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Old 05-19-2010, 10:04 AM   #1
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FJ Cruiser Brake System?

Hi All:

We would like to tow our 07 2wd Toyota FJ Cruiser 4 down. We've have everything figured out except the braking system. FJs have some sort of electric/hydraulic brakes.

I saw some older posts here, but does anybody have any recent experience?

Thanks in advance

Don, Lisa, & Alexa
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:28 AM   #2
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I saw some older posts here, but does anybody have any recent experience?Don, Lisa, & Alexa
Don, Lisa, & Alexa, Call Brent at SMI Brake. He will be able to tell you the best possible solutions for your braking system even if SMI can't meet your need but I expect that they will. 800-893-3763
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonestarace View Post
Hi All:

We would like to tow our 07 2wd Toyota FJ Cruiser 4 down. We've have everything figured out except the braking system. FJs have some sort of electric/hydraulic brakes.

I saw some older posts here, but does anybody have any recent experience?

Thanks in advance

Don, Lisa, & Alexa
Hope this is not too late for you. We recently started towing our 4WD FJ cruiser 4 down. The Brakebuddy system WILL NOT work on the FJ....I tried it. Even Brakebuddy says not to use it.
You will need a proportional brake of some type. We are very happy with our combination towbar and braking system from ReadyBrake; called readybrute Elite, it works very well and is cheaper than most systems.

Please write if you would like more info. Best

Paul
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Old 06-12-2010, 03:54 PM   #4
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FJ Brake System

Your not to late, thanks for the reply!

Our new to us 99 Monaco came with a Falcon 2 tow bar, cover, and safety cables. I bought and installed Roadmaster XLbase plates and cross bar for our 2007 2wd automatic trans FJ. I also purchased a Remco driveshaft coupler, flange and shifter($657). As we speak, I am having a local driveshaft shop build-up a new driveshaft using the Remco parts and the frt yoke from the old driveshaft. I will install the shifter myself next week when I get the shaft back.

How did you have the lights wired on your FJ?

After I do the lights, next will come the brake system. We will probably go with the Roadmaster Brakemaster # 9160 from eTrailer.com ($600). Our coach is already plumbed and wired to its rear bumper, I'll install the plumbing/hardware in our FJ.


If the Brakemaster doesn't work out, our next choice is the Readybrake.

Thanks

Don, Lisa, and Alexa
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lonestarace View Post
Hi All:

We would like to tow our 07 2wd Toyota FJ Cruiser 4 down. We've have everything figured out except the braking system. FJs have some sort of electric/hydraulic brakes.

I saw some older posts here, but does anybody have any recent experience?

Thanks in advance

Don, Lisa, & Alexa
Will you also use a drive line disconnect?
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:35 PM   #6
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FJ Brakes

Yes Vegasdan.
See #4 above
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:41 AM   #7
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We had the wiring done as well as the full installation done at the RV maintenance shop.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:15 AM   #8
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I use the D-Brake Professional Tow Brake for my jeep. They are electric instead of an air system. Its working well so far.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:31 PM   #9
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If your FJ has a "hydroboost" brake system and you use the Brakemaster, you may need to install their "pressure reducer kit" to make it work. Call Roadmaster to ask before you order the brake.

Roadmaster aslo says a seat adapter is required to use the Brakemaster with the FJ - they list a part number for it in their application chart.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:43 PM   #10
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FJ Cruiser Brake System

We almost have our 07 Toyota FJ Cruiser totally set up for towing 4 down.

We picked up a trailer wiring kit for $20 @ Harbor Freight, then wired up a spare set of trailer lights we had lyin around onto a board which we bunge to the rear of the FJ.

We had a local drive shaft shop build a completely new drive shaft($318) with the Remco coupler and I installed the new drive shaft and its shifter.

Our 07 2wd auto trans FJ Cruiser has an "Active" brake system. Its never off. With the key off there is still an electric hyd pump that is hot wired to keep the brakes "Active". Roadmaster says their #9160 Brakemaster system will work with the addition of the seat bracket and pressure reducer.

Something I hadn't notice until now is the fact that the steering wheel doesn't EVER lock. Ignition turned off and the key in my pocket, and the steering wheel is still free? It works out great for towing but it isn't what I'm used to?
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:18 AM   #11
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FJ not locking

My 2007 FJ steering locks when the key is removed. Doesn't sound right that it would stay "loose" without the key. You sure don't want it locking down when you are towing....I'd have it checked, but at a minimum leave the key in the locked position.
How are you engaging the remco? I've found that the best way is to start up quickly move to drive, wait until the rpm's "settle" (just a few seconds), then drop it to neutral, then engage.
No grinding sounds and it goes in with a nice satisfying clunk. Other ways of doing it, I've found, you get the grinding and it sounds terrible (even though Remco says it's normal)

I've learned a little bit about the braking system at least on my FJ.
When the key is ON, e.g. the cigar lighter is active, the brakes are active.
When the key is all the way OFF, the brakes are not active.
However, they do retain a good bit of residual pressure and you have to pump them 10 times or so.
It seems to me that the reason the BrakeBuddy won't work is that in order to power the BB, the lighter must be energized and the brakes are active.
Trust me, you don't want to have the braking system energized when any braking system operates.
You might find lots of opinions from people about the right system, but my experience was than none of them knew specifically about the FJ and were speculating about what should work. (I have learned that Hummers have the same/similar active braking system as does the FJ)

My opinion based on hours of time spent in the FJ testing out the way the brakes work and even videoing the action of the braking system while being towed, is that once the braking system is de-energized and the brakes pumped, that the brakes function very much like "normal" brakes when the ignition is off. When there is power on in the vehicle, the brakes are "live" and many braking systems, which assume a dead pedal, will apply too much pressure and lock the brakes.
Proportional systems will likely work better.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:41 AM   #12
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FJ Cruiser Brake System?

Thanks for the input. I went out and double checked the steering wheel lock and "Active" brakes situations.

The steering wheel DOES lock with the key out. I wasn't turning it far enough(1/4 turn) to get it to lock, so I'll tow it with the trans in Park and the key in the ignition in the OFF/LOCK position. The steering wheel doesn't lock until you pull the key out.

The brakes ARE "Active" when the vehicle is moving, not when it is sitting still. When I was sitting still in the driveway with the ignition OFF/LOCK, I could pump the brakes about 10 times and feel the pedal go dead and it wouldn't pump back up until I turned the ignition switch to ON. Then I got out on the road in front of our house. Our street has a slight grade to it. I disengaged the coupler, and with the trans in PARK and the ignition key in the OFF/LOCK, just like it will be when towing, I let gravity do its thing, and the FJ started rolling. As it rolled I pushed the brake pedal and got normal braking. I could hear an electric motor pump the brakes up after 2 or 3 brake applications keeping the brakes working just as they would with the engine running. It won't do this when the FJ is sitting still. There is obviously a hot wired speed sensor doing this for some reason? I don't design em, I just tow em. I guess there is a fuse you could pull or a battery disconnect if you didn't want the brakes "Active" for some reason.

So the plan remains: to install the Roadmaster Brakemaster #9160 system w/pressure reducer. This system is proportional and gets its input from the air brakes on the coach. The previous owner had a lite installed on the dash that lites up anytime the toad brakes are applied. We'll utilize that feature too, either from the FJ brake lite circuit, or a pressure(air) switch.

Thanks for the help, and we'll give an update once we have toad brakes.

paulb4333:
So far I have found that re-engaging the drive shaft coupler is more or an art than a science. I'm doing it per the Remco instructions: with the engine running at normal idle and transmission in drive, turn the ignition OFF, then I wait a second or two, and re-engage it. Sometimes I'm lucky and it re-engages with no grinding and only a minor clunk, other times it grinds a lot and doesn't re-engage.

Hopefully I'll get better at it with experience, and I'll try it your way too.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:50 PM   #13
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Hi again,
We must have different configurations of the FJ or the brakes. Mine is a 2007 4WD.
I too have a driveway and street that allows me to test out the brakes as you have done. And while the brakes will pump when the ignition is powered e.g. cigar lighter active, they do no when the key is turned all the way to the left.
I've tried it about a dozen times and can confirm that it works that way. I also put in a video camera mounted to show the action of the brake pedal for an hour and a half ride. It's pretty interesting to see it work.
I also had a passenger ride in it for a short distance...and it worked as expected. Tried not pumping the brake and it was ugly.....

My braking system is proportional (to a degree) and what you're looking at is also proportional, so if your system acts differently it should not make a difference.

Funny that they behave differently, though.

Good luck.

Paul
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:06 PM   #14
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FJ Cruiser Brake System

Hi:

The difference may be 2wd vs 4wd. It may be how each vehicle senses speed.

The 2wd FJ senses speed sowewhere other than from the transmission or drive shaft.
I know this because when the drive shaft is disconnected by means of the Remco coupler, and I start the engine and put it in gear and the drive shaft starts spinning, NO speed registers on the speedometer.

It's a mystery?
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