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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota L3710 GST

    Default Trailer brakes - replace brakes or axle

    The post on channel vs angle iron set my mind on the trailer path, and reminded me of something that's been sitting in the back of my mind for awhile.
    I bought an older used Cherokee 2 horse bumper pull trailer some years back and I've been slowly making sure it lasts for awhile. Doesn't get used a whole lot since mama has a hard time selling and I keep reminding her we don't have room for her to buy any more ...
    Anyway, when I changed all the rubber last spring (old rubber was getting severely weather-checked), I noticed that the trailer had electric brakes out of the factory, but certainly weren't much to brag on any more. One side simply had the wires cut ... the other had most of the components removed.
    So ... question for those who know a lot more about electric brakes than I do (which should be just about anyone who knows what electric brakes are ...), would I be smarter/better off to simply replace the axle with a replacement that has brakes ... or simply buy and install rebuild kits (I'm assuming such are available).

    And, on an unrelated to brakes topic .... this trailer has 2 swinging doors in the back which probably worked ok for standard horses. However, it's a pretty good step up for minis ... so I was thinking of replacing the 2 doors with a single door that dropped to a ramp. I need to do something with the door anyway as the sheet metal is rusting out at the bottom of the doors.
    The question here, for anyone that might have a trailer with a ramp door instead of swingers .... what kind of hinges do these use? Continuous (piano style) hinge or strap type hinge.
    Where would I look for them?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Location
    East Texas

    Default Re: Trailer brakes - replace brakes or axle

    Wingnut,
    A couple of years ago I had a camper trailer that had some defective brake components. I found a comercial brake shop that carried replacement parts. I replaced the magnets and some springs. As opposed to replacing the whole axle, they had replacement hubs with all new components that would just bolt onto the axle. Not sure how your setup is, but that would work for me. I also found parts at the company that makes utility trailers, etc.

    Rod

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trailer brakes - replace brakes or axle

    To me, at least, the electric brakes are easier to work on than hydraulic brakes. I'll bet if you go to a Dexter Axle dealer, you can buy everything you need to fix those brakes a lot cheaper and easier than replacing axles.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2005
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    664
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    Fingerlakes Region, Upstate NY
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    B7610HST

    Default Re: Trailer brakes - replace brakes or axle

    I replaced the electric brake assemblies on a pop-up camper. It's easy and a lot cheaper than replacing axles and brakes. Check HERE .

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Trailer brakes - replace brakes or axle

    I just remembered something. I've replaced a few parts on electric brakes, but one of my brothers in the RV repair business recently mentioned that he had a customer not long ago that needed a brake job on a travel trailer and it was cheaper for the customer for my brother to buy the entire assemblies; backing plate, etc. and change them out than to buy the parts to do the brake job, primarily because it saved the customer a lot of labor time charges.

  6. #6
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Trailer brakes - replace brakes or axle

    I just did my trailer brakes that way Bird. Takes longer to solder the conections than to replace the entire unit.

    Each unit was $104.00 complete. Pads were $44.00 and then magnets and springs etc so figure it was definetly cheaper and easier to go for the complete unit.

    Egon

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2005
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    Fingerlakes Region, Upstate NY
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    B7610HST

    Default Re: Trailer brakes - replace brakes or axle

    Bird - yes, that is often the case and the exact point I was trying to make above. Besides being cost competitive, the additional benefits of working with new parts rather than old, plus having ALL parts in the old brake system updated, make for a pretty easy decision IMO.

    Wingnut - there are several sources, but the link I gave above goes to a site with complete electric brake assemblies in several sizes, and they also offer different trailer door hinges as well. Good luck on your project. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]


  8. #8
    Super Member
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    Apr 2000
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    Shingle Springs California
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    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Trailer brakes - replace brakes or axle

    While working on a couple trailers, one flatbed and another a 2-horse trailer, I found out a litlle on the subject...

    For both of those trailers, it was simplist to replace the entire backing plate , since some other parts were damaged in addition to worn shoes. 10" backing plates with shoes, magnets, ect, were $50 at my local trailer repair center.

    On my current flatbed trailer, I want to add brakes on the second axle. They said it was easy bolt on, and cost about $100 each for the backing plate and drum.

    while you are at it, check up front for the break-away switch and battery. This setup will apply the brakes if the trailer disconnects from the tow vehicle. New trailers are suppossed to have it, but olders ones may be hit and miss. I would see if you have it, and if it is operational. If not, it would be worth adding one.

    I find this web site helpful for wiring and stuff... Mark's RV page

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota L3710 GST

    Default Re: Trailer brakes - replace brakes or axle

    thanks for the advice guys ... gives me enough information to get back at this ... I really hate hauling a trailer, especially if I have the little guys in it, when I know that I'm completely dependant on the pickups brakes.
    I'll compare those "complete assembly" prices with the complete axle prices tonight and see where I got from here.
    (I'll check for the hinges too, Robert ... I missed that when I viewed and bookmarked that site)

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    russellville, arkansas
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    Kubota M4900, B7510 and RTV

    Default Re: Trailer brakes - replace brakes or axle

    i recently wanted to add brakes to the second axle on my flat bed trailer, i paid $200 for a new axle, with brakes and springs, took out 4 bolts and bolted it in...works great, and now i have a spare axle or one to sell and get part of my $$ back..it was the fastest and easest way for me..i need the trailer that day..
    heehaw

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