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    Corona, CA
  1. Thanks for the feedback. I’ve also made a couple calls. Here’s what I’ve figured out: My OEM Bilstein’s, AK2255(f) and AK2256(r) now have 33-025452(f) and 24-186452 (r) Bilstein equivalents (per call w Bilstein). New Bilstein’s run ~$125 ea from Shockwarehouse.com, ~$100- from Amazon/Bilstein. Per email from Koni, FSD’s 8805 1020(f) and 8805 1022 (r), are also equivalents. About $165, from Shockwarehouse or Amazon. Koni FSD’s seem to consistently get more positive feedback for ride quality than Bilstein’s For both Bilstein and Koni, It looks like one shock is used on all XC chassis for a given year, without regard to wheelbase or GVWR. Surprising; seems like a shock that “fits” a 38,000 lb, 276” wb chassis would be stiff for a 23,600 lb, 228” wb version. But, that’s what seems to be out there. Please tell me if I’m wrong. Cliff
  2. It’s time change shocks and airbags. Strictly preventive, but I think 20+ years is long enough. Question is how to I get the right shock for my specific chassis? If I go to any on-line shock sites; based on year/model (e.g. 1998 Freightliner XC), I get one choice per manufacturer (e.g. one Bilstein and one Koni choice). I have a 23,600 lb GVWR version of the XC chassis. I think they made versions of that chassis up to nearly 40,000 lb GVWR in 1998. Does one shock perform properly for every size XC chassis? BTW – per Freightliner dealer, per my VIN, my original shocks are Bilstein AK2255 and AK2256. I can’t find a shock cross reference that shows those numbers (probably too old).
  3. #1) I just checked 3 cars in my garage, a Camry, CRV, and Wrangler (2 are towed). On all 3, when pushing the brake pedal, the brake lights would come on regardless of key position (key out, key in and on Accessory or On) #2) I’d also like to hear from an EE Additional info – In rereading the literature on the taillight wiring harness, I was reminded of a recommendation to also install a “Brake-Lite Relay Kit”: http://www.etrailer.com/p-RM-88400.html The description said “The purpose of a brake light relay kit is to prevent your towed car's brake signal from overriding the turn signal that comes from your RV.” I.e. if the Brake Buddy is pushing the CRV brake pedal, the CRV brake light will activate, overriding flashing turn signal coming from the RV. I wasn’t too worried about that condition, didn’t buy the relay kit. I just now closely looked at the video to determine exactly what that relay kit does. In a nut shell, it modifies the CRV “brake pedal to tail light” circuit so that it is only powered when the ignition key is on. Thus, when being towed (key in Accessory, not On) only the RV signal tail light signal will be produced. Thus, this relay kit should prevent the “double signal” that I’m theorizing may have caused my overload problems. Technically – the relay is wired with the 87 connector (triggering signal) coming from the CRV brake pedal, 86 connector (power) coming from a fuse that is only active with key in On, and 30 connector (power out) going to the tail light. I’ve done plenty of small wiring projects like this on the Jeep, but was hoping to avoid cutting factory wires on the more modern, more complex CRV. I’ve already seen the dealer instantly go into “Warrantee Deny” mode when any non OEM wires are visible. In hind site, this wiring harness with built in diodes is not as plug/play as I’d expected. If I were to do it again, I’d use one of the kits were you drill a hole and install your own bulb in the tail light (absolutely no contact w OEM circuits). Live n Learn, Cliff
  4. Bill - 1) When the RV brakes, it activates the CRV brake lights via the TrailerMate harness. 2) Under hard braking, the BrakeBuddy activates, pushing down the CRV brake peddle, which also activates the CRV brake lights. I think he's saying this "double activation" of the brake lights might have overloaded the system and caused the fuse to blow. My thoughts: 1) this only would pop a fuse on the negative side of the circuit, as the positive side came from the two different sources (RV and CRV). I thought most circuits were fused on the positive side, just after the circuit comes from the battery (amateur electrician thinking here). 2) Why would a brake light fuse break cause a power steering warning light? I can possibly see the VSA traction control light coming on, as that system does use the brakes. 3) Why did this occur after several hours of driving the CRV, 2 days after the last time it was towed? Yes, will be interesting to see if it repeats.
  5. I’ll post what I learned – even though it’s not much: The Honda tech’s report that I had a “brake system electrical overload” simply meant a fuse had blown. In hindsight, I should have figured that’s what he meant. The under hood 10a fuse labeled “Stop” had blown. He replaced the fuse. The invoice also says “Clear any fault codes”. I don’t know anything actually had to be cleared, or this means he was prepared to clear codes. The technician wasn’t there when I picked up the car to explain (I intend to call him next week). All warning lights are now gone; the car functions as it always has. Earlier, over the phone, the technician said he checked out the tail light wiring (the TrailerMate harness with built in diodes) and found no problem. He said he really didn’t know what caused my initial problems, but he suspected the tail light wiring was overloading a circuit (when both the RV signal and CRV signal hit the same circuit). He left a couple extra 10a fuses in the console. I called BrakeBuddy and E-trailer (where I bought the wire harness). Talked to two seemingly knowledgeable reps. Neither had heard of EPS or VSA warning light issues driven from towing setups. Here are my thoughts: I’m wary of the TrailerMate harness. In theory, per my moderate electrical knowledge, the diodes should prevent a towing vehicle signal disrupting the towed vehicle electronics. Given I really don’t now the root cause, I’m suspicious. Making me less sure of the issue is the timing of the problem – it occurred after a day of driving the CRV, not immediately after towing it. I don’t think the classic CRV battery drain problem had anything to do with my scenario. The invoice says “If problem re occurs further diagnosis will be needed”. I will keep the extra fuses on hand and have them ready next time I tow the CRV (won’t be for a while, next couple trips will be jeeping). Thank you for the feedback. Please respond here or PM me if you encounter a similar problem. Cliff
  6. Brett & Kay - thank you. I've given the dealer the OK to proceed with diagnosis and estimate. My fear is they come up with a list of electrical components needing replacement and tell me the "non OEM wiring" is the problem (without a real root cause). I'll give an update when all is complete. Cliff
  7. Honda service tech says I have a “brake system electrical overload”, which is causing the EPS (steering), VSA (traction control) and TPMS (tire pressure) warning light to come on (transmission is also locked in Park). He noticed the tail light wiring and said the non OEM wiring made this a non warrantee issue and $150 was needed for any further diagnostics. Anyone had any of these issues after towing a CRV? Here are the details: Setup: I installed the RoadMaster base plates and Trailermate plug/play tail light wiring kit (diodes built in - http://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bar-Wiring/TrailerMate/TM783120.html). I already had the tow bar and 10 year old Brake Buddy (Classic). The only other wiring is the break away controller for the BrakeBuddy. Problem: I was about 1,200 miles into a 1,800 mile/3 week trip (mostly towing 4 hrs, stop for 2 days, repeat). That morning, as I was getting ready to hook up for the days tow, the transmission was locked in Park. I unlocked the transmission (putting the key in that little slot by the shifter) and was able to start it and maneuver the car around for hook up. I then noticed the EPS light was on. After reading that an EPS failure could compromise the steering, I drove it no more. I towed it home and dropped it off at the dealer. When I disconnected at the dealer and drove it a block to the service bay, I noticed the the VSA (traction/stability control) light and TPMS (tire pressure) lights were also on. Other than the trans lock (which is easily unlocked) and the 3 warning lights - the car drives normally. My thoughts: Battery -I know the CRV’s are vulnerable to battery drain, but I don’t think this is the issue as I only towed 4 – 5 hrs at a time, followed by some driving. Starting the car was never a problem. Tail light wiring – a remote possibility is bad diodes in the wiring kit, allowing current to go back into the CRV systems every time I press the RV brakes? Make sense? One odd thinking about the wiring – when hooked up and pressing the CRV brake pedal to “bleed” the system – I noticed the RV brake lights come on. I wasn’t expecting this, but hadn’t thought it to be an issue. BrakeBuddy – I know they can “lock up” if you don’t push the brake pedal 4 – 5 times before each trip. I always do so. Plus, I’d think I’d notice if the BrakeBuddy was stuck on (with arm extended). Plus, I never smelled a brake odor. Bottom line – anyone have similar experience with the EPS or brake related warning lights after towing? Is the dealer justified in calling this non warrantee investigation? Thanks, Cliff
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