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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Title says it all. The install was easy and I love the final look. Many thanks to this post for ideas!

You can see the before, during, and after pictures in this album.

I've also attached one picture to the post just for the impatient.

It was a very straight-forward installation, but I'm happy to answer any questions anyone might have!

EDIT: I have added many more pictures to the above album link, showing all aspects of the installation, including the underside of the console panel and what is directly below it!

6838
 

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Wow, nice choice of location! Nicely done!
 

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I would LOVE pics of what's behind the panels, if you have those as well. And, I wouldn't mind pinning this as a reference for everyone else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great questions! I will get some more pictures perhaps next week and update the album and post. That would be a good opportunity to replace the included Ethernet cable with a longer one.

Removal of the center console panel is easy:

1. Start with the cubby under the stereo head unit. Gently lift the front of the rubber mat just a little, and you will notice there is a plastic lip there under the rubber mat.
2. Use a thin trim removal pry tool to release/pop the cubby tray upward.
3. Now you can use your hands to grab the front of the center console plastic panel, and pull upward gently to release/pop up.
4. Now use your pry tool at the other end of the panel, at the rear of the car, under the rear-most straight edge of the chrome accent, rearward of the curve that is to the right of the parking brake lever.
5. Once you release/pop up this part of the panel, the rest will pop out easily by just using your hands along the edges working your way forward from the rear, toward the cubby tray.
6. Unplug the wiring harness for the parking brake lever by depressing the tab and then pulling the harness downward; it's a little tight.
7. Now you can pull the whole panel out easily by just moving it forward into the cubby tray area a little until the gear selection handle fits through the opening while lifting the panel away. You can remove this while the gear selection handle is still in the Park position, no problem.

As you'll read in my photo album, and I'll add pictures of this later, the location where I installed the knob is the only place on the entire panel where it will work. There are no other places where both the underside connectors, and the obstructions from below, will allow the length of the button controller to fit. You don't even get a 1/2" of variance in either direction from where I installed it. So be sure to double check and triple check its placement before you start drilling the holes!!

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That wouldn't work for me because my top row is full with the stock controls. Some people have just removed the tailgate memory control and ordered a new blank to use in that position, but I didn't want to do that.

The console location is much easier to reach to adjust, and especially for an emergency when you need to press the button to correct sway.

The bottom row of buttons are smaller and angled, so it won't fit there, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would LOVE pics of what's behind the panels, if you have those as well. And, I wouldn't mind pinning this as a reference for everyone else.
I have updated the album with all the pictures you requested!

Please feel free to pin this post.

Also, if you want me to add the pictures directly to the post rather than directing to the album, please let me know!
 

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2021 Ascent Limited. 2005 Forester.
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The bottom row of buttons are smaller and angled, so it won't fit there, either.
Your install looks great. Just wanted to let people know that especially with the 3rd version/generation of the brake controller the bottom row of buttons is actually a pretty great option as well.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Just a quick update here. I have a 2020 with 21k miles now, and have towed my travel trailer over 10k miles throughout Texas heat and even down and back up the Palo Duro canyon, plus a trip to Arkansas. I've had zero problems at all. Tows like a dream. The Redarc brake has continued to work perfectly.

I'm on my first oil change, too, due for annual change coming up here in December (Amsoil). I thought I would change the CVT and differential oils too, just to be on the safe side.

For towing reference:

Full tank of gasoline, 4 people, few gallons of fresh water, empty waste tanks, propane tank in the back. Tongue weight 460.

Scale measurements:
Front axle 2480
Rear axle 2772 + 460 = 3232
Gross car 5252 - 460 = 4792
Trailer axle 4300 - 460 = 3840
Tongue ratio: 10.7%

Ascent weight placard:
Gross 6000
Front axle 3021
Rear axle 3296

I wish the tow rating was just a little higher so I didn't have to be so careful packing, but I do love my Accent!
 

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2022 Ascent Onyx, Ice Silver
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That Amazon review is mine, lol. I chose the panel because it was the most obvious answer to me. Also with our phones being plugged in for Android auto and cups in the cup holders the center console gets cluttered pretty quick. I do like a clean install though and the OP got it done. Nice job!
I'll be in the market for a controller soon (Ascent Onyx delivered in a few days). I like the design and concept of the redarc. Would it be possible to install the dial unit in a replacement fuse cover like this? I like the idea of easily removing and going back to stock in the event of selling or trading and moving the controller to another car. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'll be in the market for a controller soon (Ascent Onyx delivered in a few days). I like the design and concept of the redarc. Would it be possible to install the dial unit in a replacement fuse cover like this? I like the idea of easily removing and going back to stock in the event of selling or trading and moving the controller to another car. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

Sure, don't see why it wouldn't work. Just make sure it's easily accessible as it has a push-to-activate feature that can fix sway should you get into a high cross wind, etc.
 

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I'll be in the market for a controller soon (Ascent Onyx delivered in a few days). I like the design and concept of the redarc. Would it be possible to install the dial unit in a replacement fuse cover like this? I like the idea of easily removing and going back to stock in the event of selling or trading and moving the controller to another car. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

Wouldn't it be easier to buy a replacement blank for the control panel? In any case yes it would be possible, but you do need to be able to see the dial and the lighted ring. I will be honest, the ascent sway control works faster than I could ever reach for the manual button or a slide activation if you are running into sway that much you need to fix your weight distribution issue in your trailer. Crosswinds are annoying but for me haven't been an issue as the trailer moves slightly then aligns right back with the ascent, and that is at speeds up to 75 mph. For me the control panel is the lowest point I would want the brake controller so that I could reach it without taking my eyes off the road. If you are concerned with resale consider fabbing a small dial holder to stick in the cubby area on the dash another member did that and it looks decent and is easily removable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have never had a problem with sway, even in high winds. I generally tow 55-65 MPH to save fuel, but have occasionally towed as fast as 75 MPH (Texas speed limits).

While I haven't had problems with sway, and I have heard the Ascent does some auto sway control magic, it is a feature of the Redarc to have that momentary brake activation by pressing the dial button, so that's the main reason I mounted mine in the console where I could easily reach it with fumbling out-of-sight.
 

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Wouldn't it be easier to buy a replacement blank for the control panel? In any case yes it would be possible, but you do need to be able to see the dial and the lighted ring. I will be honest, the ascent sway control works faster than I could ever reach for the manual button or a slide activation if you are running into sway that much you need to fix your weight distribution issue in your trailer. Crosswinds are annoying but for me haven't been an issue as the trailer moves slightly then aligns right back with the ascent, and that is at speeds up to 75 mph. For me the control panel is the lowest point I would want the brake controller so that I could reach it without taking my eyes off the road. If you are concerned with resale consider fabbing a small dial holder to stick in the cubby area on the dash another member did that and it looks decent and is easily removable.
I'm not sure I even need a controller at this point. My heaviest tow will be a 3500# boat & 2 axle trailer (no brakes at this point). It might be better to convert the trailer to hyd surge brakes, as the trailer axles will be submerged when launching/recovering the boat. I'm not sure if any waterproof electric axles are available. I have kept my 18' all steel flatbed car hauler (electric brakes on both axles), but with any load on it would be too much for the Ascent anyway.
 

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Subaru specifies trailer brakes for any towing over 1k lbs I believe. Many states require trailer brakes over 3k lbs.
Agreed. Just saying that surge brakes might be more practical on a boat trailer (that gets submerged on a regular basis), and they don't require a controller.

On Edit: Years ago I had another 19' I/O boat on a 2 axle trailer with electric brakes on one axle. It was doable to launch/recover with the electric connector unplugged. If you forget to do so, you blow a fuse (ask me how I know). o_O I'll likely just upgrade one of the axles on this trailer with e-brakes and install a controller.
 

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Surge/Inertial brakes are indeed a good option (They are the standard in many other parts of the world) and since the Ascent cannot use WDH, there's no conflict with using Surge/Inertial braking, either. (with extremely minor exceptions, WDH cannot be used with them) Good point about the boat trailer and it's not likely an accident that surge/inertial brakes are common on them as thee weights go up.

Ruben is correct that Subaru, in the manual, in writing, says that trailer brakes are required for loads over 1000 lbs. That's actually a tough row to hoe because few small trailers have them and the cost to retrofit can be more than the trailer cost initially in some cases.
 
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Surge/Inertial brakes are indeed a good option (They are the standard in many other parts of the world) and since the Ascent cannot use WDH, there's no conflict with using Surge/Inertial braking, either. (with extremely minor exceptions, WDH cannot be used with them) Good point about the boat trailer and it's not likely an accident that surge/inertial brakes are common on them as thee weights go up.

Ruben is correct that Subaru, in the manual, in writing, says that trailer brakes are required for loads over 1000 lbs. That's actually a tough row to hoe because few small trailers have them and the cost to retrofit can be more than the trailer cost initially in some cases.
Most, if not all U-Haul, Ryder, etc rental trailers and tow dollies use surge brakes for obvious reasons. A somewhat crude setup compared to e-brakes with a good controller, but they do the job. 3.5K-5K e-brake axles run around $400, e-brake conversion kits for existing axles run about half that.

 
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