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2015 F150 brakes not engaging on 2001 extreme trailer


Smokedvw

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Hi,

I took my boat home this past weekend and about 2/3 of the way home (250km) I noticed my front brakes were super hot and making a burning brake smell, this was not anywhere near a hill or large declines over the passes we had gone, I had been using lots of engine breaks over those periods.  I noticed it when just cruising along the traffic lights and through one area where the highway (road) has tons of traffic lights we had to stop at.

Today I had to move my trailer back to the house and noticed that even though the gain was set to 6.5 every time I hit the breaks the "output" on the trailer status on my F150 did not show anything.  Typically it would, from what I remember, light up and show how much braking was applied.  At this point it doesn't feel like the brakes are being engaged at all on the trailer and it feels like the boat is pushing against the truck, vs when I first got the boat/trailer this year I set the gain and could feel 100% the trailer pulling the truck back when braking.


Another thing that seemed odd was that I cant reverse my trailer unless I have a surge break lock on it, now I have been told this type of trailer will never reverse even when connected without it but I am now wondering if these 2 issues are related.  I know at one point I launched the boat twice without using this lock. (https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07YBR1VW2/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A3DMOFBXMSHZQA&psc=1).

Questions:

  1. I am curious for any Ford owners out there if their output bars do indeed light up when you are breaking?
  2. Does that make sense that my trailer always requires this to backup (I originally was told it was only when disconnected from the truck... aka manually moving it around) but then told its always needed so I am unsure at this point?
  3. How can I determine if my brakes are actually getting the proper power/grounded etc?

Thank you!

Update: I just emailed Extreme Trailers about questions #2 and 3 as well.

Edited by Smokedvw
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can you confirm if your trailer has electric or surge brakes? all of the Extreme trailers I have seen have hydraulic surge brakes.  these are not electronically activated like the brakes on a flatbed trailer or 5th wheel.  the gain indicator on your dash has nothing to do with the brake performance of a trailer with hydraulic brakes. 

most extreme trailers have a solenoid in the tounge that activates when the truck is in reverse.  this solenoid locks out the hydraulic ram in the tounge that activates the brakes. if the solenoid does not activate, your trailer brakes will lock up when you try to back the trailer.

the solenoid is wired to the backup lights of the truck. my 2500HD has a seperate fuse for them. not sure how the light duty trucks are wired. 

my trailer is a 2006. this summer I had 2 of the calipers fail and had to rebuild both of them.  took the time to drain all of the fluid from the system and bleed it all.  trailer brakes and bearings are probably the most neglected aspect of boating. 

Edited by kylesullens
  • Like 2
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Yeah, something doesn't make sense.  You are not going to have electric brakes and a surge lockout.  Your truck trailer brake controller isn't going to be doing anything with a surge brake trailer.

Edited by oldjeep
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You have surge brakes on the trailer, not electric, the truck brake controller isn't doing anything.  You may have some binding on the trailer on the surge portion where it slides back and forth, the same location where you use the lockout key.  You may also need to service the whole brake system on the trailer.  

 

I have an f150 and as far as having the brakes unlock in reverse you probably have a blown fuse for reverse lockout.  whenever I use a bad trailer with shorts in it it, it blows my reverse lockout fuse.  You shouldn't need the to use the lockout key on the trailer if the truck is properly telling the trailer to lock them out.  I believe the center pin is the revers light pin that tells the trailer to lock out the breaks.

 

 

Edited by calilsv
  • Like 1
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Round 7 plug.

I will have to check the fuse tomorrow.  I have a utility trailer that may have shorted it or another small boat trailer. That would make sense. 

The trailer had an inspection at the start of summer when purchased and again when I had to put new tires on it but maybe something is off.  I believe both the boat and trailer were sitting for a while before I bought it this summer. 

They had changed the fluid in the trailer (I'll have to check which fluid) it didn't sound like brake fluid so maybe I need to inspect it. 

How could I determine the brakes are actually working? 

Thank you 

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12 hours ago, Smokedvw said:

Round 7 plug.

I will have to check the fuse tomorrow.  I have a utility trailer that may have shorted it or another small boat trailer. That would make sense. 

The trailer had an inspection at the start of summer when purchased and again when I had to put new tires on it but maybe something is off.  I believe both the boat and trailer were sitting for a while before I bought it this summer. 

They had changed the fluid in the trailer (I'll have to check which fluid) it didn't sound like brake fluid so maybe I need to inspect it. 

How could I determine the brakes are actually working? 

Thank you 

Disconnect round plug 

try to back up truck and trailer

May have to tap the gas slightly, if brakes are working you should not be able to back up other than down hill at idle 

if the lights work on the trailer and the back up lights work on the truck it is not a fuse on the truck.  The brake bypass solenoid is activated by the trucks back up light circuit 

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6 hours ago, Bozboat said:

Disconnect round plug 

try to back up truck and trailer

May have to tap the gas slightly, if brakes are working you should not be able to back up other than down hill at idle 

if the lights work on the trailer and the back up lights work on the truck it is not a fuse on the truck.  The brake bypass solenoid is activated by the trucks back up light circuit 

I think  from his post stating he cant back up without the lockup key, we can probably say his brakes are working.

Not sure you're correct about the backup lights being an indicator.  The backup trailer circuit on my older 06 f150 is completely separate from the backup lights on my truck.  

The trailer backup lamp has it's own 20amp fuse in my fuse panel.  This is the stock towing package from ford, I would think it would be the same throughout the years.  If the plug was added aftermarket, all bets are off.

Easiest way to test the backup circuit is to test the center pin on the truck using a multimeter or use a basic trailer plug tester like this.  
https://www.amazon.com/Vehicle-Trailer-Wiring-Circuit-Tester/dp/B0066CGLS6

If the plug is working correctly, the next thing would be the solenoid on the trailer.

 

 

 

 

Edited by calilsv
added more
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/29/2020 at 7:44 PM, Bozboat said:

IDk, hard to understand 

1) are the surge brakes working ?

2) does the solenoid work?

3) do the trailer lights work?

4) anything wrong with the truck ?

Thanks guys.  Sorry about the long time to reply. 

1) I assume yes as I can't backup without the manual pin. (though I would like to know how to test this while driving?) 

2) is this the solenoid? If so how do I check?   I checked trying to test on a volt meter with the black wire and it showed about - 0.04

PXL_20201010_143426795

3) yes

4) no

Truck has 12v coming out center 7 pin for backup 

 

I noticed the trailer is using a 5 pin to 7 pin adapter, I read sometimes these adapters can mix the backup light wrong and hence not get power to the solenoid. Any idea on the 5 pin which should have power so I can test it or should I just check that black wire on the solenoid for power? 

I read it's blue and blue gets 12v when reverse lights are on. 

PXL_20201010_142912556

I read this online. 

"light between the blue wire on the solenoid and the brass solenoid body, then the solenoid itself is possibly bad (rare). 
Before giving up on the solenoid, we recommend that a ground wire be run from a 8-32 screw inserted one of the 
threaded holes in the bottom of solenoid brass body to the trailer frame for a secure ground. If a trailer has a folding 
tongue, or a rubber/flexible brake line coming from the actuator, sometimes this ground wire to the trailer frame is required 
for a good ground path from the solenoid."

I can give this a try but I really want to know how to verify I have 12v at the solenoid? 

Edited by Smokedvw
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So I hooked the bottom of the solenoid to a ground still not working. 

At this point I have 0 idea how the blue wire goes to the solenoid. I only see a blank one that gives a negative reading. 

Anyone know how you even get to the wires inside the trailer? It looks completely enclosed and I have no idea where the blue wire goes on the solenoid or how it's supposed to get power. I see the wire run from the harness towards the solenoid but disappears into the trailer. 

 

Thank you for any help. 

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It should have 2 wires, a ground and a positive we've been talking about. You're going to have to trace them, they are there somewhere.  Make sure the ground is good and ensure you are getting 12v to the positive side when your truck is in reverse.

Here is a link to one that explains a little.

https://www.pacifictrailers.com/products/trailer-buddy-ufp-electric-reverse-solenoid-valve-with-fittings-34500?variant=36463665418&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Google Shopping&utm_source=google&utm_medium=shopping&utm_term=&utm_content=340182651085&keyword=&utm_campaign=smart-all-test&gclid=CjwKCAjw5p_8BRBUEiwAPpJO6706YBHIvFnrqeqGmS5QAPxOcD1Kfsl8rCtaNThgLnI8n9YRhSAjshoC0jsQAvD_BwE

 

 

 

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On 10/15/2020 at 8:24 AM, 85 Barefoot said:

I will bet with almost certainty that your reverse lockout fuse is popped.  Happened to me on numerous occasions.  All lights worked fine.

I've tested with a volt meter on the truck and traced it to the trailer.  Power is getting there. 

I just only see one wire going to the solenoid and it's black and has a negative reading. I can't see where the blue wire from the harness goes once it enters the trailer. 

Unless there is a fuse between the blue wire and single black wire on the solenoid inside the trailer housing I can't see. 

I'll call extreme tomorrow. 

Edited by Smokedvw
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On 10/15/2020 at 7:38 AM, calilsv said:

It should have 2 wires, a ground and a positive we've been talking about. You're going to have to trace them, they are there somewhere.  Make sure the ground is good and ensure you are getting 12v to the positive side when your truck is in reverse.

Here is a link to one that explains a little.

https://www.pacifictrailers.com/products/trailer-buddy-ufp-electric-reverse-solenoid-valve-with-fittings-34500?variant=36463665418&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Google Shopping&utm_source=google&utm_medium=shopping&utm_term=&utm_content=340182651085&keyword=&utm_campaign=smart-all-test&gclid=CjwKCAjw5p_8BRBUEiwAPpJO6706YBHIvFnrqeqGmS5QAPxOcD1Kfsl8rCtaNThgLnI8n9YRhSAjshoC0jsQAvD_BwE

 

 

 

See that's the thing. If you look at my photos there is only a single wire to the solenoid. I can't find where the wire goes as its inside the trailer metal housing. 

I can't find where the harness goes with the blue wire as it heads towards the solenoid because it's totally enclosed. 

I'll see if it gets exposed when I swing the next of the trailer to one side next week. Otherwise I'm baffled. 

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On 10/10/2020 at 9:46 AM, Smokedvw said:

So I take it you are referring to the black wire coming out of the left side in this photo.  What hides in the black tube with the one tired little zip tie coming from the lower right?  A blue wire, perhaps?

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It is possible the solenoid grounds to the trailer frame without the white wire.  Given the condition and age, maybe just replace the whole UFP brake assembly, that would get you a new master cylinder, solenoid, spring and shock, and coupler for less that $300

Edited by Bozboat
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