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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Superduper's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    midwest
    Tractor
    John Deere 3120

    Default Any opinions on brake controllers?

    My Pickem up has factory controller that increases power to trailer brake depending upon the amount of pedal pressure. Not sure how it senses it but you can see brake power level to trailers increase (led bar) as you depress the brake, even if sitting at a light or in park. I am guessing there is either a pressure sensor in the brake system or a rheostat connected with the brake pedal.

    Anyhow, wanted to install a brake controller into my Hummer H2, which did not come with the factory brake controller, think it was never offered as an option. So while shopping, I see prices varying from $40's to almost $200 bucks. Looks like there are all kinds of systems available from single delayed setting to inertia computer controlled ones. Wondering whether anybody has an opinion of the various types and their experiences before I plunk down the big ones.
    -----------------------------------------------
    There 's no such thing as idiot-proof; idiots are far too ingenuous.
    JD3120 eHydro, R4's, 300cx FEL, frontier 2060bb, Vrismo S100 Flail mower, AL1240f forks, wheel weights

  2. #2
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    14,139
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    Daleville, IN
    Tractor
    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default

    Spend the money and get a Max Brake. It works just like your factory controller that is pressure driven from a sensor in the brake system. Anything less will leave you disappointed after using a factory system.

    I have used them all in my years in the business. It will allow you to stop in 30% less distance in a emergency which is worth every dime.

    Chris

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2002
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    2,329
    Location
    Michigan

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    The travel trailer crowd likes Teshonkas. P3, P2, and Primus are favorites. They all use an accelerometer to modulate your trailer brakes to give more proportional braking than a cheapie timed controller.

    You get what you pay for, but these controllers are an excellent value.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
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    Jun 2006
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    158
    Location
    Tennessee
    Tractor
    TC34DA

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    Have used the original Tekonsha Prodigy and now the P2 for several years. They have been very reliable. These models carry a lifetime warranty.Had a minor problem with one of the original Prodigy and was replaced, no questions asked. Will continue to use this brand if I ever need to purchase another controller.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Daleville, IN
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    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default

    I agree the P2 & P3 are a goid value but they do not remotely compare to the factory units and the Max Brake. Don't get me wrong, I have sold and installed dozens of them but there is just no substitute for a pressure driven unit.

    Already having a factory unit in his other truck he will not be happy with anything else. It does cost a few dollars more but like said earlier, you get what you pay for.

    Chris

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Sep 2011
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    Corpus Christi. Tx
    Tractor
    Case 485

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondpilot View Post
    I agree the P2 & P3 are a goid value but they do not remotely compare to the factory units and the Max Brake. Don't get me wrong, I have sold and installed dozens of them but there is just no substitute for a pressure driven unit.

    Already having a factory unit in his other truck he will not be happy with anything else. It does cost a few dollars more but like said earlier, you get what you pay for.

    Chris
    That is cool DP, never knew about that controller(max contoller). Looks alot like same idea as the old Vac/Hyd brakes using the Hydraulic brake pressure from the vehicles brake system to operate the trailer system.

  7. #7
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    4,098
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    Grants Pass, OR
    Tractor
    JD TLB 110

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    I have a Max Brake I bought as a result of reading about them on TBN. I agree, it is the best, if you use some common sense installing it.

    You add a tee on your master cylinder, and a pressure sensor attaches to a piece of 1/8" steel tubing which comes off the tee. If you do not support the steel tubing well, you run the risk of lots of vibration which will eventually cause metal fatigue and breakage of the tubing.
    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

  8. #8
    Gold Member Monster5601's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    475
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    Oakland, MI
    Tractor
    Kubota B3030 R4 Tires

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    I'll chime in and give the Teshonkas brake controllers a thumbs up. I tow an 18 foot car hauler I use to tote the tractor around. The trailer has brakes on both axles and the brake controller does it perfectly.
    Bob, n8zcc

    Kubota B3030 with R4s
    LA403, 60" bucket with hooks, bolt-on tooth bar, ratchet rake
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  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2008
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    Colorado
    Tractor
    TN55

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    Max Brake. You bought an H2, so you may as well go big. Especially if you want it to work as good as the controller in your PU. I extended the cable from the firewall connector (make sure you get the pigtail no matter what you buy) and mounted mine on top of the dash, where my right hand can reach it easily from the steering wheel. Used some nice mesh wire loom to cover it. The mid 2000s GM pu instrument surround pops right off and is easy to cut a small edge out of. It makes you aware of any problems (the display is large enough for warning/errors: connection/lights issues, brake failures, etc) and you can see the trailer brake gain ('Gnn') as you set it (you get a feel for the approximate gain each trailer needs). And the manual lever is right there.

    I imagine most of the better controllers have at least some of the failure displays.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Superduper's Avatar
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    John Deere 3120

    Default Re: Any opinions on brake controllers?

    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.
    -----------------------------------------------
    There 's no such thing as idiot-proof; idiots are far too ingenuous.
    JD3120 eHydro, R4's, 300cx FEL, frontier 2060bb, Vrismo S100 Flail mower, AL1240f forks, wheel weights

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