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SMI Air Force One Braking System Installation - 2018 Ford F-150

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How to Install the SMI Air Force One Braking System on a 2018 Ford F-150


Speaker 1: Today on our 2018 Ford F150 we're gonna be installing SMI's Air Force One supplemental braking system, part number SM99243. The Air Force One braking system is gonna provide you with supplemental braking while pulling your vehicle behind your RV. It's gonna use the air braking system on your RV to supply an airline back to your vehicle which will actuate your braking system using the supplied operating unit.It comes with an emergency breakaway switch so in case your vehicle happened to become uncoupled from your RV while going down the road this pin will get pulled and it will apply the brakes on your vehicle, bringing it to a halt to prevent any accidents from occurring. There's an indicator light that's installed on the back of your mirror, this way when you brake on your RV you know that your vehicle's braking because this light only activates when the actuator in your vehicle is pulling the brake pedal. What I really like about this system is that it's minimal in comparison with others. The components are smaller, it has less wiring, and using your existing air supply on your RV makes it actuate proportionally giving you some of the best braking performance you can get.Now that we've gone over some of the features let's show you how to get it installed.

We're gonna be starting with the vehicle, but there is some components that you'll need to place on your RV as well. Before you begin the installation you'll need to find mounting locations for some various components. We've already selected some locations and mounted the hardware there, these are not the necessary positions they need to be in however we've decided these are the most appropriate, out of the way, and best looking positions. We've mounted our control unit next to our cooling bottle up on top of our core support, we we're able to mount it just by drilling a couple holes in a little bit of the plastic, and secured it with zip ties to the handles on each side. We've mounted our breakaway switch to the metal beam that runs just below our license plate.

I did upgrade to a larger self tapping screw that does not come included in the kit, if you need to get some self tapping screws you can pick some up here at etrailer.com.We then secured our air actuator to our brake pedal and mounted the anchor point to the firewall located here, using a self tapping screw provided with the actuator. It was necessary to cut away some of the carpet on the firewall so we could have a secure mounting point to the metal beneath it. Both the actuator and the self tapping screw we're tightened using a three-eighths inch socket. Placement is a very important decision when mounting your actuator, you want it to be as low as possible to get the most power out of it because you'll have the most leverage on your brake pedal but you also want to make sure that it's got a true path to pull straight into your anchor point, this will prevent any chafing on your cable here to make it long lasting and reliable.We're gonna route our tubing from our control unit down to our connection point on the bumper and we're also gonna run our breakaway wiring up to our control box. To begin that, to make it easier to route the wiring, we're gonna remove the plastic trim located above the radiator, you can do this with a flat bladed screwdriver or with a trim panel remover tool.

There are 13 push pins that have to be removed, pry up on the center then you can get underneath and pry the entire pin up, repeat that for the remaining 12 pins.We're now gonna run a piece of airline tubing down from the top down below so we can connect it to our breakaway wires and run them up. You can use a coat hanger or anything else that's kind of rigid but still flexible to allow you to route it as you need. It's much easier to go from top down than from down up. Before we connect it and make all that running that we we're gonna do we're gonna go ahead and mount our quick connect to our vehicle here, we've already got the line run up and through the hole that we've made so we'll start by connecting that airline tubing, you'll push it in, make sure you get it all the way in, I like to go in and out a few times just to make sure that it's fully seated.Once you know you've got it seated you can poke that up in there and we're gonna use some self tapping screws to secure it to the metal beam here. We've already drilled some pilot holes to make it easier on our self tapping screws, now the self tapping screws are not provided in your kit.

I've already drilled a hole here located on our bumper for our wiring to poke through, we're gonna go ahead and poke that through now, you can reach up on the backside to grab the other end and pull that wiring all the way through.Our breakaway wires are not gonna be long enough to reach from our mounting location up to our battery and control unit so we're gonna go ahead and extend those now before we make the run. Go ahead and strip back some of your wiring. I'm gonna crimp it to some bulk wiring, you can pick up some wiring here at etrailer.com. We're gonna connect the blue to the blue and the red to the orange and black as this is gonna go to battery anyway. Now the butt connector choice that we've chosen was the blue heat shrink butt connectors, this way we can shrink it down, seal up our wiring, and we don't have to worry about corrosion in the future. You can pick up some of these heat shrink butt connectors here at etrailer.com.Now we've made all of our preparations that are necessary to get our wires up so we're gonna connect them to the airline hosing that we ran down from the top. We'll use some electrical tape to make this connection which will allow us to pull it right back up, routed in the way that we desired. Now just pull on your airline or whatever you ran it with and pull up all your excess. Now our air tubing is much longer so there is still some below we'll just have to separate it and continue pulling that airline up.Now that we've got our airline hose routed up I went ahead and made a little loop, zip tied up some excess so that way we've got some for any future repairs that may need to be made. Then we're gonna go ahead and trim our airline to the appropriate length, you can pick up one of these airline trim tools here at etrailer.com. This tool makes sure that it cuts flush and clean so it'll seal properly. We're then gonna connect this to the quick connect fitting labeled air in, again this is the one that's going from the front of our vehicle that'll connect to our RV will also go to the air in, same hose. We'll just poke it in there, again this is a quick connect so you'll want to make sure you've got it fully seated, kind of poke it in and out just to make sure that it's all the way in there.We're now ready to connect our wires from our control unit. They're both black wires and you can't really mix them up, it doesn't matter which one you connect where, one's gonna connect to ground and the other will connect to the blue wire from our breakaway switch. We'll start by connecting our ground, again I always like to leave a little bit of excess just for that future proof. We'll trim off any remaining excess that we don't want and connect this to a ring terminal. Now the ring terminals provided in the kit are gonna be the smaller blue ones, you can connect those to any ground point using a self tapping screw such as your body we decided that we're gonna go right to the battery here. Since we're right there this is a good post, but we're gonna have to upgrade to a larger ring terminal, you can pick up one of these larger yellow ring terminals here at etrailer.com.We'll then use a 13 millimeter socket to remove the bolt on our negative terminal, slide on our ground wire, just gonna route it underneath our air hose, and then reattach our nut. Now again we're gonna trim off any extreme excess but leave a little bit so we'll start by trimming our blue wire and then we'll trim our black wire, strip back both ends, and connect it with one of the butt connectors provided in the kit. Now once again we have decided that we're gonna upgrade ours to a heat shrink butt connector.We'll now need to route a power wire and our airline tube for our actuator into the cab of the vehicle. There's a grommet located in the lower left corner on the drivers side we're gonna again use that airline tube to push it through to help feed our wiring through. I've already gone ahead and made a little pilot hole off to the side of the wiring just to make it push through a little easier. Then you can come on the other side and pull that line through so we can make our connections.We'll now take the rest of the black airline tube that we have left and the brown wire provided in your kit and tape it to this airline tube that we ran through, that'll make it much easier to get everything fed into the cab. Now that you've got it all taped up just go ahead and feed your airline tubing back through to pull it inside. We can connect our air hose to our actuator again we just want to press it in, get a little tug back and forth to make sure it's fully inserted. Then I went ahead and just routed this wire up a little bit and then came back down just to make sure it's gonna be out of the way in the foot area so we don't kick it.We're now ready to make our electrical connections, we'll need to begin by mounting our LED strip on the backside of our mirror. Just peel off the adhesive backing, we're gonna aim the wire up, we're just gonna find a nice smooth spot kind of out of the way and stick it on to the backside of the mirror. We can then route our wiring down our headliner, down our A pilar, to where our brown wire was pulled through. We went ahead and pulled our weather stripping back to make routing it easier. Starting at the bottom work your way up along the side of the panel, releasing all the push pins. Now we can route our wire inside down to make our connections. Then just reinstall your panel and weather stripping, they just push back into place.We'll now need to connect our switch to the LED wires that we just ran. The blue wire will connect to the black wire and these also need to go to ground. There's a ground stud that we're gonna be using along the side here and the length of wire is long enough to where we can just put a ring terminal on it and connect it to that stud. Now in order to connect to the stud the ring terminal provided in the kit is too small to fit over the stud so we're upgrading it to a larger connector, this will prevent us from having to drill any self tapping screws for it to get that ground point.Go ahead and cut off the tip of the black wire and the blue wire and then we're gonna strip both of those back. We'll then twist those together so we can connect it to a single ring terminal. We then stripped back the red wire on our LED and the black wire on our read switch and we're going to connect to those with one of the crimp connectors in the kit. Lastly you'll connect the brown wire to the brown wire that we ran in from outside.We're now gonna connect our ground point, there's a stud located here on the lower left kick panel area, we're gonna take the nut off with a 13 millimeter socket. Remove the nut, take the ring terminal that we connected to the blue and black wire, slide it over the ground stud, and reinstall the nut. We've routed our brown wire across the outside of the firewall down over to our battery positive where we're gonna make our connection. First we're gonna connect our fuse so you'll want to take the loop at the end, cut it in half, and then strip back both ends. Connect one of the blue ring terminals in your kit to one end of the fuse and crimp it on. Then take your red and your brown wire, strip those back, twist them together, and connect them to one of your butt connectors in the kit, we did again opt to upgrade to that heat shrink butt connector. Then connect your other end to the other end of your fuse then crimp it together.We'll then connect the ring terminal on our fuse to our battery positive terminal by removing the nut with an 11 millimeter socket, slide on your ring terminal, and then reinstall the nut. We then routed our black airline tubing in the same manner across, tucking it behind the felt material on our firewall, running it up along next to the battery over to our control box. We did leave a little loop here just so we've got some excess for future repairs if needed. We're gonna use our airline tool again to make sure we get a clean cut and this line will connect to our air out again, this goes to the air actuator on our brake pedal. Then slide it into place, go in and out to make sure that you've got it fully connected. Then you can tidy up all your wires and airlines with the zip ties provided in the kit. Making sure everything stays out of way of anything hot or moving components.We now need to tap into our brake booster vacuum line. Here's our brake booster here and our vacuum line coming off. We're gonna tap into the line right here because it's a nice straight area so it'll make it easier to make our connection. You'll need to begin by cutting the line in half. There may still be some vacuum on this line, if you're worried about that vacuum making some noise or whatever it's not a big deal but you can go press the brake pedal to relieve that vacuum.Now you're gonna want to cut a few segments of two inches of your hose from your kit to connect to your T fitting so we're gonna go ahead and make those cuts now at about two inches. Now since we have a plastic line we are gonna need to cut one additional one to install our check valve. Now we need to connect our T fitting to the hoses we cut, we're gonna put one hose on one side, this will go to our brake booster, the other side is gonna go towards our engine so slide on your piece of hose. Now let's put a check valve between our T fitting and our engine, the black side needs to face towards the engine. We'll be putting the white side towards our T fitting, we'll then need to take the other small piece we cut and put it on the other side of the check valve. We can now hook this in line with our brake booster vacuum line.Here you can see we've got our hoses installed, our engine side has the vacuum line with the black facing towards the engine. We did have to cut out a little bit of section of this hose in order for this line to fit in place and when we cut out that section we did cut it at a slight angle, that helps this hose fit on a little bit easier because it is quite a tight fit. Once you've got them on tighten down your hose clamps and we're ready to hook up our line that'll go to our brake control unit.Now take the excess hose that you have, connect it to the T coming off where we just made a car connection, making sure that that hose is pushed down all the way, twisting it back and forth can help get it on there a little easier. Then just route your line up and over to your operating unit and cut your line off flush, give yourself a little bit of excess. Now that you've got your hose cut to length you want to go back about six inches and then cut this hose because we need to put our check valve in between there. We'll be placing the check valve with the black end facing towards the operating unit and then connect your hose to your operating unit making sure that it's fully seated. Now you can go back and clean up your hose, zip tying your vacuum line so it's away from any hot or moving objects. Now we can install our fuse.Now you want to verify that your brake read switch is working properly. As you can see now the light is not illuminated so our light on the back of our mirror's not illuminated. If you pull out on it slightly which simulates if the brake pedal is being pulled the light on the switch comes on which also illuminates the light on the back of your mirror. You want to make sure you have it adjusted properly so it comes on after about an eighth inch of travel. Once you've got it set there's a small set screw on the back of the switch, you need to tighten that down to lock it into place.Now we've already mounted our tank, we mounted it on the other side of this compartment making it easy to drill out and run the bolts through, I'll show you where that tank is now. We've mounted our air tank here, right on the backside of that compartment. You want to make sure that your relay valve is facing down, especially with the diaphragm here facing down. It's best to have a helping hand hold those nuts if you are gonna mount it in this location because it's a bit tedious to hold while turning them if they are lock nuts to hold them in place.Now we'll need to splice into our supply line for our air brake system on our RV. We're gonna be here right in front of the axle because that's where our locations for our hoses are. If you look upwards, just in front of the axle, it'll have all of your supply lines up here. We're gonna be cutting into our supply line and our metered airline. We've got them both marked with some blue tape to make it easier to see.We'll need to tap into this line so you'll need to use a hose cutter to make sure that you cut it evenly and it's best if you give yourself a little room before the actual fitting. We're actually gonna remove this tape now so we can get the best cutting point on it. Before you cut this line it is important that you drain the air out of your air brake system. One way of doing this is just pumping your brakes until the air is gone. Now we can cut our line. After you cut your supply line we're going to install a T-fitting in between it. This will be the large T fitting in the kit, go ahead and slide that on one end. Again you want to kind of push in, pull out to make sure you get it sealed properly so we don't want any leaks. Then again we'll connect it to our other side.Now we'll cut our metered air supply, it's the other one that we have here marked with the blue tape. In between these two we'll connect our small T fitting, slide it on to both ends. We'll now connect our quarter inch air line that we have left over to our fittings, making sure we've got those all the way in. Hook one up to your supply line T fitting then you'll have to cut a length of hose that goes back to your air supply and you'll take another length of your air hose and connect it to your metered air T fitting.We've now got our lines run back to our air tank, this line is the one that was connect to the larger T fitting, our air supply line. It's gonna connect to the valve on the side of the tank, go ahead and run that in, making sure it's pushed in all the way. Next we'll hook in our metered air line, this is the one that hooks to the small supply line. It's okay if you've got a little bit of excess, this is actually a good thing so in case you need to make future repairs you've got a little bit to work with. This one's gonna connect on top of your relay valve so between the relay valve and the tank, just push that in there making sure it's fully seated.Now you can use the rest of your hose to connect your relay valve to your connection point at the back of your RV. If you don't have enough air line left you can buy some additional airline here from etrailer.com using part number F9153. Then the rest we'll route to the back, again if you've got excess that's okay, we can always tie that up, it'll be useful for repairs if need be in the future. We'll then connect the other end of our airline to the bracket located here at the back. We connected this using a short bracket connected to our hitch.Now all you need to do is go back and clean up the routing using some zip ties, it's best to put it next to your factory wiring because you know it'll be out of the way. Now we can plug up our airline to our RV and to our vehicle and make sure everything's working properly. As you can see here when we press the brakes on our RV it pulls the brake pedal on our vehicle.That completes our installation of SMI's Air Force One supplemental braking system on our 2018 Ford F150.


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