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Parts Needed to Convert From Surge to Electric Brakes

Question:

I just bought this pop up with surge brakes. I asked about the brakes when I bought it as the master cylinder cap was corroded and looked like it hasnt been off in a while. He stated he has never looked into the brakes as he has always had a 3/4 or 1 ton truck he was pulling it with and didnt care. Pulled great never knew it was there. Camper was in great shape otherwise. I thought what could it take to rebuild or replace this. Well.....looking into this brake setup it would need a full rebuild and feedback on this type of braking is terrible. I want to convert to electric. Pulled off hub and without actually pulling backing plate, it appears to measure 2 3/4inch x 4. Drum 2 1/2inch deep by 10inch wide. Am I measuring these right? Doesnt seem to be a normal size. What parts do I need for converting. Thanks

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Expert Reply:

The backing plate you are referring to is, I'm assuming, the brake mounting flange, which should be welded on. The dimensions of this are extremely important because it will determine the brake assemblies that fit.

The Demco Trailer Brake Mounting Flange # DM60124 has a 2-3/4" pilot hole and has a 4 on 4-13/16" bolt pattern. This is uncommon compared to Brake Mounting Flange # 4-35 which is for 2-3/8" round axles and has 4 bolt holes which are 2-7/8" apart on center, which is what you can see in the photo I added. You need to know this dimension in order to get the right electric brake assemblies.

As for your drum, you are correct that 10" x 2-1/2" deep is not common though because the drum is wider than the standard 2-1/4" brake assemblies you can still use the recommended Electric Trailer Brake Kit # AKEBRK-35-SA which are 10" diameter x 2-1/4" wide so long as you have the standard 4-bolt mounting flange. These are self-adjusting brakes which are rated for 3,500 lb axles.

With that you will also need a Breakaway Kit # 50-85-313 as well as wiring on your trailer.

For your tow vehicle you are also going to need a brake controller and the appropriate wiring. For a 2004 Chevy Tahoe if you do NOT have the factory 7-way you will need to add Custom Multi-Tow 7-Way and 4-Way Trailer Connectors # 30955.

If you DO have the factory 7-way you will only need the brake controller and wiring adapter. I strongly recommend the Prodigy P3 # 90195; it is the most popular model we carry due to its effectiveness and ease of use. It will activate your trailer's brakes immediately in proportion to your Tahoe's brakes and offers three different boost levels so you can adjust your braking power. The correct wiring adapter for your Chevy is part # 3015-P.

I have also added a help article for you to check out which details all the parts you need to add electric drum brakes.

click to enlarge
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Kyle S

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