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Discussion Starter #1
Can I add the factory trailer brakes to a 2013 ram 1500 tradesman with the factory tow package?
If so what parts do I need and how hard is it to do?
Thanks
Mick
 

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First make sure the truck has the 2 trailer brake connectors present just to the left of the column underneath the dash. They are both open-ended 4-pin connectors. Without them, the Mopar ITBM (integrated trailer brake module) cannot be added.
It looks like nice clean plug n'play dash work with a phillips, knife, pry tool and trim stick.


http://www.mopar.com/part/82213474?s=354602&i=2206649&b=ram


K6861628.PDF
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you now I'm gonna go looks to see if the four and ten way plugs are there
 

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Is it possible to add this to a passenger car? Maybe an after market issue. I remember seeing trailer brakes that were activated by hitch pressure also boxes mounted on or under the dash.
 

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DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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Aftermarket brake controllers were the norm for a long time, so that would still be an option for passenger cars.
 

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jerseyjoe said:
Is it possible to add this to a passenger car? Maybe an after market issue. I remember seeing trailer brakes that were activated by hitch pressure also boxes mounted on or under the dash.
The ones you describe as being activated by hitch pressure are called surge brakes, and are probably the most common on boat trailers. They have their shortcomings, but it's a big advantage that the tow vehicle requires no controller. The systems with a reverse lockout solenoid require an additional wire connected to the backup light circuit.
 

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Sorry for the late reply, be aware that surge breaks operate on hydraulic pressure and the cylinder is at the hitch, so everytime you try to back up, especially backing up hill, the brakes will come on.
They are no longer legal in many states when the trailer weight exceeds a certain point (1500lbs?).
 

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MoparNorm said:
Sorry for the late reply, be aware that surge breaks operate on hydraulic pressure and the cylinder is at the hitch, so everytime you try to back up, especially backing up hill, the brakes will come on.
They are no longer legal in many states when the trailer weight exceeds a certain point (1500lbs?).
There are three ways around the reverse issue:
1. Reverse lockout solenoid which is powered by the backup light circuit.
2. Insertion of a pin that prevents the coupler from moving and activating the master cylinder (kind of a PITA).
3. Free-backing drum brakes that are designed not to engage when in reverse.

I have never heard that surge brakes are illegal anywhere in the US. That would be good info to have. Do you have a link? I remember when taking a boating and seamanship course over 20 years ago, during the discussion on trailering, one of the instructors said surge brakes would be illegal soon. Still hasn't happened in NY.
 

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That may have actually changed:

"After more than 10 years of struggle, rental businesses finally declared victory on surge brakes in 2007. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in Washington, D.C., published final regulations that allowed surge brakes on all small and medium-sized trailers, even those used in interstate commerce. The new rules went into effect April 5, 2007.

FMCSA previously issued guidance and regulatory interpretations that made surge brakes illegal for use in interstate commerce. Many states, but not all, followed the lead of FMCSA and also outlawed the devices. The result was a patchwork of inconsistent regulations that allowed surge brake use by private individuals while banning the same devices in commercial applications. This created great confusion, problems and numerous fines for rental companies, as well as a difficult situation for trailer and boat manufacturers. All three groups came together to form the Surge Brake Coalition, an ad hoc group, to address and change the FMCSA rules"


"The US DOT has clarified the definition of what is a "brake" and surge brakes are not US DOT approved.
States that adopted the previous ruling as state law now have to decide how they are going to deal with this new ruling.
There is nothing inherently unsafe with surge brakes and the tests by DOT and others show they meet the required braking distances required.
"New rules took effect in April legalizing the use of automatic hydraulic inertia brake systems (surge brakes) on light- and medium-duty trailers within certain limits, even in commercial applications. Previously, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had issued guidance and regulatory interpretations that made surge brakes illegal for use in interstate commerce.
"FMCSA, in previous rulings, had declared that surge brakes were not actually brakes," says John McClelland, vice president for government affairs, American Rental Association (ARA). "They didn't meet the definition of what a brake is."
At issue was a requirement in Section 393.48 of the Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that motor vehicle brakes be operative at all times. A surge brake, which is operative only under certain preset conditions, would not be in compliance with this requirement. Surge brakes, in general, are only operative when vehicles are moving in the forward direction.
Section 393.49 also required a single valve to operate all brakes. Guidance on this issue stated that since surge brakes cannot keep the trailer brakes in the applied position, the brakes on the combination of vehicles are not under control of a single valve.
These rulings soon spread to the state level. "A bunch of states adopted the federal rules for interstate transport simply by referring to them in their statutes," says McClelland.
This essentially banned surge brakes in these states. The result was a patchwork of regulations that often allowed use of surge brake-equipped trailers by private individuals, while banning them from commercial use. Due to inconsistencies between local regulations, there was a great deal of confusion as to when and where surge brakes were legal.
The new rules eliminate this confusion by spelling out the conditions under which surge brakes can be used. For trailers with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWRs) of less than 12,000 lbs., the regulation approves surge brake use for vehicle-to-trailer GVWR ratios of 1:1.175. For trailers between 12,000 and 20,000 lbs., the regulation approves use for vehicle-to-trailer GVWR ratios of 1:1.25. "


Since the 2007 ruling, it's once again a maze of conflicting regulations, check here and hope it is current!

http://www.boatwheels.biz/brakelaws.pdf
 

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I think the issue with surge brakes is that they cannot be controlled from the tow vehicle, they are a system that reacts to the tow vehicle slowing down by creating hydraulic pressure at the surge brake actuator. After much discussion I think it was realized that for boat trailers, they work well in most applications, and to force boat owners to convert to either electric brakes (fully electric drum brakes) would not be acceptable as they are not designed to be dunked in water, esp salt water. The other option, electric over hydraulic brakes is where you have a brake controller in the tow vehicle that controls a hydraulic actuator and converts an electrical signal into hydraulic pressure. So this system can use marine rated disc brakes. However, it is much more expensive and somewhat more complex than surge brakes. They do work better in regions with steep hills on high speed highways, in those driving environments surge brakes can overheat because they tend to be on all the time in down hill driving. I have used them on boat trailers for years and in my use they were fine. I've also used them on rental U-Haul trailers without difficulty.
For rental trailers surge brakes have the obvious advantage that the tow vehicle does not have to have a brake controller
But there are driving environments (high speed driving, with steep hills) where electric control over the brake system is clearly better. I have continued to use surge free backing drum brakes because in my use they are completely adequate. They do require more maintenance and adjustment than disc brakes but are less prone to drag and overheating because of the strong return springs used in drum brakes.
 
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