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Axle Options for Converting Military Surplus Trailer to Electric Drum Brakes

Question:

Hi, I have an old military water tank carrier, M107 A2. I am trying to determine the best way to update the brakes. I would like to see if I can simply do an electric brake conversion, but I am having difficulty finding parts. My trailer has 6 lug, 9x20 rims. It seems to have a 10k+ axle. It may have 15 x 3 brake shoes with dual pistons, air over hydraulic. Not sure what has to be replaced or changed. I am wondering if replacing the axle is the simplest way to go. Any help would be much appreciated in figuring out options. Thanks.

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Expert Reply:

Military surplus trailers differ enough from RVs that it is often easier to just replace the original axle with a new one that comes with electric brakes, like 7K-rated # 8327834-EB. This 95-inch axle kit includes the axle beam, brakes, hubs, drums, bearings, races, seals, and mounting hardware. It will also make finding compatible wheels and tires easier well into the future.

We also offer the Timbren universal-fit axle-less trailer suspension kits, such as the 3500-lb version # A35RS545E, which completely eliminate the traditional leaf spring suspension in favor of compact bolt-on suspension/hub/brake assemblies that mount directly on the trailer frame. These kits also give you the option of converting the trailer to a tandem setup with a total of four wheels/tires.

If you can pull one hub and find the bearings used in it that will allow us to see if we have any other compatible hubs. If so, this would allow you to keep the current axle and spindles and use hub/drums with a more readily available wheel bolt pattern.

If you do not need to have the trailer's full original GVWR, meaning that transporting a very large volume and weight of water is NOT your intended application, then you may not need a 10K setup. One of these alternatives will definitely provide an easier and less complex conversion. I linked a few articles for you that will help you determine how complex a project you prefer to undertake.

Electric brakes can be most easily wired in by using a junction box like # 277-000141 which provides one central protected location for connecting all the trailer light and brake wiring. This item also includes a pre-wired 7-way blade-style plug that is the RV standard and that will match your tow vehicle.

The gold standard in trailer brake controllers is the Prodigy P3 # 90195 which has a mix of advanced technologies and features that make installation, adjustment and use a breeze compared to most other such products.

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