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Trailer Brakes and Wiring Installation

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How to Install 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.

Info for these parts were:

Installed by:
Rick A

Video Edited:
Zack K

Installed by:
Jeff D

Video Edited:
Jacob T

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Trailer Brakes Videos

This Old Trailer: Changing Hydraulic Trailer Brake to Electric

Today on This Old Trailer we are going to replace hydraulic brakes with electric brakes. Basically it is going to be a matter of taking off the tires, removing the hubs, go ahead and removing the backing plates and drain the hydraulic lines of fluid, and then going ahead and bolting on the new brakes. We will start off, obviously, by taking the wheels off. OK, go ahead and remove the dust cover here. It is an E-Z Lube spindle so this has a tang washer that we need to bush back down so we can unlock the castle nut right here. Just push it back down. Now we should be able to take the hub right off. The next task is to go ahead and disconnect the hydraulic lines. We have that disconnected. Now we need to pull the clip out so we can release this part here. And that is just a little piece of metal right here that you can just pry out. Alright, now we can unbolt this at the back of the hydraulic backing plate. Alright, now we can unbolt the backing plate from the flange on the axle. Now we are down to our bare axle. We will clean it up a little bit and then reinstall the brakes. 1:24

This Old Trailer: Electric Trailer Brake Installation Part 1

Alright, today on This Old Trailer, what we are going to do is install electric brakes. Right now this trailer does not have any brakes on it whatsoever, so it has two drag axles. So the first thing that we need to do is go ahead and take off the rear wheels. And then we will go ahead and take off the hubs. At this point we will take off the dust cap on our axle. And basically what you want to do is on this particular unit we have an E-Z Lube cap, so it fits kind of tight. It is a good idea to go ahead and rotate the hub and lightly strike it and then I will just back it off with a screw driver behind the flange. And then pry it off. Alright, let us wipe off the excess grease on the end of the spindle here and we will get to our tang washer. And we will release it so we can back off the castle nut. Alright, we have it cleaned up a little bit. Now right here, this is the tab I was talking about. That is our tang washer. Take this. Push it down flat to the flat spot on our spindle and then you can take the castle nut off. 1:07

Changing Brakes Demonstration

All right today we are going to show you a typical brake inspection. Basically what we are going to do is take off the brake hub here and we are going to inspect the brakes, the linings, the springs, and the display cylinder inside. First off we will go ahead and take off the dust cap. In this case it is a bearing buddy. Next, is taking out the locking pin. There is either a cotter pin that goes in the center here but once you get that lock washer off you have to go ahead and just take off the nut and pull your whole hub off. First thing you want to check for is grease on the linings, and sure enough we have got grease all over these linings here. Also on this side here and probably smeared around over to the other side as you can tell.

Bleeding Brakes Demonstration

All right today we are going to show you how to bleed hydraulic brakes on a trailer. First off you want to top off your master cylinder, with appropriate fluid. To pump the fluid from the master cylinder out, there is a couple of different ways of doing it. Sometimes it will have the emergency lever the and the safety chain will pull. Okay what you can do is unbolt the plate that holds the lever in place and then use that lever to actuate the master cylinder and force the fluid through. Some of them, you are going to have to go where the ball goes and manually activate it. Pull it in and out. Or like on this model here there might be a little lever underneath here that you could use.

Trailer Hub Brake Magnet Replacement Demonstration

When one wheel does not seem to be stopping as quick as the others it may be because the brake magnet needs to be replaced. We put together a short video to help you recognize this problem and to show you how easy it is to fix it. Keep your trailer safe for yourself and others on the road by checking and replacing parts like the brake magnet when needed.

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