adjusting brake controller

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by keithert, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. keithert

    keithert Member

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    I used my Tacoma with the Teconsha P3 today. Reading the adjustment directions it said to continue to increase the gain number from 6 until the trailer skids when using the manual brake control. It took until setting 9.5 or 10 before the my Coleman Niagara would skid. Does that seem high? On my initial drive using setting 6 the temperature of the brakes was only 85. At setting 9 later the temp was 195. The trucks brake temp was 190 each time.
     
  2. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like your trailer brakes need adjusting.
     
  3. davido

    davido Active Member

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    Getting brakes to lock up is not only a function of how much pressure (or voltage, in this case) is applied.

    Other factors include speed from which you applied the brakes, how heavy the trailer's load is, the type and condition of the roadway, the condition (and adjustment) of the brakes themselves, road temperature, tire tread, and so on.

    But the notion that you should set your brake controller to just shy of full lock-up makes sense for the following reason. In a panic stop where the shortest possible stopping distance is important, you would not want to apply anything less than the maximum possible amount of brake before the tires began to skid. Anything less than full braking power translates into more feet of stopping distance. Now back away from a panic stop situation, and that's what the proportional aspect of the controller is supposed to manage.
     
  4. NorcrossFlyer

    NorcrossFlyer Active Member

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    I was adjusting mine last Saturday (Also a Teconsha) and never got it to lockup although I haven't put it past 9. The brakes are working because I can slide the manual lever over quickly and the camper brakes will stop my truck.

    I am using the B1 setting. No boost kept the braking aggressiveness too low (in my uninformed opinion).
     
  5. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    I too could not get my tires to lock up no matter how high I went. I have 10" drums. if I recall right, i can go 25 and the camper brakes can stop the Murano while using the manual lever. If you have the shoes adjusted properly then I think what you see is what you will get. You could also caall Tekonsha and see if they have any advise.

    Good luck, let us know....
     
  6. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I have a P3. I can lock my trailer brakes up at 25. At dead stop, I can push the lever over fully and the brakes will 100% hold. My truck will drag the TT....I demonstrated that to the safety inspector who put a sticker on my trailer last year. [:D]
     
  7. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    what size brake drums and how many axles?
     
  8. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    12"...2 axles
     
  9. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

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    Same here. I couldn't get our popup brakes to lock if my life depended on it. I was sure there was something terribly wrong so I took the brakes apart, cleaned and lubed everything. Adjusted the brakes as tight as I could without them dragging, and still all the brakes really did was keep the pup behind us. I came to the realization that I was expecting too much out of 7 inch drum brakes.

    I will say, the 12 inch brakes on my TT or dump trailer will easily stop my F350 by using the over ride button on the controller however. A lot more braking power in the larger diameter brakes.
     
  10. Winchested

    Winchested Member

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    Same here P3 in a 2011 F150. 12' Coleman Mesa. No lockup brakes are adjusted as long as the brakes hold your vehicle from a dead stop and can slow you down by manually braking the controller then they are working fine.
     
  11. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    I dont think much in the or under the 10 inch drum will have much luck locking unless you are very light on weight. Just my observations, I can be wrong.
     
  12. Desird97

    Desird97 New Member

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    I am picking up my new PUP next month and will be getting the P3 controller. Any advice on setting it up? I have a 2015 Tacoma and have already plugged in the adapter. Hopefully the setup is easier than finding the pre-wired plug in the truck!
     
  13. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    FWIW, I found that my Tekonsha Primus IQ didn't need much setting up. After hooking up the camper, the controller tested itself on the initial brake application locked up the brakes and that was about it.

    Since then, it just does what it does. As long as the trailer brakes are properly adjusted, it just plain works and hasn't locked up the brakes once. While manually applying the brakes on the controller can lock the brakes, every proportional brake application is perfectly executed, so much so that I don't even know the camper is back there.

    Just make sure your trailer brakes are adjusted properly, follow the instructions on the instruction sheet and you'll be fine.
     
  14. phoodieman

    phoodieman Active Member

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    So from my research my 7.5 inch hubs are not going to lock. I'm running a Tenkonsha P2. I don't seem to be getting any slow down just using the manual control on the unit either. I have the shoes adjusted pretty tight on the drum. This is a Fayette axle that I had to retrofit the C bars on to accept magnets that I can replace. I can't buy the shoes any more either, but I managed to get two sets and I had both of them re shoed at a local brake and clutch shop. I think I'm going to unhook the unit and brake and run it, then hook it back up and brake and see if I can feel any difference right there and on the spot. I have new bearings on both side adjusted correctly. After the first test runs the hubs are extremely hot. (Just about can't touch them). Which has NEVER occurred running this trailer for four years, so I know it's the brakes. Ok brake guru's....

    Phoodieman
     

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  15. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

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    If you did not connect the brake controller for the first test and the hubs are still very hot, then the brake shoes are adjusted too tight. You don't want the shoes to be constantly dragging along the hub. You need to back it off a little at a time until it is just barely making contact. After you do that, run again without brakes to see if the hubs heat up. After you confirm that they are adjusted correctly, then try it with the brakes activated. You should feel some resistance to forward motion when you activate the P2 using the manual control. The hub should also be warm after a few runs. If not, your brake setup is not working. You'll need to check to see if it is getting power of if the magnets are bad.
     
  16. etrailerJohn

    etrailerJohn Member

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    Adjusting the brake controller won't help much if the brakes are out of adjustment. The brake shoes should be adjusted until you can feel a very slight drag when the wheel is spinning freely, and no tighter than that. Once the brakes are correctly adjusted, theny you can start dialing in the controller itself, following the manufatuerer's setup instructions. The P3 is a high quality brake controller, it should work great for you. As mentioned above, the 7 inch brake assembly used on many pop-ups won't be capable of causing the brakes to skid which doesn't necessarily indicate a problem. Ideally, you'll want the braking to peak out just before wheel lock which is the point at which brakes are most effective.

    If you click the link below, you can see more information about brake controllers.

    https://www.etrailer.com/expert-78.html
     
  17. phoodieman

    phoodieman Active Member

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    Then I definitely have them too tight. I will back them off then adjust them to a slight contact. Then run them without the controller to heat test. Then tweak the controller. Thanks for the info gurus......

    Phoodieman
     

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