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Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit Installation

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How to Install the Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit

Speaker 1: Today we'll be taking a look at, and showing you how to install, the 10 inch Dexter Electric Trailer Brakes. They're available for the driver's side and the passenger side, or as a kit with both. They come in weight ratings of 3,000 pounds, 3,500 pounds, or 4,400 pounds. That's going to depend on which axle you have on your trailer.One of our customers, Paul, wrote in, "What is the difference between the 3,500 and 4,400 assembly and how do I know which axle I have on my trailer" Well that's easy, Paul. There should be a tag or information stamped into the axle. You just want to see what you have there, and refer to our site to get the appropriate one.

The 3,500 and the 4,400 are the weight ratings.This electric brake assembly is going to be a direct replacement for ones that may be existing on your trailer, or you can upgrade your trailer to add these. The manual inaudible 00:00:47 at the bottom will get a signal from the brake controller on your vehicle. Depending on the sensitivity of the brake controller, that will vary the magnitude of the magnetism on the magnet. The magnet will grab your drum brake, forcing the pads outward, causing the brakes to apply.The brake pads on our assembly are going to be bonded pads. What's nice about this versus riveted pads, is that as your brake pads wear, no rivets can poke through causing any damage to your drum assembly.

There is a left and right brake assembly. There's a sticker located on here that will tell you whether it's a left or right hand side. Another way you can help identify if you have the appropriate side is that this is a leading trailing pad set up, so the smaller pad is your leading pad, which goes towards the front, and the trailing is the larger pad, which is located towards the rear.It comes ready to wire, so you just need to hook it up to your old assembly's wiring if you've replaced it. Or if you're running new ones, you'll need to make sure you have one connection to ground and the other one connected to your brake controller signal. It doesn't matter which one's connected to which, either one will work.It'll connect to your axle with a four bolt pattern.

The hardware you'll need to connect it to your axles comes included with our assembly. When your tire's on, and the system's fully assembled, you can adjust it through the open slot, here at the back. The kit includes a small cover that can be placed over this, to seal up your assembly, once you're done adjusting.We're going to start with our wheel off. Since we're upgrading, by adding brakes to our system instead of just replacing an old assembly, we'll need to replace this hub with our new drum brake hub. You'll need to take the cap off here, at the end.

You'll just hammer this off. Below here, you're going to have your nut. To remove the nut, you're going to need to take the cotter pin, it's found beneath. We're going to have to straighten it back out, so we'll just grab it here, with our needle-nosed pliers. If you are planning on re-using that cap we knocked off, I do recommend using a rubber mallet for that, so you don't damage it. Once you've got the cotter pin straight, you can just pull the cotter pin out. We're going to set it aside. We've got a napkin laid down for everything, so that way, we don't make a mess.Now, we'll remove the nut, located here in the center, using a pair of channel locks. I'm just going to unthread that, all the way. And we're going to set it aside.Our whole hub assembly can now be pulled off. You want to note, though, that there's going to be a washer and a bearing that's just going to fall out, so we're going to use our needle-nose pliers to catch those. We'll set those aside, and now we can set our hub aside. Now, since we're adding drum brakes, we won't be re-installing that hub, nor any of the components except for the nut and the cotter pin and the washer. We won't be re-using the bearings.Now you're going to want to remove all that grease that's on there. And we can now install our drum brake assembly. You want to make sure you've got the wires and anything else out of the way, here on the back. Now, if you had an old assembly on yours, now's the time to remove it from your hub. There'll be four nuts on the back you'll need to remove, and you'll need to cut the two electrical wire that go to your old hub. Now, we can slide on our new hub. If you're just upgrading your brakes, there won't be one to remove, you'll just be sliding this on.Now we'll go around back and install our hardware. On the back side, your studs are going to poke through the hub flange. We're going to install a nut onto each stud. We'll now tighten down all our hardware, using an 11/16ths socket. You may need a wrench for some of these ones here. If you can't get to it with a socket, you may need to use a wrench.Now, if you're replacing your old brake assembly, you'll just want to re-install your hub in reverse order that you removed it. If you're upgrading your system, by adding these brake components, you'll need to purchase a new drum, with bearings and seal, which all is available here at The new assembly will just slide on, if you are replacing it. On the other side, we'll install our bearing, followed by the washer that we removed. You want to make sure you get that pushed in there, so we can install our nut, which is the next component.The only thing I want to mention, as we're doing this process, you want to make sure to use plenty of grease. You'll see here, at the end of our axle, we do have a grease circ. We did repack all of our bearings, but we're going to make sure to use that grease circ, at the end, to finish filling it with grease. If you don't have that grease circ, you may want to pack additional grease inside your assembly. After you've got your bearings adjusted, you'll install your cotter pin, followed by your cap.We've gone ahead and put our tire back on, now. I find it easier to adjust the brakes, because you've got a little more leverage, and you can feel what it's going to feel like, when it's fully assembled. You're looking for a slight amount of drag. We've got just a little bit too much drag on this wheel, so we're going to adjust it, here at the back.You'll have access to your adjuster through the openings here, at the back. You can use a flat plated screwdriver, or they do have special drum brake adjustment tools, and you just want to turn this star wheel. Turning this wheel will adjust the tension of your brake pads, against the drum. One way to do this is tighten it down all the way, until your wheel stops moving, and then back it off. This ensures that you made good contact, and you've got the right amount of drag.And there we go, we've got just a little bit of drag, you can see the wheel still spins freely, but will, eventually, come to a stop, because of that slight amount of drag. Once you're finished adjusting, we can insert the plastic caps on the back of our backing plate. Now we're ready to connect our wiring.I'm now going to use some heat shrink yellow butt connectors, to make our connection for our wiring, here. Our blue wire is our brake signal wire, and our white wire is ground. If these are already run on your vehicle, because you're just replacing it, you'll just make a connection. Either color can go to either wire. If you're adding this to your system, you're going to need to run your own brake signal wire from your seven pole connector back, and also a ground wire. These colors may be different on your trailer.We'll then use a heat gun to shrink down our heat shrink butt connectors. On the back of your backing plate, you'll find a small, plastic clip. You can take your wiring and just snap it onto that. You do want to make sure that you leave yourself some slack, though, because your suspension is going to be moving up and down, and you don't want to yank out the wires. We are going to actually to it like this, so we have some slack. We'll now repeat this same process on the other side.And that completes our look at the ten inch Dexter Electric Trailer Brakes.

Questions and Comments about this Video

I’m upgrading my utility trailer to add electric brakes. I have the dexter 3500 axle with electric brakes. My question is if y’all have a video that fully shows how to wire in new electric brake wiring. I’ve only seen on where it shows the wires lead back to the driver side then get zip tied to the axle and it shows scotch connectors to the passenger side but doesn’t show how the driver side brake assemble is wired to the main brake wiring. It skips to cutting the white wire and grounding it to the trailer frame.
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

We don't have a full video that shows wiring up the trailer from scratch, but we do have a helpful article that may offer some guidance. I've liked it below. The brake output wiring basically just gets run up to the brake output pin on the trailer's 7-Way.

Isaias A.
Awesome, just answered all my questions concerning my trailer install. Well produced! Thanks.

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Employee Zack K
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Employee Jacob T
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Employee Jeff D
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