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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Boyds,Maryland
    Posts
    1,046

    Max-Brake Controller

    I am starting to have trouble with my P3 controller in my truck. I have read all the testimonials on here regarding how well it works and whether it is worth the extra cost. I understand all of that. My question is: I tow 3 different trailers and would like to know if it has different trailer 'pre-settings' where all I have to do is push a button and go. My P3 does not have this feature but would like it in my next controller. Kinda hoping it works as good as everybody says it does. I just feel that I would be safer if I had a better controller. Thx in advance!



    Alan
    01'QC-Sold! ....New truck-13' CrewCab LB SRW 3.42 68RFE. DD is an 88' Chevy CrewCab LB 4X4 with a 92' 12V and 98' NV4500 and Stacks. Love this truck!!!

  2. #2
    I used the Max Brake on my 03. I set it according to the instructions, did a minor fine tune on a trailer and that was the last adjustment needed. I pulled three different trailers, one of them with EOH disks brakes and never touched the settings. The Max Brake is a good as users say it is. It does not have pre-settings for each trailer as this is not necessary. The controller is worth the extra cost. Dutch and Di of Plug it Rite are members of this board and I found their service to be top notch.
    2012 Longhorn 3500 dually crew cab, Max Tow, White, Centramatics, Willmore 1 piece stainless boards, Reese Elite 25K Fifth, Mobile Suites 36TKSB3

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Near Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    96
    I had 2 Prodigy controllers, one in the Dodge for the rv and the other in my work truck for the 4 car trailer. I was always adjusting for loaded and empty. After reading the testimonials here I tried one in the work truck and never made any changes to it for loaded or empty. I liked it so much I immediately called Di and ordered another one for the pick up. The new work truck has air brakes so I ordered the air kit and reused my old controller and it works perfectly as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    South Plains of Texas
    Posts
    17,205
    Continual minor adjustment to allow towing vastly different trailers is not required for the MaxBrake or BrakeSmart because the only input it uses besides 12 volts is hydraulic line pressure provided by your right foot. When towing a heavier trailer you will press the brake pedal a little harder probably without even knowing it. With a lighter trailer you'll apply less braking.

    You will not be disappointed Alan. That's a promise. You'll be back here singing the praises of a real brake controller the day after you install the MaxBrake just as dozens of others have. Many of them were skeptical, even mistrusting, but once they handed over their money and installed the MaxBrake they were back here singing the praise. You will be also.
    Harvey Barlow

    2008 Ram 3500 SLT QC & Chassis w/ CM bed
    2007 HitchHiker Discover America 32 LKTG
    2010 Goldwing XM/Nav

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Spokane WA
    Posts
    3,700
    There is a gain control on the MaxBrake or Brake Smart. . . which allows you to adjust for the load. . . . a 5K lb trailer or a 20K lb trailer. . . We towed several trailers that had the load change from stop to stop. . . . we might load or unload 4 or 5,000 lbs and would adjust the gain so we had the braking we wanted. . .

    As Harvey stated, once the gain is set. . . and you need more brake you just step on the pedal. . . I personally like to feel the trailer give me a little tug as I apply the brakes. . .

    We see winter weather here and I like the fact that the trailer tugs the unit (truck & trailer) straight as the brakes start to apply. .

    I personally try and not use the brakes until the vehicle coasts to below 40 MPH and allow the exhaust brake to do most of the work. . .

    But after having trucks with both of these units I'd never go back. . . if your old enough to remember brake controllers BEFORE dual master cylinders you always opened the brake system and installed a tee, and the lever brake controller in the cab had a hydraulic piston which applied the brakes. . . again adjustable for gain. . .

    So the new controllers use the transducer and logic to do the same as the old style controllers. . .

    Like Harvey states. . you won't be disappointed. . .
    Jim



    Retired Roaming America, 05 3500 4x4 Dually Molten Red stick, 125K miles, PacBrake Exhaust Brakes, 05 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, 05 Honda Rincon 650 ATV, 2001 Honda Goldwing

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Boyds,Maryland
    Posts
    1,046
    Thx guys. . . . . I have been pondering this for a long time now. Sound like I will be satisfied with it. I will post my results when I get it installed in my truck.
    01'QC-Sold! ....New truck-13' CrewCab LB SRW 3.42 68RFE. DD is an 88' Chevy CrewCab LB 4X4 with a 92' 12V and 98' NV4500 and Stacks. Love this truck!!!

  7. #7
    Based on Harvey's recommendations and others, I installed the Maxbrake on my truck about a month ago. Thank you Diana!



    It is really nice to know the brakes will be there in the right amount when you need them. Yes I do have to change the percentage from one trailer to another, but once I know what that is, it will be the same every time I hook up that trailer. Setting the controller is intuitive in that I try to keep the brake pedal pressure "feel" the same whether there is a trailer or not. Yes it takes more pressure for a faster stop, but when set right, pedal pressure is virtually identical with a trailer on or off.



    The controller also helped me to realize that the car hauler I was pulling had a good electrical circuit but the brakes were barely working. After jacking up each wheel and having my son apply the controller manually, I realized that all the brake magnets were good, HOWEVER the brakes were way out of adjustment. This trailer has manual adjusters only and once set correctly, the brakes work as they should now.



    Another great feature is being able to "lock" the controller on. I had a large dump trailer filled with about 6 yards of dirt, backed down a hill in my back yard and the parking brake in the truck would not hold the load, so i put the controller in the hold mode and was safely able to get out of the truck and dump the load with the engine running.



    It surely costs more than most other controllers, but when safety is involved, it is worth the extra bucks. Don't cheap out!



    Jim
    New 12-27-03 04.0 555 2500 SLT 2WD,qc,sb,HO,6 spd,flame red,tow pkg,ltd-slip,Truxedo,Bedrug,Owens 4" drop boards, TST PMCR, BD Super-B, Dipricol boost, pyro & fuel pres., Custom rear suspension with Caltracs and Firestone bags, SB OFE, Diamond Eye full 4" with dual mufflers, Amsoiled at 50,000 mi.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kuna, Idaho
    Posts
    6,034
    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Six View Post
    It does not have pre-settings for each trailer as this is not necessary.
    How does that work when I have had light trailers takes 10V to lockup at 25mph, and heavy trailers with big brakes take 6V to lockup at 25mph? Seems that without setting the gain you would be putting yourself at risk with an emergency stop.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Near Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    96
    Quote Originally Posted by AH64ID View Post
    Seems that without setting the gain you would be putting yourself at risk with an emergency stop.
    With the inertia based controller you usually limit the output so the wheels don't lock at 25 mph. With the Brake Smart and the Maxbrake you will get full power at any gain setting if you step on the brake pedal hard enough. Therefore better in a panic stop.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kuna, Idaho
    Posts
    6,034
    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel View Post
    With the inertia based controller you usually limit the output so the wheels don't lock at 25 mph. With the Brake Smart and the Maxbrake you will get full power at any gain setting if you step on the brake pedal hard enough. Therefore better in a panic stop.
    That still doesn't seem like it's correct. I haven't ever used one, but the way everyone is describing doesn't seem accurate. If you set the gain once and forget it, and the pressure is based on the pedal then you are not optimized for the trailer. If one trailer locks at 6v and the other at 10v, and the max brake will give full voltage, as you stated, then the first trailer would lock at 50% braking, and the second trailer at 83% braking. What happens when some idiot pulls out in front of you and you push the pedal to the floor(seems like it would be worse in a panic stop)? Those are some arbitrary numbers, but based on what I have seen with trailers I have towed not out of ordinary.

    If you never adjust the gain the trailer is always braking in a different percentage than the truck. It's always better for the trailer to have a little more braking power than the truck, to prevent a jackknife or unstable braking. If the gain is always the same the trailer will react slower when heavy than when it's light, or you are using more service brake then necessary, especially if the exhaust brake is on.

    Just some observations, I am sure I will try one some day, but as of today I have too many reservations about them.

    I have looked at the max brake a lot, and like the idea, but some things just don't seem correct. I have used some expensive things with great reviews that live up to the review, and some that don't. The ones that don't are usually from people trying to justify their purchase. I am not saying that is the case, just looking at every aspect of it.

    I am not trying to argue, just ask and discuss. . .
    Last edited by AH64ID; 08-10-2012 at 10:31 AM.

  11. #11
    I know it is hard to believe, I was a doubter too but the Max Brake works as advertised. I know that I pulled three different trailers and never changed a thing. One was a tri axle, one a tandem and the other EOH disks. The only reason I sold it is that my 2012 had the integrated controller and after using it I was satisfied enough to keep it. The integrated features are really nice plus it is not an easy task to put a Max Brake in a 2012. If I ever need a contoller I'd get a Max Brake.
    2012 Longhorn 3500 dually crew cab, Max Tow, White, Centramatics, Willmore 1 piece stainless boards, Reese Elite 25K Fifth, Mobile Suites 36TKSB3

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    S. Carolina
    Posts
    1,857

    My .02$

    TT weighs about 9K dry, tandem axle EOH Dexter's, Carlisle actuator with MaxBrake. No MaxBrake installation related issues. Only suggestion make the box a bit smaller and more modern looking. My experience is limited to this one rig only.



    Smooth application, coordinated with truck brakes and it behaves in my opinion as One Unit.



    It's almost to the point where I'd welcome a towing veterans observations about what a properly working EOH system can be like, IMHO no disc brake lag of ANY signifance and one day soon, I'll try to post my "proof" of no lag, not opinion, visual time vs. pressure based proof.



    Have you guys noticed how many trailer brake threads have been up lately? Quite a few.
    2005 2500 SLT QC NV5600
    1997 3500 5.9L NV4500
    2000 VW Beetle TDI 5 Spd
    2007 Airstream Classic Ltd S/O 30'
    www.perfectionclutch.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kuna, Idaho
    Posts
    6,034
    Quote Originally Posted by GCroyle View Post
    Have you guys noticed how many trailer brake threads have been up lately? Quite a few.
    Tis the season. . .

  14. #14
    If I can't make the 12 controller work on my 11 what is involved in installing the Max Brake?
    2011 HO Laramie Longhorn 3500 Dually Crew Cab Long Bed 4X4 auto 3:42 Loaded. Mag Hytec trans and rear diff covers, B&W Companion 5th wheel hitch, AMZ/OIL top to bottom, 304 rwhp May Madness 2012. 2007 1/2 Mobile Suites 36 SB3 28,000 combined loaded.

    1998 12V 4X4 Quad Cab Auto 300 RWH 750 TQ

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    South Plains of Texas
    Posts
    17,205
    For any MaxBrake installation you plug the brake controller into the OEM under dash harness which provides brake switch "ON" input and raw 12 volts and mount the brake controller in a suitable position.

    Select one brake line, usually the rear brake line, out of the master cylinder and remove it from the master cylinder. Replace it with the T fitting provided then reattach the original brake line to the T fitting. Attach the transducer (pressure sensor) provided or a flexible line to the transducer to the other unused port of the T fitting then mount the transducer. Route the electric wires extending from the transducer through a small hole punched through a rubber/plastic plug in the firewall and connect to the back of the MaxBrake. You should now have trailer brakes but you'll probably have codes set.

    I don't own a Gen IV with OEM brake controller so can't speak from experience but former TDR member Domehead made the installation on a '10 with OEM controller. He reported that he took his new Ram to his dealer and was fortunate to discover a knowledgeable service department. He said they connected the dealer computer terminal to the connector under the steering column and entered a code (three letter/number?) that tells the truck it was not OEM equipped with a brake controller. This erases the programming or turns it off in effect removing any history of the OEM brake controller.

    Don (Domehead) wrote a description of the entire procedure with photographs and sent it to me. I edited it for clarity and easier reading and sent it to Bill Stockard. Bill liked it also and sent it to Robert Patton who published it in a TDR magazine a couple years ago. It was probably in 2010 so you can look through your back issues of TDR and read it.

    It's a simple and straightforward installation but 100% success depends on your dealer turning off the factory brake controller.
    Harvey Barlow

    2008 Ram 3500 SLT QC & Chassis w/ CM bed
    2007 HitchHiker Discover America 32 LKTG
    2010 Goldwing XM/Nav

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