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Identifying Free Backing Trailer Brake Assemblies When Replacing Atwood 85778 Surge Brake

Question:

Thanks for taking my question I have an older trailer with an Atwood 85778 surge break Actuator and Ive been reading your posts about The demko 8605001 how it does not have the backup lockout and one of your expert said if you have a free backing plate you dont need it How do I know if I have a free backing plate

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Expert Reply:

To check for a Free Backing Hydraulic Trailer Brake # AKFBBRK-35 you will need to remove your brake drum assembly. The free backing brakes have a different front brake shoe. This shoe is designed to fall away when the trailer is moving in reverse. The fall away brake shoe will have a pivot point in the shoe that allows it to fall away(See Image).

The Demco Hydraulic Trailer Brake Actuator # DM72VR can be used with the free backing brakes as the Demco 8605001 is no longer an active item. This will not have any type of lockout.

The Titan Brake Actuator with Manual Lockout # T63FR has a different design but will also bolt to a 3" frame straight tongue trailer. It also features a 2" ball. This would allow you to have the manual lockout but may require some brake line modification to work on your trailer.

Pivot Point on Free Backing Brake Assembly
Pivot Point on Free Backing Brake Assembly
(click to enlarge)
expert reply by:
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Gregory M

Question:

I asked a question on the freebacking brakes and i thank you for your Response my next question is if I buy the DX 7.5 actuator for my drum brakes if I want to go in reverse up a Hill am I going to apply the brakes and if so can I install one of the Electric solenoids on this unit ?

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Expert Reply:

If you have the Free Backing Brakes # AKFBBRK-35 they will allow you to go in reverse up a hill with the Demco Hydraulic Brake Actuator # DM72VR. Without the free backing brakes there is no lockout on this Demco brake actuator and the brakes will try to stop you.

The Titan Brake Actuator w/ Electric Lockout # T4857220 will give you the ability to use a 5-way with the electric lockout function that will allow you to backup the trailer without the trailer brakes activating. The Demco Trailer Coupler # DM12688-95 will attach to the Titan actuator giving you the 2" trailer ball connection.

Pivot Point on Free Backing Brake Assembly
Pivot Point on Free Backing Brake Assembly
(click to enlarge)
expert reply by:
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Gregory M

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