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2002 Jeep Liberty/ Brake Buddy Stealth Installation Notes

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I just wanted to leave some technical Installation notes in reference to a 2002 Jeep Liberty which should be good up to about 2006.

I installed the Brake Buddy stealth made by Hopkins Manufacturing Corporation out of Emporia KS. 

The Brake Buddy stealth is a 3 part system consisting of a controller that allows on-the-fly adjustment of the brakes and a toad, and all in one adapter that's plug and go, with a built-in break away and a battery maintainer.

The third component is a towed vehicle main unit that is installed under a seat or in the trunk and is designed to remove 100% of the weight off of the motor coach. 

On the Jeep Liberty they are three things that I need to specifically point out that will make your installation a wee bit easier however, the two to three hour time they claim it takes to install as false as it takes about 7 to 8 hours. I'm sharing that because if you have Camping World or some other outfit install this brake controller do not think it's going to be a two to $300 job to install it's probably going to be close to 8 or $900 especially if you do not have your lighting already pre-wired. The lighting alone potentially will run you $300 in labor to do correctly. Not to mention the seven and eight hours I'm talking about does not include the amount of money and time it's going to take to install the controller in the coach. Prayerfully you have a factory-installed harness which will make installation take 1/3 of the time but nevertheless it's still an hour to an hour and a half installation of the controller and to test it.

My installation was done with minimal tools, 1/4 inch drive socket set, crimp pliers, a cable cutter, a Dremel style cut wheel and if you don't like screwdrivers under your panels a good panel separation kit from Harbor Freight and a small impact drill.  

The first thing I desperately need to point out is you must have an impact drill in order to do this installation because of regular drill simply does not have the power to install the self tapping screws. The self tapping screws that need to be installed on the pulley under the brake pedal will take some finagling and if you can only get one screw in it will be sufficient to hold everything together until you can actually drill for a second or third hole.

The second thing I need to point out to you is the location of the main unit. It is easiest and best if it is installed in the trunk closest to the rear seats and you have to be careful where you drill because the wrong place will puncture the gas tank. Closer to the seat hinges puts you away from the gas tank. First drill holes closest to the split seat and look under the car to see where they come out. You can also peel back some of the carpet and drill for your ground. 

This is probably the most important because if you're not aware that it's going on it could potentially cause an accident. You have to use the largest check valve for the brake booster that is in the kit. No it will not be the correct size but the hose will stretch and fit over it. If you use the smaller check valve you will not have enough vacuum for the brake booster to assist you and breaking. The large black check valve will allow enough vacuum to come through.

There is a grommet in the lower left portion of the driver side behind the carpet that you can punch out and run the wires for the main unit. Mine was already punched out because I installed an amateur radio transceiver so pulling the wires through was a bit easier. However if you have to knock that grommet out the five to six hours that it should have taken will take every bit of seven.

It's going to be tough finding somewhere to mount the battery maintainer and the brake booster. I mounted my brake booster with wire ties directly next to the master cylinder. In fact, a portion of the wire tie goes around the master cylinder where the brake lines come out. It's fine if it's mounted there just make sure you do not have wires touching the cylinder head on the driver side. The battery maintainer is mounted on a support directly behind the grill with a wire tie. One big wire tie and it won't move at all. 

Lastly, when you install the controller and the front of the Jeep, you have to run wires for your lighting and terminate them with the appropriate plug because this system will plug right into that.  

If done right and you have to install the brake lighting as well as Punch The Grommet it will take 7 to 8 hours to install.

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4 hours ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

Thanks for the great write up. Everything takes longer than what they say.

Bill

So ... camping world tried to tell me they could do it faster and I flat out told them

”I can install with the best of them and this installation done CORRECTLY is a 7 to 8 hour job for one person.  2 people could do it in 3 but there is no way y’all measure faster than someone who can measure” 

got the dumb look.  

Pound for pound I like this permanent mounted break as it’s as close to “proportional” as I could get less than a Grand 

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