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Trailer Brakes Information Videos

Trailer Brakes and Wiring Installation

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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.




Trailer Brakes Videos

Dexter Axle Trailer Brakes K23-524-00 Review

Speaker 1: Today we're going to take a look at the Hayes/AL-KO 12-1/4" by 3-1/2" hydraulic drum brake assembly for 9,000 to 12,000 pound axles. Now, this hydraulic drum brake assembly is designed for use with the surge-type trailer brake actuators. This one is dual-plunger design so it delivers the same amount of braking when driving either forward or in reverse. The mounting nuts, you can see, are included to install this to your axle. This part is made in the USA. Again, the application for this, it fits 9,000 pound to 12,000 pound AL-KO Hayes axles with hydraulic brakes.This assembly can be used as either a left hand or a right hand side assembly.


Kodiak XL-Lube Disc Brake Kit Installation - 2005 NuWa Discover America Fifth Wheel

Speaker 1: Today, in our 2005 Nu-Wa Hitchhiker, we're gonna take a look at, and show you how to install the Kodiak XL-Lube disc brake kit, offering the 13-inch rotor with the eight on six-and-a-half bolt pattern, with nine-sixteenth-inch studs and the E-coat. Part number is K2HR79XLDE. Now the Kodiak disc brake kit is going to be the perfect solution for upgrading your camper from this standard, traditional, electric drum-style brakes. These are going to allow us to use hydraulic pressure, and just like the calipers on our cars, you're gonna squeeze the rotors here. That's what's gonna bring us to a stop, rather than the shoes trying to push out. This is gonna give us superior braking performance.Also, some of it is going to be much smoother.


Dexter Axle Trailer Brakes K71-647-648 Review

Speaker 1: Today we're going to take a look at the Dexter Ecoat Never Lube Disc Kit to 12 inch rotor and the hub with the six on five and a half inch bolt pattern for a 6,000 pound axles. Now these trailer brake assemblies make it very easy to upgrade from drum brake to disc brakes for better performance. It gives you more consistent stopping even at highway speeds and dramatically shorter stopping distances and it's easier and less expensive to maintain.All these parts have a nice Ecoat finish to them to provide corrosion resistance to freshwater and limited saltwater use. The kit will include everything show here on the table. It is two full brake assemblies for one axle. Includes the two Ecoated rotors, the two Ecoated hubs with the bolts pressed in, two of the Ecoated duct tile iron calipers with the four semi metallic brake pads and the two Ecoated caliper mounting brackets with the bolts and nuts to install it, the two never lube bearing cartridges which are already installed in the hubs, and the two grease caps.Now the rotors, they are a vented rotor which will help regulate temperature to prevent overheating.


Dexter Axle Trailer Brakes K71-638-639 Review

Speaker 1: Today, we're gonna take a look at the Dexter E-Coat Disc Brake Kit, 12" Rotor and Hub with the 6 on 5 1/2" Bolt Pattern for 6000 Pound Axles. Now, this trailer brake assembly will make it easy to upgrade from your drum brakes to your disc brakes for better performance. Gives you more consistent stopping even at highway speeds and dramatically shorter stopping distance, and it is easier and less expensive to maintain.All these parts have a nice E-Coat finish to them to provide corrosion resistance for freshwater and limited salt water use. Now, this kit will include everything shown here on the table. It is two full brake assemblies for one axles. Comes with the two E-Coated rotors, the two E-Coated hubs with the bolt's studs already pressed in, the two E-Coated ductile iron calipers with the four semi-metallic brake pads, also the two E-Coated caliper mounting brackets with the bolts and nuts to install it, and if you notice all the bearings and the hardware to install everything is also included.Now, the rotors on this, they are a vented rotor which will help regulate temperature, prevent overheating.


Dexter Axle Trailer Brakes K23-473-00 Review

Speaker 1: Today we're taking a look at the Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Assembly. Now, electric brakes are easier to install and offer more user control when compared to hydraulic brakes. They require only an electric brake controller, so there's no actuator or hydraulic lines necessary. If you do need a brake controller, we do sell those separately here at etrailer.com, so you can definitely check out some options.The mounting bolts are already pre-installed, so they are included and installed. It also come with the nuts, the brake shoes, which are the pads. These are lined with automotive grade friction material and they're fully bonded, not riveted to the shoe, which give a lot longer life and more braking torque.


Dexter Axle Trailer Brakes K23-472-00 Review

Speaker 1: Today we're taking a look at the Dexter Electric Trailer Brake assembly. Now electric brakes are easier to install and offer more user control than hydraulic brakes. They require only an electric brake controller, do no actuator or hydraulic lines are necessary. Brake controllers are sold separately and they're available at etrailer.com if you need one, definitely check out some options. It does come with the mounting bolts. Mounting bolts are already pre-installed and it comes with the nuts, so those are included.


Kodiak Disc Brake Kit Review

Speaker 1: Today we're going to be taking a look at the Kodiak line of disc brake kits. These are designed to fit the XL-Lube, the Never Lube, Nev-R-Lube by Dexter, and the XL-Lube 2 Hub. These have been designed with an 8 on 6 1/2" bolt pattern, available with 9/16 or 1/2" studs.Now the Kodiak disc brake kit is going to be the perfect solution for upgrading your camper from the standard traditional electric drum style brakes. These are going to allow us to use hydraulic pressure and just like the calipers on our cars, they're going to squeeze the rotors here. That's what's going to bring us to a stop rather than the shoes trying to push out. This is going to give us superior braking performance.


etrailer Electric Trailer Brake Kit Review

Speaker 1: Today we're going to be taking a look at the E-Trailer 10-Inch Self-Adjusting Electric Trailer Brake kit offering the left, and right hand brake assemblies designed for use on 3500 pound axles. The part number is AKEBRK-35-SA. Now, these are available in just the left or right as well. Part number for the left is AKEBRK-35L-SA, and for the right part number is AKEBRK-35R-SA. Now, the E-Trailer brake assembly is going to be the perfect solution for either added or replacing brakes on your trailer. This is an electric type assembly.


Dexter Axle Trailer Brakes K71-648-00 Review

Speaker 1: Today we're going to take a look at the Dexter 12 inch E-coat right-hand side never-lube hub and rotor assembly, with the six on 5-1/2 inch bolt pattern for 6,000 pound axles. Now this trailer brake assembly will make it easy to upgrade from drum brakes to disc brakes for better performance. This brakes give you more consistent stopping, even at highway speeds. And a dramatically shorter stopping distances. And they're easier and less expensive to maintain.All these parts in this kit have an E-coat finish to them, which provides corrosion resistance for fresh water and limited salt water use. The kit will include one full right-hand, passenger side brake assembly.


Articles about Trailer Brakes



Trailer Brakes Questions and Answers

  • How to Adjust Electric Drum Trailer Brakes
  • You are correct. On drum brakes that do not self-adjust, you would manually adjust the brakes using the star wheel on the assembly. Once you cannot turn the wheel, you turn the star wheel the other direction until the wheel can spin and you hear a slight constant drag on the brakes. If the brakes are not constantly dragging it could indicate wear on the shoes or drum. I have included a link to a video and at about the 4:39 mark our installed begins adjusting the brakes.
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  • Troubleshooting Why Trailer Brakes Lock Up While Driving
  • If you have electric brakes, there could be several reasons why they are locking up while you are driving. There could be a malfunction inside the brake controller, a problem with a ground, a short in the wiring, or a problem with the magnets. To test the brake controller, sever the blue wire a few inches from the back of the controller. Use a circuit tester like # 3808 if needed to test the blue wire on the brake controller side. Fully apply the manual override and the blue wire should...
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  • Testing a Vehicle Side 7-Way Trailer Connector for Proper Function
  • To check the pins on the vehicle side 7-Way, you can use a circuit tester or the volt meter. The circuit tester will show you if a signal is coming through on the pin you are testing while the volt meter will tell you that and how much voltage is being sent. When you test the brake circuit pin on the 7-Way, it may be more beneficial to see how much voltage it is sending through. If you are facing the 7-Way, using either tester, you will test for the proper signal as follows: 1 oclock...
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  • Troubleshooting Trailer Brakes Locking Up and Brake Controller Reading No Trailer Connection
  • This could be a ground problem, a problem with the trailer connectors, or a problem with the brakes. The first thing I would check is the trailer connectors on the truck and trailer. Make sure they are clean and free of corrosion. Corrosion could cause a short between the 12 volt power wire and the brake output wire. You should also check for dirt and corrosion on the back side of the connectors. If this does not solve the problem, you can also make sure that the trailer is pinned out...
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  • How To Check if Trailer Surge Brakes Are Working Properly On Tandem Axle Boat Trailer
  • Checking the brakes can be done in two ways. The easiest way is to raise one side of the trailer and spin the wheels while someone applies the surge brakes at the coupler. The better way would be to remove each of the wheels and brake drums and activate the brakes while making sure the wheel cylinders and brake assemblies are functioning properly. After this the first thing I would do is bleed the brakes using the trailers surge coupler to force the fluid from the brake lines and make...
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  • Trailer Brakes Lock Up When Connected to Truck
  • There are a few things that can cause the brakes to lock up on a trailer. First, disconnect the trailer from the vehicle. Then use a circuit tester like # 3808 if needed to test the connector on the vehicle. Have someone sit in the truck and run through the various functions to make sure everything is working. If any of them are showing a constant 12 volts, and the matching pin on the trailer side goes to the brakes, that would be why the brakes lock up. This is especially an issue on...
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  • Do Nev-R-Adjust Brakes Need any Manual Adjustment
  • The # AKEBRK-35L-SA Self Adjusting brake assemblies will adjust themselves as you drive after the initial installation. The front brakes will always bear a bit more of the braking work, because more of the trailer weight is normally on the most forward axle, but it should not be noticeable. We recommend that you do adjust the shoes when you first install the assemblies, so that your brakes are working as well as they can upon the first use. This would be especially helpful in allowing your...
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  • Brake Kit Options for a Tow Master 80 HD Tow Dolly Without Brakes
  • The most common type of brakes found on tow dollys are electric drum brakes. This is because electric brakes are typically the more cost effective option over hydraulic brakes and electric brake systems typically require less maintenance than hydraulic braking systems. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Electric brakes are usually cheaper to install than hydraulic brakes, but you must have an electronic brake controller, like the Prodigy P2 Brake Controller # 90885, installed...
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  • Parts Needed To Convert Electric Drum Brakes To Hydraulic Disc Brakes On 5th Wheel Trailer
  • We do have a hydraulic disc brake kit that will fit 8 bolt hub, 8 on 6-1/2 Inch bolt pattern, 1/2 inch bolts. In addition to a hydraulic disk brake kit, you will also need a brake line kit, and a electric over hydraulic actuator, and a brake controller that is compatible with electric over hydraulic brakes. For a disc brake kit to replace your drum brake assembly, you will need the Kodiak Disc Brake Kit, part # K2HR712, which is designed for 7,000 lb axles, 16 Inch or larger wheels....
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  • Can Electric Brakes be Used on a Boat Trailer
  • Traditionally, trailer manufacturers did not use electric brakes on boat trailers because the brake magnet wiring and trailer wiring did not always have the best insulation or water protection. These days, more and more manufacturers are using electric brakes on boat trailers due to improvements in wiring insulation and heat shrink connectors. If you are going to use electric brakes, I strongly recommend using heat shrink butt connectors, like part # DW05745-10, when splicing the wires...
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  • Troubleshooting Factory Electric Brake Controller Not Working on a 2005 Ford F-350
  • I agree that you most likely have an issue on the truck side. The voltage at the brake magnets when the vehicle is sitting still and the brake pedal is pressed will only read a small amount with the Ford integrated brake controller on your truck. If you are using the manual slide to activate the trailer brakes you should get somewhere between 12 and 13 volts with the controller set to the maximum setting. If this is the case there may be an issue with the brake controller. The 2005 and...
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  • Parts Needed to Add Electric Brakes to a Utility Trailer with a 3500 Lbs Axle and Brake Flanges
  • You will need several items to add electric brakes to your Carry-On Utility trailer. Starting with the trailer you will need a hub and drum that matches the bearings and seal on your trailer spindle and your wheel bolt pattern. The only way to be sure is to check the bearing part numbers and seal part number, but with a 3,500 lbs Dexter axle that has brake mounting flanges you will most likely have the # L44649 Outer and # L68149 inner bearings and # 58846 seal. If these are the correct...
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  • How Thick Are Electric Brake Shoe Pads and When Should They be Replaced
  • On Dexter 12" Nev-R-Adjust Electric Brake Assembly # 23-458 the shoe pad thickness is 3/16 of an inch. Dexter says that you should replace the shoes if the material gets down to 1/16 of an inch thick or less.
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  • How to Determine if Trailer Has Self-Adjusting Brake Assemblies
  • If your current brake assemblies are self-adjusting, once the hub/drum is removed you will be able to see the adjuster cable extending across the brake assembly as shown in the photo I have edited for you. If you find you do not have them, you can certainly replace your existing brake assemblies. You will need to initially adjust the brake assemblies, but after that they will be self adjusting. I have linked you to a video showing how to adjust brake assemblies, click the link and fast...
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  • How to Initially Adjust the Dexter Nev-R-Adjust Electric Trailer Brakes
  • The Dexter Nev-R-Adjust electric trailer brakes can be manually adjusted. There are a couple teeth of the adjustment wheel that are exposed just under the lever that you referenced. I have attached a photo showing the teeth. You will likely need a tool with a fine edge such as a flat head screw driver for the adjustment wheel on these brakes. A brake adjustment tool may be too thick. Without an initial manual adjustment, it could take a few braking attempts to adjust the brakes. I was...
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  • Converting Hydraulic Drum Trailer Brakes to Disc Brakes on a Boat Trailer
  • You could put disc brakes on just the one axle, but I recommend going ahead and installing them on both since the trailer is set up for it already. This will reduce wear and tear on both the trailer and the vehicle and a little extra expense now will end up saving you money down the road. We do have a 2 axle kit, # T4843200, that is just a little more cost than the T4843300 kit you have referenced. The main difference between these two kits is that the 2 axle kit I recommended does not...
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  • Testing Electric Trailer Brake Magnets with a Multimeter
  • The brake magnets can be tested in the manner you have suggested, just make sure that the trailer is not connected to the vehicle when performing this test. You would not want to short out the brake controller or worse. I would check the magnets for wear before going on to test them with a meter. If the magnets show abnormal wear or if you can see the windings beginning to show through the friction surface of the magnet then they will need to be replaced. To test the Brake magnets with...
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  • One Side Of Electric Trailer Brakes Are Locking Up When Braking
  • There are a few things you can check to make sure the brakes are adjusted correctly, but it sounds like there may be a short in the system. I would start by checking the trailer wiring connector on the truck and trailer for corrosion. If there is corrosion in either connector, it will need to be replaced. Next, I would inspect the wiring on the trailer, for any cut or frayed wires. It is possible that maybe only one brake assembly is getting power. You will also want to check the ground...
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  • Troubleshooting Electric Trailer Brake Assembly That is Running Hot
  • I would recommend completely ruling out the bearings by closely examining them and the spindle for discoloration caused by overheating. If you have determined that it is the brakes that are hot, and not the hub itself, I would recommend readjusting the brake assembly. What you are experiencing could certainly happen if the brake assembly was out of adjustment. To adjust the brake assembly, jack up trailer and secure on adequate capacity jack stands. Check that the wheel and drum rotate...
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  • Should I Put Brakes on the Front or Back Axle of my Tandem Axle Trailer
  • Typically trailers will carry more of their weight on the front of the trailer, so you would want to put the brakes on the front axle as it will most likely carry more weight while braking. Also, when braking, weight will shift forward from the inertia of the stop, so that would put more weight on the front axle. Click the picture to the right to see a picture that displays how tandem axle trailers typically distribute their cargo weight on their two axles. If you have a trailer that...
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