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  1. #11
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    487
    Location
    NYS--Various Parts
    Tractor
    Kubota B3000HSDCC, BH77, 5' Belly Mower, 6' Hyd. Angle Plow

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superduper View Post
    Also, was it as easy to bleed off the air like they show in the videos? I am not keen on getting air into those ABS brakes since it will be a real hassle to have no brakes on it and then need to tow that moster to the shop to fix if I can't get the air out.
    Hi,

    I never did a brake controller install, and didn't watch the video. Just commenting about bleeding.

    1. ABS generally bleeds the same as non-ABS. I.e., still a PITA, but no worse.

    2. BUT: You MUST clamp down on the soft, rubber hoses, if/when doing a brake job, when you have to push the calipers back, AND LEAVE BLEED NIPPLE OPEN when doing so, to avoid pushing crap back up into your ($1,000.+?) ABS pump.

    3. They sell special, smooth-jawed, Vise-grip-type pliers to crush the rubber hose, w/o damaging it. I know, seems crazy, right?

    Best of luck.

    My Hoe

  2. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    42
    Location
    Enfield, CT
    Tractor
    Mahindra MAX 22

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    for as much as you are going to tow, i wouldnt bother with the Maxbrake.

    to be honest, i use tekonsha prodigy controllers in all my tow vehicles, have for many years. My 32ft enclosed trailer is showing 67K miles of transport miles, never even questioned the prodigy's ability to apply brakes to all 3 axles.

    I bet i tow an average of 30K miles a year on all my trailers, combined, which is more than the average enthusiast does in several years. the Tekonshas work.

  3. #13
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    15,738
    Location
    Daleville, IN
    Tractor
    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Superduper View Post
    Thanks for all the comments. I was initially leaning towards the P3 due to ease of install. Looks like I could have it up and running in 15 minutes or less. I never knew the maxbrake existed until mentioned here so I did some googling. Seems like it's what I want although the videos I see with that metal pigtail seemingly left unsecured does bother me a little bit. Of course the install is a bit more involved and price is a lot higher. My main towing rig is my duramax HD. I do not intend to do much towing on my H2, maybe once a year (or less) so I'm not sure I'll get my investment back. My H2 is a 2005 which I purchased really as a recreational vehicle. In retrospect, that's all it's become and I only have 10,000 miles on it in all these years. Still thinking about which to go with but let me ask you guys (that have installed the maxbrake): how difficult was it to line up the brake line after installing the T. Did you need to bend the tube to get it to install? Those brake line fittings are always a real PITA to start to begin with. With that fitting sandwiched in between, I imagine it will only get harder since the install angle will surely change somewhat? Also, was it as easy to bleed off the air like they show in the videos? I am not keen on getting air into those ABS brakes since it will be a real hassle to have no brakes on it and then need to tow that moster to the shop to fix if I can't get the air out.
    I have installed one on a GM truck so it would be about the same as your H2. It took me less than a hour. I could do it in 30 minutes the second time around. Most of the time was spent deciding how to run the wires and mount the controller itself. Bleeding was as simple as they say.

    Chris
    Last edited by Diamondpilot; 02-26-2013 at 10:56 AM.

  4. #14
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    2,632
    Location
    Michigan

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    Anytime you ask for advice on a purchase, you will get enthusiastic support for the best. If all you need is a snapshot camera, you will hear all about DSLRs and how they are the minimum you should buy. Ask about a generator for very occasional use and you will hear a pitch for an inverter type Honda. Want to tow a utility trailer to the dump twice a year? You really need an F350 diesel dually.

    My recommendation would be to think about what your real needs are, how often you plan to use the device and what else you could spend your money on if you bought good enough as opposed to the very best.

  5. #15
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,376
    Location
    Grants Pass, OR
    Tractor
    JD TLB 110

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    I have installed a Max Brake on my F-250. I do not remember any real problems, bleeding the brakes was not a significant issue.

    I did take the time to support the metal pigtail with some zip ties. Do not tie it to the engine block, tie it to something mounted on the frame.

    I have a Prodigy on my older F-150, and the thought of replacing it with a Max Brake has never crossed my mind. It is "good enough" for the limited use it sees.
    40 Acres on a hill - fantastic view. JD 110 TLB, 4-n-1, 12" bucket, 18" bucket, Addington thumb, rock bucket (doubles as root grapple)

    Not only do we not understand the universe, if someone explained it to us, we would not know what he was talking about.

    Isaac Asimov

  6. #16
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2,887
    Location
    Mt Crawford Va
    Tractor
    John Deere X310, JD LA 145

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    If you get one that taps into your brake system put a switch on it to turn it off when not in use. I have burnt one up having to use the brakes a lot. I was loading hay in a field and the thing just started smoking. A switch takes a lot of load off of the controller when not in use, or off road.

  7. #17
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    15,738
    Location
    Daleville, IN
    Tractor
    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed of all trades View Post
    If you get one that taps into your brake system put a switch on it to turn it off when not in use. I have burnt one up having to use the brakes a lot. I was loading hay in a field and the thing just started smoking. A switch takes a lot of load off of the controller when not in use, or off road.
    This makes no sense. It would happen to any brake controller.

    Chris

  8. #18
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    6,318
    Location
    Northern Vermont

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    One trick that I've done in the past to bleed the line next to the master is to pull the wheels and force the calipers open. That pushes the fluid back into the master's reservoir and will push any air back with it.
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  9. #19
    Old Timer Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    51,399
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    how often, and what are you towing?

    garbage can hauler / 1k trailer 1x month? get a timed 50$ controller.

    tandem axle or better/ weekly hauling?.. get at least a mid grade prodigy.. etc..

  10. #20
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    566
    Location
    Colorado
    Tractor
    TN55

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    Installation was just basic stuff. Bent the brake line so that the fall line after installing the T and transducer would have the air going up to the master, then put a piece of radiator hose around the transducer and tie wrapped it to the master (IIRC). The longest part of the job was looking it over so I could get my wrenches in there. Just an FYI, get a set of flare wrenches. HF and NT have them cheap enough. Brake line nuts deserve the attention.

    And yeah, the cost needs to be relative to the usage, distance, and weight. Especially if you have a truck to do the heavy lifting.

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