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Old 01-31-2008, 07:13 AM   #1
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I am having a discussion with my local dealer and have some conflicting information. SMI claims that the whole system can be installed in 2-3 hours. Another claims 4 hours. My dealer says 16! Big differences.

Who has the experience with this setup? What needs to be done that is out of the ordinary? Things to consider? Advice?
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:13 AM   #2
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I am having a discussion with my local dealer and have some conflicting information. SMI claims that the whole system can be installed in 2-3 hours. Another claims 4 hours. My dealer says 16! Big differences.

Who has the experience with this setup? What needs to be done that is out of the ordinary? Things to consider? Advice?
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:33 AM   #3
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The installation time for the SMI Air Force One alone is two to three hours, as referenced by SMI having done it to my H3.

If you're also inquiring about the time to add a baseplate to the front of the H2, that's obviously going to take longer....
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:42 AM   #4
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As with auxiliary brake systems and baseplates, installation time is inversely proportional to ones experience and tool collection, and access to a lift.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:45 PM   #5
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I have already installed the base plates. This is strictly for the Air Force One supplemental brake system.

If it wasn't so cold here, New York, I wuld do it myself!
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:08 PM   #6
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OldHiker....I just installed the SMI Air Force One on a Dodge Dakota and Monaco Diplomat in December. If I were an SMI Tech, I probably could install the unit in 2-3 hours. It took me most of the day because it was my first install and I wrapped all wires and hoses in plastic wire protection (the corrigated stuff).

My baseplates were fairly easy to install, but did require some dissassembly of the front end.

There are several components that have to be installed. The largest item is a plastic control box that is approximately 10" x 5" x 3". I had absolutely no space under the hood of my 2007 Dakota for this box. It just so happened that while I was installing the base plates I had to remove a large plastic pan/airdam from under the front end of the Dakota. While it was off I found that the back side of my front bumper was hollow and was an ideal location for the plastic box and the 3" x 8" aluminum reserve air tank. The SMI kit does not provide any brackets for mounting this air tank, but I found that a couple of large hose clamps worked well to secure it to a piece of 1" "C" channel near the radiator. I mounted the plastic box and then the air tank (easy once you find a location). Next I installed the small cylinder on the brake pedal. It has a cable that connects from the cylinder to the floorboard. They provide a self tapping screw to make this connection. I didn't like this set up because the screw was loose once it was installed. I cut a hole through the carpet and ran a bolt through the floorboard with a large washer and a nut on the underside ( a little difficult to install and adjust).

Next you need to cut the vacuumn hose from the mainfold to the brake power booster and install a plastic "T"(easy).

Finally, I installed the emergency break away switch (two screws- easy). Once all of these itmes were installed you need to run wiring and air lines between them. This was also easy, but I took the time to put plastic wire wrap around all of the lines and wiring.

Coach install....I was a little nervous about tapping into my brake lines at the air treddle, but that was pretty easy. You remove an air line from the treddle, intall a brass "T" and reinstall the air line. You need to run an airline from the "T" to a small plastic box that mounts near the hitch. Again, I wrapped all lines and wiring in plastic wire wrap. You also need to find a hot lead that is on when the ignition is on for the break away/air connection box. Finally, you need to run a wire from your dash to the hitch for the brakes apllied indicator light.

All of the wiring and components are supplied by SMI with the exception of the hose clamps and wire wrap. SMI said they don't include the wire wrap because they are trying to keep the price down and it would be difficult to know how much to include. It's cheap to buy at Home Depot or Lowes.

I think I could probably install the system on a vehicle with room under the hood in a couple of hours now that I've installed one. I'm very particular and took the extra time to mount everything neatly and run the wires where they would be hidden.

Once everything was connected the system worked great and I'm very happy with it.
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