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Trailer Brakes and Wiring Installation

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Info for these parts were:


Installed by:
Rick A

Video Edited:
Zack K

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Installation of Trailer Brakes and Wiring on a Trailer Without Them Previously


Today we are going to show you how to install brakes on a trailer that does not have existing brakes. It is actually pretty easy to do. It is just very time consuming. There are a couple of things you want to look out for before you start. You want to step behind your trailer, and look behind the existing hub you have. Make sure you have a flange like this on the axle. It is this 4-bolt flange on here; if you have that on your axle you are pretty much home free. This size flange has four bolts. You will see it on 3,500- pound axles like we have here. You also see it on 2,000- pound axles. On a 3,500 -pound one you would probably use a 10- inch drum and on a lighter axle, 2,000 pounds, you probably would use a 7- inch size. Also you notice we have the hub missing. We have to take that off because the hub and drum assembly is all in one piece. It is not like the automotive application. You have to take off the old hub, discard it, and start off fresh.

For this install we are going to install the backing plate. Basically it slides on like so, then it gets bolted onto 4 places. A couple things you might want to take note of is that there is a left and right side to it also an up and down. The magnet always stays pointed toward the ground. And if you did not have a sticker on your brakes that tells you which left and right is, just look for this bow right here. The actuating arm or bow always points to the front of the trailer, so that is a good reference point for you. At this point, let us go ahead and start bolting on our hubs. Works down in a criss cross pattern and make sure you have them evenly tightened. And at this point, you probably want to go ahead and do the same thing for the other side. One thing to note while you are adding the hubs to a trailer - take a look at the spindle. This spindle we have here, for example, we have what is called an EZ Lube spindle. It has a zerk fitting on the end. What happens is grease travels through the middle of the spindle and comes out this hole here. If you have that it is great, but the thing is when you get a new hub you want to make sure what kind of seal it comes with. Most of the hubs will come with a regular single- lip seal. You can see the just one lip right here. It has been around for ages and works great. However if you use this with an EZ Lube Spindle, what happens is grease gets pulled in and applies pressure to this. So what you want to do actually is get what is called a double- lip seal. As you can see here it has a lip on the inside edge here along with the lip on the outside too. Again, this is double protection that keeps grease in and has a little bit extra pressure. You can also tell it is a double- lip seal because you can see a little spring in there. Every double- lip seal out there is going to have that spring in it. So you have an EZ Lube Spindle or double check. Just to be on the safe side, go ahead and order a double- lip seal for your hub. You can see where our hub is sealed right on the edge of the spindle here – I guess you could say it is the bearing or seal surface. This is where you are inside bearing rides right here. [I am going to leave this out for a second.] As you can see here there is the hole where the grease comes out, so it is actually between this seal and this bearing.

When it is all put together this whole area is going to fill up with grease. Of course it cannot come from over top because your race is here. What happens is the grease comes up and fills up here first. Then comes through your rollers and actually into the middle of this cavity here. The whole thing gets packed full of grease. Once that is packed full of grease, the grease will actually travel through the rollers of the outside bearing and then come out through here and out by the nut. Once you have the grease full up to the nut you know that your hub is fully packed and is really ready to go. It is completely waterproof at the same time actually. At this point we can go ahead and slip on our hubs. We have our spindle lightly greased and we have our bearings already packed, and let’s go ahead and put them together. Some spindles like this EZ Lube spindle come with a special tang washer here. If yours has just the plain old regular spindle then you just have a cotter pin going through. In this case we have the EZ Lube spindle so we will go ahead and assemble it. And there will be one extra step involved. Make sure you take out any play. A little bit is fine - just a hair is all you need. Get it to stop then bring it back one notch. Then flip this little edge up into place like so. If you had a regular spindle we would be finished by now but since we have the EZ Lube spindle we will go ahead and use that feature to fully pack the bearings and bring out the grease to both bearings. Installing our hub is complete now. The next step is actually to adjust the brakes. From this point what we need to do is go ahead and adjust our brakes. Basically what we are going to do is just tighten up the drum until it stops turning. Then back off 10 clicks, and then you should have just a very fine light drag. What we do now is go ahead and start running the wires. We are going to follow the factory harness on back to the drivers side wheel. Then we are going to follow the axle on over to the passengers side wheel. Once you are by the axle here go ahead and leave a little loop for working room. Then take the rest of this and then make sure it is tied to your passenger side wheel. We will go ahead and at this point zip- tie the wire to the axle. At this point you have your wire set across the axle the way you want it so lets go ahead and pull the slack up toward the front of the trailer. We will go ahead and make our connections to the wires here. Make sure you note that one wire goes to ground and one wire goes to positive. Again it does not matter the magnet does not care – you just have to make sure that one goes to each one. We will go ahead and split our wire here. To make our connections there are a variety of different ways to do it. There are different types of connectors You can use the quick splice connectors like we are going to use here. You can also use butt connectors also. Basically it is personal preference. For clarity or ease of use we are going to use the quick splices here. At this point you can tape them up or apply sealant to them want. Again, its personal preference how you want to do it. Then once you have those sealed up, then you can just go ahead and zip- tie these to the axle and keep them out of the way so they do not get smashed.

We will do our drivers side now, and what we are going to do is install our ground on this part of the frame here. Actually you can do it everanywhere you want, but we are going to hide it back here and make it a little nicer, and then run our ground wire on up to the front. So we will just go ahead and open up the sheath again. We will then split our wire here and put two ring terminals on there. Now, what we did was we ran our wire and mixed it in with the loom up – that makes it look nice and neat. We are going to put our 7- pole connector on next. First you slide on the cover; then you strip these wires and add ring terminals to them so the connector fits inside. Now well go ahead and add our 7-pole connector here. Now, its tempting to do it color for color because you’ve got the red-yellow-green-brown-blue-black on here and they match up to here, but theres actually two different codes. Say, for instance, sometimes red on here is actually left turn, but on the trailer it is actually yellow, and so forth down the line.. The only common ones you have is white for ground wire and white on the trailer, and blue will be used as our black wire. And the black wire, is actually used on here is actually for the 12- volt power lead. We will start off with the ones that match up and that would be the white. Then well go right next door and do our brake wire. And again, on a trailer it is black on this one but its going to be blue on the 7- pole. Left turn on our trailer is yellow, but the left turn on our 7- pole is actually red. We have green here and that’s our running light and on the trailer it is brown. And then green is right turn on our trailer and that is brown on our 7- pole. Next we just go ahead and slipput our connector back in with the little screw. Then were going to fix our loom and were done. And then tighten the screw. With that our install is complete all we have to do is test it.

Questions and Comments about this Video

I plan on replacing my brake assemblies on a 2000 travel trailer. The pads are worn but mechanically still functioning. Instead of just replacing the shoes I thought Id do the whole assembly like in your video. My question is...can I just clip the power leads to the existing brake assemblies, then just reconnect them after I put the new assemblies on the axels? Your video seems pretty striaght forward and is definately something I can do myself.Great video!Regards,Fred

comment by: Fred - 5/28/2014

4491

You are good to go with just clipping the wires. I recommend taping the ends up after clipping the wires just to make sure that they do not contact each other while you are working on replacing the brake assemblies. Then when it is time to reconnect make sure you remove the tape and make a good connection. The brake magnets are not polarity sensitive so one wire is power and one is ground, and it doesn't matter which is which.

Rachael H - 6/3/2014
3521

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The wire between the brakes broke on my trailer and I need to replace it. What is the recommended wire for this? Thanks!

comment by: Rob A - 8/23/2014

6440

Usually 12 gauge wire is recommended for the brake circuit, and connecting your brake assemblies. However if you have a long trailer with multiple axles and brake assemblies, then 10 gauge wire is recommended. I have included links to the wiring options, and you can order these by the foot.

Rachael H - 8/25/2014

5326

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