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A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6625
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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I have an E350 superduty xlt van that came with the tch and

Customer Question

I have an E350 superduty xlt van that came with the hitch and wiring harness installed, but no brake controller. I bought the correct controller from Fairway Ford and plugged it in. It did not work. No trailer brakes. I took the van to the dealer here in Austin to get the computer reprogrammed and after a bit they came back and said the computer could not be reprogrammed. The parameters were not available. They had no explanation. What can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Can I have the VIN# ***** research what your E350 was built with?
Did you buy it new or used?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I bought it used. It came equipped with a Ford hitch and had the trailer wiring harness installed. I purchased an aftermarket brake controller and it works fine. But the OEM integrated brake controller does not work. I was told the computer had to be reprogrammed
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Below is some information for you on your 2012 E350 you may like to have for your records.

Your van did come with a factory hitch and trailer connector. Let me do a little bit of digging through the diagrams on the trailer brake controller. I'll be back shortly.

Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Make sure you have fuse #F18, a 30 amp fuse in the engine bay fuse box and fuse #f33, a 10 amp fuse in the dash fuse box.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have checked the fuses. I was told by the dealer that the computer could not be programmed.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

The trailer brake controller does not need to be programed. All they have to do is to go into "Programmable Parameters" with the Ford IDS computer

Set the Trailer Brake ABS and Trailer Brake IC settings, choose "EQUIPPED" or "ENABLE" and

press the check box.

Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

This will tell the PCM (Engine Computer), Instrument Cluster and ABS brake module that there is a trailer brake controller.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The dealer told me that when they tried to do exactly what you suggested, the parameters were simply not there. I never said anything about programming the brake controller.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Let me check with a Ford engineer I know in Dearborn. He has more access to information on Ford vehicles than I have at the dealership level. I have to send him an email and I should hear back from him by tomorrow before noon. Is that Ok.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's fine. Thanks for going the extra distance. My working assumption is that I would need to replace the computer if I want to make the integrated brake controller work. That is probably not a good investment. I'm hoping there is a better solution.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

You will not have to replace the computer. Let me run this by him and I'll reply back to you on this page when he gives me the information needed.

Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Hold on. I just found this on the Ford OASIS print out I ran.

It is a SSM (Special Service Message) for Ford technicians that Ford engineers put out for repeat concerns and fixes.

SSM45869 2009-2016 E-Series – Difficulty Programing Trailer Brake Control (TBC) Module.
Installing OEM trailer brake system components in a non-trailer brake equipped vehicle is not recommended or supported for 2009-2016 E-Series. The installation of OEM trailer brake control modules, or any other trailer brake component, will not allow trailer brake operation. Module configuration requirements are different between OEM trailer brake and non-equipped trailer brake vehicles, and should not be attempted. Currently, a dealer installed accessory kit is not available through the: dealer installed accessories website.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 06/07/2016-->

Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Below is the OASIS print out. The SSM is listed halfway down.