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Old 03-05-2015, 12:22 PM   #1
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M&G Engineering vs SMI AFO

I have an 06 Jeep Liberty that I am setting up to be 4 down towed.

I want a hidden system that is progressive. Based on this I have it down to the Air force One and M&G systems.

I am impressed with the simplicity of the M&G product as well as how it interfaces and works. The only downside to this product the requirement to move the battery and fusebox forward to allow installations of the power piston between the brake booster and master cylinder.

The AFO product has additional hardware to be installed on the coach and also an actuator that must be attached to the brake pedal (which as I understand it is tough to do in Liberty) Both systems have good reviews on the web.

With the limited space to mount hardware on my toad and at this point I am leaning toward the M&G. I would welcome any comment from those who have used either product on a Liberty.

All comments are welcome, positive negative or suggestive!

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 03-05-2015, 12:31 PM   #2
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I have used, and still use, M&G. I have never used any other air activated system. It is truly progressive and works well. I had one vehicle where installation was going to be a challenge (2002 Chevy Tracker with the 6 cylinder engine) I made a trip to Texas and let them install it. They even have water and elec. hook-ups.
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:08 PM   #3
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I would go with M&G if I had air brakes on the coach, This system is 100% transparent to the driver of the jeep, there is not even a bracket inside the cockpit of the jeep.

It also bypasses the booster so you do not need to play games like "push pedal six times" or anything like that. It eats NO electricity. I mean there is no end of nice things I can say about it.

There is one downside: If you trade in your jeep on another model.. It might NOT be transferable. (or it might)

The Air Force One... operates the brake pedal and IS transferable.
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:27 PM   #4
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I have a 40' DP, and when facing this decision, I went with SMI Stay-in-play Duo.
Much simpler install, transferable if I change toad, and the toad can
be towed by any vehicle. If I got a different coach, I'd just connect
the plug connection and off you go. I did not want to mess
with the air system on the coach either.
It is progressive as well, and once you get the initial setting
for how much braking, you don't need to mess with it ever again.
Been 65,000 miles and five years, and no complaints or regrets.
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:38 PM   #5
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I too have considered the M&G System for quite some time. I really like the fact that NOTHING attaches to the brake pedal. I've used the Ready Brake system for quite a few years now and, while it works, and works pretty well, I have worn the actuator to the point where it's pretty sloppy. And, I can actually push the actuator by hand, all the way forward. I cannot do that on anyone elses Ready Brake.

So, I'm heavily thinking about the M&G system. I don't mind linking it to the air system on the coach. If you know what you're doing and, are instructed to install it in a very specific spot, it's cake. I looked into it a while ago and, emailed the company about details but, they responded with a "one line" answer and, a faded picture. I'll try again.
Scott
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:11 PM   #6
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I am happy with AF1

I have AF1 on a Jeep Trailhawk (Cherokee).
I did the install myself. Mounting the actuator cylinder was pretty easy.
The brake pedal arm is stamped steel, with a raised edge. So all that is needed is to put two spacers on either side of the arm so the clamp gets a good hold.
On the Cherokee, there was a hole in the firewall for a clutch rod. So I could easily run the hose through that hole.
Having the cylinder attached to the brake pedal arm does not create any interference.
You do have a control box to mount under the hood which provides the emergency breakaway air supply and the vacuum generator.
Since I had the front splash pan off to install the tow bar, I was able to mount the control box in front of the radiator.

With engine compartments being more crowded, that would be my only concern.

Regards,
Dan
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:25 PM   #7
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I went with SMI AFO on my 2006 Jeep Liberty. Love it. There is a knock out plug above the brake pedal and to the left on the firewall. This lets you run wires into and out of the Jeep. I run my tail light wires through that plug and on to the back of the Jeep. The wire for the brake light indicator and air hose for the SMI AFOcome through the same plug.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:28 PM   #8
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I had my M&G system installed at their facility in Texas. Great system for all of the reasons already given. I don't like anything inside the jeep, anything to attach/hookup to the pedal, or using electricity. It works great and a quick, simple hook up procedure to the coach. We traded coaches a couple of years ago and just had to add the air quick connector to the new coach air line. I'm sure others are happy with their brake systems but I wouldn't have anything other then the M&G.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:09 PM   #9
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Very simple to move battery box. I did it on an 07 Liberty in about 30 minutes.
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuhly View Post
Very simple to move battery box. I did it on an 07 Liberty in about 30 minutes.
Curious, did you have any issues with the antilock brake controller or fuse box in front of the battery needing to be moved.

In my situation I have a Liberty strickly for use as a toad.

These are great comments as I too am looking to do the same as the OP.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:11 PM   #11
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No. As I remember the kit comes with all needed parts. It doesn't have to be moved very much.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:30 PM   #12
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I can't speak to the issues of space on your Jeep, byt I've been usung the same SMI AF1 for over 170,000 tow miles on 2 pickups and 3 Class A RV's and can highly recommend it. After our Blue Ox Patriot failed for the third time, I ordered and installed the AF1 in an RV campground in Alaska. We've moved it to 2 additional Class A's since, usually in the dealer's parking lot when we took delivery of the new Bus, and if this unit ever fails I will replace it immediately with a new one.

An additional issue to consider is that as far as I know, the AF1 is the only system which meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for a system that runs off a coach air brake system. Finally, their customer service is outstanding if and when you might ever need to to contact them. No better system out there in my opinion.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:34 PM   #13
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I've had both and while they are both good systems I prefer the SMI AFO. They are both directly proportional.
The M&G requires a critical adjustment on installation. Get it right and you're ok. Get it wrong and it'll burn up your toad brakes.
As previously stated M&g is vehicle specific.
The AFO system does not use any elect power from the toad. The only elect hook up is for the breakaway system. OBTW the breakaway on the AFO is standard. While there is is a piston that connects to the brake pedal it is a one time thing at installation. I have transferred the AFO to four different vehicles and three mh's over eight years and it's still going strong.
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by loisjop View Post
The M&G requires a critical adjustment on installation. Get it right and you're ok. Get it wrong and it'll burn up your toad brakes.....
As previously stated M&g is vehicle specific.
The AFO system does not use any elect power from the toad. The only elect hook up is for the breakaway system. OBTW the breakaway on the AFO is standard. While there is is a piston that connects to the brake pedal it is a one time thing at installation.
a few Questions; can you explain the critical adjustment on the M&G, also as I understand it the brake lights on the toad is provided by the toad itself by the depression of the servo on the brake pedal.

The M&G requires a bulb kit (or wiring diode kit) for tail, brake and turn signals powered by the coach, a little extra work but seems worthwhile.

Finally, these are the 2 kit requirements and costs:

AFO $999.95 Full kit (brake light only)
$99.00 Toad Wiring Kit (diode interface kit) not really required unless you want full lighting
$Free shipping

M&G $640.00 Base kit
$195.00 Breakaway kit
$ 35.00 Air line
$ 74.95 Alert kit (installs a toad brake monitor in the coach)
$ 53.95 Wiring kit (provides brake, parking, and turn signals)
$ Plus shipping

Comparing the 2 kits with the same capabilities the M&G is more expensive (especially when you add the shipping costs)

I asked the dealer locally about both units and the problems he has seen. He could not provide any negative comments other then the M&G was a pain to install because of having to reposition the master cylinder. His comment about the AFO was he gets a number of complaints about the lack of brake pedal adjustment and the loss of vacuum after a number of sequential brake applications. As it was explained when the vacuum is gone the brake booster no longer functions and the servo cannot provide sufficient pressure to effectively operate the toad brakes. Apparently the venturi/pressure unit in the toad under some circumstances cannot keep up the the vacuum demand of the toad power brake booster. This MAY be as a result of incorrect brake application of the coach driver. Would like to see some comments on this.

Finally, no one where I live wants to install the M&G, this is not the case with the AFO so if I do go with the M&G I will have to do it myself! Or take a trip down to Texas. Being a reasonable mechanic I would not be opposed to working on the Liberty, its screwing around with the Coach air brake lines that gives me the weebee jeebies.

Thanks for all the GREAT comments!
Dan
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