Tekonsha P3 questions

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 05, 2016 at 21:45
ThreadID: 132656 Views:1761 Replies:5 FollowUps:0
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To any electric brakes guru's out there; I dont think my brakes are working to their full potential..the tow vehicle is a 2013 Navara deisel Crew Cab and the van is a Jayco Outback 17', single axle with 12" brakes, all up it weighs a little under 2 tonnes .......I suspect unsatisfactory wiring resulting in excessive voltage drop.
So...my tow vehicle battery is sitting on12.8 what voltage would I expect to see on a DMM at, 1, the trailer plug and 2, each caravan wheel?.....what amps would I expect to see at full brake over-ride lever operation?
Also, I wonder if anyone can help clear up some confusion I have:
in the Tekonsha user manual it is suggested that the initial power setting should be 6 and this figure can be adjusted up if the braking is insufficient, down if lock-up occurs. What I dont really get is this, the controller senses deceleration and applies power to the trailer brakes proportionally, this being the case why would you set your brakes 'power' to a figure less than you have available...ie 12.5 volts or so??...if it is set to 6 would that not be the maximum voltage that can be applied?, like in an emergency stop situation and when you would want the max....or am I missing something here?

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Reply By: Gronk - Sunday, Jun 05, 2016 at 22:55

Sunday, Jun 05, 2016 at 22:55
Assuming you have decent size wiring and the brakes are adjusted properly, an initial setting of 6 ( volts) is usually good enough to apply the brakes well without locking up.
On my Prodigy, I have it set to 10, which for me seems a good setting where under decent deceleration the van slows down in tandem with the 4wd ( doesn't push ).
Under over ride ( full volts ) some vans will still not lock their brakes ( mine doesn't ), but it is still too severe for normal driving.
Even a setting of 3 is enough sometimes to get the brakes working OK.
You need to go for a test drive and play with the setting to get the best number ( volts ).....whatever setting you choose, then yes that is the max volts applied, but especially in an emergency, you don't want full volts if that is going to cause brake lockup ....especially in the wet.
AnswerID: 601030

Reply By: Member - Chooky and Wobble - Sunday, Jun 05, 2016 at 23:01

Sunday, Jun 05, 2016 at 23:01
Not sure of the actual voltages but from what I understand when you are in full emergency stop situation you want the van brakes to be just under lockup. Ie you dont want the van brakes to lock. Hence you adjust the sensitivity to have that condition.
Can you get the brakes on the van to lock by adjusting the sensitivity to maximum and driving then applying full hand braking on the unit? If so then the unit is working. Don't forget to adjust it back to just not locking.
I have found a couple of other items that can cause the van brakes to not work properly:
1. The magnets on the van brakes have become worn.
2. The surface that the magnets run against on the brake drum is worn or damaged.
3. On an older van I had the brake shoes re lined and they took a long time to bed in and wear so that the whole shoe surface was pressing against the drum.
Not saying any of these are your problem, hope you find a solution.

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AnswerID: 601031

Reply By: Sundowner2 - Monday, Jun 06, 2016 at 07:21

Monday, Jun 06, 2016 at 07:21
Thanks to all respondents. Useful stuff.
AnswerID: 601039

Reply By: TomH - Monday, Jun 06, 2016 at 08:53

Monday, Jun 06, 2016 at 08:53
Have you adjusted your vans brakes recently. If they have worn off the controller wont apply them as hard.
The settting on the controller is a "proportion of force" that the unit will apply and differs for every van because of the weight.
If you slam your brakes on hard you will find it does apply max voltage and if your brakes are adjusted correctly will stop satisfactorily.
If you up the base setting, as said maywell lock them up and you dont want that.
You can use the boost settings to set them to come on just ahead of your cars brakes and you should feel the van pull you up a little.
Boost starts the braking at a higher level such as 13% on 1 and 25% on 2.
If you want 12 volts at all times buy an old "Timer" model like the Redarc or the old Tekonsha Voyager.
You will wish you hadnt as they apply the same amount of braking regardless of how light or heavy you apply the car brakes with often dire results, despite what the "Ive used one for 40 year brigade" say.
The normal wiring in a towing loom is satisfactory for brake operation provided it is maintained correctly.

If you read the instructions you can see the readings you want on the screen by going to the correct part of the menu
AnswerID: 601044

Reply By: Member - Ian M21 - Thursday, Jun 09, 2016 at 09:39

Thursday, Jun 09, 2016 at 09:39
Adjust the van brakes first!
AnswerID: 601153

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