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Direct Link Brake Controllers


Alie&Jim's Carrilite
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Following another topic about the Hayes air to electric brake controller, http://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Controller/Hayes/HA100400C.html, and its rudimentary design has caused me to rethink the Hayes that we have in our Volvo.


I realize that I have told several others that the Hayes works and is simple, it does (or did) for us. But I'm beginning to have second thoughts.


With the resistance knob turned all they way counter clockwise I can feel a tug from the trailer, but in no way was it attempting to lock the brakes. We moved recently from one side of the park we're in too another a better site. The .5 mile journey was all on sand packed roads, so I played with the controller the entire distance. Not once could I skid the tires on sand. They would slow the truck, but even in gear at idle the truck would pull thru the trailer brakes.


First idea was to make sure that the trailer brakes were operating correctly. Pulled 2 of the Neverlube Drums off (aggravating enough in itself) inspected parts, wires, magnets, etc. Those 2 look great. Very little wear on the pads and drums.


Second idea was to make sure all the wiring was in working order. Had a neighbor plug in his truck, F350, and step on the brakes. With 1 trailer wheel jacked up, the brakes were tight. I could not rotate the tire at all.


Now doing all this jacking the tires up, and crawling around underneath gave me the proper excuse to buy another tool. Enter a clip on DC amp meter. UTI design, Amazon next day delivery, decent reviews.


So I started re-chasing the lack of brake issue with the meter. Started at the trailer axles working forward. Worked all the way to the Hayes Controller.... Its output is 2.4 amp at full resistance. Should be around 11 amps. (Should have started at the front)


Time to rethink the Hayes....


Knowing others have had issues with their Hayes, is it worth replacing 1 Hayes with another and hope it operates better, or just go with the Direct link?


So-


Has anybody put a Direct Link controller in an older Volvo- 1998 era, and what was the total price?


Off the DL site-


Controller is $345


Cables $124 for the Freightliner 6 pin cable-


I assume the Volvo cable would be the same 6-pin round port I have under the left side of the dash


Is this all that's needed?


Can it really be this easy to spend more money on this trucK! :D


I would replace with disc brakes. But the Neverlube axles would have to be replaced, and if we're replacing axles then we're doing MorRyde IS, and we're spending $5500 instead of $500.... :blink:


Edited by Alie&Jim's Carrilite
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Call them up. They have no problem refunding your money if it doesn't work with your truck. You will know right away. On my kenworth it doesn't see the idle so it will go asleep after the predetermined time while sitting still. Doesn't affect anything because I apply the brakes prior to putting into gear and that wakes it up. Great customer service too. They had a bad batch of displays that would go dim and they replaced it with no problem.

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Just my thoughts on electric drum brakes.

 

There should not be 12vdc at the magnet when hooked to a controller. Full voltage is for when the towed vehicle is disconnected from tow vehicle and that is when the brakes get maximum stopping power. As in locking drums tight.

If you jack up a wheel off the ground and it will not rotate, it probably getting the voltage it is suppose to be getting. Not full 12vdc voltage.

You did state then the brakes did give resistance when moving and applying with controller

Also if there is anyway for the controller to sense motion it probably will not pass needed voltage to test the brakes for proper amperage while sitting still.

Use full Dc power from the charge line on the cable through a fuse and connect it to the brake wire. That should give correct amps for the brake system for testing.

 

Or just pull the emergency electric brake actuator and test for amperage. As soon as you pull it put it back in just to make sure it will go in. Then test with amp meter for proper operating amps.

If you pull the emergency brake actuator and it starts smoking you have a direct short in the system. Yep had that happen at work a time or two. That is why you want to practice putting it back in as soon as you pull it out the first time.

Make sure you put emergency connector back in when you are done or you may slide the tires when you leave.

 

Hopefully this will save you some more labor. Just look at it like doing yoga.

 

Safe Travels, Vern

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Vern, When we had the Dodge truck and a P3 controller, I could skid the tires at will by moving the manual lever.

Not following this statement- "Also if there is anyway for the controller to sense motion it probably will not pass needed voltage to test the brakes for proper amperage while sitting still."

Th Hayes controller is the air over electric. Takes air from the brake circuit when applied, converts it to an electrical charge to output to the brakes-

http://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Controller/Hayes/HA100400C.html

Probably should have put that in the main post-

 

Pulling the breakaway cable shows about 10amps at the main splice that feeds each wheel. Normal full is supposed to be 4 amp per magnet, 12amp total, so for line loss, etc, 10 Amp should be good.

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Does anyone use the Direclink brake controller with electric trailer brakes! It looks like most folks using this controller may have electric over hydraulic trailer brakes.

I know, that's why I'm asking before I call the company. Knowing that another RV is in our future, I also need to know that the "NE" will work with our electric drums. I like the ability to have the ABS feature on disc brakes in the future.

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I know, that's why I'm asking before I call the company. Knowing that another RV is in our future, I also need to know that the "NE" will work with our electric drums. I like the ability to have the ABS feature on disc brakes in the future.

I did email the company and they did confirm you can use the Direclink and the Direclink NE with electric brakes.

I guess I'll have to order one and try it out!

Edited by MrSeas
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Just trying to give basic ideas as how to test things. I have a prodigy that controls out triple axle Teton. If the brakes are applied by hand there is more brakeing effect than with the pedal.

Without knowing what magnets you have and no experience with your controller I am just giving a general thoughts on how your brakes should work.

 

Safe Travels , Vern

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I replaced my max brake with a direct link a couple of months ago.

Happy with it

 

had a Maxbrake fail on our Dodge won ton, installed a Prodigy somethin somethin to get us by to finish the trip. No like the "mind of it's own" control, replaced with a DirecLink controller compatible with a future electric over hydraulic system - works great with electric brake trailers - this truck pulls 5 different ones from time to time -

 

also happy with it

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Which part?

 

spock-illogical.jpg?1456588106

 

With the info you've given, I can offer no input. What was the current readings, individually on each brake feed, and collectively on the main trunk line of the trailer?

If the rain holds off, I'll get more individual readings at each wheel. But the unit itself was only putting out 2.4amps at 90psi of brake pressure.

Dialing it back, it lost less than 1amp.

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I checked the instruction manual for the hays controller and it does have a pendulum for sensing motion. That is probably why you reading are not that high and only changing a small amount.

 

Maybe Darrly with post the operation manual for your controller.As I am not good with computers.

 

Safe Travels, Vern

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Does anyone use the Direclink brake controller with electric trailer brakes! It looks like most folks using this controller may have electric over hydraulic trailer brakes.

Scott, I have directlink with electric trailer brakes, installed by Gregg at RV Haulers and have put over 12k miles on so far, works great.
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As Vern said, there shouldn't be full 12v applied. except by the emergency switch. The controller limits voltage out, to limit loop current. You posted, above, that loop current was 2.4 amps, but at what voltage? I'm just trying tp wrap my head around what your hands are doing.

 

For Vern, (and the rest): Hayes manual. Regardless of a pendulum or not, full output should be achievable with a manual application.

 

EDIT to add: Don't see mention of a pendulum in the link I provided.

Edited by Darryl&Rita
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I am thinking the voltage for the manual application is going to be in the neighborhood of 6 vdc. At full hand application.

 

Just thinking back on experience.

 

But could be wrong.

 

Glenn, If you are feeling a jerking symptom. Make sure the king Ping is not loose in the hitch head. Or something else is loose maybe. Have someone watch when you pull forward and apply th only the trailer brakes.

 

Just some things to check.

 

 

Safe Travels, Vern

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And the verdict is in.... Someone let the smoke out....

After running around with a meter all morning and getting an array of voltages and amperages, I disconnected the Hayes and did a homemade harness to try a Prodigy P2. With my truck wiring spliced to the P2, everything worked as designed with manual level depressed. Have 12+volts at the main splice in the brake harness in front of the axles.

So since I already bought the Hayes, lets take it apart....

My best non-electronic guess is that something let the magic smoke out. Best guess is an internal short of some sort by the way it looks with the cover off... hot and smoked

I'll call Hayes in the morning and see if they'll replace it although its over a year old.

But to buy another $300 controller I might add another 200 and go with the Direct link

Edited by Alie&Jim's Carrilite
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My Hayes bit the bullet last trip out. Worked fine at home base but half way to the destination i noticed no braking from the trailer. while at our destination I fiddled with it and determined the controller was bad. Drove it back home with no brakes. The HDT handled it like a champ even thou it was mountains the whole way with 6-10% grades up and down. saving my pennies for a directlink.

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