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Putting Brakes On A 16 Foot Flatbed Trailer That Did Not Come With Brakes.

Question:

I need to know what self adjusting electric brake assembly will work on my trailer. It did not come with brakes, so I would need the proper drum and brake assembly. It has 15inch tires and the lug spacing is 2 1/2inch from center to center of the lugs next to one another or 4 1/2inch from center to center of lugs across from one another on a 5 bolt pattern. It is a tandem axle trailer, but I want to put brakes only on one axle the front axle I think would be best?. I looked at the axles for any information, and could only find XS210 and JH molded into the back side of the hub. Found a faded tag on the trailer tongue that said the gross weight of the axles is 7000 #. I pulled the hub and the outer bearing is a L44549 as best as I can read it. I would also want a wiring harness and 7 pin plug if available. Thanks.

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Expert Reply:

A place to start is to make sure you have brake flanges like # 4-35. When a brake mounting flange is welded to an axle, it must be welded square and concentric. This usually requires a jig to hold both parts in position. A trailer shop should have the equipment and personnel to weld brake mounting flanges to your axle.

With a 5 bolt pattern and since this trailer never had brakes before, it's very likely you have 2 - 3,500lb axles and the trailer capacity is 7,000lbs. Additionally, instead of your outer bearing being L44549 it's likely # L44649 which is a common size for 3,500lb axles. Measure your old bearing and make sure it's inner diameter is 1.063 inches to be sure. The corresponding inner bearing you likely have is # L68149 which measures 1.378 inches. You'll want to verify that as well. If I'm wrong about the bearing numbers certainly let me know and I can make corrected recommendations.

If you verify the above is correct regarding your bearings, the electric brake assembly I recommend is the Dexter Nev-R-Adjust Electric Trailer Brake Kit # 23-468-469.

You will want to put brakes on the rear axle because they have the most ground contact and will more effectively grab during braking as the flex in the suspension will actually push the rear axle into the ground when braking.

For a 7-Way connector and wiring, the Trailer Wiring 7-Way Upgrade Kit # e99011 is what I recommend. To run wiring from the back to the front of your trailer you'll want 10 gauge wire like the Deka Jacketed # 10-2-1 to provide the length you'll need for wiring installation. For this reason trailer manufacturers will put brakes on the rear of a tandem axle when only adding one set of brakes.

Finally for the brake controller, the Curt Echo Mobile Trailer Brake Controller # C51180 is a popular choice with our customers that provides proportional braking and wireless management from your phone.

I have included a help article as well that provides a great overview of what's needed adding trailer brakes.

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