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Old 08-15-2016, 07:55 PM   #1
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Newly Acquired Brake Buddy

Hi everyone new to the MH forum but you might of caught my post on MDT Conversion I'm doing(ford van) and TT discussions. Anyway I've been kind of talking and reading about towed vehicle braking systems Brake Buddy and Blue ox. It seems BB is the most frequently mentioned well I went ahead and pulled the trigger (so to speak ) and picked up a used old style Classic (no LED). I was trying to find info on things to check on used unites. nothing there so I went ahead and purchased from an estate private sale(father passed) I did plug it in and the Compress worked and holds pressure. It had the alert system with cable but the break away unit was missing I went ahead an purchased because the price compared to what people are asking on CL and EB it was a no brain or a Sweeet deal
One of the guestions I have is there a way to tell when it was made besides it LED readout. I understand some of the electric tech. was upgrade. Just can't wait till tomorrow to ask BB,
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Old 08-16-2016, 04:23 PM   #2
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I bought a refurb from the original inventor about ten years ago. After they sold the company they had a lot of leftover units, return units and such, fixed them and sold them for about $500. It has worked perfectly for all that time, although I don't do a lot of dinghy towing so it mostly sits on a shelf in the garage.

I wasn't clear about what you were asking on 'LED's'. You're wanting to know when it was made? I would guess a serial number would identify it's year of manufacture although I wouldn't know about which numbers would be which years so maybe they can help you with that.

When I sold my last toad I forgot that I had the indicator transmitter under the seat so I lost that. I had actually wired an extension on it so I could hang it on the review mirror of the car - otherwise I had trouble getting the signal through to the front of the coach. My latest toad, the colorado, must sit up enough higher as it works fine with the unit just plugged into the BB. I did have to buy a new one though - don't lose it - they're $120!!

I also had to buy a new breakaway switch - a CURT one is like $6 on amazon.

Post if you have any other questions. I think they're the best thing going - cheap and easy to use and work great. This is the fourth car I've used ours in. I'm going broke buying baseplates. LOL
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:17 PM   #3
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The unit should have a serial number on it. If you call bb with the serial number they can tell you when it was built.



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Old 08-16-2016, 10:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for responding talked to BB today and going by what they call a serial number (xx,xxx) my unit was built in mid-2004. Spoke to tech at BB and I told him everything that I had already checked which checked out fine. He suggest the last thing to check would be the accelerometer by putting it on the passenger side floor and see if the arm operates while braking.
As for the break-away switch I ordered two last night on EB for 6 dollars and 2.55 for shipping. Their called Hopkins #20010 and they come with two 7" wire pig tails, mounting plate and cable (read on etrailer where someone didn't want to pay $70 plus for one) The internet has its plus sometimes
The unit I have is called the Classic and the new unites are called the Classic Digital. The "digital" doesn't use a pressure gauge any longer and is replaced with a LED readout display. The tech mentioned that when the Digital model is ready the sensitivity lights will turn green.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:06 PM   #5
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You may be able to download the manuals for it from brakebuddy.com...
that's what I did, but mines a more recent model...

Oh, and be careful driving around with it plugged in and sitting on the passenger seat - I had to pull it off the drivers side to run a quick errand and when I hit the brakes that arm SHOT out !!! scared the 'uh hum' outta me !
glad the arm had room without crashing into the dash or door or ME !

good luck
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Old 08-17-2016, 04:19 PM   #6
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Well good news on final test everything actuated on the passenger side seat no dents or dings
I set it up for towing to see how it adjusted on my 1998 Jeep GC limited and I found out adjusting the handle to the seat frame just below the cushion give me a solid fixture. I went through the setup a couple of times and found the arm retracting (releasing brake) would pull it away from the seat frame. I thing a couple of strips of velcro looped over the SFrame and handle will fit it.

Will check with BB about unit being pulled away from seat on pedal release
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by guestPacer View Post
Well good news on final test everything actuated on the passenger side seat no dents or dings
I set it up for towing to see how it adjusted on my 1998 Jeep GC limited and I found out adjusting the handle to the seat frame just below the cushion give me a solid fixture. I went through the setup a couple of times and found the arm retracting (releasing brake) would pull it away from the seat frame. I thing a couple of strips of velcro looped over the SFrame and handle will fit it.

Will check with BB about unit being pulled away from seat on pedal release
Move the seat up so it doesn't.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:38 AM   #8
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CJBRORN; Just spoke with BB tech support and their going to send me an extension for the cylinder rod.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:10 AM   #9
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CJBRORN; Just spoke with BB tech support and their going to send me an extension for the cylinder rod.
I had an old classic and it worked good for years. Then it broke and found out they would give me 4-500 on a trade up for the vantage system off list price. Just keep it in mind if it breaks.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:19 AM   #10
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One thing to watch for is NOT move the seat up too much... better to be too far than too close !

I noticed my jeep brake lights were on all the time after a short pull and the seat was too close to the brake buddy and it put pressure on the pedal enough to activate the brakes !!!

Glad I didn't go far
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:34 AM   #11
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One thing to watch for is NOT move the seat up too much... better to be too far than too close !

I noticed my jeep brake lights were on all the time after a short pull and the seat was too close to the brake buddy and it put pressure on the pedal enough to activate the brakes !!!

Glad I didn't go far
With the BB vantage system you can see remotely when it applies the brake and you can also adjust sensitivity and mode remotely.
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:12 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for chiming in. You as I was checking afternoon mail and reading suggests I thought of something I didn't check for on my Jeep and I saw it but didn't check it's a plastic hook on the floor carpeting to hold the factory floor mats in place (which I don't use, WeatherGuard mats hold water, snow much better.)
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