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Old 06-21-2008, 06:00 PM   #1
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Finally getting around to installing my SMI DUO. So far everything is going well.

I started off with I believe to be the most difficult task. Attaching the air cylinder on the brake pedal and anchoring it to the firewall. One has to make sure that the end result shows that a fairly straight pull is exerted from the anchor point on the firewall to the cylinder within 1" from the center axis of the pull. This is one of the features that differentiates the SMI from any other cable system, a straight pull and no bends.

I drilled a pilot hole and then ran in a 1 1/2" #8 Tek screw into the firewall. I thought initially this seems too easy but once I made up the screw tight against the anchor it was reassuring that the anchor was firmly set.

I had to reset the cable length by about 2 inches because the pedal placement between an 04 and an 08 Vue is different. I chose to mount the cylinder off to the right side of the brake arm. Installing the air cylinder wasn't all that difficult it's just getting a large body in a small space that's challenging ....


The Control Unit mounted on top of the exterior fuse box using #8 SS screws pushed up from inside the cover.

Once that was done getting through the firewall with 5 wires and a 1/4" tube would be the next phase. There was already a large grommet with wires going through the firewall however it was previously determined that it would not be possible to use an existing hole and that a new hole would have to be drilled. Beau and I went to Lowes and bought a Irwin Stepped Bit and some stainless hardware to mount the control unit.

Once back on the job Beau drilled a pilot hole and the Irwin went in right after in 2 steps out to 7/16 of an inch. When Beau pushed the wires through the firewall I was able to grab them as they came out into the engine compartment. It took me a few tries but I eventually settled for an avenue for the wires to weave in and around the plumbing.

Once the wires were through I hooked up the "Yellow" and the "Green" from the controller to the 4 wire coming in from the front umbilical plug. These wires control the brake lights which are separately installed in the tail lights. I separated the wires in the flat cable with a razor and used the provided Scotch Block to tie in the first 2 wires.

Beau had a couple lengths of wire loom in his box and I ran a length from the fire wall down to the Scotch Blocks. I tie-wrapped the wire and loom into place and that's done. We actually had to jack the car up! Again too much mechanic for the given space.

I had planned all along to mount the control unit on the fuse box. Quite a while ago this was my first attempt to try to fit the component right out of the box. I stuck the unit on the fuse box and closed the hood. Perfect! Today I marked and scribed a hole on the cover and Beau drilled a hole in the top of the cover a it was tight enough where he had to turn the screw into the hole. Once the post was in, I snapped the cover on the panel, & we set the control unit on the panel and scribed the second hole & drilled it. The second bolt was threaded in and the cover was secured and the control unit fit perfectly over the studs.

We chose to use the 2 holes across the width of the unit. 2 nuts back to back will hold the unit in place permanently. Under the control unit there is a 3" x 1" strip of Industrial strength Velcro which takes up space and will also help keep the unit in place.

I mounted the controller as instructed on the left side kick panel up high. Beau routed the wires around and wire loomed them and tie wrapped them in place. We have yet to tie in the "White" ground wire and we ran a separate wire which will need to be tied into the Blue of the control unit and onto the remote alert transmitter. Driving home this evening I noticed that the controller was high enough and didn't interfere with my big feet.



All that is needed do is mount the control unit with the on/off switch on the top of the unit. I have to reach past the OBDII plug to get at the toggle switch and it's easier to do with feet on the ground and facing the dash. There's no need to toggle the switch from a driving position. This allowed me to mount the control unit slightly higher on the kick panel. (pictures tomorrow)

Tomorrow we'll wire loom everything, install the vacuum plumbing sub-assembly, mount the remote transmitter, mount the break away switch and tie in all the electrical connections. (pictures at eleven)

Stay tuned .....

PS: Which fuse to you folks pull that own a 2008 4 cylinder XE? The book doesn't suggest any!
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:00 PM   #2
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Finally getting around to installing my SMI DUO. So far everything is going well.

I started off with I believe to be the most difficult task. Attaching the air cylinder on the brake pedal and anchoring it to the firewall. One has to make sure that the end result shows that a fairly straight pull is exerted from the anchor point on the firewall to the cylinder within 1" from the center axis of the pull. This is one of the features that differentiates the SMI from any other cable system, a straight pull and no bends.

I drilled a pilot hole and then ran in a 1 1/2" #8 Tek screw into the firewall. I thought initially this seems too easy but once I made up the screw tight against the anchor it was reassuring that the anchor was firmly set.

I had to reset the cable length by about 2 inches because the pedal placement between an 04 and an 08 Vue is different. I chose to mount the cylinder off to the right side of the brake arm. Installing the air cylinder wasn't all that difficult it's just getting a large body in a small space that's challenging ....


The Control Unit mounted on top of the exterior fuse box using #8 SS screws pushed up from inside the cover.

Once that was done getting through the firewall with 5 wires and a 1/4" tube would be the next phase. There was already a large grommet with wires going through the firewall however it was previously determined that it would not be possible to use an existing hole and that a new hole would have to be drilled. Beau and I went to Lowes and bought a Irwin Stepped Bit and some stainless hardware to mount the control unit.

Once back on the job Beau drilled a pilot hole and the Irwin went in right after in 2 steps out to 7/16 of an inch. When Beau pushed the wires through the firewall I was able to grab them as they came out into the engine compartment. It took me a few tries but I eventually settled for an avenue for the wires to weave in and around the plumbing.

Once the wires were through I hooked up the "Yellow" and the "Green" from the controller to the 4 wire coming in from the front umbilical plug. These wires control the brake lights which are separately installed in the tail lights. I separated the wires in the flat cable with a razor and used the provided Scotch Block to tie in the first 2 wires.

Beau had a couple lengths of wire loom in his box and I ran a length from the fire wall down to the Scotch Blocks. I tie-wrapped the wire and loom into place and that's done. We actually had to jack the car up! Again too much mechanic for the given space.

I had planned all along to mount the control unit on the fuse box. Quite a while ago this was my first attempt to try to fit the component right out of the box. I stuck the unit on the fuse box and closed the hood. Perfect! Today I marked and scribed a hole on the cover and Beau drilled a hole in the top of the cover a it was tight enough where he had to turn the screw into the hole. Once the post was in, I snapped the cover on the panel, & we set the control unit on the panel and scribed the second hole & drilled it. The second bolt was threaded in and the cover was secured and the control unit fit perfectly over the studs.

We chose to use the 2 holes across the width of the unit. 2 nuts back to back will hold the unit in place permanently. Under the control unit there is a 3" x 1" strip of Industrial strength Velcro which takes up space and will also help keep the unit in place.

I mounted the controller as instructed on the left side kick panel up high. Beau routed the wires around and wire loomed them and tie wrapped them in place. We have yet to tie in the "White" ground wire and we ran a separate wire which will need to be tied into the Blue of the control unit and onto the remote alert transmitter. Driving home this evening I noticed that the controller was high enough and didn't interfere with my big feet.



All that is needed do is mount the control unit with the on/off switch on the top of the unit. I have to reach past the OBDII plug to get at the toggle switch and it's easier to do with feet on the ground and facing the dash. There's no need to toggle the switch from a driving position. This allowed me to mount the control unit slightly higher on the kick panel. (pictures tomorrow)

Tomorrow we'll wire loom everything, install the vacuum plumbing sub-assembly, mount the remote transmitter, mount the break away switch and tie in all the electrical connections. (pictures at eleven)

Stay tuned .....

PS: Which fuse to you folks pull that own a 2008 4 cylinder XE? The book doesn't suggest any!
__________________

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Old 06-22-2008, 06:40 PM   #3
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Finishing up this article, at approximately 3:00pm this afternoon while dodging rain drops and thunderstorms we completed the DUO install and placed the system in commission. In fact the process went so smoothly that concluding the install we were both looking for more stuff to do but that was it.

Since I did not have the motorhome available for a run test the only test that we could do at the moment was to pull the plug on the breakaway (BA) switch.


DUO Breakaway Switch on the Left and Blue Ox 6 Wire Umbilical Connection to the Right. Blue Ox Baseplate Extends Slightly Through Grill Openings.

Arriving this morning I uncoiled all the wires that were temporarily looped overnight and began figuring out where they would all wind up. We installed the BA switch in such a convenient spot that we didn't even have to drill a hole for it - the hole was already there! The BA switch is to the left of center and the umbilical connection from the MH is in the next recess to the right. We ran 2 wires from the BA switch over to the right of the vehicle and brought down the blue and the brown wire from the Operating Unit (OU) and butt spliced those connections.

Next a piece of 1/2" wire loom was fitted which over lapped the 3/8" wire loom that we ran over the joining pairs. I tie wrapped the run under the vehicle and that completed the work under the vehicle.


SMI Air Cylinder Fitted To Brake Pedal. Anchor Fastened to Firewall

12 volt power was taped and locked into the brown wire which runs down to the breakaway (BA) using a Scotch Block. The BA blue was tied into the blue coming down from the OU. The red and black wires from the OU were tied into the G-Force Controller II (GFC) color for color using butt connectors.

A separate wire from the inside of the vehicle (white) was required to be taped & locked onto the OU blue wire to activate the remote transmitter.


DUO - G Force Controller II. Kill Switch Is Located On The Top of the Unit.

The white ground wire from the GFC was tied onto the negative post on the battery. It's always best to tie in a ground at the battery. The 12 volt fuse holder was anchored on a + battery stud using an open eye connector. The other end of the fuse holder was taped and locked to the OU brown wire. (See above)

The remote transmitter harness has 2 wires a black and a red. This wire terminated into a female RJ12 connector. The red wire was taped and locked onto the white extra wire I ran inside the cabin that is tied onto the OU blue in the engine compartment. The black wire was taped and locked onto the GFC to the OU black. All that's left to do with the transmitter is to stick it on the windshield and plug the RJ12 male into the socket on the harness and that's it.


DUO Vacuum Assembly Fitted Into Boost Line.

Under the dash, I measured the DOT air line and cut it and pushed it into the air cylinder on the brake pedal. I chose to run it in such a way that it comes in from the left up high and drops down at an angle and made sure that it didn't interfere with any of the gear under the dash. We did the same on the OU.

If you need to remove the tubing you need to firmly push the small collar around the base of the tube toward the device, pull on the line and it will release. You can pull on the line all day long and it won't release believe me.

In all 6 wires run from inside the vehicle to under the hood plus 1 DOT air line.


Side View of DUO

The vacuum assembly consists of a check valve, 2 mini hose clamps, a T connector, 2 step up connections " to 3/8" and a couple of short sections of 3/8" vacuum line cut off the OU. Beau made up the vacuum line assembly and set it aside. There was a rubber insulating wrap around the vacuum booster line that has to be slit off and reused.

He continued by cutting 3 to 4 inches out of the existing brake booster vacuum line in front of the engine with a hose cutter. He then added the sub assembly that was made up which measured about 7 to 8 inches long. There was enough room to fit the vacuum hose assembly and re-wrap the new hose assembly with the previously removed wrap. 2 mini hose clamps were used on the 1/2" diameter side of the adapters where the assembly ties into the existing booster hose.


DUO and Fuse Cover Flipped Over On Air Box Plenum

The hoses need to be firmly pushed into place and none of the barbs or the fittings themselves should be visible after pushing everything together. The check valve is marked engine and that's the side that faces the source of the vacuum.

Once the insulating wrap was tie wrapped in place it looked like it could go the distance. I started the car just to check for vacuum leaks none found - no problem.

Earlier there was a tense moment when we were picking short straws to see which one of us would actually be sacrificed to socket the 15A fuse that comes with the unit. I opened the cap on the in-line fuse holder and put the fuse in and a whole lot of nothing went on! This I'm told is a good thing.


DUO Installed and Wire Loomed

Confirming that nothing occurred, I then reached inside the car to toggle the cut off switch on the top of the GFC. The switch was in the OFF position and I winced a bit and pulled the toggle toward the inside of the car and turned the system "ON" - still nothing! GREAT!

We stood back and admired the job for a moment and now it was time to go for the gusto! I reached down to the breakaway switch lanyard and gave it a good pull and the compressor kicked in and the brake pedal was pulled in toward the firewall as witnessed by Depchief (Beau).


Exhibiting Low Profile Underhood

I believed that we did a very good install. We ran as much wire as possible through wire loom and taped and tie wrapped everything. The OU however has to remain movable since it sits on the top of the fuse cover. What we did is to measure and fit all the cables and air and vacuum lines so the unit and cover could be lifted and rolled onto its back on the top of the air plenum box for servicing inside the fuse panel. Works great.

The next step is going to be to hook up the car behind the motorhome and test the system while underway. Setting the gain I understand is straight forward however I have to review the exact procedure before we tow.


Direct to Battery Ground - Best Bet
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:49 PM   #4
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Today Depchief and I brought the Vue down to Myrtle Beach to get my motorhome. Once we got the keys and rolled it out of the yard we went across the street to a large flat parking lot to hook up.

I inserted the Aladdin towbar into my 4" drop receiver on the back of the motorhome and began making up the bar to the Blue Ox tabs and plugging in the SMI BA cable and the 6W umbilical cable.

I immediately knew something didn't look right so I walked away from the tow setup and got a good look at the new tow setup on the 08 vs the 04 Vue and the change was remarkable.

The tab attachment points on the 2008 Vue appear to be something like 6 inches higher than the 2004. From the car to the motorhome the tow bar was actually pointed down.

Well that was new. The remedy is therefore to remove the Blue Ox 4" drop receiver and immobilizer and plug the Aladdin in directly to the receiver on the motorhome. This I will do before we leave next week.

Hooked up and ready to go Beau sat in the driver's seat and I asked him to step on the brake. As he stepped on the brake I adjsuted the G-Force Controller II by making loose the knob on the face of the controller and lifting it up all the way. As pressure was maintained on the brake pedal I lowered the knob and lever slowly until the compressor kicked in. At that point I then lifted the knob slightly until the comperessor kicked off. Once that was complete I screwed in the knob and secured the positioning. That's basically how to set the DUO's gain.

I reached down under the dash and then plugged the transmitter into the modular connector and temporarily placed the tranmitted on the dash. It worked fine however I'm sure it would be better if it were higher up on the windshield.

Blue Ox towing equipment ready - SMI DUO adjusted and ready; we were off back to Conway. I would like to report at this time that the DUO worked properly from the moment I stepped on the brakes and I am very pleased with the performance of the SMI Stay-In-Play DUO.

All the Blue Ox towing equipment that I am using can be purchased form our sponsor: RVUpgrades.com Please click on the logo.


All the SMI Stay-In-Play DUO auxilliary braking equipment that I am using can be purchased form our sponsor: RVUpgrades.com. Please click on the logo.



--
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:06 PM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DriVer:
The tab attachment points on the 2008 Vue appear to be something like 6 inches higher than the 2004. From the car to the motorhome the tow bar was actually pointed down. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Have you considered flipping the 4" drop so you'd have a 4" rise? That would equate to a 2" drop from mh to toad.

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Old 06-24-2008, 07:30 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Tom N:
Have you considered flipping the 4" drop so you'd have a 4" rise? That would equate to a 2" drop from mh to toad. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Tom, I will definitely evaluate that possibility if it buys me anything.

If plugging the towbar directly into the receiver yields a straight line, I might just go with that. Adding a drop receiver without an immobilizer adds sway to the tow.

I have a new generation Blue Ox immobilizer that has features 2 U bolts however I would have to tear stuff up here in my garage to find it. I have the instructions right here in my hand.
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