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Open Roads Forum  >  Dinghy Towing

 > ReadyBrute braking problems--Follow-up

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RetiredBob

Portage, MI

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Posted: 07/01/12 07:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I pull my '07 Saturn Vue using the ReadyBrute tow bar/braking system. A month ago I took it to my mechanic for a brake job, and he said the brake pads were badly scorched. He suggested that maybe the ReadyBrute cable was too tight, cause the pads to drag and overheat, so I loosened the cable. Last week, after a 200-mile round trip with the motor home and toad, I heard what sounded like a bad bearing in the left front wheel of the Saturn. Took it back to my mechanic who determined it was a bad bearing and, in the process, saw again that the front pads were badly scorched and worn (the excess heat may have caused the bad bearing). I've checked the cable from the brake peddle to the front of the Saturn and that doesn't seem to be sticking or hanging up. Mechanic says it "could" be the caliper pistons are sticking after they get warm, but doubts that both fronts would be doing it. Has anyone else had this problem, or have any ideas? Is it possible that the slide mechanism in the ReadyBrute (that pulls the brake cable when the motor home brakes are applied) is sticking? Any other thoughts? TIA.

Here's a follow-up. Loosened the braking cable to the toad so there is now 2-3" of slack. Connected the original ReadyBrake LED dashboard indicator directly to the brakelight switch on the toad. Just brought the MH back from storage towing the toad--the LED comes on only when I brake aggressively, not when I apply light pressure. I'll continue to keep an eye on brake temps with an infrared gun. Thanks again for all the help.

* This post was edited 07/18/12 03:01pm by RetiredBob *

Bobbo

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Posted: 07/01/12 08:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't have an answer to your question, but I have a way for you to KNOW if your car's brakes are applied. The ReadyBrake folks sell a dash light for your motor home to let you know when the surge brake is applied. Buy it and install it, but DON'T hook it up to the surge brake like they say.

Buy a 12v relay and base. Hook the relay activation pins between the brake light wire of your car and the ground wire of your car. I hooked mine to the wire going to the car's trailer hitch, but you can use any wire that is before the diode. Then hook a long wire between the NO (Normally Open) pins and run it to the front of the car. Hook the dash light wire to this wire. It will only activate when the car activates the brake lights, but not when the MH activates the car's brake lights.


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mowermech

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Posted: 07/01/12 08:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I second the notion of installing an indicator light connected to the towed vehicle brake lights so that it only comes on when the pedal is depressed.
However, I see no need for a 40 amp relay to activate one small light bulb! I would simply run a lead from the brake light switch (the "cold" side, not the "hot" side) to the light on the motorhome dash, and from the light to ground. Use an LED light, and the current draw will be so low that a relay is not needed.
Anytime the pedal moves, the light will be activated.
IMO, such a light is an absolute necessity no matter what braking system is used!


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Big Katuna

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Posted: 07/01/12 08:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can not imagine not having a dash light showing when the toad brakes are on. Mandatory IMHO. Most cars have a connector near the rear of the car that you can plug a adapter into and you have flat four wire trailer plug. Ehitch sells them. I used one in my CRV (as I also tow a small trailer sometimes) and plug my LED wires into that when I tow.


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willald

GA

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Posted: 07/01/12 09:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

X2 on getting the indicator light set up to show you when toad's brake pedal is being depressed, NOT when Readybrake actuator is engaging.

You probably just need to loosen the cable somewhat, and having an indicator light will help you determine just how much to loosen it. I spoke with ReadyBrake about this a few weeks ago when setting ours up, and he said that you want 2" of slack in the cable. Meaning, when all is hooked up, you should be able to press down on the cable about 2" before brake lights come on.

I just got back from our first long trip with the ReadyBrake system, and it is working great. I have not yet been able to finish the wiring for the indicator light, so the 'temporary' solution I'm using is this: A set of magnetic towing lights, that I plug into towed vehicle's 4 pin trailer connector at the back, with the lights pointing FORWARD, toward the MH. Then, I can see the lights come on via the MH's rear-view monitor camera, and know exactly when the towed vehicle's brakes are engaging and disengaging. Works fine, and shows that the ReadyBrake is working just as it should.

Only downside to the magnetic lights that I just learned about this trip: Get stuck in a lot of traffic where you're having to hit the brakes a lot, and those magnetic tow lights coming on so much will draw down your towed vehicle's battery! Car would barely start when we got to our destination. I will finish wiring up the indicator on the MH dash hopefully this week, and ditch those magnetic lights before they fry the toad's battery.


Will
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Dutch_12078

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Posted: 07/01/12 10:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Make sure your brake cable is adjusted with the toad pulling slightly back on the tow bar to remove any play in the pins, etc. As mentioned, connecting the dash indicator that was included with your ReadyBrute directly to the toad brake light switch will give you a positive indication of when the brakes are applied.


Dutch
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RetiredBob

Portage, MI

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Posted: 07/01/12 10:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the comments/suggestions. I'll loosen the cable some more and re-wire the dash indicator light so it activates when the toad brake is activated.

ronfisherman

SE Michigan

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Posted: 07/01/12 01:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

willald wrote:


You probably just need to loosen the cable somewhat, and having an indicator light will help you determine just how much to loosen it. I spoke with ReadyBrake about this a few weeks ago when setting ours up, and he said that you want 2" of slack in the cable. Meaning, when all is hooked up, you should be able to press down on the cable about 2" before brake lights come on.

Good piece of info. I am completing my install. Will check for this setting.


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Alfred622

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Posted: 07/01/12 02:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One other thought in addition to those above. The ReadyBrute manual indicates that some cars do not have a "brake return spring" strong enough to cause the brake pedal to return to normal after activation unless the engine is running. You might test this by pressing the pedal to the floor without the engine running. If it doesn't spring right back, then apply a bungee cord between the pedal and the car seat fame.


Alfred
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bigB42

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Posted: 07/01/12 02:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

i hook a bungee from brake pedal to seat bracket my light doesn't come on unless i really apply them hard,rarely come on when going down steep grade ken


ken

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