The front bumper is looking lost all by itself on the floor.
The front of my car looks naked, but is open and accessible for the
These brackets are very securely bolted to the frame in multiiple
places. There are inserts that slide into these and then
lock them into place. There is a cross bar that fits to these
inserts and provides the attachment for the towbar.
After replacing the bumper, I mounted several accessories to complete
Looking from left to right we have the towbar bracket mount, the safety
ring, the air fitting that connects the brakes, the breakaway switch
(folded in for driving - it
swings out for towing), the electrical connector, the other cable ring,
and the other towbar
Since the bumper ledge where most of these items mount is just plastic,
a bar of aluminum above the ledge. All the bolt-on items
thread directly into the bar.
It makes it very rigid. When the car is not set up for
towing, the additions are
almost invisible to the casual observer from a normal eye
level. They show well
in this picture as it was taken from a very low angle
The braking system I installed in the Subaru consists of a motorhome
and a car system. The motorhome has a of a tank, valves, and
air brake relay triggered by the air brakes. It is designed
send a pressure that is proportional to the braking pressure, while
maintaining the safety of the system. If the line to the car
to break, there would be no loss of braking for the motorhome (other
than the loss of the car brakes to assist). No other brand of
brake has this feature.
The car portion of this system consists of a control box and an air
cylinder that actually pulls the brake pedal downward. The
control box has a special venturi which creates a vacuum to activate
the power brakes, an air storage tank for the breakaway system, and
some control valves and solenoids. It activates the brake
air cylinder. If the pin should be pulled from the breakaway
switch, such as if the towbar were to fail, the brakes are
automatically applied to the car to quickly bring it to a
This installation was written up in much more detail in the Motorhome
Projects section. Please
to see that writeup. The same writeup is linked to the item (Adding
a Tow Brake System to my Cars) above this one on the MY
CAR MODS page.
I removed the SMI Air Force One tow car braking system from the Subaru
mounted it in the Jeep.
The air cylinder mounts in the Jeep much more easily than it did in the
as there is no clutch pedal to interfere.
The car is hooked to the motorhome with all the safety cables, brake
and electrical connections.
As part of this project, I needed to connect the stop lights to the
connector under the front bumper such that they work as both stop
lights and turn signals. I started to add separate sockets to
house a pair of dedicated bulbs for this function as recommended by
several reputable sources. Upon looking at the geometry where
new bulbs would be, I realized they would be far from the focal point
of the reflector, and would therefore loose much of the apparent
brightness. I then re-thought my design and installed diodes
same as I have always done on previous cars. The diodes
the power from the motorhome from feeding back into the other car
systems and vise-versa. The end results were excellent.
The brake system manufacturer supplied an LED array to place on the
front bumper of the car. These lights would light up with the
brake lights on the car. The driver was supposed to be able
see these lights in the backup camera and know that the brakes were
applied. I didn't care for that! Instead, I wired
terminal in the connector to the brake lights on the car, connected
that pin on the motorhome to a wire running to the front and from there
to an LED on the dashboard. Now I can verify that the car
are working by noting the small light come on.
R. S. Mason