Go Back   Ford F150 Forum - Community of Ford Truck Fans > Ford F150 Forums > Towing/ Hauling/ Plowing
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?


Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-04-2012, 01:05 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Frank Kuhl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Fairfax county va
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default Hidden Hitch Power trac

Hi have a 5.4 1999 f150. i bought it used and it came with a little hidden hitch device under the dash, it is a little box that says hidden hitch power trac. it has a small tab that will slide to the left when pushed and a little **** that moves up and down. it also has an LED light. i have done research and cant seem to figure out what this device dose. it says hidden hitch, so i assume it must be used for some kind of towing application. i do tow large boats and motorcycles often so it could have some use to me. if anyone has any info the hidden hitch power trac or knows what it does, that would be very helpful. basically my question is what is it and what does it do? Thank You
Frank Kuhl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 01:07 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Krack499's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Northeast iowa
Posts: 9,359
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Thanked 104 Times in 96 Posts
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Default

Its a brake controller for trailer brakes
Krack499 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Krack499 For This Useful Post:
Frank Kuhl (10-04-2012)
Old 10-04-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Frank Kuhl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Fairfax county va
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

how does it work, how is it diffrent then hooking up trailer brake lines
Frank Kuhl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 02:40 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Krack499's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Northeast iowa
Posts: 9,359
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Thanked 104 Times in 96 Posts
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Default

Basically the brake controllers are hooked into some wiring in your cab and when you hit your brakes the controller reads that and sends a signal through your trailer light plug to the trailer brakes to slow down the trailer
that model controller is a time delay one which means theres a delay from the time you hit the brakes to when it kicks in which you can set with a sync switch also you can adjust the amount of brakes that are applied via the controller based on the weight of your trailer but with timed controllers if you stop fast or slow the controller will still apply the same preset amount of braking power
Krack499 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 02:44 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Krack499's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Northeast iowa
Posts: 9,359
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Thanked 104 Times in 96 Posts
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Default

Thats only what I've read though
Krack499 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 04:49 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
willieboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Tomball/Spring/The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 347
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanked 38 Times in 35 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krack499 View Post
Basically the brake controllers are hooked into some wiring in your cab and when you hit your brakes the controller reads that and sends a signal through your trailer light plug to the trailer brakes to slow down the trailer
that model controller is a time delay one which means theres a delay from the time you hit the brakes to when it kicks in which you can set with a sync switch also you can adjust the amount of brakes that are applied via the controller based on the weight of your trailer but with timed controllers if you stop fast or slow the controller will still apply the same preset amount of braking power
Nailed it.
__________________
WillieBoy
New Truck:
2014 F350 Lariat SCrew Shortbed, 4x4, Powerstroke
Previous Truck: 2013 F150 Lariat SCrew MaxTow HD Payload, 4x2, EcoBoost
willieboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 05:24 PM   #7
Grumpy Old Man
 
smokeywren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Midland County Texas, just west of the star in my avatar
Posts: 1,042
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Thanked 180 Times in 148 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Kuhl View Post
how does it work, how is it diffrent then hooking up trailer brake lines
"Brake lines" assumes hydraulic brakes. But most trailers do not have hydraulic brakes.

Apparently, the Hidden Hitch PowerTrac brake controller was discontinued way back when, and is no longer available. But when it was available it was a controller for electric trailer brakes. Most trailers with brakes today have electric brakes, but some such as boat trailers that get dunked in the water have "surge" hydraulic brakes.

Your F-150 should have a 6-pin or 7-pin trailer connecter plug on the back end of the truck, near the receiver hitch. A horse or livestock trailer with electric brakes and a 6-pin plug would hook up to the 6-pin plug on the back of the truck. Or an RV trailer with a 7-pin plug would hook up to the 7-pin plug on the back of the truck.

One of the wires in the 6 or 7 pin plug is the electric trailer brake wire. When you step on the brake pedal, the brake controller sends a signal to the electric brakes on the trailer. They are not hydraulic brakes, so there are no brake lines going to the trailer brakes.

Electric brakes use magnets to force the brake shoes into the brake drum, which results in braking action. Hydraulic brakes use hydraulic fluid to force the brake shoes into the brake drum.

Simple electric brake controllers use the brake light to know when you've mashed the brake pedal. Then they delay for a bit and then send electric power to the magnets in the brakes.

There are usually two adjustments on a simple electric brake controller. One adjusts the amount of the delay before the trailer brakes are applied, and the other adjusts the amount of power sent to the magnets. At full power, the magnets are strong enough to lock the brakes, and you don't want locked trailer brakes, so you reduce the power that the magnets see.

On my electric brake controllers, the power adjustment goes from one to 10, with 10 being locked brakes on a heavily loaded trailer and 1 being almost no braking. With my 8,000 pound 5er, I usually had my simple controller set to a power of about 6 out of 10. On my 5,000 pound TT, I usually have the Ford integrated trailer brake controller (ITBC) set to about 5 out of 10.
__________________
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. 2012 F-150 Lariat SuperCrew EcoBoost, 6.5' bed, Platinum White/tan, Leer 100XQ camper shell, Nomad Joey 196S TT, CarMate 7x14' enclosed cargo trailer, three other utility trailers, plus a retired 2000 Keystone Sprinter 25RKS 5er we rarely tow now. ProPride hitch on the TT. Reese Strait-Line hitch on the cargo trailer.
smokeywren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 06:12 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
brulaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanked 115 Times in 102 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Personally, I would junk this ancient tech and get a Prodigy 2 or 3. These use inertial controllers to detect when and how much you're braking. Much better than the time delay. The new built in Ford controller raises the bar even higher, but I doubt that they're available for 1999.

Think of it this way: the towing capacity of your truck assumes that the trailer can stop itself (even if the truck could stop it, the trailer would jack-knife all over). And yet trailer brakes and controllers are soooo primitive compared to your truck's. So get the the best controller you can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeywren View Post
...
On my 5,000 pound TT, I usually have the Ford integrated trailer brake controller (ITBC) set to about 5 out of 10.
My trailer's only 4000# and the ITBC is set to 10, and it still doesn't lock the trailer brakes. Works well though. Must be different brake systems, single vs dual axles or something ...
__________________
2011 FX2 SCab EcoB MaxTow 3.73diff ~2050#Payload LT245/75R17E RAS
2014 Timber Ridge 240RKS ~7500#Loaded ~1100#TongueW 10.7mpgUS
Old:2010 Trailmanor Elkmont24' ~4000#Loaded ~500#TongueW 12.5mpgUS
brulaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 10:59 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
A7B2FX4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanked 21 Times in 18 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by brulaz View Post
Personally, I would junk this ancient tech and get a Prodigy 2 or 3. These use inertial controllers to detect when and how much you're braking. Much better than the time delay. The new built in Ford controller raises the bar even higher, but I doubt that they're available for 1999.

Think of it this way: the towing capacity of your truck assumes that the trailer can stop itself (even if the truck could stop it, the trailer would jack-knife all over). And yet trailer brakes and controllers are soooo primitive compared to your truck's. So get the the best controller you can.



My trailer's only 4000# and the ITBC is set to 10, and it still doesn't lock the trailer brakes. Works well though. Must be different brake systems, single vs dual axles or something ...
Sometimes I wish the old technology was still available. For months the trailer brakes on my 08 Super Duty would sometimes not work. Had the Ford BC. The dealer could not find the problem. They measured brake output voltage which was low at the 7 way. Later found out the computer adjusts voltage based on deceleration so applying brakes while not moving wont prove anything. After sailing through a snowy red light because of no trailer brakes I finally found the fuse on my trl battery charging line was intermittent and when open the Ford system wouldn't give trailer brakes. Have really smoked the brakes on my 12 F150 because a defective magnet on the trailer didnt give voltage to the other 3 brakes. Brake fade happens very quick pulling 10k.
A7B2FX4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 12:37 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
brulaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanked 115 Times in 102 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by A7B2FX4 View Post
Sometimes I wish the old technology was still available. For months the trailer brakes on my 08 Super Duty would sometimes not work. Had the Ford BC. The dealer could not find the problem. They measured brake output voltage which was low at the 7 way. Later found out the computer adjusts voltage based on deceleration so applying brakes while not moving wont prove anything. After sailing through a snowy red light because of no trailer brakes I finally found the fuse on my trl battery charging line was intermittent and when open the Ford system wouldn't give trailer brakes. Have really smoked the brakes on my 12 F150 because a defective magnet on the trailer didnt give voltage to the other 3 brakes. Brake fade happens very quick pulling 10k.
I hate trailer brakes. Had a similar problem here with one brake wire cut so only half the trailer brakes were working. Didn't realize it until half the way across the continent. Now I regularly check brake drum temperatures with my hand at rest stops.

That's how I discovered a few months ago that one of my trailer's grease seals had broken and sprayed grease all over the inside of the brake drum. The drum wasn't as hot as the other when I checked it.

This stuff would never happen with the truck brakes, or if it did you'd know about it right away.

And yes the Ford IBC uses your speed (and other info from the truck's sensors) to determine how much voltage to send to the trailer brakes. If you're standing still the voltage sent will be a lot less than at speed. It does make problems more difficult to diagnose, but it sure makes for smooth operation.

One way to see if all your trailer brakes are working is to check the current on the brake wire instead of the voltage. But guess you'd have to do it at the same speed each time with Ford's IBC.

If the fuse blew on the trailer battery's charge line, the IBC decides not to work the trailer brakes? At least it should tell us: "Trailer disconnected" or something? If I get a chance in the next few days, I'll see what happens. I hope they've fixed that problem in the new versions.
__________________
2011 FX2 SCab EcoB MaxTow 3.73diff ~2050#Payload LT245/75R17E RAS
2014 Timber Ridge 240RKS ~7500#Loaded ~1100#TongueW 10.7mpgUS
Old:2010 Trailmanor Elkmont24' ~4000#Loaded ~500#TongueW 12.5mpgUS
brulaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 12:37 AM
 
 
 
Reply


Tags
1999, 5.4, f150, hidden hitch, power trac

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Join F150 Forum

 

The Mustang Source
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:20 PM.


Copyright 2006 - 20011 F150forum.com
This site is in no way affiliated with the Ford Motor Company.