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SMI Air Force One Braking System Installation - 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup

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How to Install the SMI Air Force One Braking System on a 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup

Today on our 2005 Dodge Ram 2500, we're going to be taking a look at and installing the SMI Air Force One supplemental braking system for motor homes with air brakes, part number SM99243. Here's what it looks like once it's installed, simply plug in your air and comes on. Once your air hose is disconnected, your system is turned off, plug it in and now your system is live. This is your breakaway switch so if your tow bar was to come unattached from the vehicle it would turn on and that would apply the brakes in the vehicle and let it coast to a stop on the side of the road. As you apply your air brakes in your coach, it pulls the pedal down. This system is proportional so when you're braking on your RV is at half your vehicle is at half and the further you go down the more brake you're going to apply to your towed vehicle. As you can see your backup camera as we apply our brakes, our red LED lights up that's on our rear-view mirror.

Now that you see what it looks like we'll go ahead and show you how to install it. Before we mount our operating unit you need to decide what kind of brake system your vehicle has. The vehicle we're working on has a hydro-boost system so we're not going to be using the vacuum port or this exhaust venturi on the side. We're going to begin by plugging those up. There's a little conical rubber tube that goes inside and we will thread on this nut and take our 5/16 wrench and we can snug down the nut.

You don't need to over-tighten these, you just want to snug it down so it seals up against the rubber. Then we're going to take our piece of vacuum hose that was supplied with our kit, we're going to cut off a short section, we'll take the plastic plug, insert it to the end, just press it in, then we'll install that on the barb fitting of your operating unit. That'll keep it blocked if off. Now we want to choose a suitable location to mount your Air Force One operating unit. It can be mounted where it can get, just not in direct water and away from any kind of direct heat sources. It can be mounted in the vehicle, in the grill area, as long as it's not going to block your airflow to your vehicle.

We've decided we're going to mount it to the inner fender well behind the front bumper here on the driver's side. We're going to mark our holes and we're going to mount it with some metal loom clamps, available on our website, part number A0250. We're just going to take the clamp and put them around these built-in brackets like that. We're going to go ahead and mark our holes and then we can drill them out. We'll take a 1/4 inch bolt and a fender washer, go from the outside, we can slide it out onto the top and we can put a nylon lock nut on the inside to secure it and make sure it's not going to vibrate loose.

We can tighten them up. We're ready to mount our brake cylinder. We're going to attach to the pedal, we're going to remove the nuts, slide off the plate and clamp it around the brake pedal. Put your plate back on and your nuts. Once you have your cylinder on the pedal loosely attached you're going to want to slide it up to about one to two inches above where the person's foot would ride. Now keep in mind the ball of your foot's going to ride usually on the pedal here so you need a little bit of extra. The further you push it up the less effective your cylinder's going to be so you want to keep it down as low as possible. We're going to have to figure out a location on our firewall where we're going to mount our attaching point. To do that we're going to have to go ahead and cut back some of our insulation with a razor knife to access the firewall where we're going to have to drill a hole and put a nut and bolt through the firewall. You want to make sure that it's going at an angle so when it's depressed about two inches, the travel of the pedal, that you're going to be in a straight line or within an inch. We're going to go ahead and make this and we're going to drill a hole through there. Once we have our location marked and we've checked the outside to make sure nothing's going to interfere with our drilling, we can go ahead and drill out this hole. We need to cut out the carpet so it's not going to interfere with the cable from our cylinder. Now we'll take our 1/4 inch bolt, put it through the bracket, put it in the firewall. Once we have our bolt through the firewall we're going to take a fender washer and a nylon lock nut and put it out from the backside. At this point you're going to want to adjust your cable, it's going to go through the hole and loop back around and then come back out the other side. You're going to want to make it have about a 1/2 to a 1/4 inch of slack. We've left this loosely attached so we can adjust a little bit of the slack either way, but you want to kind of get it set in the general area it needs to go in. Once you've got that you can go ahead and tighten this down and make sure you keep it where the cable's going to be at it's straightest point once it's depressed. Once you have your slack, which is between a 1/4 and a 1/2 an inch, move up there, you can tighten up your actuator. You just want to snug this down so all the bolts are tight but you don't want to over-tighten because you can break these bolts. Keep in mind when you get done if you need to adjust a little more slack out of it, you can just move the actuator back and forth and we still have our 1/4 to 1/2 inch slack. Now we're going to need to run the air line. It's going to go from the cylinder out to our operations box. We're going to need to gain access to the outside. There's a rubber grommet in the firewall in our vehicle that's actually used for the hood release cable. We're just going to cut a little slice in the grommet so we can pass our tubing through there. Once we have our tubing through the firewall, take it can we can press into the cylinder, push it in, pull it back, make sure it's locked, then we can tie our cable to the line. Make a nice long radius so we don't have any kinks or pinches and just attach it to the back so that when it goes back and forth on your pedal it's not going to get kinked up and everything will move freely. We have one more thing to run through the firewall, which is a piece of brown wire supplied with your kit. This is going to go to the breakaway switch and it's also going to supply power that's going to come in and go to this reed switch that's mounted to your actuator cylinder. We'll go ahead and get this ground wire, we're going to run it through the same grommet. We can go on the other side and pull it through. As we came out of our firewall with our tubing, we routed it up over top of the ABS controller, went back behind the batteries here in the fender well, and came out the top here and we're just going to fish it down until we get to our Air Force One control unit. Make sure that you do not get your tubing all pinched, make nice large radius's and keep it away from anything that's going to be a heat source or a place it could chafe. Once we have the tubing routed down to the operating unit from the air cylinder, we're going to attach it the air out side, then we're going to cut our tubing. We're going to use a tubing cutter available on our website, part number AL10530. Trim our tubing and we'll just push it into the connector and pull it back to make sure it's connected. Now it's going to be necessary to mount the air fitting. This is going to supply air from your coach through the coiled hose that's going to attach to the back of your coach with the same kind of fitting. When you don't have your hose on you want to make sure you keep this little dust cover on here. It keeps all the contaminants and moisture out of your system. Now we need to mount that and we're going to need to mount the breakaway switch. We're going to use the Tow Ready universal mounting bracket, part number 18136. We're going to attach both of these to the same bracket, then it's going to clamp on to the main support of our base plate. We've decided we're going to put them right there so we're going to go ahead and mount the two units to the bracket. We're going to mount it where this is going to be flush, this nut is going to be flush to the end of our bracket. Once we have it figured out where we're going to put it, we can mark it, and at the same time we can go ahead and position this. Now that we have it marked we'll go ahead and drill out those holes and attach our breakaway switch and our air fitting to the bracket. Now we'll take the bracket, set it in place, we'll take our clamp that comes with it, we'll tighten it up. Now we're going to run our piece of tubing from our controller. It's going to go on the inside so it'll be the air in, push it in, pull it back to lock it. We've routed that through the bumper and it's going to go in to this plug right here which is where it's going to receive the air from the coach. I'm going to loop it around so it's not going to get in the way of our safety chains on this side. We'll feed it up and push it in, pull it back, and that's locked. Now we'll route the blue and the red wire from our breakaway switch over to our control box. We're going to run that one through the bumper also. We have two wires coming out of our operating unit, both black, it doesn't matter which one we use. We're going to tie one of the black wires to the blue wire on our breakaway switch. Strip it back, using a heat shrink butt connected, crimp that, and the part number we're using is DW05744-5. Strip that back about 1/4 inch. These wires are kind of thin so you might want to strip them back a little more and we'll fold it over on itself so we have something to grab onto on our connector. You can just simply fold it back onto itself, push it in, crimp it. We can heat them up and watch them pull in around the wire. It's going to help you seal out any kind of moisture and corrosion. The other black wire is going to be grounded. We'll put a ring loop on the end of it and we can ground it to the frame rail here. Cut off our length, we'll strip it back, we'll leave this one long also so we can fold it over. Twist it, fold it over on itself, put on our ring connector, and we're going to ground it to the frame. Now we'll just tie our wires up. I have a piece of wire we can lengthen our orange with black tracer wire to go up to the battery. Strip it back and we'll put a heat shrink butt connector on that too to keep out any moisture and corrosion. We'll just route this up to the top. Now that we have our wire from the breakaway run up top, we're going to route it behind the battery. We're going to get that brown wire that we ran through the cab before, from the inside we're going to tie those two together and we're going to attach them to a fuse holder that we're going to put onto the battery. Now we'll take our brown wire and our red wire, we'll cut them to length, go ahead and strip them back, take our heat shrink butt connector, and the part number we're using is DW05745-5. Take our supplied fuse holder, cut it in half, strip back one side of that, place it in the other side here, firm tug, make sure it's connected. We can heat shrink that. Strip off the other side and we'll put our ring loop connector on there that's supplied with the kit. We'll just loosen up this nut and we'll slide it on. We've left the fuse out, we're not going to put the fuse in until we're ready to test our system. It's a good idea that way you're not working with the power on. We're going to loosed this up, it's a 13 millimeter nut, slip our wire on, put our nut back on. You want to pay attention on these nuts, it's got a flat spot, you want to put that to the inside so you have plenty to grab onto with your wrench. You want to be careful when you're using your wrench because if you touch this to any metal object you can cause sparks. Now we can move to the inside to finish our wiring. Now we're going to mount the LED. That's going to let you know that your system is operating properly. We found the best place to mount that is in the back of the rear-view mirror. We're going to use some hook and loop. We'll clean off the area with some rubbing alcohol. Same thing on the back of our switch. We'll peel back the tape, we'll apply it to the back of our LED. We'll attach that to the back of the mirror and we'll run it along with the factory wiring up along the headliner and down the A-pillar. We'll zip tie it to the factory wiring that comes out of our mirror, just put a couple of ties on there to keep it out of the way. Keep it mind you can mount this anyplace that you would like. I just found it best to mount it here, then you can see it from your rear-view camera on your coach. It will be necessary to lengthen this wire and the kit does come with a piece of red and a piece of black wire that we can do that with. We'll strip those back, put on our supplied butt connectors. There is some little plugs on the end here but we're going to have to cut those off. This is a really thin wire, so you're going to want to fold it over onto itself to fit into our butt connector. We'll do the same thing with the black wire. We'll take a little tape and we'll go down the wire to kind of keep them together, to make it easier to route through our headliner. Now we can just take it and tuck it behind the headliner until we get over here to the corner, then we're going to go ahead and pop down these two plugs, use a really small flat-bladed screwdriver, pop out the covers. There's a 10 millimeter bolt in there that holds on your A-pillar. This one you don't have to take all the way out, just loosen it. This one you want to take it out, then you can just pull it down a little bit and we're going to tuck our wire in behind the corner here. Now on this truck there is no airbag behind the pillar here to we have nothing to worry about. You want to make sure that your vehicle, if it's a newer one, it could have an airbag behind this A-pillar so you want to make sure you route it behind the airbag so it doesn't harm the operation of your airbag. We're just going to take it and tuck it in behind the molding and we'll do that all the way down to the bottom of the dash. Now we can reinstall the screws and tighten up the other one, snap our caps back in place, and take a screwdriver and just hold out the rubber and you can press the wire behind it. It might make it easier, on the side of this there's a panel, and we can simply pop that off and then we can drop it down the backside. That'll ensure that we keep it away from anything that's going to be moving like the emergency brake or any of your pedals. Then you would just take your panel, snap it back into position and you're wires are all hidden. The last thing we have to install inside here is going to be our reed switch. This is the magnetic switch that's going to go to our cylinder. When the pedal's applied it's going to turn on our LED light. Be really cautious when you're working with the switch, that it does not get shorted to ground because it will take out the switch and then your LED light will stay on all the time. You want to take great caution in not grounding out this switch. There's three wires that come out of the switch. There's a brown wire that we're going to tie to the brown wire that's coming from the outside of the vehicle that's hooked to our fuse holder. We're going to start by cutting that one off to length, strip it back. These are really small wires here so you're going to be really careful with them. They have a plug end on there but we're not going to use that. We're simply going to strip them back and we're going to have to double these up and we're going to use a red butt connector, give it a tug. We're going to go ahead and put the other butt connectors on so we don't have to be pulling on our wires. We're going to take our piece of wire that we run through the firewall for our ground, attach it to the small blue wire from the reed switch, and we can put our connector on. Now we're going to attach to the black wire that's coming from the top from our LED light. Our red wire is going to go to the black. Our brown wire coming through the firewall is going to go to the brown wire on the reed switch. We're going to wrap all this with electrical tape and we'll tie up all of our wires in a nice bundle under the dash. Now we're going to install the reed switch onto the cylinder and tighten up the set screw. The wire we ran from the inside that was going to go to our ground, I've routed that up along behind the battery and I've simply attached it to the factory grounding point that grounds the battery. Our last step is going to be to take our ten amp fuse, install it into the holder, place our protective cover over it and then we'll test the light. To test our light we're going to press down the pedal and we can reach under and grab our cylinder, slide it back, and that will test the light to see if it illuminates. Then we'll release it, the light should go off. We're going to do a little bit of pre-assembly for the coach. This is our air cylinder, then we have two T's. We're going to have our quick connect that's going to hook to the back of the RV, it's going to supply our air to our braking system and the hardware to mount it. We're going to take our T and we're going to have two 5/8 connectors. It's going to take our 5/8 line, screw those into the T so it's a pass through, then we have a 1/4 inch, which is the smallest one, that's going to go on the bottom side. Take a 13/16 wrench and a 15/16, take it and just tighten down. You want to make sure that the thread sealant has made contact where it goes into the T. We'll repeat that for the other side. We can tighten up the 1/4 side. We'll do the same with the 3/8 size and the 1/4 inch on the bottom. This one will be a 13/16 again and we'll have an 11/16 on the other ones. Now that we've pre-assembled our fittings we can tie into the air lines on the coach. It's going to be right over the rear differential. On our chassis, it's a Freightliner so this green line here is our supply line, the 5/8, we're going to cut that one and put our supply line T in and then the metered air is going to be this one here. We're going to cut that and put our 3/8 T in. We're going to try and cut it on a straight line here so it makes it a little easier to get your hose back together. If it's on a bend it doesn't fit in the connection very well. You want to relieve all the air out of your tank before you do this and make sure you're wearing some safety glasses because it could throw out a little bit of moisture. We're going to start by just putting a small cut in it and let the air escape. We're going to try and cut it as straight as possible. We're going to have to remove a small section so we can get our T into place. Once you have a large enough piece cut out you can take your T, slide it on and give it a tug. Do the same thing on the other side. Once you have it in line and snapped in, give it a tug, and orient it to the direction we're going to run the hoses. We're going to run ours towards the back so I've pointed the T towards the back and up to keep it away from any kind of heat and moving parts. Now we're going to cut the metering line. This one's going to be a little more forgiving as far as bending it because it's a smaller line. Do the same thing, you're going to slip it on, pull it back to engage it, orient that one the direction you want it to go. Now we can get our line that we're going to run back to our tank and we can fish it through the frame and attach it. We'll get underneath there and run it and then we can show you exactly how we ran it. We just ran our lines and followed the factory harness to the back over the axle, being sure to zip tie it all the way along so it can't come out and make contact with any of the wheels or moving components. That way you'll zip tie it all the way along the factory harness and it's going to come out behind the axles, right back by the engine. Now that we have the hoses ran back to our T's, to aid in helping us tell which line is which, I put a zip tie on either end so we can tell what that line goes to. This is going to be, the one I mark, is for the metering, we're just going to slip that in, pull back and it's locked. We'll do the same thing on the supply line. You just want to make sure that you have them secured out of the way and they're not going to be in harms way of any moving components or heat. We're going to find a place to mount our tank. We're going to use one existing hole in the frame. You want to make sure you keep the tank with the fittings coming out the bottom. We're going to have to mark and drill one other hole. Go ahead and put our bolts in from the back side, put the nut on the outside and we can tighten it into place. After we've got it tightened up we can hook up our lines. The one we marked with the zip tie is our metered line so we're going to put that in after. First our supply line, that'll go right here. Take our tubing cutter, slip it in, you'll kind of hear a double click and then it pulls back, it's nice and tight. We can do the same thing with our other line. Push it in you'll feel it click twice and pull back. Now we're going to mount the air line fitting that's going to go from your coach. We're going to use a universal bracket by Tow Ready, part number 18140. It'll just clamp on. We'll just run down our clamp. Now we can run our line to the back side. Now that we've run our hose from our tank, we're going to connect it to the back of our fitting here on the back of the coach. Trim the line. It's going to simply slip in, push it in, pull it back, it's locked. You want to make sure you have a nice sweeping turn on this also. Now we can plug the other end into the bottom of our tank. We'll make our last connection, going to push it in, it goes double click, pull it down and it's locked. You notice we have a nice sweeping turn here so it's not going to have any kinks. It sweeps all the way around to the back of our coupler. That's going to do it for our look at and install of the SMI Air Force One supplemental braking system for motor homes with air brakes, part number SM99243 on our 2005 Dodge Ram 2500.

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