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Main Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: Gixxerkid3 on October 12, 2021, 11:03:28 am

Title: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Gixxerkid3 on October 12, 2021, 11:03:28 am
Hi all. I have a 1992 Jeep Wrangler that I want to use as a Toad on my 2012, 2552.  This Jeep was used as a Toad by one of the previous owners as some of the wiring and break-away switch is still present; however, I am not sure what system it was.  Does anyone have an early model year Wrangler that is used as a Toad, and if so, what Braking system do you use?
Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Ron Dittmer on October 12, 2021, 02:22:17 pm
There have been braking systems of all sorts over the years.  It would be very difficult to determine the exact braking system installed without significant investigative work.

If there is a solenoid bolted to the floor under the driver seat with a cable under the carpet to the back side of the brake pedal, then it's a Unified Tow Brake like we have on our 2006 Jeep Liberty.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Gixxerkid3 on October 12, 2021, 02:48:25 pm
Unfortunately there are zero indications of what system was there. Nothing as you suggested.  I was hoping to use Invisabrake, but not sure the the braking system will comply with the requirements of the system.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: donc13 on October 12, 2021, 03:31:52 pm
Trace the wiring going into the break-away switch... What's it connected to?  Does it just go to the interface socket where you'd plug the PC's brake, lights, turn signals and no where else, no way to tell.  If the wiring from that same socket just goes to the tail, brake and turn signals, likewise, that's just generic.   Even if some of the wiring goes under the front driver's seat and/or there is a tap in the vacuum line to the Jeep power brake assembly, and it just leads to a quick connector in the driver's area... Again no way to tell whose (if any! Some people don't use supplemental toad brakes) system was used and you'd save yourself aggravation and time by just getting the supplement system you want and use what pieces on the Jeep you can.

The expensive part is the actual device that goes in your Jeep and PC.

The wiring and hoses are no biggies.

BTW, I presume you know what kind of base plate is on the Jeep so you know which tow bar assembly to get... Unless one came with the Jeep.

Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: WillLloyd on October 12, 2021, 07:01:54 pm
I installed an Invisabrake system in our 2011 wrangler.  I thought I would like it, but In my opinion it was too complex and had too many moving parts for my liking.  If I had to do it again, I would throw one of those portable jobs in on the floor and Call it good.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Joseph on October 12, 2021, 10:11:01 pm
I use the demco stay in play in my 2005 jeep  rubicon.  Once installed all you need to do is throw a toggle switch  and ready to go .  Cost.  $625.  To get that price you have to be patient in your search.



Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: mikeh on October 12, 2021, 11:02:20 pm
Second Joseph on the Stay-In-Play.  Mine is in a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

As he says, flip one switch is the extent of the setup of your braking system each time you tow.  Mine has been faultless in three years of use.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Ron Dittmer on October 13, 2021, 07:45:21 am
If you are the kind of person that replaces his tow vehicle every 3 to 7 years, it's hard to justify a tow brake system that is permanently installed for easy plug-and-play convenience.  But if you own your vehicles for 10+ years like we do, then the extra investment in such a system makes more money sense.

Our permanently installed tow brake system is called a UNIFIED (http://www.usgear.cc/utb_install/utb_install.htm), made by U.S.Gear that I installed myself.  I like it for it's seamless effort during towing setup, and also because it maintains the vacuum in the power brake booster.  So when the tow brakes are applied, it's always "power brake action" that works exceptionally well.  The brakes have only one level of braking pressure which I have grown to appreciate.  The system offers an adjustment for the sensitivity as to "when" they are activated.  This is managed via an adjustable centrifugal force switch located on our PC center cup holder.  That little controller also has a means to activate the tow brakes independently which is nice for testing purposes.  An LED readout displays the amount of inertia during braking.

Our tow brake setup reduces braking distance compared to not towing.  Our Liberty's brakes help slow down the motorhome which I greatly appreciate.  That was one of it's selling features.

We bought our 2006 Jeep Liberty tow vehicle used in 2009 with 29,000 miles, and have no plan to replace it in the foreseeable future.  Our Liberty turned 15 years this years with 87000 miles logged on the odometer now and is still serves us well.  There are 30,000+ rolling/towing miles not reflected on the odometer.

Though I appreciate our 12 year old tow brake system, new systems and upgraded older systems are available.  If shopping today for a tow brake, I would do my research all over again.  Doing a quick search, I am not certain the Unified tow brake system is still available.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Joseph on October 13, 2021, 09:50:32 am
Ron, the cost for the stay in play kit to switch vehicles is $60.00.  Not really a issue.

Also like yours itís connected to the vacuum system.

There seems to be a lot of people who like the surge brake tow bar. Iím not sold on it however. Iíve been in situations several times where a surge brake  would have activated even when I wasnít applying brakes. Would have only been for a couple seconds I guess but still not my choice. That aside itís an option.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Gixxerkid3 on October 13, 2021, 10:40:02 am
Thanks for all the replies.  I was planning on using the ďStay-in-playĒ myself.  However, I do see that nobody here has a 30 year old Jeep such as I do.  And, I have no plans on changing every few years.  I still have a few more years till retirement but I can count them on one hand.  My concern was how antiquated my Jeep was with regard to its braking system compared to newer models.   Mine is in great shape by the way.  Again, thanks for the replies.  This info is very helpful. 
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Gixxerkid3 on October 13, 2021, 11:28:16 am
I use the demco stay in play in my 2005 jeep  rubicon.  Once installed all you need to do is throw a toggle switch  and ready to go .  Cost.  $625.  To get that price you have to be patient in your search.

What kind of tow bar do you use?  I inherited an older Blue Ox tow bar (no base plate) in the purchase of my Jeep recently but that seems like overkill. Pics would be greatly appreciated if possible.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Joseph on October 13, 2021, 02:25:42 pm
Gixxer .   So your in a keep YJ,  nice light weight Jeep.   Iíd still look into the stay in play.  I see no reason it wouldnít work.   

If you have a rust free Jeep YJ  I would never part with it.  4 or 6 cyl?  Soft top? The YJ is under 3,000 lbs in a soft top Ö awesome toad!
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Gixxerkid3 on October 13, 2021, 05:54:09 pm
Unfortunately itís a 2.5 L low output. Lol. I got it October 4 and Iím still cleaning it up and it has very minimal rust. Mostly surface stuff that I can easily clean off. Itís in outstanding shape.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: WillLloyd on October 13, 2021, 06:02:58 pm
Do some research on your older Tow bar. I read someplace youíre not supposed to use them after 10 years.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Gixxerkid3 on October 13, 2021, 06:14:53 pm
Will do, donít know how old it is. Least it was free
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Ron Dittmer on October 13, 2021, 07:55:39 pm
I LOVE that Jeep.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Gixxerkid3 on October 13, 2021, 08:11:52 pm
Thanks Ron. We like it.  We were not looking for new vehicles and I wanted something cheap but in good shape. You know, need to have my cake and eat it too. LOL.  This one was definitely an answer to prayer. That may sound odd for what it is (1992) , but it definitely was. The guy I purchased from was just a really cool guy and loaded me up with extra stuff that was not listed in the add like a full cover, new and unused bikini top,  blue ox tow bar, original bumper (has a brand new aftermarket one) and a full unused add-a-leaf kit..  We hit it off right away. 
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: donc13 on October 13, 2021, 08:19:50 pm
Unfortunately itís a 2.5 L low output. Lol. I got it October 4 and Iím still cleaning it up and it has very minimal rust. Mostly surface stuff that I can easily clean off. Itís in outstanding shape.

I have had several Jeeps over the years, pre and post 92 models, including a 91 Comanche. The one thing about all of them was unless you kept up with steering and front end maintenance, in particular, the shimmy damper on the steering arm and tie rod, you could get into difficult (and possibly dangerous) conditions to manage.  Driving the Jeep, usually a quick hard press on the brakes would stop the shimmy.  But towing, you have to pull to the side and stop.

Regular front end checks and maintenance can fix problems before they happen.

Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Gixxerkid3 on October 13, 2021, 08:24:54 pm
Yep, familiar with the death wobble.  Good reminder though. 
Thank you!
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Ron Dittmer on October 14, 2021, 07:59:33 am
One unavoidable issue towing our Jeep Liberty with stock wheels and tire size, is front tire damage.  Our neighbor with a huge diesel pusher experiences the same thing towing his Chevy SUV.  The inside of the tow vehicle's front tires get bald quickly when making sharp turns with the motorhome.  I try to avoid making sharp turns, but this past trip, it was unavoidable many times.  Our Liberty's tires are nearing the end of life anyway so it's no great loss, but I was worried that we might have tire trouble getting home.  Fortunately it did not get so bad that the steel belts started to show.

Gix, If your Jeep tires stick out further than stock (which your picture implies) I believe the balding condition will be amplified.  As I see it, the only way around the tire wear problem is to use a tow dolly or trailer.  I suppose you could have dedicated front towing tires to change out once at your destination.  Or do as I do and rotate the tires with every trip, and replace them prematurely when it's time.

I have two sets of Liberty tires, one set for trips and the other set for home.  This is primarily for Irene's comfort.  The tire wear is "choppy" which makes them very loud.  So back at home with a nice set mounted, Irene enjoys a much less noisy Liberty.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Joseph on October 14, 2021, 10:08:24 am
Ron, on my smart car I had some of the tire wear you mention but nothing too concerning. I thought maybe it was partly due to the narrow wheel base that I had any?  On my Jeep  TJLJ  I have absolutely none after over 20,000 miles of towing. I do have a drop hitch that adds probably 10Ē of length to the tow bar. Could that be the reason I donít experience the wear?
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: mikeh on October 14, 2021, 10:33:17 am
Ron, on my smart car I had some of the tire wear you mention but nothing too concerning. I thought maybe it was partly due to the narrow wheel base that I had any?  On my Jeep  TJLJ  I have absolutely none after over 20,000 miles of towing. I do have a drop hitch that adds probably 10Ē of length to the tow bar. Could that be the reason I donít experience the wear?

For what it's worth--ditto on my Cherokee Trailhawk.  I've only got about 14K towing miles on them, but also 30K driven miles for roughly 44K total.  The factory tires are pretty aggressive tread, Firestone Destination A/Ts, so they're fairly noisy--but no indication of uneven wear--I do try to rotate on schedule.  Frankly, I've been surprised at the limited tread wear overall--they've still got a full 9/32 tread, so even though I want to stay in front of the curve for "trouble-free" reasons, I haven't pulled the trigger on replacement yet.  I also have a hitch extension (riser), but hadn't considered how that might affect things. 
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Ron Dittmer on October 14, 2021, 10:54:07 am
With our 2350 PC with 158" wheel base, I have studied the cause and effect of the bad tire wear while making sharp turns.  A Youtube video would help readers visualize the phenomena.

I believe a drop hitch, or in my case a riser, makes the condition worse because it increases the rear swing of the motorhome.

Here is one example that will cause the condition I am trying to describe.

Imagine driving your PC straight.  Your tow vehicle's front tires track along perfectly as they should.  Then slow down and make a very sharp turn to the right to pull into a gas station.  Your PC turns right but it's rear end swings left.  The tow vehicle following the PC tail starts to turn left, but then quickly gets pulled to the right.  The steering of the tow vehicle cannot react fast enough to the quick change in direction, so the left front tire initially gets dragged sideways until the steering wheel catches up.  The chafing action on the tow vehicle's left tire is not a lot, but repeated over and over, causes inside tire wear.

The condition is greatly amplified when that sharp right turn into the gas station is quickly followed by a sharp turn left to approach the gas pumps.  This time the right tire gets damaged.

Of coarse my example can be applied to any sharp turning at slow speeds.  The condition is worst with the shortest wheel base PCs, less prominent with longer wheel base PCs because the rear tail swings less abruptly.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Joseph on October 14, 2021, 12:59:53 pm
Ron, I havenít a clue. The only thing I do know factually is in over 20,000 miles of towing my Jeep has no abnormal wear whatsoever and Iíll bet Iím far from the only one. There has to be a reason.  The tire wear you have shown is off the charts. How many miles did you tow for that much damage? Or maybe 😁 you got stuck in a round about?? 😁
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: donc13 on October 17, 2021, 08:35:51 pm
Unfortunately itís a 2.5 L low output. Lol. I got it October 4 and Iím still cleaning it up and it has very minimal rust. Mostly surface stuff that I can easily clean off. Itís in outstanding shape.

I think we're related...
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Gixxerkid3 on October 18, 2021, 08:56:53 am
LOL, too funny.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: CalCruiser on October 21, 2021, 08:15:59 pm
Unfortunately itís a 2.5 L low output. Lol. I got it October 4 and Iím still cleaning it up and it has very minimal rust. Mostly surface stuff that I can easily clean off. Itís in outstanding shape.

I think we're related...

How far do you tow that RZR? Iíve become intrigued with the idea of a Fun Mover or Outlaw toterhome, but would definitely miss our 2350 and perhaps regret the change.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: donc13 on October 21, 2021, 08:24:23 pm
I don't tow it, it's not mine.  My friend just towed it on a flatbed trailer.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Gixxerkid3 on October 27, 2021, 07:09:16 pm
Hi all, I ended up going with the Roadmaster Even Brake 9400 system.  Given the wiring that was already in the vehicle (after looking very hard), I decided on that system.  I wanted the Stay-in-play; however, I did not want to spend that kind of money. So I purchased a gently used Even Brake.  I have it installed and it tests out fine.  I had to put the original bumper back on as it already had the base plates installed for a Roadmaster tow bar, so I picked up a Falcon 2 tow bar.  When I bought the Jeep, the owner just happen to have the Blue Ox, but it looked older and after researching, I found out that it was no longer produced. Itís in good shape, but it needs a bath and lube.  Anyway, looks like I will be limited on when I can go out to test the unit behind the PC due to weather and work.  Canít wait. 
Hope you all have a great evening. Cheers from the PAC NW. 
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Ron Dittmer on October 28, 2021, 10:40:56 am
Gixxerkid3,

I am glad you found a way to get setup without spending a fortune.  If like Irene and I, you will appreciate having a tow vehicle that isn't painful to manage.

We love towing our Jeep Liberty.  One trip only, we left it home.....won't do that again.  It's not that our PC is so difficult, but rather our Liberty is so easy and unlimited in the places we travel to.
Title: Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
Post by: Gixxerkid3 on October 28, 2021, 08:50:37 pm
Thank you.  We are very much looking forward to utilizing it.  One thing I noticed right off when we got the PC was that I did not like not having a way to travel around without completely packing up the PC to go explore.    However, here in the Seattle area, the rain has come so it might be a while till we get out camping.
Thanks everyone for the info,
 Steve