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Jackalopee/Direct Link Install


aknavy
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Plan on replacing the Maxxbrake controller that is currently in the the truck and rewiring the trailer connector with a Jackalopee this weekend.  Instructions for both look pretty simple.  Plan on putting the Jackalopee in the drivers side Jockey Box.  Any gotchas, tips, or tricks?  Going into a 2001 VNL 660, BTW.

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If you have the red, brake light signal wire hooked up on the max brake, that will be a simple plug and play as they both use a std delphi connector. The cat cable on the max brake will not be used nor will the airline sensor.

If you don't have the brake light wire connected, you can pick up that signal from the brake connector on the truck side of the Jackalopee.

Wiring the Jackalopee is not that hard, just take your time and double check everything. You can also use the ICC marker input from the truck for your running lights on the trailer, that will allow the trailer running lights to flash when you use your courtesy flash on the turn signal stalk.

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11 minutes ago, GeorgiaHybrid said:

If you have the red, brake light signal wire hooked up on the max brake, that will be a simple plug and play as they both use a std delphi connector. The cat cable on the max brake will not be used nor will the airline sensor.

If you don't have the brake light wire connected, you can pick up that signal from the brake connector on the truck side of the Jackalopee.

Wiring the Jackalopee is not that hard, just take your time and double check everything. You can also use the ICC marker input from the truck for your running lights on the trailer, that will allow the trailer running lights to flash when you use your courtesy flash on the turn signal stalk.

You're familiar with the max brake - I couldn't find much info on it.  The network cable isn't connected, but the delphi connector is.  The reason I'm switching is that I have no idea how to operate the max brake beyond turning the dial, using the manual slide - my trailer braking is not so good.  I'm guessing due to no air sensor input and who knows what the brake settings are.  I believe the signal wire is hooked up, but will have the check.  The current trailer light wiring was all tapped off the trucks rear pigtail, in a horrible mess.

 

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This is weird, I can't post the link here.  Everything I do just downloads a pdf.  

For information on the Maxbrake controller (installation and calibration) do a Google search on "maxbrake controller manual" (without the quotes). Hopefully,  you will see a link to "Pressure Sensor Installation" or "CM MaxBrake 3 Installation Manual April 2012.cdr".  Either one of those links will download a manual. 

You will have to ignore the hydraulic connection to the brake lines.  Neither of those show connecting to air lines.  

I have my original manual.  The wiring and calibration is identical.

What you going to do with your old MaxBrake Controller?  

I have not run into anyone on the forum running the same truck as me.  '01 Volvo VNL 660.  Is your engine Detroit S60 Series?

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, NeverEasy said:

This is weird, I can't post the link here.  Everything I do just downloads a pdf.  

For information on the Maxbrake controller (installation and calibration) do a Google search on "maxbrake controller manual" (without the quotes). Hopefully,  you will see a link to "Pressure Sensor Installation" or "CM MaxBrake 3 Installation Manual April 2012.cdr".  Either one of those links will download a manual. 

You will have to ignore the hydraulic connection to the brake lines.  Neither of those show connecting to air lines.  

I have my original manual.  The wiring and calibration is identical.

What you going to do with your old MaxBrake Controller?  

I have not run into anyone on the forum running the same truck as me.  '01 Volvo VNL 660.  Is your engine Detroit S60 Series?

I couldn't find a manual for it that referenced the air sensor vice hydraulic.  It's not consistent on braking, and I think it's probably an issue not having the air sensor hooked up and the trailer having electric of hydraulic brakes.  Gonna read the regular manual and see if there's anything for me to check/set.  It works, I'm just not happy with the braking all the time.

My truck has the D12/Eaton Autoshift in it.

Hmm...google seems to be finding information that eluded me the other day. Now I want to dig into it and see just what's going on.  Why the network cable is disconnected.  Found two good sites:

http://hhrvresource.com/node/69.html - go figure, it's got a good write up. Not sure why I didn't find this one the other day.

https://www.brakecontroller.com/MaxBrake.pdf

Maybe it still works.  Maybe it just needs to be put back to proper installation, and maybe the crappy wiring at the back of the truck was affecting it.  Hmm....more to look at this weekend.
 

At the end of the day, the new Direct Link is sitting on the counter, so I'll probably put it in.  If you want the Max Brake Controller for a spare, let me know - I'll ship it to you, you can have it.

 

Edited by aknavy
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The difference between the hydraulic hookup and the air hookup is simply the type of transducer that is T'ed into the line that provides pressure to the brakes be it hydraulic brake fluid or air.  Everything else is the same.

If there is nothing in the network jack [ I think it is an RJ-11 (telephone) vice an RJ-45 (network)]then I am surprised if you would have any brake control by pushing the brake pedal.  I would think that the only thing you would have is the manual override on the MaxBrake Controller.

This might help you find the cable to plug into the MaxBrake Controller.  On the other end of the network cable is a transducer that T's into the air line.  Take the dash cover off in front of the steering wheel.  There should be an airline T in the line (black) just before the air pressure switch that turns on your brake lights.  Also, there should be a red wire from the MaxBrake Controller connected to the Normally Open side of the air pressure switch.

I troubleshoot a lot of trucks and trailers at Truck/RV rallies.  To really test a braking system, you need an DC clamp-on meter.  With the trailer hooked up to the truck, clamp that over the BLUE wire anywhere you can get to it.  Start the truck. Mash on the brake pedal.  Slide the manual override.  Both of those should show current flow.  It will be very low with air over electric over hydraulic disk trailer brakes.  About .8 amps on my two axle system.  

I might add that the WHITE wire (ground) on the system is just as important as the BLUE wire.  A poor ground will only allow a faulty amount of current on the BLUE wire.  

The AC clamp-on meters are inexpensive.  The DC clamp-on meters are coming down in price.  I use one like this:

https://www.amazon.com/BSIDE-ACM91-Auto-Ranging-Temperature-Capacitance/dp/B07G84XDWH/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=10MXZ7UYXP47Y&keywords=dc%2Bclamp%2Bon%2Bammeter&qid=1651884170&sprefix=dc%2Bclamp%2Bon%2Caps%2C171&sr=8-1-spons&smid=A1UAQ41KV8L37J&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExREJJTVkwQlNTOTdOJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNDI2NDA5MU9CVTBaNThTVFVaRSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTYxMzg3NU5YWDhDNDU3Q1RCJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ&th=1

 

 

19 minutes ago, aknavy said:

My truck has the D12/Eaton Autoshift in it.

Mine, too. 610K on it.  Still running great.

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Installed the jackalopee in my 2000 vnl 770 a few months ago.  Very simple and installed in the drivers side jockey also.  Looking at the direct link now due to cheap controller previous owner installed has not been working great.  Will be interested how that install goes for you. 

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Started to do the install today.  Dug around the dash, found all the wiring currently used for the Max Brake controller.  The network cable is connected to the sensor, and all the wires on the Delphi connector are wired correctly.  Probably just needed to be calibrated to the trailer. 

Cut and pulled the wiring back from the current trailer plug, ran a 7 conductor wire to the rear of the truck and got them all routed into the jockey box.  Dug the trucks commercial connector out of it's hiding spot on top of the driver side fuel tank and tested all the pins to ensure they work before wiring it all up.

Pretty much all ready to connect all the wires and brake controller and be ready to go.  Was too busy of a weekend to get it all done, so will have to do it in the next couple days.  May change my mind and keep the Max Brake controller as a backup, just in case the Direct Link ever has a problem.  The wiring is all there, so it would be a five minute swap.

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Just switched from Maxbrake to DirecLink. As GeorgiaHybrid said, your red wire on the Maxbrake Delphi plug may not be wired. Mine wasn’t because I was using sensor into air line. Ran a line back to Jackalopee and piggybacked into brake signal from TRUCK side. Of note if you have issues, call Tuson and ask for Alan. Amazingly helpful in tracking down problems. 

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14 hours ago, SuiteSuccess said:

Just switched from Maxbrake to DirecLink. As GeorgiaHybrid said, your red wire on the Maxbrake Delphi plug may not be wired. Mine wasn’t because I was using sensor into air line. Ran a line back to Jackalopee and piggybacked into brake signal from TRUCK side. Of note if you have issues, call Tuson and ask for Alan. Amazingly helpful in tracking down problems. 

Thanks for the advice - My red wire appears to be connected...just hope it's connected correctly so I don't have to run more wire.  All I have left to do now is to actually wire the connections in the Jackalopee and check it all out.  Now to find some time.....

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Check the red wire.  Put a DC voltmeter or simple test light on the red wire and one end on ground.  With no brakes, there should be no voltage.  With brakes there should be battery voltage or the light on a test light should light bright.

 

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8 hours ago, NeverEasy said:

Check the red wire.  Put a DC voltmeter or simple test light on the red wire and one end on ground.  With no brakes, there should be no voltage.  With brakes there should be battery voltage or the light on a test light should light bright.

 

Yep, broke out the test light - all is wired and ready to go.  Just gonna use the existing Delphi connection.

On another note - my trucks trailer cable has a female end on it.  Green cable, running from under the rear of the cab.  Female plug on it, so the plug that Henry sends with his kit doesn't work.  I'm guessing someone before me modified it.  This is my first truck so no idea what's normal.

Anyway, took the plug off and ran the green cable into the jockey box.  That was a pain in the ass, as the cable is pretty tightly wound and the outer sheath kept cracking from age.  Had to wrap it in electrical tape to get it to stay together.  It's always something.

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Yep, I don't come by my NeverEasy handle by choice!  Home Depot has some "rubber" tape that bonds itself to itself when you stretch it.  Works much better than the traditional vinyl tape.  

Usually the hardest part on the Gen 1 Volvo is finding the Reverse Light wire.  Unlike the other wires that went to the truck's trailer connector, the Reverse Light wire runs down the passenger side of the truck.

 

 

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16 hours ago, aknavy said:

Yep, broke out the test light - all is wired and ready to go.  Just gonna use the existing Delphi connection.

On another note - my trucks trailer cable has a female end on it.  Green cable, running from under the rear of the cab.  Female plug on it, so the plug that Henry sends with his kit doesn't work.  I'm guessing someone before me modified it.  This is my first truck so no idea what's normal.

Anyway, took the plug off and ran the green cable into the jockey box.  That was a pain in the ass, as the cable is pretty tightly wound and the outer sheath kept cracking from age.  Had to wrap it in electrical tape to get it to stay together.  It's always something.

I cut the end off the green cable wired into jackaloppee truck side like you did. That was 13 years ago. 

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3 hours ago, SuiteSuccess said:

I cut the end off the green cable wired into jackaloppee truck side like you did. That was 13 years ago. 

Good to know I'm in good company!  I really don't see a reason to use the connector/extra cable, other than easier cable routing and retaining the commercial plug.  Not something I foresee needing, and easy to replace.

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Two travel days with the new setup.  Mixed feelings so far.  The Direct Link slow speed braking seems a little light, it only has five levels of adjustment.   The regular settings have 20 levels, I've settled on level 13 for now.  Trailer/Jeep combined weight is about 31k.  Truck and trailer lights all work great though, so that's good.

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8 hours ago, aknavy said:

Two travel days with the new setup.  Mixed feelings so far.  The Direct Link slow speed braking seems a little light, it only has five levels of adjustment.   The regular settings have 20 levels, I've settled on level 13 for now.  Trailer/Jeep combined weight is about 31k.  Truck and trailer lights all work great though, so that's good.

Drove with my DirecLink for first time yesterday also.  You are right. Going to take some tweaks to get it right.  However, I did get the opinion trailer braking was more positive (for lack of a better term) than with my MaxBrake.  I also started at 13.

Edited by SuiteSuccess
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