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Old 10-16-2019, 12:53 AM   #1
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C-Max Supplemental Brake

We just bought a 2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid (not the Energi model) and am looking for suggestions on a supplemental brake.

It's really tight in the engine compartment and I know it will be a challenge running wires/hoses/cables etc. especially with the difficult access to the firewall. Because of that I'm considering the RVi3 but would still need to route the break away wire to the inside. I'd prefer to have a permanent installation such as the Air Force 1. I'm just not sure I'll able to route the needed lines to the brake pedal.

Can anyone with a C-Max share their opinion or experience with either of these systems or some other one I may have overlooked.

Thanks,
Rocky
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:00 AM   #2
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I have Invis-a-Brake in my C-Max. It is a permanent type setup like the Air Force One. You are absolutely correct that access to the firewall and running wires is a challenge. It was so much of a challenge that I actually paid for the install instead of doing it myself. I am very experienced with electrical and mechanical items and have installed, modified, and repaired just about everything related to my entire fleet of vehicles, but this one project seemed like one that would be best left to someone else for the safety of anyone that would come in contact with me during the duration of such a frustrating project.

Love the final product. Invis-a-Brake provides for a charge of the tow vehicle's battery, so no need to pull any fuzes. Just put the car in neutral, flip a switch, and go.

Good luck with your install. If you elect to do it yourself, please warn your DW to maintain her distance as you will be handling sharp and heavy objects along with many cuss worthy moments.
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:40 PM   #3
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I agree. I decided I am too old and brittle and too short tempered to undertake this myself.

Where is your box mounted and did you have to run power directly from the battery itself? I've tested our 12V outlets and they all shut off after about 10 minutes with the "ignition" off. We do have the push button start.

Thanks,
Rocky
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:13 PM   #4
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Installer ran the power directly from the battery. He installed a switch into the dash to activate it. Remember, though, that the battery connection is for during disconnect/breakaway situations. Invis-a-Brake gets its main power from the coach's running lights. That is why you have to turn your lights on when towing. The basic box is under the driver's seat and the vacuum tube is under the passenger seat.

My only complaint/criticisms about the setup is the connection to the brake pedal sometimes catches my foot. Wish there was a little more room to raise it further up the arm. The other irritant is the extra wire that must be plugged into the coach aside from the normal 7 pin connector. Seems to me they could have incorporated it into the 7 pin somehow, but really a small issue.

The Blue Ox setup required a little cutting on the lower half of the grill.

The light kit was tedious to install, but works exactly as advertised.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky68D View Post
We just bought a 2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid (not the Energi model) and am looking for suggestions on a supplemental brake.

It's really tight in the engine compartment and I know it will be a challenge running wires/hoses/cables etc. especially with the difficult access to the firewall. Because of that I'm considering the RVi3 but would still need to route the break away wire to the inside. I'd prefer to have a permanent installation such as the Air Force 1. I'm just not sure I'll able to route the needed lines to the brake pedal.

Can anyone with a C-Max share their opinion or experience with either of these systems or some other one I may have overlooked.

Thanks,
Rocky
We tow a 2018 C-Max with the Air Force One system. They (the RV service shop) installed the controller box on top of the box in the engine compartment where the red positive battery terminal is located. They fastened it with velcro so if access is ever required, or I need to put a jumper cable on the terminal I can simply lift the controller a little to get it out of the way.

We have had zero trouble and 100% functionality with the system. I recommend it.

I'm hoping I can successfully attach some photo's...
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:20 AM   #6
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I have a 2018 C Max that I have towed about 6000 miles this year. I use the RV3 and my car is a non Energy model also. My system is fairly easy to install, charge line through the firewall. It takes barely 5 minutes to put the unit in place and do a system check. According to the owner manual, there is a fuse that needs to be pulled on the Energy model, not the hybrid one, however, for no apparent reason outside of a tap on the brakes my car brakes locked up twice on a CA freeway. Not anything I want to have happen again. I called RV3 and they suggested I pull my fuse, even tho is isnt required. Life has been good since then. Simple and easy to install and a great piece of mind.

On a different note on towing a C Max, or flat towing in particular, I have read about complaints on front tire wear. I have about 22,000 miles on my car, including towing and have never rotated my tires. I have a friend that owns a tire shop so he periodically checks my car tires for me and his recommendation is to do nothing because they are wearing so even. Love my C Max.
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:04 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the great input from everybody, especially the photos.

Thanks,
Rocky
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