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Old 07-29-2017, 08:30 AM   #41
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Followup of my P3/ brake woes.

The local RV place found a wire that was too long and had broken from rubbing on the drum's hub. He replaced it. I hooked up for the drive home and the P3 showed no problem, but then about half way home, my old friend the overload warning was back whenever I had to apply the brakes anything more than just lightly. The brakes seem to work fine, and a static test with the Highlander connected and brakes applied while parked it never reports any problems, but while parked it is never applying more than a couple of volts. Seem to only show up at higher voltages.

I spoke with Dexter tech and they are willing to reimburse me for the broken wire that was found and he wanted me to take it back in since the P3 is still reporting the fault.

I went back and talked more extensively with the service tech at the local RV shop who found and repaired the broken wire inside the Dexter brake. He said that he tested and inspected everything inside the brakes that could have been causing the fault to show up on the P3 controller. I asked about the wiring running thru the axles, but he said this model does not have wiring running thru the axles. He was adamant that he had fully tested each magnet and applied a full 12V to each brake and that everything was fine inside the brakes. He said that the only other place it could be coming from is the wiring of the trailer from the front plug to the brakes and he was not willing to do anything more due to the spray foam covering everything.

But, interestingly, he also said that they have stopped selling all the digital brake controller like the P3 as they were seeing too many false problems like this being reported by them. He said that there may be nothing else wrong with the wiring, that it may just be the P3's software falsely reporting a problem.

I am thinking I will borrow my buddy’s P3 and see if it shows the same fault report. Maybe this P3 is faulty, but it is already a replacement they sent me when we were first trying to diagnose this problem.

Maybe I will just leave the P3 on troubleshooting mode and ignore the fault report, as the brakes seem to work fine.
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Old 07-29-2017, 09:42 AM   #42
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Hi: thoer... I'd be doing the swapout too. Just because they sent you a replacement means diddly!!! I have the Primus IQ which no one on this forum seems to like but so far it works fine. It's the one my RVTech stocks and installs for $135. CDN.
Our Ford Focus is headed for a second clutch job in the auto trans. as the first one was done with the original build quality parts not the improved version. TGI'ts still under warranty!!! Alf
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Old 07-29-2017, 11:08 AM   #43
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Break away Switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
Followup of my P3/ brake woes.

The local RV place found a wire that was too long and had broken from rubbing on the drum's hub. He replaced it. I hooked up for the drive home and the P3 showed no problem, but then about half way home, my old friend the overload warning was back whenever I had to apply the brakes anything more than just lightly. The brakes seem to work fine, and a static test with the Highlander connected and brakes applied while parked it never reports any problems, but while parked it is never applying more than a couple of volts. Seem to only show up at higher voltages.

I spoke with Dexter tech and they are willing to reimburse me for the broken wire that was found and he wanted me to take it back in since the P3 is still reporting the fault.

I went back and talked more extensively with the service tech at the local RV shop who found and repaired the broken wire inside the Dexter brake. He said that he tested and inspected everything inside the brakes that could have been causing the fault to show up on the P3 controller. I asked about the wiring running thru the axles, but he said this model does not have wiring running thru the axles. He was adamant that he had fully tested each magnet and applied a full 12V to each brake and that everything was fine inside the brakes. He said that the only other place it could be coming from is the wiring of the trailer from the front plug to the brakes and he was not willing to do anything more due to the spray foam covering everything.

But, interestingly, he also said that they have stopped selling all the digital brake controller like the P3 as they were seeing too many false problems like this being reported by them. He said that there may be nothing else wrong with the wiring, that it may just be the P3's software falsely reporting a problem.

I am thinking I will borrow my buddy’s P3 and see if it shows the same fault report. Maybe this P3 is faulty, but it is already a replacement they sent me when we were first trying to diagnose this problem.

Maybe I will just leave the P3 on troubleshooting mode and ignore the fault report, as the brakes seem to work fine.
Eric, you may want to take a look/test your break away switch. There is a good possibility that the switch shorted out with the loose, broken wire at the brake drum. You can get the over load message with a bad break away switch. Hope this helps. Scott

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Old 07-29-2017, 11:43 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Skool View Post
Eric, you may want to take a look/test your break away switch. There is a good possibility that the switch shorted out with the loose, broken wire at the brake drum. You can get the over load message with a bad break away switch. Hope this helps. Scott

Scott and Lori
Scott, is there any test for the break away switch besides just pulling it and seeing if it activates the brakes?
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Old 07-29-2017, 11:52 AM   #45
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Don't pull the break-away switch with the 7-pin connected to the tow or you can damage your brake controller.
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Old 07-29-2017, 11:58 AM   #46
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Quote:
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Scott, is there any test for the break away switch besides just pulling it and seeing if it activates the brakes?
When I was looking at the possibility of a bad the breakaway switch the simplest test I found was:
The RV Doctor: Trailer Break-Away Switch Operation

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Old 07-29-2017, 12:05 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Skool View Post
When I was looking at the possibility of a bad the breakaway switch the simplest test I found was:
The RV Doctor: Trailer Break-Away Switch Operation

Scott
Thanks Scott. That is what I was assuming, but wanted to make sure it didn't need any more than that. Sounds pretty much like it either works or doesn't.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:38 PM   #48
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Eric, Is there any chance your breakaway pin got pulled out while your 7-pin was still connected, and that's what is now causing your brake controller to give an odd error code?
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:37 AM   #49
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Eric, Is there any chance your breakaway pin got pulled out while your 7-pin was still connected, and that's what is now causing your brake controller to give an odd error code?
Not that I know of.

After trying my buddies P3, (coincidentally getting a new tow), and still getting the same result, I contacted Reace again. In typically great ETI customer service, he got his Dexter rep to authorize sending 4 complete new brake units. Rather than the RV place, I took it to my local trusted mechanic. He found more broken wires that the RV "expert" missed. He said that he no longer replaces individual parts in trailer brakes, that the whole unit is barely more expensive than some of the parts and that it saves more on labor to just put in a new unit than spend his time tracking down problems.

He also said that he unfortunately he sees a lot of broken wire inside trailer brakes. His feeling is with all the movement from the magnets and shoes that it just seems to be inevitable eventually given the way Dexter secures the wires. Sounds like a good close inspection of the wires should be part of any bearing or brake work.

Its great to be able to hit the brakes and not have the P3 light up with that red warning!!
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:11 PM   #50
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I'm glad that you have that straightened out, Eric, and I hope that's it. You certainly had to go to a lot of trouble over it.
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:27 PM   #51
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Thanks Cathy. It really wasn't that bad. Reace, of course, was helpful as always, and I can't complain at all about Dexter as they are footing the bill on everything. It was a learning experience that knocked one local RV place off my list of trusted service providers. Luckily my local mechanic does a lot of work on trailers of all kinds and there is another place not too much further away that is a Dometic and Dexter dealer if I need help from them.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:40 PM   #52
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Eric,

I may be having some brake problems. Will you be offering brake wire inspections at the Mississippi River Rendezvous? If so, I will be sure to pack my yoga pad for your use while crawling underneath mine, and other trailers of your choosing.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:21 PM   #53
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Eric,

I may be having some brake problems. Will you be offering brake wire inspections at the Mississippi River Rendezvous? If so, I will be sure to pack my yoga pad for your use while crawling underneath mine, and other trailers of your choosing.
Paul I will be more than happy to inspect your brake wiring inside the drums. You just get it all jacked up, remove the drum, and I'll sip my beer whilst peering at the wires!
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