I recently picked up a used 29' 2005 Gear Box Toy Hauler. The unloaded vehicle weight on it is listed as 7658 lbs. I hitched this to my 2005 F-250 6.0, which has the integrated brake controller. I fired up the truck, cranked the brake controller gain up to max (10), put the truck in drive, fully activated the manual control on the brake controller, and took my foot off the brake. The truck was able to creep at idle with the trailer attached.
To isolate whether it was my controller or the trailer, they jacked up one side of the trailer, spun the wheel, and activated the trailer brakes with a test box they use at the dealership. They were able to successfully lock up the brakes on each wheel, each side with this. When we tried the same test with my trucks integrated controller, it stopped the wheels at a much slower rate and didn't lock them up completely. The tech mentioned that he was only seeing ~5 amps from the integrated controller which wasn't substantial. He was able to sense the current change as I actuated the controller, so it was working.
My questions are:
Is there any known problem with the integrated brake controller on the Super Duty's? Any way to further test it?
Any way to boost the current going to the trailer?
If I had to install a third party controller in my truck, is it a huge issue since I already have a controller hard wired in?
First, in my opinion, reading how Ford's built-in controller operates should be mandatory reading before anyone is allowed to hook trailer to truck.
Secondly, of all the components in the trailer braking systems, all controllers, built-in and after-market, are the most reliable and the most often replaced unnecessarily. The liability issue for manufacturers of these things is huge and liability is probably taken more seriously by manufacturers than all other factors combined.
That's good read, maybe we could get a mod to sticky it or add it to an FAQ.
That would be an excellent idea. The question is continual and I have referred several folks to that same piece in the past. It is widely available on the Internet and I am not sure why there seems to be so little exposure to it.
This was ONLY on the '05 MY from my readings. They "fixed" it on the 06MY. 5th wheelers complained that they couldn't check the hook-up as the brakes wouldn't hold. When you take off, when you hear the auto door locks lock, the brakes are also energized.
I check mine by pulling the break-away lanyard then reinsert it as soon as I know I'm solidly hooked to the trailer. Don't leave it disconnected long, you may burn thru a wire.
The problem is, the information isn't in the manual. The first thing I did was to break out the manual and read about the brake controller operation. I'll have to go back over it next time I'm in the truck, but I don't recall reading anything about the 'smart' nature of the controller. I can understand the logic behind it, but for those of us used to third party controllers, it's an unexpected behavior. Glad to see it's not going to mean a controller replacement.
You're right...not being in the manual caused a LOT of people complaining to Ford about the controller not holding at 0 MPH. Part two was they also wouldn't replace their mistake with a recall. It can be fixed by replacing the controller with the newer model. From what I understand, removing one from a junked truck will work - direct swap. I didn't try it tho - at least not YET!
I often wonder if any device has ever been introduced that has generated as much confusion as Ford's IBC. When initially introduced it was roundly criticized by owners for making movement mandatory to test manual activation. Ford corrected that, but offered owners little in the way of instructions as to operation or troubleshooting. In addition, Ford's IBC offered few of the diagnostic functions found in the best aftermarket controllers.
If one Goggles Ford IBC, the confusion owners have suggests at least a device few would regard as "user friendly" or "intuitive". I have a hard time believing all owners of IBCs are idiots and am of the opinion Ford still misses the boat with this component by failing to provide owners with adequate instruction. It just is not supposed to be this hard!!
Last edited by RV_Tech; 06-10-2012 at 08:59 AM.
Reason: for clarity