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Old 02-13-2016, 08:11 AM   #21
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Thanks everyone for the information!
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Old 02-13-2016, 08:52 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by emm-dee View Post
the integrated controller, under normal driving conditions, shines because of its smoothness... I have developed the habit with both controllers to set the brake power setting very high when traveling at interstate speeds....
I'm fairly tall & my knees always banged into the aftermarket brake controllers installed in our work trucks... My Ram 2500 CC can sit three-across when we bring one of the kids' friends, so I prefer not to clutter the center console in case we need that space...

Therefore I bought a used OEM in-dash controller & had a Ram dealer program it when they were doing warranty work. The combined total was around $200 & IMO it works as good as 3rd party - although I also keep mine on a very high power setting. For a number of years I drove a lot of work trailers behind 1 ton trucks & developed a "feel" for what the trailer is doing back there. IMO city driving seems smoother with the OEM...
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Old 02-15-2016, 05:22 PM   #23
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...In a related matter, in your unedited post you mentioned that if the anti-skid started working on the truck and the trailer had more braking power than the truck there could be a jack-knife situation. That confuses me because I've always heard that a jack-knife situation occurs when the trailer is pushing the truck. Even with anti-skid in operation wouldn't it be better if the trailer was pulling back on the truck? Coming from an aviation background where we intentionally used anti skid on a regular basis I am not impressed at all with the operation of the systems used on our cars and trucks. Please enlighten me on how or why the trailer should have less braking in that situation because I just don't understand it.
I edited the post, because it did not make sense for me to keep arguing, when I said I wasn't going to continue arguing.

But I think you misquoted my original post. I was not concerned with the trailer having more braking power. I was concerned about the trailer tires locking up, because the voltage was set too high.

Maximum brake torque is achieved when the tires are almost locked, but still turning. At this point, as you said, the trailer is either pulling back on the truck, or they are working together.

But once you get tire skidding, the braking torque is actually reduced by quite a bit. At that point, the trailer will be pushing against the truck. If you are in a curve, the trailer could start to come around if the surface is slippery enough.

It is for this very reason that all proportional controllers have a setup procedure that first warms up the brakes, then has you perform full manual apply-snubs from around 25 mph, to find that point where the trailer brakes lock up. Then you just barely back off the voltage until you can no longer lock the brakes. Then you leave the setting where it is. So, in the event of an emergency stop, the controller will send back that max-set voltage, to TRULY give you your maximum braking torque.
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:53 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by thebrakeman View Post
I edited the post, because it did not make sense for me to keep arguing, when I said I wasn't going to continue arguing.

But I think you misquoted my original post. I was not concerned with the trailer having more braking power. I was concerned about the trailer tires locking up, because the voltage was set too high.

Maximum brake torque is achieved when the tires are almost locked, but still turning. At this point, as you said, the trailer is either pulling back on the truck, or they are working together.

But once you get tire skidding, the braking torque is actually reduced by quite a bit. At that point, the trailer will be pushing against the truck. If you are in a curve, the trailer could start to come around if the surface is slippery enough.

It is for this very reason that all proportional controllers have a setup procedure that first warms up the brakes, then has you perform full manual apply-snubs from around 25 mph, to find that point where the trailer brakes lock up. Then you just barely back off the voltage until you can no longer lock the brakes. Then you leave the setting where it is. So, in the event of an emergency stop, the controller will send back that max-set voltage, to TRULY give you your maximum braking torque.
Thanks for the response. With this internet thingy it can get hard to relay the information in the same manner as a verbal response.

When I referred to aggressive brake settings when traveling on the interstates I should have said "when traveling at highway speeds". When I did the initial setup on my system and I determined I could get trailer tire chirping with a setting of 7.5 with the trailer weight 7,700 pounds and 7.0 with the weight at 6,900 (with and without the Harley loaded). So, at highway speeds I leave the controller at 6.0. It's very noticeable when I just barely touch the brake pedal but I doubt I could get wheel lock.

However, in addition to being noticeable, a 6.0 setting is downright uncomfortable when driving in city traffic. For those conditions I back it off to 3.0 and can feel only minor tugging by the trailer.
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:32 PM   #25
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In all seriousness, if I had to fiddle with my brake controller like this, every time I got on or off the freeway, I'd be complaining to Tekonsha (in my case) or to Ram (in your case). A good proportional system should not require you to do that.

Anyone else have to fiddle with their integrated Ram controller like this?
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:10 PM   #26
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I set mine at 4- 4.5 with exhaust brake and tow haul mode pulling around 15K.


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Old 02-16-2016, 08:11 PM   #27
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:08 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by stevensmith2859 View Post
Does anyone or has anyone used their stock mopar trailer brake controller? I have a 2013 Ram and want to have the OEM one integrated into the dash, Its a very clean look. Anyone have any issues with them? I have a 2015 Wildwood 28DBUD, I'm sure it will work with my braking system on it. (I assume anyways)
My 2011 2500 has it built in the dash and it works great. Plus the info. about settings / when it disconnects etc. showing up on the unit itself and in the computer display between speedo / tach is very useful.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:23 PM   #29
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I installed the OEM brake controller myself and had the dealer program it...I don't remember how much they charged. Make sure you have the installation instructions available for them as the mechanic I had didn't know what to do. I was able to use all three screws on the bracket by using threadserts in the holes and screwing the bracket on from the other side. As was mentioned it was an easy install otherwise.....

I wish I knew about having them program in the code for the backup camera as it's an upgrade I'd love to do someday..... How hard an install is it?



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Originally Posted by emm-dee View Post
Your question has a two word answer....do it.

The Ram controller is far superior to any aftermarket controller available. I cannot speak about the Ford or GM controllers but I'm pretty sure they operate the same way. The difference between the OEM and aftermarket has to do with how the system determines how much voltage is sent to the brakes. Although there may be aftermarket controllers that vary the voltage based on the brake pedal position (or the pressure being applied to the brake pedal) I couldn't find one. Plus, there's no way the installation could be as clean and easy as the OEM.

The way the OEM works is as you apply pedal pressure the voltage is sent to the brakes based on how much pressure there is. The system works the same if you are driving at 60 mph or sitting still with the truck in park. You get a visual display on the truck EVIC display (the little screen between the tach and speedometer). Most, if not all, aftermarket controllers (there are some good ones) vary the voltage from information derived from some sort of accelerometer or pendulum. They have to feel deceleration "G" forces in order to work, unless you physically move the manual controller on the box, and that box is going to constantly banging into your leg as you enter/exit the vehicle.

The OEM controller (Ram part number 82213474, about $250 or so) connects directly to two existing wiring plug fittings. One fitting goes to the controller (completely hidden from view after installation) and the other to the dash controller set device mounted below the radio screen. It's a simple plug and play process. There is a very good YouTube video show how to install the controller at . This video mentions ignoring the "third" screw installation and that's a good idea. It is impossible to get a tool onto the screw unless you dismantle the entire dash assembly, and it really is not needed. The other two screws are sufficient to hold the controller mounting bracket. The only thing I would add to the video instructions is to apply a little bit of blue LockTite to the screws. Once you install the controller there is no reason to ever remove it (unless it completely dies...unlikely).

The entire install process will take 30 minutes if you've never done it before. If you're familiar with removing the facia panels surrounding the radio display and lower kick panel then the controller install time is about 15 minutes or less. There are YouTube videos explaining how to remove the facia panels.

After you complete the installation the first thing you'll see is the "check engine" warning symbol. Don't worry...that's normal. The truck computer sees that you have added something to the system but it doesn't know what you added. It doesn't affect any other operation or system on the truck. After the install you'll have to visit your friendly Ram dealer to have them program the truck computer. It depends on your negotiating skills but they charge anywhere from $0 to $100 to do this. They use their proprietary system to access your VIN in factory computer. Once they've told the factory system you have the brake controller they will plug a laptop into your truck and the updated status will be programmed to your computer. If you dealer is not completely familiar with the process (some may have never done it) just tell them to program the code XHC into the system.

Once that is done, you go to the settings screen on your U-Connect 5.0 or 8.4 radio, scroll down to the trailer settings and select either "Light Electric, Heavy Electric, Light Electric over Hydraulic, or Heavy Electric over Hydraulic". I've never been able to find the difference between light or heavy and my trailer seems to react the same way regardless of what is chosen. Once you've chosen your setting you can use the steering wheel control to display "Trailer" on the EVIC. If you don't have a trailer connected to the 7-way and you move the manual slider on the lower dash the display will show "No Trailer Connected". If you have a trailer connected and it still give you that message then you know there is a problem with the trailer brakes (improper connection, bad ground, etc etc). Also, using the "up/down" buttons on the steering wheel will give you a separate odometer to show you how many miles are being put on the trailer (you can reset it to zero if you want to show trip mileage with trailer connected). The +/- buttons on the slider control below the radio give you an instant display of the setting regardless or what view is selected on the EVIC.

An added note: If you don't have a backup camera installed in your tailgate yet, ask the dealer to add the code XAC at the same time they add the brake controller code. They probably won't charge any more for that because there's no additional work on their part. Then, if you ever decide to install a camera in the tailgate latch it will immediately start working and you won't have to return to the dealer for more programming. The tailgate camera is really nice to see the trailer hitch ball as you connect it. If the code is programmed but no camera installed you just get a blank display on the U-Connect whenever you select reverse. Doesn't hurt anything.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:15 PM   #30
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I installed the OEM brake controller myself and had the dealer program it...I don't remember how much they charged. Make sure you have the installation instructions available for them as the mechanic I had didn't know what to do. I was able to use all three screws on the bracket by using threadserts in the holes and screwing the bracket on from the other side. As was mentioned it was an easy install otherwise.....

I wish I knew about having them program in the code for the backup camera as it's an upgrade I'd love to do someday..... How hard an install is it?
Not at all hard to install. I got mine from tailgatecamera.com . Not the cheapest but it displays on the uConnect screen. Their kits include a new tailgate handle assembly with the camera pre-installed. Takes about 20 minutes to run the wires. The screen display includes the parking lines but unlike the factory unit the lines do not move with the steering wheel movement. Just remember, it anything touches the red line and you keep going you will hit it.
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