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Old 01-24-2013, 07:46 PM   #1
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Brakemaster 9160 on Grand Cherokee

First post for a long time lurker. I'm looking for advice on where to mount the air cylinder for the break away component of the Brakemaster 9160 that I will be installing in a few days. The toad is a 2013 Grand Cherokee with the V8. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks to all of the members who have furnished so much great and invaluable information on this board!
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:51 PM   #2
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Well, I did it myself on a '97 GC but that's too old to go by.

Found a little spot behind the headlight and battery on the drivers side. It wasn't even close to vertical but enough fo what was needed. Wasn't easy to get to either.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:53 PM   #3
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Here's the way I handled it originally for a GC. Since sold that and used the Brakemaster in new vehicle. Works just fine.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:05 PM   #4
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My advice? Don't mount it at all. I have the 9160 with the breakaway and I wouldn't install it again. I love the 9160 Brakemaster. It is one of the best fully proportional braking systems out there. But the breakaway system on any of these systems is suspect in my opinion.

First, you've got a tow bar. And, you've got safety cables. Is all that going to fail you? I seriously doubt it. So, what are you relying on the breakaway system for? I'll assume, like most, you are installing it to brake your toad to a stop if your tow bar AND your safety cables somehow set your toad free. However unlikely, I suppose it is possible. So, I guess you'll set your breakaway activation cable at something greater than the length of your safety cables. That makes sense but what's the downside? An unintentional activation of the toad brakes.

It is far more likely that you will have an inadvertent activation of your breakaway system than a failure of your tow bar and safety cables. This could occur either due to system failure (electrical or pneumatic) or unintentional activation by the trigger cable. Either way, if that system activates the brakes on your toad while you're doing 65 on the freeway, you just bought yourself 4 new tires. The four you flat spotted are trash. I just put four new ones on my toad (just normal replacement) at that came to a cool $1000.

So, I don't use my breakaway system with my 9160. I keep my tow bar in good condition and rely on my safety cables to back that up.

One other school of thought is to set your breakaway activation cable so that it activates before full extension of your safety cables. The theory here would be that your tow bar fails your safety cable holds, and your breakaway system brakes the toad to keep it from running into the back of your coach as you decelerate. This is the only cogent argument I've heard for a toad brake system for breakaway but it is problematic. To make it work, you have to ensure your breakaway activation cable is short enough to activate before full extension of your safety cables but not short enough to activate in a tight turn. That's easier said than done and exponentially increases the risk of an unnecessary and costly activation of the toad brakes.

My advice, avoid the breakaway system and just enjoy your awesome 9160. One less cable to connect and more piece of mind.

My 2 cents
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:22 PM   #5
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I know that some States require a braking system on your toad, but do they require a break away brake system if the toad was to get loose???????????
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by sgtjoe View Post
I know that some States require a braking system on your toad, but do they require a break away brake system if the toad was to get loose???????????
I think all states require a breakaway system but that's what your safety cables are for. Breakaway, as it refers to towing regulations, refers to failure of the towing device (the tow bar in our case) and the safety cables are the breakaway prevention device in case of tow bar failure. The independently operated toad brake breakaway system is an additional "safeguard" which I don't believe is either necessary, or advisable.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourstar View Post
First post for a long time lurker. I'm looking for advice on where to mount the air cylinder for the break away component of the Brakemaster 9160 that I will be installing in a few days. The toad is a 2013 Grand Cherokee with the V8. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks to all of the members who have furnished so much great and invaluable information on this board!
You can mount it on its side if you keep your air dryer serviced, I have never had a drop of water in my B A cylinder and I have also heard of a couple brackets failing and the toads causing lots of damage and with no breakaway its possible you could have a big bill to pay.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:57 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. I just had a paradigm shift on what constitutes a "breakaway" device, thanks to f14av8r. It occurs to me that in the event of a complete breakaway, there will be a huge potential for damage by the out-of-control toad whether brakes are activated or not. There is nothing to prevent some hapless driver behind the toad from plowing in to it when it stops abrubtly on the roadway, nor is there anything that guarantees it won't skid out of control into oncoming traffic, or skid sideways and flip over, etc. etc. Murphy's Law dictates that whatever happens will be horrible regardless. I have towed travel and utility trailers for tens of thousands of miles and have never suffered a "breakaway." I know from perusing this board that some people have - at least of the partial variety, so I don't discount altogether. I will be rethinking the install of the brake actuator. I may put it in and not use it, just in case I get inspected somewhere that it is required. I do like the install pictured above that attaches it directly to the actuator. It makes it much easier.
Thanks for the replies!
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