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Parts Needed to Add Electric Drum Brakes to a Home Made Trail

Question:

I purchased a sailboat on a cradle attached to a homemade trailer. It looked real goodBUT then found out that there are no electric brakes on the dual axle trailer and of course the sailboat is no light weight. Trailer needs some work on the tongue and brakes installed. Is this a job I can tackle myself? How do I know what kind or size of electric brake I need or must have by law? Also what size of axles should they be and what kind of hitch would work best

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Expert Reply:

The first thing you are going to want to check would be the axle to determine if it has brake mounting flanges welded on. A brake mounting flange on an axle/spindle would looks similar to # TRU74FR or # TRU37FR . The flange is that piece with the holes about midway down each of those examples.

If you do not see those on your axle then they will have to be added. This is a precision job that requires a professional welder with the special jig needed and experience with welding on brake flanges. The flanges have to be perfectly straight and concentric or the trailer will have all sorts of problems.

The easiest solution would be to replace the axle with one that has brake mounting flanges on it already. You can even order them with brakes, hubs, the works! We have a few options, see link, but if none of them have the measurements needed then you could order one from a local tractor or trailer supply store to your specifications.

If the trailer does have flanges or you are able to get some welded on (see link to brake mounting flanges) then to determine what all you will need I will need to know the inner and outer bearing numbers stamped into the sides of the bearings. You will also need to wire the trailer with a common 7-Way RV style connector, such as # H20042, if the vehicle does not already have one.

The vehicle will also need a 7-Way and a brake controller if not equipped already. If you do need those things I would need to know the year, make, and model of the tow vehicle to make recommendations.

As a starting point I have included a link to our help article on the parts needed to add electric drum brakes to a trailer.

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