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View Full Version : Brake controllers-- your pick?



mvp
Apr. 22, 2011, 08:06 PM
As I understand it, the Tekonsha Prodigy p2 is great and great for the money.

Can I do better?

Easy install?

Are the really removable and/or not fugly? Or do they sit under the dash all the time like all others?

Many thanks-- apologies if we have been around this topic before. I can't remember seeing an *official* brake controller thread.

asterix
Apr. 22, 2011, 08:46 PM
I think I asked this question about a year ago when my (no longer sold) brake controller was ruined by an emergency brakeline repair (what kind of mechanic just CUTS a line without knowing what it does, or asking the owner??? or..mentioning it to the owner)...

anyway, I got the Tekonsha Prodigy answer pretty much unanimously. bought it online that day, had my trailer guy install it (although I think if you are mechanically inclined it can definitely be done at home), and have been very happy with it.

Try searching for Prodigy or Tekonsha by way of coming up with some of these threads, which do come around from time to time.

It's not that expensive (less than 100 bucks, which for brakes on my trailer seems reasonable) if you look around online.

Tom King
Apr. 22, 2011, 09:59 PM
http://maxbrake.com/

low cost is not on my priorities for a brake controller. I had a BrakeSmart stolen-which worked great but production is now questionable on those, so I replaced it with one of these. It comes as close as possible to making the trailer brakes part of the truck braking system.

I never liked the inertia sensor ones.

atlatl
Apr. 22, 2011, 10:54 PM
Prodigy, hands down!

Lucassb
Apr. 27, 2011, 03:50 PM
I love my Prodigy P2. It does sit (rather unobtrusively) under the dash all the time.

I did quite a bit of research before I bought the P2 last fall and am very satisfied with it - works great, simple to install/use.

hosspuller
Apr. 27, 2011, 05:17 PM
I installed a P3 in place of the ash tray in my Chevy. No knee bashing for me.:D

GoForAGallop
Apr. 27, 2011, 06:43 PM
As I understand it, the Tekonsha Prodigy p2 is great and great for the money.

Can I do better?

Easy install?



Better? Nah, not really. At that point you're looking at personal preference and what people have used. It's a good product.

As for install and easiness, that all depends. What make/model/year are you driving?

mvp
Apr. 27, 2011, 09:49 PM
Better? Nah, not really. At that point you're looking at personal preference and what people have used. It's a good product.

As for install and easiness, that all depends. What make/model/year are you driving?

This is for my *museum quality* 2001 Ford F-350 7.3L diesel. I'm trying to do right by her.

I am putting some after market gauges in her to go with some other modifications to her "vital organs." Long story there. This weekend, she is going to consider getting sheepskin seat covers. So there's no point in getting a fugly, unsmooth brake controller, right?

But I'll also put this in myself (with help). As I understand it, buying a wiring harness built to go with a Ford makes it really easy. Well, not easy for a noob like me.

GoForAGallop
Apr. 27, 2011, 10:48 PM
But I'll also put this in myself (with help). As I understand it, buying a wiring harness built to go with a Ford makes it really easy. Well, not easy for a noob like me.

No, even easy for a noob like you!! Promise! After 2000 (or 99?) basically all trucks are "plug and play" with the brake controllers, provided the wiring is already run with the "tow package." IE, if you have the plug at the back, you have the plug at the front for sure.

What you'll want to look for is a little box of various plugs probably by the brake pedal/your left foot. Ford MAY put it in a different place, I'm only familiar with Chevy/GMC, but I'm not sure why they would.

If you have the "adaptor" that goes from the specific controller you have (should be easy to find right on the controller website) to a Ford truck, all you do is plug one end of the adaptor cable into the brake controller, and then the other end goes into one of the spaces in the little box of plugs by the brake pedal. And that's it!

My GMC didn't have the "plug and play" box, but did have the wires run, so I had to hardwire it in, but even that is not a big deal. But you should be good to go with the brake controller and the adaptor. :)

Lucassb
Apr. 28, 2011, 01:12 PM
This is for my *museum quality* 2001 Ford F-350 7.3L diesel. I'm trying to do right by her.

I am putting some after market gauges in her to go with some other modifications to her "vital organs." Long story there. This weekend, she is going to consider getting sheepskin seat covers. So there's no point in getting a fugly, unsmooth brake controller, right?

But I'll also put this in myself (with help). As I understand it, buying a wiring harness built to go with a Ford makes it really easy. Well, not easy for a noob like me.

Hey, who you callin' "museum quality" there, mvp?! Mine is installed in my 1999 F250 and she is still good-as-new, LOL. And she got her sheepskin seat covers a while ago, highly recommend them.

Let me know if you want me to snap a photo so you can see what it looks like once installed...

stanza
Apr. 28, 2011, 02:42 PM
Ohh, I would definitely want to see pictures. I recently bought a 1999 F250 and want to upgrade to the Prodigy.

Joan

mvp
Apr. 28, 2011, 03:03 PM
No, even easy for a noob like you!! Promise! After 2000 (or 99?) basically all trucks are "plug and play" with the brake controllers, provided the wiring is already run with the "tow package." IE, if you have the plug at the back, you have the plug at the front for sure. ....
If you have the "adaptor" that goes from the specific controller you have (should be easy to find right on the controller website) to a Ford truck, all you do is plug one end of the adaptor cable into the brake controller, and then the other end goes into one of the spaces in the little box of plugs by the brake pedal. And that's it!


Mmm hmm. I'll have you know that a trailer place near me will sell you a brake controller and install for the low, low price of $350. That would be no more than about $150 for the parts and, what, 10 minutes of labor?


Hey, who you callin' "museum quality" there, mvp?! Mine is installed in my 1999 F250 and she is still good-as-new, LOL. And she got her sheepskin seat covers a while ago, highly recommend them.


Your 1999 big ol' 7.3 with the girly sheepskin seat covers were an inspiration.

But this 2001 goes to 11. We'll have to have a truck bragging thread at some point.

Dun_Horse
May. 2, 2011, 11:39 PM
So I'll give another vote for the Prodigy. Was ~100 bucks, bought a ~15 wiring adapter to my 04 F250, and was shocked how easy it was to put in. Had to worm myself around the floorboard of the driver side to plug the business end into the dash, but other than that it was super easy.

trinityhill
May. 3, 2011, 02:09 AM
I have the P3 in Ramala, our big old beast of a truck. It has been phenominal... I can get the brakes just how I want them, than when DH drives he changes all my settings and I can easily get them back, plus change the display back to pink to irritate him, hehehe.

But seriously it has been fantastic, we were having issues with our old Voyager locking up my trailer brakes, so I not so nicely ripped it out as soon as we were parked, after it pulled that once with my ponies on board. We installed the P3, dialed it in and trailer brakes perfectly everytime now...

Ramala appreciated the spoiling when it was put in too.... she stopped the weird turning the windshield wipers on while parked and draining the battery thing... Older trucks do need to feel loved to do their jobs.

MunchkinsMom
May. 3, 2011, 02:38 PM
That's it, I need a new brake controller, tired of the grabby brakes at slow speeds with my old controller. Now I know what to spend my anniversary money on. Thanks everyone.

morganpony86
May. 3, 2011, 02:44 PM
As I understand it, the Tekonsha Prodigy p2 is great and great for the money.

Can I do better?

Easy install?

Are the really removable and/or not fugly? Or do they sit under the dash all the time like all others?


I didn't know anyone cared about brake boxes, to be honest. I sure never paid the slightest bit of attention to it, considering it has done it's job for the last 7 years or so. :) When I bought my trailer, I just told the guy to put one in my truck and I've been very happy with it. After a quick google search, I'm happy to discover that it is the Tekonsha. :)

mvp
May. 4, 2011, 07:11 PM
I was at an excellent Diesel Dorks convention this past weekend and one of them showed me where the plug is on a Ford. I'll post pics when I put mine in. It really is plug-n-play if you have the right wiring harness. For Tekonshas, they are made to go from the controller to your Ford/Chevy/Dodge or whatever.

airhorse
May. 4, 2011, 07:12 PM
Prodigy all the way!!!