll remove the stabilizer and hitch the truck to the pin so I don't worry about the trailer moving around on me.
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:33 PM   #15
Montana_1240
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Steve,

I can imagine it'd do a job on a kingpin stabilizer. Torque it off to one side, etc. I almost did something akin to that when raising my landing pads while the rear stabilizers were down! Luckily, I heard the gravel crunch before doing any damage!

I always had to do the same thing when adjusting those old brakes. I was never sure, though, just how loose to leave the shoes when I was done. The manual tells me how far it should rotate after proper adjusting. And if memory serves, (which is highly dubious,) I think I used to leave my old wheels freer than the fiver manual suggested....

Heck. Maybe that'd be a good thing to do as a "workshop" at one of the rallies we have coming up.

I know that it'd help me. That, and going over axle lubrication.

And I think that sort of workshop would be OK with the spouse. As opposed to one on how to open and down a cold beer!

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 04-29-2005, 01:15 PM   #16
sreigle
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I don't know what is correct for a FW but I always just backed it off until the wheel turns freely. Just. As for the opening the cold beer, I'd expect that to be a hands-on, lab type seminar!
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Old 04-30-2005, 09:45 AM   #17
Montana_3359
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those of you with a new Ford vehicle, check my post on the Ford Safety Bulletin 2005-01 I posted it seperately.
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