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Old 07-26-2016, 05:37 PM   #1
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Readybrake Failure

I am really scratching my head on this one

I just finished installing a Blue Ox baseplate / Ready brute towbar setup on a '16 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The coach is a '16 Newmar VLDP. After setting everything up I took the combination out for a test drive with my wife in chase to watch the toad and let me know when the dinghy brakes were activating (by monitoring the Cyclops brake light).

Everything worked beautifully. The dinghy brakes applied with the coach brakes as expected, and not with engine brake or when simply coasting. We checked the connections and clearances with full lock left and full lock right turns midway through the trip and it all looked AOK.

Upon getting back home and starting to disconnect the dinghy, I noticed the brake cable connecting the tow bar to the dinghy brake cable was lying on the ground. It turns out that the running end of the cable had completely pulled out of the ferrule, unwrapped itself from around the thimble, and fell to the ground, leaving the thimble attached to the towbar brake lever.

Now, how in 'h' 'e' double hockey sticks does that happen? My only guess is that the factory didnt squeeze the ferrules down enough. The wire rope grips that get applied during install time didnt budge an inch. I guess I am glad that this happened right as we got home as the brake lights were indicating brake application even as we turned into our neighborhood. Actually my wife indicated that I had had some trailing brake turning into the neighborhood (in the turn). I suspect that was about the time that the ferrule let go.

Any thoughts? I am really at a loss as to understand how this could have happened and if I screwed something up. I did have at least the required 2" of slack (more actually), the cable was routed through the guide, and the brake application seemed appropriate for the previous 5 miles.

Any help would be appreciated.

John
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:14 PM   #2
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I was just looking at this a bit further and I almost wonder if the ferrules could have gotten caught up in the guide such that there was a high force between the lever and the guide itself.

One thing is for sure, in looking at the ferrules they were not nearly compressed enough and the cable itself was not completely through both ferrules. Where the two ferrules come together, the inner faces showed a very round cross section for the running end of the cable.

John
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:36 PM   #3
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I've been using the same system 3 years and never had an issue, I have noticed on tight turns that cable will get tight sometimes so if it was not well constructed the cable may have separated while turning. I would photograph and document the incident . Keep us posted.
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:57 AM   #4
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John,

I would get some pictures to ReadyBrute and see what they have to offer.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:25 AM   #5
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I just got off the phone with NSA and had a great conversation. They are sending me out a new sling today. While this is apparently rare, they have seen it before. It sounds like one of their employees simply didn't squeeze down the ferrules tight enough.

I got the impression that this might happen once per year or so and that when it does it generally creates a subsequent 'all hands' meeting.

Seems like a great group of people. Though they might want to start doing pull tests on their cables before they ship them.

John
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:21 PM   #6
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Is it possible you had the cable set too tight and pulled it apart when activating the brakes?
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easyrider View Post
Is it possible you had the cable set too tight and pulled it apart when activating the brakes?
I would think that if he had adjusted the link cable (the one between the actuator and the grill) too tight, it in theory, would almost lockup the Jeeps brakes by pulling the interior cable very tightly. And that would have been noticed by either him or, his wife. I suspect what he does, that it was faulty crimps on the ferruls.

OP,
When I used a Ready Brake system, I made up both the interior cable and, the link cable using my own crimp too and ferruls. I also installed a marine stainless steel turn buckle in that link cable so adjustment can be finite and not with those dumb-a$$ cable clamps that R/B want's you to use. I also did not have my interior cable permenantly attached to the brake pedal, like R/B wants you to do.

But, you can buy a cable crimper at Home Depot for around $20-$25 and, you can get the ferruls there or, in many other hardware stores. So, in the future, if something like this happens, you can make up your own cables, if you desire. Good luck with your new (replacement) cable.
Scott
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Old 08-06-2016, 12:16 PM   #8
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Update

So I got the new cable from nsa installed and adjusted. We hit the road yesterday and the exact same thing happened twenty five miles from home. GRRR. My wife had to drive the dinghy the next five hours as a result.

I called nsa and they are sending me a third sling. They say they tested this one before shipping it. They thought that I might have been setting the second adjustment clamp to close to the guide but I doubt it. It was at least five inches from the guide and I don't think that there is that much movement in the lever.

Can someone take a look and see what there's is set to? On this latest sling, after it came apart, I can actually grab one of the ferrules and slice it up and down the remaining cable.

I wonder if I should have tried harder to find an air force one installer local to me.

*Sigh* a dinghy isn't very productive if you have to drive it everywhere.

John
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Old 08-09-2016, 12:47 PM   #9
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I managed a factory making about 100,000 control cables a day. The crimped cables were always a PITA. I have the ready brake system and love it for the simplicity and proportional braking aspect. If you are still concerned go to a Farm type store and make your own cable with clamps. If I had the problem I would do exactly that for piece on mind. If you have the breakaway system installed keep it under the tow bar it can get pinched under the brake arm in a tight turn, don't ask how I know.
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:17 AM   #10
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We have had ours for 2 years and installed it ourselves and have not had any problems. I would start looking at what you are doing. Post some photos so we can all look and see what your set up is like.
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Old 08-10-2016, 05:20 AM   #11
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Why not buy a couple of spare cable clamps so you don't get stuck on the road somewhere ?
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Old 08-10-2016, 05:58 AM   #12
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I replaced their cables with stainless steel cables and double bolt on clamps and turnbuckle from day one. No problems after 20k miles.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:19 PM   #13
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To the OP,

Well, not sure just what's the problem with your system. We don't read of too many Ready Brake issues and even less of failures on here. But, I'm sure you'll get it figured out. When I setup my R/B, I was NOT going to use those dumb-a$$ cable clamps for adjustment that R/B sends and tells you to use. So, I came up with the Marine Stainless Steel turn buckle you see in the pictures below. And, as stated in my earlier post, I did all my own cable clamping with the ferruls etc.

The ferrule clamp tool came from Home Depot for about $25.00 or so. Iv'e used it oh, probably around 100 times since I purchased it about 10 years or more ago. I set up that adjustment cable with that turn buckle and D-ring attachments at each end. With that turn buckle, I could get infinite adjustment. Pretty tough to do that with R/Bs setup of "cable clamps". We used that Ready Brake system for about 6-8 years and only had to adjust it about 2-3 times. But, adjustment was phenomenally easy. And, in the pictures, you'll see how I attached it to the brake arm. A pin was pressed into that brake arm and, when it came time to tow, we reached under the floor mat, grabbed the end of the cable with the pulley and, slid it onto that pin and hitch pinned it. Done. That way, it's not hooked up to the brake arm 24/7/365 and is not wearing internal sheath parts unessarily.

Anyway, I don't know if you'd be interested in changing over your cable clamp system or not but, it's possible it would eliminate your issues. You'd have to get your own clamp tool and ferrules but, those are readily available in multiple places. Good luck.
Scott







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Old 08-12-2016, 07:12 AM   #14
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Fireup,

Really nice job there for the brake arm inside your auto. Great pictures as well, thanks for sharing that.
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