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Old 03-04-2021, 09:33 PM   #1
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DIY TOAD setup?

For those of you that have done your own TOAD setup (base plate, braking system, tail lights, etc.) How many hours did it take you? I ask because I just finished day 4 setting up my wife's 2017 Jeep Cherokee for flat towing, and the base plate is not even on yet, though in all honesty these are 4-5 hours days taking breaks for lunch, etc. and taking my time doing it right, not fast, ie wrapping the trailer style wires with friction tape, using color matching wires when extending wiring harness, heat shrink connectors, thinking out placement to hide things, referencing how to you tube videos as I go, etc. There were of course various unexpected delays and issues that came up along the way, not to mention these work days were spread over a week or so on days when my wife could make do without her car.


Some of this may be due to Cherokee specific stuff, as well as a side project that was mixed in.


It has went like this so far:


Day 1, 11am - 6 pm Install Jeep flat tow wiring harness to fix the death wobble problem this wiring kit allows the Cherokee to power the EPS (Electronic power steering) system while it is being towed, and involves the removal of the center console to add a switch and Can bus terminating resistors (inside the back part of the arm rest), as well as removal and replacement of the under hood fuse box to splice a wire on the back side of it, and add a relay and power wire.


Day 2, tail light wiring kit with integrated diodes, and adding OEM trailer wiring kit for the Cherokee, this is one option the Cherokee did not have that my wife wanted, so when she got lightly rear ended at a traffic light by a texting driver (finger size hole in the bumper cover), we had the body shop install the factory tow bumper and bumper cover instead of the non tow version. That of course did not include the wiring, which involves adding a module inside the rear trim panel, and running a wire all the way forward to the fuse box removing all the trim panels between the tailgate and the steering wheel. Since I was doing that I ran the TOAD tail light wire along the same path and through the firewall instead of zip tied under the car.


Day 3 Finish a bit of stuff left from day 2 under the hood, and work on starting to install the Roadmaster Even Brake, which includes adding a Stop light switch to the brake pedal, adding a fuse and running power from an always on circuit from the under hood fuse box to inside to power the ICX transmitter, and stop switch, running the break away switch wiring, etc. (this was really a half day, as other stuff came up, and I could not start until after 1 pm)


Day 4 finish up the wiring for the Even Brake, hiding wires, reassembling snap off dash panels, and re-engineering the Jeep Flat tow wiring harness to add an in cab activation switch with warning light, instead of having to open the hood and add / remove a fuse each time the car gets towed. This was another semi half day from about noon to 6 pm.


That's where I am now, still need to do the base plate, and the near front bumper wiring for tail lights and break away switch install (wire for these is ran to near the headlights until the bumper cover comes off). If time permits this will be this weekends project.


Ike
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:03 PM   #2
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I did all my own install on my Honda CRV and it took me several days. Some of that time came from replacing some broken mounts near a headlight I found from the previous owners fender bender. The baseplate install was straightforward but it took a bit of time to drill the holes for the ready brake cable as it was hard to reach and didnít want to nick a brake line. That time frame also included wiring up the brake lights and installing a trailer hitch to carry the bike rack.
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:14 AM   #3
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Ike-

I had a mechanic install the baseplate and taillight wiring.

I reinstalled the taillight wiring, because it came apart (poor factory crimps). I also installed the braking system. That install featured a lot of experimentation, custom parts (mainly for mounting) and an unecessarily-complicated-but-what-I-wanted wiring design. I'd say I put in between 50 and 100 hours. It took a month elapsed time, working nights and weekends.
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:24 AM   #4
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I have done 2 so far . Chevy Malibu and 2018 Equinox, were done in less than a half day for each base-plate. I used the magnetic lights both times. Did not use a breaking system until my second time to California. I have the Ready Brake now and I love it for its simplicity. Installed the braking system in about 2 hours.
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
For those of you that have done your own TOAD setup (base plate, braking system, tail lights, etc.) How many hours did it take you? I ask because I just finished day 4 setting up my wife's 2017 Jeep Cherokee for flat towing, and the base plate is not even on yet, though in all honesty these are 4-5 hours days taking breaks for lunch, etc. and taking my time doing it right, not fast, ie wrapping the trailer style wires with friction tape, using color matching wires when extending wiring harness, heat shrink connectors, thinking out placement to hide things, referencing how to you tube videos as I go, etc. There were of course various unexpected delays and issues that came up along the way, not to mention these work days were spread over a week or so on days when my wife could make do without her car.

I own a 2019 Wrangler and never heard of the (Death Wobble) before this post. I researched it and found the Jeep (In response to a bunch of lawsuits) updated the steering damper to fix this issue. The article goes on to state that one person still had the wobble. So go figure. So far so good with mine. The way some jeeps are driven, who knows what else comes into play. Hard 4x4 riding put stress and a lot of things.
Old Version Part number: 580AC
Newer version Part Number: 580AE (I have this one)
As for the toad install. I had it done. I just felt more comfortable with someone (other than me) do the install to make sure it's done properly. Good luck though. Your a braver man than me.

https://www.freep.com/story/money/ca...ix/1969368001/
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:22 AM   #6
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Base plate install and wiring took almost 7 hours. I had a second set of hands for about one hour to put the front facia back on.

RVI 3 took about 30 minutes including breakaway and toad charger
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:44 AM   #7
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On our Ď03 Jeep Liberty:
base plate about 4 hrs
wiring harness for lights about 2 hrs
breakaway connection for Brake Buddy 1 hr
Pretty straightforward for this toad but canít say for anything else.
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:08 AM   #8
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Did my own ready brute elite took about 2 full ďretirement daysĒ(Iím 75) on a smart car. Right angle drill really helped.
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:29 AM   #9
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I DIY a 1998 Honda Accord Coupe, a 2005 Honda CRV AWD and last on was a 2010 Honda Accord Coupe. All using a Ready Brute tow bar, Blue Ox base plates and additional tail light bulbs rather than diodes or trunk lid magnetic lights. First install took eight hours, second six and the last Accord was 4 hours. Unfortunately the 2010 Accord had an argument with a guardrail, and lost, and a 2017 Accord comes along for the ride on a dolly.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:25 AM   #10
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I installed base plate, lighting harness, & Stay-in-Play Duo braking system. It took me a lot longer than I thought it would (as most projects seem to do). I believe it was something like 6 days over the course of a couple of weeks. Most of the days though where only 4 or 5 hours though. I took my time and I was very particular with the installation. Wire loomed everything and even painted all of the holes that I drilled to install the base plate, etc.
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:17 AM   #11
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I've done 3 vehicles and found it takes about 1 day each. This is for a "standard" install such as you might get at a dealership. With the bells and whistles such as shrink wrapping and taping wires to form your own harness I can see doubling that easily, especially if you haven't done it before. A lot to be said for slow and easy if you're not in a hurry. I think the main benefit anyone gets from a DO-IT-YOURSELF install is knowing how your system on your vehicle works. When you have a problem in the future, you'll KNOW where to go and what to look for. And you WILL have a problem... It's just the nature of these beasts.
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:36 AM   #12
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Ike,
First off, I didn't even read all of your post. To me, the very simple answer to your inquiry is, if one is retired and, likes to do this kind of stuff yourself, then it doesn't matter how long it takes. Who cares how many breaks one takes during a project. People work at their own pace. Some folks are human humming birds and go a zillion miles an hour at whatever they do.

While others, work at turtles pace, no one cares. Setting a toad up for towing for the most part is not rocket science. But, each toad has it's idiosyncrasies and issues. You take a section of a particular job and work it 'till it's done. Then, move on. You like doing quality work, and, making sure things are done properly and to your satisfaction. To me, that's the ONLY way to do things. The potential for making a mistake or, developing an issue later are cut way, way down by taking your time. I've taken as much as a few days to set up one of our toads. I'm in no hurry.
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:03 AM   #13
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FIRE UP,

High Scott! Great comments for the OP to consider!! Nice to read more of your posts.

Scott knows what he's talking about because he done a ton of set ups. He was my go to source when I did my first one. I asked questions and he answered with a ton of help. I still have all the pages of information he sent me.

I've now set up three vehicles and they were all different in many ways. I never like to pay somebody else to do what I know they will never do to my quality standards. If I've never done it before I ask folks like Scott for help and they have always been more than helpful.

I even went so far as to make a DIY metal frame mount for the 2001 Ford Ranger. That worked out great with some help from John McKinley (CHF thread POST #1!!).

Who cares if you take 3 or 30 days to finish a job??? If you have high standards like the poster nobody will do the quality work to your standards. At least it's very unlikely and in the end it pays & shows. We've had few issues with any of the set ups. Our last was a 2014 CRV and it should be our last TOAD. The DW didn't like it when we pulled the Ranger once we got to the CG. It's a stick and rides rough.

When you take your time it pays in the long run.
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:48 AM   #14
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I've installed complete toad systems on five different vehicles and each took a different amount of time. My last was for our 2014 Honda CRV and it took 2 1/2 days. But then I wasn't in a big hurry either. Part of that time was spent teaching my 13 year old granddaughter how to properly use the tools, what each tool did and didn't do and how to read instructions. She still talks about how she helped me "put that big thing on the front of the Honda."
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