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Old 06-25-2011, 08:28 AM   #1
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Arrow M&G vs SMI Braking Systems

I've hopefully narrowed my braking system down to these two manufacturers. Now I'm looking at the economics.

M&G quoted me a price of $900 for a turn key installation of their system at their Athens, TX facility. Two hours install time.

The best price I have found for the SMI Air Force One is $1049.95 plus installation. I have not been able to locate an installer in the Houston area to get an install estimate. I read on another forum it took eight hours by an experienced shop to install the system on a similar MH and a Jeep Cherokee. Wow!

I'm leaning towards the SMI because of a couple comments about the M&G causing excessive wear on the toad brakes- two brake jobs in 40,000 actual odometer miles on a Honda CR-V toad and because the SMI is more easily transferred to another vehicle. But, I'm not willing to pay several hundred dollars ($6-800) more for the SMI.

I have an 08 Fleetwood Bounder, Freightliner chassis and a 2011 Chev Malibu.

What do you experienced users say?

Thanks.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:29 AM   #2
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I would go with the M&G myself due to it's Transparency. It is 100% transparent to a vehicle driver, When driving the towed you do not even know it's there. There is nothing to "Move" inside the car, nothing to mess up, nothing to forget, It's just flat not there as far as a driver is concerned.

What's more it does not care if the brake booster is at full vacuum or "Dry" vacuum wise since it is between the booster and the master cylinder.

Finally, if the M&G is causing early brake system failue The SMI should too since once hooked up (Which you have do do every time you tow) and connected (Both of them need to be connected, a "Second or two" job) and the brake vacuum bled off. .They are basically equal systems. both operate the very same way using the very same input and should, in theory, give the very same results and brake wear. Save for the extra wear the first few stops on the SMI if you do not bleed the vacuum off the booster.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:33 AM   #3
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I swear by my M&G. Never had a brake problem as it is proportional braking. Downside is it is not always transferrable (But I don't trade vehicles often). I had one on my 99 wrangler and now have one on my 2008 Wrangler. I also have the Brake away system installed. The price you have quoted is a good one!!
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie Bledsoe 2006 Dutchstar 43' View Post
I swear by my M&G. Never had a brake problem as it is proportional braking. Downside is it is not always transferrable (But I don't trade vehicles often). I had one on my 99 wrangler and now have one on my 2008 Wrangler. I also have the Brake away system installed. The price you have quoted is a good one!!
Ditto:

I've had the same M&G system on my 91 wrangler since 96 and added one to my 2004 Liberty. The Motor home part has been transferred from previous class C to present Class A . They are super people to deal with. The price sounds very reasonable. It is also a DIY if your handy.

Marty
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:59 AM   #5
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Agree totally with the previous 2 posts. My M&G now on second coach and 2nd Forester. Never a problem. Go with and you wont be disappointed.
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:07 PM   #6
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I was originally planning on the M&G because of just what has been said plus its a Texas company that we will pass by on our next trip. The toad brake wear is where my doubts began.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 06-25-2011, 03:14 PM   #7
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Since the "Controller" is the same with both systems, Brake wear,in theory,SHOULD be identical.... (They both use tow vehicle air for both power and control)

The differeince is if you screw up hooking the SMI up you may either end up with no brakes (On towed) or brake damage. With the M&G, not possible to screw it up once properly installed.

If you have M&G install it.. Odds of proper install very very high.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:54 PM   #8
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I'm at a loss to really understand the differences in either the smi or m&g. I know there is a difference in the install but I've got the Air Force One on my 2006 Jeep Liberty. The hookup is one air hose and an electrical cable and a break-away cable. It takes maybe 1 minute to connect these 3 items. Part of the electrical cable sends a signal to a light on my dash board that shows me when the Jeep brake pedal is depressed. The AF1 has an air tank on the Jeep that has sufficient air to stop the Jeep should it break-away.

There is a small air cylinder that depresses the brake pedal in the Jeep but you can't see it unless you get near the floor of the Jeep. When driving the Jeep you do not know there is an auxiliary brake system installed.

I think either system will do the job you want and if cost is important then I would go with the M&G if it is cheaper for you but make sure you price the M&G with the break-away option so you are comparing equivalent systems. I think the option is about $200. I had SMI install the system on my motor home and Jeep and I don't think it took more than 3 hours total for the install.

I am very happy with the Air Force One and I would probably be just as happy with the M&G.
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:17 PM   #9
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I have been using the M&G on our Jeep GC since 2000. It currently has 135,000 driving miles and over 100,000 towing miles. I have never had a problem with premature brake failure. In fact, I have only replaced the pads twice!

Whoever is telling you the M&G causes your brakes to wear out prematurely doesn't know what he is talking about.

I also installed the breakaway but if I had it to do over again, I would leave it off.
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elkhartjim View Post
What do you experienced users say?
You may want to check with SMI, call Brent, (he was on vacation last week) but I am certain as possible that the SMI Air Force One is the only brake that meets or exceeds and has achieved DOT certification for air operated auxiliary braking systems.

That in my opinion would be worth the extra few bucks. I run a SMI Stay-In-Play DUO which I installed myself. See My Blog article. The DUO and AF1 pretty much share the same technology, just the details are slightly different between the 2 systems.

You will find that the SMI is less invasive into the toad's hydraulic system and it's largely self contained. It's all about the G-Force controller, vacuum boost and air pressure operated pedal. (just as if the car were running and you were stepping on the brake)

That said M&G makes a very good brake.
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:29 PM   #11
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That's the reason I went with the AF1. Also, my service guy said it's the one he installed the most and had the least amount of come backs.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I also installed the breakaway but if I had it to do over again, I would leave it off.
Why please?
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:16 AM   #13
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M&G

I have the M&G which I installed on a 2010 F150. I did the installation and I'm pleased with the system. You can't tell its there when you drive the towed and there is nothing extra like vacuum pumps to drain the battery when towing. It quick and easy to connect and disconnect the towed to the motor home. I would buy the system again.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:16 PM   #14
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dons2346: Also considering the M&G system for my 84 CJ and interested in your comment about not getting the breakaway.

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