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1999-2007 General Questions General questions related to 1999-2007 Super Duty trucks. If it doesn't fit the other categories, post it here. Gas engine discussion that pertains to all models is allowed. Specific gas engine questions should use the Gas Engines forum.

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Old 05-22-2006, 09:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Trailer Brake Controller Problem

So, we purchased a new Fleetwood pop-up camper and have used it twice. In setting the trailer brakes, I can never get them to “lock up” according to Ford’s owner’s manual, but I think I have that covered (Ford Controller). Anyway, after hauling the unit a couple hundred miles, we stopped for a few hours and then resumed our homeward trip. The TBC the mysteriously beeped and said “trailer disconnected”. I got our and checked all the connections, and everything was fine. Then, repeatedly over the next fifty miles home, it beeped and displayed the same message about another half-dozen times (minimum). If I squeeze the brake controller to lock-up the trailer brakes, it will brake the trailer, lights work, and then it displays “trailer disconnected” again. The wiring is new - not that something couldn’t be wrong - and all looks well on the spot check. Any thoughts? We are heading out this next weekend, and I hate to get into one of those loooooong drawn-out trailer wiring problems that I have to chase for twelve hours.
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brake Controller Problem

Sounds as if the trailer is loosing the ground from time to time. I had the same issue, started as trailer fault and went to trailer disconnected. It was a bad ground between the trailer and the truck. It was my truck hitch. Some rust had built up and would come and go. I also get this when my trailer is empty and do not have enough tongue weight to keep a good connection to my ball.
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brake Controller Problem

I thought with the 7-pin RV connector you had a ground through the connector, and not the trailer ball like the 4-pin type connection. I'm almost sure that if I keep the trailer wiring connected and take the trailer off the ball, the lights stay on. I have never noticed any problems with the lights, either. Wouldn't that be a sign first? Thanks.
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brake Controller Problem

You might be correct, I am not really sure. If that is the case then I have a bad ground in my plug, because they only way I fixed the issue was to clean up my hitch and my draw bar. It has done this from day one.
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brake Controller Problem

[ QUOTE ]
So, we purchased a new Fleetwood pop-up camper and have used it twice. In setting the trailer brakes, I can never get them to “lock up” according to Ford’s owner’s manual, but I think I have that covered (Ford Controller). Anyway, after hauling the unit a couple hundred miles, we stopped for a few hours and then resumed our homeward trip. The TBC the mysteriously beeped and said “trailer disconnected”. I got our and checked all the connections, and everything was fine. Then, repeatedly over the next fifty miles home, it beeped and displayed the same message about another half-dozen times (minimum). If I squeeze the brake controller to lock-up the trailer brakes, it will brake the trailer, lights work, and then it displays “trailer disconnected” again. The wiring is new - not that something couldn’t be wrong - and all looks well on the spot check. Any thoughts? We are heading out this next weekend, and I hate to get into one of those loooooong drawn-out trailer wiring problems that I have to chase for twelve hours.

[/ QUOTE ]


Mine just started doing the same thing this last weekend.I towed all last year no probs.Now last weekend it started this stuff.I have a fifth wheel so theres no ball to contend with and still have this prob.I just started another thread"tow command problem" in hopes of finding a solution.Keep an eye on that one ...maybe between the two post we can get this resolved.

Is your problem intermittent ??? I wonder because mine is.For a few miles its ok ...then its not.
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brake Controller Problem

Mine doesn't adjust with the + - buttons also squeese handles won't lock up wheels always reads 10. Ford says they have to figure how to test know one seems to know anything about it. Guess I expect everything for fifty grand
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Trailer Brake not holding

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Originally Posted by maxxgb View Post
Mine doesn't adjust with the + - buttons also squeese handles won't lock up wheels always reads 10. Ford says they have to figure how to test know one seems to know anything about it. Guess I expect everything for fifty grand

I have the same issue with my 2005 F350 I just purchased. Has anyone found a solution to this issue?
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The ground is carried through a 7 way wiring system so the ball and hitch has nothing to do with it. The "trailer disconnected " warning is usually due to open or loose connections in the brake circuit. Could be tow vehicle wiring, trailer wiring or the plug and/or receptacle. As far as locking the trailer brakes an easy way to check to see if you're getting full power from the ITBC is to test with a voltmeter at the 7 way receptacle. Facing the recep. with the plug removed, check between the two bottom pins (five o-clock and seven o-clock) while somebody squeezes the manual over-ride on the ITBC with the ignition switch on. You should see at least 12 volts. If not you could have a controller or wiring problem, assuming you have a fully charged battery to begin with. If you do have good voltage and can't lock your brakes you could have brake issues, magnets, amatures, shoes, drums or trailer wiring. BTW the manual over-ride will not function while vehicle is stopped with ITBC's on early 05 trucks, you have to be moving at least 5mph to get brake activation. That problem was fixed on later trucks to give you the capability to do a test pull to check your hitch while hooking up. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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With my aftermarket unit I found the ground and the brake pins in the 7 way then put a voltmeter to it. I had someone push the brakes and turn up the controller and the voltage increased.

I have had some problems getting a good connection with the 7 way plug, the truck side is a little corroded from launching the boat. You could try some dielectric grease. Autozone carries it in a small pack. I keep a few in the truck for those days when I cannot get a good connection. The bad part is the grease attracks dirt and dust. Also check your ground wire on the trailer I bet you will find your problem.

Also on a 4 pin, the trailer is not grounded through the ball unless you have a bad ground on your connector or trailer then it may try. The exposed pin on a 4 wire is the ground. I have backed up to many trailers and tested them with a 4 wire and never hooked the trailer to the truck.
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We too have the same issues with our tow command on our 05 F350. We either get a "trailer disconnect" or a "trailer fault" message. It happens only with a trailer that has the trailer brakes plugged in (either the 5th wheel or the flat trailer with brakes) but we have no problems with the 4-prong boat trailer. We never have lost our lights during these messages....only the brakes.

When we've hooked up our trailers to my in-laws truck (the exact same one, same production, etc), no problems what so ever.

It's a bit stressful when you are hauling a heavy load and during the braking process to lose your brakes, especially when some little car cuts in front of you.

It's in the shop today, so we shall see what they come up with!
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have 05 with 5th wheel. Have tried everything to stop the trailer disconnect problem.
Trailer on 3 other trucks with no problem. Problem started with this 05 Ford. I know of 8 others with 05 and 06 fords that have this same problem. NO ONE CAN FIND THE ROOT CAUSE. It is a ground disconnect problem but Where ???
Many solutions but none seem to work. I personaly think it is in the Ford Controler.
This is a DANGAROUS PROBLEM that sooner or later is going to get someone killed.
I have had two very close calls due to "trailer disconect" which in afect your breaks DO NOT WORK !!! Only last a few seconds and my not happen again for the next 100 miles.
If you find a correction PLEASE let me know by way of Davidhh@aol.com
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:47 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The root cause is the Ford IBC being incompatible with the elctric brakes on the trailer.

The error is not because the trailer is losing it's ground. The Ford controller sends a pulse down the brake circuit to check that the bakes are still there. The parameters for the resistance/impedence is very narrow. If there is any corrosion on the connectors you can receive the error. If the brakes are grounded to the frame of the trailer rather than wired back to the ground on the trailer connector you can get the error. If there is moisture in the connector that connects the truck wiring harness to the 7 pin connector you can get the error. There are brakes that are just incompatible with the controller as well.

The error message is displayed any time the test pulse doesn't see the correct parameters. When this false error message is displayed the brakes are still operational but the warning chime is very annoying. Problem is you don't know if it is a real problem or just a false positive.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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TBC unit

I have the same issue with my 05 F-250 when towing my 5th will camper.....
Can anyone tell me why? Right now i just wired in a horse railer with electric over hydrolic system, and while trying to wire it in i got the blinkers, brake lights, runner lights, all lights working but the hydrolic pump for the trailer wont come on when i step on the brake pedal, but when i pull the brake lever on the TBC unit the hydrolic pump comes on. I got to looking into the system, i pulled out my TBC from the dash and tested the wires, wires, Red is hot, Green is hot when pushing the brake pedal, Blue is brakes, White is ground,... Ok this is what i have, when i pull the TBC lever the hydrolics work, it puts juice right to the blue wire,from the red wire, and i thought when you push on your brake pedal it is supposed to send juice to the blue wire from the green wire, depending on how much juice your TBC sends to it from the - + setting, I can have the setting all the way up on 10 and i still get no juice through the TBC from green wire to blue wire, and yes i have juice at the green wire when stepping on brake.......Green to Blue is how you get brakes when you stomp on the brake pedal.. Do you think i have a bad TBC unit? ......... And seriously i dont wont to hear anything about the ford factory TBC unit isn't compatible with some brake systems, because brakes systems are not that complex and if that is true, then man how dumb is ford for making such a worthless piece of junk!!! Someone will get in a serious accident one day from this piece of junk if this is true, and ford will be to blame...
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm having issues with my '06 when hooked up to my GN flatbed. The brakes barely work. Had someone with a large GN horse trailer tell me they had to run a larger gauge wire from the brake controller to the plug because after the brakes get warm they pull too much amperage for the factory wiring. What do you all think?
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Well, I wish I had seen this forum before buying my '05 F350 Dually. I just found out my 5th Wheel brakes don't work with this built-in controller. The RV tech has no clue and neither does the dealership. The rig is still under warranty due to previous owner hardly using the truck.

So what now? Do I get rid of the truck because I cannot use it to tow which is why I bought it?

Can an aftermarket controller be installed with this truck and be used?

I am seriously depressed now.
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