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Brake Controller Problem

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by mklawnman, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    I have a Tenkonsha brake controller in my 99 GMC Truck. When I bought the truck a few months ago the controller was working fine, or so I know. I had a smaller trailer earlier this year that didnt have brakes so I had to buy a converter so I could run the brake lights and signals on the trailer. ON my new trailer it has brakes on it, but when I plugged the thing together my brake controller inside didnt light up at all, no green or red light at all, even after moving all the nobs around. The turn signal lights and brake likes work on the trailer, but not the brakes themselves.
    So is my controller bad, or is the power wire to the controller corroded somewhere or shortcircut because of that converter?? I was planning on going to the dealership to talk with them later this week about the problem but I thought maybe you guys would know.
    IN my mind the controller doesnt have any power goin to it so either something fried it or a wire came lose somewhere going towards the battery which in turn is not sending any power to the brakes on the trailer.
  2. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    THe dealer told me that I needed a new brake controller, so I bought one and put that in, except the red wire that comes off of the controller went nowhere, meaning the old red wire stopped with no end on it, but after readin the directions over again it says that I need to hook that red wire up to a "convience Box" under the dash which I can see. SO my question is, do any other GMC truck owners with a Voyager controller have that same box with the red wire hooked up?? That might be the reason why its not working.
  3. herkfe

    herkfe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I believe on most controllers there are wires that do the following (colors may be different from manufacturer to manufacturer but this should get you going) they may also be marked on the wires themselves:

    On the unit - goes to on the truck
    White goes to Ground (run a lead to battery negative is best)
    Black goes to 12VDC Battery positive (should be fused)
    Red goes to Stop light switch "ON" wire (more about this in a sec)
    Blue goes from Controller output to trailer for braking voltage.

    Black and white wires are pretty simple... I use 12GA wire and run them right to my battery with an inline fuse on the 12VDC side.

    Red wire. This is what sends a signal to the controller to let it know you are stopping. Gets its signal from the "downstream" brake light side of the brake switch. Usually you can find this right on the lever part of the brake pedal. Easy to find the "downstream side". Multimeter lead or test light with one end to ground and the other a sharp point, pierce the insulation on one of the the wires going to the switch. If you have voltage/light you are on the "upstream side. Try the other wire coming out of the switch. If no light then push on brake pedal, if light comes on, "Presto" you found your signal. Splice in the red wire....

    Now splice your blue to the trailer brake wire (or run your own new one) and put it in the right spot on your connector and you should be set.

    Of course if you have a "convenience box" and a plug in harness this is all moot and a waste of your time....

    But what I really recommend is that you have it professionally installed by a professional brake controller installer guy, therefore relinquishing all of us that may offer our opinions from any responsibility should you hook it up wrong and hurt yourself, others, or burn something to the ground.

    BTW, the last time a friend of mine had his installed by a large trailer rental/hitch installing/packing supplies place every time he used his directionals the trailer brakes locked..... Nothing like checking your work guys!!! That's why I do my own work, easier to find the guy who screwed it up!!! :D
  4. hunter

    hunter LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 254

    actually the red wire is for the power brake signal for when and if your tariler comes off the hitch. what it will do when it get disconnected it applies the brakes. but then again you have to have the controller fro this on your brakes for this to work. I have just the blue wire and have never hooked the red to anything. just sits in my engine compartment rolled.

    usually when hooking this up you will more power failures due to corroding of the power line.

    go to a hitch store and have them check it for you.
  5. TractormanAnson

    TractormanAnson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Check the fuse there should be a fuse on the black wire somewhere.
    If your controler is hooked into a factory harness the fuse should be with all your other fuses.
    If not it should be tied in of the battery or fuse block
  6. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    I will do some checking on the fuses along with where all the wires go to. I dont know if I mentioned this or not but if I have the trailer plugged into the receptical for the tail lights and such, my brake controller doesnt light up green at all. So which would me my red or blue wire is bad?? Cause right now my red wire goes to a dead end with no cap on it or anything. I found the black wire that leads to the battery and right before the batter their is a small terminal that it goes to then to the battery so could that be the fuse? I checked my truck fuses and we replaced the brake fuse and still nothing. Ill do some checking in the rear end too, look over the receptical see if their is any corrosion on the connections inside where the wires meet up.

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