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Old 06-29-2018, 05:06 PM   #1
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Electric Brake Issue

Took the new TT out today to do some weighing and load calcs and two miles down the road I get a dash message that the trailer is not connected. Figured I must have pulled the plug out but no such luck.

So I spent the rest of the day reading brake postings and doing troubleshooting. (These really aren’t difficult to figure out once you understand how they work).

I traced the hot brake wire (mines blue) from the truck connector to each wheel, testing voltage which was 9 to 11 volts to ground. Jacked the wheel and it rolled fine, listened for a hum, no sign of brake action.

Helpful tip: If your using a multimeter, invest in probes designed to penetrate the insulation jacket. They save a lot of time and you won’t have to take the connectors apart. Just watch your fingers, they’re sharp!

Next up tested the ground circuit. All good here. I pushed a meter probe deep into a three wire crimp connector to recheck voltage and things started working correctly. I pulled on the wires and one came loose so what I think happened (and I’m not an electrician) is there was enough of a wire connection to carry the volts, but not the amps (power) to energize the magnets. I have seen this before in the HVAC trade having measured the correct voltage but not enough power coming through to pull in a relay due to a break in the wire or sometimes even corrosion.

BTW for those wondering as I was, controllers send out an intermittent low voltage looking for the magnets or load. That is how it knows if it is connected.

Hope this helps someone out there have a better day.
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Old 06-29-2018, 05:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Helpful tip: If your using a multimeter, invest in probes designed to penetrate the insulation jacket. They save a lot of time and you won’t have to take the connectors apart. Just watch your fingers, they’re sharp!
WELL...

although that works, piercing the insulation, if doing that on wires that are exposed to wet and maybe salty winter roads, the pierced insulation gives an entry point to corrosive chemicals that will then corrode the wires internal to the insulation and possibly make intermittent bad connections years down the road that will be near impossible to troubleshoot...
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Old 06-29-2018, 05:59 PM   #3
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Noted, but that tiny pin prick is a lot less exposed than the unsealed crimps and connections they’re using at the factory:trink39
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:00 PM   #4
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WELL...

although that works, piercing the insulation, if doing that on wires that are exposed to wet and maybe salty winter roads, the pierced insulation gives an entry point to corrosive chemicals that will then corrode the wires internal to the insulation and possibly make intermittent bad connections years down the road that will be near impossible to troubleshoot...

Absolutely correct and forbidden to pierce insulation on aircraft wire since aging aircraft program came out making wiring a separate system for just this reason
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:06 PM   #5
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crimps and connections are easy to test with a TUG on the wire and are always suspect for bad connections... however pierced insulation problems are impossible to find... but do what you want... just commenting on the bad advice you gave... I DON"T pierce in wet/outdoor locations especially in wires that flex...
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:07 PM   #6
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WELL...

although that works, piercing the insulation, if doing that on wires that are exposed to wet and maybe salty winter roads, the pierced insulation gives an entry point to corrosive chemicals that will then corrode the wires internal to the insulation and possibly make intermittent bad connections years down the road that will be near impossible to troubleshoot...

I'll use the insulation piercing method if there's no other practical way. I will however use a probe with a needle sharp point and when I have my reading I merely smear some "Liquid Electrical Tape" over the point I penetrated. This stuff is a liquid vinyl and any hole that might remain (remember most automotive wire insulation is "Plastic" and contracts enough to seal most holes when the "needle" is removed.

BTW, I use this on exposed crimp connectors and I've noticed that some was used on the brake wires on my 2018 from the factory.
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Old 07-01-2018, 06:29 PM   #7
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Just a follow up thought. Why is the ground wire, which was where the problem was, in a crimp connector ten feet from the brakes? Is it required to be hard wired or could it have been grounded to the frame at the axel. Maybe both would be a safer solution.
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Old 07-01-2018, 08:32 PM   #8
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What "TitanMike" said. I have done electrical troubleshooting and I use a paper clip spread open then sharpen one end. I also have a set of alligator clips that my volt-meter probes go into one end and I can use the alligator clips placed onto the paper clip for testing, sort of "hands free". I also am a big user of liquid electrical tape over the probe sites.
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