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Old 11-19-2013, 04:50 PM   #1
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Ready Brute Elite Surge Break Install Question

Hi all, (Posted this in another forum area by mistake)

Researched and pulled trigger on purchase of a Ready Brute Elite breaking system/tow bar. Now in process of installing the cable for the surge break but having difficulties locating exact area to drill through firewall on vehicle. So I am requesting help from any forum member who has installed this system on their GMC Terrain. I am looking for information on where to drill hole for Ready Break cable installation on a 2012 GMC Terrain. If anyone has installed this tow bar/brake system on same vehicle I would appreciate information on exactly where on vehicle firewall to drill hole for cable entry and the routing for cable to front bumper area.

Any help is appreciated.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:53 PM   #2
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I installed the ReadyBrute on a Chevy Captiva. Look for "landmarks" that are visable on both sides of the firewall. It has to be in line with your brake pedal of course. I found where the steering column and some bolts and wires went through and were visable on both sides. I then measured from those "landmarks" on the inside to area in line with the brake pedal, then on the engine side of the firewall I made the same measurements from the same "landmarks" and knew if I was going to be safe drilling and not damage anything. Once I knew I was safe I drilled the hole and ran the cable. It actually was easier than I first imagined it was going to be. Good Luck with your install and let us know how it goes.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:51 PM   #3
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TenBear, did you call the people at ReadyBrake? (NightShift Auto) Chances are they may have the answer to your question. They were fairly helpful when I called on my Subaru Impreza.
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Easyrider View Post
I installed the ReadyBrute on a Chevy Captiva. Look for "landmarks" that are visable on both sides of the firewall. It has to be in line with your brake pedal of course. I found where the steering column and some bolts and wires went through and were visable on both sides. I then measured from those "landmarks" on the inside to area in line with the brake pedal, then on the engine side of the firewall I made the same measurements from the same "landmarks" and knew if I was going to be safe drilling and not damage anything. Once I knew I was safe I drilled the hole and ran the cable. It actually was easier than I first imagined it was going to be. Good Luck with your install and let us know how it goes.
Outstanding answer. Pretty much the same way I've installed the Ready Brake system on a couple of our toads. Some firewalls are double wall with a gap in between the two layers of sheet metal and some, are pinched together for a solid piece. It's not always possible for one to have perfect alignment with the brake pedal arm but, do try and get it as close to straight in line as possible.

You can have multiple bends in the housing as long as each bend is well secured with zip-ties etc. The less the bends, the better. On our present toad, a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 4x4, I too located "landmarks" on both sides of the fire wall and referenced my hole in accordance with that land mark and, as much as "in line" as possible with the potential connection on the brake arm as I could.

The connection to the brake arm in my opinion is a bit hoaky so, I modified it to my liking. On our setup, the cable lies under the floor mat until it's time for hookup. When that time comes, the DW simply grabs the cable, slips it onto the pin that I installed in the brake arm, secures it and, that's it. That way, the cable is not in use when we're driving the toad. It's a preference thing.
Scott




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Old 11-20-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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Good idea with the pin thru the brake arm. Where did you get the hardware to do it?
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:57 PM   #6
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The connection to the brake arm in my opinion is a bit hoaky



To say the least. I looked at it and laughed.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:15 AM   #7
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Good idea with the pin thru the brake arm. Where did you get the hardware to do it?
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To say the least. I looked at it and laughed.
To answer both of you:

I really like the Ready Brake system. Whether you use a Ready Brute tow bar with the Ready Brake built into it, or your own tow bar and the Ready Brake actuator also installed, the install and, some of the attachment systems are in my opinion, just not cool. So, as you see in the pics, I did a bit of modification.

1. The pin, through the brake arm of our present toad, is basically a 1/4" bolt, cut off to a certain length. The bolt was/is exactly 1/4" in diameter. I found a drill bit, .004 smaller than that diameter. I then drilled the hole in the brake arm with that drill. I then used a very large "C-clamp" and a socket to "press" that bolt into the brake arm. It was a bit of a pain but, I finally got it pressed all the way to the head. You can easily do the same without the hassle of the pressing thing. All that's needed to be done is, drill the hole 1/4" and install the bolt, with threads still on, and put a nut on the side you see in the pics. That will hold the bolt permanently to the brake arm.

Then, you drill (or drill the tip of the bolt prior to the installation on the brake arm) for the "hitch pin" that secures the cable to the bolt.

2. The plastic pulley you see is actually a screen door roller. You can purchase them at any hardware store, Home Depot, Lowes etc. You can get them in plastic, or metal, your choice.

3. I already had the "Cable Ferrule crimper tool" so, I wrapped the end around that screen door roller, then installed a the ferrule and crimped it very close to the diameter of that roller. I used the screen door roller because it has a center bolt hole, exactly 1/4" in diameter to fit the pin in my brake arm. Those Cable crimper tools are about $20.00 at Home Depot and I've used it about a zillion times in various situations so, it's definitely not a "one time" use tool to have around.

Now, on the outside of the vehicle (toad), I did another modification. R/B has you make a series of loops and clamp all of it together to be used for the link cable "adjustment". What hoaky way of doing things. I eliminated that entire setup and went with a turn buckle. I use a stainless steel turn buckle, purchased from a local marine supplies store, and, two "clevis" clips, one for each end. Very simply put, it allows for micro adjustments, any time you think you need it. And, you need no tools to do it. Below is the picture of the link cable between the toad and the actuator. Hope this helps some.
Scott





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Old 11-21-2013, 07:30 AM   #8
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Scott,
Nice mod to the Readybrute system. You may want to think about using safety wire on your turnbuckle to keep it from moving out of adjustment. Here's a how to video of one effective method.

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Old 11-21-2013, 11:43 AM   #9
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Scott,
Nice mod to the Readybrute system. You may want to think about using safety wire on your turnbuckle to keep it from moving out of adjustment. Here's a how to video of one effective method.

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John,
I surely thank you for your nice comment on my mods to the system. But, if you look real close at the picture of the turn buckle, you'll see tiny "hitch pins" in the tip of each of the threaded sections. The turn buckle cannot spin if it wanted to without the release of those hitch pins. They are tiny but, do the job. And, as stated, I can pull both of them without tools, spin that turn buckle in either direction for whatever adjustment needed and re-install them in about 10 seconds. Thanks again.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:07 PM   #10
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Do you use their remote dash brake light indicator? Is there really any need for it? It would not tell you if anything beyond the surge unit was malfunctioning.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:01 PM   #11
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I got all my materials at Lowes to do the modifications to my Ready Brake system. I found a 1/4 inch pin with a series of pre drilled holes to use on the brake arm. I too am wondering about the dash mounted indicator light. Seems like a lot of work just to know if the brakes are applied??
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:06 PM   #12
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Scott
One more question. Do you use anything to prevent the toad brake cable from sliding the slack out of the front of the vehicle when you are driving the toad w/o the cable attached to the brake arm?
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:37 AM   #13
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Do you use their remote dash brake light indicator? Is there really any need for it? It would not tell you if anything beyond the surge unit was malfunctioning.
az99,
Well Sir, I did use a "form" of a dash indicator when I towed our Jeep Rubicon. You see, long story short, I wired the lights on the Jeep the way I always do and, that's by utilizing the stock tail lights on the Jeep as toad lights. Well, that presents a problem. You see, that vehicle, along with many out there as toads, activate the brake lights when the Jeep's brakes are applied, even when the key is not in the ignition. What that means is, if I'm sending a turn signal to the jeep via the coach, and hit the brakes, the turn signal from the coach, and the brake light signal from the Jeeps brake switch, will "collide" in the same filament.

So, to answer that issue, I created a simple solution. I installed a small, three way toggle switch in the Jeeps door jamb. I then cut the out put wire from the Jeeps brake switch, and sent it to the middle post of the toggle switch. I then ran a wire from one side of the toggle to the front of the Jeep, and through the pig tail, and all the way to the dash on the coach, where I attached a small LED to it. I then ran a wire from the other post on the toggle back to the place where I cut the output wire in the first place.

Now, when we're towing the Jeep, I flip the switch towards the front. The Jeeps brake switch now sends the brake signal to the LED on the dash of the motor home. But, when we're driving the Jeep, we flip the switch the other way, which sends the Jeeps brake light signal, to the jeeps brake lights, just like it should.

That method solves two problems. One, it alleviates the conflict of having two different signals entering the same filament in the stock tail lights. Second, it tells me, as the motor home driver, that the brakes are being applied in the Jeep, (or any toad that's wired that way).

Now, what Ready Brake has done is, wire a trigger, in the actuator of the towing system and that, sends a signal to the LED on the dash. Basically, it does the same thing as I created. But, there's one flaw in their system. The trigger, is located in the actuator. And, what moves the actuator, the tow bar does. What that means is, if your link cable malfunctions or breaks, and you're not keeping an eye on it in the rear view camera, the surge of the toad, pushing on the tow bar, will still push forward on the actuator and that will STILL SEND YOU A SIGNAL TO THE DASH, and, you'll think the system is still working correctly when, in fact, you have no brakes being activated in the toad, because of a broken, or malfunctioning link cable between the M/H and the toad.

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I got all my materials at Lowes to do the modifications to my Ready Brake system. I found a 1/4 inch pin with a series of pre drilled holes to use on the brake arm. I too am wondering about the dash mounted indicator light. Seems like a lot of work just to know if the brakes are applied??
gthunts,
I know of those "multi-holed" pins you're talking about. The issue with those that I'd be concerned about is, they have been weekend by the drilling of all the holes in them. So, the amount of "pulling" pressure on that pin, especially when the vacuum is depleted, is fairly severe. Does that mean that, that pin of yours is guaranteed to break, not necessarily. They're pretty strong pins so, most likely there's nothing to worry about. You might keep a second one on hand, just in case. They're most likely the same strength as at least a grade 5 bolt.

And, as for your question about the dash mounted LED, I think I answered it above. Now, I don't have one wired in our present toad, an '11 GMC Sierra Extended Cab 4x4 and, it does kind of bother me. Being used to seeing that LED light up, each and every time I applied the brakes in our previous coach, a '99 Fleetwood Bounder, 34V, F-53 with the V-10. So, not seeing it now, in our present coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330 HP CAT, is still not cool, to me. Maybe someday I'll wire one up.

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Scott
One more question. Do you use anything to prevent the toad brake cable from sliding the slack out of the front of the vehicle when you are driving the toad w/o the cable attached to the brake arm?
gthunts,
If I understand your question correctly, I'm thinking you're asking about the cable movement and slack in the toads brake cable when driving the toad, correct? Well, the primary reason that I did the brake arm mod in the install was two-fold. It looks seriously better than R/Bs setup and, when we drive the toad, we pull the hitch pin, remove the cable, pull all the slack out of the system, (about 8-10" worth) and, stuff it under the toads floor mat. So, there's no cable actuation when the toad is being driven, because it's not connected to the brake arm.

I hope this is the answer that you were looking for. As stated way earlier, I had the cable ferrule crimp tool way ahead of time since, this I've created different Ready Brake systems in multiple toads and have made my own cable ends. You can get the correct size ferrules at most hardware stores and Home Depot etc. It sure makes things nice, having that tool around. Let me know if I can answer any more questions.
Scott
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:29 AM   #14
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Thanks Scott. Pretty much answers my question. I was concerned with the cable slack after you disconnected it from the brake arm. You stow it under the floor mat but I was wondering if it has a tendency to creep out of the front of the vehicle while driving the toad
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