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Old 08-27-2012, 04:22 AM   #1
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Brake controller

I'm looking for a new brake controller. I tow a 9000lb trailer and was told that I should get a Maxbrake controller, I see that its much easier to hook it up to the brake line now but I'm very worried about punching a whole through the firewall. Is this as hard as i'm making it out to be?

Thanks
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:35 AM   #2
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The MaxBrake is the best aftermarket controller out there. As for a hole in the firewall, you can take the line through an existing rubber seal or grommet. None of the Prodigy controllers can come close to MaxBrake.


Ken
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:37 AM   #3
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With what's available today, if I had to install an aftermarket brake controller, it would be the MaxBrake.

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Old 08-27-2012, 07:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmcfly View Post
I'm looking for a new brake controller. I tow a 9000lb trailer and was told that I should get a Maxbrake controller, I see that its much easier to hook it up to the brake line now but I'm very worried about punching a whole through the firewall. Is this as hard as i'm making it out to be?

Thanks
I installed a BrakeSmart in my Suburban years ago. It worked on the same principle as the MaxBrake and required passing a connection through the firewall.

I found and used an existing hole for a wire harness in the Suburban firewall.

It was an easy install.

Too bad BrakeSmart stopped production. If I were installing an aftermarket brake controller, MaxBrake would now be my first choice.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:15 AM   #5
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inquiring minds want to know. What makes max brake so highly recommended?
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:10 AM   #6
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inquiring minds want to know. What makes max brake so highly recommended?
The MaxBrake and BrakeSmart use an inline brake fluid pressure sensor to determine the amount of brake signal to be sent to the trailer brakes. This provides very smooth, consistant and reliable trailer braking. The tow vehicle and trailer brakes act in concert.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:11 AM   #7
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Unlike intertial controllers such as the Prodigy which use an accelerometer to sense the deceleration rate of the truck and adjust trailer braking accordingly, the MaxBrake (and the BrakeSmart) actually sense the hydraulic pressure in the truck's braking system with a pressure transducer. They then send an output to the trailer's brakes in direct proportion to the pressure in the truck's braking system. In effect, they sense every move you make with your foot on the brake pedal and translate that into more or less trailer braking. The net effect is that, when properly adjusted (a one-time setup), the truck and trailer act as a single unit under braking insofar as brake application is concerned - it's not a case of the trailer "chasing" what you're doing with the truck's brakes.

My personal eye-opening experience that led me away from the inertial controllers was braking on wet pavement. Our tow vehicle at that time only had rear anti-lock brakes, and when an individual pulled out of a driveway in front of me, I had to make a hard brake application. Because of the slick surface, the right front wheel locked up, but the truck had not generated enough deceleration force before lockup to trigger the inertial controller, so I had NO trailer brakes!! The trailer was pushing the truck into a jack-knife situation!! Fortunately, the idiot who pulled in front of me ducked into the left lane, so I was able to release the brakes and get the rig straightened out before hitting him or going into the ditch. The inertial controller went into the trash bin as soon as my replacement controller (back then, the Jordan Optima 2020) arrived.

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Old 08-27-2012, 11:38 AM   #8
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I had an experience muck like Rusty and the Prodigy that I was using went ADIOS. A Prodigy will work for you 98 or 99% of the time. Probelm is I want one that works 100% of the time. Two places that I have never cut corners are tires and brakes.

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Old 08-27-2012, 12:45 PM   #9
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I'm looking for a new brake controller. I tow a 9000lb trailer ...
If your tow vehicle is a late model, nothing will beat the factory optional integrated trailer brake controller (ITBC). If you truck didn't come with it, then you can buy it from the parts counter.

I have the Ford factory ITBC and it works great. Very similar to the MaxBrake in the way it works. If you tow vehicle is a 2007-up Ford, you can buy the ITBC from the dealer's parts department. If your dealer will give you a good price, it may be less than the MaxBrake.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:46 PM   #10
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....If your tow vehicle is a late model, nothing will beat the factory optional integrated trailer brake controller (ITBC). If you truck didn't come with it, then you can buy it from the parts counter......
The ITBC on my 2012 GMC 3500HD does not perform as well as the BrakeSmart I installed in my 2002 Suburban 2500 towing the same 2003 Sunnybrook Titan 29DBS trailer.

I have complained to GM and the dealership tested the ITBC. They let me tow my trailer with a similar 2012 GMC 2500HD they had in stock. The 2500HD performed the same as my 3500HD.

I have a new 5th wheel on order. The dealership offered to buy and install an aftermarket brake controller of my choice if I do not like the brake performance of the ITBC with my new trailer. I'll report back in October when I take delivery of the Excel. I ordered it with disc brakes and an on board brake control module to make it compatible with the GM ITBC.

I really hope it works as well as my old BrakeSmart. If not, I'll probably have them install a Maxbrake. I could have them install my old BrakeSmart, but since it is out of production, I fear finding replacement parts. I had to replace the BrakeSmart pressure sensor in 2007.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:18 PM   #11
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The IBC in my Ford works fine so far.

Ken
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfife

The ITBC on my 2012 GMC 3500HD does not perform as well as the BrakeSmart I installed in my 2002 Suburban 2500 towing the same 2003 Sunnybrook Titan 29DBS trailer.

I have complained to GM and the dealership tested the ITBC. They let me tow my trailer with a similar 2012 GMC 2500HD they had in stock. The 2500HD performed the same as my 3500HD.

I have a new 5th wheel on order. The dealership offered to buy and install an aftermarket brake controller of my choice if I do not like the brake performance of the ITBC with my new trailer. I'll report back in October when I take delivery of the Excel. I ordered it with disc brakes and an on board brake control module to make it compatible with the GM ITBC.

I really hope it works as well as my old BrakeSmart. If not, I'll probably have them install a Maxbrake. I could have them install my old BrakeSmart, but since it is out of production, I fear finding replacement parts. I had to replace the BrakeSmart pressure sensor in 2007.
The one in my 2011 2500 HD works much better than the Prodigy the dealer installed in my previous vehicle. I didn't know there was anything different. Now using the GM factory controller I can see a night and day difference in performance. The Maxbreak may be better, but I am thrilled with the GM ITBC.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GuyWhoTris

The one in my 2011 2500 HD works much better than the Prodigy the dealer installed in my previous vehicle. I didn't know there was anything different. Now using the GM factory controller I can see a night and day difference in performance. The Maxbreak may be better, but I am thrilled with the GM ITBC.
I hope I am thrilled with the GM ITBC stopping the new trailer.

I got spoiled with the BrakeSmart. I've used and tester many controllers (Hayes, Prodigy, Sense-a-brake, Jordan Ultima 2020 and BrakeSmart). I was so thrilled with the BrakeSmart, I turned down offers to test others.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:15 PM   #14
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Put us in the "satisfied" column for Max Brake. We're used ours for almost 4 years have never had a moments worry with it. We've had 2 panic stops with it and it worked like a charm. I don't feel you can go wrong with it. Hugs, Di
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