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Old 05-21-2012, 07:00 AM   #1
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Central FL
Posts: 337
Older Apollo brakes sys vs. new toad problem

While having a Blue Ox base plate installed in my newer toad, (2011 ford explorer), I learned another limitation of hanging on to the older Apollo brake system. I asked the tech to provide a two foot wire from the cold side of my Fords brake switch which he happily agreed to do. After getting into a space way too small for me with his tester and wire splice he says, “it’s not going to work”. Seems that this fancy Ford uses three hot wires from some chip or computer that are merely grounded by the brake switch instead of passing 12 volts through the switch. (The purpose of the wire was to activate my remote “brake application transmitter/receiver unit which has served me well). Given some previous problems with the Apollo I’m not going to chance using it without some type of warning that it has activated.

I really want the SMI Air Force One but thought I could get out of dodge quicker by putting up with the Apollo system for a month or so as we have a tight time zone between taking delivery of coach and our first camping reservation. So now, I either Rube Goldberg another switch to the brake pedal or tap into the brake light circuit versus the pedal actuation switch. If I do the latter the warning will come on every time I hit the brakes or turn signal side that I tap into. Yes, I know, just put in the SMI

2012 Phaeton 40 QBH, 2011 Ford Explorer & 2013 Jeep Wrangler Toads via BlueOx, TPMS by TTS, Delta Force toad brake system.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:12 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 80
Get ready for a hassle.

I had the same issue on our 08 Outlook while installing a Air Force One. The reason for the 3 wires is to tell how far the brake pedal is pressed. I also tried to just tap into the brake light circuit, but it only comes on if the ignition is on.

I ended up adding a switch on the brake pedal arm. Much more difficult than it should be.

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Old 05-21-2012, 04:10 PM   #3
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A lot of the new toads have to have the key on before the brake light system works. In addition, the brake lights are not controlled by the brake light switch. The switch controls a computer that then turns the lights on, so the key needs to be on for the system to operate correctly. With a system like the Apollo, you either need another switch on the brake pedal and/or the Apollo actuating arm. An alternate way would be to split a hydraulic brake line and install a standard pressure switch to run the indicator system. On the Air Force One, you have the same problem. In my case I checked with them and they told me to install an air brake pressure switch on the line delivering pressure to the pedal actuating cylinder. I used that method and it worked fine for the last 7000 miles. I moved our AF1 system from the 2006 Chevy Colorado to the 2011 Silverado.

Welcome to the computer age.
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2011 Chevy Silverado 1500 Toad
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brakes, toad

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