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How to Convert From Hydraulic Surge Brakes to Electric Brakes


I want to convert my 6000# dexter single axle from surge brakes to electric brakes. I will need electric backing plates. Are the hubs and drums the same with both systems.


Expert Reply:

Since you are converting from hydraulic to electric more than likely you will need new hubs and drums. Drums made specifically for hydraulic systems are not designed with electric brake magnets in mind so the inside surface is probably rough and unfinished. In order to convert you will need electric brake assemblies, hubs and drums, trailer wiring, a breakaway kit, and a brake controller.

Start by identifying which hub and drum assembly you need. You will need to know the correct bearings and bolt pattern in order to find the correct replacement. For example, the Dexter # 8-219-4UC3-EZ which matches your axle capacity has an 8 on 6-1/2 bolt pattern and uses inner bearing # 25580 and outer bearing # 14125A. Assuming you have a standard Dexter 6k axle your spindle will match these bearings with a 1.75" inner diameter on the inner bearing and 1.25" inner diameter for the outer bearing.

Now you will need brakes to match your hubs and drums. Since these are going to be 12" assemblies you will want 12" x 2" brakes rated for the capacity of your axle. I recommend the Electric Trailer Brake Kit # AKEBRK-6 which includes the left and right hand assemblies.

You will also need a 7-way connection # PK12706 assuming you don't have one, wire for your brakes and 12V power # 10-1-1 and # 12-1-1, and a breakaway kit # 50-85-313.

The last thing you will need is a brake controller. I recommend the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Trailer Brake Controller # RED44FR since you can mount it out of sight and only have the control knob in the cab of your vehicle. If you let me know which vehicle you have I would be happy to let you know if there is a custom wiring harness for installation.

I have attached some review and installation videos for your reference. I also included some helpful articles on wring and what is needed for electric brakes that you can check out.

expert reply by:
Robin H

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