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View Full Version : Brake controllers? Where to mount and what one to buy?


Corbet
05-14-2012, 08:15 PM
Need to get a brake controller in the 80. What recommendations do you have on the controller its self and where did you 80 owners mount them? I've seen the ashtray mount on MUD, not my cup of tea. Definitely not mounting at my knees.

I've thought about a ram mount up by the rear view mirror. Like many have done HAM remotes. I've also considered tearing one apart and running the controls to switches I can mount cleaner in the dash then hiding the unit under the dash somewhere. Probably a lot of work to just end up ruining a controller in the process.

Basically it needs to be accessible but I hate the look of the things bolted/hanging to the dash somewhere. My HAM remote is already in the center console backplate behind the shifters.

wesintl
05-14-2012, 08:27 PM
I have a prodigy brake controller right below the hand throttle. It's never bothered me and I'm taller than you.

RockRunner
05-14-2012, 10:19 PM
Prodigy, I have had three of them and all have worked great. You have to be careful of how you mount some of them due to the internals of the newer ones. Can't help you on where to mount it, sorry.

treerootCO
05-15-2012, 08:35 AM
I have a prodigy brake controller in the Duramax mounted by my knees.

pmccumber
05-15-2012, 09:20 AM
I've had a Prodigy for 6 years and really like it. I mounted my on the IO panel on the left. I ordered a second IO panel so I don't have to look at the brake controller when I'm not using it. Did the same thing in the 4Runner.

jonharis
05-15-2012, 10:12 AM
Based on the Ease of install and the reviews I've read online I'm planning on putting a Prodigy RF on the Adrenalin.

corsair23
05-15-2012, 11:30 AM
Mine is an old school voyager brake controller that must be mounted within a certain range of "level" so mine is mounted to the left of the center console, above the skinny pedal, on the flat part of the dash trim. Like THIS (http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o1/nvaletine/PICT0002-13.jpg) picture, only down lower so that the bracket is mounted to the botton flat part of the panel.

In the 5 years it has been there I have never hit it with my leg or knee.

Sounds like you want a new, self leveling, controller that is more flexible in how you mount it (angle wise). Just remember that you need to be able to change the settings so you either need to leave the unit intact or figure out how to wire in controls.

MUD thread that you might have already read --> http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/176453-best-spot-mount-brake-controller.html

jonharis
05-15-2012, 12:49 PM
I think post #4 in that thread deserves a repost.

Regarding mounting on the dash near the right knee.

"That area is a deformable structure, impact zone for your knees, legs in the event of a big accident. Think twice before mounting anything there, how would that handle feel embedded in your leg?"

Another reason that I choose the RF version was that I can very easily change rigs as the controller goes with the trailer. If I let someone borrow the trailer or ever decide to bite the bullet and get a 62, it is a 30 second job to give them the controller.

wesintl
05-15-2012, 01:09 PM
Regarding mounting on the dash near the right knee.

"That area is a deformable structure, impact zone for your knees, legs in the event of a big accident. Think twice before mounting anything there, how would that handle feel embedded in your leg?"

maybe something to think about but if it was really a concern rv and trailer companies would not mount it there and brake controller companies would explicitly say it in the mounting instructions.

How many thousands of them have been mounted there in every type of vehicle and if it really was an issue it'd be all over the internet. otherwise all i ever find when i look it up is arm chair drivers that mention this factor. No data or injuries to back it up.

jonharis
05-15-2012, 02:11 PM
Looking at the percentage of vehicles that have non OEM brake controllers, and the percentage of vehicle accidents that result in a deformed dash in that area, and the percent of vehicles that have both, I would suspect that there is a lack of statistical evidence either way. I just try to minimize my exposure as much as possible to things that may (or may not) cause or exacerbate an injury. If I was going to do a hard mount of a controller it very likely may end up there but it wouldn't be my first choice.

Corbet
05-15-2012, 02:41 PM
I've had a Prodigy for 6 years and really like it. I mounted my on the IO panel on the left. I ordered a second IO panel so I don't have to look at the brake controller when I'm not using it. Did the same thing in the 4Runner.

Picture?



MUD thread that you might have already read --> http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/176453-best-spot-mount-brake-controller.html


Seen that thread. Surprisingly there is not much on MUD

I'm surprised OEM brake controllers are not more common at this point. Pretty much any pick-up or full sized SUV should offer one as an option IMO

corsair23
05-15-2012, 02:49 PM
Seen that thread. Surprisingly there is not much on MUD

I'm surprised OEM brake controllers are not more common at this point. Pretty much any pick-up or full sized SUV should offer one as an option IMO

Agreed, but AFAIK only some of the full size domestics have integrated brake controllers.

I can tell you though that having an OEM harness ready and available to just plug into vs. having to hack into wiring and running wiring is a HUGE bonus...When I owned my Durango it took me all of 1/2 hour to install the brake controller...Simple plug and play and I spent more time determining where to mount the controller than installing it. That can't be said for installing a brake controller in an 80 though...Just the contortions required to splice into the brake switch brings back bad memories :eek: - the rest of the install isn't difficult, just time consuming. Toyota just didn't build the 80s with towing in mind but I'm not sure many manufacturers during that time did.

I wonder, does the 100 series have an OEM harness for plug and play brake controller connection? I'm guessing most rigs capable of towing and built from 1999 on do.

wesintl
05-15-2012, 03:04 PM
I'm surprised OEM brake controllers are not more common at this point. Pretty much any pick-up or full sized SUV should offer one as an option IMO

All the big three offer brake controllers as options or park of packages for towing. You can buy the oem one later and install it too. I don't know if they are any good or worse than something like the Tekonsha's.

Corbet
05-15-2012, 10:09 PM
All the big three offer brake controllers as options or park of packages for towing. You can buy the oem one later and install it too. I don't know if they are any good or worse than something like the Tekonsha's.

I know you can get them in the 3/4 & 1 tons. Maybe even 1/2 tons now, I've been out of it for a few years thankfully. But I don't recall Toyota offering one in a Tundra. They should. A 200 series too IMO. I just hate extra crap bolted, velcro'd, or adhered in some stupid way to my dash.

FJBRADY
05-16-2012, 06:15 AM
I have a prodigy in the Tundra (07). It has a wiring harness ready to go under the dash....installed in 10 minutes.

Red_Chili
05-16-2012, 07:03 AM
Hmmm... I wonder how the '02 PSD Supercab with towing package is set up...

Corbet, I'd offer you mine for free, but it is marginal. U-Haul special. You probably won't like it... I did use a phat trailer harness connector with it to make it easily removable.

ScaldedDog
05-16-2012, 07:15 AM
Bill, it probably has the pigtail under the dash, unless a previous owner has done something with it. You can search around FTE and see pics of exactly where to find it. I put my controller in the cubby, which I assume yours has, as well.

Prodigy, FTW. No sense buying anything else.

Mark

ScaldedDog
05-16-2012, 07:27 AM
Here's a pic from FTE:

http://www.ford-trucks.com/user_gallery/tmp/131/131438.520.390

The guy is pointing at the plug, and pic was taken with the fuse panel cover - right in front of your knees - removed, and facing the center of the vehicle.

[/hijack]

Mark

Red_Chili
05-16-2012, 07:56 AM
No pic! BTW, Mark, thanks again for the very good advice and perspective.

ScaldedDog
05-16-2012, 08:29 AM
No pic! BTW, Mark, thanks again for the very good advice and perspective.

Happy to help. I joke that I'm a smooth talking sales guy by day, and a Carhartt-wearing diesel mechanic at night. Of course, those who know me know that I'm neither all that smooth talking, nor all that great a mechanic, but I do love me some Carhartt. :hill:

Mark