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Old 06-21-2021, 06:44 AM   #1
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Brake Issues

Long post but I want to cover everything that has been tried. Coming back from a trip the truck kept showing "brakes are disconnected". Pulled the pig tale in & out a few times thinking maybe it wasn't making a good connection. Still kept giving me problems. Thought maybe the pin for the brakes has gone bad so I ordered a new 7 pin cable for the camper. When I finally had the weekend to work on it I noticed something else while trouble shooting. When I bought the camper I installed the 7 pin plug in my truck bed. It's a plug that just splits off from the bumper plug. When I pulled that connection apart, lots of water came out! The thing was full! Blew all that out & of coarse there was some corrosion. Cleaned it all up with a wire brush & contact cleaner. Got both ends looking good & added a little bit of dielectric grease put it back together & taped the crap out of hoping it would prevent future water invasion. Check the trailer brakes & all was good. Thought since I had already bought the trailer pig tale I might as well replace the old one while I'm at it. Installed that & brakes still working properly. Did some other small projects to the camper & then went to take it back to the storage lot. On the way home same crap! Intermittent brakes. Went ahead & parked it at the storage lot & then tore back into my truck later that week. Everything seemed fine with the plug but I thought maybe I just didn't get the brake pin cleaned up enough & it still wasn't making good contact. So I took a radical approach & connected a wire to the blue brake wire on both sides of the plug. If that was in fact the issue I would be by passing the bad connection. Went to hook up for our next trip & was still getting intermittent brakes. During my trouble shooting I did a continuity test on the fuse for the brakes. It read fine but as a hail mary I purchased a new one anyway. For the first 25 miles of our 3 hour trip the truck dash was still showing the brake connection going on & off. And during that time, there was no correlation when hitting bumps in the road, & the time the brakes would come on or off. Here is the weird part, after that first bit of the trip the brakes started working all of the time. On the way home from our trip, same thing. For the first 10-15 miles the brakes were intermittent but then stayed on the entire time after. I know electrical issue can sometimes drive you nuts & I am there! I am out of ideas. Anyone know what is going on here?
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:14 AM   #2
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Have you checked the wiring on the trailer? What you are explaining sounds like a chaffed, or broken wire. Most common around the area of the axle, and rear of the brakes. Also check the junction box behind the tongue on the trailer, and make sure all the connections are good.
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wileykid View Post
Have you checked the wiring on the trailer? What you are explaining sounds like a chaffed, or broken wire. Most common around the area of the axle, and rear of the brakes. Also check the junction box behind the tongue on the trailer, and make sure all the connections are good.
Yeah I guess I will have to start tracing the wiring from the junction box back. That is going to stink cause it is all enclosed on my trailer. I was in the junction box when I replaced the plug so I am fairly confident all of those connections are good. What I don't get is how after traveling a few miles it seems to work itself out. How do I check voltage on the blue brake wire? Can I just apply the brakes or do I have to move the slider on the brake controller? The truck is only a 2016 but I was wonder if there was an issue with the factory brake controller.
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Old 06-21-2021, 08:22 AM   #4
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First place I would check is where the wire enters and exits the axle to reach the other side. Next would be the connections at the junction box underneath your pin box. Most likely the areas where the wires are hidden won’t be an issue, but of course anything is possible. You can use an ohm meter to check the hidden wires. It would be best to troubleshoot when you are experiencing the fault, but I understand that may be inconvenient.
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Old 06-21-2021, 01:54 PM   #5
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Look at the wires where they come out from the belly and go to the brake, into the axle, and where it comes out on the other side. Wiggle them, and get a good look. I had a broken wire (pinched) where one wire ran between the axle and frame. Another was chaffed where it ran into the axle and would ground out on bumps. Make sure any connections in that area is good.

Good chance your problems are in the area above. Not a comfortable feeling when you get notified of no trailer brakes on the freeway with a heavy trailer.
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Old 06-21-2021, 04:33 PM   #6
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All good advice above, and it sounds like you're awre of the issues some Dodge truck have with the ECM.
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Old 06-21-2021, 05:18 PM   #7
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Have you connected the truck to another trailer to see if it is the truck vs the trailer or a different truck to your trailer. Seem like that would be a easier way to start looking and find which end the issue is on. I have a equipment trailer that when hooked to a dodge the brakes will not work. Multiple friends with dodges have told me the brakes were not working but they work fine on a chevy or Ford.
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Old 06-22-2021, 05:38 AM   #8
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Not a comfortable feeling when you get notified of no trailer brakes on the freeway with a heavy trailer.

Indeed!
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Old 06-22-2021, 05:42 AM   #9
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Have you connected the truck to another trailer to see if it is the truck vs the trailer or a different truck to your trailer. Seem like that would be a easier way to start looking and find which end the issue is on. I have a equipment trailer that when hooked to a dodge the brakes will not work. Multiple friends with dodges have told me the brakes were not working but they work fine on a chevy or Ford.

Unfortunately all the other trailers I own either do not have brakes or are hydraulic surge brakes. But yeah that would be an easy way to narrow it down.
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Old 06-22-2021, 09:37 AM   #10
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Re-read your original post and saw you added a plug in your bed. I have the same setup...factory 7 pin on the bumper and another 7 pin in the bed. I pull my ORV 5TH wheel, and a gooseneck stock trailer. The gooseneck works on both bed and bumper connectors, the 5th only works on the bumper connector. My guess is something in the trailer pigtail connector, but I just pull the 5th using the bumper connector.
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Old 06-22-2021, 06:13 PM   #11
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The advice to check the wires into the axles is one of the most common causes, if they are chaffed run a new wire outside the axle not through. I had a similar with my F350, the weight of the cord bouncing down the road would give me the disconnected error. I now wrap the 7pin to the truck fitting with a bungee cord, no more disconnected messages.
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Old 06-22-2021, 06:30 PM   #12
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Read my problem, an open 3-way connection near an axle done with a "Scotch" connector, and the cap came off opening the connection. That tire would grab something terrible and even caused a dragging brake with an extremely high temp to that tire... I'll bet it's behind one tire near where it enters/exits the axle. And, believe the Ford trailer braking system, it don't lie.
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Old 06-23-2021, 04:44 AM   #13
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Re-read your original post and saw you added a plug in your bed. I have the same setup...factory 7 pin on the bumper and another 7 pin in the bed. I pull my ORV 5TH wheel, and a gooseneck stock trailer. The gooseneck works on both bed and bumper connectors, the 5th only works on the bumper connector. My guess is something in the trailer pigtail connector, but I just pull the 5th using the bumper connector.

I have tried using both connectors for trouble shooting purposes. I get the same results. We have no trip planned for this weekend so if I get a chance I will dig into this deeper.
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Old 06-23-2021, 06:57 AM   #14
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Check for chafing in the truck harness. Every dodge ive had has been really bad about showing the trailer as disconnected and rubbing wires through in the harness.
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