Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ScottyGS

Ford F-150 Trailer Disconnect Issue

Recommended Posts

I have been told that if you don’t have any trailer brakes you WILL KNOW IT. But not sure I will be able to sense reduced vs. full.

In the "electric brakes" mode I can get them to lock up using the manual brake 'slider', although I get the dreaded "Trailer Disconnected" message. In "electric over hydraulic" mode I can't get them to lock up even at max brake setting (10.0).

 

If you have an area where stopping distance is not a concern then you can try using the same approximate brake pedal pressure without the 7-pin connector installed (secure the cable to the tongue so it doesn't drag the ground) versus trying it connected as normal. Do it with the transmission's 'Tow/Haul' mode off so you don't confuse the tow mode's enhanced downshifting with actual braking action. After a few tries you'll have a good feel for when the brakes are working, if they are indeed working at all. I've got the 18.5 Elite so I'm guessing it'll be an even more pronounced difference with the heavier Elite II.

 

I have an appointment with the Ford dealer on Monday to have the latest SSM (#45803, I think) applied. I'll post a followup after that.

Brake-controller.pdf

  • Thanks 1

Aubrey and the two wingmen, Woodstock & Rascal


Oliver #032, "El Huevito"


Ford F-150 4x4


El Juevito's Travels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday Ford updated my brake controller module in accordance with their latest service bulletin. I changed the trailer brake setting back to 'electric brakes' and had a chance to test it out today.

 

I'm happy to report that the brakes now work as intended and no more troublesome "Trailer Disconnected" messages! Yay!

  • Thanks 2

Aubrey and the two wingmen, Woodstock & Rascal


Oliver #032, "El Huevito"


Ford F-150 4x4


El Juevito's Travels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JRbirdman - I assume that you are NOT using the Towready?

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JRbirdman – I assume that you are NOT using the Towready?

 

That's correct. It appears Ford may have FINALLY fixed the problem.

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Aubrey and the two wingmen, Woodstock & Rascal


Oliver #032, "El Huevito"


Ford F-150 4x4


El Juevito's Travels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JBM,

 

much thanks for the update.  Do you have the service bulletin number handy.

 

I want to get this done and be able to be specific with Ford.

 

thanks again

 

Scotty

  • Thanks 1

Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


CTDEGAMDMANHNJNYNCPASCTNVAxlg.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBM, much thanks for the update. Do you have the service bulletin number handy. I want to get this done and be able to be specific with Ford. thanks again Scotty

 

Attached.

 

Good luck!

Brake-controller-1.pdf

  • Thanks 1

Aubrey and the two wingmen, Woodstock & Rascal


Oliver #032, "El Huevito"


Ford F-150 4x4


El Juevito's Travels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks very much.  Have this printed out and will get down to Ford to have it done.

 

Then we will have at least two data points.

 

Scotty

 

 


Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


CTDEGAMDMANHNJNYNCPASCTNVAxlg.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I'm with Scotty, so, make that three data points.  However, the earliest that I could get an appointment at my local Ford dealer wasn't until Friday, June 30th.  This was mainly because the technician that "knows more about the computer things than anyone" is not available until then.  We'll see!

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the earliest that I could get an appointment at my local Ford dealer wasn’t until Friday, June 30th.  This was mainly because the technician that “knows more about the computer things than anyone” is not available until then.

 

That's probably wise. I had to discuss the bulletin with the service advisor for several minutes to convince her that the bulletin NEEDED to be complied with. She kept asking if I was sure that it wasn't a trailer problem. I ended up leaving a copy of the bulletin stuck over the nav display to be sure the tech who would actually perform the work would get the idea. Also, I had highlighted the part about the "Trailer Disconnected" message. The only thing the invoice said was "reprogrammed brake module" with no other description or codes, but apparently the tech knew what to do.


Aubrey and the two wingmen, Woodstock & Rascal


Oliver #032, "El Huevito"


Ford F-150 4x4


El Juevito's Travels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not surprisingly, I returned from my local Ford dealer this morning with a piece of paper that says," No SSM or TSB found for this vehicle.  Cust supplied SSM does not apply to this vehicle as it was built after 4/11/15.  There are no updates to the TBC at this time.  Self test of TBC and memory codes found no DTC.  Checked all fuses - all good.  Visual inspection found no concerns.  Verified voltage at pins - no concern.  Found working to specs at this time."

 

Note:  my F-150 is a 2017 model built in February, 2017.

 

So, I still have the TowMaster to try and the Oliver to check.  Unfortunately, both those things will have to be done while I'm headed to Colorado for two months of fishing in about two weeks.  I'll update if I find something.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stumbled on this YouTube video (

) yesterday which shows a "hack" in which with a couple of CD's or DVD's placed around a coax cable coming from your cable TV supplier will allow you to be able to get all channels supplied over that cable without the need for a de-coder box.  That got me to thinking - several days prior to my last trip when I had my "trailer disconnect" issues start happening, I placed some foil "duct" tape on the interior of my Oliver to seal around all of the marker lights and to secure the wires from those lights in a better fashion.  If what the individual in the video says is true then it just might be possible that current in those wires is being affected by the foil tape I used.  This Sunday I will be bringing Twist home to stock, clean and organize prior to my fishing trip out West.  One of the first things I will do is remove most of that tape - it can't hurt!  Of course, I'll post the results here.

 

Bill

  • Thanks 1

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to check with Pete (Bugeyedriver). I've seen him wearing foil hats from time to time. I don't think it has affected his brakes but I'm told it allows him to receive reruns of 'The Twilight Zone' even when they're not on the air.

  • Thanks 2

Aubrey and the two wingmen, Woodstock & Rascal


Oliver #032, "El Huevito"


Ford F-150 4x4


El Juevito's Travels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't check with Pete..... Check with Bosker, he really runs things in that rig! :-)

 

I have an appointment with Ford on Monday July 10.    Trip scheduled for July 22-30.  Will be taking the towready , Foil hat, and any damn other thing I can think of.   Will report.

 

Thanks guys,

 

Scotty

  • Thanks 2

Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


CTDEGAMDMANHNJNYNCPASCTNVAxlg.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only reason I considered buying an Airsteram was I wouldn't have to wear my foil hat while inside, only outside, but went with the Oliver anyway. Worth the inconvenience.


GrayGhost


2015 Legacy Elite II Hull # 98


2016 Dodge Ram Laramie EcoDiesel


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, but the Oliver has that "foil" insulation between the hulls.  So, unless you are trying to communicate with the "Mothership" by sitting close to the windows you still don't need the hat inside the Oliver.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oliver thought of everything!  Now I can plan a trip to Roswell, NM.

 

now back to the thread......

 

 


GrayGhost


2015 Legacy Elite II Hull # 98


2016 Dodge Ram Laramie EcoDiesel


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used the TowMaster yesterday when I towed Twist home from the storage facility and there were no "disconnect" messages.  However, the distance towed was only 10 miles which doesn't give a very large data sample.  So, I think that I'll leave my foil hat on for now, continue to use the TowMaster and see what happens with longer distances.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Problem Solved!  - At least for the last 700 miles

 

I have come to believe that the solution for this problem may be different from truck to truck. We have (as a group) tried a lot of different solutions and some have worked for others but not for me.  So, here is a quick run down on how I got to problem solved with some info that may prove useful to current or future sufferers of the dreaded disconnect message.

 

So, in the order that seems best, here they are:

 

1.) Selecting Electric over Hydraulic brakes -  I am not sure if this will solve the problem. What I am sure of is that the reduced braking on the trailer was not safe.  I did a 25 mph brake test on a level road using both the Electric and the Electric over Hydraulic setting and the latter scared the heck out of me.  Low speed and level ground and I could feel the reduced braking... A LOT!  I changed the setting back and will never use that setting again. So, scratch this one off your list.  I am towing an LE2 and the difference may be less with the single axle Ollie

 

2.) SSM 45508 / SSM 45803 update - This one was interesting. This SSM says to update the trailer brake controller to version 98.02 or higher.  This is for trucks built before 11/04/2015.  My truck was built after this, but I was pretty explicit with the dealer that I wanted this update without regard to mfg. date.  The dealer did the upgrade for me "on the house."  Upon clarification I learned Ford was not going to pay for the upgrade because my truck was made after the specified date.  But the dealer took care of me.

 

So, if you are going to get this update, you need to be specific with the dealer on the issue. Don't accept the "your truck has all the updates it needs" line.   (Thanks JBM!)  All that being said.... the update by itself has not fixed the problem.  I still get disconnect warnings unless I use .......

 

3. The Mighty Tow Ready 20142 - After determining that the update did not fix the problem I connected the Tow Ready adapter (Thank you David!) and this has apparently solved the issue.  We just finished a 700 mile round trip and had no disconnect issues when using the Tow Ready.  In fact, I left the Tow Ready plugged into the truck but NOT pulling the trailer, and the F-150 told me the trailer was connected. You can get this on Amazon for under $25.

 

Conclusion:  The Tow Ready really does work.  It plugs in between the truck and the trailer pigtail. It is secure and only adds about 4" to the length of the cable.  Locking tabs were secure and I did not need any straps to secure the Tow Ready.  If you find that it does not work for you, I would suggest you get the version 98.02 update and try it again.

 

My thanks to everyone for the assistance in getting this problem solved.  It has been over a year and very frustrating and distracting.  Returning from the Spring Fling in May I was on 287 approaching the Tappan Zee Bridge at night in the RAIN... and the disconnect thing was going off repeatedly.  It was not fun.

 

Thanks again everyone.  If I can help anyone with this or any other issue I would be most happy to return the favor, or pay it forward.

 

Scotty

  • Thanks 1

Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


CTDEGAMDMANHNJNYNCPASCTNVAxlg.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you got it working, Scotty! I know what a relief it is.

 

As much as Ford touts its trailer towing capabilities, it boggles the mind that they won't incorporate the circuitry of the Tow Ready into their F-150s and have ignored the numerous complaints they have received on the issue. (Google "Ford F-150 trailer disconnect" and you'll get an earful, so to speak.) Between that and the terrible nav system installed on the 2015 (compared to the system on my 2010 F-150, which was excellent), I may be looking elsewhere the next time I need a new TV.

 

I don't know how the Ford 2016-2017 nav systems stack up, but Nav Systems in general might be an interesting new thread.

  • Thanks 1

Aubrey and the two wingmen, Woodstock & Rascal


Oliver #032, "El Huevito"


Ford F-150 4x4


El Juevito's Travels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey JBM....

 

Nav systems are not so high on my hit parade, but the Pro Backup Assist IS!  I looked at a ton of TV's and drove just about everything out there.  Toyota, Dodge, Chevy, both SUV's and Trucks.  In the end it came down to the Silverado and the F-150.  The pro backup assist pushed us over to the Ford Column.  (But the Silverado was plush... like sitting on your living room couch)

 

Here is a youtube video worth the few minutes to watch..  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HLcJiPcumM

 

If you are a trailer newbie like me... this thing is worth it's weight in gold.   Wonder when other mfg's will get something like that going.

 

Thanks again everyone for your help.

 

Scotty


Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


CTDEGAMDMANHNJNYNCPASCTNVAxlg.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bosker suggested I put on my tinfoil hat and look into this because he's considering having me purchase an F150 diesel next year.  My hat quickly tuned into this discussion on an Expedition forum:

 

http://www.expeditionforum.com/threads/what-causes-trailer-disconnected-message.28308/

 

The post originator seemed to follow a logical path on his diagnosis and narrowed his problem down to an issue with the electrical brake resistance being read by the controller.  Any EE majors in our group who can say if this would be a good fix?

 

Here is his last post . . .

 

 

 

"Solved.

 

It was not poor grounding or LED lights.

 

I finally had a chance to tow the trailer to a dealer (2 hours away). There, we were able to connect and tow an identical trailer with the Expedition. There were no trailer disconnects. This finally and definitively pointed to the trailer as the problem.

 

To make a long troubleshooting session short, we found that the resistance of the trailer brakes, as seen by the truck, on the "good" trailer was about 1.7 ohms. On the "bad" trailer it was about 2.0 ohms. That does not seem like it would make much difference, but as an experiment we decided to lower this resistance by adding a parallel resistor (across the brake control line to ground).

 

I pulled from my EE degree 40 years ago to calculate the needed resistor should be 0.8 ohms or so. Of course we did not have a resistor that size, so we used a 10 W dashboard lightbulb.

 

We ran a wire from the brake line all the way into the truck cab. Then, took a couple of different light bulbs with us. While I drove, the mechanic would connect the light bulb using the ground from the 12V plug-in power port on the dashboard.

 

Sure enough, when we used the 10 W bulb, the trailer stayed disconnected. In fact, he could force it to "disconnect" by removing the bulb from he circuit.

 

Problem diagnosed.

 

The solution we implemented may be temporary, but it worked the entire 90 mile drive home! We simply wired a bulb socket between the brake control wire and ground underneath the trailer. Now, whenever I put on my brakes, a small light bulb is coming on under the trailer ;-) The good point is that I can pull that socket and wire in a small resistor to make a more elegant and permanent fix."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Weird, I'm late to the party on this one, but I've never experienced this issue with my F150 either with the Oliver or our T@b before that. Now that I've stated this it will probably happen soon enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope you are not late to this party.  Hope you are NEVER to this party.


Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


CTDEGAMDMANHNJNYNCPASCTNVAxlg.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Weird, I’m late to the party on this one, but I’ve never experienced this issue with my F150 either with the Oliver or our T@b before that. Now that I’ve stated this it will probably happen soon enough.

 

What year is your F150?  Could it be a problem with new software in the late models?


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Weird, I’m late to the party on this one, but I’ve never experienced this issue with my F150 either with the Oliver or our T@b before that. Now that I’ve stated this it will probably happen soon enough.

 

What year is your F150?  Could it be a problem with new software in the late models?


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...